Welcome Wednesdays: Open House

Our Welcome Wednesdays Open House event series is kicking off June 1!

You are invited to join us during our Welcome Wednesdays Open House events. We’ll have staff on hand to help with:

  • Registering for classes
  • Talking about possible careers or majors
  • How to make sure you’re ready for classes
  • Password or technology assistance
  • Scholarship and financial aid applications
  • Success coaches, advisors, technology help desk, and financial aid staff will be there (in person!) help you in the NMC Student Success Center.


Outdoor social spaces on campus

NMC Outdoor Social Spaces hammocksThis week’s Hawk Owl Helpers and Heros shout-out goes to Cathy Warner and her English 112 class, which took on improving campus outdoor spaces and seating as an experiential learning project during the spring semester. They successfully wrote for grant funds and received $500 to purchase Adirondack chairs and hammocks for main campus. The Adirondack chairs and hammocks can be found outside of the Innovation Center. Additional hammocks can be checked out from the security desk inside the Innovation Center.

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

FAA: Mechanical issue at fault in emergency landing

TRAVERSE CITY — Initial fact-finding by the Federal Aviation Administration has determined that a mechanical issue with an NMC plane forced an aviation student and flight instructor to make an emergency landing at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center on Tuesday, May 10.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. The student and flight instructor were on a routine training flight aboard an NMC-owned 2010 Cessna 172 Skyhawk from Traverse City to Pellston, then to Gaylord and back to Traverse City. Weather, fuel and all other conditions were normal and the plane was cleared for landing by air traffic control at Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport about 10 miles out.

Upon the final approach the flight instructor noticed a loss of RPM and immediately took control of the aircraft. The aircraft engine started to choke and lose power. During this time, the flight instructor went through the emergency checklist, alerted the control tower and looked for the safest place to make an emergency landing.

The instructor located an open field at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center and flew the aircraft away from the people. The instructor landed the aircraft about 250 feet from a baseball backstop fence, which absorbed the energy from the landing. The airbags deployed and the seat belts restrained the pilot and student, neither of whom experienced significant injury. The aircraft did not bounce, but the impact did damage the right side of the plane. Two bystanders helped the student and instructor from the aircraft. No one on the ground was injured. All of this took place in a matter of seconds.

As is routine, the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene Wednesday morning for fact finding. Investigators determined quickly that the incident was NOT caused by pilot error but a single, anomalous mechanical issue. The FAA has wrapped up its fact finding, but the full investigation may take several weeks to complete. The FAA believes the pilot did everything right and made the best choice possible.

The FAA will continue looking for the exact cause. Once determined, the FAA will turn over the report to the National Transportation Safety Board for analysis. That report could take more than a year. Damage to the aircraft and all related expenses will be covered by insurance.

NMC performs regular maintenance on its aircraft. This particular plane did receive maintenance last week and was signed off to fly. It had flown approximately 3 hours without incident since it was released from maintenance. Following a voluntary safety stand down, the rest of the NMC fleet was cleared for flying at 11 a.m. Thursday.

NMC plans additional safety training with students and flight instructors, as well as offering counseling for anyone who wants it. Both the flight instructor and the student are taking some time to recover from this harrowing experience. The flight instructor was also on the side of the plane that received the most damage and is sore. NMC is respecting their request to have their identities remain private.

“Because of the pilot’s quick thinking and solid training, we are so grateful that no one was injured,” said NMC Director of Aviation Alex Bloye. “The No. 1 thing we teach our aviation students is to fly the airplane. That’s exactly what our pilot did here. The flight instructor was able to keep control of the aircraft and respond to the situation, not just react.”

NMC would like to thank the incredibly quick response from air traffic control at Cherry Capital Airport, Traverse City Police Department and Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department and all first responders for their assistance, as well as the bystanders on the scene who helped the student and flight instructor.

Release date: MAY 12, 2022


For More Information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


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: Study abroad returns

May 11, 2022

NMC resumes its place as a leader in short-term study abroad experiences, with 50 students from multiple academic areas traveling to the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Colombia this spring.

NMC study abroad students in Parma, ItalyNMC study abroad students in Parma, ItalyNMC students haven’t studied abroad since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many colleges are still hesitant to travel, said Jim Bensley, director of International Services and Service Learning.

“We are on the leading edge,” said Bensley, who will co-lead a group of 16 humanities students bound for Paris and Normandy, France next month. It’ll be his eighth destination with NMC and second time in Europe. “I am itching to get on that plane and get my feet on the ground in France,” he said.

Study abroad trips are one form of experiential learning and required for the global endorsement credential NMC began offering eight years ago. Bensley said that global experiences add another dimension to classroom education.

“They feel like they are a better student and much more prepared for the job market,” he said of past global endorsement recipients.

2015-nmc-study-abroad-students-in-london-en-route-to-south-africa.jpgNMC study abroad students en route to South Africa from LondonNMC also offers up to $1,000 Global Opportunities scholarships to defray the cost of the study abroad experiences.

Three of the four 2022 destinations are new for NMC. This week,13 nursing students departed for the UK, a previous destination for aviation students, and 15 culinary students set off for Spain. Six Water Studies students will be in Bogota, Colombia from June 1–12. That trip is the first half of an exchange created by a grant NMC submitted with the Universidad de La Salle, “Bridging Waterways across the Americas.” The Colombian students will come to Traverse City June 14–25.

A fifth global experience is also slated for this summer. NMC student Edward Goloson has been selected by the French Embassy to participate in its community college summer bootcamp. Goloson will spend two weeks in Grenoble, France with an environmental science program, Mountains in a Changing World.

Success Story: Skilled trades to transfer, grads showcase NMC’s breadth

April 27, 2022

Commencement 2022 means a quadruple celebration for the Myers-Rockwood family, whose four NMC graduates also illustrate the breadth of learning opportunities at the college.

Bridget Bernhard, David Myers and Olivia RockwoodBridget Bernhard, David Myers and Olivia RockwoodOn May 7, the blended Traverse City clan will celebrate the graduations of brothers David and Jack Myers, stepsister Olivia Rockwood, and David Myers’ fiancee, Bridget Bernhard. All four arrived at NMC via different routes, studied vastly different subjects and have distinctly different future plans. Yet the college was able to serve them all. 

“I really enjoyed it with the vast amount of curriculum I could take,” said Olivia Rockwood, 21, who enrolled in everything from anthropology to life drawing. She enrolled at NMC in the fall of 2020 to “reassess” after a year at Michigan Technological University, which wasn’t a good fit. Armed with her associate degree, this fall Rockwood will transfer to the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in product design.

Stepbrother David Myers, 26, started at NMC in 2013 as a dual-enrolled high school student. Now finishing “my 10-year, two-year degree,” he said being able to attend at his own pace was important to his persistence. 

“I’ve had a lot of great classes. (But) I don’t think I’ve ever had a full-time semester,” said Myers. His next big step is marrying Bernhard in July.

Bernhard, 28, is earning two associate degrees, one of which is in electrical renewable energy. She chose the field after taking time following her 2012 Traverse City West High School graduation to travel in the developing world. At NMC, Bernhard especially appreciated the female instructors she had in the typical male world of skilled trades. She completed an apprenticeship and is considering either pursuing a journeyman electrician’s license or transferring for a four-year degree after her wedding to David Myers.

Youngest sibling Jack Myers, 19, studied computer science and will transfer to a four-year school next year.

Parents Bill Myers and Kris Rockwood have NMC connections, too. Myers is a former NMC trustee and Rockwood, the owner of Press On Juice, has employed NMC culinary graduates.

More than 600 graduates will earn degrees and certificates from NMC in 2022. In-person commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 7 in Milliken Auditorium at the Dennos Museum Center.

Ross Childs, Ann Rogers named NMC Fellows

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, the NMC Fellow award, has been bestowed for 2022 on former trustee K. Ross Childs and longtime college supporter Ann Rogers.

Ross ChildsRoss Childs (download a high-resolution version here)The two Traverse City residents each have supported the college for decades. Childs (right) served as a member of the NMC Foundation Board from 1990–1999 and as an elected member of the Board of Trustees from 2001-2020. He bookended those two decades by serving on the search committees that led to the selections of both immediate past NMC president Tim Nelson and current president Nick Nissley.

Childs epitomizes NMC values including integrity, collaboration, respect, stewardship and excellence. During his trustee service, which included two years as board chair, NMC continued to grow and flourish. Childs and his late wife, Helen, have also supported NMC philanthropically for 35 years.

Ann Rogers’ support and advocacy for NMC spans more than six decades and three generations of family. Her late husband, science instructor and 1985 Fellow Joe Rogers, spearheaded the construction of the Rogers Observatory, and she created a science scholarship as a birthday gift to him. She went on to create four scholarships, the most recent being in support of students who are active in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work at the college.

Ann RogersAnn Rogers (download a high-resolution version here)Environmental advocacy is Rogers’ (right) other passion. She is a longtime member of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, and can frequently be found walking across campus, taking stock of the native plants and trees she helped to plant, including clones of champion trees propagated by NMC’s 2020 Outstanding Alumnus David Milarch. Rogers is the mother of two former NMC students, and grandmother to three.

The Fellow is Northwestern Michigan College’s highest honor, awarded 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: April 25, 2022

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


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

First Annual NMC ELI Learning Symposium

The First Annual NMC ELI Learning Symposium is set to occur from May 2—May 5 and will feature a variety of student and faculty artifacts, experiences and scholarship, including oral and poster presentations on research and community engagement projects, external programs, academic courses, service learning experiences, internships or community partnerships. The symposium will exhibit the diverse ways NMC students and faculty engage in high-impact teaching and learning.

Click here to learn more and see the full list of programming.

Women on the Water Bottle & Can Drive Fundraiser recap

Richard Gray portraitWomen on the Water (WoW) Student Club wishes to thank the NMC Community and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy alumni for their generous support of the bottle and can drive fundraiser in support of Richard Gray. The drive began in February and concluded in early April. WoW collected nearly $380, and “rounded up” the amount to donate a total of $400.00.

American Steamship Company (ASC) established a Trust to provide for future expenses for Richard Gray’s children’s education and extraordinary medical costs, if any. Richard was a valued employee of ASC and a dedicated alumni of Great Lakes Maritime Academy. He lost his life in a tragic accident on January 17, 2022 leaving behind an expectant wife and three young children.

If you would like to donate, funds may be directed to:
Richard Gray Trust
Attn: Jess Ashmore
430 S. Union Street
Traverse City, MI 49684

Success Story: Harnessing entrepreneurial energy

April 13, 2022

Entrepreneurship is poised to take a giant leap forward at NMC this year, with five student teams in the final stage of developing products they’ll pitch during Northern Michigan Startup Week.

John Monaghan and Max Streeter

The student pitch competition is one of many events planned for NMSW May 9–15. It’s the region’s largest endeavor to date to teach and promote entrepreneurship, showcase local talent and foster a culture of entrepreneurship.

In the process, students practice experiential learning, an impactful and engaging learning style that NMC has embraced collegewide as part of its strategic plan.

Marine technology student Max Streeter, 21, and engineering technology student John Monaghan, 35 (left and right), are partners on one of the products. It’s a color ink cartridge – tentatively named the Prism – and kit that allows customers to adapt clear, 3D printer filament to the color of their choice.

Prism Step by Step graphicThe idea originated with Streeter, a longtime 3D printer user. Through five different iterations in which they focused on making the Prism more user-friendly, adaptable to multiple printers and less expensive, however, it’s truly become the pair’s joint venture. (The photo to the right shows the kit, installation and results.)

“It wouldn’t be where it is today without someone to bounce things off of,” Streeter said.

“He could take this to be the Amazon of 3D printing,” said Monaghan.

Monaghan and Streeter are enrolled in a special topics course sponsored by the NMC Foundation through an innovation grant. The course requires a problem or issue to be selected, customers to be identified, a solution to be created, and value to be validated. Keith Kelly is the instructor. He said students have embraced the spirit of NMSW in their work this semester.

“There is so much great work around ideation, design thinking, project management, and communication,” he said.

A start-up weekend was held in 2014. This year’s week-long event reflects the growth of the area’s entrepreneurial culture since then, with many partners and collaborators.

“Community engagement has been huge,” Kelly said.

“You don’t need to be working at a startup to attend these events,” said Keri Amlotte, director of marketing at 20Fathoms and spokesperson for Northern Michigan Startup Week. “Everyone is invited and the events will be of interest not only to startup veterans, but to anyone who is curious about entrepreneurship, has an idea for a new business they want to explore, or those who simply want to learn about some of the exciting things happening in our local startup scene.”

Besides the pitch competition, other events include Space Night at the Hagerty Center, a “Funding Innovation” lunch, a Startup Expo at 20Fathoms in downtown Traverse City, and a showcase of startups from Michigan universities. The NMC Innovation Center will also host the final event, TechStars, on May 13–15. The experience of building a startup will be condensed to a weekend. Peruse and register for all NMSW events here.

Enter Your Vote for the Light Up the Night Sticker Contest

NMC Student Life and Voices are sponsoring a sticker design contest for the annual Light Up the Night event.

Vote for your favorite sticker design for sexual assault awareness month. The winning design will be printed and given away at Light Up the Night!

Come to Light Up the Night in West Hall on April 19th at 7:30 pm to support survivors of sexual assault and get a swag bag that will include the winning sticker design!

Voting is open through April 7th.

Vote here!

New scholarship record set: $1.35 million awarded

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC has set a new record for institutional scholarships this year, awarding $1.35 million with some funds still available.

“We still have funds to award for summer and may hit $1.4 million,” said Linda Berlin, director of financial aid.

The average 2021–22 scholarship award to date is $1,125. There are 1,204 student recipients. Great Lakes Culinary Institute student Hailey Greimel is one.

Greimel, a dean’s list student and 2020 graduate of Petoskey High School, said scholarships combined with GLCI’s high-caliber programming made NMC an easy choice for pursuing both her baking certificate and associate degree in culinary sales. She will graduate this spring.

“(Scholarships) sweetened the deal,” she said. “Because of the great opportunities offered here, I was able to get a great scholarship to Johnson & Wales.” The Providence, R.I.-based university, considered the Ivy League of culinary programs, offered Greimel a full scholarship beginning this fall.

The previous scholarship record was achieved in the 2019–20 academic year, when NMC awarded $1.28 million in scholarships to 964 recipients. Last year the college awarded $1.17 million to 1,259 recipients.

NMC is also a leader in scholarship applications, with 41 percent of NMC students completing the scholarship application last year and 30 percent of enrolled students receiving at least one scholarship. The most recent National Postsecondary Student Aid Study states that only 6 percent of public 2‐year college students receive institutional aid.

Release date: April 5, 2022

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(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

RSVP by April 25 for May 7 Commencement!

Any NMC student who graduated in the fall 2021 semester or plans on graduating in the spring or summer semester of 2022 is welcome to participate in the May 7 Commencement Ceremony. The deadline to RSVP is Monday, April 25.

Please RSVP here »

  • Date: Saturday May 7, 2022
  • Place: Dennos Museum and Milliken Auditorium
  • Time: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (or 6:30 p.m. — read more here)

We are planning four to five one-hour ceremonies by academic area. The first ceremony will take place from 11 a.m.–Noon; the second from 1–2 p.m.; the third from 2:30–3:30 p.m., and the fourth from 4–5 p.m. If a fifth ceremony is needed, it will be from 5:30–6:30 p.m.. Each ceremony will honor about 45 graduates. Learn more here »

Celebrating Neurodiversity at the NMC Library


Book coverThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
A bestselling modern classic—both poignant and funny—about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor’s dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world.

Book coverExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

Book coverConvenience Store Woman by Ginny Tapley Takemori
A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine.

Book coverForrest Gump by Winston Groom
Six foot six, 242 pounds, and possessed of an IQ of 70, Forrest Gump is the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this classic comic tale. His early life may seem inauspicious, but when the University of Alabama’s football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, it sets him on an unbelievable path that will transform him from Vietnam hero to world-class Ping-Pong player, from wrestler to entrepreneur. With a voice all his own, Forrest is telling all in a madcap romp through three decades of American history.

Book coverGoing Bovine by Libba Bray
In an attempt to find a cure after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s (aka mad cow) disease, Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen-year-old boy, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital.

Book coverAl Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister. Newbery Honor Book – 2005


Book coverNeuroTribes: the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
“A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently”

Book coverThe Neurodiverse Classroom: a teacher’s guide to specific learning difficulties and meeting individual student needs by Victoria Honeybourne
An essential guide for teachers wishing to create inclusive and successful learning environments in diverse classrooms. Focusing on promoting acceptance and self-esteem of each child rather than on labeling their difficulties, it shows how to make good use of simple resources and meet a wide range of needs, including children with ADHD, autism, OCD, dyslexia and special speech and language needs.

Book coverThe Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: how to grow up awesome and autistic by Siena Castellon
All the advice and tools you’ll need to help you flourish and achieve what you want in life. From the answers to everyday questions such as ‘Am I using appropriate body language?’ and ‘Did I say the wrong thing?’, through understanding the importance of your emotions, looking after your physical and mental health and coping with anxiety and sensory overloads, award-winning neurodiversity campaigner, Castellon uses her own experiences to provide you with the skills to overcome any challenge.

Book coverNobody’s Normal: how culture created the stigma of mental illness by Roy Richard Grinker
An examination of evolving attitudes toward mental illness throughout history and the fight to end the stigma. For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma-from the eighteenth century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy and offers a path to end the shadow of stigma.

Book coverSincerely, Your Autistic Child: what people on the autism spectrum wish their parents knew about growing up, acceptance, and identity by Virginia Johnson
From childhood and education to culture, gender identity, and sexuality, this anthology tackles the everyday joys and challenges of growing up while addressing the emotional needs, sensitivity, and vibrancy of autistic kids, youth, and young adults. Contributors reflect on what they have learned while growing up on the autism spectrum and how parents can avoid common mistakes and overcome challenges while raising their child.

Book coverTeaching University Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Guide to Developing Academic Capacity and Proficiency by Kim Draisma and Kimberely McMahon-Coleman
Based on the findings of a five year longitudinal study into the experiences of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this book provides tertiary educators and support staff with practical support for addressing the challenges associated with ASD
as they manifest in college and university environments.

Book coverNeurodiversity in the Classroom: strength-based strategies to help students with special needs succeed in school and life by Thomas Armstrong
A new concept on human diversity has emerged over the past 10 years that promises to revolutionize the way educators provide services to students with special needs: neurodiversity. Just as we celebrate diversity in nature and cultures, so too do we need to honor the diversity of brains among our students who learn, think, and behave differently.


Explore movies in Kanopy for free. Go to nmc.kanopy.com and login using your NMC ID and password.

Movie screenshotNeurotypical – A Film About Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.

Movie screenshotThe Reason I Jump
Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of non-speaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.

Movie screenshotAutism Goes to College
Five students on the autism spectrum — Guillermo, Jasmine, Caroline, Jonathan, and Aniella — invite viewers into their dorms and classrooms to show the world how they make college work for them. They share their dreams, fears, failures, and successes with candid insights and humor.

Movie screenshotMr. Hublot
Mr. Hublot is a withdrawn, idiosyncratic character with OCD, scared of change and the outside world. But when a very invasive companion, Robot Pet, arrives in his home, Mr.Hublot’s world is turned upside down. Winner of Best Short Film, Animated at the Academy Awards.


Podcast screenshot
The Neurodiversity Podcast talks with leaders in the fields of psychology, education, and beyond, about positively impacting neurodivergent people. Our goal is to reframe differences that were once considered disabilities or disorders, promote awareness of this unique population, and improve the lives of neurodivergent and high-ability people.

Podcast screenshotIn Neurodiversity: Eliminating Kryptonite Enabling Heroes, you will hear from: The Rainmakers: Those people and organizations making the difference! The Advocates: Those people who are supporting Neurodiversity at Work. The Superheroes: Those leaders are Neurodifferent and proud. This podcast will be the game changer we are all after.

Podcast screenshotExploring Different Brains is a weekly interview show hosted by neurodiversity advocate Harold Hackie Reitman, MD., and presented by DifferentBrains.com. Join us as we speak with some of the most interesting people involved in autism, Asperger’s, dyslexia, ADHD, OCD, down syndrome, and any condition that can be considered neurodiverse.