Success Story: Orchards, vineyards, fields and classrooms host innovative training

Success Story: Orchards, vineyards, fields and classrooms host innovative training

May 24, 2017

UAS program student Brandon KrohnBrandon Krohn of Bad Axe was one of eight students to take part in unmanned aerial systems in agriculture training at NMC’s facility in Yuba.Future farmers from around the state converged in Traverse City this month for the culmination of a first-of-its-kind training in unmanned aerial systems applications for agriculture.

Eight students co-enrolled in Michigan State University agriculture certificate programs and partner community colleges participated in a two-week training taught by NMC UAS instructors. Using four different drones, they conducted flights over a range of crops, collected aerial imagery and integrated sensor data, and then analyzed it for potential applications in the agriculture industry

It was the finale of an innovative, semester-long course that met in Muskegon, Traverse City and online and offered students elective MSU credit, remote pilot certification from the FAA, and a certificate in UAS in agriculture.

Currently, regulations limit most of the applications to imagery. Drones can’t yet be used to spray or treat crops. But the students, who came from farms that raised everything from dairy and beef cattle to row crops like corn and wheat to specialty crops like asparagus and Christmas trees, said they learned plenty to take home.

“It’ll be useful for counting trees, seeing which ones are ready for harvest,” said Micah Woller of Montague, who works on a Christmas tree farm in winter.

UAS training facility signNathan Beyerlein of Frankenmuth works for Star of the West Milling Co. in addition to his family’s corn, sugar beet and cucumber farm. He foresees using aerial imaging as a scouting tool, using imaging data to make traditional crop protection — on-the-ground spraying and fertilizing — more effective.

“For crop health, and getting a visual of the whole field, being able to pinpoint where a disease is, or water damage,” Beyerlein said.

Brian Matchett, coordinator of NMC’s plant science and viticulture programs, which partners with MSU’s Institute of Agriculture Technology, said he foresees huge demand for the training. This first course was only open to students enrolled in two-year MSU partner schools including NMC, Delta College, Muskegon Community College and Southwest Michigan Community College.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” Matchett said.

The course was taught in three parts: A five-day UAS build and flight training course in January at Muskegon Community College, a 12-week online training in remote piloting, and the two-week hands-on training in Traverse City earlier this month, at sites including apple and cherry orchards, vineyards, and hops, corn, soybeans and wheat fields.

Visit nmc.edu/uas for more information.

Maritime instructor wins MARAD Outstanding Service medal

Maritime instructor wins MARAD Outstanding Service medal

TRAVERSE CITY — Great Lakes Maritime Academy instructor Capt. Michael Horn received the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Service from the U.S. Maritime Administration on May 6.

Capt. Mike HornHorn, of Rogers City, is a 1976 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point, N.Y. Upon graduation he began a 36-year career as a merchant marine officer. He spent 24 years as master of large, ocean-going hopper dredges operated by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock. Additionally, Capt. Horn earned First Class Pilotage for the Great Lakes.

In 2012 Horn came ashore and joined the faculty of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College. He also routinely sails as a watch officer on the MARAD-owned training ship State of Michigan. His passion for development of future merchant marine officers and radio technology was a near perfect combination for the needs of the Academy, said GLMA Superintendent Jerry Achenbach.

The Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement is awarded in recognition of merchant mariners who have dedicated years of service, and have made an extraordinary valuable contribution to the U.S. maritime industry. This medal requires the Maritime Administrator’s personal approval. It was presented at the Academy’s graduation dinner by Rand Pixa, MARAD acting chief counsel.

Release Date: May 18, 2017

For more information:

Great Lakes Maritime Academy
(231) 995-1200

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 Phi Theta Kappa honor society top chapter in Michigan

NMC Phi Theta Kappa honor society top chapter in Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY — Alpha Rho Pi, Northwestern Michigan College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international community college honor society, has been named the top chapter in the state of Michigan for the second time since 2012.

The group received the top honor at the regional Phi Theta Kappa conference held in Livonia May 12-14. In addition, NMC student Alexandra (Alex) Briggs was elected to the position of Michigan Regional Secretary/Treasurer for 2017-18. Along with the three other regional board officers, Briggs will be responsible for goal and budget development for the region, help coordinate three Regional Conferences and represent the region at induction ceremonies and other events held on community college campuses around Michigan.

At Phi Theta Kappa’s national conference in Nashville, Tenn., last month, Alpha Rho Pi was also recognized as a Top 100 chapter (out of approximately 1,300 chapters) and as a Distinguished Chapter (among the top 45 internationally) for the combined score on two projects completed during the 2016-17 academic year.

The first, Honors in Action, was created around the topic How the World Works: Global Perspectives, chapter adviser Kari Kahler said. Alpha Rho Pi focused on the theme “Rights and Responsibilities” and researched water both as a right and their responsibility to protect it. In December, they brought five environmental agencies to Milliken Auditorium and hosted a screening of the documentary, “Great Lakes, Bad Lines” as well as engaged the agencies in a panel discussion on Pipeline 5. They also shared a video recorded message from U.S. Senator Gary Peters acknowledging their work and its importance to the region.

For the second, College Project, they helped put a student face on the work of the NMC Foundation, helping students understand how even small donations add up, to consider giving to the Foundation as students and alumni, and writing thank you notes to donors.

Phi Theta Kappa members must have an overall 3.5 GPA, and be enrolled in at least 12 college level credits.

Release Date: May 16, 2017

For more information:

Kari Kahler, Associate Dean
NMC Department of Learning Services
(231) 995-1228 phone
kkahler@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

Ross and Brenda Biederman named NMC Fellows

Ross and Brenda Biederman named NMC Fellows

Ross and Brenda BiedermanTRAVERSE CITY — NMC alumnus Ross and Brenda Biederman have been named the 2017 recipients of the NMC Fellow award, the highest honor bestowed by Northwestern Michigan College.

The couple has been a philanthropic and business force in northern Michigan for decades, winning the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. Virtually every sector of the community has benefited from their support, including healthcare, arts and culture, and education.

Ross Biederman graduated from NMC in 1959, only a few years after the college was founded by a group including his father, Les. He was named an Outstanding Alumnus in 2010. Under his leadership, Midwestern Broadcasting Co. expanded to include nine radio stations. Ross Biederman also developed the Radio Centre complex, which includes downtown Traverse City’s first parking structure. As the head of the joint Garfield Township-Traverse City Recreational Authority, he helped develop the former state hospital grounds into the thriving residential/retail/commercial destination it is today.

In the words of President Timothy J. Nelson, the Biedermans are an “empowering couple.” Ross and Brenda have continued the Biederman family legacy of philanthropy. They have supported NMC personally and through the namesake family foundation for 30 years. Biederman scholarship funds currently support more than two dozen students annually and have transformed hundreds of lives. Most recently, the Biederman Foundation provided critical support for a simulator for the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. Ross is currently serving as a member of the NMC Foundation’s Campaign Steering Committee.

Brenda Biederman, a Buckley native, is an equally wholehearted supporter of education in general and NMC in particular. She helped launch the Women’s Resource Center and the Maidens of Michigan and is a past director for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

A fourth generation of Biedermans now has an NMC connection — one granddaughter is currently enrolled in the nursing program.

The NMC Board of Trustees has named Fellows each year since 1964 as a way of recognizing and thanking those individuals who have made special contributions to the college.

Release Date: May 16, 2017

For more information:

Rebecca Teahen
Executive Director for Resource Development and NMC Foundation
rteahen@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1855

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

Nursing, culinary instructors win Faculty Excellence awards

Nursing, culinary instructors win Faculty Excellence awards

TRAVERSE CITY — A nursing and a culinary instructor were named the 2017 winners of NMC’s annual Faculty Excellence awards at commencement ceremonies May 6.

Mac BeekerNursing instructor Mac Beeker is the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award winner. Culinary instructor Robert George is the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award winner. Chosen by a student selection committee, criteria for both awards include teaching excellence, rapport with students, innovation in the classroom and a sense of dedication.

Beeker began his career at NMC in 2015. He is also an NMC alumnus, graduating from the nursing program in 2010. In their nominations students said:

  • “Every day after class I walk away knowing more than I ever thought I would.”
  • “The instructor is truly a passionate teacher, who cares how each and every one of the students are doing, and wants all of them to succeed.”
  • “This instructor is number one in my book. I have never had a more dedicated teacher.”

Read more about Mac Beeker here.

Robert GeorgeGeorge began his career at NMC in 2006. In their nominations, students said:

  • “I cannot say enough about how fortunate I feel to be in a class with this instructor. This is hard stuff to teach, yet this instructor does so cheerfully and seriously, and always with respect and 100 percent effort.”
  • “By making the effort to have a personal connection to each and every student, the instructor helps everyone to feel calm and competent in a fairly stressful environment.”
  • “The teacher also has many methods of teaching styles that help us learn the overwhelming amount of material.”

Both winners, coincidentally, are married to NMC employees. Beeker’s wife Mary Beeker is an NMC librarian. George’s wife Judy Chu is a communications faculty member.

The Faculty Excellence award was initiated by a contribution from longtime NMC benefactors Harold and Imogene Wise in 1970 and first awarded to a full-time faculty member in 1971. The Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award was created in 1999 as a companion.

Release Date: May 12, 2017

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director, NMC Public Relations and Marketing
(231) 995-1019
dfairbanks@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

2017 Outstanding Alumni named

2017 Outstanding Alumni named

TRAVERSE CITY — Two Northwestern Michigan College alumni were named winners of the annual Outstanding Alumni award at the 2017 commencement ceremonies held May 6.

Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, class of 1987, and Wei Cao, class of 2009, both received the award, bestowed on alumni with significant professional achievements and/or exemplary leadership in the local or global community.

Elsenheimer is a native of Traverse City. After he earned his associate’s degree at NMC he attended Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law Kevin ElsenheimerSchool. He served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Antrim County before forming the firm of Young, Graham, Elsenheimer & Wendling, P.C., based in Bellaire.

After five years as a trustee on the Bellaire School Board, Elsenheimer was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004. He served for six years, where he was elected Assistant Speaker Pro Tem, Assistant Minority leader, and Minority Leader. He served in Gov. Rick Snyder’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA.) In 2017, Elsenheimer was appointed to the 13th Circuit Court bench serving Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

“What a tremendous honor. I know that I was very, very well prepared for a career I never expected, frankly, by my time at NMC, because of the preparation I had from wonderful instructors,” Elsenheimer said in remarks at Commencement. “I am truly humbled.”

Since earning her degree, Wei has returned to her native China, where she lives in Beijing. There she serves as a major asset to NMC as the college has embarked on its strategic effort to expand international engagement and recruit international students over the last several years.

Wei CaoCurrently an entrepreneur and consultant, Wei has served as a liaison with Chinese institutions on multiple NMC visits. She has been a link to Chinese art galleries for the Dennos, and to institutions like the Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute, with whom NMC has a formal partnership and where NMC instructors will begin teaching in June. Dennos Museum Center director Gene Jenneman presented Wei with her award on a trip to China in April.

“I am greatly honored to have received this award,” she said. “I would like to thank NMC for all the guidance provided throughout these years even after graduation. I sincerely wish the best for NMC and I will keep sharing my experiences with China!”

NMC established the Outstanding Alumni award in 1988. It is the highest award NMC presents to an alumnus.

Release Date: May 11, 2017

For more information:

Betsy Coffia
Director of Alumni Relations
bcoffia@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: Fourth generation of Oleson family steps up to the plate

Success Story: Fourth generation of Oleson family steps up to the plate

May 10, 2017

Samantha Oleson at the NMC Barbecue in 2007Samantha Oleson at the NMC Barbecue in 2007For many northern Michigan residents, the annual NMC Barbecue is a spring tradition. For Samantha Oleson, it goes back a lifetime.

The 22-year-old is part of the fourth generation of the Oleson family to carry on the fundraising picnic under the pines started in 1956 by her great-grandparents, Jerry and Frances Oleson.

This year she formally joined the Barbecue Board, the volunteer committee that spends several months planning the Barbecue, set for May 21 on NMC’s main campus. But the Sunday before Memorial weekend has long been a dedicated date on her calendar.

“I’ve been volunteering since I was seven years old,” Oleson said. She’s never missed a single Barbecue, even during her college years at Western Michigan University. “I would bring my friends and volunteer. It wasn’t something that I felt obligated to do, but I wanted to do.”

Mark, Frankie, Don and D.J. OlesonMark, Frankie, Don and D.J. Oleson: Four generations enjoy the 2015 BarbecueA former dual-enrolled NMC student, Oleson is among a group of four cousins in the fourth generation of the family who now work in the Oleson’s stores. They continue to donate all the food for the Barbecue, which drew 7,678 people in 2016. On May 21, they’ll fan out for different day-of duties. Even fifth-generation Frankie Oleson, age 2 and a half, gets a job.

“He carried buckets,” said dad Mark Oleson, Samantha’s cousin. “He’s excited.”

They’ll still squeeze in time to enjoy the meal themselves.

“We eat on the steps, right past the serving lines,” Samantha Oleson said. “It’s great to see people come, year and year again, and see how dedicated they are to the college and the Barbecue.”

Besides the meal, the Barbecue includes classroom and program displays, free live music, a veteran’s tent and an alumni tent. Separate ticketed activities include children’s games and a cake walk.

Tickets are $6 in advance ($8 on Barbecue Day) and on sale now online and at Oleson’s Food Stores. Visit nmc.edu/bbq for more information.

2017 Commencement

2017 Commencement

TRAVERSE CITY — Commencement ceremonies for Northwestern Michigan College’s Class of 2017 will be held Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m. at the Traverse City Central High School gymnasium. First-time highlights of this year’s event include three student veteran graduates walking with their service dogs, and the awarding of NMC’s first bachelor’s degree in marine technology.

Ceremonies will be streamed live starting at 2 p.m. online at nmc.edu/video and NMC’s YouTube channel.

About 260 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony. More than 700 students earned degrees this academic year including the Associate in Nursing, Associate in Science and Arts, Associate in Applied Science, Associate in General Studies, Certificate of Practical Nursing, Certificate of Achievement and the Bachelor of Science in Maritime Technology. NMC will also award a Bachelor of Science in Marine Technology and eight associate degrees in surgical technology,  the two newest degrees, for the first time.

Also for the first time, three service dogs will walk in the ceremony.

  • Associate of Science and Arts graduate and U.S. Army retiree Andrew Banks, 37, of Traverse City, and his dog Mouse
  • ASA graduate and Army veteran Lucas Clark, 27, of Rapid City, and his dog, Bailee Mae
  • Associate of Applied Science (visual communications – creative management) graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran Nichole Hartley, 29, of Traverse City, and her dog, Zaia

All three students and dogs’ names will be read aloud, and all three dogs will receive special certificates in addition to the students’ diplomas.

This year’s student speaker is Connor Bebb, president of the NMC Student Government Association. Jim Bensley, adjunct humanities instructor and director of the office of International Services and Service Learning, will give the Commencement address as the 2016 Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award recipient.

The 2017 Outstanding Alumni award recipients will be named during the ceremony, as will the 2017 winners of the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award and Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award.

NMC University Center partner Ferris State University will award degrees to about 30 students as well.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the small gym.

Release Date: May 1, 2017

For more information:

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

FOR VETERANS/SERVICE DOGS:

Scott Herzberg
POC, Military & Veteran Services/Advisor
sherzberg@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

Success story: Studying abroad yields broader perspectives

Success story: Studying abroad yields broader perspectives

April 26, 2017

NMC student Paige Harrigan in Costa RicaBefore Paige Harrigan experienced her first study abroad trip in 2015, she had traveled fairly extensively, to Hawaii, Mexico and Caribbean islands.

But that Costa Rica experience, including a home stay with two non-English speaking families and visit to a banana plantation, opened her eyes to a whole different world than the tourist-oriented resorts she’d visited before.

“I absolutely loved the whole experience,” Harrigan said. “I got hooked, for sure.”

Ranked 12th among community colleges nationwide for short-term study abroad, NMC hooks lots of students like Harrigan — 45 will depart for four destinations next month. NMC also helps make study abroad more affordable with the Global Opportunities scholarship, which awards up to $1,000 per student. Nearly all participants (42) received it this year.

NMC student Paige Harrigan in Costa RicaHarrigan is bound for her second study abroad destination May 8: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Biology instructor Greg LaCross, who led a group to South Africa last year, will lead Harrigan’s group to do service work at a school in the capital city of Quito, and then field work in the islands.

“I’ve always wanted to go to the Galapagos. It’s always been a bucket list thing,” Harrigan, 22, said of the place where Charles Darwin refined his theory of evolution. Students will stay at Darwin’s research station, working with Ecuadorian national park personnel to perform ecological research, monitor sea turtles and catalog migratory patterns of indigenous species.

“I’m really excited about the animals, all the different species,” said Harrigan, who graduates this spring from the collaborative NMC-Western Michigan program in Freshwater Science and Sustainability. This fall, she plans to — wait for it — travel, and look for a job on the West Coast.

Other 2017 study abroad destinations include:

Sicily – Culinary students will participate in traditional Sicilian cooking classes, shop in local outdoor food markets, visit a cheese research center, make Sicilian chocolate, visit Mt. Etna, and participate in a local culinary competition. First-time destination

Morocco – Humanities students will enhance their understanding of world cultures via home stays with Moroccan families, interaction with Moroccan college students, development of a more in-depth understanding of Islam and visiting historic sites. They’ll also venture into the Sahara Desert via camel to learn more about traditional Berber customs. First-time destination

Ecuador (Yunguilla) – Business, culinary and education students will visit an eco-tourism cooperative, lending their skill sets to village families hoping to improve the economic welfare of the region by marketing and producing local products for visitors to the cloud forest. Home stay included

Find out more at nmc.edu/study-abroad

Student Appreciation Week!

  • Tuesday, April 25: Ice Cream Bar
  • Wednesday, April 26: Pizza
  • Thursday, April 27: Cupcake Bar (Decorate your own!)

All events FREE from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Cafeteria in West Hall

Hawk Owl Cafe Weekly Curve Menu

April 24-28

Monday:
Lunch: Roasted Portobello Cobb Salad
Dinner: Hot Pastrami sandwich with potato salad

Tuesday: Mac and Cheese Bar

Wednesday : Oodles

Thursday: Local Dish

Friday: Spicy Shrimp Vegetable Stir fry

Good luck on finals!

The Advising Center wishes you great success on your final exams in the coming weeks!

Remember that we are open all summer to help with career and academic planning.

Make sure you have are registered for Fall semester before this semester is over!

Mark your calendars for Honors Convocation and Commencement

Save the dates!

Be sure to mark your calendars to attend these two important events recognizing our outstanding students and graduates!

Honors Convocation will take place Friday, May 5 with the reception starting at the Dennos Museum’s Sculpture Court at 4:45 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at the Milliken Auditorium at 5:30 p.m.

Commencement will be held Saturday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the gymnasium at Traverse City Central High School. The public is invited to attend, or can watch the ceremony streamed online here.

If you have any need for a new cap/robe/hood, please contact Lisa Krupp-Wilmeth at 5-1048.

Hope to see you there! 

On-Campus Jobs

Student jobs can be found on the Student MyNMC page under  “Jobs On Campus.”

Available jobs include:

  • Admissions Assistant
  • Enrollment Services Office Assistant
  • Grounds
  • Security
  • Student Life Office Assistant
  • Summer Conference Crew
  • Tutor
  • White Pine Press Writer (Independent Contractor)
  • White Pine Press Advertising Salesperson (Independent Contractor)
  • White Pine Press Staff Photographer (Independent Contractor)
  • White Pine Press – Staff Designer
  • Writing Reading Center Reader