Success Story: Alumnus now NMC’s first male nursing instructor

October 14, 2015

Nursing instructor Mac BeekerIf it seems like there’s a lot of new faces in classrooms this semester, you’re right.

Eight new full-time faculty members began teaching at NMC this fall, more than double the number of new faculty who started in 2014 and 2013.

Among those eight, Mac Beeker stands out for another reason: He’s the first full-time male nursing instructor in department history. And with NMC’s male nursing enrollment well ahead of national averages, he’s a fitting addition to the faculty.

“It’s a female-dominated profession, and I don’t think that’s going to change,” said Beeker, a 2010 alumnus himself. “(But) it’s not necessarily a female field they’re entering. It’s the nursing field.”

NMC’s associate degree nursing program enrollment is 21 percent male and male enrollment has climbed for the last two years, both in terms of actual students and percentages. National averages for male student nurse enrollment stand at around 15 percent. Among practicing nurses, only about 10 percent are men.

Director of Nursing Laura Schmidt said NMC has had male adjuncts, but Beeker, a medical-surgical instructor, is a pioneer in terms of full-time status.

Nursing instructor Mac Beeker and students“I think it’s very positive that there’s a male instructor,” said Brandon Thompson, a Traverse City nursing student. Graduating next spring, Beeker is the first male instructor he’s had.

Beeker, 50, entered nursing after careers in radio and non-profit management. He came to the field at 40, “half-accidentally, half intentionally” after his parents got sick. In terms of their hands-on care, Beeker discovered that nurses were the providers who truly made a difference.

“My own involvement with my parents’ health, it was pretty clear to me,” he said.

As Beeker did, many men find their way into nursing at older ages and after caregiving experiences, often as a parent or for a parent.

“Those barriers really get broken down for men as they get a bit older,” Beeker said. “There’s no way I could have done this at 18.”

Beeker said he’s particularly interested in infusing a human connection to the practice of nursing. When teaching a procedure, for instance, he seeks for students to learn not only how and when to perform it, but to conduct it with care and compassion for the patient. Skill grounded in academic knowledge delivered in a compassionate bedside manner equates to “phenomenal” nursing, he said.

“I felt that was very present in the NMC program, and I want to continue to try and develop that,” he said.

Since graduating, Beeker has earned a master’s in nursing and worked as a medical-surgical nurse providing primarily post-trauma care at Munson Medical Center. He plans to maintain that connection, working a few on-call shifts a month, to keep up his skills. He said Munson’s status as a magnet hospital for nursing, a designation of excellence by the American Nurse Credentialing Center, reflects positively on the quality of NMC’s program.

“That trickles back and is fueled by the NMC program,” he said.

Veterans Day tribute

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College will again pay tribute to enrolled and employed veterans with several events in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 13.

  • 8:30 a.m. – Veterans’ breakfast. Free breakfast for all veterans and active duty military in the Hawk Owl Cafe in West Hall.
  • 9:20 a.m. – Walk of Honor. The campus community is invited to line up along the sidewalks from West Hall to the flagpoles west of the Tanis Building. Led by the Traverse City Central High School drum line, veterans will walk from West Hall to the flagpoles.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Flag raising ceremony conducted by the VFW with the Traverse City Central High School band.
  • 10 a.m.-noon – Coffee and cake served in West Hall for the entire campus community in honor of veterans.

About 5 percent of NMC students are veterans, and serving those who have served is a year-round priority at NMC, which established an office of Military and Veterans Services in 2012. It works with the larger college community to foster an environment that leads to veteran success. Results thus far:

  • For the third consecutive year NMC has been certified as a Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
  • Named the fifth-best “Best for Vets” community college nationwide by Military Times in 2016.
  • NMC provides no-interest loans to veterans waiting for processing of their benefit checks, so they may enroll immediately.
  • NMC makes up the difference between military pay and NMC pay for reservist employees who are called to active duty. Family enrollment in all benefits also continues.
  • Since 2008, NMC has participated in a DOD agreement providing in-state (out of district) tuition rates for active duty military and their dependents, regardless of their legal residence

Release date: November 3, 2017

For more information:

Scott Herzberg
POC, Military and Veterans Services
sherzberg@nmc.edu
(
231) 995-2526

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

Sign up for Academic WorldQuest

TRAVERSE CITY — Registration is now open to all area high schools for the fifth annual Academic WorldQuest, a free, quiz bowl-style team competition on international affairs set for Feb. 1 at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City.

Teams consist of four students and an adviser. Schools may field more than one team. Petoskey High School won the 2017 regional competition. More than 4,000 high school students compete nationwide. The winning team gets a trip to Washington D.C. to compete at the national level in late April, an experience that previous winners have described as “the trip of a lifetime.” All participating students will have the chance to win a number of great door prizes the day of the competition, plus lunch.

The International Affairs Forum and Northwestern Michigan College organize the competition. To get involved;

  • E-mail iaf@nmc.edu by Nov. 22 to indicate your school’s interest.
  • Teams will answer ten rounds of ten multiple-choice questions on preselected topics. Study materials are provided online.
  • The competition will be held on February 1, 2018 at NMC’s Hagerty Center, noon-4 pm.

Watch a video of the 2017 competition here.

Release date: November 2, 2017

For more information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064
karenpsegal@gmail.com

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

STEM Exploration Day

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College is offering a fun and unique way to give back to the community while getting an up-close look at some of the most exciting new technology available on campus.

Students will host STEM Exploration Day from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Parsons-Stulen building on NMC’s Aero Park campus. The event benefits the Food for Thought “Fill the Pantries: Food Drive Challenge.”

Community members of all ages are invited to explore and play with some of the latest equipment from NMC programs including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, aviation flight simulators, welding, hybrid vehicles, 3D printer and interactive robots. LEGO robotics and the Grand Traverse County Police Technology Department will also be available.

NMC’s Computer Information Technology department will also host an Explore Your Major event during the STEM Exploration day. By completing activities on a Exploration Passport, such as building and programming games,  exploring cloud computing and experiencing virtual reality, participants in sixth grade and above can enter a drawing for an XBox One. 

Other activities include face painting, a bake sale, crafts and a silent raffle. Suggested admission is 10 non-perishable food/hygiene items or $5 per person. Products and funds collected will help fill shelves at 51 area food pantries.

The NMC Food for Thought “Fill the Pantries: Food Drive Challenge” is a semester-long experiential learning project that pairs NMC students and the Northwest Michigan Food Coalition. 

Release date: november 14, 2017

For more information:

Kristy McDonald
NMC Professor
(231) 995-1059
kmcdonald@nmc.edu

Hunter Krecow
Director of Marketing NMC’s Food for Thought
krecowh@mail.nmc.edu
(231) 620-3716

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

Holiday concerts

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC’s performance ensembles will present the following holiday concerts:

Sunday, November 19: NMC Children’s Choirs holiday concert. 3 p.m., Lars Hockstad Auditorium. Reserved seating. MyNorthTickets.com and at the door. (800) 836-0717.

Saturday, December 2: The NMC Jazz Bands and Vocal Jazz Ensemble present Winter Jazz Ensemble Showcase. 7:30 p.m., Milliken Auditorium. Tickets $12 for adults, $7 for students and seniors at MyNorthTickets.com and at the door. (800) 836-0717.

Saturday, December 9: The NMC Choirs join the Traverse Symphony Orchestra for “Home for the Holidays.” 7:30 p.m., Lars Hockstad Auditorium. MyNorthTickets.com. (231) 947-7120.

Sunday, December 10 The NMC Choirs join the Traverse Symphony Orchestra for “Home for the Holidays.” 3 p.m., Lars Hockstad Auditorium. MyNorthTickets.com. (231) 947-7120.

Monday, December 11: Hip hop dance performance of “Hip Hop Nature” by NMC dance students. 7:30 p.m., Milliken Auditorium, free.

Sunday, December 17: The NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers join area choirs for a concert featuring the music of Dan Forrest. 2 p.m., First Congregational Church. Tickets (231) 947-6698.

Tuesday, December 19: The NMC Concert Band presents an evenng of holiday music. 7:30 p.m., Milliken Auditorium. Tickets $12 for adults, $7 for students and seniors at MyNorthTickets.com and at the door. (800) 836-0717

Release date: November 16, 2017

For more information:

Jeff Cobb
Director of Music Programs
(231) 995-1338
jecobb@nmc.edu

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