NMU Community Connection Members,
Happy Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving break for students begins Wednesday, Nov. 21. The university remains open that day for business, but there are no classes. All university offices are closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23. It’s hard to believe that following the Thanksgiving break we’ll have just three weeks left of the fall semester. Let me give you a brief update on current and upcoming happenings on campus as we head into the semester’s final stretch.
EVENTS GALORE: NMU’s calendar is bursting with events between Thanksgiving and the close of the semester. There is the senior art exhibit, Forest Roberts Theatre’s production of The Santaland Diaries, the student-faculty dance recital, several lectures and films, a number of home athletic events and at least a half dozen musical performances by NMU Music Department ensembles. Please join the NMU faculty and staff in supporting these student activities. You can get the details at www.nmu.edu/calendar. Here are a few other dates you may want to mark on your calendar, especially if you employ NMU students. Finals week is Dec. 10-15 with commencement at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Superior Dome. The university will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 24-Jan. 1, reopening Jan. 2. Winter classes begin Monday, Jan. 14. WinterFest is Feb. 15-23 and spring break is March 2-10. The spring Wildcat Weekend, when hundreds of prospective NMU students and their parents will come to Marquette to explore Northern, is March 23. Spring commencement is May 4. Summer orientations for freshmen begin June 10 and continue each Monday through Wednesday until mid-July. The first session of summer classes begins May 20.
GIFT GIVING: If you’d like to give something with a green-and-gold flavor, we’ve got a wide array of things that make great holiday gifts. In fact, we get so many questions regarding this, we’ve decided to put together a web page ( www.nmu.edu/giftgiving) that highlights many of the options and includes links for more information. Some ideas include concert and theater tickets, sporting event tickets, sports recreation passes and memberships, membership to the NMU Golf Course, NMU apparel and books published by the NMU Press. There’s something for everyone on your list. If you send holiday cards, you may be interested in the greeting card sale that supports the activities of the College of Business’ American Marketing Association group. A pack of five cards costs $6. You can view the student-designed cards at www.nmu.edu/greetingcards. The deadline to reserve cards has been extended to Monday, Nov. 26. Another student event you might like is the “I Love Marquette!” T-shirt sale from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 in the Learning Resources Center. Shirts are $10, each and proceeds help the activities of the Honors Student Organization.
THE NEW JXJ: I thought you might enjoy seeing the architectural renderings of the new John X. Jamrich Hall, which will replace the current JXJ building in fall 2014. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring. These designs of the building was presented at the fall NMU Board of Trustees meeting.
SUMMER VACATION: We recently compiled a list of internships and summer work experiences NMU students undertook this past summer. Here is a brief synopsis of some of their activities. NMU students were interning or working: at NASA on projects related to the Curiosity rover that is currently on Mars; as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; at Kitt Peak National Observatory, assisting with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope being built in Chile; at Intel in Oregon, testing new hardware for the technology giant; with a leading professor of evolutionary anthropology, studying lemurs and writing a potential journal article; at Bosch, helping to develop a new type of fuel injector; as a performer at a nationally recognized outdoor theater; at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic; at Taylor Global Inc. as an account rep for Allstate Insurance; as an interpretive naturalist at Glacier National Park; as a presenter at the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on research done at NMU; with the construction company that built the new American Embassy in Oslo, Norway; in Mongolia, teaching English to students; at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Washington, D.C., doing a second summer of cancer research; at the Lockton Companies in Kansas City, Mo., the largest private commercial insurance broker in the world; for SNC’s Electronic Warfare and Range division as a project analyst, helping to keep government defense contracts on budget; at a state crime labs, one in Wisconsin and the other in Minnesota. Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
HELPING VETS: Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding with NMU, establishing the university as the host campus for a new campus-based outreach service, MI-VetSuccess, a pilot program supporting student veterans. The initial program will reach out to almost 800 students who have recently served in the military and are now enrolled at higher educational institutions in the Upper Peninsula by providing assistance in enrolling in the VA health care system, with filing for disability benefits and understanding and accessing their educational benefits. Helping veterans transition from the military into educational programs is a privilege Northern takes very seriously. That is why being a part of this pilot program is so exciting for our campus. It’s especially important that this type of assistance is available in the Upper Peninsula – an area with a very high rate of military service – so that veterans and veteran students throughout the U.P. have local access to this kind of help. The full program, which will include a hub campus in each of the six geographical areas statewide, is expected to be in place in January.
TRAVELING MAN: I recently returned from a successful trip to Seoul, South Korea, where NMU signed memoranda of understanding with Seoul National University of Science and Technology and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. This builds upon the previously signed agreement with Myongji University. I was accompanied by Provost Paul Lang and Sook Wilkinson, a member of the NMU Board of Trustees (and native of Korea). Other current international recruiting markets are in China, Brazil and Dubai. In October, NMU hosted Mohamed Rashed Al Hameli, a senior economic adviser with the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, who came to discuss the possibility of NMU collaborating with United Arab Emirates’ institutions. I will be traveling to Dubai in the early portion of the new year to explore that idea. Our goal is to bring the globe to NMU and to bring NMU to the world.
U.P. BUS TOUR: Part of my traveling this fall has been right here in the Upper Peninsula, as NMU kicked off a U.P. bus tour with two stops, one to Iron Mountain and the other to Escanaba. On each trip, about 30 NMU faculty, staff and administrators have been road – r-o-a-d – scholars with a goal of reconnecting with business, community and alumni leaders across the U.P. to find out what each area’s economic development, training, technology and educational needs are now and looking into the future, and to see what role NMU can play in meeting those needs. In Iron Mountain our group toured the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Medical Facility, Dickinson Memorial Hospital, Systems Control Inc. and Boss Snowplow. In Escanaba, our group toured OSF St. Francis Hospital, EMP (Engineered Machine Products), Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, Besse Forest products, Delta Manufacturing and the Bonifas Arts Center. In both cities we met with downtown area businesses, K-12 school administrators, and economic development and Chamber of Commerce organizations. And, we attended Rotary and Kiwanis luncheons. In the spring, we hope to go to the Copper Country and to the Menominee/Marinette area. The needs of the U.P. are always changing. As the peninsula’s largest and most academically comprehensive university, we feel it’s important that we stay up to date on what NMU can do to help the U.P., and what new opportunities there are for NMU students, faculty and staff.
POWER AFTER SANDY: Can you believe the devastation of super storm Sandy? As a native of New York City, it was frightening to watch the impact of Sandy on the city of my youth. The aftermath of Sandy put into perspective is how important trained power line and grid technicians are to the nation. NMU is unusual in that we offer both a program for electrical line technician, which is a one-year diploma, and electrical technology-power technician, which is a two-year associate’s degree (with scholarships available for both years). There is a strong need locally, regionally and nationally for these technicians, which means there are excellent paying jobs in this field (average starting salary $54,000, www.bls.gov). Daryl Kobie, head of NMU’s Technology and Occupational Sciences Department, was recently quoted in an article saying, “There are jobs here and across the nation available for line and power technicians, and big storms like Sandy highlight the need for an adequate amount of people qualified to maintain and work the country’s power grid. However, it’s a struggle to get enough students to fill all of the training availability for these professions.” Ironically, despite the significant job opportunities and scholarship availability, recruiting students into the line and power tech programs has been challenging, in part, we believe, because young people don’t know a lot about how the U.S. power system works, so they aren’t aware of this professional field. I couldn’t help but think of that while watching the news stories of all the power outages in Sandy’s wake.
Of course, the one thing natural disasters remind us is that our loved ones are our most important possessions and they are what we should always be most thankful for in our lives.
Again, happy Thanksgiving from the NMU family to your family.
David Haynes, President
Northern Michigan University