Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010

Used Textbook Program Excels


Northern has one of the most successful used textbook programs in the United States, which saved students an estimated $1.7 million last year. For the fall semester, 62 percent of the sales at the NMU Bookstore were used editions—more than double the nationwide average of 30 percent.

“I don’t know of any other full-service college bookstore as high as we are,” said Paul Wright (Bookstore, pictured), who directs the textbook program. Full Story


Faculty Sabbaticals Announced

Eight NMU faculty members will be granted sabbatical leave for 2010-11 to conduct research and engage in activities to enhance their areas of expertise. Full Story


Smolens’ Historical Novel Filled with Modern Relevance


The back cover of The Anarchist by John Smolens (English) features the following at the top in bold print: “Terrorism and unrest in a world on the verge of madness: This is America, 1901.” Some might argue that it could also describe America, 2010. While Smolens’ sixth novel weaves a suspenseful, character-driven account of historical facts surrounding the assassination of President William McKinley, he sees parallels between the populist discontent that fueled the anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century and the modern brand of terrorism responsible for 9/11 and other attacks. Full Story


Co-Generation Plant Permit Process Completed

The Michigan Department of Environnmental Quality has completed the permit process for Northern's proposed co-generation heating and steam plant, which would burn wood and wood byproducts. Now that the public comment period has ended and the DEQ granted its approval, NMU has 18 months to start construction on the facility. This work is dependent on available funding.


Archives Receives Grant to Digitize CCI Records

The NMU and Central Upper Peninsula Archives has received a $69,000 grant to digitize three series of Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company records. The material documents iron mining, land use, lumbering and labor activity in the upper Great Lakes region during the major industrialization period of 1890-1960.

“For archivists, this funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission is the equivalent of a National Science Foundation grant,” said Marcus Robyns (Archives, pictured at the digitization station). “It’s a very competitive process and the NHPRC receives hundreds of applications.” Full Story


Labs Pass Inspection

Public Safety officials conducted an internal MIOSHA inspection of chemistry and biology labs over the holiday break. They were looking for potential violations that needed to be addressed such as blocked emergency eyewash stations/showers and fire extinguishers, unlabeled containers and machine-guarding issues on equipment. They also made sure fume hood sashes were in place, checked electrical connections and monitored the general cleanliness of the labs.

"We've done this formally since 2006 and they did an exceptional job this year," said Mike Bath (Public Safety). "There were just some very minor things that we had to deal with. We're looking into putting markings on the floor so people don't, for example, set a trash can in front of a fire extinguisher or eyewash station. There's been more awareness and departments are working hard to make sure the labs are kept in an orderly and safe fashion."

Bath said Public Safety student employees take it a step further by checking power-assist handicap doors and flushing eyewash stations on a weekly basis. They also conduct monthly checks of fire extinguishers and emergency lighting in relevant buildings.

NMU Night at Commons Rink

A family night with Wildcat Willy and an NMU student night will be part of an ice skating series to be held downtown at the Marquette Commons. From 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, families can enjoy a night of free ice skating alongside NMU’s Wildcat Willy. A week later at the same time, NMU students will be treated to free skating.

The Marquette Commons is a staffed facility with a lighted rink, indoor warming area with fireplace, public restrooms and outdoor seating. A limited number of skates will be available to rent for $3. Those attending will be treated to coupons from Aubree’s Pizza and complimentary Doncker’s Dollars. Babycakes will also offer hot cocoa and other items.

These programs are sponsored by the City of Marquette Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Development Authority.


From his vantage point as a buildings and grounds attendant in the PEIF, Greg Stone is able to witness the predictable cycle of well-intentioned New Year’s fitness resolutions. 


“Every year—especially when the students come back from break—we’ll see a barrage of people here,” he said. “After about a month, it starts to drop off. Then it picks up again before spring break when they decide they need to get in shape for the beach.”


Making regular trips to the gym is an issue for some, but not for Stone. Full Story


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Updated: January 14, 2010

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