Registration is open for Northwest Ohio Small Farm Conference & Trade Show

Calling all beginning and small farmers! Northwest State and OSU Extension Henry County invite you to spend a day networking with peers, attending targeted educational sessions, and learning more about the latest products and services available for small farms. Register for the Northwest Ohio Small Farm Conference & Trade Show by March 1.

Questions? Contact Garth Ruff at 419.592.0806 or

Ag Studies Chair to Speak at Pettisville Ag Night on Feb. 4, 2019

The third meeting of the Pettisville Adult Agriculture Education Night Series will be held on Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m. in the Pettisville Ag Room. There will be two speakers for the evening. 

Gretchen Lee, 2018 Pettisville graduate and current Ohio FFA state secretary, traveled to South Africa for several days in January for an agriculture tour with state officers from around the nation. She will share information from the trip about the agriculture and cultural differences in that country.

Michael Leonard, department chair of agriculture studies at Northwest State Community College, will be sharing what NSCC has to offer in agriculture curriculum. Two majors are in the works for this program.

The meeting is free and open to the public, regardless of school district. Guests should park in the west lot and enter through door #12 on the southwest corner.

Questions? Contact John Poulson at or 419.446.2705. In the event of inclement weather, a cancellation will be announced on 96.1 WMTR and 103.1 WNDH.

Fall Commencement Ceremony Awards 103 Degrees/Certificates

Northwest State Community College celebrated the December 2018 graduating class at the fall Commencement Ceremony on December 17 in the Voinovich Auditorium. The ceremony recognized the awarding of 103 degrees and/or certificates to 97 students from the divisions of Allied Health, Business & Public Services; Arts & Sciences; Industrial Technologies; Nursing; and Science, Technology, Engineering Technology & Math (STEM).


Dr. Cindy Krueger, NSCC vice president for institutional effectiveness & student services, kicked off the ceremony with a note of celebration. Krueger noted that 91 percent of the graduating class lives in the College’s six-county service area of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams Counties, and that the grade point average of the class is 3.22.

Daniel Stuckey of Montpelier was the student speaker. He received an Associate of Applied Business in Business Management and is a member of the Kappa Beta Delta and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. During his speech, Stuckey noted how two significant life events – the death of his father when Daniel was 8 years old and the death of his son Josh just over 10 years ago – helped shape the direction of his life and his education.

Stuckey noted, “I thought that going to college would be impossible. I lacked an education and I was working two jobs. I never missed a day of bus driving and I exceeded my goals in real estate last year. I’m graduating from college at 56 years old. Never say you can’t do something until you have tried your very best to achieve it. Pursue your dreams with all that’s in you and never give up. You will not regret it.”

The keynote speaker for this year’s Commencement Ceremony was Dr. Larry McDougle, president emeritus and former president of Northwest Technical College/Northwest State Community College. McDougle reflected fondly on his time at the College, noting of his 45 years spent in college administration, “without a doubt, (this was) the best 12 years of my career.”

McDougle also noted the distinction between doing things right and doing the right thing, sharing a memory from the first commencement he attended as president. His engaging speech resonated with the graduates and the audience alike.

During the ceremony, twelve students were recognized as Award of Merit recipients. Award of Merit recipients are chosen by faculty from the respective divisions based on leadership involvement, special talents or abilities in their academic field, and significant contributions to Northwest State.

Award of Merit recipients included:
Allied Health, Business & Public Services
Bret Schliesser, Accounting
Amanda Andres, Accounting
Kristi Schlachter, Accounting
Stephen DeLaney, Business Management
Daniel Stuckey, Business Management
Janell Marchant, Criminal Justice
Brooke Thatcher, Medical Assisting

Arts & Sciences
Isabella Swartz, Associate of Arts
Noah Scheppler, Associate of Science
Arielle Young, Visual Communication/Graphic Design

Industrial Technologies
Micah Peterson, Mechatronics
Cody Herman, Mechatronics

Kali Heffelfinger, Practical Nursing

Science, Technology, Engineering Technology & Math
Kurt Stokes, Electrical Engineering
Matthew Wulff, Electro-Mechanical Engineering
Hannah Roth, Mechanical Engineering
Trey Hesselschwardt, Project Management

The College also recognized three individuals who were recently awarded emeritus status, an honorary title awarded for distinguished service to the academic community. The three recipients were Lynda Cramer, former executive assistant to three NSCC president; Lori Bird, former dean of the Nursing Division; and Peter Beck, CEO of Automatic Feed, chair of the NSCC Foundation and former Board of Trustees member.

Board of Trustees Approves Agronomy Program

The Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Friday, December 14, 2018, on the Archbold campus. As part of the meeting, the Board approved a new associate of applied science in agronomy program. The program will prepare graduates for careers in agronomic-related fields, with an emphasis in nutrient management and soils-related opportunities, such as crop consultant, soil technician, and other technical positions.

NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson noted that over the College’s six-county service area, there is 1.6 million acres of land, with over 82% of those acres in production agriculture, reinforcing the importance of this program. According to the USDA, there were 73,600 farm operations around the state, with 14,000,000 acres of land operated in 2017 [1]. Soybean and corn harvests alone account for over $4.3 billion (value of production). Thomson also noted that other ag-related programs are in the works, with potential areas of focus including precision agriculture and agribusiness.

In other Board action:

  • Approved emeritus status for Lori Bird, Lynda Cramer and Peter Beck, all of whom will be recognized at a special emeritus dinner prior to fall commencement
  • Approved a new short-term certificate program, manufacturing foundations
  • Approved a new policy on sexual misconduct, as well as policy revisions on the code of student conduct and student due process and grievances
  • Approved the employment contracts of Suzanne Lammers, faculty-developmental mathematics and Sarah Stubblefield, training coordinator-industrial technologies.
  • Approved the promotions of Terry King to director-data systems and James Zeller to senior administrator-data systems
  • Approved a title change for Ashley Pere to grant coordinator and a market salary adjustment to James Bellamy, coordinator-marketing & communications
  • Approved the 2017-2018 College audit
  • Approved miscellaneous employment contracts and one resignation
  • Approved a revision to facility room rental rates


2018 Award of Merit & PTK Inductees Recognized

Northwest State Community College recently recognized seventeen Award of Merit recipients.  For over 25 years, Northwest State has recognized graduates within the degree programs for their academic achievements.  Award of Merit recipients are chosen by faculty from the respective divisions based on leadership involvement, special talents or abilities in their academic field, and significant contributions to Northwest State.

During the ceremony, the College also recognized twelve students for induction in to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. To be eligible for induction, students must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average after completing at least eighteen credit hours of college coursework. During the evening’s festivities, four students were also inducted into the Kappa Beta Delta International Honor Society, recognizing “scholarship and accomplishment among students of business pursuing associate degrees.”[1] Inductees included Amanda Andres, Kelly Anderson, Abigail Hull, Christopher Schaub, Jennifer Barnhart, Jacob Klopfenstein, Jason Stubblefield, Robert Simmons, Wesley Heuerman, Caleb Davila, Elizabeth Huffman and Mark Oliphant.

Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918 to encourage academic achievement for two-year college students. Its mission is to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.3 million members.

The following students were recognized:

Bret Schlisser, Accounting
Amanda Andres, Accounting
Kristi Schlachter, Accounting
Stephen DeLaney, Business Management
Daniel Stuckey, Business Management
Janel Marchant, Criminal Justice
Brooke Thatcher, Medical Assisting
Isabella Swartz, Associate of Arts
Noah Scheppler, Associate of Science
Arielle Young, Visual Communication Graphic Design
Micah Peterson, Mechatronics
Cody Herman, Mechatronics
Kurt Stokes, Electrical Engineering Technology
Matthew Wulff, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology
Hannah Roth, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Trey Hesselschwardt, Project Management Technology
Kali Heffelfinger, Practical Nursing


NSCC President Pledges to Promote Entrepreneurship

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Michael Thomson of Northwest State Community College has taken its Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge. Through the pledge, presidents of community colleges throughout the country pledge to take five action steps that will increase their focus on entrepreneurship and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve.

With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 200 community colleges throughout the country have signed the entrepreneurship pledge, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in northwest Ohio, especially on the campus of Northwest State,” said Dr. Michael Thomson, NSCC President. “Our Entrepreneurship Forum is a highly-anticipated event each year, bringing in some of the best ideas and expertise in the spirit of collaboration. Our Dean’s Leadership Cluster [student organization] provides students with a unique opportunity to study business practices from multiple levels. We are also a host site for the Ohio Small Business Development Center, facilitated by one of our business faculty members. We are NSCC Proud to take the ‘Presidents’ pledge,” Thomson continued.

About the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge
The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.

According to NACCE President and CEO Rebecca Corbin, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to these five action steps:

• Develop transparency of community college and community assets
• Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
• Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
• Engage in industry cluster development
• Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

“The five action steps were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Corbin. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the “entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. For more information, visit Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.

Board of Trustees Recognizes 30 Years of Nursing Success

The Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Friday, October 26, 2018, on the Archbold campus. As part of the meeting, Dr. Kathy Keister was formally introduced as the new dean of the Nursing Division. Keister succeeds Patti Altman, who will be retiring effective January 1, 2019. Keister provided the Board with an overview of the nursing programs at Northwest State, which included introductions of some faculty members, and some impressive data from registered nursing and practical nursing board exam passage rates, both of which have generally exceeded both state and national averages.

At the end of the presentation, Dr. Keister and NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson noted the upcoming “30 Years of Associate Degree Nursing” celebration happening on November 8.

In other Board action:

  • Approved the employment contracts of Kathy Keister, dean-nursing; Anne Kindinger, assistant-data entry & testing; Jared Nofziger, associate director-financial aid; Nicole Hand, administrative assistant-community & workforce development; Deborah Hartzell, program & clinical coordinator; and Brittany Galbraith, enrollment advocate
  • Approved miscellaneous employment contracts and one resignation
  • Approved an employee benefits policy revision for graded (non-union) employees, to maintain consistency with contract employees
  • Approved a resolution to approve the 2018 Affordability and Efficiency Report. The report is for a term of five years, and the framework was originally created in 2015 by Governor Kasich’s Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency.
  • Approved a resolution to amend alternative retirement plans and assign administrative and investment duties. These are defined contribution plans under Section 401(a) and 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Entrepreneurship Forum: Nov. 6, 2018

In celebration of the spirit entrepreneurship and the power of small business, NSCC is proud to host its fifth annual Entrepreneurship Forum on Tuesday, November 6 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Voinovich Auditorium. The event is open to all residents of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding and Williams Counties with an idea, concept or business plan, as well as those who simply want to attend and enjoy the presentations and discussion.

This year’s event includes two new features.

  • One presenter will earn some investment cash! Thanks to the generosity of First Federal Bank of the Midwest, start-up money will be given to one presenter during the event.
  • Jim Weaner of Weaner, Yoder, Hill & Weber, Ltd. has generously provided use a commercial real estate property in Defiance. As an attorney, Weaner is able to also assist the entrepreneur with the proper business setup.

“There are a lot of great ideas generated by innovative entrepreneurs in our area,” said Lisa Becher, business faculty at Northwest State. Becher is also the State of Ohio Small Business Development Center consultant and a local business owner.

She has created the event to help aspiring business owners by removing barriers to market. “The Entrepreneurship Forum at Northwest State encourages those innovative thinkers and risk-takers to bring their ideas to the table, where our panel of experts will carefully listen to the concepts and provide real-time, valuable insight to help those ideas succeed,” Becher continued.

Panelists for this year’s event include:

  • Darrell Handy, president/CEO at Defiance Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Gilroy, executive director of Fulton County Economic Development
  • Joel Miller, executive director of Henry County Chamber of Commerce and Denise Dahl, executive director, Henry County Economic Development
  • Jerry Zielke, executive director of Paulding County Economic Development
  • Matt Davis, executive director of Williams County Economic Development
  • Northwest State Community College: Michael Thomson, president; Janet Delcamp, dean of business; and Lisa Becher, business faculty, State of Ohio Small Business Development Center advisor, local business owner
  • Dave Dorner, mentor and consultant to start-up businesses, former director at Rocket Ventures and executive director at Oregon Economic Development
  • Dave Figley, commercial lender at First Federal Bank
  • Ray Meiers, intellectual property attorney at Black, McCuskey, Souers & Arbaugh LPA

How to Regiser
Register by contacting Lisa Becher at 419.267.1264 or emailing The event is free to attend, but registration is required for everyone.

Please note: because of the change in event time, lunch will not be provided to attendees. Guests are encouraged to visit the NSCC Café (2nd floor ‘C’ building) for meal and snack options.