Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • NMC’s Computer Information Technology department hosted an Explore Your Major event on Saturday, November 18. By completing activities on an Exploration Passport, such as building and programming games, exploring cloud computing and experiencing virtual reality, participants in sixth grade and above could enter a drawing for an Xbox One. (IE1, IE4)
  • Clark Manufacturing hosted NMC and TBA-CTC students for a CIT Industry Night Out on October 26. Students were provided dinner as well as a tour of their facility and the opportunity to learn about this local modern machine shop employing the latest technologies in tooling. (IE1, IE2, IE4)
  • Students from the CIT Developer and Infrastructure programs hosted a STEM Exploration Day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at the Parsons-Stulen building on NMC’s Aero Park campus. The event benefited the Food for Thought’s Fill the Pantries: Food Drive Challenge. Community members of all ages were 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 were also there. (IE1, IE2, IE4, IE5)
  • The Advising Center coordinated meetings with partner schools Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University as part of annual efforts to update each institution about changes to NMC’s programs and courses, communicate new transfer information to advisors, and hear about updates from the institutions. Faculty representatives from academic areas also participated in these meetings. The Advising Center maintains positive relationships with all University Center partners and stays in active communication throughout the academic year as a means of continuous improvement of the transfer process for students. (IE2, IE4)
  • The Advising Center offered a series of transfer workshops to international students to help learn about the transfer process, search for best fit transfer institutions, and navigate the application process. During these sessions, students were given tools to effectively evaluate transfer options, research requirements, and organize applications to potential transfer institutions. Feedback from students was positive and several students also scheduled follow-up appointments with advisors in the Advising Center. (IE1, IE4)
  • In partnership with Student Financial Services and Resident Assistant Praju Nivargi, the Advising Center offered a program for East Hall students to learn about the differences between financial aid and academic probation. They covered information on what academic probation is, how this alert can help students make positive changes to their academic habits, and what support is available to students at NMC. Students actively participated in discussions about what leads students to be on academic probation, and how drawing on past successes can improve outcomes in college. (IE1, IE2)
  • Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Teahen and Director of Alumni Relations Betsy Coffia were selected to present on “How to Begin a Community College Alumni Program” at the October 2017 Conference for Community College Advancement Preconference Workshop in Anaheim, CA. Attendees came from community colleges across the nation. Because Rebecca and Betsy received aggregate rankings of 4.5 or higher for the session in participant feedback, they will be categorized “Stellar Speaker” and recognized in a future CURRENTS magazine. (IE5)
  • 250 area high school singers spent the day on our campus for the NMC 6th Annual Choral Invitational. These singers, from nine different high schools, spent the day learning music, working with music faculty Jeffrey Cobb and Dorothy Vogel, touring our campus, and sharing a performance of the day’s work in an evening concert. This successful event has been a great outreach and recruiting tool for the NMC Music Department. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Concert Band, and their interim director John Campbell on a successful fall concert. The performance included works by Bagley, Respighi, Whitacre and others. The band, which has grown to almost 100, was greeted by an enthusiastic audience of 300+ community members. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • NMC’s Canticum Novum was honored with an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association statewide convention. This is the group’s second invitation to perform at this prestigious conference, and again, Canticum Novum was the only choir from a community college selected to perform. Canticum Novum, after this performance and this summer’s performance at Carnegie Hall, is quickly building a reputation within the music world as one of the premier choral ensembles in the Midwest. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers on their wonderful Fall Concert: Serenade to Music. The choirs were joined on stage by a string orchestra and professional soloists – performing music by Beethoven, Mozart, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others. It was an amazing evening of music as over 120 musicians performed for an enthusiastic crowd of 350 audience members. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Bravo to the NMC Children’s Choirs on their wonderful Holiday Concert! These talented young singers shared music of the holidays to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. The concert featured 170 singers from the NMCCC Bel Canto, Lyric, Ragazzo, and Cantus choirs – representing students from over 30 area schools in 3rd-9th grade. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Big Band, Lab Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and their directors, Laurie Sears and Mike Davis, on their fantastic Winter Showcase concert in Milliken Auditorium. These incredible musicians, who have also been featured on the Jazz at the Holiday Inn concert series, put on a wonderful performance of swing, Latin, and big band music. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to our NMC music and dance students who performed on our final Music Convocation of the semester. The concert featured ten of our music majors performing works for tuba, clarinet, percussion, piano, and voice. A few of our music department faculty also joined the students on stage for collaborative works for piano, and for jazz quartet. The dance department was also featured performing an original piece around the theme of water. Bravo NMC music and dance students! (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to members of the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers who were the featured chorus in the 39th Annual Messiah Sing. These wonderful singers, joined by an orchestra and vocal soloists, performed selections of Handel’s Messiah to a standing-room only audience of enthusiastic community members. In total, over 150 musicians performed for an audience of 500+! (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Thank you to the campus community for your support on #GivingTuesday! This year, the NMC Foundation raised $6,500 for NMC—the most ever raised on #GivingTuesday, and the highest number of #GivingTuesday donors, including many NMC employees! Donors supported the Annual Fund and a number of other programs, including Commitment Scholarships, the Student Food Pantry, Giving Tree, the Dennos, WNMC, and more. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • Congratulations! The Surgical Technology program at Northwestern Michigan College is now accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Thanks to April Kesler and Linda Racine for their hard work. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • The NMC magazine has earned Best Magazine Award, and placed 1st Place, Central Region, Small Colleges, in the national Literary Magazine Competition offered by the Community College Humanities Association. The winning magazine was entitled, ADVENTURE. Congratulations to faculty advisors, Alissia J.R. Lingaur, Caroline Schaefer-Hills, and NMC magazine student staff. (IE1, IE3, IE4)
  • Megan Ward presented at The International Writing Centers Association conference held November 10-13, in Chicago. IWCA is an affiliate of National Council of Teachers of English and provides an international forum for writing center issues. (IE1)
  • Mark Howell presented at the Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History, November 10-11, in New York. Mark’s presentation highlighted his recent research into how traditional rhetorical concepts can provide a critical analysis of a popular professional sport. (IE1)
  • Rufus Snoddy, NMC’s painting instructor, was on Interlochen Public Radio November 30 talking about his invitation to show at the Art Miami Exhibition. This is one of the biggest and most prestigious art exhibits in the world and draws an international group of artists and buyers. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Educational Media Technology staff members presented at six different sessions for Professional Development Day. The topics included themes such as creating connections with students using Zoom, podcasts and the classroom, students and social media and teaching concepts through images within PowerPoint. A special shout out to Ryan Bernstein for presenting in all four timeslots. (IE3, IE5)
  • Educational Media Technology completed a pilot of the new Online Learning and Moodle Orientation with seven faculty members (nine courses) during fall 2017. The goal of the pilot was to measure the effectiveness of requiring students to complete the orientation on student success and withdrawal rates. In addition, qualitative data was gathered from students about the design of the orientation course and if it helped them prepare to be an online learner. The pilot will continue during the spring 2018 semester. (IE1, IE3)
  • On December 14, Marguerite and Hans attended a celebration held at our Hagerty Center for graduates of the BS in Freshwater Science & Sustainability and honor Michael Kandel, a student in the program who died in a tragic accident in Sturgeon Bay last July while saving another member of the work crew having difficulty in high waves. The WMU degree is the result of a partnership with NMC where students are able to complete their NMC associate degree and then seamlessly continue on with their bachelor’s through WMU.

Activities of Note: Tim

  • I presented at the meeting of the Front Street Irregulars on November 28, which NMC hosted at the Hagerty Center. My message on NMC’s mission, the evolution of platforms, and the fact that NMC is somewhat regulated and a business that needs to operate sustainable programs was well accepted and supported. It is a motivated group and good for NMC to be at the table with.
  • Several executive staff members and I met with the new education reporter for the Record Eagle Sean Miller. I think the meeting went well and we provided him with a lot of NMC background information and resources.
  • I met with the NMC Student Government Association on Friday, December 1. Our discussion included the topics of housing, West Hall Innovation Center, transportation services, etc. As always, I enjoyed the interaction with students and will try to visit an SGA meeting again, as my schedule allows.
  • Nancy and I attended the NMC Jazz Ensemble of Saturday, December 2, at the Milliken Auditorium. It’s a pleasure to be able to experience the wonderful talent here at NMC and within our community.
  • I had a good discussion with Kat Paye, Executive Director for the National Cherry Festival, in which we talked about programmatic fundraising and scholarship opportunity; and the need for participants and housing for their internship program, among other things. The meeting was very positive, as she is very interested in having a community partnership relationship with NMC.
  • I was a pleasure to join Jim Bensley on December 13 to sit in on one of his student’s Global Endorsement Capstone presentation. The enthusiasm and the learning experiences she described were inspiring.
  • Nancy and I enjoyed attending NMC’s employee holiday party last Friday, December 15, at the Hagerty Center. It was a wonderful event with great food and opportunities to spend time with both current and past NMC employees. I would like to wish all of the NMC families a safe and happy holiday season.

Legislative Issues


With the legislature returning from a Thanksgiving in-district work period, attention this month turned to legislation addressing the funding of retirement benefit systems for local governments. In conjunction with this effort, there were a series of bills that would have made changes to how state revenue sharing is distributed. Unfortunately, the bills as introduced would have redirected all Tier 3 personal property tax reimbursements, including those owed to community colleges, to a new proposed City Village Township (CVT) Revenue Sharing Trust Fund. Thankfully, after working with bill sponsors and the Governor’s office, this harmful legislation was removed from the final retirement benefit reform package passed by both the House and Senate last week.
Between now and the end of the year, it is also expected that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Senate passed legislation allowing those with concealed pistol licenses with additional training to carry in gun-free zones including schools and houses of religious worship. Under current law, people with concealed pistol licenses cannot carry concealed firearms into schools, religious facilities, sports stadiums, large entertainment venues, day care centers, hospitals, bars and college dormitories. However, an individual can open carry in those venues. It is unclear if the House has the votes to pass this bill in current form, or if the Governor will sign the legislation, but we will continue to monitor this legislation as it moves through the legislative process.


The focus in Washington right now is on the tax legislation, which passed the House and Senate and is now in a conference committee to work out the differences between the two bills. The top priorities for NMC include the following:

  • A “universal deduction” available to non-itemizers for charitable contributions. The proposed legislation would double the standard education, which would reduce the number of itemizers from 30% to 5% and reduce charitable giving by as much as $13 billion dollars annually, nationwide.
  • Maintain the State and Local Tax Deduction, as eliminating it has the potential to further reduce state investments in higher education.
  • Remedy a flaw in the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) that prevents Pell Grant recipients from fully benefiting from the credit. Currently Pell Grant and other non-taxable scholarships that students receive are deducted from the educational expenses used to calculate a student’s AOTC. In many cases, this results in community college Pell Grant recipients being ineligible for any AOTC.
  • Reinstate Employer Education Assistance, which provides up to $5,250 tax free to cover employees’ educational expenses.
  • Reinstate the student loan interest deduction.
  • Ensure the continuation of qualified tuition reductions for NMC employees and dependents.

We have communicated these priorities with our federal delegation and continue to monitor the movement of this legislation. It is expected that the conference report will be completed as soon as the end of this week with House and Senate votes occurring before the 20th of this month.


  • Thursday, January 18—Board Study Session, Hagerty Center
  • Wednesday, January 24—Chamber Distinguished Service Award Luncheon and Annual Meeting, Hagerty Center
  • Friday, January 26—Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration, Hagerty Center