Paralympian ski racer to meet with GRCC students



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Oct. 9, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A Paralympian and bestselling author will share his experiences with students at Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University and with the public as part of the two institutions’ One Book One College common read program.

Paralympic ski racer Josh Sundquist, author of Just Don’t Fall, will meet with students on both campuses and give a public lecture during his visit to West Michigan on Oct. 14 through 16.

Sundquist will be at Davenport on Oct. 14 and on the GRCC campus Oct. 15 and 16. He will give the lecture at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse, 111 Lyon St. NE. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

About 1,400 students in GRCC’s CLS 100 course — a required two-credit course that prepares students to be successful in college and life — are reading Just Don’t Fall. GRCC students Megan Brooks, Joshua Edward Zittel and Steven VanIwaarden, winners of an essay contest about the book, will join three Davenport student winners for a dinner with Sundquist on Oct. 15. He will also meet with groups of GRCC students, answering their questions, throughout the day on Oct. 16.

“Josh writes a lot about persistence, overcoming barriers and determining a clear direction for one’s life path,” said Lynnae Selberg, program director for GRCC’s Career and Counseling Center. "When he lost his leg, he had to change directions and identify new goals for himself.

“His experiences resonate with our students since most of them are thinking about their own life paths. Josh’s struggles and successes teach valuable lessons about perseverance.”

GRCC and Davenport alternate hosting the lecture for the One Book One College common read program, Selberg said.

“We are especially eager to present the public lecture this year as another way to welcome the community to campus during GRCC’s 100th anniversary,” she said.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.