The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees presented its annual student achievement awards, which recognize significant contributions to the quality of life at NMU through involvement in extracurricular activities or through work in a university department. Recipients were: Gwendolyn Hoenke of Marquette, Outstanding Female Graduating Senior; Zachary Dykema of Holland, Outstanding Male Graduating Senior; Melanie Flaherty of Pinckney, Outstanding Student of Any Class; and Marlina Martinez, originally of Los Angeles, who now resides in Ishpeming, Outstanding Non-Traditional Student.
Hoenke was a Spanish and math secondary education major. Her involvement at NMU included the Mortar Board honor society and the Student Leader Fellowship Program. She also completed all four edges of NMU’s Superior Edge program. Hoenke studied abroad in Segovia, Spain and Quito, Ecuador. While in Ecuador, she volunteered at a school for special needs students. She also spent a summer in the Bronx, N. Y., teaching middle school students. Hoenke graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She was awarded a Fulbright teaching fellowship to teach English in Peru next year, or she will accept a full scholarship offer from the University of Portland for a master’s degree.
Dykema was a biology major. He researched chickadees and owls for two years as a member of Professor Alec Lindsay’s lab. He also presented his research at several conferences across the state. Dykema traveled to the Amazon rainforest twice to research sustainable fisheries and forestry. He also was involved in the NMU orchestra, choir and arts chorale, the NMU Fisheries and Wildlife Association, and the Aquatic Biological Society. After graduating summa cum laude with a 3.99 grade point average, Dykema will travel to Zambia for a research project. He plans to take an academic year off and start graduate school in 2018.
Flaherty graduated magna cum laude with a double major in biology and German studies. She is a researcher and student organization chair for the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center. Flaherty has done research at the University of Michigan and is also a fellow at its cardiovascular center. She completed NMU’s Student Leader Fellowship Program, studied abroad in Vienna and won a People’s Choice Award at a student art gallery show. Flaherty will attend the University of Michigan Medical School this fall.
Martinez was a sociology major, balancing her studies with her full-time position as an administrative assistant in the NMU Diversity and Inclusion office. She lives in Ishpeming with her husband, two children and her parents. Martinez volunteers to help students move into the residence halls and organizes NMU’s involvement in the Marquette and Ishpeming Fourth of July parades. She is a member of three NMU organizations: ALLIES, Queers & Allies, and Active Minds. She also completed the year-long Lake Superior Community Partnership Leadership Academy. Martinez graduated magna cum laude.