a photo of biology students next to their poster presentation

Many exciting events have happened on campus this fall! Catch up on Fine & Performing Arts events, Employee Engagement activities, debrief from NHCC's inaugural Celebration of Generosity, hear about recent community events and more, below! 

Passionate Educators Convene at NHCC for Annual “Why Teach” Gala
More than 100 students, alumni, and leaders in education attended the annual “Why Teach” conference at NHCC on October 12. This event was organized by NHCC’s Student Leadership Committee in Education. The keynote speaker this year was Natalia Benjamin, Minnesota’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. Various picture books served as table centerpieces for the event (pictured below, on the table is a children’s book written by former Justice Alan Page, along with other featured books from the Page Education Foundation that decorated tables at the conference).

a Grand Hall photo from NHCC's Why Teach event
Books as table centerpieces at Why Teach event

NHCC Alumni Visit Campus
Earlier this fall, NHCC graduates, Trevor Slattery, Blake Beltrand and Heather Homa stopped by campus to view a gallery exhibition. Back in the day, Trevor studied fine arts at NHCC, and Blake and Heather studied graphic design. We love seeing our alumni on campus! 

NHCC arts alumni stop by to visit the gallery

Kudos to the NHCC Tutoring Staff 
Thank you to NHCC's stellar Tutoring Staff for your willingness to get in front of the camera this fall! In honor of National Tutor Appreciation Week in October, we shared multiple 'Meet the Tutoring Staff' videos on our NHCC Instagram account. You were all a blast to work with on this video project and we really appreciated the ease of this collaboration!

Meet the NHCC Tutoring Staff title graphic with a group photo

Student Feature Celebrates National Paralegal Day
On October 23rd, we celebrated National Paralegal Day by highlighting our Paralegal Student Association Club at NHCC! The PLSA club had a great fall semester, with mid-term study groups and even pizza networking nights. Students cultivated new friendships, made connections, studied for tests, and shared PLEG class tips. We reached out to current PLSA President, Larisa Gehmie for a Q&A. Read it here.

NHCC paralegal student, Larisa

Progressive Potluck...More Like a Feast of Flavor!
In honor of National Food Day on October 24th, NHCC’s FUN Committee hosted a Progressive Potluck in ES 40. The potluck was rather lavish, with over a dozen+ employees bringing items to the table. Participants picked the time slot that best suited their dish, and new foods were added all day – from 8am breakfast, to 4pm snack time! The menu included an egg bake, yogurt with granola, brownies, sambusas, a white chicken chili, pumpkin bars, spicy seaweed crackers, ice cream treats, a hearty quinoa hotdish, puppy chow, "NHCC" soft pretzels, a pan of rice crispy bars decorated like mummies and MORE! Thank you to the FUN Committee for making this potluck possible! It was enjoyable to try new foods, chat with colleagues during the day and be inspired by one another.

photo of food on a table at NHCC potluck

Documentary Screening Shares Student Experiences from our Nature Immersion Course
During October at NHCC, students from our Environmental Justice and Nature Immersion class (GCST 1970), screened the premiere of their documentary titled, Belonging. The documentary follows students from NHCC (and participating local high schools) on their nature immersion experience in Babbit, MN. The authentically warm and heartfelt commentary from students illustrated the impact of this outdoor immersion experience. Students shared their experiences during their five-day nature immersion at YMCA Camp Northern Lights, where they learned about wolves, mining, outdoor career opportunities and more. This event also featured a performance from the Gakaabikaang Native American drum and dance group!
More information can be found here on our blog.

Nature Immersion student attendee panel from October event

Musical Magic: NHCC Joins Forces with the Century College Concert Band
Dave’s Joint Jazz Concert: It was a joy to host the Century College Concert Band at NHCC in October! Believe it or not, this was the first time NHCC’s Concert Band had ever collaborated on stage with the Concert Band from Century College, and it was an evening to remember! Music selections ranged from Gates to Sousa, and also included a piece commissioned in honor of the late band director, Fred Nyline. Both bands sounded spectacular! Hopefully concert collaborations like this keep happening in the future. Bravo to the musicians and instructors!
View photos and video clips from the concert here.

NHCC's Concert Band onstage with the Century College Band

The Award-winning Halloween Decor and Costumes of 2023
We enjoyed another fantastic NHCC Halloween celebration! Office decorations and costumes truly went above and beyond this year! Thanks to all the faculty, staff and students who participated! View the Halloween photo album here.

NHCC Admissions Team Halloween 2023

Students in NHCC’s Be Bold Break the Mold Program Visit Seagate for a Field Trip
Our Be Bold Break the Mold program is just one of the wonderful opportunities we have for students at NHCC. Be Bold is an NHCC initiative program that connects female students in nontraditional career pathways, (such as construction, or computer science) with a mentor, a stipend and a motivational community to help them along the way. This fall, NHCC’s newest Be Bold cohort was able to take their first industry field trip at Seagate (a technology and data storage company, located in Edina). Students got a tour from Seagate Engineer, Carol Johnson, had a chance to get questions answered by industry professionals and met with Sea Gate mentor, Siu Wang. Lots of fantastic women doing some cool work!

All Be Bold students were invited on the field trip, regardless of what major, or career area they want to pursue. As Maria Vittone, NHCC’s Nontraditional Careers and Be Bold Advisor says, “Learning about industry is so fascinating… You never know when you might end up in ‘tech’ as all industries have technology embedded. I am certain that even the Criminal Justice students would be interested {in learning about Seagate} from a ‘security’ standpoint, as protecting data and computer security might be a cool crossover career to think about. And the TRADES are a very much needed part of data centers, so all students are welcome to come explore the possibilities!”

a photo of NHCC Be Bold students on a field trip at Seagate

Celebrating the Generosity of Our Community
November is National Gratitude Month, and we kicked it off on the 2nd with a very special event, “Celebration of Generosity,” to recognize the generosity of donors and community partners, to celebrate scholarship recipients and to present the college’s Presidential Medallion and Distinguished Alumni awards.

Educating a student goes far beyond the confines of a classroom. It is a comprehensive journey that involves various touch points. Examples include the inspiration provided by a local leader, internships offered by a nearby employer, scholarships funded by generous donors, and supportive environments cultivated by our families and our local organizations. Every active engagement from our community is a ripple that extends the reach of our educational mission.

With the community’s help, the Foundation was able to award over $350,000 in scholarships to 164 students this year. All donations whether monetary or in-kind are celebrated! Scholarship recipient Abah Gnoan had this to share, “Your generosity has inspired me to help others, and I hope one day I can help students achieve their goals as you have helped me.”

The Presidential Medallion was awarded to Mains’l, a Brooklyn Park business who employs NHCC students and alumni as well as provides scholarships to NHCC computer science and human services students. Their partnership with the college began nine years ago when an NHCC alum, Tracy Hinkemeyer, thought her employer should help educate its future workforce. We have enjoyed a rich and collaborative history together to collectively serve the needs of our students and this community. To date, 65 students have received a Mains’l scholarship. Tracy shared this special message, “If you’re blessed with talent, or wealth, or a skill, or just a little bit of time, give it because what goes around comes around, and that’s what generosity is all about.”

Flavio Abreu received the Distinguished Alumni award. Flavio came to NHCC as an immigrant from Brazil, learning English while he took classes here. He currently is a prosecutor for the city of Minneapolis, an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and a mentor to students going into the legal profession. Flavio thanked several faculty and staff who helped him succeed. Math tutor Dale Bradtke encouraged him to explain math to other students, which transformed his life because he was empowered to do the very thing, he believed he couldn’t do. Geography professor Karen Johnson wrote a letter of recommendation for a scholarship that helped fund his education. Biology professor Paul Melchior offered office hours on the weekends to help students like him. Physics professor Brad Stapleton understood Flavio’s fear of public speaking and gave him a second chance to present his project to the class.

Flavio shared a special message to students. “Whatever your goals are, North Hennepin Community College can get you there. A lot of people talk about the Ivy League schools. They are great schools. But I tell you what, be proud of being at North Hennepin Community College. You can get your dreams going through here. I am a living example of that.”

In his closing remarks, Flavio said, “There are things in life you can only get when you give. There is something amazing about giving. Give of your time. If you see someone struggling, try it once. Give something to that person. Help with homework or listen for a second. Everyone’s struggling at the same time. I promise you, once you feel the happiness and the joy there is in giving and being generous you will never stop giving because you’re going to get so much, it will change your life.”

Visit nhcc.edu/foundation for more information about getting involved.

NHCC President Dr. Garcia with 2023 Distinguished Alumni, Flavio

TRIO, DEI and NHCC Bookstore Partner Up for National First-Generation College Student Day
National First-Generation College Student Day was on November 8th! NHCC celebrated by sharing
(and collaborating between TRIO, DEI and the Bookstore) to offer a few special opportunities to students. (Thanks to Shelly for taking the lead to educate campus on First-Gen, and TRIO student FAQ’s and for also creating this beautiful First-Gen flyer with names on it).

On Wednesday, November 8th, the TRIO Office had treats and a quiz/prize drawing, plus a few surprises! NHCC’s DEI department hosted a First-Gen Social event in the Campus Center Multicultural Room, with snacks, activities, and socializing. They also had a first-gen fact sheet posted outside the Gerry Huerth Center and also shared them with campus throughout the week. The NHCC Bookstore got in on the festivities as well, by offering all TRIO merchandise at a 31% discount in honor of National First-Generation College Student Day (and to recognize the fact that NHCC has had a TRIO program for 31 years). Great work everyone!

First Gen poster

Veterans Day Events at NHCC
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BYR) Committee hosted a Veterans Day Event on November 8th to honor our country’s veterans, as we neared the Veterans Day holiday. Employees and students were encouraged to join the BYR committee during lunch to place flags on NHCC’s lawn, near the intersection of 85th Avenue and West Broadway. There was an option to write a note of gratitude, or in memory of a veteran service member as well. Thanks to NHCC’s Veteran Student Association and the BYR Committee for coordinating these opportunities.

A photo of NHCC's Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Committee Members with flags outside on Veterans Day

Native American Heritage Month Keynote Speaker on Campus
Students, employees and community members were invited to the Grand Hall on November 14th to attend a free keynote presentation by Dr. Corie Bazemore-James, from the Seneca Nation of Western New York. Dr. Bazemore-James is the founder of the ACPA Indigenous Student Affairs Network, the first professional network of Indigenous Student Affairs educators, both nationally, and internationally. Dr. Bazemore-James has led the development of the first Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Standards for the Indigenous Student Affairs functional area. She is also the Assistant Vice Provost of the Graduate School Diversity Office and Affiliate Faculty in the Higher Education program at the University of Minnesota.

Audience members found this presentation to be very insightful. The keynote was titled: Are We Colonizers? Decolonization, Indigenization, and Allyship in Higher Education. A big thank you to Dr. Bazemore-James and the DEI department at NHCC for making this presentation possible.

NHCC hosts a Native American Heritage Month Keynote Speaker on Campus

Winter Apparel Drive for DAV
The Veteran Student Association (VSA) and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee launched their annual Winter Apparel Drive for DAV (Disabled American Vets) on October 31st. NHCC students and employees were encouraged to donate winter apparel, so it could be given to someone in need this winter. Accepted items (new or gently used) were: winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets and coats. There were three collection boxes spread out on campus, collecting donations through November 14th. Excitingly, we received even more donations this time around, than we did in 2022 for our Winter Apparel Drive! Last year, we had two medium sized bags full of donations, but this fall, we donated around 6+ medium sized bags! Thank you to everyone for your help in getting the word out to campus and for assisting with storing, transferring, and bagging the donations!

NHCC staff prepare winter items to be donated to the DAV

Fall Faculty Lecture Series
NHCC faculty, Paul Melchior and Joel Jensen were both on sabbatical leaves last year doing research, but they teamed up this fall to present their work to the NHCC community. Students, staff and faculty were all in attendance! This lecture series was sponsored by the several student organizations that Paul and Joel are affiliated with.

Paul Melchior's presentation focused on: Bogs, Bacteria and Carnivorous Plants: How the microbes of Minnesota’s pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) help their host thrive in a hostile environment. The presentation took place on November 7th in BHCC 130. 

Joel Jensen presented on: Minnesota Sacred Sites:  Documenting lost Ojibwe and Dakota petroglyph/land art in Minnesota, and the history of cultural continuity within destroyed Minnesota landscapes. The presentation took place on November 14th in CLA 120.

NHCC faculty, Paul Melchior presenting his lecture series.
Paul Melchior working with students at his lecture series
a photo of NHCC faculty, Joel Jensen at his lecture series.
a group photo of NHCC faculty at Joel and Paul's recent lecture series.

NHCC Hosts the Second Annual Fall/Holiday Makers Market
The NHCC Employee Fun Committee was happy to bring the holiday makers market back to NHCC for a second year in a row! On November 16th in the Campus Center, employees, students, and guests were free to stop by, shop and meet the local vendors! A few NHCC students and employees were even set up as vendors for the day, showcasing their special creative talents. At the event, shoppers could find an eclectic mix of jewelry, desserts, self-care products, herbal teas, and much more!

a photo of a soap vendor at the Makers Market

NHCC's Department of Theater presented "Airness" a play by Chelsea Marcantel  
The "Airness" cast took to the NHCC mobile app to share their post-show thoughts, Marsa Mason wrote, "THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING AIRNESS!! We have some of the best staff, friends, and family! I hope you all enjoyed the FREE AIR GUITARS!!" Airness is a comedy about competition, completion, and finding the "airness" inside yourself. Performances were held at NHCC from November 15-18th. Bravo to our cast, crew and directors! 

a photo of the Airness theatre cast.

NHCC Hosts Thanks A Ton/Food Cupboard Drive Event
NHCC's Thanks-a-Ton-Food Cupboard Drive and Gratitude Event on November 21st was a great success! With item donations this year hitting a grand total of 3,340 lbs!

All donations from this event were directly added into the inventory at NHCC's Food Cupboard. Financial gifts were used to buy fresh and canned food, hygiene items, snacks, school supplies and more to help NHCC students and their families.

  • 2,823.70 lbs of donations were collected from campus departments
  • 1st Place Dept: The CARE Center donated 700 lbs
  • Student Organizations donated 466.3 lbs
  • 1st Place Student Org: The Biomedical Science Club brought in 143.5 lbs

Thanks again to ALL students, employees, volunteers, and community members for your support! These efforts positively impact NHCC students and strengthen our community as a whole!
View more photos from the event here

a photo of Baby Yoda with food donations for our 2023 Food Drive

A Musical Performance by Jarrelle Barton
On November 29th in the Grand Hall we hosted a special musical performance by Jarrelle Barton! Jarrelle is a noted African-American composer & Zither (Chinese instrument) musician.

Jarrelle is one of our 2023 Cultivate Arts artists, who involve community members in creative ways to help shape the planning of the Blue Line Extension project.

At the event, Jarrelle did a Q&A & shared his ancient Guzheng instrument with us. Guests could learn about the Blue Line Extension project and had an opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with the community. Thank you to Jarrelle for being our special guest!

Special guest, Jarrelle Barton performs in the CBT building

December Biology Poster Session Presentations
Congrats to the students who shared their Biology Partnership Poster Sessions earlier this month!

NHCC and Bemidji State University biology students presented their research from this semester, along with students from the St. Catherine University Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) plus faculty guests from St. Kate’s and MCTC. The Biology Poster Sessions this fall coordinated with the GEP, as a "regional node event," which nicely extended the usual partnership theme. Year after year, this event serves as a stellar opportunity for students and faculty to celebrate, communicate, collaborate, mentor, and build community together!

Fun Fact: this event included four faculty members representing four institutions (find photos at our link below)! Kellie Agrimson (in green) from St. Catherine University, Tamara Mans from NHCC, Andrew Arsham from Bemidji State University and Maire Sustacek from Minneapolis College.
View the photo album here

a photo of biology students next to their poster presentation

Not Pictured, but Enjoyed: The NHCC Employee End-of-Year Gathering and Thank You Event
On December 7th, NHCC employees caught up on-campus to enjoy some treats and listen to beautiful holiday music together. Dr. Rolando Garcia provided a warm end of year message, Heather MacLaughlin provided the musical entertainment, and Brian Murphy, of Murphy Micro Roast Coffee provided the refreshments. This event was brought to us by NHCC’s Employee Inclusive Campus Culture Team.

Wrapping Up Fall Semester with a Concert Series
Our Fall Concert Series kicked off December with THREE awesome performances! The concerts were all free admission, open to the public and took place in the NHCC Fine Arts Center Theatre (with at-home livestream viewing options available, too!)

Our Orchestra Concert was held on Monday, December 4th. The Concert Band & Jazz Ensemble Concert was on Wednesday, December 6th, and ending the week on Friday, December 8th, was an NHCC Choir Concert! Thanks for sharing your musical talent with all of us this season!

The NHCC Choir rehearses to prepare for their concert

Thanks for a wonderful 2023, NHCC! We wish you the happiest of new years! See you in 2024! 

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