NMC RECEIVES $3.75 MILLION IN STATE FUNDS FOR HANGAR, PLANES
A critical $3.75 million investment will allow NMC to expand its aviation facilities and help address the nation’s pilot shortage. The funding will be used to renovate and expand NMC’s 47-yearold hangar and purchase additional aircraft, allowing the college to increase its capacity to train more pilots, a need identified in the college’s strategic plan.
“This effort has been more than a year in the making,” says NMC President Dr. Nick Nissley. “We are grateful for the support and advocacy from our state lawmakers, like Senator John Damoose, who was a key champion of this project, as well as support from members of the house including representatives Betsy Coffia and Curt VanderWall. They see the value in investing in NMC to meet the region’s workforce needs.”
NMC must provide a 50 percent match to the state investment, with a total project cost of $5 million for the hangar renovation, shown above, and $2 million for the acquisition of four new, technically advanced aircraft for flight training.
AGREEMENT AIMS TO INCREASE RANKS OF DENTAL ASSISTANTS IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN
NMC and Bay Mills, a tribally controlled Upper Peninsula community college in Brimley, Mich., signed an articulation agreement in February which will allow Bay Mills’ students to transfer to NMC’s dental assistant program after their first year.
One of the key advantages of NMC’s program is students’ ability to earn registered dental assistant (RDA) licensure. In addition to being the northernmost accredited program in the state, NMC has an outstanding pass rate history, exceeding the state of Michigan’s average in both the clinical and written portion of the exams. Since 2019, at least 96 percent of NMC graduates have passed the clinical portion.
Dr. Jessica Rickert, a now-retired Traverse City area dentist who hired NMC graduates in her practice, connected NMC and Bay Mills. Rickert is also the first female Native American dentist in the United States, and remains the only one in Michigan. She now consults with insurer Delta Dental of Michigan and leads Anishinaabe Dental Outreach, the goal of which is to improve dental health in Native communities. In the Upper Peninsula the shortage of dental professionals is especially acute.
“The scarcity of timely dental care is causing serious hardship,” Rickert says. “They have a wonderful program at NMC. Dental assisting is such a great career, and it’s really fulfilling and it’s necessary. Let’s make this happen.” NMC recently invested $52,000 in new equipment for the dental assistant program. It has six fully functioning patient rooms and some of the latest technology, including an intraoral scanner.
U.S. SEN. GARY PETERS, STATE SEN. JOHN DAMOOSE, PRESIDENT NICK NISSLEY, BOARD OF TRUSTEES VICE CHAIR RACHEL JOHNSON, U.S. SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW, STATE REP. JOHN ROTH.
FEDS EARMARK $2.7 MILLION FOR CAMPUS BOILER REPLACEMENT
A green energy infrastructure project would replace NMC’s existing centralized steam power plant and decentralized air handling units with a new distributed geothermal system. The proposed $12 million system would serve six buildings on main campus, have an expected life cycle payback period of 13.3 years, and will reduce site carbon emissions
NEW IT, ESPORTS CERTIFICATES TO BE OFFERED IN JANUARY
Certificates in computer support and cybersecurity specialization and Esports management will debut at NMC in January, offering students several additional paths to employment.
The certificates take one semester and one year to complete, respectively, which aligns with NMC’s strategic goal of offering future-focused education — more classes in shorter formats so students can get jobs faster.
‘We’re giving students the opportunity to have quicker completion,” said Vice President for Educational Services Stephen Siciliano.
Multiple IT careers are among Michigan’s hot 50 jobs with the best prospects through 2030. The Esports certificate builds upon NMC’s success with varsity Esports teams, and puts NMC at the forefront of Esports’ development into an academic discipline.
The certificate is designed to feed into the current business administration associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in Esports production which Ferris State University launched last fall.
“So many potential students or current students are gamers. This will be a different path for them, to take something they love doing and make it into a career,” said Terri Gustafson, NMC’s Esports director.
NMC entered varsity Esports competition last year with two teams, and expanded to five this year.
SURVEYING INDUSTRY TURNS TO NMC TO BOLSTER WORKFORCE
An aging workforce, lack of awareness of the career opportunities, and demand for surveying skills have created a shortage of surveyors.
Launching a Surveying Technology associate degree in 2019 was NMC’s first response. Now, a new dedicated surveying technology program recruiter funded by an industry donor will tackle that lack of awareness.
Recruiter Ryan Deering is confident that he can attract students, especially because NMC’s program is unique in that it offers instruction for land, marine, and air applications.
Land surveying classes, underwater ROV classes and drone classes are all taught at the Parsons-Stulen Building on NMC’s Aero Park campus. NMC also has a campus harbor and vessel on West Grand Traverse Bay, and access to an airfield in Yuba where students can gain real-world experience in the marine and air applications.
“Everything is combined. It’s woven together nicely,” says Deering, who also teaches welding at NMC. “It’s limitless, what you can do with a surveying degree.”
Industry leader Leica also supplies NMC with close to $1 million in surveying equipment each year for use in the program.
The NMC Fellow award for 2023 has been bestowed on Eugene A. Jenneman and Brad, D.J. and Marty Oleson, all of Traverse City.
EUGENE A. JENNEMAN
Jenneman was the first director of NMC’s Dennos Museum Center. The Olesons — siblings Brad and D.J. and cousin Marty—are the third generation of the family whose financial and volunteer support for NMC spans all eight decades of its existence.
TOP LEFT (CLOCKWISE): BRAD, D.J. AND MARTY OLESON
Appointed as Dennos director before the museum even opened in 1991, Jenneman led the museum until his retirement in 2019. His culminating achievement was a 15,000-square-foot expansion completed in 2017, which nearly doubled the museum’s exhibition space. The new galleries, one of which bears his name, showcase pieces from the permanent collection that he acquired over 30 years, as well as the Dennos’ signature Inuit art collection.
The Oleson trio carried on the NMC Barbecue tradition started in 1956 by their grandparents, Jerry and Frances Oleson, until it concluded in 2020 after raising nearly $2 million for college projects. Marty Oleson is a member of the NMC Foundation Board, appointed in 2010. Brad Oleson was the Oleson family representative on the Barbecue Board for decades, helping to engineer many improvements through the years.
D.J. sits at the helm of Oleson’s Corporation and was recently chair of the Michigan Grocers Association.
His internal leadership with the business helps make it possible for the Oleson legacy to live on as he cheers his sibling Brad and cousin Marty in their community-facing roles.