Instructor Bios

Scott Anderson is a charter boat captain with Far-Fetched Fishing Charters out of Leland, MI.

David Abeel, M.S., has been building wood furniture since the mid-1980s and began teaching in 2000. His goal is to make furniture making accessible to crafters, woodworkers, and chair lovers of all ages and skill levels.

Joedy Annis has formal training in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. She danced professionally for three years, and has been teaching Hip Hop since 2002.

Tania Arens has been studying Tae Kwon Do at NMC since 2007 and obtained the rand of 1st Degree Black Belt in 2015. She has taught under the guidance of NMC Tae Kwon Do instructors Robert Odette and Doug Mehl.

Yvette Babin-Ringsmuth, B.A.-linguistics/international business, worked for an international company, commuting regularly to Latin America and worked as a language training consultant for business executives.

Bill Bailey taught math and science to high school students for 30 years. He has been a member of the Grand Traverse Sail and Power Squadron for 10 years. He is a past Commander of the Grand Traverse Bay Sail and Power Squadron and completed the Junior Navigation course which deals with finding your way at sea with a sextant.

Lindy Barnes, B.A., M.Ed., is a retired elementary teacher. She has been knitting since she was 10 years old and has taught knitting to young and old alike.

Karin Beery owns Write Now Editing and Copywriting Services, and has had hundreds of articles published in periodicals, in addition to writing content for websites, brochures, visitor’s guides, and more. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the American Christian Writers Association, and Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. A novelist on the side, she is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson and WordWise Media. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website,

Margaret Bennett, CYT, RYT, B.A.-psychology, is a certified yoga instructor and therapist. She has taught yoga at NMC since 1997, is a Reiki Master, and has formal training in meditation traditions. She is director of Crooked Tree Yoga and Therapy in Acme.

Jim Bensley, M.L.S., is NMCs Director of International Services and Service Learning. He currently teaches Humanities and has planned and led student trips to multiple destinations in the US and the countries of Peru, Costa Rica, and Cuba. He has lived overseas and he attended school in the UK.

Joan Berg, M.A.-business education, is an award-winning instructor with extensive business administration and computer applications teaching experience. Throughout her career, she has developed and taught a wide range of courses and seminars including all Microsoft Office Suite applications.

Jim Bertoldi, B.B.A.-accounting, has 20+ years of experience working in the area of public accounting and consulting.

Jennifer Blakeslee is the chef/owner of The Cooks’ House on Front Street, specializing in local sustainable cuisine. She was formerly the sous chef at Andre’s French Restaurant in Las Vegas.

Pat Brumbaugh, A.B.D. in horn performance, M.M., was the Director of Bands at West Senior High for the past 13 years. Prior to her work in Traverse City, she taught at the University of Memphis and Arkansas University.

Bo Burke, ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Tree Worker and Climber Specialist, has more than 15 successful years in the preservation, restoration and care of trees. He has taught tree climbing for many years.

Morgan Burke-Beyers, B.A., is the Station Manager/Program Coordinator for UpNorth TV channel 189 Northern Michigan’s public access station. He worked previously as a news producer for 7&4 and 29&8 UpNorthLive in Traverse City and NBC25 in Flint. He has also been the videography manager for the Traverse City Film Festival since 2012.

Mary Buschell is a dairy goat farmer who, partnered with her husband Dick Flowers, raises and milks a small herd of Alpine goats. She has been making cheese for more than five years and has attended cheese seminars in the U.S. and Northern Italy.

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli is a journalist, teacher, writer, speaker, and conference coordinator. Dead Dogs and Englishmen was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best novels of 2011 and featured in the Christian Science Monitor. She is at work now on her thirteenth book, a psychological thriller with international ties. She looks forward to leading other writers down into the happy quagmire of murder and mayhem.

Chrissy Campbell is an ISSA Personal Trainer, and former Division 1 women’s soccer collegiate athlete. She currently trains at Anytime Fitness of Traverse City and LUXBODY. Chrissy loves “sharing the health” and inspiring others to a healthier, happier, and balanced lifestyle.

Dan Carlson has had a lifelong passion with photography. He started Carlson Photography in 2008 where he specializes in family and senior portrait sessions and wedding photography. He has shared his passion and talents with others in small group classes.

Jeffrey Cobb, M.M.-choral conducting, is the Director of Music Programs at NMC. He has more than 20 years of experience in music education as a teacher, choral director, composer, and church Director of Music. Choirs under his direction have received state and national awards and invitations; several of his compositions have received awards.

Debra Coburn, M.H. Master of Humanities, B.F.A., B.S.-art education, and K-12 certified, recently retired from teaching fine arts at the high school and middle school level. Debra now teaches art workshops for adults and children around the community. Her medium of interest as an artist is fused glass.

Chris Courtright is a 1995 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, he was one of four students annually hired by the school to participate in their Fish and Seafood Fellowship program. Chris has worked in many restaurants, most notably working under Top Chef judge, Eric Ripert, at his NYC restaurant, LeBernardin.

Patty Cron-Huhta is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program and is the Dining Room Management instructor at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute.

Fred Curow, B.A., M.A., M.Ed.-social studies curriculum specialist., has 35 years secondary social studies teaching experience in Michigan and Hawaii. He was 12 years a moderator for adult discussion classes on population, globalization, and Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions in Washington State.

Cedric Currin, M.S.-electrical engineering, is President of Currin Corporation specializing in design, supply, and training related to a wide variety of solar power systems. Currin Corp has installed PV systems in the Great Lakes Region, Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

James Dake is the Education Director for Grass River Natural Area, studied science education at Central Michigan University and Western Michigan University. He is a certified teacher in the state of Michigan and is working towards a Master of Arts in Science Education. He is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. 

Carol Danly is a graduate of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. She has worked in kitchens at Hagerty Center, Goodwill Inn, and Oryana. Carol served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network, working on building the agricultural economy in our 10-county region. She and her husband practice urban agriculture raising vegetables in their organic garden and gathering eggs from their four chickens. 

Joan D’Argo is an energy intuitive, teacher, and soul coach. With a gentle and compassionate approach, she helps people clear clutter and move stagnant energy, whether it’s physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. She recently completed her Level III Qigong certification with internationally acclaimed Lee Holden. Find more information at

Michael Davis, B.S.-music, has performed as a professional jazz musician on saxophone and flute for over 40 years and is founder and leader of the Mike Davis Trio. Mike started the NMC Jazz Ensemble and is the saxophone instructor at NMC.

Sherry Davis is a local food columnist, “Pragmatically Plant-Based,” with Record-Eagle and a certified Food for Life cooking instructor with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( PCRM’s Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking programs are designed by physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians and offer classes in cancer, diabetes, and weight management that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating.  She is also certified through eCornell in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition program. Sherry’s practical approach to changing your diet is fun and high energy (

Royce Deans graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He has spent much of his artistic career working in graphic design and illustration, and as a magazine publisher. He has been teaching classes and workshops with a concentration on painting and figure drawing since 2006.

Heather Deegan, B.A.-German language and literature, has more than five years experience tutoring German, ESL and basic reading skills to adults. She spent a year in Germany as an exchange student and occasionally does German to English translating.

Shawn Denton, M.S., B.S., teaches in the Business and Physical Education Areas at NMC.

Nancy Deye, M.A.-education, B.S., is a certified TCA (Tai Chi for Arthritis) instructor. She has been a student and teacher of Sun and Yang style Tai Chi since 2003 and is the author of “The Essential Principals of Taiji Quan.”

Chris Doyal, a commercial photographer for more than 20 years, owned a studio in South Bend, IN. His specialty areas include product and underwater photography. Chris is currently the ecommerce manager for Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, Inc.

Robert Dreer is an FAA pilot and a UAS instructor at NMC. 

Jennifer Dykstra is an adjunct instructor for NMC Physical Education and has taught academic and noncredit classes in fitness for many years.

Dorothy Eisenstein is an adjunct instructor of dance at NMC.

Cathy Fairbanks, M.S.-career and technical education, is a Microsoft Office Specialist and has taught business and information systems at West Shore Community College. Currently, she is a Procurement Counselor for Networks Northwest in Traverse City.

Kate Fairman, M.S.-environmental policy, is an adjunct instructor for Grand Valley State University. She is also a freelance writer, artist, adventurer, and kayak instructor. She has taught for NMC-EES since 1989.

Tina Norris Fields, M.A.-leadership, B.S.-Bus/CIS, owns Tall Pines Computer Training and specializes in facilitating computer mastery for both adults and children. Her background includes database systems development, adult education, and genealogical research.

Larry Flynn, B.S. Business Admin., Enrolled Agent (EA), Accredited Business Accountant (ABA), Series 7 Securities Licensed, Investment Advisory Representative (IAR). Larry served 3 times as president of the Independent Accounting Association of MI.

Heather Fraizer, Ph.D., joined the NMC Training and Research staff in 2008. She is a Lean Champion providing training to both manufacturing and service organizations.

Leslie Friend is a certified reflexologist and has used aroma therapy in her practice for more than 20 years. She has received specialized training in aroma therapy and in lymphatic therapy using the Carter technique. She owns On-the-Spot Reflexology.

Mary Bevans Gillett, M.B.A., M.A., B.F.A., has worked in marketing communications, professional services and nonprofit management for more than 30 years, with experience as a grant writer, reviewer and manager as well as branding, strategic planning, community building, project management and marketing.

Gloria A. Halligan, M.A.-education; B.S.-health management, is owner of Traverse City Walks, LLC. She has led walks for the past 3 years on TC trails as well as guiding mountain hikes in AZ. She provides training and conference presentations. She was the Interagency Coordinating Council facilitator for Char-Em and COP counties. Gloria became a walker at the age of 35.

Stephanie Hawkins has a 1st-degree black belt through the U.S. Judo Federation. She has competed nationally, and is State Judo Champion numerous times in her division.

Donald B. Herrmann, C.P.A., B.A.-accounting, owns Herrmann and Associates, P.C., a certified public accounting firm specializing in accounting and tax preparation for individuals and small businesses. He has worked as a Certified Public Accountant since 1985.

Allen Horstman, Ph.D., J.D., began his career as an attorney and is Professor Emeritus at Albion College where he taught history, law, and social science for 27 years. Allen has published several books: his most recent is “Christianity – A Guide for the Thoughtful.”

Nan Horstman, M.S., Ed. Spec., a retired teacher and elementary school principal, has taken and taught many cooking classes.

David Husser, B.M., M.M.-music education, maintains a private piano studio. He is a member of the music faculty at Northwestern Michigan College. During the summer, he teaches at Interlochen Arts Camp. He composes music for piano and for various vocal ensembles.

Ashley Huyge, Voice Coach/Instructor/Producer, is a voice actor and stand-up comedian. After graduating from the State University of New York at New Paltz, she moved to Los Angeles where she continues to work in VoiceOver and began performing stand-up comedy, performing in both the Eagle Rock Comedy Festival and the Burbank Comedy Festival.

Debra O. Jackson, B.S.-business management, is a business professional with experiences in sales, marketing, training, and business management in small and large companies. She has also worked with acquisitions and reorganizations.

LeeAnn Jacobs, B.A., grew up with horses and for the past 7 years has worked with children and horses teaching novice through advanced levels of riding.

Stacy Jago, a fitness enthusiast from an early age, played both high school and college sports. She worked as a personal trainer for 12 years Santa Monica, CA. In 2006 she was named trainer of the year for her cutting edge workouts and dedication to her clients. She currently teaches at Yen Yoga and Fitness. Her style of TRX training is challenging, but the focus is “form” first - you have to “earn” your burn!

Rufus James, B.A-design, M.F.A., is a painter whose work has been shown in New York, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Paris, Michigan, and several galleries and museums in California.

Cheryl Janz graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and previously taught culinary classes at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. She has recently moved back to Michigan, where she enjoys cooking with the many local products.

Scott Johnson, an admitted geek, has been building, tweaking, and tuning computers for more than 20 years. He has extensive experience in tutoring users for home and business. He owns the Stained Glass Cabinet Company.

Steve Kellman, B.A., is the Coordinator of Web Content at NMC and an adjunct instructor. He has taught web design and Adobe InDesign since 2010.

Kerry Kelly has been on the board of directors for the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes since 2006. He retired from Dow Chemical in 2004 and is involved in a wide variety of volunteer projects at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Brandon Kietzman, A.A.S., graduated from Bikram Yoga College Teacher Training in 2002, then recertified in 2006, 2009, and 2013. He has attended many Bikram Yoga Seminars, studied with senior Bikram yoga teachers, taught nearly 10,000 yoga classes, and has been teaching for NMC since 2009. He is director of Bikram Yoga T.C.

Diane Kimmel, M.A., is a recently retired certified teacher specializing in educational technology. Throughout her career she has taught English, Business, and Computer courses. Diane has been teaching computer courses for NMC-EES since 2004.

Brian Kissel, graduate of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, is the chef at Manistee National Golf & Resort.

Donald Kuehlhorn is a retired computer professional and certified producer with UPNorth TV public access where he creates programming for public viewing. He has also been supporting the Old Town Playhouse with videos and archival web sites since 2010.

Pete LaCourse, B.A.-physical education, is the Physical Education Program Coordinator at NMC. He has worked in physical education and recreational program administration since 1979.

Nikki Lennox, B.S.-criminal justice, is of Greek decent and enjoys teaching classes from her heritage. She has taught community education for more than 15 years and owned a gourmet food company for five years specializing in gourmet desserts.

Stephen Lewis, Ph.D., has authored eight print novels. His most recent, Murder on Old Mission, was just published. His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous journals. Templates, his sixth college textbook, was published in 2014. He retired as Professor of English Emeritus from Suffolk Community College and currently teaches composition online for Ferris State University.

Misaeng Suh Liggett, a native of Japan, attended Tsuji Cooking School in Tokyo and worked as a chef. She has taught Japanese cooking workshops and Japanese language at NMC since 2005.

Ali Lopez has been cooking, feeding and teaching others about “real food” since 1992. She was Chef de Cuisine at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY, one of the largest vegetarian kitchens in North America. Ali is also a Certified Health Coach, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Michele Lurvey, B.S., has worked in training and management for 20 years in the banking and dental industries. She currently manages 25 employees and the company she leads has 100% of the employees designate it as a Great Place to Work.

Liana May, M.S.-conservation, ecology, and the environment, has taught labs for two graduate level courses at U of M, Forest Ecology and Remote Sensing and an undergraduate course in plant taxonomy. Her work experience includes consulting for the Leelanau Conservancy and field ecology for Nature Serve and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

Laura McCain is a graduate of NMC’s Culinary program, a Registered Dietitian, and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has worked as a Clinical Dietician at Munson Medical Center since 1995 and does community cooking and nutrition education.

Marilyn McCormick, M.A.-humanities, B.A.-art and literature, taught literature and humanities for 20 years at St. Francis High School in Traverse City. 

Breanna McGurn is an Herbalife Wellness coach working out of Nourish in TC. She loves incorporating exercise and nutrition to complete the concept of total wellness.

Adam McMarlin enjoys his current role as Sous Chef of The Cook’s House. He has been engaged in his culinary career since he was able to work. He worked at several restaurants in the Detroit area throughout high school and college. He most recently worked for French native Chef Olivier Bioteau at the Farmhouse Cafe in San Diego before relocating to Traverse City in 2010.

Nancy McRay, M.F.A., has been teaching and producing a wide variety of fiber arts since the mid-1980s. She is a former yarn shop owner and Fine Arts Coordinator for East Lansing Recreation and Arts.

Doug Mehl has studied Tae Kwon Do for 25 years and holds the rank of 3rd-degree Black Belt.

Robert Meisner, J.D., B.A., is a nationally known condominium specialist. He has been a practicing attorney since 1968, is general legal counsel for United Condominium Owners of Michigan, and is co-draftsperson of the Michigan Condominium Act. Mr. Meisner has been teaching condominium law courses since 1981, is an adjunct professor of law, and authors a syndicated column.

Jessica Merwin, B.S.-sustainable management, is a LEED Green Associate, and has a blog about sustainable practices where she shares her experiences in preparation for eventual off-the-grid living with her husband.

Phillip Mikesell, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, taught comparative politics at Wabash College for more than 40 years. He lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. He retired from active teaching in 2009 and is currently working on the topic of democracy and economic development.

Duncan Moran, MFA-creative writing, B.A.-literature and history, has been a writer-in-residence in Leelanau County Public Schools, taught as an adjunct professor of English at NMC, and taught middle school at the Pathfinder School. With published poems, essays, and short stories, he has also been a recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. 

Jim Moses has over 30 years of mushroom cultivation and hunting experience. Jim has recently earned the new MDARD certification to sell wild mushrooms.

Rachel North, B.A.-journalism, is Marketing Director for Traverse Magazine. Since 1990, she has helped businesses succeed with marketing including advertising, public relations, media buying, and merchandising. Her experience ranges from $1M budgets for Ford, GM, and Ralston Purina to leveraging free and low cost tactics for smaller clients.

Sharon Olson was previously an associate professor at STOUT University, Menonomie, Wisconsin, where she taught a variety of courses related to Life Span topics (aging, death and dying, and others). She also has developed and taught credit-approved courses in nursing (Approved by the Wisconsin Nurses association Continuing Ed. Approval Program). Today, Sharon continues to teach classes and write nursing articles here in Traverse City.

Madame Der-Boghossian Parker is a French-born citizen who lived in Provence. She teaches private French lessons, tutors French, and holds French cooking classes.

David Parrish, B.M.E., M.M.E.-music education, M.F.A.-humanities, is a retired music and humanities teacher. He taught choral music and served as Music Coordinator for TCAPS.

Mary Parrish, B.M.E.-music education, has been teaching elementary general and vocal music with TCAPS since 1965. She has taught private piano and been a conductor/accompanist for the Traverse City Elementary Honors Choir.

Eric Patterson is the chef/owner of The Cooks’ House on Front Street specializing in local sustainable cuisine. He was the chef at Andre’s French Restaurant in Las Vegas prior to moving to Traverse City.

John Petrovich, B.B.A., started NewEra Social Marketing in 2010 with his wife, Emily. They work closely with organizations to help them take advantage of some of the most efficient and effective marketing tools available. Testimonials for their work can be found at

Debi Piette is a Small Business Consultant at Networks Northwest’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She has 23 years of experience in the logistics industry where she held various positions ranging from Account Management to the Vice-President of Operations until starting up her own delivery business in 2006. She continued to grow that company to see $4.2 million in annual revenue before selling it in July 2015. She also has a background in operations, customer service, leadership development, and communications.

Sandy Proctor, B.S.-Spanish, has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, and studied and taught ESL in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 2007 to 2012. She has been teaching Spanish since 2008.

Dennis J. Prout, CFP®, has taught financial planning courses since 1985. He is a Certified Financial Planner and a Master Elite Advisor through Ed Slott & Company, LLC. He founded Prout Financial Design more than 20 years ago. For more than 10 years, he has hosted a Retirement Planning Radio Show weekly on WTCM’s News Talk 580 AM.

Maggie Quinn, M.A.-clothing and textiles, B.A.-home economics, is a certified personal trainer and a certified Jacki Sorensen aerobics instructor. She also has extensive experience in quilt making and design.

Chris Remy is a level 2 International Mountain Bike Association certified Mountain Bike instructor with over 10 years of cycling, maintenance and teaching experience.

Libby Robold, M.A., E-RYT, PRYT, AHC, has been teaching yoga for NMC since 1984 and yoga therapy for many years. She and her husband co-direct Yoga for Health Education in TC.

Michael Robold, M.A., CYT, has been teaching yoga since 2002, after assisting in classes for 15 years. He teaches for NMC and co-directs Yoga for Health Education, Center for Conscious Living, in TC.

Peggy Rod, B.S., is a retired TCAPS elementary teacher. She has enjoyed the game of Mah Jongg since 2001.

Laura Rozeboom, B.A., has a TESOL certificate from the School for International Training and a CELTA certification from Cambridge University (UK). She has taught English as a Second Language in Greece, Tanzania, and England, and locally since 2006.

Holly Rudolph, B.A., is President of Frost Hill Financial Services, LLC. She is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. She has worked in finance since 1992.

Lyn Salathiel, M.A., is a teacher and traveler who taught English and Humanities at TC Central High School for 36 years. Art appreciation and critical thinking were components of the curriculum. His travels have included Eastern and Western Europe, Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East.

Diane Samarasinghe, MSW, RYT-500, is a retired social worker who has been teaching yoga at NMC and other sites since 2005. Through her gentle and integrated approach, Diane provides opportunities for students of all ages and levels to access the healing powers of yoga.

Margaret Schaal, B.B.A., has been involved at Old Town Playhouse for more than 20 years as a director, producer, painter, designer, and teacher. She has served on the Artistic Board, been Volunteer of the Year, and is an Unsung Hero Award recipient.

Caroline Schaefer-Hills is a lead faculty for NMC in the Visual Communications program. She has been with NMC since 2000.

Stephanie Schall-Brazee, M.M.E., B.M.E., teaches elementary music for TCAPS. She has worked with elementary, high school, and college choirs.

Paul H. Schultz, Bachelor of Law, Wayne State, a 45-year member of the State Bar of Michigan, is in private practice and a Prosecuting Attorney. He has a certificate of Specialized Training in Estate Planning through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Teresa Scollon, M.F.A., M.B.A, is a poet, essayist, editor, and freelance writer. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow and past writer-in-residence at Interlochen Arts Academy, she teaches at NMC. She also serves on the board of Michigan Writers, Inc. Her teaching experience includes corporate and nonprofit training, high school, and college. Her poetry collection To Embroider the Ground with Prayer (Wayne State University Press) is available in bookstores.

Greg Seaman has been a guitarist, singer, music instructor and songwriter for 30 years. He teaches private lessons on ukulele, guitar, bass guitar, 5-string banjo, and voice.

Laurie Sears, is Director of Jazz Bands and an Adjunct Instructor of Woodwinds. Laurie is also on the faculty of the Interlochen College of Creative Arts Adult Band Camp. Band directing experience includes TC West Junior High and TC Christian School. While in the Chicago area, Laurie directed the Jazz Ensemble and was an Adjunct Instructor of Woodwinds and Jazz at Columbia College, Concordia University Chicago and Triton College.

Jack Segal, M.A.-international relations, was a senior US diplomat who served in Israel/Palestine during the Gulf War and the first Intifada. He is presently Co-chair of the International Affairs Forum of Traverse City. Previously he worked in the White House as a director on the National Security Council, where he dealt with Russian and Ukraine, and with Iranian and North Korean weapons of mass destruction and nuclear non-proliferation. He was a negotiator on the START agreement, and with his wife, Karen Puschel Segal, opened the first western Consulate General in central Russia.

Scott Silliman, B.S., A.A.S., is a 1st degree black belt in Yoshokai Aikido. He has been teaching at NMC since 2004.

Kylie Simpson spent 22 years in international cruising on luxury sailboats and yachts as everything from mate to executive chef. She has also been the personal chef for family of the President of Turkey. She owned and operated a restaurant on Hatteras Island, a food truck, a catering company for destination weddings, and a bakery. She currently is the Food Buyer for Cherry Capital Foods supporting Farm to Table, local product and sustainable farming.

Julia Slack has been teaching cake decorating at NMC since 2004. She enjoys baking, cooking and creating special cakes for all occasions.

Alexandra Smith B.A.-communications, B.F.A.-graphic design, has worked for several marketing and promotions firms including Visual Services, Inc. and Evigna, where she worked on accounts for several Fortune 500 companies such as Ford, Jaguar and Bosch. She now dedicates herself full-time to teaching, and is currently an instructor for the Digital Graphic Design and Digital Imaging classes at NMC.

Cody Sovis lives and loves bikes. He’s the manager at Einstein Cycles and enjoys road, cyclocross, mountain and fat bike racing for Einstein Racing, and is a volunteer for Norte! Youth Cycling. He is a former NMC student and Grand Valley State University alumnus. He believes in keeping it fun, tough and anchored in the simple mantra that’s kept him cycling; if you’re not smiling on the bike, you’re doing it wrong.

Wes Sovis is a former State Champion mountain bike racer, and holds a CAT 1 MTB USAC License. With years of experience riding, training, and racing, Wes has cultivated a fun and effective way to use indoor cycling to stay fit and healthy. His classes have a fun, positive atmosphere that encourages athletes of all fitness levels to reach their fullest potential. 

Maggie Sperry was one of the youngest people in the U.S. to achieve the level of Shodan, first-degree black belt in Judo. She has been a youth Judo instructor at NMC since 1989.

Norm Spooner, MBA, B.S.-Mathematics, has taught Sacred Geometry for several years as an extended education course at mesa Community College and Paradise Valley Community College, in Arizona.

Charles St. Charles III is a nature and wildlife photographer and writer. His photography is displayed in private and public settings in the U.S., Africa, and Australia. He presents to photography classes, environmental groups, governors, and elementary school students. He works from Alaska to Asia, Canada to Hawaii, but his home is here in Michigan.

Steve Stanton, B.S., works with IBM on the worldwide deployment of a major software tool for internal and IBM Business Partner users. He developed classroom training in the U.S., Canada, France, and England.

Kimberly Stevens, B.A., ACE certified aerobics instructor, has taught exercise classes since 1985. Kim teaches at Grand Traverse Resort and works for Western Michigan University.

Carol Taberski, M.B.A., B.S., DTM, worked at NMC for 33 years, earned the Microsoft Word MOS certificate, and has taught Microsoft Word since 2010.

Marcia Talicska is a certified Piloxing instructor and has her Personal Trainer Certificate through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). An athlete throughout her life, Marcia has taught classes at Yen Yoga and for She Skis/She Bikes. She has completed 15 half marathons in the last five years and participated in triathlons and other sporting events.

Keith Tampa, A.S., B.S., is a Physical Education Instructor at NMC.

Terry Tarnow, B.F.A.-weaving, is manager/buyer for the Dennos Museum Store at NMC. She has taught Jacki Sorensen Aerobics since 1991.

Michael Torre, M.A., art instructor at NMC, has taught college courses since 1990 in drawing, ceramics, and 2- and 3-D design, sculpture, and art appreciation. His work has been included in more than 100 national exhibitions, books, and magazines.

Bryan Ulbrich is a winemaker and owner of Left Foot Charley Winery and Tasting Room in TC.

Jennifer VanAlstine is a certified business coach, speaker and trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She has been inspiring leaders and business owners for over ten years. She teaches in a very clear and specific manner while using her personal experiences to bring examples to life. 

Adam Van Houten, M.A.-curriculum and teaching, B.F.A.-art education, has been teaching photography and art classes for TCAPS since 2004. Photography is part of his art-making process, and he has been using Prezi in the classroom since 2009.

Todd Vipond is Director of the Dolce Ensemble of the Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choir.

Paul Vittorelli, who studied Shotokan Karate in the 1980s, was introduced to the Filipino martial art of Kuntaw in 1994 and now holds a 4th-degree black belt in Kuntaw. He has instructed a variety of martial arts around the country and continues to study them.

Hillary Voight, B.S., has been dancing since 1998. She has performed dance internationally and has been teaching creative movement, pre-ballet, and beginning ballet since 2013.

Kirk Waterstripe, M.S.-ecology, is the Science Lab Manager at NMC and an adjunct instructor of Plant Biology. He has been an active organic gardener and compost maker since 1990.

Chris Wendel, B.A-economics, serves the Grand Traverse Region as a Business Consultant and Lender with Northern Initiatives, a private community development corporation providing rural entrepreneurs with access to capital, information, and markets. With a background in retail, marketing, and manufacturing, Chris has worked with hundreds of Michigan small businesses. He is also a contributing writer to the Traverse City Business News and

Mykl Werth has been performing and teaching professionally since 1983 focusing on partner dancing and modern dance as well as country, folk, clogging, Irish, show, and theatrical dancing.

Bill White is an avid barbecue aficionado and has spent years developing his skills cooking everything on a backyard charcoal grill.

Kristel Wiesner is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Traverse City.  She enjoys all aspects of healthful food from gardening and foraging to cooking and eating.

Stephanie Lee Wiitala, A.S., is a graduate of Great Lakes Culinary Institute. She is the owner of S2S ~ Sunrise 2 Sunset Events where she is a professional chef and also is a wedding and event coordination specialist.

Jerry Williams served 8 years in the US Navy and was a professor at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at NMC for 30+ years. He has been a member of the Grand Traverse Bay Sail and Power Squadron for 25 years and served as Treasurer and Squadron Education Officer for 6 years.

Wendy Williams, B.A.-social work, has been deaf since birth. She has tutored students in American Sign Language for over 20 years. She is an advocate for the Deaf Community and hosts monthly gatherings of ASL students with the Deaf Community.

Kristi Wodek, B.A., M.F.A, has been teaching art and crafts in both the traditional classroom setting as well as art centers for over 20 years. She currently teaches for TCAPS.

Glenn Wolff, B.F.A., began his career as an illustrator for such clients as the New York Times. He currently concentrates on fine art and illustration having worked with numerous authors including Stephanie Mills, John Gierach and Jerry Dennis. His mixed media fine art has been collected and shown privately and in public galleries. His work with environmental organizations and local groups in the area is legendary.

Mary Jo Zazueta, B.A., is an editor, designer, and book shepherd. She has extensive knowledge of book publishing and has been speaking on the subject for 10 years. In 1994, she established To the Point Solutions to help writers throughout the country achieve their publishing goals.


Part-time instructors wanted

NMC Extended Education seeks part-time instructors to teach short courses in the following areas:

  • NIA exercise
  • Spanish
  • Calligraphy
  • Home repair/maint.

Teaching degree not required. Looking for enthusiastic presenters with content knowledge, passion, and willingness to share. Email resume and letter with interest areas to before May 27, 2016.

Section Navigation Browse Classes By Category