North Central Michigan College’s popular Luncheon Lecture series will resume in a virtual format on January 21, 2022.  A variety of topics will be featured, including circuit court, public health, Brave Hearts Estate, honeybees, a 1972 Air Force rescue operation, redistricting, and unmanned aerial systems.  

All hour-long programs will be held at noon on Fridays via Zoom.  Attendance is free, however pre-registration is required at 

  • January 21 – Circuit Court: 57th Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Deegan was appointed to the bench in March by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and sworn in by retired Circuit Judge Charles Johnson in April.  Prior to her appointment, Judge Deegan practiced family and criminal law and previously served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Emmet, Charlevoix, Sanilac and Wayne counties.  Deegan will explain what circuit court does and talk about COVID-19’s impact on the way the court operates and the cases that are coming before her. 

  • February 4 – Public Health: The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is charged with protecting the health of the people who live and work in Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim and Otsego counties in conformance with Michigan’s Public Health Code.  While the health department’s vital work was taken for granted and largely unnoticed by many for decades, that changed in late August 2021 when a mask mandate was issued for K-12 schools in the four counties to address the continued health threat of COVID-19.  Health Officer Lisa Peacock, RN, MSN, will explain the mandate and give an update on current steps to keep us safe through a pandemic with a growing number of variants.

  • February 18 – Brave Hearts Estate: A 238-acre ranch near Pellston was donated to Operation Injured Soldiers by a patriot and generous supporter of injured veterans on Veterans Day 2014.  Today, Brave Hearts Estate serves as a place for veterans and their families to relax and enjoy time away in a country setting at no cost.  Paula Brown is caretaker, assisted by her military veteran husband, Mike.  Paula and Mike will tell the extraordinary story of a mission close to home helping those who have served our country.   

  • March 4 – Honeybees: They have one of the sweetest sounding names of all insects.  Why do people keep honeybees?  Because by helping bees flourish at the local level, beekeepers help ensure a prosperous future for our environment.  Pollinators including honeybees are responsible for facilitating the fertilization of more than 80 percent of our food supply.  Beekeeper Anne Morningstar provides insights into the lifecycle of one of the world’s most valuable species.

  • March 11 – BAT 21: On April 2, 1972, a U.S. Air Force jet, call sign “Bat 21,” was shot down by a North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile behind enemy lines.  The lone surviving crew member, the navigator, ejected at 31,000 feet and was the subject of the largest and one of the most difficult rescue operations in Air Force history.  A 1988 movie starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover told parts of the secret rescue mission.  John van Etten of Horton Bay didn’t need to see the movie.  He was one of the rescue pilots portrayed in the film and has written his own book about the experience.  He will provide his eyewitness account of the harrowing and costly rescue.

  • March 25 – Redistricting the New Way: In November 2018, Michigan voters approved the “Voters Not Politicians” constitutional amendment, which created a commission of 13 randomly selected citizens to draw district lines for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress using the results of the decennial U.S. census.  The Secretary of State serves as the commission’s non-voting secretary and administrator of the redistricting process.  Sarah Reinhardt of the Michigan Department of State, appearing live via Zoom from Lansing, will give an update on the commission’s current work to redraw district maps and help us understand what it will mean for Michigan voters.

  • April 1 – Unmanned Aerial Systems: Launched in 2010, Northwestern Michigan College’s UAS program is the leading training center for drones in the region with an impressive fleet of unmanned aircraft rivaling many universities.  Graduates work in agriculture, the inspection industry, even package delivery.  The training program also teaches drone piloting skills to law enforcement personnel, land surveyors, utility line crews and others.  The program recently received a workforce development grant from the FAA to train 40 high school teachers in UAS fundamentals, as well as equip each with a multi-rotor unit to use with their own students.  UAS Program Manager Tony Sauerbrey will explain it all.

For more information:
Christy Lyons
Director, Corporate and Community Education