What's New NMU? April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013

Staying Wild
Learn More
Campus Information
Staying Connected

Campus Conditions

View from the 6th floor!

Snowbanks are starting to get smaller and some grass is starting to peek out. Another system is heading this way and could cover what little green we do see with more white.

The Alumni Relations office has a new view from the 6th floor. We have moved down the hall to 607 Cohodas Hall, take a right out of the elevator. Make sure to stop by and say hello.

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Staying Wild: Steve Christian '89

Photo: Steve Christian (far left) in a recent family picture

For Steve Christian ‘89, life has been all about taking on new challenges and experiencing new things. 

Born and raised in the suburban Detroit area, Steve joined the Navy after high school, trying out for the SEAL program while in bootcamp.  His next challenge was BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training), a six-month course that consists of five weeks of pre-training, followed by diving and land warfare/demolitions training.  The first phase is the toughest and culminates in the grueling “Hell Week,” a test of physical and mental endurance, consisting of swimming, running in the sand, obstacle courses, small boat seamanship, hydrographic surveys and creating charts all in cold, wet conditions and on four hours of sleep total.  Two-thirds of participants call it quits or “ring the bell” before Hell Week is over.  While the training sounds extreme, Steve attempts to put it in perspective by saying “The 5 credit organic chemistry class I took at NMU rivaled Hell Week.”  He was one of 118 graduates.

After he finished his enlistment in the Navy, he applied only to Northern.  Growing up, Steve and his family were members of the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club in Engadine, and his love for the Upper Peninsula began at a young age. 

At Northern his favorite classes were Biology, Chemistry, and English and he took part in almost everything on campus, from broom ball to snow sculptures and the Moose Chase Snowshoe Race.  He was even a Resident Advisor for a semester.  With his Navy SEAL and BUD/S training under his belt, one might think Steve dominated these competitions, but he is quick to say he is not competitive with anyone but himself.  “One of the life lessons I learned in the military is that being able bodied and life are only temporary conditions. Everything I did was about living life,” said Steve.

After graduation, Steve returned to the Navy as an Officer.  While tours of duty have taken him to Beirut, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America, the Mediterranean and Middle East, Marquette and NMU remain unique.  “Between the topography, people, and local culture, no matter what your interests, you can probably find it there. It is probably one of the most unique areas I have been. It’s an amazing place.”

NMU holds a special place in Steve’s heart for so many reasons.  It’s where he met Andrea (Budkus) ‘89, his wife of 23 years.  They have three sons, Morgan, who is in the Navy stationed in Norfolk, Clayton, who is still in high school and Mackinaw who will be attending NMU in the fall.  His advice to Mack is applicable to all incoming freshman:  Besides focusing on studies, be active in University and community events, and take advantage of all the things NMU, Marquette, and the U.P. have to offer.”

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Learn More

WildCATS: Connecting Alumni To Students took place during the week of March 18. WildCATS was a new initiative led by the NMU Alumni Board of Directors. The mission of the Northern Michigan University Alumni Association is to cultivate a strong tradition of loyalty and involvement among alumni, students, friends and community while advancing the interests of the university. Alumni led Skillbuilders, networking events and a keynote speech gave students a chance to see how their experience at NMU can help them excel both professional and personally. Below are some great photos of some of the interaction of the WildCATS participants.

Carissa Waters '04 spent several hours with different Nursing classes attesting to how her experience at NMU prepared her for an exciting career as a RN.

 This NMU student has only a few minutes to talk with Jodie Filpus '00 as part of the Speed Networking event. Students were given the opportunity to visit privately with NMU alumni and ask questions while honing their skill in networking.

Jeremy Pickens '01 laid down the law with students as they explored the rules and regulations on Michigan's Rental Laws and how they affect student as renters.

Featured speaker Daryl Vizina '01 was proud to present "How I archived Professional Success With My NMU Degree," outlining his time at NMU and his path to becoming Cheboygan (Michigan) County Prosecutor.

Amanda Cross '03, '05 shares her experiences with a group of College of Business students in the classroom.

Dr. Frederick "Fritz" Nelson '73, a nationally-known geographer advises Earth, Environmental and Geographical Science students on how to apply college classroom and field experience to the real world.

Christine Marshall '79, joins Communication students in the classroom relating her current position in the field of media technologies and how her time at NMU has impacted her profession and personal path.

Rebecca Thompson '09 talks to students during a Skillbuilder about personal and professional branding. Rebecca was joined by Valerie West '07 and Phil Zaleski '02 on the panel.

Are you interested in participating in next years WildCATS? Do you know alumni who would make great volunteers? Or do you have an idea for an activity or workshop topic, let us know. alumni@nmu.edu

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Campus Information

Upcoming Events


NMU Wildcat Football Golf Clasic

The annual NMU Wildcat Football Golf Classic will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013 at the NMU Golf Course.  This 18-hole, scramble format event is held each year to raise money to support the NMU football program.  This year, the Wildcat Football Golf Classic will help raise money to purchase critical safety gear (e.g., helmets, shoulder pads, knee braces, etc.) to help protect the players as they represent NMU on the field.

More information about the golf outing, including how to register your team, can be found atwww.nmu.edu/golfclassic.  You may also email John B. Frick (NMU ’82 & ’87) at jfrick@nmu.edu if you have any questions.

Student Activities Office / Student Activities & Leadership Programs / Center for Student Enrichment

June 27-29

Activities Include:

Informal gathering at Vango's
Campus Tour
Sugarloaf Hike
Rummaging with Rachel
Tee time at the NMU Golf Course
Evening Picnic at Lower Harbor
Marquette Harbor Boat Cruise
Evening Reception Celebration
Night Life and much more

Reunion Website: http://www.nmu.edu/organizations/node/134

Reunion Facebook Group (Open): https://www.facebook.com/groups/104618099682958/

Reunion Registration:http://www.nmu.edu/organizations/sites/DrupalOrganizations/files/UserFiles/CSE_Reunion_Form.pdf


Save the Date!

June 28-29, 2013

NMU 1962 - 1978 Delta Sigma Phi Reunion

Marquette, Michigan

Contact Bob LaCosse at lacossebob@sbcglobal.net for information and watch future What’s New issues for details.

September 20-22, 2013

1967-1973 Eta Chi Chapter of ALPHA KAPPA PSI Reunion

Marquette, Michigan

Contact Joseph Prinzi at jprinzi@chartermi.net or 616-842-2863 for information.

Job Posting

Title: Senior Library Assistant; variable shift/days

Department:  Academic Information Services/Library
Hourly Rate:  $9.82 probationary; $10.54 working rate

Submit application by May 3, 2013

Title: Temporary Academic Advisor/Program Coordinator; less than .50 FTE; one year appointment; located at Macomb Community College

Department:  Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Hourly Range:  $13.70-$16.59

Submit application by April 30, 2013

Title: Director of Institutional Accreditation and Assessment

Department: Institutional Research
Salary:  Commensurate with experience

Submit application by April 26, 2013

Join the NMU Alumni LinkedIn group to see these, other jobs and to connect with NMU alumni.

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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 607 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.

What will your legacy be?

Sign up for the FREE NMU Foundation planned giving eNewsletter. Each week it features news from Washington, Savvy Living, Gift Stories, Finance News and other timely articles that will help you learn more about creating your legacy, from tax-advantaged estate planning to wills and bequests.


Thank you

A special thank you to our loyal alumni supporters who gave generously this fiscal year to the Alumni Association! We have raised over $12,500. Your gifts support alumni programming and activities, including these alumni events. From Florida to California to the Upper Michigan, you help make these events possible. You can still make a difference and gifts of any size do matter. Please visit www.nmu.edu/give and designate your gift to the Alumni Association.

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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