News for NMU Employees

United LogoUNITED Conference Sept. 21-26

Northern’s UNITED Conference will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, through Thursday, Sept. 26. UNITED stands for Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity. Presentations, films, art exhibits and other events take place throughout the week. This year’s presenters include an author on anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, a documentary filmmaker on the experience of Asian Americans, two bloggers who answer questions of young gay people and an entrepreneurial panel (see related story below).

Information on keynote/featured events follows. All will be held in the University Center Great Lakes Rooms unless otherwise noted. There are seven conference tracks: art, dance/music, diversity, film, food, research/scholarship and service. For the full schedule, visit

Alash, throat singers from Tuva, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in the Forest Roberts Theatre. This first performance is part of the Northern Nights concert series. Tickets are available at all NMU Ticket outlets.

A lunch and conversation with Maureen Costello (pictured) will be held at noon Monday, Sept. 23, in the Charcoal Rooms. She leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, one of the nation’s leading providers of anti-bias education resources. At 3 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms, Martha West will give a presentation on gender equity. She served as general counsel for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) from 2008-2010 and her research is focused on discrimination against women faculty in higher education. At 7:30 p.m., Andrei Markovits will give a talk based on his latest book Twin Brothers: Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism, followed by a book signing. Markovits is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan.

Lance Rintamaki will speak on “Modern Science and Our New Insights on Sex, Culture and Communication” at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Science of Sexual Communication. At 7:30 p.m., Curtis Chin (pictured), creator of the Vincent Who? documentary, will give a talk. Chin has won awards from the National Association for Multicultural Education and the Asian American Justice Center for this documentary. He has written in the past for ABC, NBC, Fox, The Disney Channel and more.

"Everyone Is Gay," which includes Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo (pictured), will present at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The two use humor and honesty on a blog to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.

The conference wraps up with two presentations on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Reynolds Recital Hall. At 3 p.m., there will be an entrepreneurial panel titled "Make Your Dent in the Universe: Lessons from Three Entrepreneurial Stories." Participants include Nheena Weyer Ittner of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Tom Vear of Donckers and Bob Stefanski, co-founder of Tibco Software and founder of Michigan E-Lab. NMU President David Haynes and NMU Trustee Thomas Zurbuchen, who is associate dean for entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, will host the event. At 7 p.m., Siri Chand Khalsa will give a presentation focusing on the awareness that food can be recognized as medicine and one of the primary foundations for health and healing through the entire life cycle.

NMU faculty and staff members also are presenting at UNITED.