Northwest College

Teaching & Learning Center

Faculty spotlights

Learn more about what makes Northwest college’s faculty truly excellent! 

In collaboration with The Committee on Faculty Development and Morale and the office of College Relations, the TLC is excited to showcase the great work of Northwest College's educators! In this faculty spotlight series, we will feature members of our faculty that are recognized by nominations from their peers based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring/advising, service, or scholarship. Spotlights will also be promoted by the Marketing, Communications & Web office in a variety of media.

Christine Garceau

Posted: July 8, 2023

Associate Professor of Photography Christine Garceau marvels at the series of events, each one leading to another, that brought her to Northwest College. Part of it was being in the right place at the right time, but it all began with music, not photography.

Growing up in Marquette, Michigan on the Upper Peninsula, Christine was a member of her high school band, as well as the local drum and bugle corps. She also earned a spot in the world class Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, a highly competitive unit based in Rockford, Illinois. When Christine enrolled at Northern Michigan University in her hometown, she initially did so as a music major, though her schedule did include a photography class. But then…

“One football game, we had a horrible cold, sleety storm, and that was it for me. I switched majors and went to photo. I decided I’d rather be in a warm darkroom than on a cold field directing a marching band.”

Christine’s career was already taking off by the time she earned her BS in photography in 1981. An instructor had given her name to the Detroit Free Press, which led to assignments with the paper and later a magazine. Then, while working in her garden one day, a neighbor who was a writer for the local paper asked if she’d be interested in a part-time job there. She said yes, and added that to her work with the Free Press and AP.

Christine opened her own studio too while still doing freelance work before being drawn back to NMU where she taught for 11 years. After earning a PhD in Rhetoric & Tech Communication from Michigan Tech in 2012, she joined the faculty at Northwest College that same year and is proud to be part of a photography program unlike any other, with requirements exceeding many universities that better prepare students for future careers. There’s also the field studies option, which takes NWC students abroad each year in what Christine calls the “crown jewel” of the program.

But there’s another aspect of the photography program that has made an impression on Christine personally.

“The collegiality of my colleagues is what really makes it a great place to work. I can’t do what I do alone. It’s too complicated, and we all support each other.”