In September 2012, North Idaho College was awarded a $2.97 million grant intended to create an aerospace center to meet the workforce demands of the aerospace industry in North Idaho and help veterans and displaced workers in need of retraining. The grant is expected to create 520 new jobs by 2015, according to grant application projections, and will have a $28.8 annual impact to the local economy.
A record 1,100 students were eligible to graduate from NIC during the 2013 commencement ceremony in May 2013 and, of those, more than 400 chose to walk across the stage to receive their degree or certificate. In addition, NIC celebrated several special graduation ceremonies, with its spring class of 10 Basic Patrol Academy graduates; pinning ceremonies for registered nursing, practical nursing, and radiography technology graduates; a group of students trained through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Coeur d’Alene Basin Superfund Job Training Initiative; and multiple Adult Basic Education and GED completers.
Several outstanding North Idaho College staff and faculty members were honored with achievement awards during the annual NIC Employee Awards Breakfast in May 2013. In addition, Length of Service Awards were distributed to employees spanning five to 30 years of service to NIC. Gail Laferriere, North Idaho College Career Services assistant director, was named the 2013 Counselor of the Year by the Idaho Counseling Association.
North Idaho College announced its Medical Assistant Certificate program was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in September 2012. The Medical Assistant program prepares students to work as entry-level healthcare providers in settings such as physicians’ offices, health care clinics, and hospitals.
In 2012-2013, Jobs Plus Inc., the Coeur d’Alene area economic development corporation, awarded North Idaho College’s Graphic Design program a one-time investment of $6,000 and established a grant that will sponsor two scholarships totaling $4,000 annually.
North Idaho College student Michelle Bristow was the top-scoring student from Idaho, earning her the honor of Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. Bristow was presented with a $2,000 scholarship and plaque from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation while being recognized at the annual Phi Theta Kappa President’s Breakfast April 2013 in San Francisco.
Five North Idaho College members of Business Professionals of America earned multiple national honors at the 2013 National Leadership Conference. The teams and individuals placed among the top in the entire nation while competing against students from both two- and four-year schools. Those students and others won multiple awards at the state BPA competition as well.
In the past year, four Graphic Design students won Addy Awards through the American Advertising Federation in video promotion, graphic design, and web design.
The North Idaho College Athletics Department and NIC Booster Club announced the inductees for the fifth Athletics Hall of Fame class, which includes record-setting baseball player Mike Nyquist, two-time national champ and longtime wrestling coach Pat Whitcomb, and the first women’s team to capture a national championship: the 1987 NIC women’s cross country team.
Staff members from North Idaho College’s The Sentinel newspaper continue to rake in awards, winning first place for General Excellence in a college newspaper from the Idaho Press Club Best of 2012 Annual Awards Student Division. The Sentinel was also honored with Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper in the Mark of Excellence awards through the Society of Professional Journalists, in addition to earning more than a dozen individual awards. The Sentinel was honored with “Best in Show” for two-year school newspapers as the Associated Collegiate Press’s spring convention and it won the College Media Association’s Apple Award for best newspaper in the two-year school category.
The Associated Students of North Idaho College hosted the interactive exhibit “Footsteps: A Journey of Many” in March 2013, presenting an opportunity for a five-sense exposure to issues of social injustice. In addition, a week full of events was enjoyed by students and the public alike during American Indian Heritage Week. One talented student from more than 50 young spellers in North Idaho was able to attend the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee courtesy of NIC and Hagadone Newspapers.
In a true battle of gladiators that came down to the finals, North Idaho College claimed the 14th NJCAA Wrestling Championship in school history. The Cardinals shared the 2013 title with Labette Community College (Kansas), with both teams earning 120 points. The teams entered the championship tournament in Des Moines, Iowa ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation. NIC held the top ranking the entire season. The Cardinals qualified 10 wrestlers for the NJCAA tournament and came away with seven All-Americans in a true team effort.
Nursing mothers now have a place to breast feed or pump in private. The Mother's Nook, located in Room 211 on the second floor of Lee-Kildow Hall, is ready and available to employees and students. The Mother's Nook was created in response to employee/student needs. It was formerly an underused storage room that was transformed into a comfortable place for mothers and their babies.
Students decided to give up fun in the sun for their spring break to volunteer to help others instead. Students traveled to Portland, Ore., for an Alternative Spring Break for a transformational trip to learn about poverty while serving the homeless population of Portland.
The NIC at Sandpoint Center moved back to Sandpoint from Ponderay. A community-wide fundraising effort opened the door for an onsite science laboratory that will allow for NIC to offer a full degree in Sandpoint. NIC is now working with Lewis-Clark State College to offer four-year degree options in Sandpoint as well.
After North Idaho College students placed in six categories at the state qualifying competition, several NIC students were invited to participate in the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City. Two students in North Idaho College’s Collision Repair Technology program earned a second-place and eighth-place finish nationally!
It’s not a little raffle. It’s Really BIG! In 2013, the North Idaho College Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary of the fundraiser that raises approximately $220,000 for educational needs at NIC. In 20 years, the foundation has generated net proceeds of $3.4 million.
The NIC wrestling team has distributed more than 11,000 books to elementary students through the Shirley Parker Reading Program, which was established in 2002 in partnership with Parker Toyota. The program was named in honor of Doug Parker’s late wife, Shirley, who was a big supporter of both reading and wrestling. The program puts at least one book in the hands of every first-grader in Coeur d’Alene School District each year. In addition, members of the NIC Wrestling Team participate in reading to first-graders all throughout the Coeur d’Alene School District.