•The Michigan Department of Education awarded NMU's teacher education program its highest rating of "exemplary performance." NMU is one of 17 Michigan colleges and universities to receive the exemplary distinction. Twelve schools were at the second level of satisfactory, one was identified as at-risk and two as low-performing.
•NMU received a plaque of appreciation from the Yojoa International Medical Center Committee for supporting the center’s efforts to build the health infrastructure of the Department of Yojoa in Honduras.
Students from the interdisciplinary study in global health care class, along with Professors Eileen Smit and Mary Jane Tremethick (HPER), have worked in Honduras as advocates for the Yojoa International Medical Center. Dr. Milton Mendoza is shown presenting the plaque to Professors Smit and Tremethick.
•The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education recently presented lifetime achievement awards to Jean Kinnear (HPER, second from left) and Donald Snitgen, NMU biology professor emeritus (second from right). The awards were presented by MAEOE board member David Kronk and NMU President Les Wong.
Kinnear received the 2008 Julian Smith Award for her achievements in outdoor education. She developed a curriculum at NMU that included the art and science of presenting outdoor interpretive programs to the public. Kinnear is an active member of the National Association for Interpretation, assisting with regional workshops and other duties. She also has shared her love of quiet water sports with NMU students. Many of her former students have followed her lead and pursued careers in outdoor education across the Upper Peninsula and beyond.
Snitgen received the 2008 William Stapp Award for excellence in environmental education. He founded the Regional Environmental Education Center of the Upper Peninsula. He also created “ahead of their time" self-tutorial biology and environmental courses at NMU. Snitgen’s field courses were unique hands-on learningadventures that included wading through bogs and snorkeling down streams. Many regional schools and educators still use his teaching methods and materials.
•Five voice students of Robert Engelhart (Music) competed at annual auditions sponsored by The National Association of Teachers of Singing. Held on Nov. 1 at Western Michigan University, the event attracted more than 300 singers from throughout the state. Students were ranked by panels of
collegiate voice teachers against others of their own age and gender. Kurt Hauswirth, a music education major from Rudyard, won second place in the junior men category.
Pictured in the lobby of WMU's Dalton Hall are (left to right) Nancy Redfern (Music), who served as accompanist, Engelhart, and NMU students Emily Strazzinski, Zachary Beeksma, Danielle Teter, Kurt Hauswirth and Rachel Maki.
•The Seaborg Center wrote a successful grant application for $6,000 from the Kaliedoscope board for its STARLAB portable planetarium. The inflated structure can accommodate up to 25 students and is available for programs at all Marquette and Alger County schools. Debra Homeier (Seaborg Center) said the funding will be used for teacher workshop training and materials, repairs to the domes and a new star field cylinder that will make it easier for teachers to locate stars. The STARLAB planetarium specialist is Scott Stobbelaar, an adjunct astronomy instructor at NMU and former director of the Shiras Planetarium.