Student Profiles

Students gain momentum at NMC

Matt JonesMatt Jones, 34

December 2021 Maritime Technology bachelor's degree graduate

During his three and a half years at NMC, Jones weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and a divorce. That he still graduated on time, with a 3.9 grade point average, is a tribute to his own perseverance and NMC's.

“Growth in the face of challenges is how I would look at my life,” said Jones, who credits the relationships the Great Lakes Maritime Academy has in the shipping industry with allowing him to accrue his required sea time despite COVID restrictions.

“If I was at any other academy, I think I wouldn't be on track now,” said Jones, originally of Chula Vista, Calif. “That's not lost on me. I’m very grateful.

His Coast Guard license and bachelor's degree will afford him job security as well as the opportunity for significant time off, which he plans to use for travel and eventually, a master's degree.

“I’m getting ready to have a six-figure income job,” Jones said. “I’m now to that place where I can really enjoy what I’ve done. I’m glad I came here to NMC to make that happen.”

Gail EickenrothGail Eickenroth, 19

Great Lakes Culinary Institute baking certificate student
2022 anticipated graduation

After she completed high school, Eickenroth, of Leelanau County, took two years off to save money and figure out what she wanted to do next.

College wasn't on her radar, until she found out about the three-semester baking certificate offered at NMC. Growing up in a family of caterers, Eickenroth aspires to open her own bakery and flower shop, helping plan events like weddings. She's even got a name picked out: Wildeflour.

Eickenroth is also a student success ambassador, working to help fellow students engage more with NMC and each other through student events.

“I’m right where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing to get where I want to go,” she said. “Everything I’m involved with in NMC is propelling me where I want to go.”

Landon DeHeerLandon DeHeer, 20

Visual Communications student
2023 anticipated graduation

As a student, North Hall resident adviser, student success ambassador and member of the U.S. Army Reserve, DeHeer always has somewhere to be.

“I’m constantly on the move, constantly on the go,” said DeHeer.

Originally from Bellaire, the homeschooled high school student was familiar with NMC thanks to two older sisters who attended. He “could draw before he could talk,” leading him first to Fine Arts and then Visual Communications. Now, DeHeer's studies, extracurricular activities and military service are all helping him build skills for his future.

Internships in Traverse City are in his near-term plans. Halfway through a six year contract in the Reserves, DeHeer plans to re enlist, and hopes to eventually work in animation or the film industry.

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