News Archive

Important Note: We have a new website location for college news. The listing below is an older archive, and you can find the latest news at

Schoolcraft Grad Will be STEAMz Keynote Speaker

March 22, 2021

Nick Mannisto tossing pizzaA successful entrepreneur and Schoolcraft College graduate will be the keynote speaker of this year’s STEAMzSchoolcraft: Bridging the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences.

Nick Mannisto, a 2015 and 2017 graduate of Schoolcraft’s Culinary Arts and Brewing and Distillation Technology programs, will deliver the important address at this year’s program.

This student-led event investigates how the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) disciplines effectively build on one another in real-world settings to support students’ academic and professional goals.

The “z” refers to Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2010. This focus was selected because the current traditional college-age student (18-22) is a part of Gen Z.

This year’s focus, “The World Reimagined,” will explore the emergence of a new social and technological era and how it impacts the future of our students and communities.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mannisto opened Captain’s Wööd Fired Pies food truck in 2020. In addition to growing his own produce, Mannisto sources ingredients from local and urban farms in order to strengthen bonds with the community and provide a farm-to-table experience for his customers. Mannisto and his company also support many local charities and organizations.

Nick Mannisto making a pizzaMannisto’s love of cooking began when he prepared a Dutch Chicken recipe for his fellow Eagle Scouts in a cooking competition. Working in Howell High School’s Highlander Café only furthered his love for the culinary field, and he has plans to one day open a brick and mortar restaurant. Mannisto also manages Authentic Entertainment LLC, which provides customers with event planning, catering and DJ services.  

The STEAMz presentations focus on ideas, findings, and experiences highlighting academic and professional successes. Presenters address specific values, skills, and experiences needed to set and achieve thoughtful and actionable goals as they transition into university life or the workforce.

The STEAMz program is scheduled for Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26, from 3 to 6 p.m. both days and will be held in a virtual format. 

Meet the Committee

The STEAMz Committee includes alumni, faculty and staff invested in the shared vision of making the STEAMz student-led virtual summit a reality. Here are the team members involved with making the event happen:

  • Sharon Christian, Chair, Director of Learning Support Services
  • Sherrye Bailey, Academic Success Coach – Learning Strategies & Writing
  • Erica Bednarski, LSS Administrative Assistant
  • Raymond Falkiewicz, Schoolcraft Alumni
  • Laura Haldane, Admissions, Orientation, and Early College Coordinator
  • Paul Holody, Physics Faculty
  • Dr. Mark Huston, Philosophy Faculty
  • Elizabeth Kenney, Learning Center Coordinator
  • Nicole Margosian-Galindo, Honors Program Coordinator and CAB/COLLS* Faculty
  • Olga Martinez, PTAC** Program Manager
  • Michael McCoy, Math Faculty
  • Emily Podwoiski, Honors Program Assistant
  • Jennie Rokakis, LSS Assistant for Mentorship Programs
  • Annika Sholander, Academic Success Coach – International Learning
  • Deborah Taracuk, English & Communications Faculty
  • Christopher Wood, Physics Faculty

Read a short bio on each committee member.

STEAMzSchoolcraft: Bridging the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences is presented by Schoolcraft College’s Learning Support Services, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Scholars Honors Program.


*CAB/COLLS stands for College And Beyond/Collegiate Skills

**PTAC stands for Procurement Technical Assistance Center