What's New for March 3, 2008

What's New, NMU?

For the week of March 3, 2008

From the 6th floor

Mild weekend temperatures provide a bit of a respite from the winter blues. With temperatures in the upper 30s, many Upper Peninsula residents got out of the house and engaged in outdoor activities. While the mild weather is predicted to continue for a few days, temperatures return to more seasonable as the week progresses.

Upperclassmen getting prepared for graduation

The second annual Upperclassmen Fair brought together a number of NMU seniors getting ready to graduate and a variety of NMU departments. Sponsored by Housing and Residence Life, the fair is designed to assist seniors with a range of pre-commencement activities such as resume building, financial planning, degree audits. The NMU Alumni Association was on hand to provide services such as free e-mail for life, free first year membership and networking opportunities.

Spring commencement is set for Saturday, May 3.

Northern receives Merck/AAAS Grant

NMU has received a grant for research that could lead to a more effective influenza vaccine and a better understanding of autoimmune diseases.
Fifteen universities nationwide were selected for funding through a competitive program sponsored by the Merck Institute for Science Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The project involves undergraduate students and encourages collaboration between the biology and chemistry departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Marquette General Hospital.
Four NMU faculty members will be involved in the project: Osvaldo Lopez and John Rebers from biology and Mark Paulsen and Leslie Putnam from chemistry. Their work will be based on Lopez’s expertise on early immune response against acute infection viruses such as influenza. It is this early immune response that clears the infection and can save a life.
Lopez said the hypothesis is that marginal zone B cells in the spleen, which are the first responders against the influenza virus, are the same cells that produce auto-antibodies in autoimmune diseases such as lupus and arthritis. Researchers also hypothesize that some chronic lymphocytic leukemias (CLL) might originate from these cells. So while our immune systems help defend us, Lopez said they also can attack us through autoimmune diseases or if cells from the immune system become cancer cells, such as leukemias, lymphomas and myelomas.
“CLL is the most common type of leukemia among people over 55," said Lopez. "There are two possible outcomes: people either die within 18 months or they can live for many more years, depending on the antibodies. Dr. [Ramakrishnan] Sasi of MGH is working with NMU to develop an in-house test to determine which outcome to expect. Very few centers in the world have this test. Even Mayo Clinic doesn’t have it. All of this is related to what we will be studying with this grant.
The winners of the Merck/AAAS grants are featured prominently in a full-page ad in the Feb. 8 issue of Science magazine. NMU will receive $60,000 over three years. Lopez said if the research is successful, NMU will be able to request more funding from a federal agency at a later date to extend the project.

Stossel, Kennedy to visit NMU

Two nationally recognized speakers will visit NMU on Wednesday, March 19. John Stossel of ABC's 20/20 will discuss gun control, secondhand smoke and gas prices in a presentation titled "Freedom and Its Enemies" at 4 p.m. in Jamrich Hall room 102.
Kerry Kennedy, human rights advocate and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, will speak at 7 p.m. in the same location. She will share insights from more than 20 years spent investigating and publicizing human rights abuses worldwide. Kennedy is the author of Speak Truth to Power, chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council and a judge for the Reebok Human Rights Award.
Both events are free and open to the public.

Grand Rapids Area Reception

Steelcase University Learning Center
Grand Rapids, Mich.
March 20
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Join NMU President Les Wong and Steelcase Inc. President and CEO James Hackett for a casual gathering of NMU alumni and friends.

Special guests include NMU Board Member Brian Cloyd and former NMU Board Chair Dan DeVos

Steelcase University Learning Center
Grand Rapids Complex
901 44th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI

Please let us know if you plan on attending.

Wildcat hockey to host Ohio State in first round

Northern Michigan University will host a first-round Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) playoff series beginning Friday, March 7 against the Ohio State University Buckeyes. The series is a best-of-three with the winner advancing in the CCHA Tournament. The second game will be Saturday, March 8. If necessary a third game would be played on Sunday, March 9. The puck will drop each night at 7:35 p.m.
Tickets are currently on sale at the Superior Dome ticket office and at the TCF Bank ticket outlet in the University Center. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to have their season seat and to avoid lines on game day at the Berry Events Center ticket window. 
Season ticket holder’s seats are being held for purchase until 5 p.m., Thursday, March 6. After that time, the seats will be available to all ticket purchasers.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students (including NMU students) for each game.
For more information or with any questions please contact the Superior Dome ticket office at 906-227-1032.

From the E-mail bag

Note from the Editor: We received a number of calls about a piece of video running on MSNBC featuring the Superior Dome's recent softball tourney.  Check it out here. It's a pretty awesome catch.

"Wanted to send you information on a NMU reunion.  Six NMU graduates were able to get together for a 50th birthday party, in Napa Valley, October, 2007.  We have been close friends since our meeting, as freshman in 1974 at Halverson Hall.   Most of us live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We are able to get together frequently.  Happy Birthday Karen!"
Kate Forbes Krakker '78

From left to right Kate Forbes Krakker '78, Pauline Harris-Schlegel '77, Donna , Mary Ellen, Felicia Slugay Grout '78,  Karen Johnson Holstrom '79, Marge Stempky McCoy '78,  Jan, Lynn Attard Meinor '78.

"Enjoying the newsletter, but do not miss the snow and cold weather.  Enjoying beautiful warm sunshine here in the Rio Grand Valley. 
Spent the day at South Padre Island"
Richard '62 & Dorothy '64 Nobert

"I enjoyed hearing all the snow stories and of course I have one too. My brother and I were home for the holidays in Chicago when we heard on the weather that snow might be moving in up north. Not wanting The Pub to be too lonely, we headed back to Marquette early  trying to beat the storm. As we wound up Hwy 41 north of Milwaukee, the intensity of the snow increased. Soon, there were just tire tracks to follow, as we saw car after car in the ditch near Curly  Lambeau field. We had thoughts of motel fleetingly as  our guest/passenger Brian slammed his fist on the front dash and said " No! POR! " (Press On Regardless.) As we continued, soon the road disappeared and we were totally on God's grace.  POR now sounded like S-T-U-P-I-D. 
Needless to say it was very hairy the remainder from Menominee, Escanaba, and on up! The rear wheel drive of our ' 77  Ford Econoline van was being tested severely to the point where the ditch began to sound good. By the time we hit Marquette the state police had already shut M-28 and 41 was next. We scooted into town past Wahlstrom's, up the hill, down the hill, up front street and proceeded another 3-4 blocks where we were stuck right in the middle of an intersection  somewhere around Hewitt (?) 1 block from our abode. 400+  miles of white knuckle fever ending in a huge white drift! We abandoned the vehicle, taking only needed rations( brown bottled beverages of some sort) and navigated on foot  to the Pub, which of course was open. If memory serves correct, I believe it took us two days to free our vehicle from that spot. The snow was so deep the police couldn't get to it to ticket us!"
Chris Lockner ' 85
Eagan, MN

"I suppose this is the same storm others have referred to as the 1966 storm. It was the first year for Payne-Halverson to be open and the second year for Gant-Spalding. The quad was finally finished and no longer was what some people were calling the west complex the outer boonies. But because of the distance from the rest of the campus, Kaye Hall, Longyear and the Fine Arts Bldg, there was quite a camaraderie at the far end of campus. Everyone knew one another and everyone seemed to get along quite well.
Someone chartered a bus for the Thanksgiving holiday. Many people drove and loaded their cars with passengers for the trek to and from Detroit. Afterall gas was then 35 cents a gallon. I had a 1963 Valiant that carried 5 of us to and from the Motor City. I remember we met at the far end of Northland Shopping Center in Southfield, just outside the Cunningham's, on the Sunday afternoon; Laura Myers from Beverly Hills, Bonnie Brocklebank from Royal Oak, Bernie Peters from Grosse Isle and Wendy Selin from Marquette who was visiting friends in the Detroit suburbs.
We left on a seasonably warm day and headed up to the UP on a clear and dry I-75. Once we hit U.S. 2 in St Ignace it began to snow, so we topped off the gas tank and headed west as the snow and wind became more intense.There was a long line of traffic that moved slowly past all of the familiar landmarks until it finally stopped near the Curtis cut off. We were maybe 20 cars behind the transport truck that had jackknifed and blocked all traffic. Somehow we made the best of it. We would run the car engine, off but mostly on through the night, and managed to keep warm. Bathroom breaks were a challenge for the ladies. And we slept sitting up through the night. In the morning we were ushered out of our vehicles and somehow taken to nearby Gould City where the people there took the stranded travelers into their homes. I forget the names of the people who hosted us and 2 others that Monday night, but they were so kind and generous and for most of us, it was our first experience with venison and dandelion wine.
The chartered bus made it as far as Rapid River and stopped in its tracks for the next 24 hours.
Telephones were out of service because of downed lines, so we were unable to notify family members. Wendy Selin's parents were very concerned and purchased air time on a variety of UP radio stations inquiring our whereabouts and asking her to phone home.That was in the days of vast areas of dead air space on the AM band throughout much of the U. P. Friends who heard the broadcasts later reported the concern that was transmitted in those announcements. Unfortunately we knew nothing about it until we got back to NMU.
We returned to Marquette Tuesday afternoon in what was still a slow moving caravan, but we were all happy to reach our destination and take a nice long, hot shower.
Just last summer I stopped in Gould City after many years. Nothing looked familiar. Nobody was even outside but then the last time I saw the town it was covered with 3 feet of snow and 7 ft snowbanks. What does remain is the clear memory of a winter storm and the kindness of people in the UP."
John Roberts 1971
Niagara Falls, Ont.

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