Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011


Wong Updates Campus on Eight Convocation Focus Areas


NMU President Les Wong spent most of Wednesday afternoon’s forum outlining progress on the eight focus areas this academic year that he first identified in his fall convocation. He also said performance funding, which is sweeping the country and being discussed by Michigan lawmakers for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, represents “the big sea change for financing higher education.” In updating facilities projects, Wong made it clear that NMU has not yet secured construction dollars for a new academic building to replace Jamrich. Full Story


New Microscope offers 3D Views, Enhances Research

Biology recently obtained a $200,000 Olympus Fluoview confocal, laser-scanning microscope. Typically reserved for Research I universities, the equipment/software package enables faculty and students to section thin layers of cells, tissues and their components to capture multi-color 3D, rotatable images and real-time video.


“It was a coup that NMU was able to obtain this,” said Erich Ottem (Biology, right), who was instrumental in researching the confocal microscope.  Full Story


Ostrowsky Named NMU Football Coach

Chris Ostrowsky [pronounced oh-STRAW-ski] has been promoted to head coach of the NMU football team following Tuesday’s (Nov. 29) announcement that six-year head coach Bernie Anderson's contract would not be renewed. Ostrowsky has been the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Full Story


Commencement Speaker Announced


Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, will speak at Northern’s Dec. 17 commencement ceremony. She will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Cole was appointed to her current position in 2009, but has worked with a number of Smithsonian programs since the mid-1980s. She also serves on the scholarly advisory board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will be constructed on the National Mall by 2015. Full Story


Purple Heart Recipient Inspires Service Learning Project


When students in two UN100 classes taught by Faith Edwards (Nursing) recently learned there was a Purple Heart recipient in their midst, they were visibly surprised and impressed. Nursing major and volunteer teaching assistant Ben Fladung (pictured) shared details of his 2004-05 experience serving with the U.S. Marines in Iraq. It was an appropriate segue to the academic service learning project he inspired: students writing holiday cards to troops stationed overseas.

“I can’t tell you how much the little things mean to those serving far from home,” Fladung told the students. Full Story


Giving Back to NMU


Mary Jane Tremethick (HPER) is one of many employees who choose to give back to the university by making annual contributions to the NMU Foundation. She has done so since joining Northern’s faculty in 2000 and will continue with a gift to the 2011 faculty/staff campaign, which is now in progress. Tremethick targets her contributions to her own academic department to help fund student travel. She is pictured at right with students Cassandra Evers, Kaley Vincent and Katie Clark

at the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance annual conference in Dearborn in November. Full Story


Supporting Community Needs


Employee financial support also extends beyond campus to the broader community in which we reside. Dave Bonsall (Center for Student Enrichment) has been donating to the United Way of Marquette County for an estimated 25 years.


“I got started through the workplace campaign at NMU,” he said. “Dick Harbick, who was the former NMU Bookstore manager, was the coordinator of the campus campaign. I began donating while he was here and eventually went on to serve as a coordinator myself." Full Story


New Active Learning Classroom Put to the Test

Fourteen NMU faculty members gathered in the newly equipped active learning classroom (108 Learning Resources Center) to participate in an immersive active learning exercise. Titled "Operation Montserrat,” it was based on a real natural disaster that occurred on Sept. 4, 1996, when the tiny Carribean island by that name became "the most dangerous place on earth." The workshop was facilitated onsite by Nancy Sturm of the Sextant Group and remotely by staff at the Challenger Learning Center in Wheeling, W.V. Full Story


Flex Spending Enrollment Ends Friday

Open enrollment for flexible spending accounts ends Friday, Dec. 2. FSAs allow employees to set aside a portion of their pay before taxes to cover eligible medical and dependent care expenses. The pre-tax benefit can save 25-40 percent when compared with not opening an FSA. Beginning in January, the accounts will be managed by the company WageWorks. Participants will be issued a “take care VISA” debit card to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses. Full Story



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Updated: December 2, 2011

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