Instructor Bios

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.

Elizabeth Abeel, B.A., a batik artist since 1975, is a member of the Michigan Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, has won numerous awards for her work, and has taught for EES since 1995.

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.

Chava Bahle, M.A., is a Rabbi, writer, and instructor. She is Director of the Or Tzafon Retreat Center and an ordained Maggid (storyteller and inspirational preacher). She has taught religion courses at University of Michigan and NMC. She is a former organizational development consultant.

Steve Ballance, M.A., has been teaching art at NMC for over 40 years. In addition to originating the photography courses, he is a specialist in 2-D Design and critical thinking.

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.

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.

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.

Sara Budzik earned her A.A.S. in baking and patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, Pittsburgh before working on the cake team at Patisserie Vanille in Chicago. Sara has taught baking and decorating classes for many years. She is currently the Bakery and Development Manager for Cherry Republic.

Julie Burgess is a certified Green Belt Nia instructor. She has been teaching Nia in Charlevoix since 2009. When not dancing, Julie works part time at the Charlevoix Public Library where she has been for the past 12 years.

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.

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.

Shenandoah Chefalo, B.A., has spent over 20 years in marketing leading the way in the use of technology to grow business in her industry. She currently serves as a SCORE mentor using her expertise in social media marketing to help small business owners.

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.

Dean Conners, B.F.A., B.L.A., is a registered landscape architect and member of the North American Society of Landscape Architects. His company, Borealis Design, focuses on regenerative, low-impact landscape and site design, as well as installation of sundials and solar calendars. He has been making maple syrup at home since 1996.

Claire Crandell, B.A.-education, is a K-12 tutor and artist. She teaches art workshops to all ages and has been meditating for more than 25 years. She also practices Tai Chi, and loves the outdoors and photography.

Renee Cunningham, MSN, NHA, RN, is Train the Trainer certified for teaching nursing assistant classes. She has been teaching classes since 1998 in a variety of settings. She has 30 years of experience in long term care settings and knowledge of all the regulatory requirements.

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.

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

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 certified Food for Life cooking instructor with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). She helps northern Michigan residents learn how food impacts our health and how to make simple and nutritious recipes that promote health. (

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.”

Kristine Dietrich, M.A., learned Spanish in Mexico and studied in Spain. She has been teaching Spanish since 2000 and ESL since 1985.

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.

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

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.

Robin Fisher has been practicing Yoga for 20 years and has been certified at the 200 and 500 (master) levels through Union Yoga—a school which complies with all Yoga Alliance requirements. She practices and teaches all the eight limbs of the Yoga path.

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.

Paul Griggs, B.A., works as a Consultant for MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division, which provides construction safety services for the counties of Northern Michigan.

Matt Hall, AAS, is a master gardener and farmer. He owns a small farm business called Midnight Harvest, which will specialize in exotic mushroom farming in Leelanau County.

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.

Esther Harmon, M.S.-elementary education, B.S., is retired after 30 years of public school teaching. She has taken extensive studies with National Quilting Teachers in design, technique, and color. She has 20+ years of quilt making experience.

Chuck Hawkins, Orvis Endorsed 2010 Guide Service of the Year and Certified Fly Casting Instructor, brings over 35 years of fly fishing experience to his clients. Chuck is the owner of Hawkins Outfitters of Lake Ann, MI.

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.

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

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.

Marti Jeffs, Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, is the owner and yoga teacher at Yoga At Ladaka near Frankfort. She has been teaching yoga since 2000 and studied Ayurveda at New World School of Ayurveda (2008-2013).

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.

Ben Kelly has a NASM personal training certification, specializing in cardio, strength and mobility through functional bodyweight exercises. He has excelled in many sports, from Junior Olympic Swimming to triathlons, and has been working in the health industry since 2012.

Blake Key, Ph.D., P.E., is a home brewer, engineer, and NMC chemistry professor. He is the president of TC Hopz, a local home brewing club.

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.

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

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.

Doug Lichty, B.B.A.-business administration, is a member of the PGA Golf Profession with 20+ years of teaching experience. He was head golf pro at Leland Country Club from 1993-2004 and now owns the Traverse City Golf Center.

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.

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.

Colleen Masterson-Bzdok, B.S.-biology, B.A.-education, and M.S.-Great Lakes studies, environmental geosciences, has done research on all five Great Lakes, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Colleen is an adjunct instructor at NMC.

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.

James McIntyre has been a member of the Grand Traverse Bay Sail and Power Squadron for almost 25 years. He worked for the National Weather Service for 30+ years and taught weather courses many times for the Power Squadron.

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.

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

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.

Jim Moses and Linda Grigg have grown Shiitake mushrooms on their Leelanau County farm mushroom farm since 1986. Their customers include many area restaurants. Jim has attended seminars on mushroom cultivation since 1980, and is a member of the West Michigan Mycological Society and the North American Mycological Association.

Walter Muellenhagen, B.A., is currently a Certified SBDC Small Business Consultant at Networks Northwest. Walt is a former Commercial Lender of 12 years, served in the US Air Force for 7 years, and has a background in sales and small business ownership.

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.

Jan Oliver, M.A.-communications, is the designer/owner of Grand Traverse Arts ( She is a watercolor painter, illustrator, graphic designer and educator. She is currently illustrating a children’s book and has sold many paintings, illustrations and logo designs. Jan has taught as an adjunct instructor at NMC.

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.

Anne-Marie Oomen is author of Love, Sex and 4-H, as well as Pulling Down the Barn, and House of Fields, both Michigan Notable Books, and Uncoded Woman, a collection of poems. She has taught creative writing courses for over thirty years, and taught writing from art classes at Interlochen Arts Academy since 2010. She serves as instructor at The Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College (MA), Interlochen’s College of Creative Arts (MI), and at conferences throughout the country.

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.

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.

Fran Perkett, M.T.S., B.A., has worked for more than 20 years in education and pastoral positions. She is a regional workshop leader.

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.

Bill Queen, B.S., is a Program Coordinator at NMC and coordinator of the Michigan Energy Demonstration Center. He served on the Built Green Grand Traverse committee, and built a green home in Cedar, Michigan.

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.

Linda Racine, M.A.-counseling psychology, has been with NMC’s Training and Research since 1996 specializing in team skills, leadership skills, conflict management, facilitation, and lean office. She has provided training for manufacturing, healthcare, educational, governmental, and service organizations.

Chris Remy is a certified bike mechanic from Bike Lab TC with 7 years of professional bike shop and field experience. Chris provides repairs for many of the area’s bicycle events and races.

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.

James H. Ryan, B.A., graduate work in marketing, had a career in management, sales, and product development for a profit center with 300+ employees and 8 branches. He also has 17 years of consulting, training, and process facilitation for his firm, JRA.

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.

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

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.

Kennith Scott, B.A.-mechanical engineering, is a training specialist with NMC's Training Services. He has over 10 years of manufacturing experience including roles as senior manufacturing engineer, frontline supervisor, and value stream owner. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

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.

Pam Shaberly, M.S., is a retired elementary teacher who first learned the game of Mah Jongg in 1976 in New York. She has been sharing her knowledge of the game since moving to Leelanau County in 1997.

Joan Sheard, M.S., R.N., has 30+ years as an educator and nurse—10 years at EMU teaching health education and serving as Director of Substance Abuse Education and Training, and 20 years as a school nurse and teacher. She has written and taught Lifestory writing at NMC for several years.

Kevin Skarnulis, M.A., CIT, is a certified teacher and computer specialist with numerous technology certifications including Microsoft Office Specialist. Kevin owns a computer consulting business in Traverse City.

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

Dorothy Sirrine, RYT 200, has been a student of yoga for over 12 years, drawing from vinyasa flow, ashtanga, and yin traditions. She was certified to teach yoga by Union Yoga in 2009, and has been attending workshops and seminars since.

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

Bill Smethells, M.S.-physics, Ph.D.-astronomy, has taught a variety of courses in physics, including electricity and magnetism. He and his wife own a 1985 Catalina 30 sailboat that they are renovating.

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.

Randy Smith, B.S.-resource development, has skied all Nordic disciplines for 40 years and is a PSIA-certified Instructor for classic and skating techniques. He is also the owner of Renewable Services, LLC, a design/installation company for solar PV, solar thermal, and wind energy with BPI certification for home energy diagnostics. Randy has been part of the NMC Energy Demonstration Center since its inception and has residential and commercial installations throughout Michigan.

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.

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.

Michael W. Stalker began his career as a teacher doing part-time work with tile. Michael has over 20 years of experience in the trade working in residential and commercial settings.

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.

Karen Stein, M.F.A.-creative writing, is the founder and producer of Here:Say Storytelling, a monthly, live storytelling show in Traverse City.

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.

Jerry Sura, M.A., is retired from teaching high school mathematics, GED, and English as a Second Language. He hikes and bikes the region and recently earned the Northern Naturalist Certificate from NMC Extended Education.

Joseph Symons, B.A., communications and broadcasting, worked in radio broadcasting from 2010-2015 as on-air talent, producer, and social media moderator. He is currently the event coordinator at Right Brain Brewery tasked with coordinating social media posts to showcase and promote unique qualities of the brewery and the brewery industry.

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.

Cole Thornton, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, has worked in professional kitchens since 1999 including fine-dining Chicago restaurants and Little Nell Hotel in Aspen. He currently is the Executive Chef for Hagerty Center.

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, 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.

Shirley Triplett, BRE, has been a stained glass artist since 1989. Employed at the Stained Glass Cabinet Company in Acme, she has taught classes for NMC since 2007.

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.

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.

Anthony “Tony” Venticinque, B.S.-exercise science and psychology, actively competes in triathlons and is a USA Triathlon Certified Level 2 Coach and USA Cycling Certified Level 2 coach.

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

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.

Rebecca Walters, B.A., K-12 certified, currently teaches American Foods, Global Foods, and Creative Living at West Middle School. She has been a part of TCAPS since 2008.

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.

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.

Stephanie Wiitala, A.S., is a graduate of Great Lakes Culinary Institute. She is currently employed by Black Star Farms where she is a pastry chef and also their on-site wedding and event coordinator.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Williams, former travel executive and consultant, has more than 30 years of travel agency experience. She has traveled extensively and organized travel for many individuals, business travelers, and travel groups.

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:

  • Calligraphy
  • Home repair/maint.
  • Video editing
  • NIA exercise
  • Children's topics

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 February 19, 2016.

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