NSCC Proud: Richelle Avers

Richelle Avers has always been very self-motivated. She began taking College Credit Plus classes at NSCC as a freshman in high school and completed her associate of science degree before her high school graduation! Richelle credits the high-quality education she received at Northwest State, and the encouragement of sciences faculty, for her ongoing success. What’s next for Richelle? A trip to Germany to study molecular cell biology at Technische Univerität, Kaiserslautern

NSCC Proud: Taylor Brown

After graduating from NSCC and The Ohio State University, Taylor Brown decided to take her education even further. She’s now studying in the natural resources program at Cornell University Graduate School.

Taylor shared with us how Northwest State provided a foundation for her educational success.

“I began my studies at NSCC through the Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program while I was a sophomore at Napoleon High School. Attending NSCC provided the opportunity to earn college credit, prepare for transfer to a four-year university, and even obtain an associate degree, all while I was still a high school student. On top of the academic benefits, the PSEO program supplied tuition and textbooks, which meant I could affordably pursue my higher education goals.

When I first started at NSCC, I was broadly interested in science and my plan was to obtain an Associate of Science with a social science focus, with the eventual goal of obtaining a Bachelor of Science in a related field.

During my junior and senior years of high school, I transitioned to full-time coursework at NSCC. I truly enjoyed the academic freedom to explore my own interests and take a variety of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The classes I took simultaneously challenged and inspired me, all the while confirming my goals to continue in higher education.

Both Lisa Aschemeier and Greg Tefft helped to solidify both my foundational understanding of and passion for biology and ecology. As a scientist, I spend much of my time writing and thinking critically about complex problems, and I can trace these skills back to my literature and humanities courses with Sherry Howard. If I had the chance, I would happily take another class with Sherry – she is an amazing instructor who constantly challenged us to improve intellectually while also cultivating an enjoyable classroom environment.

NSCC was the springboard for my journey in higher education. As a first-generation college student from a working-class family, community college was my gateway into academia. Thanks to the foundational courses I took and the supportive academic environment, I was able to confidently transition to The Ohio State University after graduating with my A.S. in 2015.

Honestly, when I first started at NSCC at a mere 15 years old, I could never have imagined that I would be doing the work I am today. I graduated from OSU with my B.S. in evolution & ecology in 2018 and am currently a graduate student at Cornell University, working towards both my Master of Science and PhD in natural resources. My graduate research is focused on the ecology, early life-history, and management of two fish species native to the Great Lakes, cisco and lake whitefish. My career goals include conducting research as either a university professor or a federal fishery biologist.

I would recommend NSCC as an economical transfer option to a four-year university and as an opportunity to explore different fields of study before declaring a major. Thanks to the general education classes I took at NSCC, I was able to transfer over 70 credit hours and solely focus on my major classes at OSU.

Further, I was able to take various classes for my general education requirements at NSCC that introduced me to potential careers that I had not previously considered. Originally, I planned to pursue a career in sociology; however, I began taking courses in the natural sciences and realized that I was more interested in biology and ecology. I was able to change my coursework focus within the A.S. degree requirements towards the biological sciences, which I may not have had the flexibility to do if I had started directly as a sociology major at a four-year university.”

Returning Champions: Sam Shumaker

Sam Shumaker, NSCC graduate, returned to campus to talk to current students during a recent Pizza Posse networking event. While Sam was a student at NSCC, he took advantage of the internship credit, as well as the Prior Learning Assessment, to maximize the value of his time on campus. Sam earned college credit for his internship at Sauder and for his other life experiences outside the classroom. While Sam shared pizza with our students, he talked about his experiences as a young professional and the benefits of the NSCC visual communication graphic design program.

NSCC Hosts Game Con

Northwest State Community College hosted Game Con 2019 on December 7, welcoming over 250 people to the Archbold campus. Game Con, a creation of the NSCC visual communication graphic design program, consisted of retro gaming consoles (from the Atari to modern platforms), a Lego build station, and card & board games. The highlight of the Game Con event was the Super Smash Bros. (aka “Smash”) tournament, which boasted a field of over 70 competitors. Kameron East of Twinsburg, Ohio, approximately 170 miles from NSCC , was the tournament winner.

According to a recent article on Forbes.com, Goldman Sachs analysts estimate, “the monthly size of competitive esports gamers…will hit 276 million by 2022.” The article continues by noting, “the North American region will have generated $335 million in industry revenue, and will account for over a third of global esports revenue.” Northwest Ohio is definitely on board with this trend, as local high schools and colleges have esports teams that compete on a regional and national level.

Prior to the Game Con event on Saturday, a breakfast meeting was held on campus with local school-affiliated esports clubs and school administrators. During the breakfast, it was announced that NSCC will begin offering a gaming club in the spring 2020 semester. The game club will incorporate esports, plus board and card games, and potentially other activities within the “gaming” genre.

As part of the breakfast, NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson announced that six Presidential Scholarships will be awarded to esports participants in an effort to build up the College’s esports team. The NSCC Presidential Scholarship is a full-tuition, renewable scholarship which covers tuition for three consecutive years, including fall, spring and summer semesters.

“Northwest State is very aware of the growing popularity of esports in our area and across the United States,” said Dr. Thomson. He continued, “We are proud to offer Presidential Scholarships to six deserving students to help build our esports team – these students excel in the classroom, and they will represent NSCC admirably in the gaming community as well.”

NSCC Proud: Linda Kirkendall Busch

Linda Kirkendall Busch attended Northwest Technical College from 1973 to 1975 and returned later to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming an artist. Linda shared her inspirational story with us.

I graduated from North Central High School in Pioneer, Ohio, in 1973. I attended Northwest Technical College from fall of 1973 to spring of 1975, graduating with a 2.7 GPA (I really didn’t apply myself at that age) and an associate degree in applied business, majoring in retail management. I started out in computer science, learning RPG computing, and Cobalt programming language. I didn’t make it to Fortran programming. We learned to program the main frame computer that took up a whole room by itself. We typed on computer cards and then sorted them. We ran them through the computer, only to have them get stuck if we typed in the wrong command. I just didn’t have the patience for this. I then changed majors for the second year. I had a retail job at the time and decided to use that as a major. I didn’t really make out too well with my course choices. I didn’t know what I wanted to do that was best for me.  I ended up meeting my husband at Northwest Technical College instead.

In 2009, I had worked for Bunting Bearings for 20 years in the offices, when I was laid off, along with twenty other employees. I mourned this loss for three days, not knowing what I was going to do. At 54 years old, and a shortage in jobs, I couldn’t see a future for myself. My work was my life after my three boys were all out on their own.

I cried everyday for those three days. On the third day, I prayed for God to help me. I asked Him what I should do with my life from then on. He answered me, loud and clear!  He told me that I knew what to do. He said that He had given me the gift of art a long time ago, and that I had never used and developed it over the years. Therefore, He said that I was to go back to school and learn how to use it. He said that after I was done, He has a plan for me.

I had dreamed of going to art school since I was 8 years old. I had been making some art on the computer off and on for a few years. So I went to Northwest State Community College to enroll right away, no questions asked. I enrolled in visual communications as a way to learn the computer art. Luckily, enough credits transferred to this second go-round in college that I could skip ten classes required by the program.

I surprised myself by getting a 3.94 GPA in seven classes the first semester. I made the Dean’s List twice, which shocked me. I loved my classes at NSCC. The one course that really made the difference for me was the beginning drawing.

I had been drawing since I was four years old. In grade school, I was the class artist, drawing projects for the teacher while the other students colored and decorated what I drew. In third grade, I drew a life-size nativity scene from a small picture in the teacher’s book. The other kids colored it with colored tissue paper. The teacher then put a backing on it and stood the scene outside her classroom for several years after that.

While in beginning drawing at NSCC, I was drawing a large picture project, “A Barn in Winter,” with charcoal and white charcoal, I realized what it was that God was actually telling me to do. I stood up in class and yelled, “I know who I am now!”  Mary Ann, the teacher, yelled back, “My lightbulb!”  She said that every now and then, she would have a student who discovered their true talents suddenly. She always called them her “lightbulb.” She would then introduce me to people as her “lightbulb.”

At the December art show, I actually sold that charcoal drawing to a lady from Archbold who had lost her husband earlier. He had been an artist and used their barn as his studio. My “Barn in Winter” reminded her of that barn and him.

I took beginning painting the following year. Having discovered my true calling at NSCC, I knew immediately that God intended that I expand my learning and transfer to Bowling Green State University. I ended my studies at NSCC in December 2010. But couldn’t actually graduate until May 2011. I graduated with an associate degree in business management, majoring in visual communications.

I was already taking classes at BGSU when I graduated from NSCC. I was surprised at just how many of my Northwest credits transferred to BGSU and allowed me to only go for three years. I needed to pass an ‘art portfolio review’ to get into the bachelor of fine arts program. I passed with flying colors, thanks to the artwork that I was able to create in Mary Ann’s classes. 

I was able to live my dream since 8 years old and went to art school. I even was able to be on the Dean’s list twice, with one semester having a 4.0 GPA. I graduated from BGSU in December 2013, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2D art, majoring in painting and drawing, at age 59.  I was the oldest in my class  IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS!

God led me back to Northwest State Community College to begin my new life. If it weren’t for how NSCC has expanded it’s curriculum, I wouldn’t have been able to live my dream. I will always thank my Lord God for His Plan for my life, and NSCC for being there so I could make God’s Plan for my life come true. Thank you so much!

NSCC Proud: Owen Brigner

Owen Brigner started taking College Credit Plus classes at Northwest State during high school, earning about one year’s worth of credits in the process. He decided to continue his studies at NSCC after graduating from high school and earned his associate of arts degree in 2019. Owen graduated debt-free and transferred his credits to BGSU, where he is now working on his bachelor’s degree.

NSCC Proud: Raymond Payne

Raymond Payne took transfer courses at NSCC, completing his studies here in 2012 and later earning a master’s degree from BGSU. Check out the Q&A for more information about Raymond’s time at Northwest State.

Why did you choose NSCC originally to study? “I chose NSCC originally due to the affordability of the education and the easy to access location.”

What was the experience here like? “My experience with Northwest State Community College was very positive as there was tutoring available for math, English that I struggled with at first.”

When did you decide to continue your studies, and how was the transfer process for you? “I continued my studies at Bowling Green State University where I now carry a master’s degree in food and nutrition. The transfer process was easy as all my classes transferred from Northwest to BGSU seamlessly. I even went back to Northwest State Community College for a general education class (college algebra) while I attended full time at Bowling Green and had that class transferred in.”

How did NSCC help you prepare for your next steps? “NSCC helped me chose a career path and get my general education classes done with the location being close to home.”

What are you up to now? “I work as a registered dietitian nutritionist for a consultant company called NutraSourceRD I have been a dietitian for three years. This is my third job full-time job as a dietitian and I work in long-term care. I will be moving on to a hospital next month in a full-time job to expand my horizons.”