Light Up the Night

Light up the NightLight up the Night is an evening of awareness and solidarity surrounding sexual assault and sexual harassment. Join fellow NMC community members at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 for a vigil honoring and empowering survivors of sexual assault. Attendees will meet in room 106/107 of the Timothy J. Nelson Innovation Center. The event is open to students and employees. Refreshments and crafts will be provided.



Kudos to Ali Thornton and the DEIB Advisory Council. On March 13, Ali Thornton and the DEIB Advisory Council hosted a Game Night for NMC students and employees. Participants not only learned new games but also had the opportunity to establish camaraderie with individuals they do not interact with daily. Those who attended had a great time which helped reinforce NMC’s values of inclusion and belongingness.

Kudos to Cathlyn Sommerfield, Eileen Vaughn, Denny Nguyen and Marcus Bennett. Cathlyn, Eileen, Denny, and Marcus, along with the student Multicultural Club, all contributed to the DEIB Game Night for students and employees. They recruited students, made popcorn, played games, facilitated student engagement and just had a lot of fun! The event would not have been possible without them stepping up and being willing to help out. Belongingness is key to a vital culture and these employees and students were willing to contribute to a culture of belonging. Thank you!

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!

Welcome our newest hires

These employees recently started working at the college. Let’s welcome them to the NMC community!

    • Nicholas Mackesty – Chief Engineering Officer
    • Maximos McColl – Groundkeeper
    • Emily Kruse, supplemental – Tutor
    • Joe Buntic, supplemental – Uncrewed Aerial Systems Assistant
    • Lizzy Czubak, supplemental – Banquet Server

Nominations for the Honors & Leadership Convocation

Nominations for several awards presented at the Honors & Leadership Convocation are now being accepted. All faculty and staff at NMC can nominate students for Adult Student of the Year, Student Leader, and Award for Perseverance. Please also take the opportunity to highlight the work of student groups on campus and work with your Office Manager to nominate students in your area for academic awards. Nominations are being accepted until April 5. The winners will be invited to receive their award at Honors & Leadership Convocation on Friday, May 3.


Adult Student of the Year Award

This award recognizes an adult NMC student that has been an example to the NMC Community of balancing school and outside life obstacles. This person should not only be excelling in the classroom, but also making contributions to the campus community outside the classroom. Criteria for the student include being at least 25 years old and having a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0.


Student Groups Recognition

This award recognizes groups on campus making a positive impact at NMC and the greater community. They contribute to belongingness on campus and demonstrate leadership and empowerment on campus, are inclusive and have a shared vision.


Student Award for Perseverance (new this year)

Presented by the Department of Student Success, this award will go to a student that has overcome adversity and personal obstacles to continue towards their goals. They demonstrate a growth mindset, resilience, courage, passion and inspire others. The only academic requirement is that they are currently in good academic standing and at least half time enrolled for the last 2 semesters.


Student Leader of the Year Award

This award recognizes 3 students who are contributing to the culture of NMC outside the classroom and creating a community on NMC’s campus. Recipients will be selected based on campus involved in leadership activities and their contributions to move clubs or groups forward. They demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, empowers others, inspires a shared vision, role models inclusive and ethical leadership. The Student does not have to be graduating to be nominated or receive the award.

Nominations open for Staff and Team Excellence Awards

Click the forms below to complete your nomination(s) for the:

We are seeking nominations for:

    • Staff (full-time, part-time, or supplemental)
    • Teams of two or more individuals (departments, cross-departmental collaborative groups, strategic projects, initiative-focused teams, etc.)


    • Work serves to inspire us all
    • Demonstrates NMC’s Values
    • Exhibits commitment ‘above and beyond’ to the NMC mission, vision, values and strategic directions
    • Made a difference at NMC over the past year (2023-2024)

Nominations must be received by March 29, 2024. Recipients will receive a monetary award and an engraved plaque at the You Made It Possible Celebration on May 9, 2024.

Thank you for recognizing the great work of your colleagues and showing you care!

NMC Employee Recognition Committee: Marcus Bennett, Hollie DeWalt, Les Eckert, Kim Gourlay, Craig Hadley, Lori Hodek (Chair), Carly McCall, Taylor Nash, Nancy Parshall

Success Story: Experiential Learning Institute aims for new endorsement

March 20, 2024

NMC Audio Technology program students view a music production studio in East Lansing
NMC Audio Technology program students check out a music production studio in East Lansing.

Imagine a classroom where “sticky” experiences occur regularly, the kind that students remember for years and develop skills they’ll draw upon in the future, like solving problems and communicating more clearly, whether in their work, family or civic lives.

More and more of those classrooms now exist at NMC, as the college marks a giant leap toward its goal of offering experiential learning opportunities (ELOs) to every degree-seeking student by September 2024.

The latest tracking update shows that in the fall 2023 semester, 92 percent of students had ELOs, the often hands-on activities designed to engage them in a cycle of experience, reflection and action. That’s up from 66 percent in spring 2023 and 54 percent in fall 2022.

“It’s about intentionally changing the fundamental student experience in the classroom,” said faculty member Brandon Everest, who has co-directed the Institute with business faculty member Kristy McDonald since 2016.

Some 113 instructors offered ELOs in 263 classes last fall, reaching 2,685 students. The method has been so well received that Everest and McDonald are considering a future EL endorsement students could add to their degree or certificate that would help distinguish them in the job market and NMC among other colleges.

“This is a real differentiator for us here at the college,” Everest told NMC trustees at a board meeting Monday. ELOs, which can occur in courses, internships, apprenticeships, community research, service learning, international services and extracurricular activities also reinforce the material learned, and improve student retention, meaning it’s more likely students will complete their goal.

Trustees wholeheartedly support the ELI, board chair Laura Oblinger said.

“You have the same enthusiasm among this board of trustees. We’ll be continuing to root for you,” she said.

Examples of ELOs include:

  • The NMC Motor Sports Club’s participation in Baja endurance races, which involved automotive, engineering and welding students. 
  • The ninth annual Big Little Hero Race, organized by McDonald’s  professional communications students and set for April 20
  • The Lunch and Learn held today for Holi, a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of spring and love. (See slides 12-16)

In addition to ELOs, which can be as short as a single assignment, NMC began offering Experiential Learning Designated courses, where at least 80 percent of the course it taught through experiential learning.  McDonald’s Professional Communications class is one of them. A “co-curricular mapping” project is now underway to identify ELOs in every degree and certificate program, class and section, with a goal of providing ELOs as early as possible to students.

The proposed voluntary endorsement would be a credential students could earn in addition to a degree or certificate. It would also enable students to easily choose EL classes when they register.

“It would be a real clear pathway for them to select,” said McDonald, who added that she and Everest often field inquiries from colleges around the country about how to implement ELOs. They will present at a teaching conference in New Orleans this summer.

“One of our goals is to showcase that we are that leader,” she said.

Showcasing NMC’s leadership in water issues

Thanks to Lisa Cooper, Ed Bailey, Nathan Bootz and all who participated in the Water Leadership conference in Traverse City March 8-10. The event was part of the AquaHacking the Great Lakes Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition, and brought six Canadian and four U.S. finalist teams to the region. The winners of $35,000 in seed funding will be named May 10. Like the Freshwater Research Center, the weekend showcased NMC’s leadership in water issues.

Who’s been a Hawk Owl Helper or Hero for you? Let us know at!

Media mentions for March 18, 2024

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 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.

Old Mission filmmakers celebrate history arthouse theaters in ‘Marqueetown’

Old Mission Gazette, March 18

On the menu: Daily specials at the Hawk Owl Café

The Hawk Owl Café serves specials daily on Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30–6:30 p.m. The protein option is $9.99 and the vegetarian option is $7.99.

Monday, March 18

Entrée: Sausage & mozzarella pasta bake or roasted vegetable tortellini bake
Sides: Broccoli and garlic crostini

Tuesday, March 19

Holi celebration menu
Entrée: Tandoori Chicken thighs or tandoori braised tofu with basmati rice
Sides: Indian spiced roasted root vegetables, grilled naan bread and tzatziki sauce

Vegan samosas will be available all day!

Wednesday, March 20

Entrée: Chicken or tofu coconut curry with jasmine rice
Side: naan bread

Thursday, March 21

Entrée: Spaghetti with meatballs or red lentils & roasted vegetables
Sides: garlic bread & green beans

Friday, March 22

No daily special offered. The Hawk Owl Café will be closing at 2 p.m. for spring break.

Upcoming Extended Education classes for employees

NMC’s tuition waiver benefits extend beyond credit classes—take a fitness class, learn a new hobby, or even enjoy a date night with your partner. Check out these upcoming classes! Place the class in your shopping cart in order to see the discount. Need help setting up your profile? Look for “EES” in the Help Desk drop down menu.

Want to view upcoming classes at a glance? View the NEW Calendar of Classes.

Developing the Dream: Writing Any GenreNMC EES writing class 
6 sessions; Thursdays, April 4–May 9; 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Employee price: $22 (Public price: $149)
New! A writing class to focus, refine and produce a rough draft of your story no matter what genre. The class is a workshop that includes extensive writing exercises and sharing. No matter where you are in your writing process-ready to publish or simply start-this writing class will support, challenge, and extend your current project.
Register here

Gentle YogaNMC Extended Education Gentle Yoga 
12 sessions; Tuesdays, April 9–June 25; 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Employee price: $25 (Public price: $155)
Find out why so many have found that yoga improves flexibility, strength, posture, and balance, as well as physical and spiritual wellness. Gentle yoga is designed for people of any level of physical ability who prefer a more mindful, gentle practice.
Register here 

Baking Masterclass: Pizza & FocacciaNMC Baking Masterclass
Saturday, April 13; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Employee price: $43 (Public price $199)
Want to level up your pizza making game? With the help of Chef Eckert, discover the secrets of making artisan pizza and focaccia at home. Learn to make and stretch your own perfect dough from scratch. Create the ultimate sauce and learn how different toppings complement each other. Plus, focaccia!
Register here


Need help setting up your profile? Look for “EES” in the Help Desk drop down menu.

EES Help Desk


Kudos to Dan Gentry, Dan Wasson, Lindsey Lipke and Danielle Quinlan. Kudos to Dan Gentry, Dan Wasson, Lindsey Lipke, and all of the people who worked on a recent security issue related to data. Kudos also to the EES Team and Danielle Quinlan for fielding all of the phone calls during this event.

Kudos to the Advising Team and Career Planning. Kudos to the advising team and career planning for reaching out to students in our classrooms. This is a great way to promote these services to our students.

Kudos to Shannon Croll. NMC Advising and Admissions have been collaborating on efforts to bring more resources and information to our dual-enrolled students, their parents, and school counselors. Shannon Croll took the lead on developing several draft course pathways, based on careers/majors, to help inform class choices for dual-enrolled students. These draft pathways are divided into introductory and “deeper dive” courses to help students appropriately sequence their choices. They include a recommendation for dual-enrolled students who start before 11th grade, or with a high school GPA below 3.0 to take EDU100 – College Success as an introductory course. Shannon has used her incredible attention to detail and worked tirelessly to have these pathway guides ready for our first information sessions this week. Thank you Shannon!

Kudos to Charles Schneider. CJ provided assistance and resources to a student in need who was seeking on-campus employment. CJ took time out of his schedule to assist the student who appreciated his efforts.

Kudos to Kristy McDonald and Brandon Everest. Kudos to Kristy McDonald and Brandon Everest, Co-Directors of the ELI, for having 16 NMC employees sign up for EL 101’s spring cohort. It is exciting to have a large number of faculty and staff members wanting to learn more extensively about experiential learning and creating Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) for their courses!

Kudos to Elizabeth Sonnabend. NMC Extended Education & Training is now offering Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) training to workers and employers to help reduce the risk of workplace hazards. A group of eleven students recently completed the MIOSHA 6-Day Level II Bootcamp. Four students finished their Level II Certificate by attending. One of the students, originally from Detroit, is a Safety Training Officer for the Atlanta airport and is just a few classes away from an Environmental Health and Safety degree from Oakland University. Since she moved out of state, it was more affordable for her to fly to Traverse City (twice because the training was 6 days, 3 days a week, two weeks apart), get a hotel, and register for the bootcamp than it would be to take the classes from Oakland University. She will earn her Level II Certificate which will transfer as 11 credits to OU. Elizabeth Sonnabend went above and beyond to accommodate the students’ needs during the two weeks that the training ran. She even picked up the Atlanta student from the airport and drove her to the class when her flight was delayed because of a snowstorm.

Kudos to all Faculty. Thank you to all the faculty that allowed the Advising department to come into their classrooms over the last few weeks for visits. Between talking to students about registration, advising services and the Career Fair, we completed over 40 classroom visits in the month of February! We appreciate your support and the opportunity to connect with your students.

Kudos to Lisa Thomas, Jeremy Heinlein and Katy Knight. On Sunday, March 3rd, Lisa, Jeremy, and Katy hosted the Spring Semester 2024 Induction into Phi Theta Kappa at the Milliken Auditorium. Eleven new members were on hand as representatives of their class of 90 NMC Students joining into membership of this honor society for two-year colleges. As a team, they did a wonderful job honoring the late Dr. Kari Kahler, Associate Dean of Learning Services and long-time PTK advisor, while making additions to the already impactful and formal induction for these students. Wonderful job, team!

Kudos to Lisa Baldyga. At last week’s Launchpad Quick Start event, a former high-school student in Lisa’s JMG program met the Michigan Reconnect Navigators and then NMC’s Admissions team. It was Lisa’s years of communication and encouragement that led him to finally begin his higher education journey with NMC this year. “I am so happy to be here taking this step”, he said. “Lisa is the reason I am here; she never gave up on me.” Great work Lisa. You are constantly improving the lives of young people in our region!

Kudos to Amber Marsh. Amber volunteered so much time and gave so much information to our PTK induction crew over the past few weeks. This was the first induction since we lost Kari Kahler, so her help was paramount to the success of the program. Thank you, Amber!

Kudos to Hollieanne McHugh & Jennifer Ewing. Hollieanne and Jennifer are assisting Extended Education & Training with custom curriculum development for Sara Lee. In addition, Hollieanne toured the Sara Lee facility and provided input on the delivery of content. Jennifer Ewing is designing a curriculum around leadership & management while Hollieanne is developing a curriculum for manufacturing training. This training will be delivered over the next year. Thank you, both!

Kudos to Joan Sodini, Steve Kellman, Cari Noga, Taylor Wolf and Emily Crull. Thank you to the PRMC team for their extra support and efforts with publicity for the Career Fair this year. We had our best year since covid and they no doubt played a role in that success. Special shoutout to Joan and Emily for their creativity and quick communication in coming up with unique materials for both students and the community. We appreciate you!

Kudos to Lisa vonReichbauer, Rorie Kawula, Cathryn Claerhout and Traci Heidbreder. HUGE thank you for the incredible effort and attention you all exhibited in the fall, as huge turnover affected the Admissions area. You all went above and beyond to keep everything rolling, all while making time to train and welcome the new admissions recruiters. A huge shout-out to all of you!

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!

Welcome our newest hires

These employees recently started working at the college. Let’s welcome them to the NMC community!

    • Lucas Guevel – Adjunct Certified Flight Instructor
    • Collen Mglanga, student employee – Enrollment Services Office Assistant
    • Taylor Rinke, student employee – Tutor
    • Elizabeth Czubak, supplemental – Banquet Server
    • Megan Peltier, supplemental – Banquet Server

Planned power outage March 28

NMC will be conducting a planned power outage at the Front Street Campus on Thursday, March 28 from noon to 4 p.m. This outage will allow NMC Facilities and Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) to conduct preventative maintenance work on the College’s primary electrical distribution system to address vulnerabilities that led to recent campus power outages in November and February. The work will be conducted during spring break to minimize disruption for students and staff, and will result in total loss of power for the following buildings:

    • Dennos Museum
    • Scholars Hall
    • Osterlin Building
    • Tanis Building
    • Biederman Building
    • Health & Science Building
    • Founders Hall
    • Timothy J. Nelson Innovation Center
    • East Hall
    • Fine Arts Center
    • PE Building
    • Front St. campus buildings not affected by the outage:
    • Beckett
    • Oleson Center
    • Apartments
    • North Hall
    • Facilities

If you are scheduled to work in one of the affected buildings on Front Street Campus that afternoon, please treat this situation as you would under the College’s inclement weather procedure which is to work remotely, if possible. If you can’t accommodate remote work that afternoon, and you fill out a timecard, please use the code SNO for time that is not worked that afternoon.

Aero Park, Great Lakes, University Center, and Observatory campuses will not be impacted. If you have any questions, please reach out to your supervisor. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Gala to Give: The Garden Gala

Dress up and enjoy a night of glamour, laughter and entertainment at the second annual Gala to Give. Organized in 2023, Gala to Give was created by NMC students for the NMC community. It’s a time to celebrate achievement, perseverance, and the sense of community that makes NMC great! 

NMC Gala to Give

This year’s event, The Garden Gala, brings together students from across campus and features performances from Audio Tech students and refreshments provided by the Multicultural Student Club. The Garden Gala is a unique opportunity for students to plan and execute an elegant event, using creativity and imagination to create a very special evening. During the gala, there will be dancing, refreshing mocktails and drawings for raffle prizes (tickets available for purchase during the event),

The Garden Gala will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 5 in the Dennos Museum Center. Tickets are limited and all proceeds raised will be designated for the NMC Food Pantry. Tickets are $10 for current NMC students and $30 for guests, alumni and NMC employees. Sponsor packages are also available.
Purchase tickets and become a sponsor at