MARQUETTE - Parent Partnership, a bi-weekly newsletter from Northern Michigan University President Judi Bailey to parents of NMU students, has received a bronze medal in the national awards program sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.It was entered in the Specific Media Relations Category. Bailey created the Parent Partnership in January as a way to enhance communication between parents and NMU. The Partnership has two components, an electronic newsletter and forums held throughout the state. The purpose of the newsletter was to help parents understand issues on campus such as financial aid, and other higher education topics, as well as to give parents the opportunity to send questions or comments directly to Bailey. "The questions and comments parents send me in response to the newsletter and forums help all of us at NMU understand better what students and parents think we are doing well and identify areas that need improvement," Bailey said. "Maybe most important, the partnership allows parents to feel more connected and involved in their son's or daughter's NMU experience." The nine forums were held in Oakland and Western Wayne county, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Escanaba, Tri-city area (Saginaw, Bay City, Midland), Newberry, Iron Mountain and Marquette. "So many people are involved in helping produce and distribute the newsletters, and organizing the forums," Bailey said. "It's a real team effort and this award is a pat on the back for all those involved." To this date, more than 1,000 parents have signed up to receive the newsletter via e-mail and 300 via post. The Web site address is www.nmu.edu/parents.