Special Purpose Centers

Centers of Excellence at NMU

Northern Michigan University is home to several special purpose centers, which provide and coordinate educational outreach programming to K-12 educators and community members throughout the Upper Peninsula. Several centers also coordinate undergraduate programs at NMU.

Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship
203 Cohodas Hall
Director: Tawni Ferrarini  • cee@nmu.edu

The center consults with educators and promotes, develops and implements economic education courses, workshops, materials and programs across the Upper Peninsula. Through a coordinated effort between the center, a strong network of K-12 Michigan Development Economic Evaluation Partners and a consortium of school districts, the CEEE strives to advance the understanding of the economic way of thinking and its applications in order to foster a growing population of responsible, knowledgeable and­  effective participants in the global marketplace.  

Center for Gerontological Studies
18 Gries Hall
Director: Patricia Cianciolo  •  sosw@nmu.edu

The center’s mission is to promote research and educational opportunities for faculty, students and community members focusing on the needs of older adults living in the Upper Peninsula. The center seeks to involve these stakeholders in the development and implementation of public policies that will enhance the lives of older adults in rural communities. It also helps develop educational programming related to aging, including an interdisciplinary minor in gerontology.

Center for Native American Studies
112 Whitman Hall
Director: April Lindala  •  cnas@nmu.edu

The center aims to enrich the knowledge and understanding of the indigenous peoples of North America from a Native American perspective by providing an academic setting where Native American history, culture and current issues can be viewed through multiple lenses. The center oversees a minor in Native American Studies.

The Center for Upper Peninsula Studies
112 Whitman Hall
Director: Russell M. Magnaghi  •  history@nmu.edu

The purpose of the center is to promote a greater understanding of the people, culture, history and environment of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through a variety of research, teaching and outreach programs. The center aims to develop an understanding and appreciation of the U.P. as a distinctive region; to develop and support a community of people studying the area; to initiate, undertake, encourage and support research and scholarly work on all aspects of the region, its people and its resources; and to provide services to regional institutions and researchers.

Glenn T. Seaborg Center for Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics
2805 West Science Building
Director: Debra Homeierl  • seaborg@nmu.edu

The mission is to enrich the knowledge and understanding of the general public in the areas of science and mathematics, particularly that of students and teachers from preschool through college. The objectives of the Seaborg Center are to provide programs that support the teaching and learning of science and mathematics at all levels, but particularly in the elementary and secondary schools of the Upper Peninsula; curriculum support to the schools; mathematics and science teacher education; professional development opportunities for teachers; and enrichment experiences for students.


Multicultural Education and Resource Center
3001 C.B. Hedgcock
Director: vacant

This center takes a proactive role in the education and preparation of all of the university’s students for life in an increasingly multicultural world. The center fosters a vibrant, stimulating, safe learning community in which cultural diversity is valued, differences are respected and people from all cultures and backgrounds can flourish. The wide variety of services provided are designed to enhance opportunities for personal growth, academic success and social interaction.

Upper Peninsula Center for Educational Development
2805 West Science Building
Director: Douglas Russell  •  dorussel@nmu.edu

This is a consortium of the seven intermediate school districts in the U.P., Michigan Technological University and Northern Michigan University. The mission of the Center is to increase educational achievement and citizenship among regional learners through educational development and technical assistance, resource development and coordination, and collaboration among intermediate school districts, universities, colleges and local school districts.