Instructor Bios

View College for Kids instructor bios here »

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

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.

Robert Bartle is the co-founder of Three Swords Fencing Club of Traverse City. His experience with all three fencing weapons allows flexibility to train students in the weapon of their choice. Under his leadership, the club has incorporated many games that are not only enjoyable but enhance fencing skills.

Linda Bayer has been studying, practicing, and teaching aromatherapy for over 18 years. She became a Registered Aromatherapist through the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) in 2006. Since 2005 she has accumulated over 150 hours of in-person study with Jeanne Rose, Master Herbalist and Aromatherapist. Since 2006 she has been teaching Aromatherapy classes at Expressions of Grace Yoga in Grand Rapids, MI.

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.

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.

Kaitlyn Bohnet is the Program Director of Edge Aerial Arts at Water’s Edge Gymnastics, and Aerialist for The Greatest of Ease Circus. Kaitlyn brings 11 years of formal acrobatic training and a passion for aerial arts and fitness to each class, workshop, and stage.

Toby Boynton-Fisher is a PGA Professional who owns the Golf Center in TC.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

Devan DePauw, B.S.-welding engineering technology, is an AWS Certified Weld Inspector. Devan worked as a welding engineer with Miller Electric Mfg. Co. of Appleton, Wisconsin, where he presented technical material to professional and amateur audiences all over the country and contributed to American Welding Society publications. Devan is now NMC’s full time Welding Instructor.

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 UAS instructor at NMC.

Dorothy Eisenstein is an adjunct instructor of dance at NMC.

Erwin (Duke) Elsner, Ph.D., is an Agricultural Agent for MSU Extension and has assisted GT area farmers and home horticulturists with their insect problems. Dr. Elsner has conducted university research on insect pests. He is also an instructor for the MSU Master Gardener Program and MSU/NMC Plant Science Program.

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.

Jackie Freeman, B.F.A., M.A.-adult learning, has taught art, led educational tours, owned a Suttons Bay art gallery, and covered the art show beat as a columnist for Northern Express. Her painted glass art was featured in Traverse Magazine.

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.

Scott Gadzinski, co-owner and trainer at TC Total CrossFit, has attained his Level 1, Olympic Lifting and Mobility Certifications and is a certified USAW-L1SP Sports Performance Coach. In addition to coaching, Scott also played college football and baseball, competes in the CrossFit arena; finishing 13th overall for Masters Men Granite CrossFit Games, as well as placing in other CrossFit competitions. 

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.

Leslie Hamp, Creative Catalyst & Certified Marketing Coach, works with entrepreneurs who want to make a living doing what they love. As a business and life coach since 2002, Leslie has helped clients around the world position, package and promote their expertise in the form of products, services, books, online training programs, and live events. Her coaching techniques layered with her positive energy, passion perspective and accountability systems help clients rejuvenate an old idea or add heart and soul to a fresh one. She is the author of Create the Life You Crave and its companion Beautiful Journal.

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.

Jennifer Helferich has been involved with beading and other crafts since 2004 and sells her handcrafted jewelry locally. She has been a youth group leader since 2008.

Jeremy Hidalgo, is a journeyman electrician with a passion for worker safety. He has worked for the MIOSHA Construction Safety & Health Division as a Construction Safety Enforcement Inspector for ten years.

Robb Houston, M.A., is on the faculty at NMC in the Science/Math Area. For the past 10 years, he has taught a variety of geology-related courses including earth science, physical and historical geology, Michigan basin geology, and oceanography.

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.

Bart Ingraham has been relief carving for over 50 years and took up three-dimensional sculpting ten years ago. He sculpts in wood, stone, and clay with some experience in papier-mâché. He has exhibits at Elk Rapids Art Park and has shown at local galleries as well as showing at his own gallery.

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.

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.

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.

Maribel LaLonde, B.S.-education, has been a Jackie Sorenson Aerobics certified instructor since 1998.

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.

Zack Light, M.S., holds an ACE Trainer certification as well as certification as a personal trainer. He winters in Florida and during the summer months is employed as a police officer in Antrim County. Zack has had success locally and internationally as a weightlifter and bodybuilder. Zack is an adjunct physical education instructor at NMC.

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.

Jennifer Loup, B.A.-history, was zookeeper at Traverse City’s Clinch Park Zoo, and has over 15 years of animal care experience. She has 10 years of experience training dogs one-on-one and in group class settings.

Laura Matchett, M.A., R.Y.T., is a former elementary school teacher. She currently works for NMC Extended Educational Services, and teaches Yoga at Yen Yoga and Fitness in Traverse City. Laura has taught fitness and Yoga classes for over 10 years. She enjoys connecting with her students to ensure that they feel accepted, encouraged, challenged, and inspired! 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Annie Olds, B.A.S., M.B.A.-strategic management, is the Northwest Regional Director and a certified small business consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a program of Networks Northwest. She specializes in assisting small business owners from start up to fully operational, as well as agribusiness ventures.

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

Bill Queen, B.S., is a Program Coordinator at NMC and coordinates the Michigan Energy Demonstration Center.

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.

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.

Laura Rozeboom, M.A., is a K-12 reading specialist. She holds ESL certifications from The School for International Training (VT) and Cambridge University (UK). She has taught English as a Second Language in Greece, Tanzania, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Janene Silverman received her formal training from the Culinary Institute of America. She was owner and chef at Zza’s Trattoria in California before moving to Piemonte, Italy where she has savored its tradition of food and wine since 2000. She recently returned to Traverse City and plans to open Raduno, a new delicatessen, on Eighth Street this summer.

Kylie Simpson spent 22 years in international cruising on luxury sailboats and yachts as everything from mate to executive chef. She has also owned and operated a restaurant on Hatteras Island, a food truck, a catering company for destination weddings, and a bakery. She currently manages the Prepared Foods/Bakery/Catering/Café departments at The Grain Train, the Petoskey co-op.

Michelle Smith-Ronk is a graduate of NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute. She owns a home-based business, Custom Cookies by Michelle, where she enjoys decorating cookies for all of life’s occasions.

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.

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.

Maggi Steele, B.A., M.M., is a retired teacher who taught for Midland Public Schools for 30 years. She teaches College for Kids cooking classes and is also a volunteer assistant for NMC-EES adult cooking classes.

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.

David Terrell, M.A., Professor Emeritus of Religion at NMC, taught in the Humanities discipline for 39 years, and served three years as Humanities Academic Chair.

Katie Tomczyk, M.A. Special Ed/Physical Ed, holds certification in Kettlebell Training, Pilates, Spinning, and Yoga, and has been teaching HIIT at Yen Yoga and Fitness for 3 years. She loves teaching and participating in group fitness classes for the connection, fun, and challenge. She is a certified Barton Reading/Spelling system tutor and is a private tutor for students with Dyslexia. 

Michael Torre, MFA, is an artist with over 20 years of experience teaching courses in art including drawing, design, sculpture, art history, art appreciation and ceramics. His art work has been included in over 100 national juried exhibitions, individual and group exhibitions, and published in magazines and books. His artwork has been included in many private and museum collections including the Dennos Museum Center. Mr. Torre’s artwork has also won a number of awards and been recognized for merit in a number of exhibitions.

Adam VanHouten, M.A.-curriculum and teaching, B.F.A.-painting and art education, is a full-time visual art instructor with TCAPS. His watercolor paintings appear in many local art galleries and have received numerous awards including First Place for the 2014 National Cherry Festival Commemorative Print Competition. His illustrations appear in Reggie’s Runaway Adventure. He has been teaching NMC-EES classes for children and adults since 2012.

Alice VanZoeren, B.S.-natural history, has taught NMC-EES outdoor classes since 1993 and also works with local schools, the Leelanau Conservancy, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. She currently works year-round with the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery program.

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.

Christine Watts, co-owner and trainer at TC Total Crossfit, has attained her Level 1, Olympic Lifting and Mobility Certifications and is a certified USAW-L1SP Sports Performance Coach. In addition to coaching, Christine also competes in the CrossFit arena. She qualified for and competed in the CF World Games three times, this last year placing 13th overall, and has also placed in other CrossFit competitions.

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.

Jonathan Wojtowicz, B.S.-education, is a certified Cicerone, a master in beer proficiency. Jon has worked for Shorts Brewing Company for over 10 years where he educates and trains staff and clients about the craft beer industry.

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. 

Part-time instructors wanted

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

  • Real Estate
  • Upholstery
  • Local history
  • Spanish language
  • Chinese language
  • Haitian Creole language
  • Calligraphy
  • Home repair/maintenance

Teaching degree not required. Looking for enthusiastic presenters with content knowledge, passion, and willingness to share. Send resume and letter with interest areas to

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