Feb. 10, 2003
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DeVos Foundations Give $1 Million to NMU Art Museum

The Dan and Pamella DeVos and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundations, both of Grand Rapids, have made a joint $1 million campaign gift to NMU’s Art Museum as part of This Decisive Season: The Campaign for Northern Michigan University. Pictured from left to right are: Richard and Helen DeVos and Dan DeVos.

“The NMU students, faculty, staff and alumni are thrilled to receive a gift of this magnitude for our art museum, and we sincerely thank the DeVos family for choosing to invest in Northern,” said NMU President Judi Bailey.

Dan was appointed by former Gov. John Engler to NMU’s Board of Trustees in April 1995. He was the Board’s chair from January 2001 until his term’s expiration in December 2003. He currently serves on NMU’s Cisler College of Business Advisory Council.

Richard and Helen, founders of the Amway Corp., were awarded NMU honorary degrees in 1998. Richard served as the speaker at that year’s December commencement ceremony.

“My parents, my wife and I believe that Northern is as fine an educational institution as found anywhere in the country," said Dan DeVos. "We are happy to create this endowment for the NMU Art Museum, knowing that in doing so it will help to continue a Northern commitment to bring quality art to its students and the people of the Upper Peninsula.”

Michael Cinelli (Art and Design) said the DeVos endowment will be used primarily for museum programming. “The generosity of the DeVos Foundations will provide us with the on-going funds that will enable Northern to bring major exhibits to its art museum on a regular basis,” said Cinelli. “This gift will also open up all kinds of horizons for the NMU art and design faculty and students.”

The NMU Art Museum will be renamed the DeVos Art Museum when it is moved to the Art and Design North building as part of the East campus renovation project, according to Bailey.

“The DeVos gift will take us from a small university museum to the level of a significant art center,” said Wayne Francis (NMU Art Museum). “Not only will the endowment help us bring in the highest level of exhibits, but we will be able to plan several years out, knowing the funding for such exhibits is secure. This is a very exciting time for NMU’s art and design program, the university and the regional art community.”

NMU Graduates Finding Jobs

Despite the current national and global economic situation, graduates of Northern Michigan University are finding the job market more accommodating than national surveys might have implied. In the latest report from the NMU JOBSearch Center, based on five years of cumulative data, 80.9 percent of responding graduates indicated they are employed in a field directly related to their degree within six months of graduation.

Nearly 22 percent of responding NMU graduates have also indicated they are continuing their education at either a full-time or part-time status. John Frick (JOBSearch Center) said that there is some overlap between the employed and continuing education categories since there is the opportunity for people to work and further their degrees at the same time, leaving 6.3 percent of responding graduates indicating that they were unemployed.

“I think these numbers are very positive given the way the economy is,” Frick said. “The employment rate for our students is above what one might expect – which reflects well on NMU and Northern students.”

Northern students are finding success in all avenues of the job market, but Frick said 73 percent of reporting graduates are staying in Michigan. He said the success of the graduate in landing his or her first job begins early in the college career and requires a little bit of legwork.

“We encourage students to start the job hunting process at the end of the sophomore year,” Frick said. “It’s never too early to start working on a resume or beginning the networking process. They can also attend the Career Awareness Days we sponsor in the fall of each academic year. We encourage students to go face to face with their prospective employers.

“Since NMU is somewhat geographically challenged, it helps if future graduates can free up some time to travel to an area where they’d like to work. It’s important to use technology – the Web, e-mail, job search Web sites – in their quest to find employment, but it’s not going to get them their dream jobs. Technology is a great tool for researching a company, its products and competition. But students have to be more in control of their futures if they want to succeed."

Columbia Tribute at Seaborg

The Seaborg Center is featuring a tribute to the space shuttle Columbia crew. It is located in one of the curved display cases near the West Science rotunda entrance, at the intersection of the 2800 and 2600 corridors.

According to Steve Hirst (Seaborg Center), the tribute includes the following: individual images and bios of each crew member; a summary of the mission and of the various scientific research projects carried out; copies of two spectacular earth photographs crew members shot during the mission; President George W. Bush's remarks made at the Johnson Space Center memorial; remarks released by the families of the crew; and a copy of the mission patch.

There is also a brief remembrance of the crew of Challenger, lost in 1986.

Distinguished Faculty Nominations Accepted Through Feb. 28

The nomination deadline for the 2003 NMU Distinguished Faculty Awards is Feb. 28. The awards honor full-time teaching faculty, including academic department heads, who have made significant contributions to NMU and their professional areas.

Any university faculty, staff member, student or community member may submit nominations. Up to three faculty will be selected based on their demonstrated record of achievement in the following areas: teaching or other assigned responsibilities; research, scholarship, creative or other appropriate professional activities; and university or professionally-related community service.

The monetary award is $1,000. For more information, or to complete an online nomination form, visit Distinguished Faculty Awards. Questions may also be directed to Janis Book (Academic Affairs) at 2920.

Classroom Assessment Seminar Feb. 17

The NMU Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee will offer a seminar on Classroom Research and Assessment from noon-2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Pioneer B of the University Center.

Participants will examine some of the methods used in classroom assessment and classroom research in higher education as a way to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. Methods presented will provide faculty with tools to develop a systematic approach to evaluate students' learning so they can make more informed decisions regarding instructional practices.

Kathleen Poindexter, a faculty fellow at the University of New Hampshire's Summer Institute on College Teaching, will facilitate the seminar. Register online at TLAC Seminar.

NMU to Showcase Student Research, Creativity

Students can spice up their resumes by participating in the 8th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Works. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the University Center. Undergraduate and graduate students can present the results of their independent scholarly and creative works in a variety of formats, including poster sessions, oral presentations, performances and displays.

Applications are available on the College of Graduate Studies and Research Web site. They must be submitted electronically by March 26. For more information, call 2335.

Board of Trustees Reception Reminder

Faculty and staff are invited to a “Get Acquainted” reception with the NMU Board of Trustees. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in the Explorer Rooms of the University Center.