jerry donnelly - 1966
I was very lucky to have North Central Michigan College available to me in the winter semester of 1964. I had wasted my scholarship at Central Michigan University by not carrying a 2.5 required GPA in the fall semester of 1963. It was one of those life-altering moments when your life changes directions. I immediately had to find a job and a college education at the same time. I was very lucky to find both in Petoskey. While staying at home and working delivering milk for the R&S Dairy from 4:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and then going to North Central from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday - I had to become very organized. I went to bed every weekday evening at 6:30 p.m., waking up at midnight and studying until 4 p.m. in the morning before going to work. I gained my associate degree in the summer of 1966 from North Central and transferred to Northern Michigan University. Someone was watching over me and helped me turn what could have been a negative situation into a life lesson of moving forward.
I received my Bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University during the spring semester of 1968 in secondary education. I spent the next 31 years as a teacher and administrator in the L'Anse Creuse Public Schools. Those experiences I learned in 1964 -1966 by supporting myself while attending North Central created a work ethic which has followed me to this day.
I have on several occasions since advised many of my former students to consider attending a community college. I repeat to them my personal history of my ties to North Central Michigan College. I encourage them to stay home and find out what college is like. While staying at home, working, and going to college classes you are given a chance not only to get credits towards a college degree, but find out if you really want to go to college. It is a very good testing ground for those who are wavering with this difficult choice. It is not only a safe choice, but a very good choice. I found out the hard way. I was very happy to have had North Central in my home town and my life. As Yogi Berra, famously said “When you find a fork in the road, take it.” I took mine and I have never regretted my choice.
kendall stanley - 1968
Born and raised in Harbor Springs, I am a graduate of Harbor Springs High School, class of 1966.
Like many headed to college graduates of area high schools I attended North Central from 1966-68, earning an AA degree. Back in those days the bulk of the students at the college were from local high schools and were taking a full load of courses throughout the day. There were a few night classes but mostly they were during regular “working hours.”
Many classes were held in the old Sheridan Elementary School at the corner of Howard and Sheridan streets. The cafeteria was also in that building.
The new classroom building opened for the 1967-68 school year and ultimately the Sheridan school was again used by the Public Schools of Petoskey.
After North Central I attended Central Michigan University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1970. Yes, you could get a college degree in four years back then!
My first job was managing editor of the Presque Isle County Advance in Rogers City from 1970 through the fall of 1971.
I then became managing editor of the Harbor Light in Harbor Springs for six years.
I joined the staff of the Petoskey News-Review in August of 1978 as a reporter. Over the years I was the wire editor, managing editor and for the last three years as editor.
I retired at the end of 2009, and find retirement the best job I’ve ever had.
Over the years it’s been wonderful to see the growth of the college and the expansion of its facilities. Back in the day it was small, tight-knit and felt like family. But the education was top-notch, something the students of today can say as well.
mary faculak - 1980
A Charlevoix native and resident, I am the proud third generation owner of our family farm, Lake View Ranch. I was born at the Charlevoix Area Hospital and attended and graduated from Charlevoix Public Schools.
After graduation, I attended North Central Michigan College and was enrolled in the Three Plus One Program with Lake Superior State University. While at North Central, I was very involved with the Student Senate where I served as secretary for three years. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes and experience at North Central Michigan College. I was challenged and encouraged to reach for opportunities and goals that proved to have a positive impact on my future. The commitment and support of the faculty and staff was amazing. I earned my Associate of Arts degree and continued with my studies at Lake Superior State University. I also took classes at Central Michigan University with a focus on Public Administration.
In 1989, I purchased the E.J. Shoppe in East Jordan. Two years later, I accepted the Executive Director (now President/CEO) position at the East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, I opened my second retail business, Mary’s of Boyne, in Boyne City.
As President/CEO of the East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce, I have been on an amazing life journey and in a rewarding career that allows me to be a part of and gain vast experience in economic development, community development, event production, public speaking, community promotion and marketing, meeting and retreat facilitation, leadership development and organizational management. No two days are ever the same in my world! Each day I am so fortunate and blessed to be able to work with engaged and sincere individuals. I am one of the co-founders of the C-48 The Breezeway Scenic Route Task Force, Paddle Antrim Inc., Leadership Charlevoix County Inc., and the Green Light East Jordan Business Competition.
I currently serve on the Little Traverse Conservancy Board of Directors (past chair) and am the chair of the LTC Land Protection Committee, I am the board chair of District 3 Michigan State University Extension Council, Paddle Antrim Board Secretary and am the President/Co-Administrator of Leadership Charlevoix County.
I feel so honored and appreciative to reside, work and be a part of the many exciting organizations and programs in our region! I truly credit my educational experience at North Central Michigan College as one of the building blocks in my career and accomplishments.
gail kloss - 1990
Feeling like you belong to something and that you have a ‘person’ in life is all anyone wants. In 1986, I started school at North Central Michigan College and it gave me both on the first day. I was in Mr. Verhelle’s class when he had the class go around and introduce themselves and tell an interest that we have. I was new to Petoskey, just moving here from downstate, and did not know anyone, but that introduction led me to what has become a 31-year friendship. I found my person and had a sense of belonging. I graduated with an associate degree and started working at Si’s Marina.
I started school again at North Central Michigan College to further my degree enrolling in a ‘three and one program’ with Lake Superior State University. I was able to take every class at the Petoskey campus while I continued working and raising a family. I earned a Bachelor’s degree.
At North Central Michigan College you feel important and the staff really cares about you and your success; teachers know each student and support them as they work towards a goal. Everything I have done in my career has brought me to where I am today. I am grateful for North Central as they are a community college that keeps the pulse of the community and continually updates programs in response to the needs.
LORRAINE MANARY - 1997
Lorraine Manary is the Director of Char-Em United Way. A resident of Boyne City since 1990, Lorraine raised three children here; her youngest has Down Syndrome and remains in town, the other two have moved out of state. Lorraine is also a grandmother of two with another expected in Feb. 2018.
When not busy with her children, Lorraine worked as an independent contractor serving in the role of Collaborative Coordinator with the Char-Em Human Services Coordinating Body organizations for ten years. Among other things, she was involved in bringing the first Project Connect to our area, wrote a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Charlevoix and Emmet counties, and organized the first suicide prevention workgroup, which continues today. Lorraine owns NorthStar Consulting and has contracted with various for profit and not for profit organizations, working with them on board development, executive coaching and strategic planning. Lorraine served as the Executive Director of the Otsego County United Way for 2.5 years before joining Char-Em United Way in that role in 2013.
“I started at North Central when my children were in school and attended part time. My goal was to have a college degree before my children did, and I was able to do so. Three of us were in college at the same time for a while prior to my earning the Master’s Degree. During this time I was working part time, advocating and caring for my daughter Amanda (who has Down Syndrome), and caring for my older two children as they completed high school and started attending college.” Lorraine graduated with honors from North Central is 1997. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spring Arbor University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, also from Spring Arbor.
TRAVIS MULHAUSER - 1998
In some ways, I grew up at North Central. My mom, JoAnna Kolodziej, has taught at the College since the late 70s. She started part-time, teaching nights, and I remember her taking me to class with her when I was little. I used to sit in the back with a coloring book or football cards to keep me occupied and I have fond memories of the warmth and generosity of her students and classrooms. Years later, as a student, I remember stopping by her office to see if she had any snacks in her desk - she usually did - and I remember her brightly painted walls filled with children’s artwork.
One of the most impactful teachers in my life was James McCullough. I took every class he taught and I’ve written a lot about his influence on me as a writer and a person. And there were many other teachers that helped ease me along and eventually graduate in 1998. Now I’m a writer and am proud to note that my first novel, Sweetgirl, (Ecco/Harper Collins) was long-listed for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, was a Michigan Notable Book Award winner in 2017, an Indie Next Pick, and named one of Ploughshares Best Books of the New Year. I am also the author of Greetings from Cutler County: A Novella and Stories.
I believe in the community college system because I’ve seen its impact in my own life and on others, and I am very grateful for my time at North Central. That’s why, whenever anybody asks me where I went to school I always answer the same: I am first and foremost a proud graduate of North Central Michigan College.
Travis lives currently in Durham, North Carolina with my wife and two children.
JENNY MAGINNIS - 2003
Having grown up in Petoskey, I was lucky enough to find my way back to this beautiful area five years ago to work at a place that changed my academic and personal life. In 2003, I graduated from North Central with a new passion for education and a goal that one day I would return to the place that inspired me to be more.
There were many stops along the way, Michigan State University where I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and the University of Kentucky where I earned a doctorate in communication and new media. After completing my doctoral degree I took a job at Delta College near Saginaw, Michigan but I always longed to be back up north.
When the Communication faculty position opened at North Central I crossed my fingers that with my educational preparation and a little luck I would get the job. Everything aligned and here I am five years later back in the place that made me –well me.
My family is close by and I have an amazing husband that helps complete my life. Every day I feel so fortunate to be a part of a community that inspires people. My career is more than a job it is a part of my life –a part of my family. Each student is a member that although may only stay for a short time is one that I hope to inspire to be a better person and continue on his/her educational journey.
Dr. Jenny Maginnis is a Petoskey native who found her way back to northern Michigan after an educational journey that took her to Michigan State University for two degrees (bachelor’s and master’s) and the University of Kentucky for a Ph.D. in Communication and Social Media. Jenny is the Communication instructor, teaching courses in public speaking (beginning and advanced), interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication and social media.
Her belief in the empowering nature of communication guides her skill-based course design. Jenny believes in engaging students and giving them the communication skills to better manage their personal and professional relationships. About her students Jenny states, “They inspire me every day to go beyond just research based knowledge and seek out practical skills to help them deal with their daily communication.” The field of communication has changed significantly in recent years with the increase in social media. Jenny’s priority is in incorporating new media and its impact into day-to-day communication.
MARLEAH DEAN - 2007
Marleah fell in love with learning at North Central Michigan College as a 16-year-old, dually-enrolled student. After graduating from North Central in 2007, Marleah pursued her Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Michigan State University. There, she had the opportunity to conduct research with top researchers who opened up health communication to her, including research into breast cancer. Marleah's journey then led her to the University of New Mexico where she pursued her M.A., and to Texas A&M University for her doctorate. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Health Communication at the University of South Florida.
Marleah's love of learning has opened up remarkable doors. She has been given the opportunity to present her research at national and international conferences. She has been able to publish articles in top communication and medical journals and to teach classes in public speaking, nonverbal communication, group communication, interpersonal communication and health communication.
KELLY SUTER, RN, MSN, MS BIOETHICS - 2008
Though I was born in Kalamazoo, Northern Michigan has played an important role in my family’s history for many generations and I consider Petoskey my home.
In 1986, my aunt became the first member of the family to graduate from North Central Michigan College’s nursing program. It has since become a family tradition with 13 other family members having graduated from the nursing program to date.
After graduating in 2008, I went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing education and a master’s degree in healthcare bioethics. I have been an ER nurse for 10 years and have spent 8 of those years engaged in international disaster relief work including Cholera in Haiti, Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau, earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, war in South Sudan, post war rebuilding efforts in East Timor, flooding in Louisiana and Hurricanes in Texas and Florida.
North Central Michigan College provided the knowledge base and practical skills I needed to continue my education and provide life saving treatment and education to individuals in need around the world.
BEN SLOCUM - 2009
I graduated from Petoskey in 2002 and started off and on at North Central while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I decided that a community college was my best choice while I was deciding what I wanted to focus on for a major. In 2004 I had an accident that took me out of classes for several years and caused me to again question what I wanted to do for a living.
I found myself back at North Central in 2006 easing back into school and decided to fully dive back in in 2007 with a new focus. I pushed through the next two years graduating in the spring of 2009 with an AA before heading to Northern Michigan University to finish out a BS in English in 2012.
Later that same year I opened Beards Brewery with Peter Manthei, who I had met in a class at North Central several years before. Since then Beards has grown to a second production brewery in Charlevoix followed by a new location in downtown Petoskey in 2017.
Along the way I've found myself back at North Central in a variety of capacities. I taught an introduction to brewing class through the C.E.C. program for two years and finished an EMT-B license in 2016 through the college.
KATELYN CRITTENDEN AND MARY BETH CRITTENDEN
A Family Tradition
Katelyn and Mary Beth Crittenden are graduates of Petoskey High School. Both sisters received the Martha Curtis Memorial Scholarship for nursing at North Central Michigan College and graduated in spring, 2015.
Mary Beth plans to go to work as a registered nurse, but will continue her studies to obtain a BSN. "Right now, I'd like to work in a neonatal intensive care unit of a pediatrics unit." Katelyn plans to work on her BSN and get a job in pediatrics or obstetrics.
When asked what inspired them to pursue a career in nursing, both agreed it was their family. "There are 14 members of our family (aunts, cousins, siblings and mother) who have graduated from the nursing program at North Central," Mary Beth said.