LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTNMC PRESIDENT NICK NISSLEY JOINED NEW STUDENTS IN A WELCOME PADDLE ON WEST BAY. PASSION + PURPOSE = SUCCESS2022 was a busy year at Northwestern Michigan College as we finished year one of our new strategic plan, NMC Next! It is one of the most comprehensive in the college’s history with five strategies, 60 objectives and more than 150 action steps informed by hundreds of stakeholders. While that might seem daunting, I’ve felt positive energy and excitement across the college as we join together and rise to the challenge. It’s a thrill to see teams collaborating and then celebrating when our progress trackers grow farther into the green on our public dashboard. The blend of passion and purpose creates a palpable sense of joy knowing our hard work is paying off for our students. You can see for yourself throughout this magazine! For instance, my kayaking trip with students helped advance Strategy 2, Objective 1, to increase students’ sense of belonging. The next page shows an example from each strategic goal.Strategy 1 calls for every student to have at least one experiential learning project. Students wrote, illustrated and translated “In the Sky/En el Cielo”, a bilingual children’s book. Instructors Jim Bensley and Alissia Linguar will deliver the book to children in Guatemala on a study abroad trip in May.Strategy 2 calls for increased student success coaching to improve persistence. Coach Erica Whiting retained 80 percent of her student cohort.Strategy 3 sets objectives in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. Student and Grand Traverse Band member Cherrie McSaubey demonstrated Native American dance for Indigenous People’s Day.Strategy 4 calls for community partnerships. NMC is collaborating with Team Elmer’s and Northwest Michigan Works! for a free heavy highway construction course that begins this month.Strategy 5, Institutional Distinction, called for creation of a new culinary-maritime certificate that trains students to work as chefs on ships, who are high in demand. It debuts this fall.I am excited to see where we go, and grow, together in 2023!