CIE’s Friday Forum for December focuses on NMC Learning Communities

Q: What are NMC Learning Communities and how do I get involved?

  • Learn about the philosophy and purpose of learning communities.
  • Hear about the NMC Learning Communities pilot program that will begin in January of 2016.
  • Find out about the learning communities getting started at NMC and how to start your own.

Join the conversation. (more…)

Success Story: Hanging on through the 2015 growing season

Success Story: Hanging on through the 2015 growing season

Nathan KulpaPop quiz: In your first year as a professional farm manager, the challenge Mother Nature most likely will throw at you is:

  1. A bitter cold, vine-damaging winter
  2. A late May frost, just as buds are forming in cherry and apple orchards and on grapevines
  3. An unprecedented August thunderstorm, complete with fruit-hammering hail
  4. All of the above

Nathan Kulpa, a 2015 graduate of the NMC-MSU plant science program, will tell you the answer is D. But on the eve of Thanksgiving, the traditional culmination of the growing season, the Leelanau County native is sanguine about his first year as the farm manger of Peninsula Farms.

“I kind of enjoy the challenge. Being in farming my whole life, I understand that years like this happen,” said Kulpa, 22, who also helps on his parents’ farm. “On the good years you’ve got to prepare yourself for the bad years so you’ll be around.”

Brian Matchett is the coordinator of the program, which offers students an NMC degree plus an MSU certificate in one of four agriculture specialties. While the weather dealt growers a “triple whammy” this year, Matchett said that on the positive side, vegetable production was minimally affected. Also, the network of markets for growers — farmers’ markets, distributors like Cherry Capital Foods and CSAs — all continued to expand.

So are the options in the plant science program. Since Matchett took over in 2013, he’s restructured and updated the curriculum, adding more required courses to some areas and allowing more elective flexibility in others. All of the changes were made based on feedback from the agriculture industry, which provides one in every five jobs in Michigan.

Bethany NewellBethany Newell is enrolled in fruit and vegetable production, one of the redesigned certificates, and worked at two different CSAs over the summer. She’ll graduate next spring, completing a lifestyle change her family embarked on in 2010 when they moved north from Flushing, where she worked in the cable industry for ten years.

“I was very unhappy working indoors every day. It was tough on my soul,” said Newell, 35. “Moving up here and getting into farming, it’s so peaceful being outside, and working in nature.”

Next up for the plant science program is a new certificate in agriculture operations-crop production, and a partnership with NMC’s Aviation Division that will enable plant science students to take unmanned aerial systems courses as electives. Their “classroom” would be the cherry orchards of the Horticultural Research Station that MSU operates in Leelanau County. Matchett says it’s a chance to pioneer the emerging technology of unmanned systems in a new application – specialty agriculture.

“We have all the pieces right here and it’s a perfect fit for our assets,” Matchett said, citing NMC’s leadership in unmanned systems, MSU’s in agriculture and the dominance of cherry production in the Grand Traverse region. “It’s such a unique opportunity we have here.”

Key to making it happen was the redesign of Matchett’s job, from a half-time position funded by MSU to full-time funded jointly by MSU and NMC.

“That allowed me to commit more time to network with the different departments at NMC,” he said. “We’re excited for the next couple years.”

NMC Jazz Bands in concert

jazz bandPresenting the Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Big Band, both directed by Laurie Sears and featuring an evening of music by Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Wayne Shorter, Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern and Benny Carter! Sunday, December 6, 2015 at Milliken Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. (more…)

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet comes to perform at the Dennos Museum Center

beausoleilHIGHThe Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College will present, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 8 PM in Milliken Auditorium. Tickets are $27 advance, $30 at the door and $24 for museum members plus ticket fees. Tickets may be purchased on line at or by calling the box office at 231-995-1553 or My North Tickets at 800-836-0717. (more…)

Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge at the Dennos Museum Center

HornWolfgangredpinsAdCrop1The Dennos Museum Center (DMC) at Northwestern Michigan College will present the exhibition Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge December 13, 2015 – March 6, 2016.

Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge examines the state of fibers and textiles in the fine art world today. The exhibition was organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) with guest curator Geary Jones who invited a group of “major” artists from around of the world and then enhanced that core show with a jury-selected body of work. The result, Extreme Fibers, features 136 artworks by 79 artists representing 25 States from the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Peru, Poland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. (more…)

Extreme Fiber Fashions exhibition and sale at the Dennos Museum Center

rowan 4If you are looking for a unique handmade gift of art for that special someone, or if you want something original for yourself this holiday season, then consider shopping Extreme Fiber Fashions, an exhibition and sale of wearable art by Michigan fiber artists at the Dennos Museum Center.

This sale of wearable art is being presented by the Dennos Museum Store in association with the installation of Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge the next exhibition opening at the Dennos December 13, 2015. The sale will open Friday, December 11 at 10 am and continue through Sunday, December 13, 5pm, in the Museum Sculpture Court. (more…)

Thank you on the Behalf of NMC Veterans

american flagFriends and Colleagues,

On behalf of NMC veterans, I would like to thank you for not only participating in the recent Veterans Day Honor Walk, but for all that you do year-round to support our veteran students.  (more…)

NMC, TC Police open satellite police office on campus

NMC, TC Police open satellite police office on campus

TRAVERSE CITY – Northwestern Michigan College and the Traverse City Police Department opened a satellite office on NMC’s main campus today, an effort to build upon existing communication and partnership between the college and law enforcement.

The satellite, or sector office, is co-located in the NMC security office in West Hall. Officers will have a desk, computer and phone available 24 hours a day.

NMC Assistant Director of Security Jim White initiated the idea of a satellite police office on campus proactively, not due to any increase in crime. Traverse City officers already conduct vehicle patrols of campus. The satellite office will serve as a base from which officers can establish face-to-face relationships and learn the needs of the campus community.

“Our faculty, staff, students can get to know the officers that work this area, give us more of a one-on-one relationship with local law enforcement,” White said.

TCPD Interim Chief Jeff O’Brien said the satellite office fits with his goal to restructure the TCPD along a community policing model. The department has operated one other satellite office, in the emergency room at Munson Medical Center, since January 2010.   

“It falls in line with that philosophy, that concept. This is a prime example of how you decentralize an agency,” O’Brien said. “Any time we can get our guys out of the car, it’s a good thing. They’re going to meet staff, and make friends, go out for coffee.”

White called the new office a “win-win.” In the wake of events like the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, a more visible police presence could provide both deterrence and reassurance.

There is no cost to NMC, which will continue to contract with Grand Rapids-based DK Security to provide private security on all four campuses.

“This is not costing the college anything, this is not costing the taxpayers anything. This is just to have exposure,” O’Brien said. “We’re thinking about safety of the students, we’re thinking about having a plan, we’re thinking about a partnership with the police department, the college, security.”

RELEASE DATE: November 17, 2015


Jim White
NMC Assistant Director of Security
(231) 995-1939

Jeff O’Brien
TCPD Interim Chief
(231) 995-5170


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.

International Affairs Forum presents: “Diplomacy in an Election Year: What’s at Stake?”

Join the International Affairs Forum as they present Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, America’s legendary diplomat as he leads the discussion Diplomacy in an Election Year: What’s at Stake? The event will take place Thursday, Nov. 19 from 6:00- 7:15 p.m. in the West Hall Conference Room with a reception prior to the presentation at 5:15 p.m. This event is FREE to all current students and educators. (more…)