As Josh Misner puts it, for a communication instructor, giving a commencement address is like going to the Final Four.
Misner just made the Big Dance.
“It’s really a huge honor,” said the 37-year-old North Idaho College communication instructor. “It’s also very humbling.”
Misner will give the address for a record class of about 1,000 candidates eligible for graduation at the NIC commencement program to take place at 10 a.m. Friday, May 11 in NIC’s Christianson Gym. About 400 students are expected to participate in the ceremony.
For Misner, an NIC alumnus who was raised in the Northwest, Friday’s ceremony represents a life path that’s come full circle. After a successful career working for a Spokane-based manufacturer that took him to locales across the globe, writing a published novel before he was 30, and raising children with his wife, Misner realized he was at a crossroads. He had gone far without a degree, but realized there would always be a ceiling unless he went back to school. After taking some classes at Washington State University, Misner transferred to NIC.
He stumbled into communication, which was a required class for the then-English major. To his surprise, he learned he had a talent for it after he overcame a fear of public speaking and was able to loosen up and have fun.
“I always enjoyed writing, but what I loved about communication was the instant feedback,” he said. “I’d already figured out I wanted to teach. Now I knew I wanted to teach communication.”
After graduating NIC, Misner earned a bachelor’s degree, which he quickly followed by earning a master’s degree in only one year from Gonzaga University in communication and leadership.
“NIC provided the foundation. Gonzaga polished what was there,” he said.
It didn’t take long before he was back in the same classroom in Boswell Hall where he first learned he had a knack for public speaking. The pupil is now the teacher.
“I am in love with the profession. I literally wake up every morning thinking, ‘This is awesome. I get to go teach,’” Misner said. “When I think about what the NIC experience did for me, and that’s the expectation I have to live up to, it keeps me working harder to ensure I provide my students with the same experience I had—if not more.”
Because limited seating is available, guest tickets for NIC’s commencement ceremony have already been distributed and attendees will only be admitted to the commencement ceremony with a ticket. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for seating and parking. Campus streets will close down at 9:45 a.m. for the processional. Parking permits will not be needed the day of commencement. Those needing special accommodations should call the NIC Center for Educational Access at (208) 769-5947.
Those who cannot attend can view the commencement ceremony live at 10 a.m. on CDA-TV public access Channel 19. In addition, DVDs of the ceremony will be available for $20 each following the ceremony by calling (208) 769-3330.
Graduates, friends and families are invited to a reception honoring this year’s graduates immediately following the commencement ceremony in the plaza outside NIC’s Edminster Student Union Building, which will include an all-class photo that will be posted to the NIC Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/northidahocollege/sets/.
Josh Misner, North Idaho College’s 2012 commencement speaker, teaching recently in the same classroom where he was first introduced to his craft.