Holocaust Survivor to Speak at Commencement
Erna Blitzer Gorman triumphed over her traumatic childhood as a Holocaust survivor and now shares her experiences and message of tolerance with worldwide audiences. The Bloomfield Hills resident will deliver the keynote address at Northern's mid-year commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12. She will also receive an honorary doctor of education degree. The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the NMU Superior Dome.
Gorman was born in Metz, France, in 1935. Her family of four was in Poland attending her aunt’s wedding when World War II started. Unable to return to France, they moved to what is now Ukraine to live with relatives. Full Story
Employee's Energy-Saving Idea Implemented
An NMU electrician’s idea to reduce exterior lighting levels on campus during low-traffic periods will save about $9,000 per year in energy costs. Tom Olson (Plant Operations) noticed that two parking lots serving the residence halls—lot 20 west of the Armory and 46 north of Wright Street—remained vacant over the summer, yet were fully illuminated each evening.
He wondered if it might be possible to reduce their lighting levels from May through August to save money without compromising safety. The idea soon expanded to other areas of campus and overnight hours year-round. Full Story
Students Promote Healthy Lifestyles
Ten NMU nursing students held six weekly meetings with youth ages 10-13 at K.I. Sawyer Elementary to promote healthy lifestyles. All kids were issued pedometers and spent the first 15-20 minutes walking the halls trying to increase the number of steps they took. This was followed by a health-related lesson on topics ranging from nutrition and personal hygiene to self-esteem and positive decision-making, a healthy snack and a sports activity such as dodgeball. Participants also visited campus one Saturday to eat lunch and attend a Wildcat football game. The program was funded by a Michigan Campus Compact grant.“The nursing students did a terrific job of planning and implementing the project," said Eileen Smit (Nursing). "Both the nursing students and the youth from KI Sawyer had fun while learning from one another."
World AIDS Week Event Honors Bourgault
A World AIDS Week performance event celebrating the life and work of the late Louise Bourgault (pictured) will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Black Box Theatre (McClintock 105). There is no charge to attend. The dance performance service learning project, under the direction of Maria Formolo (HPER), will share portions of "One World, Many Drums, Many Voices." The piece was developed around the theme of HIV/AIDS stigma. Other dance, music, theater and poetry will be performed by members of the NMU community. There will also be community drummers and an opportunity for audience members to join in a free dance at the end of the show.
Formolo said it is appropriate to honor Bourgault during World AIDS Week because of her African AIDS-related media work and her efforts to promote internationalization at NMU. She wrote "Playing for Life: Performance in Africa in the Age of AIDS." She also helped to establish the international studies major, chaired the Internationalization Task Force, was interim director of the international office at NMU and developed the International Performing Arts Series. Bourgault also brought many scholars and performers from around the world to NMU.