What's New, NMU?

For the week of January 21, 2008

From the 6th floor

The Arctic cold system moving across the United States has left the U.P. with record-breaking cold. Much of Upper Michigan continues to be in a deep freeze as temperatures remain below zero. The record was broken Sunday when the temperature fell to minus 20 degrees. Low temperatures are expected to linger until Thursday, when the thermometer will rise to the low teens and low 20s on Friday.

Minneapolis area reception this Friday

The NMU Alumni Association Board of Directors will be in Minneapolis, Jan. 25-26, for its annual Winter meeting.
As part of the weekend activities, a special Minneapolis Area Alumni Reception is scheduled for Friday, 6-8 p.m. at the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis.
More than 40 NMU alumni have told us they plan on attending.  NMU President Les Wong will also be in attendance. Interested in participating but haven't called us with your RSVP? It's not too late, but please do so, soon. E-mail us or call us, toll free, 1-877-GRAD NMU.

Ann Arbor Area alumni reception

Join NMU President Les Wong, Coach Walt Kyle and alumni from the Ann Arbor area Friday, Feb. 1, at Damon's. The NMU Wildcats take on the University of Michigan, that evening at 7:30 p.m. at Yost Arena.  Wildcat fans will be meeting at Damon's on Boardwalk following the game. Snacks will be provided and beverages available for purchase. Game tickets are still available from the NMU Ticket Office. The ticket office can be reached at 906-227-1032 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Freshman GPA sets record

The fall 2007 baccalaureate new freshman cohort achieved the highest first-semester grade point average in NMU history, according to Associate Vice President of Institutional Research Paul Duby. The GPA was 2.76, compared with the previous high of 2.70 earned the previous year.
"The percentage of baccalaureate new freshman achieving a first-semester GPA of at least 2.00 was 82.7 percent, which wiped out the previous all-time high rate of 80.5 percent," Duby said. "Of the 874 baccalaureate new freshman included in that number, the first-semester clear academic standing rate was a whopping 84.4 percent."

Faculty member receives Fulbright

NMU is honored to announce that a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar grant was awarded to a member of the NMU faculty, and that NMU will host a Fulbright Visiting Scholar during the winter semester.   As the Council for International Exchange of Scholars notes, the Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and it is the largest U.S. international exchange program, with an intent “…to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.”  The two Fulbright Scholars associated with NMU are Bronwyn Mills, associate professor of English., and Master Han Jingsheng from Guandong, China. 
Mills (left) will lecture and conduct research at the University of Abomey-Calavi, in Benin, Africa.  Her studies will focus on American and Anglophone Caribbean Literature, and African Cartography.  Mills’ doctoral work focused on Caribbean cartographies – how African notions of place (one’s relationship to the land) and space (one’s relationship to the cosmos) shaped the creative imagination in the Caribbean, Afro-Caribbean and African Diaspora.  Mills hopes to share her Fulbright-inspired experiences with her students when she returns to NMU via orature (oral literature), performance and cultural productions.
Master Han Jingsheng is a doctor of  traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a master of martial arts and a therapeutic massage healer.  He was born and raised in a family of two TCM doctors and kung fu masters.  Combining his training in TCM and his college education in nursing, Han founded Yizhi Chan Tui Na, or One Finger Zen Mindfulness Clinic.  Master Han’s clinic cultivates mindful living and incorporates Zen Buddhist teaching when training his students and treating his patients.  The meaning of One Finger Zen –the idea of the interconnectedness of human relationships – is not just the name of his clinic but also the guiding principal of his practice.  Han can be contacted for engagements on the NMU campus via John Weting, Director of International Affairs.

Ferrarini named Cohodas Professor

Tawni Ferrarini, professor of economics, is Northern's Sam M. Cohodas Professor for economic development in the Upper Peninsula. She will work with the campus community and regional organizations to research economic activity for others to use to develop plans for enhancing the U.P. economy.
“My professional passion and my personal love for the area made me want to pursue this assignment,” said Ferrarini, whose teaching load will be reduced so that she can focus on her new role. “There is so much potential for growth here. My number one job this semester will be to listen to organizations such as Michigan Works, the U.P. Economic Development Authority, Operation Action U.P. and others interested in economic vitality across the region.
NMU Provost Susan Koch said the scholar appointment was made possible through a generous gift from the Cohodas family, whose members have made significant contributions to the U.P. economy.
Ferrarini joined the NMU faculty in 1998 and has served as the director of its Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship since 2000. She was selected for the scholar assignment through an application process open to tenured or tenure-track faculty at NMU for a term tentatively scheduled to extend through June 2010.

College of Business considering new MBA

NMU's College of Business is considering establishing a graduate program in business, most likely a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The proposed program will be designed in a manner that will allow it to be completed either on a full-time basis (12 months) or on a part-time basis. At the initial stage, this will be a general MBA program with 8 courses of 4 credits each. The College is assessing existing interest in the local population for such a program that could be delivered either on a face-to-face basis, on-line or in a blended form.
Anyone interested in the proposed program can complete a brief survey at www.nmu.edu/MBAsurvey or send an e-mail to bizdean@nmu.edu.           

Wildcat sports update

The Northern Michigan University men's and women's ski teams raced to victory despite single-digit temps in Marquette over the weekend.  The women won the freestyle race last Saturday (Jan. 19), and the classic race Sunday, Jan. 20.  The men finished second and first, respectively.
The NMU hockey team split on the weekend at Ferris State, losing last Friday (Jan. 18) 3-2, but winning on Saturday 4-2. The Wildcats play an exhibition game Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Berry Events Center against the U.S. National Development Team.
Both the NMU men's and women's basketball teams faced Hillsdale College at the Berry Events Center on Sunday (Jan. 20).  The men's team improved to 4-13 after a 67-66 win. The women lost 65-46 and fall to 7-10. Both teams host Ferris State on Thursday (Jan. 24).

From the E-mail bag

"Would you be so kind as to pass this along to alumni? Richard F. O'Dell, professor of history from 1949-1975, passed away at Munson Hospital in Traverse City, on January 11, 208. He was preceded in death by his wife, Louise, in September of 2006. They are survived by their children, Dorothy (Robert) Clore of Alden, Mich., and Richard 'Sandy' (Laurie) O'Dell of Middleville, Mich. Former colleagues and students may contact the family at dorothyclore@charter.net. Many thanks."
Dorothy Clore

"Graduated in 1979. What a great place NMU was. Life is great at 51. Miss the school a lot. Besides the 3.00 GPA, it was the best experience ever."
Pat Axelson '79
Duluth, Minn.
aaxman74@aol.com


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