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!

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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

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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!”

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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.

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Classroom renovations support hybrid learning

Hawk Owl Helper logoKudos to Kyle Morrison, Chris Hanna and Dennis Schultz for overseeing and completing over 20 classroom renovations and upgrades this summer. Thanks to their efforts, rooms in the Beckett Building, Fine Arts, Great Lakes Culinary Institute and Aero Park campus buildings are now equipped with audiovisual equipment to support hybrid learning options.

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Volunteers make Welcome Week happen!

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to the many Welcome Week volunteers! Over 40 NMC faculty and staff helped residents move into East and North halls and dip their toes into life as a Hawk Owl with meet-and-greet activities from kayaking to esports to volleyball to an ice cream social. Events began Aug. 26, continue through the annual Pine Palooza student fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. tomorrow, and conclude Wednesday.

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Financial Aid office comes through for students

Hawk Owl Helper logoOn July 13, the Department of Education announced that for the 2021-2022 financial aid year, colleges could waive verification requirements for most students who have not completed them. Financial Aid Director Linda Berlin reports that NMC’s Financial Services office implemented this change by July 27 (the payment due date!) and as a result, was able to award federal aid (and state aid for last-dollar programs) to 337 students who were previously held up by verification requirements. Amy Klei in NMC’s Information Technology Services department assisted with automated updating and Financial Services staff reviewed hundreds of partially completed records manually in order to award the aid.

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40th Annual Scholarship Open goes out on top!

Hawk Owl Helper logoNMC Scholarship OpenCongratulations to the NMC Foundation, the Scholarship Open committee and the student and campus volunteers who made the 40th anniversary and final NMC Scholarship Open a success! The event was held Thursday, August 5 at the Grand Traverse Resort, drawing a sold-out crowd of 288 golfers who played across two courses and raised more than $120,000 for scholarships for deserving NMC students according to preliminary estimates, on par with previous years.

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Student Success Center Shines

Hawk Owl Helper logoNMC’s Student Success Center has been scheduling a series of Welcome Wednesday events to help students returning to campus by fostering student engagement. Upcoming events include Wednesday night open houses to connect students with campus services, NMC Insider Tours conducted by success coaches and other students, and an August 11 outing to a Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball game. Thank you Student Success for building engagement and welcoming our students back to campus!

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Congrats to Maureen Carlson!

EES catalog cover

Summer 2021 EES Catalog Cover

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to NMC Extended Education’s Publication and Promotion Specialist, Maureen Carlson, who just completed putting together her 116th and final EES catalog for Fall 2021, which will be hitting the EES website and people’s mailboxes by mid-August. EES Director Laura Matchett noted that the latest catalog is the largest in five years, as EES is offering more livestream options along with face-to-face classes.

Maureen will be retiring from NMC at the end of the year after 29 years at NMC, and she says assembling the catalogs the favorite part of her work.

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Café Lobdell’s open for its fourth summer

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongrats to the students and staff of NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute for their fourth consecutive summer of serving tasty treats at Café Lobdell’s. The café opened June 29 and will be open 7-11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through August 5. Stop by for fresh pastries, breakfast baked goods and coffee, tea, espresso and specialty coffee drinks prepared and served by culinary students as the capstone course for GLCI’s one-year Baking Certificate program. Dine in and takeout are both available. Learn more at

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There’s still time to Be What’s Possible!

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to everyone who has helped make NMC’s Be What’s Possible campaign a success as it draws to a close. As the NMC Foundation announced June 10, the most ambitious fundraising initiative in NMC’s history has raised $38.9 million to date from more than 5,000 donors since its public launch in October, 2019, well over its $35 million goal. The funds will support scholarships, programs, facilities and the greatest needs of the college and its students.

There’s still time to join this historic effort by making a gift by this Wednesday, June 30. Find out more at

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Thank you to Future Summit planners and participants

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to everyone involved in planning and preparing for Wednesday afternoon’s Future Summit, the signature event in NMC’s strategic planning process, and to the more than 100 people who plan to attend. If you haven’t sent an RSVP yet, there’s still time!

Participants in the 1-5 p.m. event will hear four short EdTalks on topics key to NMC’s continued vitality, delivered by experts in the field, and then break into groups to discuss each talk in more detail, adding their voices to the critical conversation about NMC’s future. Learn more and RSVP at

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College for Kids kicks off

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to NMC’s Extended Educational Services for relaunching face-to-face College for Kids classes in 2021. College for Kids starts June 21 with over 150 classes and 11 new full-day programs including STEM Camps, a LEGO Camp, an Art Camp and a new Third Grade Academy. Face-to-face class sizes are limited to 10 students each and follow NMC safety protocols.

Cybersecurity summer camps for students in grades 6-12 are also returning for the third year, after being held virtually last year due to COVID-19. Scheduled for June 21-25 and July 12-16, the camps are an opportunity for students to get a head start on a STEM career.

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Hagerty Center vaccination site a success

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to the partnership between NMC, the Grand Traverse County Health Department, volunteers and others to turn the NMC Hagerty Center into a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. The site opened in January and will close this week after having vaccinated more than 22,000 residents. Grand Traverse County continues to exceed the state average of vaccination rates, with 65.8% of those eligible receiving the initial dose and 59.2% for completed doses.

“Utilizing NMC’s Hagerty Center for a mass vaccination site was critical to increasing the pace of delivery of these life-saving vaccines to our community,” said Health Officer Wendy Hirschenberger. “Due to the public’s willingness to protect themselves and each other, after an extremely challenging 15 months, we now stand on the verge of returning to more normalcy.”

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