By Lisa Stapel
You’ve seen her all over Grand Rapids Community College. Her smile greets you when you enter the parking ramps, and you catch a glimpse of her in every hallway. She’s even been popping up in your emails. She’s the face of the new RaiderCard, and you’ve been seeing a lot of her lately. But who is she?
The woman in the sample ID card that you’ve been seeing all over campus is an actual GRCC student, and her name is Marissa Diaz.
GRCC’s identification card, known as the RaiderCard, was updated in late 2018 to include new security measures as well as other features. Students and employees alike have seen and received numerous reminders to replace their old RaiderCards with the new version as they begin their winter semesters.
“I feel famous,” stated Diaz, 22, of Kent City in an email to The Collegiate. “I have received a lot of messages, snaps and calls from family and friends. They asked why my image was everywhere, and I just explained that I was promoting the new RaiderCard… I had people even calling up my mom.”
Diaz is currently at home following the recent birth of her baby but plans to return to GRCC to finish her associate in arts. But if you think you’ve actually seen her in person before, you probably have. Prior to this semester, she was a familiar face around the Student Center Building.
“I worked at GRCC for about three years in the Student Life office,” stated Diaz. “I loved working there! All the staff and student employees are awesome…They were like family. Bruné (Garcia) is such a great boss. He always gave us advice and helped whenever we had issues. I got to meet different people and get them connected with resources that we offer. It’s always a great feeling when (you’re) helping others.”
It was Bruné Garcia, the Service and Technology Coordinator in the Office of Student Life and Conduct, who a year ago offered Diaz the opportunity to be photographed for the sample RaiderCard.
“Bruné sent me a message and I accepted,” Diaz stated. “I was a little nervous at first because I knew my face was going to be everywhere, but I just thought … I have to get out of my comfort zone, and I said yes.”
GRCC Director of Communications Dave Murray stated he feels it’s important to represent students in the college’s designs whenever possible.
“I’m proud of the people who attend and work here,” stated Murray in an email to The Collegiate. “Rather than use a stock image or an illustration, I always like to tell our story by using real students. I was excited when a member of the Student Life team allowed us to use her image.”
Diaz had good things to say about her time at the college.
“GRCC is a great school,” stated Diaz. “I loved my experience here. I got involved in so many ways… I made friends that are now my best friends. The staff are great and care about you and your success.”
More information on the new RaiderCards can be found here.