Monday, June 22, 2009

Senate Panel Approves Plan to Cut Student Aid


A Senate appropriations subcommittee last week passed a 2009-10 budget bill that would eliminate the Michigan Promise Scholarship and slash need-based financial aid programs. About 80 percent of NMU students rely on some form of aid, much of it need-based.

Arguably the most controversial element of the plan is axing the Michigan Promise for a savings of $80 million statewide. The program awards up to $4,000 to students who score well on the high school Merit Exam and/or complete two years of postsecondary education with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Need-based programs such as state-supported work study, part-time independent grants and the Michigan Educational Opportunity Grant would suffer significant cuts totaling $60 million. Full Story


Neil Cumberlidge Cumberlidge Named Peter White Scholar

Neil Cumberlidge (Biology) will culminate his 20-year research program on African freshwater crabs with help from the award he received recently as the 2009 Peter White Scholar at NMU. Cumberlidge plans to focus on the neglected and largely undocumented freshwater crab fauna of six East African countries: Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.

“This will be the first time this region’s freshwater crab fauna has been cataloged,” he said. “It is important in that part of Africa from a public health standpoint because of the implications for river blindness.” Full Story


Radiography Success Continues with Milestone

The radiography program, which NMU now offers in collaboration with Marquette General Hospital, is in its 30th year. This anniversary milestone is noteworthy, but there are two more impressive trends worth celebrating.

In each year since the program was established at MGH, 100 percent of the graduates have passed the radiography certification exam with average scores that place them in the top 3 percent in the nation. And in the last five years, nearly 100 percent of the radiography graduates reported that they were employed in their chosen field within the first six months after leaving campus. Full Story


SEED Partners with Huron County

The Huron County region, located in the “thumb” of lower Michigan, is using an NMU student-designed brochure to stimulate economic growth by directing tourists to purchase local farm products during the summer growing season.


“The brochure helps visitors to the region find anything from organically grown produce and u-pick fruit operations to meat processing, small roadside stands and greenhouses,” said Jane Milkie (Art and Design, pictured). Full Story


'Adopt a Flower Bed' Program Succeeds

The new “Adopt a Flower Bed” program has sprouted more color on campus, not to mention volunteer opportunities for employees who want to help beautify the landscape. Nearly 20 plots have been claimed by university offices or departments. Markers identify the group who agreed to design the bed, plant the flowers and maintain the garden through regular watering, weeding and flower dead-heading.

“I’m really pleased with the results for this first year,” said Terry Eilders (Plant Operations). “Phyllis Wong initiated the idea of the NMU Women’s Garden Club planting and maintaining a bed (she and members of the club are pictured near their garden). I thought it was a great idea and ran with it. Why not involve other groups on campus and model it after the ‘Adopt a Highway’ program?" Full Story


Physics Helps Test Speedkskating Pads

One of the most important features at this fall’s Olympic Speedskating Trials and World Cup competition will go unnoticed by many spectators, but you can bet the athletes will appreciate it, especially after an unfortunate fall.

The padding on the boards surrounding the rink is their safety net. It acts as a cushioned buffer to reduce the risk of injury by absorbing the impact of skaters sliding out of control after reaching top speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. But before the padding is installed, it must meet rigorous performance standards set by the International Skating Union.


The NMU Physics department took advantage of an invitation to assist the U.S. Olympic Education Center and Jacquart Fabric Products of Ironwood in testing a new set of pads for the upcoming short-track events. Full Story

Wongs Co-Chair United Way Drive

The United Way of Marquette County has announced that this year’s campaign co-chairs are Les and Phyllis Wong.

The couple will officially kick off the 2009-10 campaign at the end of August. They will lead the team of volunteers in raising money for the United Way. These funds, donated by individuals, bus-inesses and organizations, go back into the community to fund programs of local nonprofit agencies.


For some departments, the advent of summer means a less hectic pace or an opportunity to focus on major projects that get pushed aside by the daily demands of the academic year. But for the orientation staff, including Kelly Doré (Academic and Career Advisement Center), this is the peak season of activity. Full Story


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Updated: June 26, 2009

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