NMC has recognized graduates and past students for significant professional achievements and/or exemplary leadership in the local or global community since 1988. Recipients’ accomplishments reflect NMC values. Recognition is not contingent on having received a degree, but on recipient’s achievements and positive reflection of the role that NMC played in their lives.
1 RICHARD GRAY, GLMA 2013 (awarded posthumously): Following his graduation, Gray was often present at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy as a mentor and adjunct faculty member. His life was cut tragically short in a shipboard accident in early 2022. Gray was devoted to his growing family of three young children with a fourth expected this fall. The many nominations Gray received represent the positive influence he had at the Academy. One nominator wrote, “As a recent graduate in the industry, he continued to give back his time to GLMA. He always had a positive attitude and was willing to teach anyone anything if they asked…. Richard was the best of the best.”
2 DR. ANDREA (ANNIE) KRITCHER, 2001–2003: A Traverse City native, Kritcher studied engineering at NMC, and then went on to complete her B.S. in nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley. She first joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern and became a staff member in 2012. In 2018 she received Early and Mid-Career Recognition. Now, she is a physicist at the lab and the design lead within the Inertial Confinement Fusion program. She has served as lead researcher on several projects and has published over 35 reviewed scientific papers in journals such as Nature and Science.
3 BOB SUTHERLAND,1982–1983: Sutherland is the visionary owner of Cherry Republic, which he started in 1989 by selling T-shirts sporting the motto “Life, Liberty, Beaches and Pie” out of the trunk of his car. Now, Cherry Republic has dozens of products, flagship destinations in Glen Arbor and Traverse City, satellite stores, and a nationwide website and catalog business. Sutherland is committed to clean energy, farmland preservation, outdoor recreation, and youth development and designates a portion of sales to charity every year. One nominator wrote of Cherry Republic, “one of the best examples I know of a company with multiple bottom lines that gives back to the community on many levels. It’s a model for many to follow, but few can match.”
GARY DAUW, GLMA 2013, has retired from Interlake Maritime Services. He resides in Coopersville, Michigan, and has returned to his small machine shop.
4 SIMA PATEL, Adjunct Faculty 2007-2008, has been appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to a judgeship on the Michigan Court of Appeals in District 2. Previously, she worked as a senior appellate attorney at Fieger Law, and was a clerk for the Michigan Supreme Court.
5 DR. MIKE TAYLOR,AA 1986, is an associate professor in education at University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. He regularly leads groups of students on service trips to St. Bernard Mission School in Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
6 MARK WILSON,ASA 2007, was elected as a Traverse City commissioner in November 2021 and named one of Northern Express’ 20 Fascinating People in March 2022.
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Outstanding Alumni nominations are welcomed at any time. To learn more, visitnmc.edu/alumni
Nexus - The Northwestern Michigan College Magazine