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.

  • For the second year in a row, Military Times ranked NMC 2nd as the Best for Vets 2-year schools. Thank you to Scott Herzberg, NMC’s POC for Military and Veterans Services, and all of our employees who help support our student veterans. (IE3, IE4)
  • The Automotive Program hosted NMC’s 14th Annual Mike McIntosh Memorial Car and Truck Show on Saturday, September 7. Spearheaded by Wayne Moody and a great group of program supporters and volunteers, this unique event provides outreach to the community and support for the program. (IE2)
  • Ryan Bernstein completed the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Instructional Designer Certificate Program, a 6-month program designed to provide a practical and theoretical framework for instructional designers to guide faculty through the online course design and development process, analyze instructional theories, provide strategies and resources for staying current with best practices, and become certified in applying the OLC and Open SUNY Course Quality Review rubric. Simultaneously, Ryan participated in the Educause Learning Initiative ID2ID cross-institutional peer mentoring program which provides a platform for instructional designers to be paired together to work on professional development goals. (IE3)
  • Dorothy Vogel, Adjunct Music Professor (Music Theory, Sight Singing & Ear Training, Accompanist) performed as principal pianist in the Baroque on Beaver Music Festival Orchestra on Beaver Island this past summer. She also recently performed as principal pianist with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. (IE4)
  • Dorothy Eisenstein, NMC dance instructor, attended the Detroit Dance City Festival in August. Dorothy performed with Master Choi Bogyeol, a master teacher and choreographer from Seoul, Korea, in an outdoor performance venue at the Detroit Institute of Arts. (IE4)
  • NMC hosted a Marine Technology Society (MTS) TechSurge Conference at the Hagerty Center October 1-2. Lakebed 2030 focuses on comprehensive Great Lakes basin surveying and mapping needs including navigation, fisheries, coastal processes, and infrastructure. This event was developed based on the globally significant Seabed 2030 initiative that supports 100% surveying and mapping of the world’s oceans. We received extremely enthusiastic support and national presence at this event, including leadership from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Integrated Ocean Observing System, and the Office of Coast Survey, among many others. This two day event included on-water demonstrations at the Great Lakes Campus harbor aboard NMC research vessels. (IE1, IE2, IE5)
  • Jerry Dobek (Math/Science), Jay Smith (Math/Science, Engineering Faculty) and Deb Maison (Academic & Career Advising Center) have been selected as the 2019 MACRAO Innovation in Transfer Award winners. The award highlights their extensive work to create a seamless 2+2 engineering transfer articulation agreement between NMC and Michigan Tech University. This included the creation of new courses and realigning major coursework at NMC. The agreement was signed in August and will have an immediate impact on the 60-75 students enrolled annually at NMC. (IE2, IE3)
  • In August the re-launched Academic & Career Advising Center welcomed the addition of Employment Readiness Specialist, Lisa Baldyga. Lisa is also employed by Northwest Michigan Works! and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will assist NMC students with resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and job search skills. The NMC Academic & Career Advising Center now offers the full spectrum of career services from career decision-making through employment skills. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Jennifer Sperry Steinorth launched her new book of poems, A Wake with Nine Shades, September 13, at The Botanical Gardens in Traverse City. Jennifer teaches composition part- time in the Communications Academic Area at NMC. (IE1, IE4)
  • The UAS, Engineering Technology, and Marine Technology programs went on a recruiting visit to Char-Em Intermediate School District. Affectionately known as the “NMC Roadshow,” this unique event allowed students from Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, and other districts to fly a drone and pilot an ROV. The systems were deployed in parks, bays, and lakes in the area giving students firsthand experience being a marine technician or a drone pilot. The Tech Division will use this to springboard a follow-up event at Parsons- Stulen. (IE2)
  • The Construction Technology program hosted “Building Tomorrow” on October 10 and 11. Over 450 students preregistered for this 2-day event that gives students hands-on experiences in carpentry, electrical trades, utility work, HVAC, and welding. Championed by Dan Goodchild, this event brings together industry partners as well as NMC expertise to create a fun environment exposing high school students to the trades. (IE2)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Audio Tech students who played an integral part in the success of the 2019 Leelanau UnCaged event on September 26. Under the supervision of Audio Tech faculty David Chown, Brady Corcoran, Patrick Niemisto, and Jonah Powell, our students managed the set-up, tear-down, and running of sound for multiple performance venues throughout the event. Bravo to Audio Tech students Alizabeth Jordan, Mitchell Larkins, Rowdy Vyverberg, Josiah Starr, Kasey Goss, Gracie Wheeler, Silvio Ciccione, Brenden Graham, Allie Challender, and Nick Spencer. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • NMC’s magazines from last year (FALL 2018 and IN BRIEF) won several awards in the Community College Humanities Association’s 2019 National Literary Magazine Competition. NMC competed in the nation’s Central Division of community colleges. Awards by category include the following:
  • Magazines from Small College: 2nd place, NMC for FALL 2018 and 3rd place, NMC for IN BRIEF
  • Poems: 1st place for “Apres Moi, le deluge,” by Anne Marie Kabat in FALL 2018 and 2nd place for “Fickle Water,” by Rachel Lynn Moore in FALL 2018
  • Short Stories: 3rd place for “The Incident”, by Tamara Wiget in FALL 2018
  • Creative Nonfiction: (Only one winner in this category) “Bone Deep” by Deanna Ray Luton in FALL 2018
  • Photography: 1st place for “Fueled by Fire,” by Liam Kaiser in FALL 2018
  • Artwork: 1st place for “Raven,” by Molly Eastman in IN BRIEF, 2nd place for “Figure Study,” by Kajetan Morman in IN BRIEF and 3rd place tie for “Garden,” by Hannah Strong in in FALL 2018
  • Script: (Only one winner in this category) for “Ham Radio” in FALL 2018 by Hannah Carr (IE1, IE3, IE4)
  • The NMC Foundation is pleased to announce the endowment of the Staff Sergeant Drew Kostic Veterans Scholarship by the 22-2-None organization, and a direct result of funds raised through the DK5K (Drew Kostic Memorial 5K Tough Run). This race was conceived to continue raising awareness about veteran suicide. This scholarship honors the life of former NMC student Staff Sergeant Drew Kostic, and will make an ongoing financial difference for NMC veteran students. (IE1, IE2, IE3)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • In mid-September, I presented at the MCCA Leadership Academy on “The Future of Higher Education.” Two members of NMC’s executive staff are participating in this year’s cohort of the academy: Mark Liebling, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, and Joy Goodchild, Executive Director of the Office of Research, Planning, and Effectiveness.
  • The 15th Annual Wayne and Terry Lobdell Scholarship Dinner was held on Friday, September 12, 2019. The dinner provides scholarships to NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute students.  Thank you to Wayne and Terry for their continued support of this fantastic evening and program, and also thank you to Trustee Michael Estes and his wife, Rhonda, for attending.
  • Board Chair Chris Bott and I attended the MCCA Board of Directors October 3-4 at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey.
  • Thank you to Trustee Ross Childs for participating in the NMC October Conference on October 8, 2019. Kudos to the Center for Instructional Excellence and the Professional Development Institute for hosting the 4th Annual Conference which provides an opportunity for all NMC faculty and staff to come together as colleagues to share ideas, collaborate, and learn from each other.
  • On October 9, Be What’s Possible: The Campaign for NMC, moved into its public phase and was celebrated by a joint NMC Board of Trustees and NMC Foundation Board meeting, gathering under the pines, and evening gala. Congratulations to the NMC Foundation, its employees and volunteers, and thank you for the hard work, time, and commitment you have given and continue to give to help our students.
  • Earlier this month several of our trustees and executive staff attended the ACCT Annual Leadership Congress in San Francisco.

Legislative Issues


As you may know, on the eve of the State’s FY20 Fiscal Year which began October 1, Governor Whitmer signed all 16 budget bills, avoiding the need to shut down any state departments.  In signing the bills, the Governor issued 147 line-item vetoes totaling nearly one billion dollars in spending.  Fortunately for NMC, the community colleges’ budget (SB 134) was one of only two budget bills that were signed with no line item vetoes.  In addition, NMC is pleased to see that the budget approved by the legislature did not include any tuition restraint language, and while modest, also included a 0.8% operations increase for colleges, distributed through the modified performance funding formula the House had proposed (which redirects 5% of the increase to six colleges with the lowest state equalized value).  There was also no funding included in the signed budget for the governor’s proposed MI Reconnect program.

With the significant number of line-item vetoes, impacting many in the state including cuts to local units of government, rural healthcare providers and rural school districts, there has been some movement to pass a supplemental budget that could restore some or all of these 147 line item cuts.  While we do not know yet if there will be an interest on the part of the legislature to move any additional funding bills forward this year, if there is movement, the Governor may try and fund the MI Reconnect program yet in this fiscal year.

While most of the focus has been on the FY20 budget, we have also been supportive of movement of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program cap legislation, which would raise the cap on Program contracts from $50 million to $75 million.  NMC wrote a letter supporting this legislation and we are pleased to see it pass out of the House Education Committee.  It has now been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

We are also glad to see movement of legislation that would codify the current scope of practice for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).  A state administrative rule was set to go into effect that would change the allowable scope of practice, effectively eliminating the ability for LPCs to practice in Michigan.  NMC employs two full time counselors who would have been impacted by this rule change.  Fortunately, both the House and Senate acted and passed legislation that NMC supported to codify the current scope of LPCs in Michigan.  The legislation is now on the governor’s desk for her signature.

We also continue to track a package of bills that would make changes to the laws regarding concealed weapons.  The House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee is hearing testimony on HB 4771, which would remove the prohibition for carrying a concealed weapon in currently prohibited areas, including a dormitory or classroom of a community college.


There has been some movement in Congress of a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).  Leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee plan to mark up their recently introduced bill (H.R. 3674) next week.  It is expected that the legislation will pass out of committee along a party-line vote as was the case with Republican legislation to reauthorize the HEA that the committee considered in 2017.

The draft legislation has many positive aspects that dovetail with the key priorities of the American Association of Community College (AACC), but there are also some aspects that AACC would like to see changed.  A summary of the bill’s key provisions can be found here.  Specifically items that we would support include an increase to the Pell Grant maximum and the establishment of a new short term Pell Grant.  The legislation would also authorize and provide mandatory funding for “America’s College Promise” which would include a required state contribution, to ensure three years tuition-free for community college students who enroll at least half-time.

On the Senate side, Republican Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently introduced the Student Aid Improvement Act (S. 2257), which addresses several high-profile items in the HEA.  However, this is not a comprehensive HEA reauthorization.


  • November 8—MCCA Trustee Leadership Institute, Lansing
  • November 12—Retirement Open House for Tim Nelson, Dennos Museum Center, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • November 19—Traverse City Chamber Economic Outlook Lunch
  • December 3—Retirement Event for Board and Executive Staff
  • December 7—GLMA 50th Celebration, Hagerty Center
  • December 13—NMC Holiday Party, Hagerty Center