Campus Closeup: Jon Teichman
Everywhere you look in Jon Teichman’s office, there are photos and framed prints. They might add a decorative touch, but their real purpose is to “generate conversation.” A poster from the Hiawatha Music Festival, a picture of Presque Isle’s Black Rocks, a map of Middle Earth, and a Star Wars poster all help to put visitors at ease and get them talking.
As an assistant director of admissions, Teichman is on the front line in dealing with prospective students and their parents. His goal is to help them determine if NMU is the right fit.
“My favorite part of the job is welcoming people to campus and telling them about the university and the Marquette area,” he said. “We want to build that relationship with them and make their campus visit memorable and help them connect to the community.”
In his 11 years at NMU, Teichman has kept busy not only enticing students to visit the university, but giving them the best all-around experience while they are here. He becomes an ambassador of sorts, giving guests recommendations on places to eat and events to attend. Admissions also offers hotel discounts, free meal vouchers for on-campus dining and a free lift ticket at Marquette Mountain for those participating in the campus visit program.
“The more they experience beyond campus, the better. Whether it’s the natural surroundings or the variety of activities, the community always delivers.”
A Marquette native, Teichman realized all that his hometown had to offer only after he went away to college and returned to the area. He enjoyed rediscovering the community and the university. “Local youth think they have it all figured out with NMU, but there is a lot more than they are aware of; so many opportunities,” he said.
Teichman was recruited by Bowling Green State University for its NCAA Division I swim team. He also was drawn academically to BGSU’s National Center for Popular Culture Studies and obtained his bachelor’s degree in that field. While attending college, Teichman worked for two years as the resident adviser to international students and also hosted a radio show on the campus station. He said his involvement connected him to his future career in higher education.
His attendance at the 1998 National Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference at Walt Disney World connected him to his future wife. She was representing the NMU English department and her name was identical to a past co-worker of Teichman’s at a summer camp in Crystal Falls, Mich. When he asked the hotel where Erica Lund was staying, he discovered there were two Erica Lunds. The duo hit it off and have been married almost 10 years. They have two sons: Jack, 7; and Heath, 4.
Jon and Erica both earned master’s in public administration degrees from NMU. They also enjoy playing the guitar together—at Sunday school for many years, but now just around the house. “Since getting married, we’ve had to merge our favorite musical styles and find some middle ground that we both like.”
Teichman closes out each work week at NMU with family fun night at home each Friday. He and Erica choose movies they enjoyed as kids along with some current releases.
“It’s like programming our own mini film festival, and the boys look forward to it every week,” he said, adding: “And popcorn is a must.”
Teichman also enjoys traveling, being outdoors, taking his boys sledding and skating, composting for his garden and cooking. “I love Marquette and raising my family here. I also enjoy working at Northern and I love the people I work with."