Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Northern's A1 rating on $99 million of outstanding revenue bonds. The rating outlook is stable. According to the summary rationale, "The A1 rating is based upon NMU's position as a regional public university, which also serves a community college role for a large portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula students. The university's ample flexible reserves, liquidity, and programmatic flexibility help mitigate risks associated with a competitive market and growing net tuition revenue pressure.
NMU art and design alumna Mia Cinelli (pictured) has received some high-profile attention from People, MTV, de zeen and other media for creating a weighted blanket with arms and hands that can provide comfort to those grieving the loss of a loved one. According to the People story, her inspiration was the death of her fiancé’s father. Cinelli realized that she missed his big hugs and began exploring weighted blankets, which are typically used in occupational therapy for children. Cinelli’s “The Weight” is made from hand-quilted fleece and filled with tiny plastic beads. It's strictly for display now, but Cinelli hopes it will soon be available to consumers. She is an assistant professor of art and design at Defiance College.
Brandi Flinn, who works in dynamic components at Enstrom Helicopter Corp. in Menominee, is the winner of Sporty’s Foundation flight training scholarship for small-aircraft maintenance technicians. The prize includes a $5,000 award for flight training and a trip to the Women in Aviation Conference next month in Dallas, Texas. The next issue of Women in Aviation magazine, which features Flinn, also will be distributed in March.