WIEL Center externship

Sharing the successes and accomplishments of our NHCC faculty and staff allows us to cultivate a more vibrant community.

Exciting News for the GCST 1970 "Belonging" Documentary 
NHCC faculty, Ana Munro received news that the GCST 1970 documentary “Belonging” is an Official Selection for the Ely Film Festival, February 8-11, 2024! The documentary was produced by BairStories, a local storytelling agency, that helps nonprofits elevate empathy, community, and donations through emotive storytelling. Footage for “Belonging” was gathered this fall on a Nature Immersion trip with Ana's class. View the documentary here. For more information about GCST 1970 and the recently held documentary screening at NHCC, visit our blog.
Congratulations to you all and good luck at the Film Festival!

a title slide for the documentary "Belonging."

NHCC Faculty Uses the Power of Entrepreneurship to Transform Lives
Business faculty, Todd Johnson shares info below regarding an entrepreneurship trip he took to South Africa earlier this year.

“I was invited to South Africa in August to address poverty alleviation through Entrepreneurship. Many terms exist for this, I like Transformational Entrepreneurship, but the formal name is "Social Entrepreneurship." I went there in Mid-August.

South Africa is plagued by inequity. I was working with third generation child-led households. Each student was between the ages of 20-28 and had a business idea, however, needed help taking the next steps. I led them for a week's worth of classes and provided leadership development and entrepreneurship instruction.

These students were all rescued around the ages of 8-14, after being orphaned by AIDS and were in incredibly vulnerable circumstances at the time. Although most of these students have college degrees now, the pathway to employment is bleak; as South Africa suffers from a 70% unemployment rate for people under the age of 30.  

The only pathway out of generational poverty for many is through Entrepreneurship and in particular, breaking through geographical barriers that prevent the extremely poor from succeeding. I was able to work and learn from area business leaders from South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia to help break these geographic barriers by creating tourism opportunities that bring in revenue from outside the country and create permanent jobs.

I am continuing to help the students I taught by helping refine business plans and am consulting with a unique startup AirBnB concept that can secure a livelihood for three families per property.”

a photo of NHCC faculty, Todd Johnson in Africa

Pictured with Todd Johnson are Edwin of Uganda (left) and Joseph of Zambia (right) who are business leaders in their countries working to alleviate poverty through Entrepreneurship.

a group photo of students in Africa with NHCC faculty, Todd Johnson

This group photo was taken after the week-long Entrepreneurship workshop was complete, Todd is also in the picture (far right).

Faculty Celebrations from NHCC's English Department
Thank you to English faculty, Brian Baumgart for sending out an email bursting with accomplishments from the English department! We are highlighting the list again, below!


  • Haley Lasché released her first full-length poetry collection One on October 23. It is available through Beaty School Editions, LLC, a poetry press she founded and runs with former NHCC faculty member, Paula Cisewski. The official release party for the book will be in 2024 on January 5th, at The Wolf House in NE Minneapolis. More details can be found on Beauty School's website.
The cover of a poetry journal titled One.









  • Vanessa Ramos’ novel for children, Wishing on a Star with Estrella, has been announced and available for pre-order in both paperback and hardcover (Stone Arch Books, pub. Jan. 2024).            
the book NHCC faculty, Vanessa Ramos wrote









Rockvale Review literary journal









  • Margaret LaFleur has a short story, “All’s Well,” published in The Kenyon Review.
  • Katie Rauk has a poem, “Composition 101,” published in Concision Poetry Journal, and another poem, “In the Spring of My 42nd Year,” in Rogue Agent.
  • Brian Baumgart has poetry out in A-Minor Magazine, Thimble Literary Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, and others forthcoming in Bear Paw Arts Journal, Last Syllable and South Dakota Review.

“My Songs [Sonnets] for Terrorists #8,” A-Minor Magazine
-  “His Memory (of Memory)” and “The Private Version,” Emerge Literary Journal
-   “A Simple Question of Measurement,” Thimble Literary Magazine. 

Grants, Positions, Awards, & Programs:

  • Kelly Lundquist was awarded an Artist Learning grant through the Central Minnesota Arts Board and McKnight Foundation.
  • Cindy Johanek was re-elected to another 2-year term as the Two-Year College Representative to the Int'l Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Executive Board (2023-25). 
  • Haley Lasché founded the poetry press Beauty School Editions, in addition to continuing on as the founder, editor, and designer of the literary magazine, Concision Poetry Journal.
  • Ana Munro was awarded the Education Minnesota Foundation Impact Grant for Year 2 for GCST 1970 Environmental Justice and Nature Immersion ($15,000); GCST 1970 won the Minnesota Environmental Initiative Award; she was awarded the Edina HomeTown Hero award; she was awarded funding from the Minnesota Humanities Center Legacy Grant to take 27 historically overlooked and excluded middle and high school students on a 5-day overnight camping experience; she became a certified Master Naturalist; National Education Association (NEA) Foundation Envision Equity Grant ($5,000) for the Fall 2023 Grants to Educators.
  • Brian Baumgart was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the local,
    non-profit,  Northern Starz Center for the Performing Arts.

Performances, Presentations, Interviews, & Readings:

  • Said Shaiye (Farah) was interviewed about his teaching, writing, and activism on WCCO/CBS.
  • Cindy Johanek gave a presentation at the IWCA annual conference in Baltimore with two colleagues from the Midwest Writing Centers Association Board about the results of their outreach initiative to 2-year colleges in the Midwest. (They aim to submit this for publication in an upcoming issue of TETYC focusing on Writing Centers.) Cindy also hosted a "Special Interest Group" for 2-year college Writing Centers at the same conference.
  • Ana Munro organized with students a winter story telling program with NHCC Environmental Club, Three Rivers Park District, and Ojibwe elder Hope Flanagan. She also participated in Climate Generation’s Three-Day Climate Justice Storytelling workshop. She created her climate story “Frog Song,” which she has performed publicly three times. This has inspired her to create a climate story share with NHCC students and Master Naturalists, which will be showcased at the Eastman Nature Center on February 24th, 2024. Ana presented GCST 1970 program and her multi-campus grant collaboration with Bemidji State University at the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education at Eagle Bluff Outdoor Learning Center, and also at the National Place Based Learning Conference in Grand Forks, MI. She additionally took three students from her GCST 1970/2970 course to the International Association for Experiential Education, where they presented twice and screened their documentary film.                                                                                                                                 
  • Brian Baumgart participated in several poetry readings, including Brookside Reading Series (book release for Lynette Reini-Grandell’s memoir, Wild Things), Poets & Pints (Teachers’ Edition, April), and Midstream Reading Series (August). He also moderated a panel of queer artists, professionals, and organizers at White Bear Center for the Arts, as part of Northern Starz Center for Performing Arts educational series leading up to their young actors’ performances of The Laramie Project.

NHCC Librarian Completes 1,014 Cycling Miles in One Year
Congratulations to NHCC Librarian, Craig Larson for completing 1014 cycling miles in one year! He will add this medal to the others he has received for meeting and exceeding the 1000 Miles a Year goal!! Way to go, Craig!

a photo of Craig and his bike


Employees Recognized for Outstanding Work at the Minnesota State 2023 Finance Conference
Exciting news! Kristen Harinen, NHCC’s Interim Director of Finance Management, was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award on December 6th during the 2023 Minnesota State Finance Conference. This award recognizes individuals and/or teams that provide outstanding campus service to students, faculty, and staff while focusing on improvements in business practices, financial management, internal controls, and data integrity. Congratulations, Kristen!

photo of Kristen Harinen









An Autumn Filled With Marathon Achievements
NHCC Academic Advising staff, Anong Thor has been busy this fall running marathons! She has run four marathons and one half marathon since October! The photo below is from the Halloween Half Marathon, where she dressed up as Harley Quinn! Go, Anong!

Anong on Halloween

That's a wrap on faculty and staff accomplishments for this year. We can't wait to see what you all achieve in 2024! 

Faculty & Staff Accomplishments --
From the Archives (October 2023)

In this issue, we highlighted the accomplishments of Mark Larson, Eugene Gazelka, Brittany Kiser, Tamara Mans, Marina Haworth, Said Shaiye, and more! 

a photo of Mark Larson meeting students & teaching about Aikido

A Summer Well Spent - Sharing Aikido With The World

To say Mark Larson Shihan [the highest title awarded to an instructor in aikido from the Aikikai World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan—equivalent to a PhD in academia] had a busy summer 2023 would be an understatement. He was in five countries on four continents over a period of just 9 weeks and four days between June 11 and August 17, delivering volunteer workshops, seminars, and lectures on Language and Aikido—a traditional Japanese martial art.

Find the full story here

Avalon Anthology

English faculty member has writing published in the Avalon Anthology

On September 14th, English faculty, Eugene Gazelka had poetry published in the Avalon Anthology! An announcement about Gene’s feature in Avalon Anthology can be found here
(the link seems to work best using mobile data) and an Instagram introduction can be found here. Congratulations to you, Gene! 

WIEL Center externship

NHCC Representation at the 2023 Educator Externship

Faculty and staff from North Hennepin Community college joined teachers from area high schools to the Minneapolis Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Educator Externship last July 31st to August 3rd. Representatives from NHCC met with business leaders in Business, Information Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing, Human Services and Healthcare.  Educators toured two companies each day and discussed employers’ skill-set needs during the tours.  It was a great opportunity for staff and faculty to meet with industry leaders to build connections! 

Brittany Kiser and her watercolor painting

The Painting Returns to the Suite

NHCC alumni and Executive Assistant within the Foundation and Marketing & Communications departments, Brittany Kiser posed next to her watercolor, painting titled, "Everlasting." In 2008, Brittany took Lance Kiland's Illustration class and painted this piece. Later that spring, she was notified that the college wanted to purchase it for their permanent art collection. In the past four years, while switching out paint colors and doing a wall renovation, art work was temporarily removed in the ES Admin Suite. But Brittany's painting was recently put back on display!
We love to see it! 

Good News from Biology faculty, Dr. Tamara Mans 

Dr. Tamara Mans, biology faculty, has some publications in the works or already published. One publication is for her work with the Genomics Education Partnership (cited below).

Croonquist P, Falkenberg V, Minkovsky N, Sawa A, Skerritt M, Sustacek MK, Diotti R, Aragon AD, Mans T, Sherr GL, Ward C, Hall-Woods M, Goodman AL, Reed LK, Lopatto D. (2023). The Genomics Education Partnership: First Findings on Genomics Research in Community Colleges. SPUR, 6(3):17-2 (doi: 10.18833/spur/6/3/1)

Additionally, she has an article in CourseSource! that was just accepted for publication. The article, co-authored with Betsy Martinez-Vaz from Hamline University, is about using teaching tools and strategies for student research collaboration across institutions (cited below).

Martínez-Vaz BM, Mans TL, Callahan KP, Peterson CN, and Bell E. (2023) Fostering Student to Student Collaboration Across Institutions in a Protein Centric CURE. CourseSource (in press)

Finally, Dr. Mans is also writing a chapter for a forthcoming ACS e-book by Betsy Martinez-Vaz and Ellis Bell. Dr. Mans’s contribution is about teaching with CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience), and is co-authored with Dawn Marin at Gaston Community College. It centers on using CUREs in the community college setting.

photo of NHCC faculty, Marina Haworth









NHCC Art faculty, Marina Haworth becomes Dr. Haworth next month 

In August, NHCC art faculty, Marina Haworth successfully defended her PhD dissertation
(via zoom): Desiring Athletes: The Meaning of Athletic Imagery on Red-Figure Athenian Symposium Pottery for a doctorate in Classical Archaeology, from Harvard University Classics Department.

The degree will be official in November, and then she will officially be Dr. Haworth! Congratulations! 

NHCC English faculty featured on WCCO

Said Shaiye is a new adjunct faculty at NHCC in the English department. To help introduce him to everyone at NHCC, he would like to share some recent news. "I was interviewed in August by WCCO about my approach to teaching creative writing with neurodivergent students in mind. I’m ND myself (Autistic + ADHD) and didn’t get a diagnosis till much later in life (2 years ago lol)."

View his interview here and his diagnosis journey essay here

Creative Writing professor Kelly Lundquist









NHCC English faculty receives an Artist Learning Grant and has poetry published

In August, NHCC English Instructor and Director of Creative Writing, Kelly Lundquist was awarded an Artist Learning Grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board and McKnight Foundation, and in September she had a poem published in Whale Road Review, a literary magazine out of San Diego! Here is the link to the poem. 

Thank you to the faculty and staff who shared their recent accomplishments with us! 


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