What's New NMU? January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013

Staying Wild
Learn More
Campus Information
Staying Connected

Campus Conditions

View from the 6th floor!

The sun started to peek out today after a lake effect storm brought a fresh one to two inches of snow to the area over the last day or so.

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Staying Wild: Jonny Bahk-Halberg '87

Born and raised in Traverse City, Jonny Bahk-Halberg ‘87 describes himself as something of a troublemaker.  Kicked out of high school his senior year, he cobbled together enough night classes to receive a general diploma and enrolled at Northwestern Michigan College, “with no idea why.” 

After a few failed classes and years of uncertainty he joined the U.S. Coast Guard.  Upon leaving, he spent time traveling and working until he hurt his back and “decided I was better suited for brain work than back work.  So off to NMU I went.”  Little did he know, Jonny would go on to earn a Bachelors degree in English, minoring in journalism and geography from NMU, a Masters from the University of Michigan and a PhD in English Rhetoric & Linguistics. 

Calling Marquette one of his favorite places on earth, his time at Northern was spent working at the North Wind “writing some really abominable editorial columns.”  Memorable professors were “persnickety Fillmore Earney, rebellious John McLean, meditative Paul Lehmberg, bearded and patient Gerry Waite, comfortable Robert Glenn, demanding Sten Taube, helpful and caring Candy Bays, fun and interesting Karyn Rybacki, and intellectual Zacharias Thundy.”

After graduate school it was on to writing for newspapers in Cheboygan, Alpena and then returning to Marquette to work at the Mining Journal, covering the mine strikes at Cleveland-Cliffs, the opening of the Sweet Water Café, and a ride in an F-16 with the Air Force Thunderbirds. 

Hearing the call for something different, he moved to Seoul, Korea, teaching English, communication and writing.  “When I arrived here in 1995, the extent of my knowledge came from the TV series MASH. A lot has changed since then, both for me and for Korea. Seoul is a city of the future, and Asia is a huge part of the world's economic future.” 

Returning briefly to the U.S. to finish his Ph.D., Jonny calls his second Korea stay “permanent, if there is such a thing.”  He fell in love with an old friend from Korea and is the proud father of 6-year-old Choroek and his sister Haneul, age 4. “Though we love to travel, the Bahk-Halberg family has no desire to live anywhere but Korea.”

He is employed at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, the top training ground for interpreters and translators in Korea, teaching in the Graduate School of International and Area Studies and as an editor/reviser with the Center for Interpretation and Translation.  Jonny also works as an adjunct associate professor with the University of Maryland University College – Asia, and as a speaking and writing examiner with University of Cambridge IELTS examinations through the British Council in Seoul.   For someone who started with an aversion to school, Jonny has done a complete 180, devoting his time helping others learn in a location halfway around the world. 

Jonny enjoyed meeting with NMU President David Haynes when he visited Seoul this past fall.  “I look forward to seeing a few Wildcats in my classroom here someday and sending a few of my best students to the U.P.”

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Learn More

Find out more from the NMU English Department here.

Find out more from the NMU Earth, Environmental and Geographical Department here.

The North Wind can be found and read online at www.thenorthwindonline.com.

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Campus Information


Career Services is proud to announce a new service offered to alumni called Cat Career Tracks.  This system will allow our participating students, alumni, and employers to more easily take advantage of the services they have to offer.  It’s free for all users.

Alumni Job Seekers can register here: www.myinterfase.com/NMU/alumni.  All you will need to do is click the “Click here to register!” link, and fill out your profile information.  The account will be pending until Career Services verify that you are an alum, after which you will have full access to the system, including:

  • Search and apply for job opportunities online 24/7
  • Manage multiple resumes, cover letters, and other employment-related documents
  • Sign up for on-campus interviews
  • View and RSVP for job fairs, workshops and other career events
  • Much more!

Alumni Employers can register here: www.myinterfase.com/NMU/employer. They will “Click here to register!” They will then be able to search our database for their organization; if their organization is listed, they’ll be able to easily register as a contact for that company. If they are not there, they can enter a new organization.  Participating employers are able to:

  • Visit one centralized online location to post and manage an unlimited number of jobs
  • Set parameters for job openings
  • Receive email reminders when a student applies for jobs and when a posting is about to expire
  • Full access to search for participating students and download their resumes
  • Manage student applicants for on-campus interviews
  • Register online for career events like job fairs
  • Much more!

Questions: www.nmu.edu/careerservices/contactus

Upcoming Events

Wildcat Night Across the Country

Wildcat Night Across the Country is an opportunity to meet and mingle with NMU alumni and friends in your community to watch NMU hockey LIVE on Fox Sports Detroit.  Check the list to see which party is nearest to you.  We’ve just added Lansing and Green Bay to the list.  No party nearby?  Hosting is easy!  Pick a location that will televise the game and let the Alumni Office do the rest.  We’ll get the word out to local alumni and send you an official NMU Party Pack, complete with raffle prizes and NMU gear.   

Saturday, February 16, 2013

NMU at Michigan State LIVE on Fox Sports Detroit

Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. EST


NMU is coming to Florida! 

Please save the date for our two upcoming alumni events in Florida, and watch future editions of"What’s New, NMU?"  for more details.  We hope you can join us.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rusty Pelican

Tampa, Florida


Friday, March 15, 2013

Timpano Italian Chophouse

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Job Postings

Title: Admissions Counselor/Senior Admissions Counselor/Assistant Director of Admissions; two positions available-position title based upon qualifications; one position regionally based in the Wisconsin south and west regions and one in the Wisconsin north region; evening and weekend work required.

Department: Admissions
Targeted Minimum Salaries: $30,100 Admissions Counselor; $32,100 Senior Admissions Counselor; $34,300 Assistant Director of Admissions

Submit application by February 15, 2013

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Staying Connected


Thanks to all of you who have visited the Alumni Office while on campus.  Whenever you’re in town, please drop by 603 Cohodas Hall to say hello!  (You don’t have to be visiting - for those of you who live in Marquette, we want to see you too!  Please stop in.)  If you can’t get to campus but you’re off exploring the world, be sure to send us a photo of you wearing your favorite Wildcat gear so we can share it with other alumni.

Three generations took the trek up Hogback Mountain this past Thanksgiving. All the hikers have ties to NMU or will. In the picture are: Mark Wretschko '75, '77, Tom Wretschko '13, Eric Miller '08, Elizabeth (Wretschko) Miller (current student), Children: Sage and Nolan.

Dr. Russ Magnaghi, History, sent in this picture of himself and George Dritsas '80. George is the General Manager of LA Fitness in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan and gave Russ an intro pass to workout in the gym.

Becky (Allen) Vargo '81 picked up this NMU glass on her recent trip to campus with her daughter last spring. Their kitten, Toulouse, was eager to share her treasure and show off NMU pride.

NMU Campus

Marquette Mountian

Upper Harbor

Thank you again to Tony Williams '06 for the above aerial photos of NMU campus and the Marquette area. With a fresh blanket of snow everything has a clean, crisp winter feel.

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What's New, NMU? is brought to you by the generous gifts of NMU alumni and friends. Please consider helping with the continuation of such great programs and services by giving to your NMU Alumni Association. www.nmu.edu/give


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Please send us your updates
questions and comments to:

Contributing Editors:
Marina Dupler '03, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
Brad Hamel '99, '11, Assistant Director of Advancement Communications