News for NMU Employees


Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda (second from left) received the Best IT Community Engagement Award from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. At an awards luncheon during the Michigan Digital Government Summit, Vajda recognized NMU for playing an important role in that engagement and included Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration, third from left) in the recipient group. Vajda was honored for transforming Marquette into an economic hub in Michigan by coordinating public-private partnerships and bringing together people, places and technology.

The Telion Chapter of Mortar Board at NMU, advised by David Boe (English), received the Silver Torch Award at the 2014 Mortar Board National Conference in Altanta, Ga. This award is given to chapters executing promptness and dedication while exemplifying scholarship, leadership and service.

Two NMU graduate students participated in the 2014 Active Leaders Student Conference hosted by Michigan Campus Compact in Mount Pleasant on Friday, Oct. 3. Sara Pingel and Sara Hujar, both GAs in the Academic Service Learning program, worked on the conference planning committee this summer alongside students from five other universities and presented a service-project planning workshop at the conference. The two students also won $2,000 to implement "Warm U.P.," a community service project they developed in collaboration with three Lake Superior State University students as part of a surprise Venture Grant competition put on by the conference. "Warm U.P." aims to help the Upper Peninsula’s homeless population by providing basic necessities during the winter months.

Olympic Training Site weightlifting coach Vance Newgard has been named head coach for USA Weightlifting’s University World men’s team. Newgard’s NMU squad earned 14 medals at the National University Championship in September, including one athlete earning a national champion title. “Having a university champion is the top criteria they use when selecting coaches for world teams,” said Newgard. “Our success at the University Championships, including two athletes qualifying for the World University Team really shows the progress we are making at NMU.”

Joining Newgard will be NMU senior Andrew Vrabel and junior Paul Woelmer. Both athletes have experience competing at the international level. Vrabel, of Highland, Ind., is a two-time university champion (2012, 2014) and will be competing in the 77-kilogram division. Vrabel traveled to Penang, Malaysia, in 2011 to participate at the Junior World Championships. Woelmer, of Bloomington, Ind., placed second at the University Championships in the 85-kg division. In July, he placed 11th at the Junior World Championships in Kazan, Russia. He also participated at the Pan American Championships this year, finishing fourth.

The competition takes place Dec. 5 – 8, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.