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

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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.

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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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