October 1 Virtual Town Hall video

Thank you to everyone who attended Thursday afternoon’s Virtual Town Hall, which drew 195 people. If you were unable to attend, or want to review what was discussed, you can view the video here.

If you were unable get your questions answered during the meeting, or if you have any followup questions or feedback, please email them to publicrelations@nmc.edu.

The Virtual Town Hall covered the following topics:

  • Welcome & Update from President Nick Nissley
  • COVID Update
  • Enrollment Update
  • Budget Update
  • Fall/Spring Schedule
  • DEI Team Announcement

NMC and United Way 21-Day Equity Challenge

Hello all!

NMC and United Way logosRecently NMC made the commitment to our students, employees and our community to make meaningful change in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI.) As part of that work, our new DEI Team has been exploring ways to build engagement and awareness in this area. We are pleased to announce a new opportunity to deepen our understanding of these important issues through a partnership with United Way of Northwest Michigan called the 21-Day Equity Challenge.

The recent release of the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and Black Households Data clearly illustrates the inequities that are deeply rooted in our national, state, and local systems and institutions. Over the 21-day Challenge, you will take a self-guided learning journey that examines the history and impacts of racism and how it shapes people’s lived experience in Northwest Michigan.

The Challenge is simple: you commit to deepening your understanding of and willingness to confront racism for twenty-one consecutive days. The Challenge will raise your awareness, advance your understanding, and potentially shift the way you behave. Along the way, you’ll also receive examples and tools on how to undo racism and build racial equity and justice.

Participants who register for this challenge will receive one email per day with a prompt that includes readings, videos, and/or podcasts. It is recommended that participants take an average of 20-25 minutes per day to absorb each day’s information as they reflect on what is learned each new day. Participants will have an opportunity to have check-ins with other employees to process and discuss the information, along with an opportunity at the conclusion of The Challenge to learn from one another as we reflect on the last 21 days.

The Challenge was originally developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks and Debby Irving, who are nationally recognized experts on racial and social injustice. The Michigan Association of United Ways has committed to adapt The Challenge with the support of leaders across our Michigan United Way network. A special thank you to the United Way of Washtenaw County for their leadership and guidance.

We believe it benefits us all to have greater collective capacity and courage to identify and address the different ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and lives. We hope you will consider joining with NMC in this invitation to this self-guided journey towards a greater understanding of ourselves, our community, and those we impact on a daily basis, including our colleagues and students.

Registration for this Equity Challenge will be open from October 1 through October 10. The Challenge will run from October 12 through November 1. Please sign up before 5 p.m. on October 10.

Register here: unitedwaynwmi.org/nmcequitychallenge.

Mark Liebling
AVP of Human Resources

Live & Local Concert Series Returns

Live & Local Concert Series illustrationThe Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College announces new concert programs offered virtually in coordination with the cancelation of its annual concert series for the 2020-2021 season. Due to the ongoing risks to the health and safety of performers and audiences, concert programs will remain virtual for the foreseeable future.

The Live & Local Concert Series, which began in April 2020, will continue this October with four additional programs featuring performances by and conversations with musicians from Northern Michigan and beyond. The goal of this series is to present entertaining concerts in a safe and interactive format, including both performance and Q&A sessions with each program.

The Live & Local Concert Series is supported by a grant from Art Bridges, with funds paid to every performer.

“It’s difficult for a virtual format to fully replace the energy and community of a concert hall,” says Dennos curator of education Jason Dake, “So we’re trying to promote the positive aspects of a virtual concert, mainly that audience members can ask questions and make requests as if the musician is sitting in their home.”

The Live & Local Concerts will be offered via Zoom on a “pay what you can” model, free to $15 for the one-hour performance and conversation. Tickets can be purchased by visiting dennosmuseum.org.

CONCERT LINEUP

LIVE & LOCAL WITH SETH BERNARD
Thursday, October 8, 2020 — 7:00 p.m. EST

LIVE & LOCAL WITH BLAKE ELLIOT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 — 7:00 p.m. EST

LIVE & LOCAL WITH JORDAN HAMILTON
Monday, October 19, 2020 — 7:00 p.m. EST

LIVE & LOCAL WITH BLAIR MILLER
Thursday, October 29, 2020 — 7:00 p.m. EST

Learn more about the artists and register here.

Possible COVID-19 exposure on main campus Sept. 25

TRAVERSE CITY — An NMC employee has tested positive for COVID-19 who had recently been on main campus. The employee was asymptomatic and was in the Osterlin Building Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. until noon. The Grand Traverse County Health Department believes the risk of widespread exposure from this case is low, as with previous cases at NMC.

The GTCHD confirmed the positive test result this morning and is conducting contact tracing with any individual who might be at risk of exposure. The health department encourages anyone who was in that area during that time to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following the potential exposure.

The College will continue to work with the GTCHD to monitor the spread. We will continue to communicate with you about cases on campus. You can also check the Cases on Campus Dashboard for additional information.

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. We encourage all students and employees to stay home if you are sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Staying safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19 on NMC’s campuses is a shared responsibility. For more information on NMC’s response to the pandemic and important safety information, please visit nmc.edu/covid-19. Thank you for your continued commitment to safety at NMC.

 

Release date: September 30, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director 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

Q&A with the largest field of NMC board candidates since 1990

September 30, 2020

Six newcomers and one incumbent are vying for three seats on NMC’s Board of Trustees this November, the largest field in 30 years. The top three vote-getters will serve six-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2021. We asked each candidate to answer two questions in 100 words or less:

  1. Why are you running?
  2. As an NMC trustee, what would your priorities be?

Below, in alphabetical order, are their responses. For those seeking further information, the Grand Traverse League of Women Voters will hold a virtual candidate forum from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, October 9. Links to watch are available here.


Vincent CornellierVincent Cornellier: Serving as Trustee at NMC would round out a lifetime of educational experience and hopefully allow me to “pay forward “ some of the many benefits I have enjoyed along the way. While I have no specific agenda or platform, I would continue to strengthen partnerships with the business and medical community and of course do whatever I can to help maintain the outstanding record NMC has achieved in preparing students for further educational advancement.


Larry JohnsonLarry Johnson: I am running for NMC trustee to be of service to the students, faculty and staff at NMC, and to the Grand Traverse community. As an NMC trustee, my priorities would be to determine the needs of the college and how I could best serve its constituents; to help insure the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus; and to explore ways in which funds could be made available to NMC, and programs developed that continue the movement toward future growth and relevance to students needs now, and in the future.


Rachel JohnsonRachel Johnson (incumbent): I’m running for re-election because communities with healthy cradle-to-grave education opportunities have a more engaged citizenry, higher average income, and greater resiliency. That’s the kind of community I want to live in, and that’s why I am invested in NMC. My priorities:

  • Promote innovative, experiential and flexible educational models.
  • Prioritize industry collaboration to create innovative, technology-driven programs that fill gaps in our local workforce.
  • Grow globally-relevant programs like freshwater studies that train our students for in-demand jobs and attract entrepreneurial investments to our community.
  • Keep tuition affordable for local families.
  • Emphasize NMC’s role in promoting diversity and understanding through our lifelong learning opportunities.

Daniel Lathrop: Did not respond. He formerly served on the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners and is a podiatrist.


Laura OblingerLaura Oblinger: Our community college has a tremendous responsibility to our region and to our learners, and now is a pivotal moment in its history. The road ahead promises incredible things to come, and this thriving organization needs leaders at the helm — leaders with the skills, passion, and integrity to assist in its growth. I believe I am one of these leaders. I am aligned to be an amazing asset to this team. It will be my priority to support President Nissley with the governance guidance he needs as well as be a genuine advocate in our region.


James PerraJames Perra: With a passion for supporting student leadership and service, alongside a comprehensive viewpoint, having been a teacher, student, and a member of professional communities in the trades, medical, professional, and academic arenas, I look forward to bringing my diverse experiences, deep skill set, and fresh ideas to the NMC board. Priorities include cultivating hands-on learning where students are treated by instructors as colleagues in training, and imparted not just technical skills, but values and cultural competencies that lead to success, and to expand NMC’s role as a cultural gem for the greater community through the Dennos Museum and arts opportunities.


Kenneth WarnerKenneth Warner: With 45 years as a U-M professor, including 15 as a department chair and School of Public Health dean, I’m motivated to run by my passion for higher education and, specifically, my deep admiration for NMC’s many contributions to our community. My top priority is to maintain an excellent, affordable education for NMC’s students, necessitating a great work environment for faculty and staff and a sustained foundation of fiscal integrity. To achieve these objectives, I would encourage even closer interaction with the business, nonprofit, and arts communities to address the region’s needs and enhance programmatic innovation, a hallmark of NMC.

IAF hosts discussion on climate goals and business, focus on Indonesia

U.S. Ambassador Robert BlakeIAF logoTHURSDAY, OCT. 15 @ 5 PM ET via ZOOM

Are the goals of profit and climate solutions incompatible? What roles can government and business play in addressing climate change? And how has industry abroad worked to tackle these challenges? Join us for a case study discussion on Indonesia with former US Ambassador Robert Blake.

Amb. Blake served 31 years in the U.S. State Department including as Ambassador to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Maldives, and as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. He is currently Executive Director at McLarty Associates, a Washington-based international trade advisory group.

This event is open to the public, and “pay what you can” for non-members. Broadcast livestream via Zoom, including Q&A. Submit questions during the webinar or email ahead to iaf@nmc.edu.

Register here.

Update to spring semester schedule

Good morning NMC students,

Thank you for all of your work to keep our NMC community safe during the pandemic. While the safety protocols and scheduling changes are very different than a normal fall semester, with your support we have been able to greatly limit the spread of COVID-19 on NMC’s campuses.

As we look ahead to spring semester, our goals remain the same—to keep our students and employees safe and to limit the disruption to learning as much as possible. To meet these goals we have some important updates to help you plan your spring schedule as you prepare to register for spring classes this week.

  • Course format options will remain the same including, lecture, hybrid, livestream and on-demand. We have worked to refine the definitions to make it easier for you to find your best option.
  • The spring semester start and end dates will remain as scheduled (unchanged).
  • Spring Break will be cancelled and classes will be held March 28 – April 1.
  • Friday, April 2, will remain a college holiday. NMC will be closed and there will be no classes. 
  • Spring semester classes will conclude Monday, April 26. Instructors may use the rest of the week to meet with their students at the faculty’s discretion.
  • Grades Submission deadlines will remain as scheduled.
  • The dates for events such as Honors Convocation and Commencement will remain as scheduled, but may need to be changed depending on safety protocols.

You can view the complete spring (and summer) course schedule here. Registration for both semesters begins this week.

You have done good work in limiting the spread of the coronavirus on our campuses. We believe that, by making these changes to the spring semester, we can continue to stay safe and keep learning. While we hope to not have to return to 100% virtual instruction like last spring, we are better prepared to make the shift, if necessary. We will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 at NMC and in our region. Limiting the spread of the virus is a shared responsibility. Thank you for doing your part. For more information regarding NMC’s response to COVID-19 visit nmc.edu/coronavirus.

Media Mentions for September 28, 2020

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past two weeks. 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 Osterlin Library.

Building Back The Trades, One Student At A Time
Northern Express, September 25 (more…)

Sad News

John PahlLongtime NMC instructor John Pahl passed away on September 20, 2020.

Pahl was hired to teach in NMC’s Communications department in 1966 and remained an instructor at the college for 48 years, while also coaching NMC’s cross country and tennis teams and taking part in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program, where he spent a year Germany and had sabbaticals at Cambridge University and Oxford University. He also wrote stories, articles and poems and served on the board of Michigan Writers.

One former NMC student, regional historian and author Kathleen Firestone, established the John Pahl Literary Prize at NMC in honor of her teacher and mentor, and to inspire and reward NMC students for good writing.

Visitation and a Celebration of Live will be held Oct. 3. Read more here.

Virtual stargazing session draws an international crowd

Hawk Owl Helper logoCongratulations to NMC’s J.H. Rogers Observatory and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society for hosting a wildly successful virtual astronomical viewing session Friday, Sept. 25, in celebration of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s 50th anniversary.

NMC science and math instructor Jerry Dobek, who hosted the viewing session, reports that 348 people and families logged into the Zoom event over its two hours, with some from as far as Bethel, Alaska and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as Canada. Dobek and eight panelists including Astronomical Society members and National Park Service staff fielded questions from the audience while viewing live images of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars through the observatory’s telescope, and images of deep space objects that Dobek had captured in the weeks leading up to the event. One retired couple unable to attend similar events in person due to physical limitations emailed Dobek after the event in gratitude for the virtual presentation.

The response has been so positive that Dobek is now looking into reopening the observatory’s public viewing nights, albeit in a virtual format like Friday’s event rather than in person. A close approach of Mars in mid-October may provide a good opportunity, he said, depending on the weather.


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

Water conferences showcase college’s expertise

TRAVERSE CITY — Showcasing its expertise in water issues, Northwestern Michigan College will virtually co-host two major professional water conferences in the coming weeks.

First, in conjunction with the Marine Technology Society, NMC will host Great Lakes TechSurge: Lakebed 2030 Sept. 30–Oct. 2. This major international virtual conference brings together scientists and researchers, policy makers and government officials and industry professionals.

Lakebed 2030 is an initiative led by NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute to map the Great Lakes by 2030. Institute director Hans Van Sumeren will give the opening keynote address at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30. In addition to mapping, technology, coastline and habitat are other conference topics.

NMC offers a bachelor of science degree in Marine Technology.

NMC hosted the same conference in-person at the Great Lakes campus in 2019. Register online.

Second, the 13th Annual Freshwater Summit will be held virtually this year over four October Fridays between 10 and 11:30 a.m. each day. Themes are:

  • Oct. 2 – Great Lakes water levels
  • Oct. 9 – Good Harbor Bay research
  • Oct.16 – Whose Water Is It? Equity Concerns with Water Access & Management
  • Oct. 23 – Local initiative lightning talks. Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Program Coordinator Constanza Hazelwood will talk about NMC’s Freshwater Studies program, in which students can earn the nation’s only associate degree.

The Freshwater Summit is a product of the Freshwater Roundtable and is organized by multiple organizations including GLWSI. Registration is free. Register here.

Release date: September 28, 2020

 

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director 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

13th Annual Freshwater Summit starts Oct. 2

Watershed Center logoThe 13th Annual Freshwater Summit will be held virtually this year over four Fridays — Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23 — between 10 and 11:30 a.m. each day. Registration is free. Register here.  

The Freshwater Summit is a product of the Freshwater Roundtable and is organized by The Watershed Center, NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, Michigan Sea Grant Extension, Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc., Inland Seas Education Association, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Grand Traverse Conservation District, Conservation Resource Alliance, and Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council.

Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Program Coordinator Constanza Hazelwood will talk about NMC’s Freshwater Studies program during the Oct. 23 session.

Virtual astronomy viewing celebrates Sleeping Bear Dunes anniversary

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s J.H Rogers Observatory will partner with the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society and host a virtual astronomical viewing session Friday, Sept. 25, celebrating Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s 50th anniversary.

Sleeping Bear Dunes has been the site of in-person “star parties” for the last 10 years. To celebrate the park’s anniversary and still observe COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, live images from the NMC Observatory’s telescope will be sent to guests via Zoom beginning at 9 p.m. (If it is cloudy, backup footage will be shown.) Astronomers will be available to answer questions.

The projection of actual live video images is an innovative approach to allowing for viewing safely through the college’s telescope by students. Applying a new low-light sensitive video camera, images normally seen through the eyepiece can be projected real-time to data projector or computer screens. The moon, bright planets, star clusters, nebulae and even faint galaxies are shown as they would appear in the eyepiece of the telescopes at the Observatory. This allows students to continue use of the telescopes at Rogers Observatory safely, as well as providing more in-depth discussions on the objects they are observing.

Work began on this concept in late spring 2020 due to the restrictions of the COVID-19. The system has been utilized for NMC’s Astronomy students beginning at the start of this Fall 2020 semester.

 

Release date: September 24, 2020

For more information:

Jerry Dobek,
NMC Astronomy Department
jdobek@nmc.edu
(231) 342-4545

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

Possible COVID-19 exposure on main campus Sept. 15

TRAVERSE CITY — An NMC student has tested positive for COVID-19 who had recently been on main campus. The student was in the James Beckett Building Sept. 15 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The student then used a small study room alone in West Hall from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.. The Grand Traverse County Health Department believes the risk of widespread exposure from this case is low, as with previous cases at NMC.

The GTCHD confirmed the positive test result this morning and is now conducting contact tracing with any individuals who might be at risk of exposure. The health department encourages anyone who was in that area during that time to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following the potential exposure.

The College will continue to work with the GTCHD to monitor the spread. We will continue to communicate with you about cases on campus. You can also check the Cases on Campus Dashboard for additional information.

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. We encourage all students and employees to stay home if you are sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Staying safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19 on NMC’s campuses is a shared responsibility. For more information on NMC’s response to the pandemic and important safety information, please visit nmc.edu/covid-19. Thank you for your continued commitment to safety at NMC.

 

Release date: September 23, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director 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

West Hall Innovation Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Ribbon cutting photoThank you to all who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new West Hall Innovation Center on Friday, Sept. 18, whether virtually or in person. Speakers at the event included NMC trustees Chris Bott and Ross Childs, Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City and Dr. Nick Nissley, NMC President. Over 100 people attended virtually.

photo gallery from the ceremony is available here and a video of the event is here. You can also take a virtual tour of the new 54,000-square-foot, building here.