NICC Peosta Campus
8342 NICC Drive
Peosta, Iowa 52068
The NICC Library Staff are interested in collecting materials relating to the history of the college. If you have items of historical interest to the college, please contact Germaine Kuhn at the Library in the Student Center on the Calmar Campus.
If you notice any errors please let us know.
Yearbooks from 1968-1999
Ask Library Staff in the Student Center to view Yearbooks. May not be checked out, must stay in the Library.
Written by: Julie G. Huiskamp, Ph.D., SPHR
Executive Director of Human Resources (Retired)
It's Time to Retire: NICC Staff Member Concludes Nearly 47 Years of Service to College
April 30, 2015
CALMAR—Pencil and paper. Mimeograph machines and stencils. Manual typewriters and purple master sheets to type instructors’ tests.
That’s the secretarial world Norma Bullerman encountered in July 1968 at Area I Vocational-Technical School in Calmar. At that time, she had just graduated from the Secretarial program in May, 20 years before the new school would become known as Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in 1988. After graduation, she started her career at her alma mater, and on May 1, 2015, the NICC alumna and veteran staff member will retire, just two months short of her 47th anniversary of dedicated service to the College.
Bullerman has witnessed, learned from and struggled at times with the tremendous technological advancements ushered in with each decade of service at NICC. However, the College’s mission to serve students and meet their needs in an ever-evolving employment and technological landscape is one aspect that maintained its clear sense of vision and purpose since the very beginning, according to Bullerman.
“At NICC, I worked under the leadership of every College president and through every name change to the school. I feel proud to be a part of it for so many years,” she said. “I can say that we have the best community college in the state and see nothing but growth in the future. We have great facilities, faculty and staff. Students are our number one priority.”
Her Secretarial program at NICC from 1967-68 prepared Bullerman for a lifelong career as instructors made sure students did their best and learned every lesson taught in the classroom. She is also a member of the first graduating class at the College.
“We didn’t have a campus at the time NICC opened. Students attended classes in rented buildings in Calmar, Ossian and Fort Atkinson. Tuition was $50 per quarter so my entire program cost $150,” Bullerman recalled. “The Secretarial program was housed in the Fort Atkinson gym. We were on one side of the gym and the Accounting program was on the other side with a partition between us. Joy Schmidt was the first Secretarial program instructor. She was a great teacher. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I learned a lot from her.”
A major reason Bullerman enrolled at NICC in 1967 was the school’s affordability, and this is the appeal that still influences many students’ decisions to attend the College to the present day, Bullerman explained.
“My parents were not able to send me to a business school,” she said. “This is true today; NICC is a college that students, or their parents, can afford. As a community college, I think it’s great that our graduates can transfer their credits to a four-year university.”
As a new employee at NICC, Bullerman worked as the only secretary for the Agriculture and Trade and Industry departments in an office off-campus in Ossian. Bullerman finally found a home on campus when construction of Max Clark Hall was completed in 1972, where she worked in the Business and Agriculture departments.
In 1981, she transitioned to the Financial Aid Office. Today, more federal regulations and security measures govern financial aid processes and technological improvements make everyday tasks easier and more efficient, she noted.
“Everything was so manual back then. Today, things are done so much more quickly with computers. We are moving in the direction of going paperless,” she emphasized.
NICC Financial Aid colleagues have made her journey a memorable and meaningful one.
“I work with an awesome Financial Aid team with Kim Baumler as the Director. I cannot say enough about my co-workers. We work together well and find it very rewarding helping our students. I’m having a hard time letting go of my NICC family, but it’s time,” Bullerman said.
Norma Bullerman and her husband Ron celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2014. The couple have two adult children, Adam and Amy. Adam and his wife Kim live in Urbandale and have a son, Blake. Amy and her husband Jamie Hammersland live in Elkader and have two sons, Owen and Griffen.
In her retirement, she plans to spend more time with family and her grandchildren, and Norma and Ron will be vacationing in Alaska this summer to celebrate. She plans to continue her volunteer work at the information desk at Winneshiek Medical Center and the local food pantry. In her free time, Norma enjoys reading, making cards, gardening and camping.