Meet Nicole Naasz, NTC’s Newest Student Success Coordinator

Nicole Naasz joined the Northwest Technical College team this summer as the student success coordinator for the college’s American Indian Resource Center. Her job duties revolve around advocating for American Indian students on campus by offering resources, guidance and a listening ear.



What was your journey to Northwest Technical College?

I’m originally from Sauk Centre [Minnesota], which is a small farming community. I then moved up to Bemidji to go to college at Bemidji State University. I graduated with a major in applied psychology.

For the last 25 years – I’m going to show my age – I have done a lot of in-home case management working with families connecting them with resources and helping with chemical dependency and trauma issues.

I’ve always been an advocate and have always worked with American Indian families, so this kind of just felt like the next step for me in my career.

What are you responsible for in your job? 

One of the things I’m excited about is working with students to help them move forward and work through any kind of difficulties they may encounter. We all have struggles and different things that we come into that are difficult. I’m looking forward to helping them be able to see that it’s manageable and you can still forward even when there are challenges in place.

What is your student success superpower?

My genuineness. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, because I don’t have all the answers. But I am always going to be there to support and work with them side by side to find the answer. It’s just kind of my never-give-up attitude.

“There’s always a solution” is the mentality [I have] and so I think that’s kind of my superpower to helping students.

What’s something about you that might surprise others?

I think most people would be very surprised to find out that I love fly fishing. I’ve fished out of the boat and ice fished, but fly fishing up in the mountains is my absolute favorite thing to do.

My husband and I every summer used to go to the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming and fish the Tongue River. That is where everything just kind of comes into place for me – my grounding and connection.

I would get up in the morning to make coffee on one side of the river, and on the other side of the river you’d see a mama and baby moose walking. It just gives you that sense and feeling that things are bigger than you are and maybe the frustrations, troubles or stresses that you had are not so big.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?

My great-great grandmother. I feel very fortunate because I was able to get to know my great-great grandmother and a lot of people do not have that opportunity. She was somebody very special in my life and had a lot of wisdom and was a great storyteller.

I learned a lot from her and now, seeing things where they are, I would just love to get her perspective on them.

What advice do you have for NTC students?

That although this is a new challenge in their lives and it maybe feels uncomfortable or unsettling at first, that discomfort will pass and they can do whatever they set their minds to. There isn’t anybody or anything stopping them as long as they’re willing to move forward and maybe face some of those scary or uncomfortable situations.



Nicole Naasz, student success coordinator


American Indian Resource Center