Thursday, March 17, 2011
Faculty Member, Wrestlers Keep Tabs on Native Japan
At least a few people on the NMU campus have a vested interest in the events unfolding in Japan after last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami: Mitsutoshi Oba (Art and Design) and two Japanese wrestlers who managed to fly out of Tokyo over the weekend to visit the U.S. Olympic Education Center. Oba has been in the United States for 20 years (the past four as an art historian at NMU), but almost all of his family lives in Japan. They reside southwest and north of Tokyo, safe distances from the impacted area.
"I tried to call Friday and couldn't get through because of infrastructure damage," he said. "Eventually I was able to communicate through e-mail. They are not in the region where the earthquake hit, but they have experienced smaller earthquakes and know it can happen at any time. They are worried about the unstable conditions with the nuclear plant. The government and electric company began a scheduled shutdown of larger districts in Japan. That included my sister's family. My brother-in-law had to stay overnight at his company in Tokyo because of the blackout and no transportation running. There is some confusion. I have been following the news closely."
The USOEC welcomed two Japanese wrestlers on Sunday. Both were in Tokyo during the quake and tsunami. Despite the potential distraction of the tragic events in their home country, they competed in last night's Greco-Roman dual at Westwood High School with wrestlers from the USOEC and U.S. Marines. They will continue to train at the USOEC through March 27. An interview through an interpreter could not be obtained before press time.
NMU Group Returns from Middle East
With support from a $165,000 federal Title VI
grant designed to strengthen Northern’s international studies and language
curricula, a 14-member delegation recently visited Israel and Turkey as part of
a year-long study of the Middle East. Their efforts will culminate with added or
revised courses relevant to this key region of the world.
The group is pictured at a two-day
fall workshop on campus led by a pair of Middle East scholars from the U.S. Institute of
Peace. Members are: Ansley
Valentine and Shuang Xie (Communication and
Performance Studies), Carol Steinhaus and Charles
Rayhorn (Business), Gabriel Brahm, Jaspal
Singh and Peter Goodrich (English), J.D.
Phillips (Mathematics and Computer Science), Maya Sen (Psychology), SaraJane Tompkins (Olson Library), Michael Loukinen (Sociology), Rebecca Ulland (Modern Languages and Literatures), Rob Legg (Geography) and project director Timothy Compton (Modern Languages and Literatures). Full Story
Most NMU Employees Satisfied
with Benefits Program
Nearly 97 percent of the 602
full-time employees who responded to an anonymous electronic survey earlier this
year report they are satisfied to very satisfied with the total NMU benefits
program. Paul Duby (Institutional Research) recently presented
a summary of the results to the benefits advisory committee.
In addition to level of
satisfaction, the survey measured employees’ knowledge of available benefits by
asking which they personally use. Those with the highest use include
dental/vision insurance, medical/prescription drug coverage, the Bookstore
discount and the Health Center (pictured). Of the 80 percent taking advantage of
the Health Center, more than 67 percent use it for primary care. Full Story
NMU Professors Co-Edit Whitefish Cookbook
Whitefish is a regional staple, but for those who follow the same recipe or preparation method each time they make it, the rut is over. A new cookbook co-edited by Chris Kibit and Deb Pearce (Technology and Occupational Sciences) offers a fresh perspective on this native species and fully exploits its versatility and flavor. Wild Caught and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish was produced by Michigan Sea Grant.
The spiral-bound paperback features about 60 recipes from regional chefs, culinary educators and fishermen. Local contributors include Kibit, Pearce, Nathan Mileski (Dining Services) and Ted Thill, owner of Thill’s Fish House. Many cookbooks are organized by categories such as appetizers, salads, main entrees and desserts. Wild Caught and Close to Home is different. Full Story and Sample Recipes
Indigenous Earth Issues Summit March 25
The fourth annual Indigenous Earth Issues Summit will be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, March 25, at NMU’s Whitman Hall commons. The family-friendly event is open to the public and free of charge. Advance registration is required for meals and children’s activities and requested by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.
Award-winning Chickasaw author and international speaker Linda Hogan (pictured) will deliver the keynote at 1 p.m. Her talk is titled “Animals, Human Beings and the Earth.” Hogan is a novelist, poet and essayist who has addressed indigenous environmental philosophies and various threats posed by industrialism. Her books include Solar Storms, Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World and Mean Spirit, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Full Story
Students Volunteer in Belize Over Spring
Twenty-six students participated
in Northern's first volunteer abroad opportunity in Belize over spring break. Miriam Moeller (International Programs), who led the trip with James Cantrill (CAPS), called it a “total success.”
Students painted the school in the
poor town of El Progresso and drew the school’s emblem on the side of the
building. They also built a picnic table, assembled a basketball hoop, taught an
arts and environmental lesson and played games with the children. Students
brought two boxes of donated items ranging from school supplies and
encyclopedias to soccer balls and toothbrushes.
Wilson Talks About CIA Leak
Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson will present “The Politics of Truth: Inside the Valerie Plame-Wilson/CIA Leak Controversy” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the University Center Great Lakes Rooms. Admission at the door is free for NMU students with ID and $2 for the general public.
Under direction from the Bush Administration in 2002, Wilson was sent to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium yellowcake from Niger for Iraq’s nuclear program. Wilson reported there was no truth to the claims and when it later became clear the administration had misled the American people about the yellowcake claim, he was the first to openly challenge the administration in its justification for war. Nine days after Wilson stated his conclusions in a New York Times article titled “What I Didn’t Find in Africa,” his wife’s identity as a covert CIA officer was revealed by senior White House and State Department officials. The leak resulted in the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff on four accounts of perjury, lying to federal investigators and obstruction of justice.
Jan Seppa (IT-Information Services) is a voracious reader, as evidenced by a favorite quotation taped to her office wall: “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
Reading is at the top of Seppa’s priority and personal expenditure lists. She not only buys books regularly; she also holds on to them. The second bedroom in her Harvey duplex has become a personal library, with bookcases lining the walls and filling the closet. She even had a coffee table custom-made with shelves to store more titles. But her passion for the written word was not ignited until adulthood. Full Story