The Northwestern College Magazine
WE WELCOME ALL
WELDING STUDENT LOGAN PUTNAM
As I write this, I’m fresh off a seven-state road trip to the Gulf Coast. My family often tracks license plates on long trips like this spring break ritual, but this year, I tracked community college signs.
We ate breakfast near Lake Michigan College in South Haven. Before lunch, we passed Ivy Tech in Indianapolis. Crossing into Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical College greeted us, one of multiple campuses in Kentucky and in Tennessee. Coastal Alabama in, of course, coastal Alabama. On the return north we passed Sinclair (where NMC President Nick Nissley formerly worked) in Dayton, Ohio.
The only four-year school sign I spotted was for the University of Michigan. Our route could explain that. Maybe I just missed those signs while reading or napping. But after working at NMC as long as I have, I also see it as reflecting the welcome factor in community colleges.
Unlike many four-year schools, we’re gate openers, not gatekeepers.
We want you as a student. From submitting your application to finding your way to campus, we want you to get here. Once you do, we’re ready to help you chart your own path.
Just read the student stories in this issue. Anastasiia Hrukach is a Ukrainian high school exchange student who found herself stranded in the U.S. due to the war in her home country.
She’s spent her unexpected year here dual enrolled at NMC. And then there’s Logan Putman, who thought high school was hard enough and never planned on college. Now he’s pursuing his welding certificate and a long-held dream of becoming a welder.
NMC welcomed both and now both are looking at brighter futures. We’ll do the same for you.
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A business idea takes flight, meaning more jobs for NMC grads.
Bryan Hammis first started “playing with drones” at NMC in 2011 while a student
in the traditional aviation program. Once he earned his private pilot’s license and
instrument rating, a love of agriculture led him to a job as a crop production manager
on a farm in Montcalm County, and he thought he might start a crop-spraying business.
He opted to continue his education at Michigan State University’s Institute
of Agriculture Technology. In 2019, an MSU partnership with NMC led Hammis
back to Traverse City for a two-week elective course and his UAS license. He then
conceived Flying Acres, a business providing aerial application services to farmers.
Business took off as soon as he and his wife Kaitlynn created their website last
fall. This summer he expects to hire up to three NMC UAS students to meet the
demand for Flying Acres’ services.
“We are going to be working closely with NMC through the years,” Hammis said.
“It’s great for us and we want it to be great for the college as well.”
Photos by Kaitlynn Marie Photography
NMC debuts a stand-alone degree in uncrewed aerial systems this fall.
NICK NISSLEY, PRESIDENT
THE VIRTUOUS CYCLE OF TRUST,
EVOLUTION AND VALUE
AS PRESIDENT OF NMC
I wear many hats and “Chief Storyteller” is one of my favorites! I love having copies of Nexus magazine with me as soon as the new issue arrives so I can share the good stories with everyone I meet. Our January 2023 issue
highlighted three of our degree programs with 100% employment: Aviation, Police Academy and Marine Technology. This is a GREAT story to tell. Community members, alumni, donors and lawmakers were all excited to hear how NMC is delivering on its
promise and providing a great return on investment. In fact, just a few months later, the state invested an additional $3.75 million to expand our aviation facilities, thanks to advocacy from Sen. John Damoose and support from Rep. Betsy Coffia and Rep.
This is all great news, and there’s more. NMC has a new WET Tech degree, a new standalone Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) degree and a new nursing partnership with Davenport University.
Last month, graduates of our associate degree in nursing program were able to start working on their BSN with Davenport right here on our NMC campus. They’ll complete the fast-track program next August, saving themselves time and money before entering another field where demand outstrips supply.
But wait, there’s more! There will always be more. NMC is the trusted partner for employers, the state and our students. We’re continuously evolving and adding new programming to meet our stakeholder needs. Those partners are also investing in our college and our students to make our outstanding value even greater, as evidenced by programs like Michigan Reconnect, Michigan Achievement and College Edge, detailed in this issue's cover story.
We've just celebrated our 2023 Commencement. As those graduates begin the next phase of their lives, incoming NMC students begin theirs this summer and fall. That cycle keeps repeating because of that trust, constant evolution and value. We're proud to offer it. As taxpayers, alumni, donors and friends, thank you for being part of our shared success.