2017 Winter Semester Graduates

2017_Winter_Jamie_Alberta_HS.pngCongratulations to Jamie Alberta for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Jamie is a graphics communications major from Wyoming, Michigan.  She is most proud of being on the orientation staff and being a resident adviser.  She says, “Going into both positions, I felt that I was an experienced student leader and ready to accomplish anything.  After, I found myself eager to learn more about the things I learned in these jobs and how I can change for the better in order to make an impact on my campus community.”  After graduation, Jamie will be working with Teach for America in Memphis as an elementary school teacher to give an equal education opportunity to underprivileged students.
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Congratulations to Abigail Alft for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Eagle River, Wisconsin, Abby is a biology major with an emphasis in physiology.  She is most proud of going to Belize to volunteer in their health care system.  She says, “Traveling to a country filled with poverty was an experience I’ll never forget.  We were fortunate enough to set up clinics, treat patients directly, work closely with a Belizean physician, and teach the children at local schools.  The feeling of giving to a community and country that has so little compared to America is one that’s indescribable.  This is just one of many experience I have been privileged enough to enjoy at Northern.”  After graduation, Abby plans on attending PA school at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Congratulations to Kayla Argeropoulos for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Marquette, Kayla is a history major who is most proud of doing her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship (CSI) with Lake Superior Village’s Youth and Family Center.  Kayla says, “My CSI taught me that sometimes the best way to connect and grow with others is to simply listen – to refrain from your own opinions or ideas in order to hear the joy and passion of others.  As I spent time with the youth at the Center, their hard, tough shells disappeared into warm, sensitive hearts desperately wanting to be loved.  The experience demonstrated how love can break boundaries and vice versa.”  After graduation, Kayla will be an intern at World Relief, an international aid organization.

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Congratulations to Abigail Austin for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Abby is a secondary education integrated science major from Rockford, Illinois.  She is most proud of her involvement with Room at the Inn.  She says, “I had to step out of my comfort zone and ignore any stereotypes against the homeless community.  Through this I gained the trust of many homeless residents and learned all about their back stories.  I learned that most of the people in the shelter were there because of back luck and were all working on getting their life back on track.  The shelter not only served as a place to sleep but also as its own community.  All of the residents looked out for each other and truly cared about each other.  I feel honored to have been a part of this impactful organization.”  After graduation, Abby will be getting married to Matt Trefilek, moving to the Madison area, and look for a teaching position somewhere in northern Illinois or Wisconsin.

2017_Winter_Sierra_Banse.gifSierra Banse has completed the Citizenship Edge.  Sierra is a general psychology major from Ontonagon, Michigan. 
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Amber Barnum has completed the Leadership Edge.  Hailing from East Jordan, Michigan, Amber is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major.  She is most proud of serving two terms as president of the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma.  Amber says, “This is a very proud accomplishment because of how much I grew as a person and the opportunities I was able to experience.  I was able to grow in my leadership and learned how to properly lead a group of 30 women successfully.  I was able to represent the chapter in an international wide conference and have grown in leadership through the conferences by Phi Sigma Sigma.”  After graduation, Amber plans to work in Marquette and apply to graduate schools.

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Congratulations to Elizabeth Bertucci for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Ishpeming, Michigan, Beth is a secondary education – English major.  She is most proud of being the co-founder and co-president of NMU Best Buddies, which strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding individuals with disabilities through forming one-to-one friendships between these individuals and college students.  Beth says, “Best Buddies has allowed me to grow as both a person and as a future educator.  I have learned a lot about the K-12 school system, special education, and the fantastic people that we have at NMU.  Taking on a leadership role with Best Buddies has allowed me to grow as a leader.  I am so thankful for this experience!”  After graduation, Beth plans to teach English and Spanish at the high school level.  She says, “I have found great passion in education, and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child every day that I teach.”

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Emily Bertucci has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Emily is a biology/zoology major from Ishpeming, Michigan.  She is most proud of completing her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship where she gathered pet food for a local food bank.  Emily says, “I was very proud to complete this because it helped people in the area who were struggling to feed their pets.”  After graduation, Emily will be working on her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology.

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Chelsea Birdsall has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  Hailing from West Branch, Michigan, Chelsea is a double major in political science and multimedia journalism.  She is most proud of her work at ABC 10.  Chelsea says, “It really supplemented my experience in the classroom and helped me jump start my career as a journalist.  I am pleased with how it has shaped my outlook on the community and Northern.”  After graduation, Chelsea will be staying at NMU to work on her master’s in public administration and will continue her position as an anchor/reporter at ABC 10 in Ishpeming.

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Congratulations to Sara Bliesener for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sara is an art and design graphic communications major.  She is most proud of the work she did with the Marquette Senior High School Z Club.  Sara says, “I had a wonderful time hanging out with the girls involved with the club and seeing the way they grew personally and together throughout the year.”  After graduation, Sara will be getting married and then just rolling with the punches!

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Congratulations to Emily Bongard for finishing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Emily is a nursing major from Madison, Wisconsin.  Emily enjoyed volunteering at U.P. Home Health and Hospice.  She says, “I am proud of this because it has given me a chance to give back to the Marquette community and given me a different perspective that I will use in my nursing career to care of those who are dying.”  After graduation, Emily will start a nurse residency program at the University of Wisconsin on the neurology unit. 

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Congratulations to Kaitlynn Brow for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Kingsley, Michigan, Kaitlynn is a psychology major.  She is most proud of working in Belize in the healthcare setting.  She says, “Through this trip, I experienced many different things that opened my eyes to the vast differences in our two cultures.  One can see these differences in their music, food, language, and clothing.  I was also able to develop a better understanding for the diversity in health care.  I am extremely lucky to have been able to experience the cultural differences as well as healthcare differences as I go on my way to medical school.”  After graduation, Kaitlynn will be going to Grand Valley State University for her master’s in biomedical sciences before going on to a DO or MD school.

2017_Winter_Doug_Bruno_Rotated.jpgCongratulations to Douglas Bruno for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Doug is a history major.  He is most proud of teaching English in Germany for three weeks.  After graduation, Doug will be attending the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

2017_Winter_Katelyn_Campbell_Rotated.jpgCongratulations Katelyn Campbell for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Newago, Michigan, Katelyn is a social work major.  She is most proud of being a soccer coach for U6 girls’ team with Superiorland Soccer.  Katelyn says, “It was so much fun running around with the girls all summer and teaching them soccer skills!  It was a great experience and I grew as a leader and was a positive role model for the youth in our community.”  After graduation, Katelyn hopes to get a job locally.

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Congratulations to Ali Cazzetta for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Ali is a criminal justice major from Fox River Grove, Illinois.  She is most proud of interning with the Connolly Finan Fleming Solicitors in Dublin, Ireland.  She says, “I am proud of this one because I was able to live and work abroad while having experience in my field, criminal justice.  I also was happy to spend my time in my favorite country while being able to see what it was like being a solicitor.”  After graduation, Ali will be attending NMU’s Regional Police Academy to pursue her dream of becoming a police officer.

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Congratulations to Samantha Cretens for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Gladstone, Michigan, Samantha is a business management major.  Sam says, “My study abroad to Germany completely changed my life.  It opened my eyes to global issues and has instilled a sense of wanderlust into me.  I feel as though I understand the world more and feel more culturally aware.  I made some great friends along the way!”  After graduation, Samantha will be traveling to Europe with two of her best friends.  After that, she will be working in Chicago.

2017_Winter_Will_Curtis_Rotated.jpgWill Curtis has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  From Laurium, Michigan, Will is a media production and new technology major.  He is most proud of his Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship with the Copper Country Humane Society because of the happiness and joy it brought to families in finding cats and dogs loving homes.”  After graduation, Will be moving with his wife to Brighton, Michigan, where he will be an Innovator of Marketing Outreach working as a video content producer and website coordinator.

2017_Winter_Hannah_Desmet_in_Costa_Rica.jpgCongratulations to Hannah Desmet for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hannah is a nursing major from Munith, Michigan.  Hannah is most proud of traveling to Costa Rica.  She says, “The experience allowed me to analyze the sourcing of my own traditions, norms, values, beliefs, routines, etc.  Why is my daily routine set up the way that it is set up?  Why do I believe what I believe about the world?  As authentic as we may like to think we are, I truly believe that we are the product of the environment of culture that we have been immersed in, until we come to this realization about ourselves.  It forced me to get to know myself, which has been a catalyst for truly investing in myself by answering the “why” questions of my daily actions.”  Hannah will be working as a pediatric RN at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.
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Congratulations to Elizabeth Dow for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An elementary education/integrated science major, Liz is from Lake Orion, Michigan.  She is most proud of receiving a Freshman Fellowship award and completing research in her academic major.  She says, “I attended the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2014 to present my research “From Worst to First:  A Phenomenological Study of One School’s Story of Change.”  I was thankful to be introduced to collegiate level research from my first day on campus!”  After graduation, Liz will be looking for a teaching position.

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Congratulations to Rachel Edwards for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A cellular and molecular neuroscience major, Rachel is from Wheaton, Illinois, and is most proud of being a program manager for Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan.  She says, “This job gave me the unique opportunity to work with at-risk youth and assist in developing residential treatment plans while gaining a sense of empathy and compassion for the youth in my community.  I also gained valuable experience as a manager where I learned about effective communication and professional development.”  In January 2018, Rachel will be attending a physician’s assistant master’s program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

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Congratulations to Orry Elor for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  From Walnut Creek, California, Orry is a biology major with a physiology emphasis.  He is most proud of working with GBM cell lines to better understand research and how it can help patients in the future.  After graduation, Orry will be attending graduate school at San Francisco State University in molecular biology with a focus on stem cells through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

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Congratulations to Melanie Flaherty for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Pickney, Michigan, Melanie is a double major in biology-physiology and German studies.  She is most proud of her research with the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center.  Melanie says, “I spent the first three years of my work looking at two metabolic proteins that shuttle lactate out of glioblastoma multiforme cells.  I then shifted my research focus following a summer fellowship at the University of Michigan to study cancer-associated thrombosis.  I am currently coordinating the effort to establish the first in vitro model to look at the complex mechanisms involved.”  After graduation, Melanie will be attending the University of Michigan Medical School in hopes of becoming a vascular surgeon. 

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Congratulations to Jeulani Gahiji for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Chicago, Lani is an entrepreneurship major.  She is most proud of facilitating the Black Student Union’s Let’s Talk About It sessions.  She says, “I feel that it aided in fostering a greater sense of community at NMU for students and community members.  Let’s Talk About It has grown exponentially since it first began, and I see it going much farther in the future.”  After graduation, Lani has accepted an Assistant Complex Director at the University of Wisconsin – White Water where she will be pursing her master’s degree in higher education leadership. 

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Congratulations to Hannah Garcia for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hannah is a Native American Studies major from Manistique, Michigan, and she is most proud of spearheading the Native American Studies spring break trip.  Hannah says, “This was an opportunity for me to coordinate a group of NMU students that are in Native American studies to attend U.P. high schools. We presented to the youth on the importance of higher education after high school.  We advocated for the consideration of joining the Native American Studies major, and NMU overall for a school of choice.  We were able to give personal testimony on our experience with higher education and spoke one on one with students!”  After graduation, we will be moving to Illinois to save up for the costs associated with moving across country to Colorado.  Once in Colorado, we will be working in our degree fields and hiking the mountains on our down time!

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Congratulations to Celeste Gasiewicz for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Marquette, Celeste is a nursing major who is most proud of her participation with the Student Nurses Association.  She says, “I’ve built a foundation of dynamic leadership skills that will serve me well in my nursing career.”  After graduation, Celeste will be doing critical care nursing and obtaining her degree as a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

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Julie Goldberg has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Hailing from Clarkston, Michigan, Julie is a multimedia journalism major who is most proud of her internship at The Clarkston News.  She says, “During the internship, I learned that I want to be a reporter for either a newspaper or a television station after graduation.  Completing an internship with The Clarkston News helped me find a love and passion for writing that I didn’t have before.”  After graduation, Julie will be finding a full-time position in the Metro-Detroit area.

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Eliza Groll has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  A graphic design major from Central Lake, Michigan, Eliza is most proud of her time as president of Campus Cursive.  She says, “I was able to influence others on campus in a positive way, and I got to do it with some of the most loving and kind people I have ever met.”  After graduation, Eliza is heading to Grand Rapids to enjoy the summer with her brothers, and she will search from employment in her field.

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Congratulations to Janice Hamachek for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Janice is an athletic training major from Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  She is most proud of traveling to Belize.  Janice says, “Through this trip, I helped provide medical outreach to rural areas around San Ignacio, Belize.  This trip allowed me to use my general medical skills in order to help people who did not have access to health care and would not be able to receive health care otherwise.  I was also able to teach the people of Belize different ways to eat healthy and become a healthier person.”  After graduation, Janice will return to Wisconsin to finish her prerequisites for physical therapy school and apply for school during the 2018 fall semester.

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Congratulations to Benjamin Harris for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Ben is a double major in computer science and econ and is from Marquette.  He is most proud of his community service internship with the Student Leader Fellowship Program.  Ben says, “I mentored/coached a middle school robotics team to state championships two years in a row.  It was very rewarding to see the kids grow and learn.”  After graduation, Ben will look for a job.

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Congratulations to Tiffani Haught for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Madison Heights, Michigan, Tiffani is a double major in criminal justice and international studies.  Tiffani is most proud of her study abroad in Morocco because it was a large test as to whether or not she was going to make it in an international career.  She says, “Spending three months in a country polar opposite of the US came with its challenges but also its rewards.  I was able to make friends from all over the US and Morocco, and I was able to solidify that an international career is what I want out of life.”  After graduation, Tiffani will spend the summer in Madison Heights and then leave for a 27-month placement with the Peace Corps where she will be serving as a youth in development facilitator in Guatemala.

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Congratulations to Rachel Headings for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A public relations major, Rachel is from Grand Rapids who is most proud of serving on the Sustainability Advisory Committee during the 2016 fall semester as one of the first student representatives.  She says, “After almost 2 years of research efforts and presenting on Sustainability at NMU, myself, my research partner from EEGS, and two staff members convinced President Erickson of the need for this committee and have since worked to get NMU certified by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability on Higher Education (or AASHE for short). While I continued to study sustainability models in Panama, my partner and the committee have continued their amazing work and developed events and more student resources on sustainability.”  After graduation, Rachel will be working at Nature’s Pace Organics Farm in Mayville, Michigan, and applying to Americorps and Green Corps.

2017_Winter_Mia_Hill_Rotated.jpgMia Hill has completed the Citizenship and Leadership Edge.  A biology major with a physiology emphasis, Mia is from Rapid River, Michigan, and is most proud of her time being a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.  Mia says, “I met a lot of very generous people and received a lot of encouragement and caring words – most hoping I would stay warm!  The people in Marquette are very giving and kind, and I am proud of their many donations for people in the Marquette area during the winter months and that I could help facilitate them.”  After graduation, Mia will be pursing graduate school at the Michigan College of Optometry.

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Congratulations to Gwendolyn Hoenke for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Marquette, Gwen is a secondary education/math and Spanish major.  She is most proud of the times she spent in Ecuador.  While there, she volunteered at a special needs school twice a week.  She says, “The students were so kind and positive, despite all of the challenges they faced (many of the students came from difficult home situations).  I learned so much about the power of perseverance and keeping a positive attitude, no matter your current situation.”  After graduation, Gwen will be going to Peru with the Fulbright program.

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Congratulations to Allison Jastremski for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A nursing major from Iron Mountain, Alli is most proud of coaching a summer Community Schools Dance Camp.  She says, “It was the first year the camp was offered, and we had many girls who had never danced before.  After learning a dance all summer, the girls had the opportunity to perform before a large crowd at the local Italianfest.  These girls worked very hard all summer and many had to overcome their fear of performing.  I was incredibly proud of all of the girls and it was an extremely rewarding experience seeing our hard work pay off.”  After graduation, Alli will be moving back to Iron Mountain to work at Dickinson County Healthcare System.

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Ashley Joustra has completed the Real World Edge.  From Zeeland, Michigan, Ashley is a Spanish major who is most proud of being a Spanish tutor in the Language Resource Center.  She says, “I was able to help students that were struggling with Spanish and help them learn to love the language.  I also assisted professors by hosting study sessions before exams.  This experience has given me great experience for when I become a teacher.  After graduation, Ashley is moving to Ann Arbor and taking some time off before returning to school to get her post baccalaureate degree in Spanish Education at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

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Congratulations to Anna Kase for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Lake Geneva, Illinois, Anna is a zoology major who is most proud of organizing the Amphibian Appreciation Day event at Moosewood Nature Center.  Anna says, “I love amphibians and reptiles.  So, it was an amazing experience being able to educate the public about amphibians and the conservation challenges they are facing worldwide.  It was fun being able to interact with community members of all ages while sharing something I’m passionate about.”  After graduation, Anna will be working on her Ph.D. in biological sciences where she will be studying native turtles at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota!

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Victoria Kerlin has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  From Midland, Michigan, Victoria is a secondary education integrated science major.  Victoria is most proud of being a part of the Student Leader Fellowship Program.  She says, “The opportunities I had taught me to be a better leader and the completion of my 100-hour community service internship allowed me to practice my leadership skills in and out of the classroom – which is something I will use for the rest of my life.”  After graduation, Victoria will be moving to the East Lansing area in hopes of finding a full-time teaching position in a science classroom.

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Kendra Klein has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Kendra is an English/Writing major from Negaunee, Michigan. She is most proud of the work that she put into “The Ore Ink Review,” NMU’s undergraduate literary journal.  Kendra says, “It provides an outlet for NMU students to display their writing, art, or video.  I am hoping that the work that I put in will continue to grow as the Review keeps going.”  After graduation, Kendra will be doing a teaching assistantship through NMU’s English Department while she works on her master’s degree.

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Congratulations to Breanna Knapp for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Sun City, Arizona, Breanna is a social work major who is most proud of being a camp buddy for Camp STAR.  She says, “As a camp buddy, I have a one-on-one experience working with grieving youth while creating a fun camp experience and honoring their deceased loved ones.  I experienced the death of an immediate family member when I was young and being able to connect with kids who are going through similar situations and give them hope was incredible.  Teaching kids healthy ways of grieving and showing them that they’re not alone was so rewarding.”  After graduation, Breanna will be pursuing a master’s degree in social work in Boston.

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Sarah Koskiniemi has completed the Citizenship and Real World Edges!  A biology/physiology major, Sarah is from Calumet, and she is most proud of working with the Seaborg Center.  Sarah said, “I was excited to be able to help such a wonderful organization in planning and hosting many different programs for the local school districts.  Helping to bring more STEM programs and increase the STEM awareness to the young students was so rewarding.”  Sarah is currently applying to medical schools and completing her EMT-Basic training.

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Andrea Krieter has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Hailing from Lombard, Illinois, Andrea is a biochemistry major who is most proud of her international service project in Ireland during the May 2014.  Andrea said, “I made some awesome friends during that trip and amazing memories.”  After graduation, Andrea will begin working on her PhD in pathobiology at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

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Danielle LaCount has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  From Pulaski, Wisconsin, Danielle is an accounting major.  Danielle is most proud of her internship at Swick Plumbing and Heating.  She says, “I believe I learned the most from this experience and it prepared me for my future.”  After graduation, Danielle will stay at Swick while she continues her career search.

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Alyssa Lambert has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  A multimedia journalism major from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois.  She is most proud of being a Resident Adviser.  Alyssa says, “Making lasting connections with my residents and inspiring future leaders is an indescribable feeling.  My residents are the best and are just like my family, so it rarely feels like work.”  Alyssa is unsure what she will be doing after graduation, but she says you will eventually see her hosting a game show or talk show!

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Congratulations to Tyler Leightner for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!   Hailing from Cadillac, Michigan, Tyler is a social work major.  Tyler is most proud of attending the National Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, DC for three years.  He says, “During my first year, I spoke in front of 500 people.  The speech empowered me to make a change in the world of dementia.”  After graduation, Tyler will continue advocating for the Alzheimer’s Association and look for a job involving people with dementia.

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Congratulations to Kate Meade for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Plymouth, Michigan, Kate is a biology major with an ecology emphasis and an environmental studies and sustainability major.  Kate is most proud of her work at Casa Ita in Peru where she was a volunteer in jungle conservation.  She says, “This was a life-changing experience that helped me grow and taught me how to rely and use the environment around me.  The jungle truly immersed me into my field and gave me valuable experience which I will carry with me as I leave for Togo, West Africa in May.”  After graduation, Kate will be entering the Peace Corps as an agricultural extension volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

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Congratulations to Julia Moore for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A social work major from Mt. Morris, Michigan, Julia is most proud of being involved with Superior Edge.  She says, “Superior Edge allowed me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and open myself up to diverse experiences and opportunities.  I’ve been able to meet and help so many amazing people including Native Americans, refugees, homeless, poverty, elderly, foster care, and many others whom I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Superior Edge.  I have been able to overcome many of my personal biases thanks to these experiences.  These experiences have allowed me to grow into a better person while allowing me to follow my passion of helping others.”  Julia will be working on her master’s of social work at Michigan State University.

2017_Winter_Autumn_Moulton_Rotated.jpgAutumn Moulton has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  Hailing from Fenton, Michigan, Autumn is a radiography major who is most proud of her clinicals.  She says, “It has been an exhausting two years in the radiography program.  I spend long hours at the hospital 3-4 days a week.  I am proud of myself for never giving up and finishing strong.  I feel like I am really making a difference for the patients when I help them.  It’s also taught me a lot about myself.  I’ve seen that I can push myself to the limit and I’ll still survive.  It’s also taught me that if you really want something you can do it no matter how impossible it seems.”  After graduation, she plans to work as an x-ray tech while finishing her bachelor’s degree.  She would then like to possibly go to medical school.

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Congratulations to Bridgette Nobbe for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Appleton, Wisconsin, Bridgette is a communications major.  Bridgette is most proud of her work in Steubenville, Ohio, where she lived in the projects and worked with inner city children from three months.  After graduation, Bridgette will be attending the University of Arizona for Higher Education.

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Congratulations to Joseph Novak, IV for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Joe is a cell and molecular neuroscience major from Antigo, Wisconsin.  Joe is most proud of being a camp counselor at Camp Luwisomo where he taught youth and summer inner city Milwaukee kids about how to strengthen their faith.  He also assisted with the Joyful Hearts special needs program with various disabilities such as ADHD, PTSD, schizophrenia, down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and autism.  Joe says, “Serving others has allowed me to humble myself and has given me much purpose in my life.”  After graduation, Joe will be attending medical school in hopes of working in family practice or emergency medicine.

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Congratulations to Megan O'Brien for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A hospitality management member from Palatine, Illinois, Megan is my proud of NMU Best Buddies.  Megan says, “We paired NMU students with buddies who have mental and physical disabilities.  We planned a Halloween party and Valentine’s Day party.  We also encourage the buddies to do things on their own to get to know one another. It has opened my eyes to how much is out there and how we just need to go about our lives no matter what is going on.”  On a side note, Megan has finished the most hours for this group with 3,268.5 hours, and she is still logging!  After graduation, Megan will be working as an event coordinator at Northwest Special Recreation Association/Special Leisure Services Foundation in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

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Congratulations to Katelyn Pershinske for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Maple City, Michigan, Katie is a neuroscience major.  Katie is most proud of co-founding Best Buddies, an internationally recognized non-profit organization that helps develop friendship and community involvement between individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and college students.  She says, “This opportunity allowed me to see the difference I can make in the community and that all of our actions matter.  I also grew tremendously as a leader and gained many valuable skills.  I truly put my heart into this project and believe that it has made NMU a more inclusive community.”  After graduation, Katie will be working and traveling while pursuing her Ph.D. in biomedical science.  In particular, she will be studying neurotoxicology.

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Congratulations to Taylor Preul for finishing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Taylor is an ecology major.  Taylor is most proud of completing her own personal research on the impacts of increased temperatures on bluegill predator detection.  She says, “This project consumed a lot of my time and taught me about how to design and implement biological research, while also convincing me that I am in the right field of study.”  After graduation, Taylor will be working for the fisheries department at Yellowstone National Park researching native trout conservation and invasive species removal.

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Amelia Richards has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  Amelia is an outdoor recreation, leadership and management major from Ada, Michigan.  Amelia is most proud of her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship with a local homeschool program called Immerse.  She says, “Each month we had a different focus ranging from microbiology to Shakespeare.  I designed a month’s worth of curriculum based on combining creative nature journaling and phenology (the student of seasonal and yearly changes in nature).  I learned a lot, the kids had a valuable experience, and most importantly, we all had a lot of fun!  After graduation, Amelia will be working at Beth Millner Jewelry in Marquette, getting married in August to her fiancé Joe, and then heading to Alaska to camp and fish for their honeymoon.  After that, she will take some time off to decide what direction she would like to go in when she pursues grad school.

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Bethany Riutta has completed the Diversity and Leadership Edges.  From Houghton, Michigan, Bethany is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major.  She is most proud of being the president of her student organization, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), from January 2016 to January 2017.  She says, “I grew a lot during this year and learned how to be an effective leader.  I learned that I am very self-sufficient and that I have an extreme level of discipline for myself with the busy schedule that I have had during my undergraduate years.  Being the president of NSSLHA gave me a leg up for getting into graduate school and helped to prepare me to be successful in my future endeavors.”  After graduation, Bethany will be attending the University of Wisconsin - River Falls to get a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders.

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Congratulations to Sawyer Rocheleau for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Belmont, Michigan, Sawyer is a nursing major who is most proud of her trip to Haiti.  She says, “It was so great to be able to give back to a community that needed help the most.  It was very humbling and made me more aware of the world around us.”  After graduation, Sawyer will be working at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City as a registered nurse in their critical care nurse residency program.  

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Congratulations to Maria Rockett for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An environmental science major, Maria is from Loveland, Ohio.  She is most proud of working as an intern with Partridge Creek Farm.  She says, “I was able to work in the local community with local organizations to aim for food equity and raise produce availability in low-access, low-income communities.”  After graduation, Maria will return home and take a gap year in order to prepare to apply to either environmental law school or graduate school.  She would eventually like to be working in environmental justice.

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Congratulations to Emily Ross for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Mankato, Minnesota, Emily is a forensic biochemistry major.  Emily is most proud of being involved with Sail on Singers, a group that goes out into the community and sings to individuals in hospice care.  She says, “I am most proud of this because of the reactions that we received from the individuals and others around them.”  After graduation, Emily will be attending Iowa State University to get her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry with a specialization in forensics.

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Congratulations to Miranda Salvia for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Miranda is a nursing major who is most proud of being a mental health caregiver.  She says, “I found it to be one of the most rewarding activities I did while in Superior Edge.  I loved the Real World Edge because it gave me the opportunity to explore my career interests while contributing to my community.”  After graduation, Miranda will take her nursing boards and then start as a registered nurse on the oncology floor at St. Providence Hospital in Detroit.

2017_Winter_Ellen_Saville.gifEllen Saville has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  From Oxford, Michigan, Ellen is a double major in art history and German studies.  

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Congratulations to Brittany Shandor for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A nursing major from Macomb, Michigan, Brittany is most proud of volunteering with children in an early development program in Ireland.  Brittany says, “It was very interesting to note the differences in early education in the United States and Ireland.  This trip took me out of my comfort zone, and I would not have participated if it wasn’t for Superior Edge.”  After graduation, Brittany will be working as an RN at Havenwyck Hospital, which is an inpatient psychiatric facility.

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Congratulations to Ashley Short for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Lupton, Michigan, Ashley is a community health education major who is most proud of being an education intern at Planned Parenthood.  Ashley says, “I was able to apply concepts I had learned in classes to the real world.  In addition to gaining confidence and health education experience, I was able to educate people on important health issues.  I learned a lot through this experience and really felt like I helped make a difference.”  After graduation, Ashley will be a health schools coordinator in Guatemala through the Peace Corps.

2017_Winter_Rachel_Sieloff.gifRachel Sieloff has completed the Real World Edge.  From Romulus, Michigan, Rachel is a social studies elementary education major.  
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Kelsey Springstroh has completed the Leadership Edge.  A clinical lab science major, Kelsey is from Freedom, Wisconsin.  She is most proud of completing a cystic fibrosis walk with a group of students.  Kelsey says, “With this walk, I was able to meet a young girl who had cystic fibrosis and learn about her hardships and how she was determined to make the best of it.”  After graduation, Kelsey will be working at Marshfield Clinic and then furthering her education in microbiology.

2017_Winter_Melissa_Switzenberg_in_Ecuador.jpgCongratulations to Melissa for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Mason, Michigan, Melissa is a biology major with a biology major with an ecology emphasis.  Melissa is most proud of studying abroad in Ecuador.  She says, “Living abroad was challenging in numerous ways.  Despite having obstacles, I excelled in this environment and grew professionally, academically, and personally.  I loved showing my Wildcat pride while exploring new landscapes and making new friends.  It was an experience that changed my life path.”  After graduation, Melissa will take a gap year where she will apply to graduate schools to study anthropology.

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Congratulations to Nicole Taylor for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Pinckney, Michigan, Nicole is an environmental studies and sustainability major.  She is most proud of her study abroad trip to Angers, France.  Nicole says, “On this trip I learned as much about the French culture as I did about American culture.  I learned to say oui to new experiences.  I found that humans are diverse and different in many beautiful ways.  I also found that we are all similar in more ways than we are different.  Also, if any of you make it to France, eat as many crepes as you can.  Crepe calories don’t exist.”  After graduation, Nicole will be serving in the Peace Corps in Benin, Africa.

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Congratulations to Autumn Thornsberry for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Garden City, Michigan, Autumn is a biology major with an emphasis in physiology.  She is most proud of her externship volunteer hours.  Autumn says, “Volunteering at a vascular clinic during my breaks at home has helped me to give back to my hometown but to also see firsthand that this is truly what I want to do with my life.”  After graduation, Autumn will be applying to PA schools, take a few post-bac classes, work as a medical assistant, and run her wedding photography business…she has 40 weddings booked for 2017.

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Congratulations to Matthew Trefilek for completing all four edges of the Superior Edge!   From Rockford, Illinois, Matt is a double major in computer science and math.  Matt is most proud of his involvement with Coder Dojo 906.  He says, “Providing a space for children and teens to learn about computers and programming is a valuable asset to the community.  It has been amazing watching the members learn and grow throughout the program.”  After graduation, Matt will be working as a developer for the University of Wisconsin Madison and plans on pursuing a master’s degree.

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Allen Wandrych has completed the Real World Edge.  Hailing from Manistee, Michigan, Allen is a biology major with a physiology emphasis.  He is most proud of working with the Head Start program at the Jacobetti Center.  He says, “The Head Start program is similar to a day care for younger children while providing real world experiences and education.  One of my favorite memories was how much the kids loved to see me every time I volunteered with them.  Their faces would always light up, and it made me excited to teach them as well!”  After graduation, Allen will be attending a Physician Assistant school.

2017_Winter_Madeleine_Weidner_Rotated.jpgCongratulations to Madeleine Weidner for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A secondary education social studies major, Madeleine is from Stillwater, Minnesota.  Madeleine is most proud of being a UP Community Rowing Club member because it gave her the opportunity to grow not only in the NMU community but also in the Marquette community.  She says, “It allowed me to create connections in the community I never saw imaginable.  I saw myself grow and adapt as I was confronted with different obstacles.”  After graduation, Madeleine will be looking for a teaching position in either a middle or high school teaching history.

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Luke Whitcomb has completed the Real World Edge.  From Little Lake, Michigan, Luke is a criminal justice major.  He is most proud of the volunteering he did at Bay Cliff Health Camp.  Luke says, “I went there for two different weekends and ran the dining room for them.  This was one of my first leadership roles, and it really helped me to understand what it meant to be a leader.”  After graduation, Luke will work for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a correctional officer.

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Congratulations to Alexis Wieringa for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A marketing major from Kentwood, Michigan, Lexi is most proud of her time as an Orientation Staff Assistant.  She says, “Although this role was challenging, I feel as though I was able to positively impact the incoming freshmen class.  Often times, the students arrived to their session nervous but left three days later with new friends and blossoming love for NMU.  At the end of each orientation session, it was so rewarding to hear the students say how excited they were for the semester to start and how they didn’t want to leave.”  After graduation, Lexi will be a Resident Director in one of the new residence Halls called the Woods on campus.