Embrace the Dream Team

Hawk Owl Helper logoEmbrace the Dream graphicThanks to the Embrace the Dream team for their excellent work creating a program of events that aligns with the new DEI area of NMC’s strategic plan and celebrates Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month: Amanda Clark, Amy Pflughoeft, Brandon Everest, Jason Dake, Jeff Cobb, Jeremy Heinlein, Lisa Thomas, Lori Hodek, Meg Young, Sally Smarsty andTony Jenkins.

For a full list of activities, including dates, times and locations that you can copy directly to your Google calendar, check out the Embrace the Dream calendar. 

January 10 Opening Conference

Hawk Owl Helper logoThanks to the roughly 250 people who attended and took part in the January opening conference. More than two dozen new employees were introduced, an update on the strategic plan was provided, and Marcus Bennett, Ed.D. was introduced as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, starting July 1. In addition, Dr. Paolo Guadiano gave a highly engaging presentation on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Watch a recording of the conference and Dr. Guardino’s presentation here.

New Nexus issue highlights NMC success stories

Hawk Owl Helper logoNexus Spring 2022 coverWatch your mailbox next week for the success stories of colleagues, students, alumni and friends in the next issue of Nexus magazine.

From strategic planning to Steve Drake’s math teacher disciples to the new restaurant that the owners (and GLCI alumna) of Frankfort’s Birch & Maple are cooking up, you’ll only read about it in Nexus.

New EES website launches

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to everyone who helped EES implement and launch their new, improved, user-friendly registration site. Check it out yourself. One new feature is that NMC employees will see the discounted rate before checkout. The Marine Center utilizes the system, too.

Implementation team members: Ed Bailey, Maureen Carlson, Bill Czyzyk, Dan Gentry, Kristy Jackson, Lindsey Lipke, Laura Matchett, Jackie Schenk, Elizabeth Sonnabend

Go Live Additional Team: Christa Abdul-Karim, Lisa Boike, Steve Kellman, Paul Martin, Bryce Turner

Giving thanks for Giving Tuesday donors

Hawk Owl Helper logoA BIG thanks to all employees who made a gift on #GivingTuesday!

Because of you and community donors, the Dennos Museum Center raised more than $21,000 to preserve works of art and support the greatest needs of the museum. Additionally, you made it possible for students to pay for classes next semester with your generous gifts to the NMC Scholarship Fund.

Thank you and Go Hawk Owls!

Congrats to NMC’s Aviation Division!

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to the NMC Aviation Division for winning a $90,000 aviation workforce development grant from the FAA. Funds will be used to offer UAS training to high school teachers. Competition was “rigorous,” and the college is “to be commended for an extraordinary response to the FAA opportunity,” according to the grant award letter.

Nexus wins gold in regional competition

Hawk Owl Helper logo To the Public Relations, Marketing and Communications team whose magazine Nexus won the top gold award in a regional community college competition.

Judges said the spring 2021 issue highlighting the college’s pandemic pivots, textbook heroes and Futures for Frontliners  had “great content,” “beautiful, clean design” and “interesting, well-written articles.”

Nexus previously won a gold award at the national competition.

Thank you to the Walk for Health & Housing organizers

Hawk Owl Helper logo Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week graphicTo faculty members Brandon Everest, Lisa Blackford and Melissa Sprenkle, whose students in sociology, social work and communications, respectively, will participate in the Walk for Health and Housing, a guided tour of downtown Traverse City from the perspective of people experiencing homelessness and the providers who serve them, departing from NMC’s Great Lakes campus parking lot at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The sixth annual walk, open to the public,  is an example of Experiential Learning at NMC and held as a part of National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, observed the week before Thanksgiving.

Thank you to Scott Herzberg

Hawk Owl Helper logoScott Herzberg, NMC’s Military Point of Contact for the college’s military and veteran students since 2012, is leaving the college Tuesday after 25 years of service to the college and its students.

In recognition of his work to increase the services that NMC offers student veterans, Herzberg won a 2015 John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College. He was also a Foundation Excellence Award winner in 2000 and 2016.

Thank you, Scott!

NMC faculty display their artwork in a special Dennos exhibition

Hawk Owl Helper logoNMC faculty art show illustrationThe Dennos Museum Center will display an exhibition of artwork by NMC faculty starting Wednesday, Nov. 3. The exhibition by Art Department faculty members — each a dedicated educator as well as a working professional artist — is the first on campus in over five years.

The artwork, by Coreene Kreiser, Mathew McGovern, Randolph Melick, Caroline Schaefer-Hills, Leah Schroeder, Rufus Jame Snoddy, Zach Tate, Adam VanHouten and Glenn Wolff, will be on display through January 2, 2022. Learn more here.

NMC employees and alumni make list of influential women

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to the Influential Women of Northern Michigan named by the Traverse City Record-Eagle. At least eight have NMC connections, including:

  • Alumni: Peg Jonkhoff; Susie Janis; Alison Metiva
  • Employees: Marguerite Cotto; Susan Odgers; Leanne Baumeler
  • Retired: instructor Marilyn Jaquish
  • Other: Cammie Buehler, Great Lakes Culinary Institute advisory board member

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!

Students flip for Long Night Against Procrastination!

Hawk Owl Helper logoPancake bar photoCongratulations to the NMC Library, Student Success and other college faculty and staff who made Sunday’s Long Night Against Procrastination midterms edition a success! Some 100 students stopped by the library between 6–8 p.m. for snacks and hot drinks, including a build-your-own pancake bar staffed by Student Success coaches Nancy Olenchek and Kelsey Wright who handed out hundreds of pancakes.

Peer study groups, student success coaches, student ambassadors, Writing and Reading Center staff and librarians were all on hand to help students power through the midterm crunch.

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!

Thank you to longtime librarian and archivist Ann Swaney

Ann Swaney and Michelle Seman

Ann Swaney and Michelle Seman

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to Ann Swaney, longtime NMC librarian and archivist. Swaney is retiring this month after 38 years with the college, meaning she was the custodian and guardian of NMC’s institutional memories for more than half its history.

Michelle Seman will succeed Swaney as archivist.

Best wishes to you both!

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!

DEI Committee issues Benchmarking Report

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to NMC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, which presented its State of DEI Benchmarking Report to the college last month following more than a year of work. The committee prioritized three areas of focus going forward, and will work within the strategic planning framework to explore short- and long-term initiatives.

DEI core committee members are Craig Hadley and Lisa Thomas, co-chairs; Lisa Blackford, Judy Chu, Denny Nguyen and Kerrey Woughter. More than a dozen other faculty and staff serve on subcommittees, including:


Chelsie Niemi, NMC Staff
Nicole Speelman, NMC Faculty
Nicco Pandolfi, NMC Staff (co-chair)
Hollie DeWalt, NMC Staff (co-chair)
Briana Mills, NMC Faculty (co-chair)
Marcus Bennett, NMC Staff
Diane Bolton, NMC Adjunct Instructor
Betsy Boris, NMC Faculty
Erica Cotner, NMC Staff
Taylor Nash, NMC Staff
Ben Post, NMC Staff
Alison Thornton, NMC Staff
Sarah Montgomery-Richards, NMC Adjunct Instructor (co-chair)
Sally Smarsty, NMC Staff (co-chair)
Kristy Jackson, NMC Staff

Past members:

Mark Liebling, NMC Staff
Leanne Baumeler, NMC Staff
Amari McGee, NMC Staff
Mindy Morton, NMC Adjunct Instructor

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!

College for Kids wraps up successful summer season

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to Extended Educational Services for a successful 2021 College for Kids program led by Kristy Jackson. On key benchmarks of enrollment, safety, and of course, fun, the program excelled. Zero COVID-19 exposures were reported and 90 percent of seats were filled.

“NMC’s commitment to the human ‘learning span’ is one of our fundamental and enduring values — most happily illustrated in the energy of our youngest learners,” said Marguerite Cotto, Vice President for Lifelong & Professional Learning. “What a way to start a learning journey!”

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!

NMC office manager runs in Half-Ironman World Championships

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongrats to Social Sciences office manager Cindy Duby who finished tenth in her age group at the Half-Ironman World Championships Saturday in Utah. Duby finished the 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in a total time of 5 hours, 49 minutes, 43 seconds. Department chair Sean Ruane says Duby’s IM performance is only equaled by her performance on campus. The 20-plus year NMC employee is adept at shifting priorities, staying positive and focused on problem-solving, even when working remotely.

“As Cindy states in her own words, ‘I believe staying healthy makes me a better employee, and is essential for the mind & body to better handle the demands of a busy work environment,’” Ruane said.

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at publicrelations@nmc.edu!