April Lindala (Center for Native American Studies) presented "Middle School STEM Camp with Service and Culture" at the Colloquium on P-12 STEM Education Research at the University of Minnesota. A two-week STEM program for American Indian youth in 7th and 8th grades has been held in the Upper Peninsula since 1990. This program has served urban and reservation youth from many states and has been sponsored by the Hannahville Indian School and co-sponsored by the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University and more recently with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.The program is based on a model developed by the National Indian Youth Leadership Project, whose motto is "Leadership Through Service" and teachings of the Medicine Wheel, which focus on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth of youth.The program begins at the U.S. Forest Service Nesbit Lake site in the Ottawa National Forest for one week with high ropes course, cooperative games and outdoor STEM activities. It continues for a second week at NMU, where participants are taught by university faculty within labs and classrooms, giving them a perspective of what the future may hold for them.

NMU's Facilities department hosted more than 150 attendees at the Summer 2011 Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators conference, which allows facilities management personnel and their business partners to network and expand their knowledge on the most current issues in their industry.  Several NMU employees delivered presentations about facilities optimization, safety and technology. Presenters and their topics were:

Esko Alasimi (Plant Operations) and Johnson Controls, "Bottoms Up Roadmap to Facilities Optimization: Prevent the "Fires." NMU was immersed in a reactive approach to maintenance leading to an increase in long-term maintenance and greater capital project needs compounded by lean staffing. To turn the tide, NMU has initiated a three-pronged program built around an economic approach to optimize building operations; beginning with preventive and predictive maintenance to prevent "fires." Also included was a demonstration of an open architecture dashboard and diagnostic tool that campuses are using to streamline campus operations to decrease costs and perform continuous commissioning.     

Gisele Duehring (Facilities) and Johnson Controls, "Bottoms Up Roadmap to Facilities Optimization: Addressing Costly Capital Improvement Needs." A comprehensive approach was discussed of implementing economic and technical analysis of supply and demand side building infrastructure systems to identify cost-effective improvements and needed upgrades. Coupled with proper technologies and maintenance practices, these steps can result in significant campus improvements, such as biomass cogeneration, that otherwise would not be possible. The expected outcomes are a reduction in trouble calls, decrease in energy costs and increase in equipment performance and occupant comfort.  

Lee Gould (Public Safety) and Tri Media Environmental and Engineering Services, "Occupational Health and Safety Compliance: A Team Approach to Success." This session provided a perspective on the pros and cons of a team approach to Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the campus setting.  Participants benefited from learning about the evolution of NMU's OSH program and how engaging a third-party consulting staff has filled compliance gaps without breaking the budget.  A discussion on developing a working relationship, establishing ground rules for action, re-engaging faculty and staff, and building trust was highlighted on how a team approach can benefit any compliance program.

Eric Smith (Broadcast and A/V Services) and Dave Maki (IT-Technical Services), "Wireless and WiMAX: A National Model." This presentation provided a "behind the scenes" look at what it took to deploy a 4G wireless network and why this project sparked a visit from President Barack Obama. Topics included licensing FCC spectrum, physical plant installation issues and the value of forging partnerships with surrounding communities to minimize cost, while simultaneously sharing a broadband network that supports everything from text messages to streaming multi-media.

Jim Thams (Engineering and Planning) and Mike Truscott (Registrar), "Space Utilization Strategies: Reducing Costs Through Improved Asset Management." NMU has for many years inventoried and tracked space types and assignments because of the state requirement to report on classroom utilization. The university has since transitioned from simply tracking space assignments to performing detailed analyses of space use and its impact on operational costs. This analysis has led to the repurposing of underutilized spaces and the development of "Priority and Consolidation Scheduling." Implemented in 2009, this technique has helped to maximize building use and reduce operational and energy costs. The presentation discussed the partnerships developed at NMU between Facilities, the Registrar and Academic Affairs departments and the shared data and software tools used to implement a successful space utilization program, resulting in reduced energy cost while having no impact on class offerings.


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Updated: September 30, 2011

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