TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College has recognized the following employees for excellence in the 2022–23 academic year:
Mike Skarupinski, President Nick Nissley, Les Eckert and Jim Morse (high resolution image) Great Lakes Culinary Institute, Team Excellence Award
Led by director Les Eckert, the team includes Patty Cron-Huhta, Mike Skarupinski, Jim Morse and Dean Haselton. Together they restructured the culinary program’s operating plan and developed a new model focused on long-term sustainability. Key components of the plan included shorter, 8-week sessions, which are more appealing to students; improving their financial performance by more than $200,000; creating new revenue-producing events that usually sold out in hours; and working with the Great Lakes Maritime Academy to create a new credential. The Culinary-Maritime certificate will train students to work as cooks on ships, a high-demand specialty field, beginning this fall.
Gail Kurowski ( high resolution image) Gail Kurowski, Staff Excellence Award
Director of the Police Academy since 2019 and a 1983 alumna, Kurowski led the program’s switch from a single, nine-month academy per year to two 16-week academies per year. Due to her efforts, the Academy will be able to double the number of students it serves starting this year. Had she not made these changes, it’s likely the Academy would have withered away due to competition from shorter options at other colleges. She also obtained new equipment for the program, including cars, firearms and a realistic simulation training program, the only one in Michigan.
Sarah Montgomery-Richards ( high resolution image) Sarah Montgomery-Richards, Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award
Chosen by a student selection committee, award criteria includes teaching excellence, rapport with students, innovation in the classroom and a sense of dedication. Student nominators said of Montgomery-Richards, a philosophy instructor, “In a class of 30 students, she makes it feel 1 on 1.” “Sarah is just so clearly passionate about teaching the subject matter that you can’t help feeling that same passion for that as well.”
The award was created in 1999 as a companion to the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award.
Nick Roster ( high resolution image) Nick Roster, Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award
Chosen by a student selection committee, award criteria includes teaching excellence, rapport with students, innovation in the classroom and a sense of dedication. Student nominators said of Roster, a biology instructor, “His exams are innovative and involve applying our knowledge to real case studies and real- world situations rather than just regurgitating facts.” “He always ensures that his students fully understand the content they are studying. He adds his own personal podcasts on Moodle to help explain content even further.”
Initiated by a contribution from longtime NMC benefactors Harold and Imogene Wise in 1970, the award was first made to a full-time faculty member in 1971.
See a full list of all past faculty and adjunct faculty excellence winners at nmc.edu/cie.
Release date: May 11, 2023
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