President Nissley: Our commitment to student and cadet safety

Good afternoon Northwestern Michigan College family,

Over the past three weeks, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Maritime Administration, and the entire U.S. maritime industry has been addressing the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment onboard U.S. merchant vessels. This work has been necessitated by the report of a serious sexual assault of a midshipman enrolled at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Due to the seriousness of this incident, I feel it’s important to address this issue with you. First, I want you to know we stand with the survivors of sexual assault and harassment and condemn the actions reported in this incident. Second, I want to share how Northwestern Michigan College and our Great Lakes Maritime Academy have been working to improve the safety of our cadets.

Safety, onshore and while underway has always been a top priority for the College and the Academy. The initiatives and best practices we have developed and adopted over the past decade, in an effort to make certain the cadet experience is positive and free of harassment, include the following:

  • The Office of Student Life provides in-person Title IX/Campus SaVE Act training to all cadets prior to their first classes. This training is again provided to all cadets at the end of second semester, subsequent to sailing onboard the Training Ship State of Michigan.
  • All cadets complete Social Responsibility training, as approved by the U.S. Coast Guard during their first year at the Academy.
  • Every cadet meets with the GLMA Superintendent individually prior to sailing on a commercial vessel. The superintendent provides an avenue for safe reporting, including his and the Dean of Students contact information if there are any incidents. There is also an option to report anonymously.
  • Great Lakes Maritime Academy Sea Project Syllabi have been amended to include contact information for reporting inappropriate behavior.
  • NMC now administers a survey at the end of every sea project to allow students to anonymously describe their experience.
  • The Academy staff has adopted the practice of reaching out to each cadet who is sailing onboard a commercial vessel via text message, to ensure their safety.

We are also committed to continuous improvement. After listening to alumni of the maritime program, during the last year we’ve convened a cross campus team to:

  • Further collaborate with GLMA, NMC Student Life, and the staffs of the other state maritime academies to share best practices in order to prevent harassment and assault onboard training ships
  • Continue to find ways to assist cadets to adequately prepare for their sea projects, and ensure their safety.

In early November, the GLMA Board of Visitors will hold its annual meeting. The topic of ensuring a safe experience for cadets will be a primary agenda item. Among the initiatives we will begin, that Board of Visitors members have committed to assisting with, include:

  • Vetting ships that carry GLMA cadets using a system developed by the federal government for use by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and
  • Visiting vessels while cadets are onboard.

These actions are important and critical to the success of the College, the Academy, and the cadets. I want to personally assure you that we take these concerns seriously at every level of the organization. I have been particularly impressed with the commitment of the entire faculty and staff of Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy, and their dedication to addressing this issue. We are committed to our cadet’s safety and we are continuously working to improve our learning environment. It is critically important to me that all of our students feel safe while enrolled at the College, preparing to serve the nation as officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine.

We are not alone in this important work. Attached you will find a letter from the Consortium of State Maritime Academies which was sent last night to Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley. This letter states that this recent incident, “is not a single academy incident, nor is it a single shipping company incident, nor a single shipping union incident,” and that as one of the nation’s six state maritime academies we are “deeply committed to working with the entire maritime industry to actively address sexual harassment and assault.” I am confident together we can make positive change.

Thank you,

Nick

Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College

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Release date: October 15, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and 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

Congratulations to Sally Smarsty!

Sally SmarstyStudent Success Coordinator Sally Smarsty was recently recognized by the state as Michigan’s AmeriCorps Site Supervisor of the Month. “She is passionate about connecting people and making college success coaching familiar to everyone,” the state news release noted. “Whether she is organizing student engagement events on campus or coordinating with other departments, Sally recognizes the powerful role that belonging and community play in student success.”

Congratulations, Sally!

Faculty stipends available for Open Educational Resource (OER) adoption

With the generous support of an Innovation Grant from the NMC Foundation, the OER Team is opening a call for applications for faculty interested in adapting a course they teach to use free and/or openly available course materials in lieu of texts from traditional publishers. Priority will be given to courses that fulfill requirements for the ASA degree pathway, and that have high enrollments, but all are encouraged to apply.

Selected applicants will receive a $750 stipend in two lump sums of $350, one to be disbursed at the beginning of the project and one upon successful completion. Participating faculty will also have sustained support from the OER Team as they identify, evaluate and adapt materials to suit their particular needs and course goals. Participants can choose to begin the work in January 2022 or May 2022, for completion by August 2022.

Open Educational Resources offer a way for instructors to meaningfully reduce barriers to education and send a strong message to current and prospective students that we are paying attention to the hard choices they face when it comes to affording college. What’s more, recent studies have indicated that OER adoption has strong implications for student success and persistence as well.

The past few years have seen a marked surge in both OER usage and creation, resulting in an ever better selection of high quality open course materials. If you are interested in this opportunity but have questions about availability of materials for your subject area, please email oer@nmc.edu.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 1

Apply here!

Wellness

Step Challenge Wrapping Up!

Be sure to get all of your steps entered by Monday, Oct. 18. If you meet the challenge minimums, you will be entered into a prize drawing!

Kudos!

Kudos to Kailey Rubinas: Kailey consistently goes above and beyond to help students, and I’m privileged to have her as the success coach assigned to my ENG 99/108 course this semester. Throughout the semester, I’ve seen her take the time to meet individually with students and support them through the various challenges they are facing. She is empathetic, creative, and approachable, and I have received regular feedback from my students that they find their interactions with her to be both positive and helpful. Additionally, she is extremely knowledgeable about the resources available to students, and is adept at connecting them with the services they need. Kailey takes the time to make notes of her interactions and share them with me, and regularly makes herself available to discuss any concerns I might have. She is an exemplary human and mentor, and we as an institution are very fortunate to have her on our team.

Kudos to Lisa Molmen: Lisa is a kind, capable, and hardworking person and does whatever she can to make our lives at NMC easier. Ever since I was hired in April this year, Lisa has, without hesitation, offered her help and guidance to help me acclimate and find creative and innovative solutions. Lisa does this even when it is not related to her own everyday tasks and projects, on a regular basis. Lisa is incredibly smart and quick on her feet to deliver quick results that keep this NMC machine moving swiftly and properly. To me, and many others I am sure, Lisa exemplifies the values that NMC holds high and for that, she deserves some serious Kudos!


Experts suggest maintaining an “attitude of gratitude” increases positivity for yourself and for others. Please encourage your colleagues by submitting a KUDOS. Let them know you appreciate their hard work and are thinking of them!

Possible COVID-19 exposure on main campus 10/13

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC has learned an employee who had recently been on main campus has tested positive for COVID-19.

The date, time and location of possible exposure is:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 8–11 a.m. Biederman 106

Any individuals who were in that area during that time are asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following the potential exposure. Close contacts will be informed directly. Close contacts who are unvaccinated should quarantine for 10 days after potential exposure. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and test 3–5 days after potential exposure.

Staying safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19 on NMC’s campuses is a shared responsibility.

NMC’s commitment:

  • Safety protocols include mandatory masks indoors on all campuses. Comprehensive information at nmc.edu/covid-19.
  • Work with county health departments to monitor the spread of COVID-19.
  • Communication with you about cases on our campuses. You can also check the Cases on Campus Dashboard for additional information.

Student /employee responsibilities:

  • Any student who believes they may be positive for COVID-19 should contact NMC’s Health Services at (231) 995-1255.
  • Any employee who believes they may be positive for COVID-19 should contact Human Resources at (231) 995-1350.
  • Students and employees who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should follow these guidelines. If you have questions you can call Health Services or Human Resources.
  • Take advantage of free, safe COVID-19 vaccines now widely available for those ages 12 and up. To find a vaccine near you, please visit nmc.edu/vaccines.
  • Testing is available at NMC’s Health Services by appointment and at other local agencies. Find a list of local testing sites here.

Release date: October 14, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and 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

Inaugural VP for Strategic Initiatives selected at NMC

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College has selected Jason Slade as the college’s inaugural Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, a newly-created executive role in which he will be tasked with charting the college’s future direction.

Jason SladeJason Slade (download a high-resolution version here)Currently director of NMC’s Technical Division, Slade rose above more than 90 applicants in a nationwide search. He will begin his new role November 29, 2021.

Since the spring NMC has been reimagining the Lifelong and Professional Learning area of the college after longtime college leader Marguerite Cotto announced she would retire at the end of 2021. The new position was created by realigning executive leadership responsibilities, and does not add an additional administrator. The primary focus areas of the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives will include:

  • Strategic plan implementation
  • Innovation management
  • Revenue generation
  • Business partnerships

“The search process was thorough and inclusive,” said NMC President Nick Nissley. “I can now say with confidence that the college is poised to build upon our strong past and develop new ways to meet the evolving needs of our diverse stakeholder groups.”

Slade joined NMC as a faculty member in 2014 after working in both private industry and higher education downstate. He was the 2015-16 recipient of the NISOD award for teaching excellence. Affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin, NISOD is committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. He became director of the Technical Division in 2019, which includes NMC’s Automotive, Construction Technology, Engineering Technology, REnewable Energy, Surveying, and Welding Technology departments.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to strengthen and expand the ways our college serves our students and communities. NMC has a proud history and I know our future holds many more exciting successes,” Slade said.

He will work closely with Cotto as she prepares for retirement after serving the college for 40 years. They will also work together to plan for future leadership of the Technical Division.

Release date: October 14, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and 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

NMC’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

Dear NMC family,

Jason Slade

Jason Slade

It is my pleasure to announce Jason Slade as the college’s inaugural Vice President for Strategic Initiatives starting November 29, 2021. I am excited for what this new role will offer our college and community and believe Jason’s unique strengths and experiences will position us all for great success!

To find the best candidate, we partnered with search firm Spelman Johnson to undertake a nationwide search that resulted in more than 90 applicants. The search process was thorough and inclusive. I appreciate all of you who contributed by serving on the search team or attending the candidate forums. I can now say with confidence that the college is poised to build upon our strong past and develop new ways to meet the evolving needs of our diverse stakeholder groups. The new VP’s primary focus areas will include:

  • strategic plan implementation
  • innovation management
  • revenue generation 
  • business partnerships.

As many of you have shared with me, and the vast majority of comments from the candidate forum indicate, Jason has a well respected history of demonstrated success as a collaborator, innovator and servant leader. His mission-driven optimism fuels his inspiration, while his organized engineer mindset keeps him grounded to see the work through to success. Jason joined the college as a faculty member in 2014 after working in both private industry and higher education downstate. He has continued to grow here, leading the robust Technical Division for the last two years. Now Jason will work closely with Marguerite Cotto as she prepares for retirement after serving the college for 40 years. They will also work together to plan for future leadership of the Technical Division.

While many of you know Jason from his time at NMC, through the recent interview process it became clear to us Jason has much more to offer our college and community. He exceeded our expectations at every turn. I am excited to re-introduce Jason to our NMC community in his new role and know his success will be our shared success, and ultimately our learners’ success. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Jason Slade as NMC’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. Congratulations Jason!

Nick

Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College

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Success Story: Vaccination incentives bring relief to students

October 13, 2021

Two frontline adult learners got another boost toward their college goals last week — a semester’s worth of tuition in NMC’s Big Win giveaway.

Sarah Sergent“This has been such a relief. I cried when I first found out,” said Sarah Sergent, 37, of Traverse City (right), a first-year student in NMC’s Marine Technology bachelor’s degree program. She currently receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship, which covers in-district tuition toward an associate degree. Since Marine Technology is a bachelor’s degree, however, some of the classes she’ll take next year won’t qualify under Frontliners.

NMC awarded $30,000 in tuition, housing and bookstore gift certificates to students who submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination as an incentive to do so. Throughout the pandemic, NMC has prioritized student and employee safety while minimizing the disruption to learning.  Students who were vaccinated by Sept. 30 were eligible to enter. More than 900 did.

Kelley NelsonKelley Nelson, 38, (left) a Computer Information Technology student from Bellaire, won the other tuition prize. Nelson also receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship. She is taking livestream online classes due to her full-time job in the IT department at Boyne Highlands Resort. That option is the only way she could pursue a degree, and she’s grateful NMC offers it.

“I’m just slowly chugging along,” she said. “I love it. The teachers are great, everyone’s super helpful.”

With a particularly heavy load of 19 credits next semester Sergent’s also excited that the vaccination prize will allow her to reduce her work hours as a recovery coach at the Traverse Health Clinic and focus on school and maintaining her 4.0 GPA.

“It’s been a lot trying to juggle all this,” she said, adding that she was very nervous about returning to school as an adult, but NMC’s success coaching helped her tremendously.

“When I enrolled I was so scared,” she said. “It changed to, ‘I can do this.’”

In addition to the tuition winners, two students were awarded free housing for the spring semester (up to a $3,200 value each), five students received $500 gift certificates to the NMC bookstore, and ten students received $100 Amazon gift cards.

NMC is currently awarding the Michigan Reconnect scholarship, which provides in-district tuition to students over age 25 without a college degree.

Top vaccination prizes go to adult students

TRAVERSE CITY — Two frontline adult learners got another boost toward their college goals last week — a semester’s worth of tuition in NMC’s Big Win giveaway.

NMC offered $30,000 in tuition, housing and bookstore gift certificates as an incentive to students to get vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 900 students entered. Throughout the pandemic, NMC has prioritized student and employee safety while minimizing the disruption to learning.

The winners of the top two prizes, tuition and fees for the spring 2022 semester up to $10,000 in value, are both adult students: Sarah Sergent, 37, of Traverse City, a first-year student in NMC’s Marine Technology bachelor’s degree program, and Kelley Nelson, 38, of Bellaire, a Computer Information Technology student.

“This has been such a relief. I cried when I first found out,” said Sergent. She currently receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship, which covers in-district tuition toward an associate degree. Since Marine Technology is a bachelor’s degree, however, some of the classes she’ll take next year won’t qualify under Frontliners.

With a particularly heavy load of 19 credits next semester Sergent’s also excited that the vaccination prize will allow her to reduce her work hours as a recovery coach at the Traverse Health Clinic and focus on school and maintaining her 4.0 GPA.

“It’s been a lot trying to juggle all this,” she said, adding that she was very nervous about returning to school as an adult, but NMC’s success coaching helped her tremendously.

“When I enrolled I was so scared,” she said. “It changed to, ‘I can do this.’”

Nelson also receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship. She is taking livestream online classes due to her full-time job in the IT department at Boyne Highlands Resort. That option is the only way she could pursue a degree, and she’s grateful NMC offers it.

“I’m just slowly chugging along,” she said. “I love it. The teachers are great, everyone’s super helpful.”

In addition to the two tuition winners, prizes for vaccination included free housing for the spring semester (two students, up to a $3,200 value each), $500 gift certificates to the NMC bookstore (five students), and $100 Amazon gift cards (10 students.)

NMC is currently awarding the Michigan Reconnect scholarship, which provides in-district tuition to students over age 25 without a college degree.

 

Release date: October 13, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and 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

Media Mentions for October 11, 2021

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media recently. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu. If possible, please include a link to the piece and information about where and when it was used.

Please note access to some stories may be limited by paywalls set up by the media outlet. This includes the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which limits free clicks to five per month. You may also read Record-Eagle articles in the print edition at the NMC Library.

Hopes High As Michigan Tech Unveils New Traverse City Hub
The Ticker, October 5
Michigan Tech News, October 5
Northern Express, October 9 (more…)

Women on the Water Can & Bottle Drive

Can & Bottle Drive graphicWomen on the Water is a student group for anyone with an interest in a career on the water.

We are running an ongoing can and bottle drive this year to raise money for club members to attend a maritime industry conference in Chicago this spring.

Can and bottle drop-off bins are currently located on the Great Lakes campus in the upstairs student enclave, and in the downstairs rigging lab.

Thank you to longtime librarian and archivist Ann Swaney

Ann Swaney and Michelle Seman

Ann Swaney and Michelle Seman

Hawk Owl Helper logoThank you to Ann Swaney, longtime NMC librarian and archivist. Swaney is retiring this month after 38 years with the college, meaning she was the custodian and guardian of NMC’s institutional memories for more than half its history.

Michelle Seman will succeed Swaney as archivist.

Best wishes to you both!


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

Possible exposures on main campus 9/28, 10/2, 4 and 5

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC has learned three students who had recently been on main campus have tested positive for COVID-19.

Dates, times and locations of possible exposure are:

  • Tuesdays, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 from 5:15–8:15 p.m., Fine Arts building rooms 102 and 115
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m.–noon in Fine Arts 102, 155, and the changing room area that was set up in the Fine Arts lobby
  • Monday, Oct. 4, 3:10–5:10 p.m. in Health & Science Building 116

Any individuals who were in those areas during those times are asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following the potential exposure. Close contacts will be informed directly. Close contacts who are unvaccinated should quarantine for 10 days after potential exposure. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and test 3–5 days after potential exposure.

Staying safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19 on NMC’s campuses is a shared responsibility.

NMC’s commitment:

  • Safety protocols include mandatory masks indoors on all campuses. Comprehensive information at nmc.edu/covid-19.
  • Work with county health departments to monitor the spread of COVID-19.
  • Communication with you about cases on our campuses. You can also check the Cases on Campus Dashboard for additional information.

Student /employee responsibilities:

  • Any student who believes they may be positive for COVID-19 should contact NMC’s Health Services at (231) 995-1255.
  • Any employee who believes they may be positive for COVID-19 should contact Human Resources at (231) 995-1350.
  • Students and employees who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should follow these guidelines. If you have questions you can call Health Services or Human Resources.
  • Take advantage of free, safe, COVID-19 vaccines now widely available for those ages 12 and up. To find a vaccine near you, please visit nmc.edu/vaccines.
  • Testing is available at NMC’s Health Services by appointment and at other local agencies. Find a list of local testing sites here.

Release date: October 8, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and 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

Benefit Meetings for 2022

Save the Date for Open Enrollment Meetings. You should have received a calendar invite to choose one of two Zoom meetings. Please be assured that we will record the session and make it available for you if you cannot attend. Watch the Intercom and your email for further information related to the 2022 benefit year.

Open Enrollment Meetings are Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. or 2 p.m.

Wellness

Step Challenge Reminder! Please enter your steps! The Race Around the World challenge ends Thursday, Oct. 18. Don’t miss your opportunity to be entered into a prize drawing!