CAMPUS Closeup: Mark Dellangelo
Career and technical education programs have been featured prominently in the governor’s State of the State address and in recent media coverage related to high-demand occupations. As assistant director of the Academic and Career Advisement Center in the Jacobetti Complex, Mark Dellangelo and his staff (Megan DelBello and Lori Marshall) are responsible for promoting Northern’s one- and two-year programs. The bulk of funding for their outreach efforts is provided by the Carl D. Perkins grant, which Dellangelo oversees.
“Most four-year institutions do not provide a community college function, so that distinguishes Northern somewhat,” he said. “There used to be a stigma associated with one- and two-year programs, but we’re trying to bridge that disconnect and demonstrate that these programs can lead to life-sustaining occupations with immediate job placement and decent wages. Not everyone is cut out for a four-year degree and people are recognizing that it’s not necessary to pursue a bachelor’s to begin a solid career.”
Mark oversees the general university studies-associate of applied science degree, which offers 58 concentrations (as of Fall 2015) that can ladder to a bachelor’s degree. He also manages the college transitions program for new students who may have not met the admission standards to NMU. His efforts complement the freshman probation services directed by ACAC director Jim Gadzinski.
“For both programs, the ACAC advisers keep tabs on the student to make sure they are getting available services,” Dellangelo said. “They are required to meet with us three times during the semester, but we are also working with them in freshman seminar with the intent to ease their transition from high school to the university. Prior to doing this, less than 10 percent of students proceeded to good standing. Now it’s 65-75 percent. I take great pride and believe in what we do.”
The Ishpeming native and youngest of seven siblings graduated from NMU in 2002 with a bachelor’s in communication disorders. He earned his TESOL certification, enabling him to teach English for a year in Pusan, South Korea.
“I wanted to experience something completely different and I loved it,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience that taught me how to overcome adversity when things don’t go as planned. The people there were very welcoming. They invited me into their homes, to dinner and on trips. I hope to get back someday.”
After his international experience, Dellangelo moved to Utah and worked as a speech language pathologist assistant within a school district. He soon realized that was not the career path he desired. He returned to NMU to complete a master’s in counseling and interned at Marquette Senior High School, where he met his wife, Sheryl. The couple lived in the Chicago area until Mark became anxious to venture back to his hometown.
“I had a family connection to get into the mining industry and had an interview lined up the same week they had a big layoff. I'm pretty sure that was a sign. In the next couple months, a position opened up at Northern and I was fortunate to be interviewed. I said I’d stay in the U.P. if I could get in at the university. I love my department, my boss is great and my colleagues are top-notch. I’m grateful to be here.”
Sheryl is a part-time private duty nurse for a medically fragile child. The couple has two daughters: Lucy, 2; and Nora, 3 months. Dellangelo fills his spare time with dad duty, hiking, golfing, officiating high school football and basketball games, woodworking and “light, easy reading,” such as Dad is Fat and Food: A Love Story—both by comedian Jim Gaffigan.