Challenge Coins Available

Below is the history of the challenge coin as told by NMC President Tim Nelson at the 2016 commencement ceremony:

“We began this tradition in 2012, but the challenge coin itself is said to date back to World War I, when an American pilot was first captured and then escaped from the Germans. He used a coin issued by his squadron to prove his identity and escape execution. Upon his return to his squadron, it became a tradition for all members to carry their coin at all times. To ensure compliance, the pilots would challenge each other to produce their coin. As time has passed, these coins have become used as rewards and mementos for outstanding achievement, much like what all of you have accomplished here today. The coins include the college seal and your graduation year. We hope they will become a proud token of your years at NMC.”

Tim would like to make sure each employee has one as well. If you would like an NMC challenge coin, please contact the President’s Office at or by calling 5-1010. Make sure to challenge President Nelson (and one another) to show your coin if you see each other out and about town!

Are You Interested in Mindfulness Meditation?

Tuesdays at 12:30 in Health & Science Building Room 101

Did you know a 10 minute mindfulness practice can help to:

  • Improve focus and awareness
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Reduce stress
  • Promote emotional balance
  • Support healthy relationships at school, work and home
  • Promote academic performance
  • Cultivate compassion
  • Prevent burnout
  • Increase creativity

Come unplug for 20 minutes with NMC’s new mindfulness learning community. Students, faculty, staff and the public are welcome to join!

For more information or a private mindfulness session, contact Kristy McDonald at 995-1059 or

Going Viral: Countering The New Face Of Terror On Social Media

Going Viral: Countering The New Face Of Terror On Social Media

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC’s International Affairs Forum continues its regular lecture series at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 with “Going Viral: Countering The New Face Of Terror On Social Media,” presented by Humaira Wakili, Executive Director of the Gen Next Foundation.

During his first weeks in office, President Donald Trump will face a critical issue that commanded the attention of Barack Obama as he closed out his presidency: how to counter the vicious and violent use of the Internet by extremist groups like ISIS. Social media, so widely used in the free world, has also become a weapon of terrorists to manipulate public opinion, spread propaganda, recruit foreign fighters and plot acts of terror on five continents.

Humaira Wakili, executive director of the Gen Next Foundation, is at the center of developing projects to counter the extremist narrative and brings to the International Affairs Forum an authoritative knowledge of what the new president might do to prevent social media from becoming the norm of extremist groups around the world.

The Gen Next Foundation is a dynamic, high-tech foundation that funds projects aimed at breaking the cycle of radicalization. Wakili’s venture philanthropy draws funds from the private sector and non-profit business partners to seed such projects as:

  • Confronting online radicalization by redirecting potential extremist recruits toward YouTube videos and targeted advertising that debunks ISIS recruiting themes.
  • Bringing together former extremists and survivors of violent extremism to work together in a program called Against Violent Extremism.
  • Supporting the development of an animated YouTube cartoon series called Abdullah-X, which was created by a former extremist. The series seeks to counter online propaganda of groups like ISIS through themes of young Muslim identity in society.

Release date: January 16, 2017

For more information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Blue Cross ID cards

Please note that for 2017 you will have two ID cards. One will be for dental only, and the other for medical/prescription coverage. Please contact Hollie in HR if you need assistance.

1095 C Delivery

If you would like to receive your 1095-C (Affordable Care Act Reporting Document) electronically, please elect to do so through Self-Service. Go to Personal Information and then Employee Information. If you elected electronic delivery last year, you do not need to take any action.

New Year Provides New Focus on Your Goals

We are halfway through the fiscal year. How is your progress going on goal completion? Here are some suggestions on how to keep your MyPDCA and individual work-related goals on track:

  1. Schedule time regularly to discuss goals with your supervisor. (A quick touch base weekly/biweekly may be enough.)
  2. Print out your goals and keep them where you see them daily.
  3. Break your goal down into manageable tasks.
  4. Be realistic with your goals and update them regularly.
  5. Collaborate with others for support.
  6. Check off your progress as you go.
  7. Remember to celebrate your successes!

Click here to login to SilkRoad Performance to set and manage your individual goals.

For questions or assistance, contact: Lori Hodek at 995-1143

Below  is an article with suggestions on how to keep your individual goals on track this year:

Welcome to the NMC Talent Portal!

NMC is pleased to announce the new Talent Portal for all SilkRoad systems is here!

Access the following systems from this new page:

  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding
  • Onboarding Administration
  • Performance
  • Learning
  • Scroll to access HR Toolbench (job descriptions) and other NMC resources.

Click here for instructions on how to access the new portal.(*Note: You will have three initial screens to review before accessing the portal. This is a one-time task.)


KUDOS- (praise or respect that you get because of something you have done or achieved) defined by

Submit a Kudos here.

Kudos to Cheryl Sullivan, Chris Ruszel, Mark West and Peggy Shinn- For extraordinary efforts to ensure timely payroll processing of special payments in order to enhance the morale and motivation of NMC Faculty and Staff.

Kudos to Bryce Turner and the Systems and LAN Management team for the implementation of the workspace file manager system. It is SOOOOOOO much easier to access materials remotely — without having to download and upload files. (especially when you just need one piece of info) It also works so much better across mobile platforms!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Position Vacancies

Are you looking for career opportunities? Find them here! Current openings include:

  • Digital Media Systems Technician;
  • Admissions Office Assistant;
  • Clinical Nursing Adjunct Faculty

Look for Nexus, NMC’s new magazine, in your mailbox!

So many great stories happen at NMC that we made a new magazine to share them all. Watch for Nexus, a 32-page magazine, to arrive in your mailbox in the next few days.

The new magazine, which will be published twice a year by the Public Relations, Marketing & Communications department, takes the place of the eight-page NorWester, retaining the best elements of the NorWester while allowing longer, more in-depth features and profiles.

Got a story idea for Nexus, our NMC Now e-newsletter or other college publication? Email them to us at

Add/Drop Week

Welcome to the new semester! Our eager students are back and may be looking to drop and add classes during this first week. Please remind students that not all classes can be added after they have begun. Refer students to the Advising Center or the Records & Registration Office for assistance with dropping or adding classes this week. The final day to drop regular 15-week classes without academic record and for 100% refund is Monday, January 23. 

NMC Career Fair

NMC Career Fair

TRAVERSE CITY — Employers are invited to register for NMC’s annual Career Fair, set for 4–5:30 p.m. March 2 at the Hagerty Center on NMC’s Great Lakes Campus.

This event affords employers the opportunity to recruit job-seekers for career-track positions, seasonal and entry-level opportunities, as well as internships and service learning. The Career Fair is open to students, NMC alumni and community members.  New this year is an alumni reception following the event.

Wendy Walter, Human Development Manager at Oryana Natural Foods Market, has recruited at the fair for four years in a row.

“I know many employers, including Oryana, who have hired applicants that they first met at the Career Fair,” she said. “It’s a chance to meet others, learn about opportunities and industries, and determine your next steps.”

Employer registration is first-come, first serve and begins January 20.  To register and for the most up to date information, visit

New this year, NMC’s Alumni Relations program will host a  career networking reception directly after the Career Fair exclusively for NMC alumni (former students who have taken for-credit classes.) The  networking reception will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant, on site at the Great Lakes campus, and will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Other career fairs are also scheduled later in the spring:

  • Veterans –  March 21, 2-6 p.m., Hagerty Center
  • Information Technology – April 17, 4-7 p.m. Hagerty Center

RELEASE DATE: January 13, 2017


Irina Grougan
NMC Advising Center
(231) 995-1040


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Emergency Management- January: Lockdown Alert


A Lockdown Alert is issued to temporarily restrict movement on a campus during a situation that could potentially endanger the welfare of the College community.

Situations may include an:

  • Intruder
  • An incident involving a violent or criminal act  
  • An active shooter or
  • Hostage situation

A Lockdown is used when it may be more dangerous to evacuate a building than stay inside. Building exterior doors will be secured to prevent entry.

When notified of a Lockdown:

  • Remain indoors and secure the entrance to your classroom or office
  • Seek concealment away from windows and doors.
  • Turn off lights  
  • Close the blinds
  • Place cell phones on “vibrate only” and silence other electronic devices
  • If you are in a hallway or a general open area, move into an enclosed room and secure the entrance
  • Remain in a secure room until you are notified by the Office of Safety and Security, College officials, fire/rescue, or police that the situation has been resolved
  • During the incident, the College will provide updates through its multiple communications methods
  • If you are outdoors, immediately take cover
  • If you are commuting to a campus and receive a Lockdown alert, remain off campus until notified the situation has been resolved

This information along with a comprehensive list of other topics can be found at

Success Story: Problem solving approach benefits nursing, maritime students

Success Story: Problem solving approach benefits nursing, maritime students

January 11, 2017

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Nursing instructorsSeeking to best serve students, NMC faculty in two different departments brought half-full attitudes to problems that threatened student learning – and in the process, filled the metaphorical glasses to the brim.

Beginning this semester, nursing students and Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadets will both receive important training more conveniently than in the past. Nursing students will receive training in electronic health records on campus instead of at Munson Medical Center. GLMA cadets will receive firefighting training required for licensure in Traverse City instead of Toledo, Ohio.

Nursing instructor Gwen Tafelsky (left photo, center) worked with Munson to bring their staff to campus after discovering limited computer classrooms at the hospital made it difficult to continue to offer PowerChart electronic health records training there.

“We needed to look elsewhere to meet the needs for NMC,” said Deb Gray, RN, (left photo, at right) one of two Munson clinical EHR educators who will now come to campus to teach first-semester nursing students enrolled in the Informatics Essentials course.

Maritime instructor John Biolchini with cadetsMaritime cadets, meanwhile, were faced with traveling as far as Florida or New York for firefighting training after the U.S. Maritime Administration announced last year that it planned to close its Fire Training Academy in Toledo, Ohio. Instructor and Captain John Biolchini (at right in gray cap, with maritime cadets) worked with Tim Wrede, training coordinator at Traverse City’s Northwest Regional Fire Training Center, to create a local course that would fulfill U.S. Coast Guard requirements.

“The two of them worked closely together and submitted a curriculum,” to the tune of 249 pages, said Jerry Achenbach, GLMA superintendent. The Coast Guard approved the curriculum with no edits or changes effective Jan. 1. Achenbach expects the 40-hour course to be offered for the first time in March and three times annually, saving cadets travel and hotel costs.

Stephen Siciliano, vice president for academic affairs, praised both outcomes as exemplifying the dedication NMC faculty and staff show toward students.

“Together they found solutions that not only solved the immediate problems facing our students but creatively established solutions that provide a much better future for our learners,” he said.

Both solutions offer benefits beyond convenience. The EHR instruction strengthens existing NMC connections to the region’s largest health care employer. Nursing students near the end of their education already do clinicals at Munson.

“It’s great when we have that collaboration right from the beginning,” said Tafelsky, herself a former staff nurse at Munson.

Similarly, Kristi Noble, RN, another Munson educator who will teach on campus with Gray, is a former NMC adjunct instructor. She said the collaboration is an opportunity for students to make immediate positive impressions on their potential future employer.

“View this next two years as a giant job interview,” said Noble (top photo, left).

In the Maritime case, the firefighting training is expected to attract other sailors, meaning more tuition revenue coming into Traverse City.

“We’re hoping to sell this to the maritime industry,” said Wrede. “The service that we can provide and our customer base, we’re perfectly located.”

He added the Coast Guard has recently begun requiring that firefighting training certification be renewed every five years, which could present additional opportunities to the Training Center.

Furthermore, MARAD plans to donate some of the Toledo facility’s equipment to the regional center.

Aviation alumnus named Envoy Air’s youngest chief pilot, leads at LaGuardia

Aviation alumnus named Envoy Air’s youngest chief pilot, leads at LaGuardia

TRAVERSE CITY — A 2011 Northwestern Michigan College aviation alumnus has been named the youngest chief pilot in company history by Envoy Air and now leads the airline’s operations at a major air traffic hub.

Ryan FerrisIn late December Ryan Ferris, 26, was named chief pilot of Envoy’s New York base at LaGuardia Airport, the nation’s twentieth busiest airport. He will supervise the 150 Envoy captains and first officers based at LaGuardia as well as coordinate with multiple other departments, including ground handling, passenger service, Transportation Security Administration and air traffic control to ensure a safe and reliable operation for the passengers.

Alex Bloye, director of NMC’s Aviation division, said Ferris’ accomplishment at his age is significant. In addition to becoming Envoy’s youngest chief pilot, he is one of the few to ascend to that role without first being a captain.

“Usually chief pilot positions with airlines are reserved for folks with decades of experience. They are the base leader, and are ultimately responsible for the safety and regulatory compliance of thousands of passenger flights, and hundreds of pilots and crew members,” Bloye said.

Prior to his new role, Ferris spent three years flying as a first officer for Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines. He was also a flight instructor at NMC for two and a half years.

“Northwestern Michigan College did an outstanding job preparing me for the responsibilities of this position,” said Ferris, originally from Portage, Mich. “The flight school provided me with the knowledge and skills to handle the stresses of being an airline pilot, while NMC’s critical-thinking based curriculum helped me develop into a well-rounded manager.”

Envoy Air Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group and operates nearly 180 aircraft on about 900 daily flights to more than 150 destinations. Headquartered in Texas, Envoy was formerly known as American Eagle.

As American Eagle, NMC in 2014 signed a pipeline agreement with the company that gives aviation students early access to interviews, employment and a signing bonus.

Release date: january 9, 2017

For more information:

Ryan Ferris
Envoy Air
(269) 598-4615

Alex Bloye
NMC Aviation
(231) 995-2929


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Our Chance to Create a 21st Century Learning Space

To: Campus Community
From: Timothy J. Nelson, President
Date: January 5, 2017
Subject: 21st Century Learning Space

Good morning and welcome to the New Year! I’m excited to share with you the progress and preliminary process by which we together will design and build 21st century learning spaces in the renovation and remodeling of West Hall. I invite all of you to share in this once in a lifetime opportunity for NMC, our learners and community.

Over the past seven years, NMC has requested State of Michigan funding for the development of what we called the West Hall Innovation Center. Over that same period, our Board of Trustees has recognized the increasing role of libraries and central community learning spaces in learner and community success. As the old saying goes, “timing is everything.” We had intended to construct a new library connected to the core of West Hall and hoped a few years after that, we could construct the Innovation Center as the premiere 21st Century Learning Space.

You all know, we were successful last year in receiving permission to begin planning and designing this facility as ONE BUILDING. We envision an approximately 58,000 sq. ft. facility that is/has:

  • Innovative learning environments
  • Transformative learning environments
  • Libraries
  • Multiple academic and simulation spaces

Diagrams and descriptions of these types of spaces can be found by going here. I encourage you to open it.

We know these spaces will include some of these characteristics.

  • Flexible, adaptable and reconfigurable
  • Food
  • Library
  • Individual and community spaces
  • Quiet and noisy spaces
  • Serves the needs of NMC and multiple area constituent groups
  • Adds to the “Community Core” of NMC consistent with our new residential living plans
  • Has the potential to be used 24/7

At December’s Board of Trustees meeting, NMC contracted with STANTEC, an architecture and design firm, to guide us through a process to continue our journey to secure State funds. There will be multiple opportunities for guided input during this process. The first opportunity will be at Opening Conference on Monday, January 9 where STANTEC will make a presentation to the campus community.

The table below represents our initial thoughts on teams that will contribute to this design process. Our goal is to present design documents to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and then to the State Legislature in the spring and secure funding that would allow us to begin construction in late 2017 or early 2018.

Members of the teams and user groups in the diagram below will be invited to join in coming days and weeks. We will provide both written materials and potential opportunities to visit other institutions. Please note the Steering Team – Innovators will include some of the most innovative educators (faculty and staff) at NMC as identified by peers and supervisors.

Parking enforcement starts Jan. 23

The Traverse City Parking Patrol will begin enforcing parking at NMC on Monday, January 23. All faculty, staff and students must have their 2016-2017 permits displayed by that date.

The Traverse City Police Department has provided the following information on how to avoid parking tickets on campus by properly displaying your parking permit:

  • Place your permit in the bottom left-hand corner of your windshield.
  • Place your permit right side up. An upside-down permit will be considered invalid.
  • Be sure that the expiration date on your permit can be seen from the outside of your vehicle. (Some vehicles have a tint on the edges of their windshield, so be sure your permit is not behind a tint, as it will make it difficult to see from the outside.) When it doubt, get out of your vehicle and be sure you can see the entire permit from the outside.

If you do get a ticket, payment can be made at the red dropoff payment box at the east end of the Cedar lot in front of the Health & Science building. You can also mail the fine in to the city, or pay at the parking services office in the public parking garage at 303 E. State St. Payment information is also on each ticket.

If you have any questions about parking enforcement on campus, please call (231) 995-1111.