About


From Northern Michigan to Costa Rica


Posted on Jul 1, 2015

Randy Webster

Randy Webster

Randy Webster

Randy is a student in the Freshwater Studies program at Northwestern Michigan College. He has been the recipient of several scholarships: Adopt-A-Student, the Global Opportunity Fund, the Science/Math Honors Merit Scholarship, and the Jensen-Lena C Scholarship.

Randy visits a waterfall near the Arenal volcano.

Randy visits a waterfall near the Arenal volcano.

Randy has many reasons to celebrate summer. One of them is his successful completion of the Freshwater Studies Internship with an international, interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from Northwestern Michigan College in the United States, and EARTH University in Costa Rica. An accomplished chef with 40 years of experience, Randy is broadening his professional outlook, exploring a new career in water. We are very pleased to feature his internship story.

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Want a way to stand out from the crowd when it’s time to look for a job?

Consider a study abroad trip. Students who study abroad find a job twice as fast as those who don’t and earn $7,000 more, according to 2012 studies.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

Moreover, in a global economy employers increasingly value study abroad experiences, but relatively few students take them, according to the Chicago Tribune. NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer is one who did and saw it pay off in her job hunt.

As an aviation student at NMC, she visited the United Kingdom in 2011 and South Africa in 2014. Steve Ursell, Head of International Aviation at NMC, said those trips gave Smeltzer an edge when the department was looking to employ flight instructors in August 2014.

“Her experience in both the UK and South Africa certainly assisted her in gaining a flight instructor position at NMC because we have a very active international program,” Ursell said.

“Because I went on the trip as a student, now I understand the whole point of what the international program is about,” Smelzer said.

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Growing female scientists


Posted on Dec 11, 2014

How do you get girls interested in STEM fields?

Consider showing them some stems.

Real, live, green ones, that is, with leaves growing. Put the girls — young women, really — in charge, from planting the microgreens to tending them to monitoring them.  Charge them with running experiments and collecting data, like whether the greens grow better under fluorescent lights or LED lights, and whether plain water or fish tank water is more nourishing. Let them harvest, and judge which kind tastes best.

From left, Taylor West, Constanza Hazelwood and Karla Vega with greens grown in their vertical agriculture project.

From left, Taylor West, Constanza Hazelwood and Karla Vega with greens grown in the vertical agriculture structure shown behind them.

That’s what intern Karla Vega and student Taylor West did this semester in a lab on NMC’s Great Lakes campus. The pair forged a research partnership that not only bridged language and cultural barriers but helps lay the groundwork for sustainable, indoor agriculture that could eventually improve the diets of millions.

“To get girls engaged in science we need to let them make decisions, give them room to make mistakes and try things out on their own,” said NMC Water Studies Institute Education and Outreach Coordinator Constanza Hazelwood, who supervised Vega and  West’s research this semester.

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The game changers under our noses

The game changers under our noses


Posted on Jun 27, 2014

Northwestern Michigan College alum John Militello, was selected as one of the speakers at this year’s TEDx Traverse City event.  Militello is the head of creative for Google’s agency like ZOO Team.  He leads a 14 person creative team of creative directors, creative technologists, designers, copy writers and video producers.  He is also an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

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Northwestern Michigan College shares a connection with the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, through the recently established Kevin and Linda O’Meara Fund for Arts Education that will support programs here at NMC’s Dennos Museum Center.

The opening of the Festival of the Arts is inspired by the late Linda O’Meara, a beloved dancer and teacher, on Friday.

For much more on special opening to Grand Rapids’ Festival of the Arts read this from M-Live.

Spoiler alert: Here’s how Festival of the Arts 2014 will open Friday

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