Our Favorite Professors

Read our newest submissions here.

I would like to give out kudos to my old professor and advisor Dr. Donald Snitgen from the NMU Biology Department. Dr. Snitgen supervised a small group of us on a research project that involved collecting and identifying invertebrates, mostly insects and spiders, in the Scott's Marsh area just south of Munising, Michigan. During the summer and fall, we would spend weekends in the field collecting specimens, sometimes staying up all night to get a more diverse collection. The weather was not always on our side. Dr. Snitgen always made the best pancakes for breakfast. Now there are may thing I miss about college, things such as parties and friends. Well, my friends may come and go and as for parties, I'm not much for that anymore, but darn, I miss those pancakes! Dr. Snitgen put Denny's and IHOP to shame. Oh, and let me also mention political science professor Dr. John Ashby, because I don't think anyone else here will mention him.

Mark Sabatini
1994


Dr. Thomas White: educated, smart, encouraging. While I ended up as a consumer and mortgage banker, the Accounting degree was influential in how I viewed future events...especially in 2009.

Tom Spiegel
1971


I have come in contact with very few people that inspired and nurtured me like Susan Martin-Goodrich. I was amongst her first students at NMU and although, I will admit, it took a bit of time to warm to her teaching style, she soon became an inspiring mentor and great friend. Susan's desire was to really educate her students not only about the course content, but about life and life's possibilities. She opened the world to me, both literally, through independent studies, and figuratively, by encouraging me to challenge my surroundings and ways of thinking. My life would not be what it is now if Susan had not invested in me during my brief time with her. I know that she was an inspiration to many. She will never be forgotten.

Bethany Ohanele
2001

Sadly, Susan passed away on January 11, 2009.


There were two business education professors who made a significant difference in my life and ultimately my career as an office occupations/communications instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  The first is Miss Lorna Weddle.  Miss Weddle was my shorthand and stenograph instructor in 1967-68.  She always told us:  Every minute is set with 60 diamond seconds, and we don't waste a single one!  Whew!! She let us know we were there to work, and we were not to enter her classroom unless we were wearing a skirt or dress! The second is Dr. Sue Rigby. I didn't have Dr. Rigby as an instructor until I was working on my MA.  She helped me to work toward a level of excellence, which I never knew I had.  I am thankful for that. I'm now retired from teaching. Yet, most every student I taught heard a story or two about Miss Weddle and Dr. Rigby.  Their influence of excellence in whatever we do was always something that I hoped I had passed on to each of my students.  And, every so often I see a past student who will let me know it is so.  The journey was worth it!

Linda Eliason O'Brien
'1971, 1982


I attended Northern Michigan University from 1994-1995. I was in the business college and enjoyed my educational experience at NMU. I graduated from the University of Houston (Houston, Texas) in 1999. I received my accounting degree and worked for years as an internal auditor for Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. I am presently teaching math and business classes at the Clear Creek School District, Houston.
I had the opportunity to meet and learn from many professors while at Northern. I had two favorite professors...Dr. Charles Rayhorn and Dr. Bruce Sherony. They both took the time to explain any questions we had during classroom time and spent many hours after class helping with accounting, finance and management concepts. Because of them, I excelled in my studies that continued at the University of Houston. Thanks!

Elizabeth Bailey Kievit


My favorite professor was Jim Suksi in the industrial technology dept. Jim was the KEY person at NMU in helping me get back on track and focused. I lost my way for quite awhile and was actually dismissed from the education department. He knew I wanted to teach and coach. He helped me graduate in the construction management program with the idea of appealing to get back into teaching. I have now been teaching for nine years as well as coaching. I owe my teaching career to Jim. Jim, if you ever read this, thank you for your guidance.

Todd Sliktas
1986, 1997


I have to say that three nursing professors are the reason I'm still plugging along as a nurse some 26 years later.  They are Lulu Ervast, Joyce Beauchamp and Sharon Janzen. They took me to task, pushed me to apply myself even when I didn't want to. (The Alibi and Shamrock were far more interesting than reading large tomes of nursing text, after all.) I'm forever grateful for their absolute passion for nursing; patience for teaching strong-willed teens; and absolute knack for really getting what it meant to be in charge of educating future generations of nurses. God bless them all and I hope that when I finally meet them at the Pearly Gates, I've lived up to their expectations.

Laura Sue Hudson
1981


Dr. William Robinson in Ecology. Not much beats tramping around on snowshoes doing grouse counts. Barry Knight and professor Dolan in History. Demanding research professors who taught me well and have led to an exciting career in writing about politics, economics and environmental issues. Their demanding rigor and continuous encouragement led to many rewards in life including a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at Princeton University in 2001 in environmental science. Who says a combination of education in history and biology can't be productive?

John Kelley
1972, 1975


Dr. F. Earney, as my advisor, counseled me in 1970 to be sure to include "statistics" study in my program. At the time, I did not understand the need for including statistics in my education. Well, as time would prove out--Dr. Earney was correct.  I ultimately found myself working in the automotive industry in the field of Quality. During this time, statistics turned up as a very advantageous career enhancing tool. I remember this advice and all of Dr. Earney's counsel fondly.

Jim Wachowski
1972


My favorite professor is Dr. Kloster. I was one of the first women taking classes in the Educational Administration program. Dr. Kloster was filled with wisdom and I have always felt that he played a large part in my motivation to get my Ph.D. He had so much knowledge to pass on to his students while adding a bit of humor to the class. I always looked forward to attending his classes.

Jeanne LaCosse, Ph. D
1979


It is hard to imagine some of the esoteric comments that end up coming to the surface later in life. Dr. Temple Smith, Physics, reminding me that "...the sine of an angle is approximately equal to the angle (in radians) for small angles" has amazed some young directional drillers who didn't know you could take sines in your head. Remembering that Dr. Trentleman always stressed if you could do the experiment it was as good as doing the math. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was at Flanigan's bar after a particularly brutal exam. A number of us were heaping insults upon Dr. Smith's teaching techniques, while buying each other shots of Cutty Sark. As we left, we discovered three physics professors sitting behind us, of course, Dr. Smith was one of them. From that point forward I have always checked the booth behind me in a bar, before venting on anything.

Warner Palmer
1980


Dr. Kreitz was my favorite professor in German Lit. This wasn't just due to the fact he was my dad but he was a brilliant orator and had a good sense of humor. (He had to, to survive the likes of me.) He has taught me many lessons in life and the most important one of all is to never give up my faith in Jesus. He passed on a few years ago, but his memory will always be alive down to my very soul.

Al Kreitz
1981


With all of the wonderful professors on here, I'm actually shocked the my personal favorite is not here. I love Dr. Tom and Dr. Ventre, but my absolute favorite was Dr. Schellhase. From the first day I walked into his class he challenged me and all his other students, teaching in a lecture, but never boring, always so excited about his information. He was the final history professor to still give essay exams and I loved them. I understand he "graduated" shortly after I did, but I still hope the best for him and his...

Kelly Myers
2001


There is one person in particular that was my favorite instructor, and all I can remember is that her name was Mary D. from the early childhood education department. She taught many of my classes in 1998, 1999 and 2000. She was very sympathetic and empathetic to all of her students and wanted only the best for them. She went the extra mile to make sure that each student was doing their best. She was not only very knowledgeable of the subject matter, but she made us passionate about it as well. When I was going through a rough patch, she sat down with me and allowed me to vent my feelings to her. That really made a difference to me. She had told us a story about a friend who she confided in during a rough patch and the friend was making a cake. During their conversation, the room started filling with smoke. The friend left the cake to burn in order to hear her out and said "Sometimes you have to let the cake burn." I have never forgotten that. I try to be that kind of person and let my cake burn.

Lori Morgan Friend
2000


I had several favorites: Richard F. O'Dell, Forrest Roberts, Albert Burrows and Jean Pearman. They encouraged me to think (O'Dell, History and Political Science), to question (Burrows and Pearman, Economics and Sociology), and to present arguments cogently, logically and clearly (Roberts, Speech). I am eternally grateful to them in preparing me to be the college professor I eventually ended up being.

J. Dan Giovannini
1956


I have a few NMU Professors who left a lasting impression on my life and career. The kindness and enthusiasm that Madame Rolande Graves brought to French classes was indeed contagious. She accepted nothing less than the best and gently encouraged us with our French so that we never felt awkward expressing ourselves. I like to believe that I continue that unabridled enthusiasm and compassion in my own French classroom today. She also taught my awesome high school French teacher, Faye Amo, and I felt privileged to be a sort of "third generation" of French teachers, so to speak. When I returned for my Secondary Ed. certification, Madame Nicole Kennedy took me under her wing and it was so neat to attend the evening "soirées" at her house. Dr. Tim Compton - my foreign language methods professor - has perhaps left the greatest impact on me as a classroom teacher. I never forgot the theory of "i+1" which I still employ today. Always keep those students on their toes! and thinking ahead! Dr. Compton was also compassionate and challenging and his methods course was one of my all-time favorite NMU courses. We were like a small family and had such a great time with our demonstrations and lessons. He truly worked magic combining German, French and Spanish majors into one class where we all benefited from each other. Merci à tous! As a teacher, I strive to never forget that it is the relationships I forge with my own students that make the most lasting impressions in their lives.

Kelly Bennett Simon
1991, 1997


There are many people at Northern that I truly had a great time with but three people always stand out to me: Dr. Debra Thatcher - Head, School of Ed: While I was both a major in education and working there as a technical assistant I learned that professors and administrators are people too. They have good days and bad days...most importantly they make mistakes just like we all do and it is how we deal with those that define how we are. Dr. Thatcher showed me that while shooting for something high, don't forget to keep your feet on the ground. Dr. Kathy Heikkila - Faculty, School of Ed: Kathy is an amazing lady for anyone to know...so incredibly caring and willing to show students that putting your own personality into teaching can make more of an impact than just subject matter and methods. She has some of the funniest stories to tell and is a wonderful person for listening to someone rant about the day they had. Dr. Robbie Goodrich - Faculty, History: Some people like him, some people hate him...but I think everyone would agree on two things: His lectures are amazing and never has he lowered his standards about learning. My hardest and best class in history was the study of the Third Reich with Robbie, but that semester is always going to stick out in my mind as one of the most enlightening I have experienced. He really helped to bring out the analytic historian in my, something I will use for a lifetime.

Kevin Fitton
2005


Dr. Lou Ervast and Terri McKnight both made lasting impacts on me. Terri was an incredible patho instructor making the information palatable and easy to understand. Dr. Ervast was incredible as an instructor and really brought her passion for nursing into the classroom and the clinical setting. She set up some amazing experiences in the community that I hope are replicated today. I really hold the NMU school of nursing in high regard and often wish I could repeat my time there in their FNP program but I am stuck here in Texas and almost done with the program here:)

Jean (Wilberding) Adamski
1988


There were so many incredible teachers at NMU in my days there--I've had a great time reading other people's choices and remembering classes with them. Tom Hruska was my first college prof in English--and shocked me into a real college student. William Robinson in Science was outstanding. Barry Knight and Bob Kulisheck were favorites of mine in History and Poli Sci. I enjoyed getting to know Jim Livingston in Marquette Choral Society--he used to stick his pencil through his beard! And who could forget the "Jimmy Hendricks experience" in the Education department--a great lecturer and a kind, gentle man with a giant heart. But spending most of my days and nights in the Music Building biases my selections. Ron Caviani, George Whitfield, Elda Tate, Bob Stephenson, Hal Wright (tremenjus), Douglas Graves, Lorin Richtmeyer were all outstanding in their own right. But the one that really influenced me most of all was Doug Amman. He was so skilled and a fantastic teacher who took time and interest in all that came in touch with him. He took the Arts Chorale to national prominence. He was the best. My career path has taken me to a place outside of music now, but his lessons follow me and translate across the field. I wouldn't trade my days at Northern for anything. I'm just sorry that students now missed the great people that were there 30 years ago--but it sounds like the beat goes on!

Erik Bergh
1979


It wasn't just one professor that influenced me, but the whole Clinical Lab Science department!! Linda Riipi took me under her wing as my advisor after a pathetic first semester when I really didn't know what I wanted to do. Marsha Lucas held my shaking hands while making my first "stab" at phlebotomy, an experience I will never forget and truly value to this day!! (If only all phlebs could be trained as well...) Wayne Price not only used Bristle Blocks to teach the finer points of antigen-antibody interaction, but also listened patiently to my "what to do" woes when classes/life were tough. Luci Contois and Linda inspired me to push myself by accepting a more challenging internship which led to huge opportunities that have brought me to where I am now at the Mayo Clinic. I have learned through interactions with other lab folks that my experience was more unique and beneficial than any other CLS program out there.

Jill Vandenameele
1997


Prof Larry Ellerbruch. Back in the old days of 1987, he had faith in my abilities when I barely had faith in them myself. He was/is the best professor I have ever known. Tony Caduto (94) http://www.amsoftwaredesign.com

Tony Caduto
1994


Two NMU professors had a huge impact on me -- both in terms of a career path and in terms of my current profession. Jim Van der Zandy and Phil Legler both opened me to new ideas; although I have to admit that Phil's class was the one I dreaded the most and Jim's class the one I couldn't wait for. Both of them gave me a love of teaching -- something I'm trying to give my doctoral students now. Phil Legler, however, challenged me to learn to write; after several books and a multitude of articles (all of which I sent to him to show him that I could do it), he wrote me just before his death that he was glad I had risen to his challenge. Both pushed me in different directions, in different ways, but I gave both credit when I received both professional and student awards for college teaching.

Dr. Don Stacks
1971


My favorite professors were Dr. Helmut Kreitz, Mlle. Flora Loubert and Dr. Ellsworth Barnard. Besides helping me to prepare for my future, they taught me that I need not accept blindly the word of authority, but that I had the right and the duty to examine and question. I have found this lesson invaluable.

James R. Wahl, Ph.D.
1965, 1968


I was most impressed with Dr. Kurt Kynell. He actually memorized his lesson plans. I once compared notes for Judicial Function with those taken by a fellow student who had taken the same course a few years prior. They were almost identical! Dr. Kynell only wrote down where he left off in each day's lecture and used his memory for the rest. Dr. Linda Zupan and Dr. Gloria Urban were also amazing instructors. They really challenged their students to be the best they can be at all times and in all situations.

Donald Barribeau
1997


While jumping majors from social work into public relations I met these great leaders who made learning fun: Dr. Don Rybacki, Dr. Karen Rybacki and Dr. Debra Kerninsky. These people helped mold me into the leader I feel I am today. I can't put into words how teachers make a differece from kindergarten to college and these individuals deserve some credit for my successes in business and life. Thank You!

Sean LeSage
1998


My favorite professor by far was Dr. Russell Magnaghi. I cannot put into words the impact and life influence this man had on my life. He was my father figure in many ways, the respect I have for this man is immeasurable. His wife, Dr. Kordich, were both very instrumental in molding me into the productive human being I am today. I spent two to three years under their watchful eye. I with my best friend and the Doctors designed and built all of the display cases in the Superior Dome, the USOEC wall, as well as the cases in the Jacobetti Complex. I was able to collect, catalog and build all of the cases. I feel I walked away from Northern with not only a degree, but I left a mark on the University forever. I was also able to help compile research with other history students for Dr. Magnaghi to write The History of NMU. I could write for hours about these two professors. I will leave with this thank you to Northern Michigan University for giving me the chance to collect a degree but the chance to grow as a human being with the help of two wonderful human people.

Zachary J. Jones
1997


I had a handful of incredible professors at Northern, but Tom Hyslop has had the longest effect on me. He was my professor for Teaching of Reading and Teaching of Writing. He was also my advisor during my student teaching experience. Most importantly--he was my mentor. He said so many "right" things and demonstrated how to be a phenomenal teacher through his own teachings. Now, six years post graduation, I still talk about him in the teachers lounge. He is somewhat of a mythical figure down here in the LP. My colleagues can't believe I actually had an education professor I adored as most of them had horrible experiences.

Rene Ribant
1997


Drs. Buccalo, Renfrew, Peters, Cinelli and a German-accented prof in the Art Dept. (whose name I can't remember), all helped put me in second gear. They each raised the bar, inspired, motivated, coached and instructed me to go for the gold. I stepped out in all kinds of directions because they helped me explore and understand. I'm delighted to say "thank you".

James Dias
1987


Cleo Belle Harrison, Art & Design (retired 1969) was and is my favorite professor, not only because she was a long-term influence at NMU, but also because she was my great aunt. I never met Cleo face-to-face, but connected with her by mail only a few years before her death in 1996. I don't know very much about Cleo at all, including her career in education, so I am hoping there will be someone who either has personal memories of Cleo or can share some yearbook photos or such with me, so I can learn more about her. In my efforts to seek out my family's history, I have always had a curiosity about the life of my great aunt; her education, career and love of art. She is my favorite professor, but not because of her accomplishments, her teaching abilities, her relationship with students and fellow faculty members, but because she was family. All I know about her comes from a few letters, second-hand remembrances from a few family members who knew her and 1 photo I have of her when she was a very young woman. Since she spent so many years at Northern, I have hopes there is some former student or colleague that has some memories of Cleo Harrison that would fill in the gaps. This may not be the format for my query, but I do hope someone who knew Cleo better than I did will come forward and share their memories of my favorite professor...my great aunt. Can anyone help? ourplace1@csinet.net

Cindy Harrison Wade


Mrs. Jayne Brady who taught in the Home Economics Department when I was a student in the early 1970s went out of her way to help a struggling, financially strapped student. She not only gave me encouragement and words of wisdom, she brought me food! Her kindness spurred me to continue with my education and left a lasting impression on me of giving from the heart. I didn't end up pursuing Home Ec as a career, but Mrs. Brady's caring nature has inspired me time and again to reach out and help others through kind words and deeds. What a lovely lady!

Janet Hall Bjerregaard
1972


I had so many professors at NMU to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for making my degree worth much more than the paper it is printed on. Among my favorite professors at Northern were Dr. Greising and Dr. Stenkamp from the History Department and Dr. Berry from Political Science. However, I have to say a big thank you to Dr. Rudi Prusok in Foreign Languages. He was an exceptional teacher, probably the best from whom I have had the pleasure of learning. He was a teacher and a friend to us in his German classes and several times welcomed us into his home for gatherings of the German classes. I still appreciate the ease with which I could visit him in his office and discuss anything from world events to how hard the next test was going to be. So, if Dr. Prusok is still around, I just have a couple of things to say in my now rusty and underused German: Ich werde nicht bis an die tur, und immer tp tp tp (nicht toiletten papier!)

Scott C. Vollmer
1987


I saw very few students commenting on the most favorite professors dating back to the sixties. I intend to name a few who are worthy of remembrance. Dr. Donald Baker, professor and head department of physics who made the basis for my scientific interest. God bless his soul and I hope to see him in heaven. Dr. Niemi the dean of students with a fatherly gesture who gave me the first scholarship no matter what the size was. I remember him with a lot of pride. Dr. Hunt in chemistry who taught us to be punctual at 8:00 a.m. winter time in Kaye Hall auditorium and made us take quizzes in a span of five minutes including the time we lost finding a seat in a big class of 150 students. I still love him and remember him telling us a joke that skunks do not smell, it is you that smell. God bless him and I hope I see him in heaven. Dr. Knauss in the department of mathematics who was the best in presentation of mathematics and made me feel a person who can survive in school due to my high school strong background in mathematics. I wish I had the chance to express my appreciation in person or by email. I am very proud to call you my favorite professor. Dr. Paul Mattson has already been recognized by me in my alumni association membership form and I learned it was recorded in the same category a few years ago. God be with him and his family. Dr. Harden, president, and one of my most favorite personality who gave us a chance to start at a four year univeristy. His famous slogan "Right to Try". God bless his soul and his family. Among those few who come to my mind as wonderful educators with a lot of prestige and deep roots in America. I am very proud of you and my memories are full of fine details and will always carry them with me. I am sure there are many who are well deserved to be remembered but I stop it here not because I choose to, rather I hope to give others the courage to do the same thing and remember the good old people who gave their time and energy for our training and made us what we are. This is one way to thank God and he loves us for the appreciations we express to his human beings. I love you too who is reading my writing and perhaps deciding to do the same.

Ali Khezri Yazdan Ph. D.
1969


As I am now a teacher myself, I have been thinking about those professors at Northern who made the biggest difference for me. I will always look up to and remember Karin Stulz from the College of Business for her straight-forward, yet caring style of teaching. She always treated people as equals with plenty of respect. I will also always remember Dr. Frances O'Neill from the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. She took an interest in me as a person both inside and outside of the classroom. I hope to be as caring, compassionate, cheerful, and full of energy as she is after I have taught for 30 years!

Kerri Borths
2002


Easily, my favorite professor is Dr. Tom Hruska of the English Department. I have taken 6 classes with Dr. Tom, from my first semester to my last semester and enjoyed every minute of it. Dr. Tom teaches his students to do more than just read a book; he teaches his students to read a book many different ways. He also takes it upon himself to try to teach his students about more than literature--he attempts to teach about life. He covers the generation gap by attempting to understand where his students are coming from, yet at the same time, he doesn't tolerate crap from his students. He expects the best from his students by encouraging them to disagree with him...as long as they can back that argument up. Dr. Tom has taught me to be an English major, a student, and most important to stand up for myself no matter what. Thanks Dr. Tom for 4 years!

Angela Cristan
2002


Dr. Dennis Badaczewski. He was and is such a warm, wonderful and caring person that I feel a fuller, happier and more complete human being for having been touched by "Dr. Denny".

Lin Nash
1973


I look back at my NMU days fondly. Two of my favorite professors, Dr. Robert Albritton and Dr. Kurt Kynell. The influence these two fine people had on me then is every bit as strong in my life today. There is simply too much praise to fit into a small paragraph, but I am eternally thankful for having known them. I would also like to mention Mr. David Bonsall in the Student Activities office. He has been a good friend and an all around "good guy" since I met him in 1986.

Geoffrey Cotter
1991


It's not what you take, but rather who you take. With this in mind I am grateful to Fillmore C.F. Earney, Sten Taube, Dr. Frank Verley, and Dr. Vandenberg for their patience, practice and care for me as a person and as a student with a developing mind. "Those who do only what is expected of them are slaves; the moment they do more, they are free." Doc Earnery's class motto for one of his courses.

Steve Michmerhuizen
1986


Several stand out. Dr. Miodrag Georgevich was my professor and he became my friend after graduation. He was a brilliant political scientist with a global perspective. He was a caring professor who demanded excellence from all his students. Prince Andrei Lobanov-Rostovsky (Dr. Lobanov) was perhaps the most extraordinary person I have ever met. He spoke 11 languages and his autobiographical book on World War I is an unbelievable book. He lived a real life as interesting as Boris Pasternak's Yuri Zhivago. He was an unbelievable teacher and a truly extraordinary man. When he taught at Northern he was 72 with a seven-year-old son. He could talk about the last time he saw the Czar at a train station outside of Moscow.

Steve Mitchell
1967


My favorite professor, bar none, is Dr. Kurt Kynell. He was and is perhaps the most intelligent and interesting person I have ever met. The future students are the ones who will miss out on his knowledge and inspiration. The university really lost something when he retired.

Lance Miller
1998


There are so many great professors on the campus. I remember Dr. Barry Knight, History, who brought the subject alive for me. I read Jimmy Carter's foreign policy book and loved it. There was Dr. Anderson, Education, who taught me about the human side of teaching. Dr. Standerford, Education, inspired me to write. Dr. Imdieke, Education, helped me bring a story alive to an audience and this is one of my strengths now. Dr. Vanbeynen, Math/Education, helped me to see that math is all about problem solving, problem solving, problem solving. And who could forget Dr. Bernard Peters, Geography, who taugh North American Geography. I loved the class and worked very hard for my first C. I think I am more proud of that C than I am of some of my A's because I truly earned it in his class.

Lynn (Barrette) Gaune
1993


NMU holds a few of my favorite professors, but Dr. Jim Cantrill is far above all the others. During my senior year I changed my minor from PR to Speech Communications. Dr. Cantrill agreed to serve as my advisor as I took a class load of 23 credits. I found myself really enjoying his classes and his methods of teaching. All my peers would say "Wow, Cantrill is a tough teacher" and they were right. But he expects a level of work out of his students, and won't take excuses. This gave me the motivation to get good grades and it totally worked. After graduation I joined the Peace Corps and have been in contact with Dr. Cantrill since. Thanks Dr. Cantrill for giving me that motivation.

Jason Rivers
2000


While at NMU, pursuing my associate's degree in Health Information Processing, I would have to say that my favorite professor(s) were Karin Stulz and Tina Oswald. Both professors passed their information on in creative and informative ways. I took a lot of things away from all their classes and the knowledge has helped me both in my current job and in others I hope to pursue.

Debra Lowes
2001


James Panowski. Dr. "P", as he was known, was (is) the wise box office guy of the theatre department. He brought a spirit of sophistication to the FRT that smacked of his experience in high finance and promotion. His sense of professionalism touched you whether you had professional aspirations or not. Dr. P. was always collaborative and wonderfully not northwoods Marquette. I remember a trip to NYC where he knew most professionals that lectured us on a first name basis. Dr. Panowski was the first real live celebrity whom I ever knew.

Eric Samson


I enjoyed the experience of learning at NMU and many names come to mind such as Dr. Harold Wright, Dr. Edwin Arvil, Dr. Allan Niemi, Dr. Jean Hedlund, Dr. Vedder and Gunther Meyland. But a strong influence in professionalism and attitude to work came from T. Ray Uhlinger. He was often quite scathing and negative in showing his reaction to matters of quality and standards. For some reason, this has stayed with me and while I try to be constructive in my teaching, I sometimes feel that a rarely used reaction of distaste (when it will do some good) is a help that all the kind words in the world won't offer. Needless to say, he was basically kind and constructive on a day to day basis. I find myself saying the things that he did. He always said that to perform music or conduct it, you must sit down with the score and review it in real time (performance time). That has helped many times.

Gerald Pieti
1962


I really loved being a student at Northern. To this day, I proclaim to others the nurturing environment NMU provided through its caring faculty. My "favorites" were Dr. Jane Bemis and Dr. Blanche Wise (also advisor to Gamma Phi Alpha) from the Home Ec Department, and Dr. James Rapport, Paul Arnold, and Martha Laurion from Theatre Arts and Virginia Hintsala, teacher at Pierce School and advisor to Gamma Phi Alpha. Each one of these instructors made me feel very special and encouraged me to keep trying to explore new avenues and to believe in myself. I only wish that I would have thanked them over the years--I'd like to share with them how their care and concern for one student helped me to be so successful in my personal and professional life.

Sandy Lampi Scheel
1967


It's a touch choice. Mr. Farrell and Mrs. Renfrew were both really nice and really knowledgeable and really, really fun to be with. I liked Mr. Farrell's personal approach he gave each of his students. It is his personality and not one he had to dig up. Mrs. Renfrew liked to socialize with her students, a lot, in Spanish if possible. I really enjoyed learning from her. Her lessons were very informative.

Nicholas Whallon
1988


I wish I could say that I had one great professor but I can't. When I entered NMU in the fall of 1986 I was confused, lost, undisciplined and anything else you could get out of a 19 year old. But that all changed. Dr. Bill Baccalo, Dr. Pat Jerome, Dr. Don Rybacki, Dr. Karen Rybacki and Dr. Jon Saari all changed that. They made me realize that I was special and that I could achieve the same goals as everyone else. It is these individuals that made me never regret a day at NMU. When things got tough, they got tougher. Today I am a very proud, successful individual with a wonderful family. I want to thank these individuals and those of the NMU staff for helping me to realize my full potential.

Donald Wrench
1994


I have a lot of great memories. I began two enduring friendships at Northern and met my husband my senior year. The best thing about Northern was the welcoming atmosphere. My son was in preschool when I tranferred to NMU. I took Max to social events. He went with me when I visited professors and we spent lots of time on campus. Wherever we went, he was greeted warmly and treated so kindly. I have found in recent years this attitude is rare. I also remember the heavy snows! My friend and I would shovel my friveway and then hers. The guys who lived above me would come out and help. All the good company and camraderie made the work go by so fast. I don't miss the shoveling, but I miss the people and the attitude.

Jessica O'Rourke-Close
1997


I would have to say that my favorite professor was Dr. Sheila Burns of the psychology department. She inspired me to never stop questioning, testing or exploring. Looking back, her advice and encouragement helped me to achieve when others doubted my ability. Thanks, Dr. Burns, and "monstra me datum"!

Michael Bray
1999


I enjoyed all of my profs in different ways. A few stand out to me. Brad Olsen had a big influence on me (although while I was in school I would have denied it!) Social and Advanced Social Psych were my favorites with him. I also enjoyed Karen Rybacki a lot. American speakers brought the concept of speaking and the power of speaking into profound focus for me. Thanks to all of my professors including Carolyn Myers (who I consider a prof. too), Christine Platt and Phil Legler (who would have thought I could enjoy Anne Sexton?)

Kirstine Taylor Evans
1990


The Rybackis! They were both wonderful professors and went out of their way for their students. After Don became my advisor, I changed my major to PR and really enjoyed it. I never thoguht I would get through my campaign class, but I did it. The work is hard and a lot of writing, but I believe it made me who I am today.

Lisa Gustin Gross
1998


All the professors in the Department of Psychology have positively impacted me and the career decisions I have made. Brad Olson (don't call him Dr.!) made the most impact on me because of his outspokenness and his ability and willingness to defend his actions. He probably is not the most popular faculty member on campus, but I have learned life is not a popularity contest. Brad's classes were not boring. I especially think about Brad when someone stares at me in the elevator. There are three other members in that department who deserve kudos: Dr. Sheila Burns, Dr. Charlie Leith and Dr. Grace Albert. I would never have gotten to grad school without Grace's help with the application process and having her as a listening post. Charlie and Sheila offered me lots of support through my last two years at NMU and taught fun, entertaining classes. I never knew I had a proclivity for statistics until I took Sheila's class. Six years after that class, I am still teaching and tutoring Stats and actually profiting from my expertise. It all started with Psychological Statistics. Another professor who really impacted me was Dr. Kenneth Schellhase. I only took Dr. Schellhase one time in Arab-Islamic History. His passion for the subject was amazing. I loved the class and was disappointed I could not work more of Dr. Schellhase's classes into my schedule.

Jessica O'Rourke-Close
1997


I consider myself privileged in having to list four NMU faculty to whom I am deeply indebted. As a non-traditional student returning after 15 years away from higher education to complete my BA at NMU (1993-1995) I had the distinct honor of working with and learning from Dr. Patti Hogan and Dr. Harvey Wallace in the Health Education program. Through their own scholarship and example, I found an undergraduate venue which allowed me to explore many avenues of learning, from the health sciences to human behavior. Their professionalism and dedication were and continue to be inspiring examples. I am equally indebted to Dr. Carol Bays whose encouragement of my writing and creative efforts still serves as fuel to now propel me through the dissertation phase of my doctoral program in Higher Education at Michigan State University. Finally, no thank you to NMU would be complete without acknowledging Dr. Floyd Slotterback and the NMU-based Marquette Choral Society which afforded me a musical outlet and learning venue I will never forget.

Paul Kurf
1993


There are many fine professors at NMU, but Russ Magnaghi in the history department was definitely my favorite. He is a wonderful classroom teacher, a helpful advisor and a good friend. Russ took me to Mexico City in 1995 as his research assistant, and he guided me as I applied to graduate schools in history. Now, I'm a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, and Russ Magnaghi's mentoring definitely helped me get here.

Greg Wood
1996


Dr. Phil Doepke. He was a kind, gentle soul with an inherent understanding of aquatic ecology. Even as he wandered around three blackboards filled with equations searching for that one variable that should have been squared, he was inspiring me. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, but he taught some very advanced concepts in ecology and aquatic biology. But, more than that, he lived a life that seemed in perfect balance. He loved his family and he loved to fish--and it was obvious that he loved teaching. Thanks Phil. You inspire me even now.

Ray Timm
1992


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