New GLCI, IAF directors hired

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College this spring welcomed a new leader for the Great Lakes Culinary Institute and the first-ever director of the International Affairs Forum.

Leslie EckertLeslie Eckert (right) is the new director of GLCI, taking the reins of the American Culinary Federation (ACF)-accredited program June 5. Eckert studied, taught and managed programs at three campuses of the International Culinary Schools, in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and most recently, Raleigh, N.C. In North Carolina she was the academic director for Culinary Management, Culinary Arts & Baking Programs. Her top priority at GLCI is increasing enrollment and student retention.

Like GLCI students, Eckert, 51, initially earned an associate’s degree. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s in culinary management and an MBA with a concentration in hospitality management. She hopes to cultivate a desire for career advancement among GLCI students, too.

“When you start building on those degrees, it really opens doors for you,” she said.

Eckert is also a fellow in the American Academy of Chefs and is certified by the ACF as both an executive pastry chef and as a culinary educator. She succeeds Fred Laughlin, who retired in December 2018.

Eckert arrives on the cusp of GLCI opening Cafe Lobdell’s for its second summer of service. The capstone course in GLCI’s one-year Baking Certificate program, coffee and pastries will be served in Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant from 7-11 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays June 25-Aug. 1. Find out more about culinary programs at nmc.edu/culinary.

Leila HilalLeila Hilal (right) is the first-ever director of the International Affairs Forum. She spent the past five years as a fellow in the International Security Program at New America, a nonpartisan Washington D.C. think tank.

Also affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America, the International Affairs Forum marked its 25th anniversary this year. Originally a monthly lecture series featuring guest speakers in public policy, academia and media, IAF’s volunteer leadership has in recent years expanded its programming and outreach significantly. Hilal is charged with executing IAF’s mission to advance the understanding of the world and its critical issues through education and public dialogue.

Hilal received her law degree from SUNY-Buffalo in international law, and went on to earn a master of laws from Harvard University, specializing in public international law.

IAF concludes its 2018-19 season with a June 20 lecture in Milliken Auditorium, “Russia Against the West: Can the Post-WWII Global Order Survive?” Speaker Angela Stent is director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The author of Putin’s World, published in February, Stent is America’s leading expert on the triangular relationship between the U.S., Russia and Europe, and previously served in the U.S. State Department and as a NATO adviser. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free for students and educators and $10 for others.

Release date: June 13, 2019

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director, NMC Public Relations, Marketing & Communications
dfairbanks@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1019

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Success story: New culinary leader ready to grow enrollment

June 12, 2019

Les EckertAs a pastry chef, petit fours and artisan breads are Les Eckert’s favorite things to bake, but as the new director of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, she expects to focus on numbers and people.

Eckert, 51, (right) began her tenure at GLCI last week with a clear list of priorities: Increase enrollment, continue to improve student retention, get to know her team and insure GLCI is matching industry needs.

“We have to make the program so added-value that it’s attracting students from across the state, across the country,” said Eckert.

In taking the GLCI helm, she’s done so herself. A Florida native, Eckert studied, taught and managed programs at three campuses of the International Culinary Schools, in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and most recently, Raleigh, N.C.

She said the opportunity to direct an American Culinary Federation-accredited program following former director Fred Laughlin’s retirement was a major attraction of the NMC position. In both Tampa and Raleigh she went through the ACF process. Valid for five years, accreditation assures students that a program meets a set of standards and competencies for faculty, curriculum and student services.

“It’s an incredible feeling when your team has worked that hard,” Eckert said, adding that accreditation should serve as a beacon to students, distinguishing GLCI from other culinary schools.

“That is a huge deal for a culinary school. Chefs in the industry… when you are a graduate of a program that has it, they know you have a solid background,” she said.

As most GLCI students do, Eckert initially earned an associate’s degree. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s in culinary management and an MBA with a concentration in hospitality management. She hopes to cultivate a desire for career advancement among GLCI students, too.

“When you start building on those degrees, it really opens doors for you,” she said.

Building upon traditions like the annual Great Lakes, Great Chefs dinner where GLCI chef alumni return to cook a fundraiser dinner alongside current students, Eckert would like to see alumni return as mentors, internship partners and speakers.

As a Floridian, she’s also planning to try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing as a means of embracing her first northern winter.

“I’m just super excited to be here,” Eckert said.

June 29 Flying Pancake Breakfast benefits Aviation scholarship

Support a good cause and enjoy a flipping good time as Chris Cake’s pancakes soar through the air in support of the Kevin Copeland Memorial Scholarship. Top your cakes with Herkner’s Cherry Topping & Out of the Woods Maple Syrup at this National Cherry Festival event sponsored by Molon Excavating.

Kevin Copeland was a graduate of NMC’s Aviation program and an NMC aviation instructor. He competed and flew in airshows all over the region, including the National Cherry Festival. At the time of his death, Kevin was an aircraft captain with Air Services, Inc. and an instructor at NMC. Friends, colleagues, and family members created the Kevin Copeland Memorial Scholarship in memory of his life and love of flying to inspire other students with a similar passion.

Learn more here.

Women Who Weld introductory workshop

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College will host an introductory Women Who Weld workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 29 in the Welding Lab in the Aero Park Labs building, 2525 Aero Park Drive, Traverse City. 

The event will introduce participants to MIG welding. All gear and supplies are provided. Registration is $100 per participant, and proceeds benefit Women Who Weld’s subsidized
intensive welding training program for unemployed and underemployed women in Detroit, Michigan. Register online at womenwhoweld.eventbrite.com. Questions: info@womenwhoweld.org.

Release date: June 12, 2019

For more information:

info@womenwhoweld.org

Devan DePauw
NMC Welding Instructor
ddepauw@nmc.edu
(231) 995-2779 

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

NMC pilots to compete in all-female cross-country race

TRAVERSE CITY —  Northwestern Michigan College’s aviation program will get a lofty showcase before a national audience this month when a pair of student pilots fly across North America in the Air Race Classic, the oldest air race of its kind, and exclusively for female pilots.

Ninety years after legendary aviator Amelia Earhart made cross-country racing popular, Team Hawk Owls — Jessi Martin of Maple City, and Hannah Beard of Interlochen — will take off from Jackson, Tenn. on June 18 in an NMC Cessna. The 2,500 mile trip is a race against the clock broken into nine legs. One of only two community college teams to enter, they expect to land in Welland, Ontario, by June 21.

Among the 15 academic teams are mostly large universities including Western Michigan University, Purdue and Ohio State. Entering the Air Race Classic will draw more awareness to NMC’s aviation program, said Aviation Director Alex Bloye.

“This race will put NMC and our pilots on the national stage with some of the best aviators in the world,” Bloye said. “This is an exciting opportunity to not only inspire the next generation of NMC students, but to give Hannah and Jessi a chance to expand their envelope of experience.”

The race is also the latest example of how women at NMC are making significant strides in what has long been a male-dominated field. Nearly 20 percent of current NMC aviation students are now women. The college is now home to a chapter of Women in Aviation International, which allows them to network and support each other.

Women are also becoming leaders among the overall student population. Beard is NMC’s top-performing aviation student this year, mastering commercial pilot skills faster than any other student, Aviation director Alex Bloye said.

“She met all the requirements of the certificate much quicker than any other student we’ve seen in recent years,” Bloye said.

Both women expect to graduate from NMC’s program in December 2019 and then become flight instructors for the college. A current NMC flight instructor, Victoria Gann, will be racing as part of another team. Air Race Classic pilots range from ages 17 to 90.

“We look forward to seeing Hannah and Jessi cross the finish line. This will be a huge accomplishment that will help to solidify interest of future NMC race teams,” Bloye said.

NMC is seeking sponsors to help underwrite the $10,000 cost to compete, which includes fuel, transportation and lodging. Contact Paris Morse at the NMC Foundation, pmorse@nmc.edu, for more information.

Follow Beard and Martin’s progress at the NMC Aviation Facebook page.

Release date: June 11, 2019

For more information:

Alex Bloye
NMC Director of Aviation
(231) 995-2929
abloye@nmc.edu

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Michigan Transfer Network online upgrades simplify credit transfer

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College announced that a new, more user-friendly online option is now available for students who want to transfer their postsecondary education credits from one institution to another.

Fresh upgrades to the Michigan Transfer Network, MiTransfer.org, were unveiled statewide, following nearly two years of development carried out by Michigan’s community colleges, public universities, and independent colleges and universities.

“One of NMC’s purposes is transfer education. The new Michigan Transfer Network dramatically improves our students’ access to information about how their courses will transfer to the universities throughout Michigan,” said Stephen Siciliano, NMC vice president for academic affairs.

MiTransfer.org allows students to search for courses, view information about the Michigan Transfer Agreement, and link to more information about transferring from and to institutions throughout Michigan.

The upgraded MiTransfer.org site will help make this process easier and better outline the pathways to a degree for NMC students.

The project was funded through the state’s FY 2018 state budget, which included a one-time appropriation to support this statewide initiative under the collaborative leadership of the Michigan Community College Association, the Michigan Association of State Universities and the Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, all based in Lansing.

The new site, developed after extensive user input and stakeholder feedback, now offers expanded information about course-to-course equivalency and how to complete Michigan’s general education transfer package, known as the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA). Explore the site at mitransfer.org and contact NMC for additional information.

Release date: June 10, 2019

For more information:

For more information
Lindsey Dickinson
NMC Director of Advising
(231) 995-1037
ldickinson@nmc.edu

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Kids Free Fishing Day

TRAVERSE CITY —  More than 500 young anglers are expected at the fourteenth annual Rotary Kids Free Fishing Day, set for 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at NMC’s Great Lakes Campus, 715 E Front St., Traverse City.

This is a free event for kids to fish with the help of caring community volunteers. It is a collaborative event, offered to the community since 2006 by several partner organizations. Last year, more than 500 kids participated. This year, even more kids are expected to hook one of the 750 rainbow trout to be stocked in in the Great Lakes Campus harbor.

More than 60 volunteers assist with equipment set-up, fish cleaning, and kids’ safety. The event also features fish painting by the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, free pizza and new this year the GOREC ~ Greilick Outdoor Recreation & Education Center’s — Mobile Fishing Camp.  U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City will perform an air rescue by helicopter demonstration (as scheduling allows).

Release date: May 31, 2019

For more information:

Christopher DeGood
Kids Free Fishing Day Committee
cdegood@bria2.com
Mobile: 231.420.5601

 

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Success Stories: Region’s brightest becoming Hawk Owls

May 29, 2019

Isabela Bivens

Long known as a smart financial choice, NMC is increasingly simply the smart choice, as determined by students well-positioned to know best.

So far, 13 valedictorians and 3 salutatorians from northern Michigan’s Class of 2019 have been admitted to NMC for fall. More than 120 students have a grade point average of 3.9 or better, on a 4.0 scale.

“We’ve had a good run this year,” said Cathryn Claerhout, director of admissions. “We’ve got people who are not (just) looking at us to save money, it’s because we’ve got their program.”

Manton High School valedictorian Isabela Bivens (left) is one. She also received the Founder’s Scholarship, worth $8,000. Bivens is member of the National Honor Society who runs cross country and track and field, has a black belt in tae kwon do and works as an assistant martial arts instructor and on a farm. Her older sister Catherine attended NMC, too, and her positive experience also influenced Bivens.

“I know she was challenged there so I’m pretty excited to go,” she said, adding she plans to take general classes, perhaps focusing on sciences.

Kevin DickinsonEllsworth High School valedictorian Kevin Dickinson (right) is likewise following in a sibling’s footsteps. His brother Roger graduated with a degree in visual communications in 2016. Dickinson considered attending a four-year school but decided he’d prefer to stay closer to home. Like Bivens, his favorite subject is math and he’s a member of the National Honor Society. Dickinson also plays basketball and participates in Little Buddies, a mentoring program with the local elementary school.

“We hang out with them and try to be a good influence on them,” said Dickinson, who will study creative writing at NMC.

There’s still time to apply and register for fall classes. Upcoming orientation dates are June 10 and 25. Sign up here.

Edsons receive 2019 NMC Fellow award

Dan and Debbie EdsonDan and Debbie Edson (click for high-resolution version)TRAVERSE CITY — Daniel and Debra Edson have been named the 2019 recipients of Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, the NMC Fellow award.

The couple have been committed, passionate supporters of education since they met at Central Michigan University in the 1970s. Debbie Edson then went on to a 41-year career in special education with the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Dan Edson began his career in microbiology, inventing the world’s first blood test for Legionnaires’ disease in 1978. He went on to become an entrepreneur, co-founding the American Proficiency Institute in 1991. The Traverse City company is now a global leader in assessing the accuracy of laboratory tests. It employs 60 and has 20,000 clients worldwide.

While their success is global, it is important to the Edsons to give back to the local community where they raised their family and base their business. Their philanthropic support of NMC spans 26 years and has included scholarships, the University Center, the Dennos Museum Center, radio station WNMC and the West Hall Innovation Center. The college is a “wonderful resource,” Debbie Edson said.

“As we’ve gotten to know people at NMC, it just seems like it’s a great way to build the learning platform,” said Debbie Edson, adding all three children took classes at NMC.

Coming from Mancelona, Dan Edson said the college plays a key role in serving students regionally.

“That’s really important. I grew up in Antrim County, and I understand that,” he said.

Through API, Dan Edson has long collaborated with educational and medical partners including Michigan State University, Munson Healthcare and Ferris State University. He received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Central Michigan University, in December 2018. The couple’s philanthropy also includes a full tuition scholarship to the MSU College of Human Medicine that offers preference to an NMC transfer student.

Volunteer leadership is another important facet of the Edsons’ lives. Debbie Edson serves as a board member for the NMC Foundation and as a campaign steering committee member. Dan served as board chairman at the Traverse Health Clinic for 16 years and is now a member of the Munson Medical Center Board of Trustees.

NMC Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Teahen said the award is the culmination of a lifetime of personal commitment to advancing health, supporting and leading in education, and protecting the natural landscapes so critical to northern Michigan.

“Knowing them personally, since I was a child, and then having the opportunity to work closely with Dan and Debbie as they continue to support the college and our students has been an absolute joy,” Teahen said. “They both bring a ‘matter of fact’ approach their support of education and our community; it’s something they have always believed in and they have seen the power of education to change lives.”

The Fellow is Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, awarded annually since 1964. Fellows may be nominated because they have demonstrated influential networking on behalf of the College, have demonstrated a pattern of outstanding financial or personal time contributions to NMC, or as a retiree of the College continue to contribute back to their academic or professional fields as volunteers, mentors or advisors. Exceptional contributions in one or more of these areas may justify nomination

See a list of past recipients.

Release date: May 21, 2019

For more information:

NMC President’s Office
(231) 995-1010

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Three named Outstanding Alumni

TRAVERSE CITY — Three alumni were named the 2019 winners of Northwestern Michigan College’s Outstanding Alumni award at commencement ceremonies May 4.

 

Terry BeiaTerry Beia, 1983 – Petroleum Engineering Technology. In 1998 Beia made his first real estate investment in downtown Traverse City. In the two decades since the investment, he’s been an active booster and backer of downtown. Download a high-resolution photo »

Frank DituriFrank Dituri, 1979 – Parks and Recreation Management and Biology. A highlight of Dituri’s career in both private and public sectors is serving as chairman of the Boardman River Dams Implementation Team, tasked with the restoration of Traverse City’s Boardman River. Download a high-resolution photo »

Dr. Marie SochaDr. Marie Socha, 1983 – Pre-med studies. After earning both a master’s and PhD., Socha went on to a career in public health as an epidemiologist, serving agencies from the Centers for Disease Control to the Department of Homeland Security. Download a high-resolution photo »

 

Established in 1988, Outstanding Alumni award recipients are chosen for significant professional achievements and/or exemplary leadership in the local or global community. Applications for the 2020 Outstanding Alumni award will be sought in January.

Release Date: May 16, 2019

For more information:

Cameron Penny
Director of Alumni Relations
cpenny@nmc.edu
(231) 995-2825

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

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. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Success Story: BBQ supports West Hall, Commitment scholarships

May 15, 2019

NMC Barbecue patronsPatrons enjoying the traditional buffalo burger and kids games might also notice a giant crane and the steel beamed-frame of a rising second story on the West Hall Innovation Center at the annual NMC Barbecue this Sunday.

Begun last fall, the West Hall renovation and the Commitment scholarship for promising, mostly first-generation college students are the beneficiaries of funds from this year’s 64th annual picnic under the pines, set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on main campus.

“The NMC Barbecue has a long and proud history of investing in the future of our region, whether it’s through the students themselves, or by creating the learning spaces they need to succeed,” said Barbecue Board President Heather Jewell. “It’s exciting to know a $6 picnic meal can have such an incredible impact when we all join together to support our college.”

Originally a residence hall, the West Hall Innovation Center is set to reopen next spring as a 54,000-square-foot, multi-story library and flexible learning space accommodating a range of learning styles and needs, including experiential and simulation. Since 1993, the Commitment scholarship has offered full-tuition scholarships to 1,500 students from all around the region, positioning them to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree.

Laura Jaquish helps an NMC Barbecue attendeeThe Barbecue traditions of free live entertainment, classroom displays and program exhibits, and free admission to the Dennos Museum Center will all return. New at the Barbecue is the first annual printmaking sale, set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building. Patrons can take home a student print for as little as $3. See the complete list of activities and events.

In addition to supporting college programs and equipment — to the tune of $1.8 million since the late Gerald W. Oleson and his wife Frances, founders of Oleson’s Food Stores, started it in 1956 — the Barbecue is a place where community connections flourish. More than 500 volunteers put on the Barbecue. Additional volunteers are still welcome, especially in the following areas. Sign up online.

  • Kids Games – 3–5 p.m.
  • Recycling Champions – 2–5 p.m.
  • Hot Dog Cookers – 2–4 p.m.
  • Buffalo Wranglers – 3–5 p.m.
  • Serving line (this job is for community groups) – 2–5 p.m.

Tickets are $6 in advance and can be purchased at Oleson’s Food Stores, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, the NMC Foundation, and many financial institutions. Tickets are available for $6 plus a $1.25 service charge on MyNorth Tickets. Tickets are $8 on Sunday.

NMC BBQ First Annual Printmaking Sale

Please join us May 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Fine Arts Building for an art-filled day at the NMC BBQ! Purchase student prints produced throughout the 2019 Spring Semester using various techniques such as intaglio, embossing, and monoprinting. All proceeds go towards the rising artists. We welcome participants of all ages to come and see as well as be inspired by the traditional methods of printmaking offered at the classes here at NMC. Prints start at $3, and vary on price based off of quality, quantity, and size. Watch students demonstrate different printing techniques, learn about the printing process through our live demos, and delve into the art.

Health Services summer closure notice

Student Health Services will be closed May 21 for the summer and will reopen Monday, August 12 at 9 a.m.

  • Emergency medical services may be obtained at:
  • Munson Walk-In Clinic, 550 Munson Ave. (935-8686)
  • Bayside Docs, 501 Munson Ave, TC, (933-9150)
  • The Walk-In Clinic, US 31 South, (929-1234)
  • Munson Medical Center, 1105 6th Street, (935-5000)