NHCC | North Hennepin Community College

Changing Lives for 50 Years

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Your Stories

We're celebrating 50 years of changing lives and are inspired by your stories. Here are some that you've shared with us. How are you connected to NHCC? Share your story here.

Connie Lounsbury, 1972

Marc Ivancic, 1978

Rachel Johnson, 2012

Carol LaFleur, 2011

Brett Sherman, 1990


Marc Ivancic, 1978
"I was a 1978 graduate of the Nursing Program. In our class picture (above), I am in the top row, far right - the one not looking forward. I remember riding the bus from south Minneapolis to NHCC everyday for classes. And sometimes stopping at the First Chance/Last Chance bar for test taking relief, somewhere in NE Minneapolis by the river. While attending NHCC I was employed part time at the once Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park as a Tech. Since graduating, I finished my undergrad at the University of Missouri and got my MBA from Keller out of Chicago. I have worked in various nursing positions including Supervisor, Manager, and Director as well as positions on the financial side of Healthcare. My current position is the Perioperative Business Manager at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a US News & World Report top ten hospital and is the best of both worlds – clinical and financial. NHCC was a start to a long and successful career in Healthcare that has never caused me to regret starting at a community college in Brooklyn Park. Thank you 37 years later."


Connie Lounsbury, 1972
"I attended your junior college in 1970, graduating in 1972. Congratulations on doing good work for 50 years. You made a difference in my life!" Connie's story:

“You’re not qualified for anything else,” the woman at the temp agency said when I told her that the first job she had sent me on was too menial and the pay too low. I wanted work that would be satisfying and an income that was worth my time. “You have no skills or education,” she continued. That’s when I remembered that a college had recently moved to Brooklyn Park, only about 35 miles from my home. Could I possibly go to college?

When I was a junior in high school I told my mother I wanted to go to college. “College is for rich kids,” she told me. “We can’t afford to send you to college. You’ll just have to get married and raise a family like the rest of us do.” I didn’t know anything about scholarships or college loans so I believed her. The only college graduates I knew were my teachers, but I was a quiet student who never caused any trouble so no one talked to me about my future."

Continue reading Connie's story.

rachel johnson 

Rachel Johnson, 2012
I'll always remember doing my fruit fly genetics project. Breeding the flies to generate mutations was definitely educational and a hands-on lesson that demonstrated Mendelian genetics right in front of our eyes in a living organism. I'll never forget taking them home one night to separate immature females and accidentally opening a vial in my house! Good times and good memories - thank you Dr. Mans!

carol lafleur 

Carol LaFleur, 2011

When I came to NHCC, I was in a wheelchair full-time with my husband by my side, and taking one class at a time.  I had been a recluse in my home for over ten years and prior to that, had spent seven years in and out of hospitals. I was accepted into the TRIO/Student Support Services program and my life changed. I found out that I did matter, I was smart, and I had what it took to get a degree. The professors, staff, and faculty all cared and supported me.  I was involved with campus groups, I had my writings published, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and took honors classes. To say education, NHCC, and TRIO/SSS changed my life is an understatement. Due to the educational support not only did I thrive and graduate I went on to obtain my B.A. in Criminal Justice at Metro State and was class Valedictorian. I was given my life back and I am alive today due to my educational journey through North Hennepin Community College.  Today, I am a paid intern at Metro Transit Police Department working in Juvenile Outreach.

Brett Sherman 

Brett Sherman, 1990

In the years since I attended NHCC, I’ve had the opportunity to hold many enjoyable positions in the financial industry.

In addition to opening my own investment management firm in 2014, I also successfully ran for City Council in Happy Valley, Oregon.  I’m a member in good standing in the Investment Management Consultants Association and MENSA.  I also was the recipient of the 2011 Oregon Governor’s Fitness Leadership Award.

To this day, I still think of Joe May, my statistics professor at NHCC.  It was his creative teaching style, enthusiasm, and encouragement which put me on the path I’m still on after all these years.