Greg Warchol and Robert Hanson (Criminal Justice) traveled to Kenya in early October to explore opportunities for NMU partnerships and to continue their research on wildlife trafficking and conservation law. They met with administrators of four Kenyan universities to discuss possible faculty exchanges, study-abroad programs and service learning courses. The schools were Kenyatta University, Daystar University, Kenyan Institute of Criminal Justice and the Kenya Methodist University in Nairobi. The professors report they were very well received at the four universities and found their Kenyan counterparts to be extremely interested in pursuing partnerships with NMU. The professors also met with the director of the Kenyan Wildlife Service and five of his top staff, along with the regional director and communications manager of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Nairobi.

Brian Kakas (Art and Design) was selected to exhibit recent works from a residency in China at the 2011 Kaolin Grand Prix for International Ceramic Arts. Exhibited works were juried into the exhibition along with other professional artists from 25 countries in conjunction with the largest ceramic festival held annually in China that showcases innovative ceramic designers and artists. Kakas received an award of excellence and a selected work has been acquired by the permanent collection of The Great China Museum. Jurors included internationally acclaimed artists such as Fumio Shimada, Tokyo University of the Arts in Japan; In Chin Lee, Hong-ik University, South Korea; Nancy Selvage, Harvard University; and Tapio Yli-Viikari, Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland.  Study-abroad programs are currently being developed for a greater exposure to the ceramic art and design field throughout Europe and Asia. To see Kakas' sculptural ceramic vessles, visit Brian Kakas.

At United Way Worldwide's Award event held earlier this year, NMU's Student United Way was honored for a volunteer project at K.I. Sawyer's Salvation Army Recreation Center. The group received a $100 mini-grant, along with a certificate and thank-you letter. Pictured are (front from left) Sue Minckler of United Way of Marquette County, Courtney Guidebek and Lauren Veale of NMU's Student United Way, and Phyllis Wong, former United Way campaign co-chair. In the back is Jill Compton (Internal Audit), the group's adviser. The NMU workplace campaign for the United Way of Marquette County has raised $17,245, which is 49 percent of the $35,000 goal. To request a pledge form, contact or

The NMU Foundation has kicked off its 2011 Faculty/Staff Campaign. Last year, 30 percent of employees made a gift, which marked a 50 percent increase over the previous year. Payroll deduction is available and 100 percent of employee contributions can be designated according to personal preference (own department, favorite program or passion). Those who prefer not to direct gifts can donate to The Northern Fund, which addresses urgent needs each fiscal year. For more information, contact

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Updated: November 10, 2011

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