Oct. 24, 2001
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Landmine Expert to Speak at NMU

Landmines pose an international problem because they injure and kill innocent civilians, obstruct emergency assistance activities, hamper economic development and impede the free movement of citizens. (At left, a deminer and his canine colleague search for landmines in Bosnia. State Magazine photo)

Negaunee native Donald “Pat” Patierno is director of the U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Demining Programs. He will speak to Northern Michigan University classes and give a public presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in lecture room B of West Science. Refreshments will be served. Patierno plans to discuss how the U.S. and other countries are addressing the landmine problem and how ordinary citizens can help. His visit is sponsored by the HPER department.

The Humanitarian Demining Program seeks to relieve human suffering while promoting U.S. interests in select mine-affected countries. Its objectives are to develop and support indigenous demining programs, reduce civilian casualties, facilitate the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, reinforce a country’s stability, and encourage international cooperation and participation.

NMU Addresses Mail Concerns

In light of recent anthrax incidents on the East Coast, the NMU President's Council last week discussed Northern's mail policies. President Judi Bailey asked that all supervisors across campus discuss this issue with their faculty, staff and student employees. "We don't want to overreact, but we want to ensure that all NMU employees and students who handle mail feel comfortable doing so."

Ken Chant (Public Safety) said employees who open mail have the option of wearing latex gloves. NMU Public Safety has posted several documents on its Web site covering anthrax and NMU's mail policy. If you click on the "Policy" button on the pull-down menu at left, you can access university-related information. The following link offers FBI tips on what to do if you receive suspicious mail: FBI Poster

Dubus Visit Rescheduled

Andre Dubus III, the author of House of Sand and Fog and Bluesman, will visit Northern Michigan University and give two public presentations.

The first is a reading at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29, in the Michigan Room of the University Center. There is no fee to attend the reading, but NMU graduate students will collect donations for the Red Cross. Dubus will also participate in a colloquium for NMU students and faculty from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Ontario Room of the University Center. Light refreshments will be served.

Dubus’ first book was a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories. His work has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize and a St. Botolph Foundation Grant. He was also a 1994 finalist for the Prix de Rome Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letter.

NMU’s master of fine arts in writing program, Passages North and President Judi Bailey are co-sponsoring Dubus’ visit.

Expressions Art Auction Saturday

A new original watercolor painting by Nita Engle will be up for bid at the 14th annual Expressions Art Auction. More than 80 Upper Peninsula artists have donated work for the fundraiser, which supports Public Radio 90 and Public TV 13. The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at Upfront & Company. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $20 and you can preview the art at Expressions Art.

Brown Bag Forums Planned

Two brown bag forums for This Decisive Season: The Campaign for Northern Michigan University are scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 30 and Tuesday, Nov. 27. The informational forums will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Alumni Suite of the University Center.

Participants are asked to bring their own lunch; dessert, coffee and tea will be provided. Development fund staff members and campaign volunteers will answer questions about the progress of the campaign and the process for making a gift. They will also discuss which gifts qualify for the university's matching fund challenge. For more information, contact the development fund office at 2627.

Empire Builder

A 9-foot model of New York's Empire State Building, complete with a King Kong-like gorilla, is on display in the circulation area of Lydia Olson Library. Bryant Varney (Instructional Media Services) recently spent 10 hours erecting the structure. He used 3,240 Jenga blocks and relied on gravity, not glue, to hold them together. Varney said the Empire State Building is a visible reminder that America has maintained at least one symbol of its economic strength in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Library Receives Collections Boost

Olson Library has received a base-budget funding increase to support collection development. Academic Information Services obtained a $30,000 transfer and dispersed the funds to two of its units. Archives received $3,000 for historical collections; library acquisitions received $27,000 to support collection development.

According to Joanna Mitchell, collection development librarian, the boost to library acquisitions should cover inflation, most likely averting the need for a serials cancellation project this year. Library staff continues to monitor pricing packages and the relative value of myriad digital and printed materials to support teaching and research at NMU.

In Related News ...

Open doors and open floors are in the works at Olson Library. The north entrance is now open, providing quick access from New Science Facility, Magers Hall and the residence halls.

“After we opened the second entrance, we opened up the lobby by removing the old (and somewhat hideous) wooden lattice screen,” said Darlene Pierce (AIS). "By next summer, the library will really open up when the glass partition comes down and bookshelves from the center aisle are rearranged. Just envision it – you’ll be able to see from the lobby all the way to the glass windows in current periodicals reading room. Seating down the center aisle geared for laptop use will complete our makeover.”