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.

Textbook Buyback

Photo of a stack of textbooksLooking to sell back old textbooks? Stop by the NMC Bookstore to sell your books for cash!

The bookstore is open Monday–Thursday from 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m and buyback is available until 30 minutes before the store closes.

Success story: Degree in sights for mom of two

March 23, 2022

Two years ago, Visual Communications student Gabby Edgcombe was like 19,000 other adults in northern Michigan—she had some college credits, but no degree for her effort, which dimmed her job prospects.

NMC Visual Communications program student Gabby Edgcombe and daughter CozetteThat will change this spring, when within weeks, Edgcombe, 27, will both graduate and celebrate her daughter’s first birthday. Both accomplishments reflect NMC’s ongoing, college-wide effort to continuously improve services to adult learners whose commitments often include families and jobs.

Edgcombe (left, with daughter Cozette) had just started at NMC in the fall of 2020 when she discovered she was pregnant. After the April 2021 birth, both mother and daughter battled postpartum anxiety and separation issues – something the Kingsley resident hadn’t experienced with her son, now 5, and hadn’t expected. She confided the problem to her instructor, Caroline Schaefer-Hills, who didn’t blink at adding infant Cozette to the class roster.

“From conception to birth and now after, she’s been part of the VisComm program,” Edgcombe said of Cozette, now 11 months. “If I go into the college, she usually goes with me.”

VisComm instructors Alex Smith and Glenn Wolff have accommodated her need to balance school and parenthood, too, said Edgcombe, who is also co-editor of the design team for NMC Magazine and a scholarship recipient.

“In the cases where (the children) are more distracting, or I have to have both kids, they always let me default to Zoom, or coming and going when I have to,” Edgcombe said.

NMC Visual Communications studio class studying artwork at the Fine Arts buildingNMC strives to maintain such flexibility and prioritize persistence and completion with all students, but it’s especially important with adult students. To that end, NMC offers:

  • More choice in course formats, including livestream, online, hybrid and face-to-face.
  • Student services from orientation to success coaching and academic and career advising personalized to each student’s goals, offered in multiple formats as well as on a drop-in basis.
  • Assistance identifying financial aid. Currently 187 adult students are enrolled in Michigan Reconnect, a state scholarship which pays in-district tuition for students over age 25 who do not already have a degree. More than $1 million annually is also available in NMC scholarships.
  • Whole-student support services like on-campus childcare, and a food pantry.

A close personal relationship with someone on campus, like what Edgcombe built with Schaefer-Hills, or a success coach, an adviser or a counselor, is another key.

After graduation she hopes to transfer to the Savannah College of Art & Design — Schaefer-Hills’ alma mater — earning a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design.

“I didn’t know I could do something I loved and really enjoyed and make money,” said Edgcombe, who first enrolled at NMC after her 2012 graduation from Mesick High School, but couldn’t settle on a program and didn’t earn a degree before having her first child. She decided to return to school post-COVID-19.

“If you better yourself, you’re going to better your kids,” she said. “I want better for my kids.”

Housing and Health in Northern Michigan – Health Care Forum

Join us for a free community discussion about the impact of housing on health in northern Michigan presented by Grand Valley State University and Northwestern Michigan College. Panelists from across the community will share information on local resources, how housing is important for our overall community health, and how we can support one another.

  • Date: Tuesday, April 5, 7:30–9:30 a.m.
  • Location: The Hagerty Center at NMC, 715 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686

During the event, we will also announce the recipients of the 2022 Rural Health Awards.

Register here: gvsu.edu/traverse/housinghealth

Soft Skills Workshops April 4 & 5

Student Skills workshop graphicWant to improve your skills and prepare for employment? Employment Readiness and NW MiWorks are hosting a Soft Skills Workshop on April 4 & 5 at 3 p.m. in the West Hall ELI office. They will cover the importance of communication, dependability, adaptability and workability. Snacks will be provided!

RSVP Here!

Varsity Esports Information Sessions

NMC esports team member The NMC Esports Program is recruiting for Fall 2022 and hosting three informational meetings in March and April for current and future NMC students to learn about esports at NMC and the benefits it offers to students who love to play video games and would like to play at a competitive level. During the meetings, details about available scholarships, academic requirements, game titles and our dedicated esports lab will be presented. Here’s a preview from our current students in the program.

The meeting dates are 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 via Zoom or 6 p.m. Monday, April 11 or 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 on the NMC campus in the Innovation Center Esports lab. Please use this form to sign up for one of the dates.