2018 Winter Graduates

Amy Abel has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  A biology major from Zeeland, Michigan, Amy is most proud of being a resident adviser.  She says, “Being a resident adviser is really a humbling experience because the job is bigger than yourself.  It is mentoring students in any way you can and being a friend to all.  I can see my housemates grow as people and leaders throughout the year, and I am blessed to be able to be a part of their collegiate journey and call them my friends.”  After graduation, Amy will continue at NMU to work on her master’s of biology.

Congratulations to Danielle Bain for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Novi, Michigan, Danielle is getting her master’s in higher education and student affairs.  She is most proud of working as a graduate assistant in the Center for Student Enrichment.  Danielle says, “I have gotten so many opportunities to expand my skills and work with so many different people.  I’ve met some incredible role models, and I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience doing what I love doing and build my resume while I do it!  I’m so incredibly thankful for all of the challenges that forced me to grow and learn, and I believe I will be so much more successful as a professional because of my participation in Superior Edge.”  After graduation, Danielle will be working as a student program coordinator at the Tauber Institute at the University of Michigan.

Riley Ballard has completed the Real World Edge!  Riley is from Gladstone, Michigan, and is a sports science major. 

Kierin Becker has completed the Real World Edge!  She is a communication studies major from Fowler, Michigan.  Kieren is most proud of completing an internship in the Athletics Department because it provided her with hands-on skills that will be relevant to her career after graduation.  At this point, Kieren will be either working in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a human resources intern at Lake Michigan Credit Union or as an assistant teacher at Generations (YMCA Daycare).

Kayla Bell has completed the Real World Edge!  From Eastport, Michigan, Kayla is an English major who is most proud of working as a PA on a short film titled Mino Bimaadiziwin.  She says, “I learned an incredible amount about where I might belong on a film set and fell in love with the sound department.  This experience has allowed me to navigate my way in other projects with more confidence.  It has allowed me to better integrate theory from both my major (English) and my minor (Native American Studies) to create stories for film with heart at the center.”  After graduation, Kayla will be a media production intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

Congratulations to Samantha Black for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  A nursing major, Samantha is from Caledonia, Michigan.  Samantha is most proud of her trip to Belize and the Dominican Republic.  She says, “Both trips not only got me out of my comfort zone, but they also showed me how passions that I have in my life can be applied in ‘out of the ordinary’ ways.  I also enjoyed coordinating an after-school girls club for the girls at Father Marquette Middle School.  I believe that middle school can be a difficult time in terms of growing up and figuring out life and felt that it was really awesome for the girls to have a place to go and to have a person that could understand some of the things they were going through.”  After graduation, Samantha will be getting an RN position downstate.

 

Congratulations to Kelsey Blackburn for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Wyandotte, Michigan, Kelsey is a graphic communications major.  She is most proud of her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship at North Star Academy where she created a curriculum and lesson plans for a fourth grade class.  Once a week she taught them about script writing, public speaking, and broadcasting.  She says, “We then sent out a monthly broadcast to all of the teachers in the school.  Watching the students grow in basic skills such as reading and writing was incredible, but then for some of them to exceed my expectations and have so much confidence in front of the camera made me very proud.”  After graduation, Kelsey will be moving to Seattle to start her career in graphic design.

Congratulations to Abigail Blanchard for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Petoskey, Michigan, Abby is a fish and wildlife management major who is most proud of her leadership positions in the Fisheries and Wildlife Association (formerly the Wildlife Society).  She says, “Being able to organize workshops, guest speakers, and conference opportunities has been amazing.  I have gained valuable leadership skills, learned how to efficiently organize activities, and provided opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in a field they are passionate about.  My involvement with the Fisheries and Wildlife Association has certainly been a highlight of my time at NMU, and I am grateful for the experiences and friends made along the way.”  After graduation, Abby will be attending grad school at South Dakota State University.

Cat Britton has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  From Manistique, Michigan, Cat is a social work major and is most proud of her times as a resident adviser in Aspen Haus.  Cat says, “This was my first time in a big leadership role and the amount of responsibilities I had was harder to handle than I anticipated. I think this experience humbled me because it forced me to take a look at myself and face my faults head-on.  You can't just run away from your problems when you have 40+ other people relying on you!”  After graduation, Cat plans to take some time off to focus on herself before applying to graduate school.  She would like to earn her MSW in clinical social work and help those who struggle with mental illness. 

Congratulations to Angela Brown for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A biology/physiology major, Angela is from Marquette.  She is most proud of starting the NMU Club Softball team.  Angela says, “It has been the most challenging, yet rewarding process I have ever been faced with.  I hope within the next few years it will be adopted as a varsity sport (along with men’s baseball), and I would love for the opportunity to come back and coach if this happens.”  After graduation, Angela plans to pursue a master’s at NMU in exercise science.  She will also be working at the PEIF’s Kids Camp this summer.

Congratulations to Emily Burghardt for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  From Greenville, Wisconsin, Emily is a double major in biology/physiology and Spanish.  She is most proud of her work with the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities at their annual Wisconsin Youth Leadership Foundation.  Emily says, “I helped high school students with physical, developmental, or learning disabilities (both visible and invisible) to learn more about their voice in the government, leadership, self-advocacy, and options for the future, including college!”  After graduation, Emily will begin working on her Ph.D. in genetics, cell, and molecular biology at Kansas State University.

Congratulations to Breah Carter for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  A mathematics major, Breah is from Pellston, Michigan.  Breah is most proud of her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship with Ending Hunger Alliance of Marquette.  Breah helped plan two food packs that benefited multiple families and hundreds of children over Christmas and spring break.  She says, “I handed out the bags of food and parents would cry and hug me, thankful that they had one less thing to worry about over the holidays.  Knowing that I made a difference in their lives was an extremely rewarding experience for me.”  After graduation, Breah will be attending Grand Valley State University to get her master’s in biostatistics.

Congratulations to Samantha Cole for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Detroit, Samantha is a general psychology major.  She is most proud of her time at the Jacobetti Veteran’s Home where she made a lifelong friend.  She says, “I feel that he helped me get through my senior year just as much as I helped him find happiness during his final stages of life.”  After graduation, Samantha plans to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale and work as an assistant hall director majoring in social work.

 

Congratulations to Rory Conn for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Alto, Michigan, Rory is a biology major with a microbiology concentration.  Rory is most proud of coordinating Marquette Empty Bowls with Marquette Ending Hunger.  Rory says, “…Our small student organization has been able to collaborate with many other community groups.  In total, just under $20,000 has been raised from the event with all proceeds being donated to local non-profit organizations that support poverty relief and nutritional support programs.”  After graduation, Rory will be working full time as a research associate in a histology lab and will be applying to medical school.

Julie Curtis has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  From Reese, Michigan, Julie is receiving her master’s in Higher Education in Student Affairs.  Julie is most proud of a booklet she designed entitled, “Community and Economic Profiles of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”  She says, “It was a great experience to be able to network with the business owners, school districts, and community development agencies in the UP.  I learned so much about the place I had come to call home.  The experience was also a great way to hone my graphic design skills, community outreach skills, and promotion skills.”  After graduation, Julie will be looking for a job at a Midwestern university.

Congratulations to Rachael Del Boccio for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An elementary education/integrated science major from Chicago, Rachael is most proud of student teaching in New Zealand.  She says, “I gained practical skills for my career but also learned about another culture.  Comparing the two education systems provided me the opportunity to see different approaches to teaching and create my own unique teaching style.”  After graduation, Rachael plans to teach inner city youth for year and start up a youth backpacking company.

 

Congratulations to Lindsey Eaton for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Lindsey is an art and design major from Marquette, and she is most proud of her time serving and leading Cru.  Lindsay says, “I have met some wonderful people and made lasting friendships.  I have also had the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn how to interact with people in all sorts of situations.”  After graduation, Lindsey will be interning with Cru and continue to pursue photography in her free time. 

Congratulations to Jaylin Fisher for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Jaylin is a biology major with a physiology emphasis and is from Carson City, Michigan.  She is most proud of volunteering with Superior Dental Day, which is an annual event in Ishpeming that offers free dental services for the uninsured and under-insured people.  Jaylin says, “Local dentists come together to satisfy the dental need in the area.  As president of the NMU Pre-Dental Club, I am able to help plan and organize this event as well as volunteer the day of.  This event is important to me because I want to be able to make a difference like this in my dental career.”  After graduation, Jaylin will be moving to Florida to attend dental school.

Whitney Frakes has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  Hailing from St. Louis, Park, Minnesota, Whitney is a community health education and international studies double major who is most proud of volunteering at Room at the Inn.  She says, “It was one of the first activities I was involved in that really pushed the limits of my comfort zone.  I opened my mind and was able to get to know some of the guests pretty well, and I learned how to be more understanding of people’s various situations.  I realized how many problems our community is dealing with that a lot of people might not know about or push aside.”  After graduation, Whitney will be staying in Marquette and working at Area Health Education Center for about a month and then heading back home to work.

 

Congratulations to Taylor Friendt for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Woodbury, Minnesota, Taylor is a biology/physiology major who is most proud of volunteering at the hospital for the last four years.  She says, “I gained plenty of real-world experience in a healthcare setting which reinforced my decision to pursue a career in the medical field.  I volunteered at the Skywalk, in the OR lounge, and visited with admitted sick patients.  Visiting the patients made me the happiest and I know I want to work with patients in my future.  I got to explore and learn about various positions at the hospital and through physician shadowing as well.”  After graduation, Taylor will be taking a gap year with a month in Greece before moving to Italy for the rest of the summer.  She will return to the US at the end of the summer to work in a hospital setting and will be applying to the anesthesiology assistant master’s program to start in the fall of 2019.

Elizabeth Fust has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  From St. Johns, Michigan, Elizabeth is an English writing major.  One of Elizabeth’s most memorable activities was her time spent with the Chaldean Community Foundation in Detroit.  She says, “I was able to experience a Chaldean Catholic mass, learn about the prejudices Chaldean's face in Iraq and in the US, and meet some blind Chaldean immigrants who shared about their lives.  Chaldean Catholics and Roman Catholics practice the faith a little differently, but regardless of the country we come from or what rite we are, we are all Catholics.  Hearing from these fellow Catholics about their diverse experiences will stay with me forever.”  After graduation, Elizabeth is seeking a full-time professional career in the Marquette area.

McKensey Gariepy has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  From Macomb Township, Michigan, McKensey is a nursing major and her favorite activity was her trip to Belize.  She says, “I was able to not only adventure to a new place but also learn to appreciate a culturally different place as well as learn about their health care system.  It was an amazing experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.”  After graduation, McKensey plans to enroll in a nursing ICU residency program out west.

Karlie Gehrig has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  Karlie is a biology/physiology major from Andover, Minnesota.  Karlie is most proud of doing an internship in Australia where she says, “I was able to work with a physiotherapist for research with the first passive range of motion free standing robot named HELEN.  HELEN was used to see if she could help in a therapeutic way, to help regain strength, function, and quality of life in stroke patients.  Also being in a different country, I was lucky enough to experience the culture, the atmosphere and the beautiful views.  For excursions, we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, sat with a lot of kangaroos, traveled to Fiji, walked with the little penguins, and so much more.”  After graduation, Karlie will take a gap year by expanding her knowledge in occupational therapy and will then apply to graduate programs. 

 

Alex Graeff has completed the Real World Edge!  From Grandville, Michigan, Alex is a biology major with an ecology emphasis.  He is most proud of working at the outdoor learning area on campus.  He says, “I inventoried plants, creating a list and collecting specimens for each.  This was my first experience doing a plant survey that felt like it mattered, and it was a great experience.”  After graduation, Alex has a temporary position with the National Park Service at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Congratulations to Ellie Gschwendtner for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An art and design major, Ellie is from Naperville, Illinois.  She is most proud of the time she spent in Bali, Indonesia, where she loved interacting with residents, exploring the beautiful country, and participating in ceramics workshops.  After graduation, Ellie plans on attending medical school at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in the fall of 2019. 

Emily Gudwer has completed the Real World Edge!  From Rapid River, Michigan, Emily is a criminal justice major.  She is most proud of the real world work experience she had working in a law office.  She says, “I discovered the passion that I hold for law more in depth, and I am much more confident in the career path I chose.”  In September, Emily will be attending law school at Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School. 

Jenna Happach has completed the Real World Edge!  Jenna is an ecology major from Winnebago, Illinois.  She is most proud of the times she volunteered at the greenhouse at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans.  She says, “I was able to engage in an activity that I am passionate about (gardening) and share it with a group of people that are often overlooked in society.”  After graduation, Jenna will be an ecological field monitoring technician for BLM in Wyoming.

Elizabeth Harkema has completed the Real World Edge!  She is from Sparta, Michigan, and is a graduate prep psychology major who is most proud of her internship with Camp Star and the Best Day program.  Liz says, “I personally lost my Dad two years ago, so to work and connect with kids in similar situations was incredible.”  After graduation, Liz will be attending the University of Kansas to pursue a master’s in counseling psychology.

 

Congratulations to Georgia Harrison for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Martin, Michigan, Georgia is an ecology major who is most proud of the work she has done with her friend Olivia to create the NMU EcoReps.  She says, “This student sustainability peer-to-peer educator program allowed me to culminate many of my interests in ecology, campus involvement, volunteerism, and sustainability.  I am incredibly proud of the work we have been able to do and look forward to seeing how the program grows and is able to cultivate change after I am gone.”  Georgia will be attending graduate school at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, pursuing an MS in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Congratulations to Kayleigh Hartland for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Kayleigh is an information assurance/cyber defense major from Kent, Washington.  She is most proud of starting her own student organization, the Student Cybersecurity Association, and building it up for other students to learn about and experience.  Kayleigh says, “This has been a powerful experience to me because I’ve been able to watch others grown, thrive, and discover interests as a part of this group.”  After graduation, Kayleigh will be moving to the Philadelphia area to work as a cyber defense analyst for TE Connectivity. 

Madasyn Hofstedt has completed the Leadership Edge!  Hailing from Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Mada is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major.  She is most proud of being the residence life coordinator for NMU’s Olympic Training Site because she learned more about her leadership style.  She says, “I was able to create positive environments which has lead me to get into graduate school with a graduate assistantship.”  After graduation, Mada will be attending Illinois State University to pursue a master’s in speech-language pathology where she will be doing a graduate assistantship in the Housing Department.

 

Congratulations to Meghan Hohenstein for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  From Bloomington, Minnesota, Meghan is a double major with nursing and Spanish.  She is most proud of her service learning experience in Cusco, Peru.  Meghan says, “I was able to learn so much about a new/different community while expanding my Spanish knowledge and nursing skills.  It was amazing to give back to a community in need but at the same time, it is crazy to think of how much I personally grew.  My favorite part of this experience was the connection I made with my host-family and patients.  This adventure definitely solidified my career path and continued to nourish my passion for the Spanish language and the many different cultures it encompasses.”  After graduation, Meghan will be taking and passing the NCLEX and her nursing career in either pediatrics or labor and delivery.  

Zachary Jodoin has completed the Real World Edge!  Zachary is a biology/physiology major from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  He is most proud of his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Zachary will be attending medical school in the fall at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Congratulations to Adam Kall for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Davenport, Iowa, Adam is a double major in mathematics and computer science.  He is most proud of his work with North Star Academy’s robotics team, the Robogators.  He says, “I taught middle schoolers about programming and helped them build a competitive robot that they used to qualify for state competition.  The kids were so interested in how coding works, and by the end of the season, they were writing their own Java programs.”  After graduation, Adam will be attending Elmhurst College in Illinois for a master’s of data science.

Congratulations to Alysa Kilpela for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A nursing major, Alysa is from Baltic, Michigan.  She is most proud of being a “big sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Alysa says, “I have been a mentor to the most amazing young lady for almost three years now.  We have become very close, and I plan to continue to be a part of her life.”  This summer Alysa will be a resident director for the Upward Bound Summer Youth Program at Finlandia University. She will also be preparing for her boards and looking for a position in a family birthing unit after her resident director job is over.
Congratulations to Katerina Klawes for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Oconto, Wisconsin, Kat is a secondary education English major.  Her favorite experience was working with students at Marquette Alternative High School.  Kat says, “I believe it made me a better educator by working hands-out with a group of struggling writers.”  On a side note, Kat completed the most hours for this group with 2,988.  After graduation, Kat will be looking for a teaching position in middle or high school in the UP.

Wyleen Kniola is completing the Real World Edge!  From Marquette, Wyleen is a biology/physiology major.  She is most proud of the medical mission trip to Belize.  She says, “I learned so many new skills and was able to interact with so many new people from an entirely different culture than our own.  I am proud of how I grew on the trip and the things I was able to do that I never thought I would be able to do.  I am so proud of how many people in Belize our group was able to help.”  After graduation, Wyleen plans on attending medical school to become a pathologist at Saba University of Medicine in the Caribbean. 

 

Congratulations to Rebecca LaLonde for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from St. Ignace, Michigan, Rebecca is a nursing major.  She is most proud of her study abroad trip to Belize where she spent time setting up clinics, visiting a hospital, and immersing herself in the culture and community.  She says, “It was an eye-opening experience to be exposed to how people in other countries with less access to health care resources live.  I gained a lot of practical experience by providing educational teaching to a primary school and working in clinics.  I am proud of the difference I feel we made in this community.”  After graduation, Rebecca will complete a basic officer leadership course to become an army nurse corps officer in San Antonio, Texas.

Congratulations to Nicholas LeMire for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Nicholas is a biology/physiology major from Escanaba, Michigan.  Nicholas is most proud of being a Care Aide at UP Health Systems – Marquette because it inspired him to continue his education to become a physician.  He says, “It is here that I continued to practice my bedside manner, learn about different ailments, and learn how a hospital operates.”  After graduation, Nicholas will be applying to medical schools, working at a hospital, and hopefully, traveling.

Emily Leslie has completed the Real World Edge!  Hailing from Grayling, Michigan, Emily is a biology major. 

Congratulations to Katelyn Liubakka for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Marquette, Katie is a double major in secondary education integrated science and secondary education social studies.  Katie is most proud of serving on the parking and traffic committee.  She says, “I helped get the crosswalk on Lincoln Avenue as well as better signage for the crosswalk on Wright Street (when we used to have a parking lot across the street).  I served during a time of major parking and campus transitions and worked to keep the disruption relatively minor.”  After graduation, Katie will be teaching high school science.

Jordyn MacDonald has completed the Real World Edge!  A nursing major, Jordyn is from Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Jordyn is most proud of her trip to Belize.  She says, “I had the opportunity to work with local communities and set up health clinics for them and give them support they needed.”  After graduation, Jordyn will be taking her boards and looking for a nursing job in her hometown.

Congratulations to McKenzie Mathewson for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Lewiston, Michigan, McKenzie is a double major in public relations and economics who is most proud of going on an international service project in New Zealand.  She says, “It was an amazing experience, my first experiences outside of the US that gave me the opportunity to help the less fortunate.”  On a side note, McKenzie’s house, Arctic House in Hunt Hall, won the Superior Edge logging competition this past fall.  After graduation, McKenzie accepted a fully-funded graduate assistantship position at Missouri State University where she will be a resident director while she pursues her master’s in student affairs in higher education.

Jarret McEldwoney has completed the Leadership Edge!  He is an environmental science major from Horton, Michigan.  Jarret is most proud of working at Bay Cliff.  He says, “It gave me a great feeling to help out with the campers’ daily living activities and was something that was out of my comfort zone initially.  ...I suggest it to anyone who is looking to have a memorable summer.”  After graduation, Jarret will be attending basic training for the U.S. Coast Guard and will be getting married!  

Congratulations to Michaela McLeod for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  Michaela is from Green Bay and is double major in mathematics and computer science.  It was hard for Michaela to choose just one activity, but she chose being a Parkee for three years.  Michaela said, “It is an amazing job, but there is a lot more than playing outside with kids all day.  We plan weekly special events and get the kids involved in city-wide events with other kids from the area.  We are a constant in the kid’s lives for the summer, they come to you for all of the good and bad things in life and you become a role model for them.  They always seem to teach me more than I could imagine.  The kids are great and remind me that even though I don’t know exactly what I want to do, I want to keep working with kids.”  After graduation, Michaela will be working in Green Bay this summer and looking for a job at a science center teaching kids about STEM.

Heather Montgomery has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  Hailing from Dowagiac, Michigan, Heather is a social work major.  She is most proud of starting an Annual Care Package Drive that started out with having businesses donate items to send to a unit oversees.  Heather says, “Creating this activity helped me to get out of my comfort zone and begin making connections with people in the community.  It put me in contact with Pay It Forward, which led me to taking over the organization, giving me more opportunities than I could ever imagine.  It also began my relationship with Mike Rutledge, who has become an incredible mentor and friend, allowing me to become more involved with the student veterans on campus, as well as other veterans in the community.  It excites me for my future career in social work.”  After graduation, Heather will be moving downstate to work on her master’s at Western Michigan University or will be coming back in NMU in the fall of 2019 to work on the MSW program.

Austin Morris has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  Austin is a mechanical engineering technology major from Johnsburg, Illinois.  Austin is most proud of being involved with the NMU Baja Racing Team.  He says, “It is the single activity that has far and away absorbed the vast majority of my time at NMU, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.  From the friends I’ve made, to the skills I’ve developed, I will treasure my time with the Baja Team for the rest of my life. The thing I least regret is that I spent so many thousands of hours with the Baja Team that I was too busy to log more than a few hundred.”  After graduation, Austin plans to pursue a career in research, development, and prototyping within the Aerospace and Defense Industry.

Sarah Naracon has completed the Real World Edge!  Sarah is from Felch, Michigan, and is a neuroscience major with a cellular and molecular concentration.  Sarah is most proud of participating in the Ottem neuromuscular research lab since May 2015.  She had developed a knowledge of and appreciation for scientific research to better understand cellular pathways that lead to pathology.  She says, “I am proud of the time and dedication I have made to this experience over the past three years.  I have practiced research techniques including animal husbandry, muscle and spinal cord sectioning, muscle fiber and neuron imaging and staining, and have particularly perfected PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis skills.”  After graduation, Sarah will be attending Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and eventually will return to the UP to practice.

 

Alexandra Negro has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  Hailing from Norway, Michigan, Lexi, is a biology/physiology major.  She is most proud of helping with the homeless shelter, Room at the Inn.  She says, “Room at the Inn provides a safe place and nice meals for those in need of shelter and food.  I am so glad I can make a difference right here in Marquette.”  After graduation, Lexi will be taking a year off while she applies for PA school.

 

Congratulations to Melissa Ostrowski for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  From Holt, Michigan, Melissa is a fisheries and wildlife management major.  Melissa is most proud of her 8-week wildlife rehabilitation internship she completed during the summer of 2016.  She says, “This experience was life-changing, as it provided me with the opportunity to travel across the country and spend two months on San Juan Island, Washington.  Throughout the duration of the internship, I learned valuable animal husbandry skills such as cleaning, feeding techniques, and how to handle a variety of North American mammals.  I learned the value of hard work and was rewarded when I was able to release healed animals back into the wild.”  After graduation, Melissa plans to obtain a master’s in public policy with a concentration in environment at the University of Pittsburgh and plan her upcoming wedding!  Congrats!

 

Congratulations to Alyssa Peterson for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A botany major, Alyssa is from Marquette.  She is most proud of the bracelet fundraiser she coordinated in memory of her friend, Anthony Fox.  Alyssa says, “I raised $2,300 total and half was donated to UPAWS and the other half to Do It for Daniel.”  After graduation, Alyssa will be working at Clear Lake facilitating the high ropes and other outdoor curricula.  She will also be shadowing the Parks Service, Forest Service, etc.

Congratulations to Kendall Plapp for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A graphic communications major, Kendall is from Malta, Illinois.  She is most proud of being the president of the Quiz Bowl team where she helped plan, organize, and execute multiple quiz bowl tournaments for high schoolers at NMU.  Kendall says, “It served a great opportunity for kids in the UP to complete in something they enjoy against other teams across the UP.  Several teams were also able to qualify for nationals through our tournaments.  They also can function as an NMU college visit and are a great way for our team to show why we love and recommend NMU.”  After graduation, Kendall plans to work full time as a designer.

Congratulations to Sarah Ponzer for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Sarah is a biology and Spanish double major from Merrill, Wisconsin.  She is most proud of working with the Honors Student Organization to participate in community events where we can give back.  She says, “My favorite were the Haunted Bog Walk and Cat Packs.”  After graduation, she will be attending medical school.

Page Queener has completed the Real World Edge!  A biochemistry major, Page is from Imlay City, Michigan.  She is most proud of volunteering at the Lake Superior Village Youth and Family Center.  Page says, “During this experience, I was able to interact with children who have completely different backgrounds than me.  This allows me to have a more open mind as I head into the next stage of my life.”  After graduation, Page will be attending Merver University College of Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia where she is pursuing a PharmD.

 

Angela Robertson has completed the Real World Edge!  Hailing from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Angela is a biology/physiology major.  She is most proud of spending 10 days in Belize working at clinics and teaching the community about healthy living.  In January, Angela plans to attend grad school.

 

Paul Sampson has completed the Real World Edge!  Paul is computer science/mathematics major from Rockford, Michigan.  He is most proud of his internship at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center where he programmed a fiber optic strain gauge.  After graduation, Paul will be working at Armstrong Flight Research Center this summer, looking for a job for the fall, and then attending graduate school.

Alyssa Sawyer has completed the Real World Edge!  From, South Lyons, Michigan, Alyssa is a mathematics major.  Alyssa is most proud of volunteering at Neighborhoods Week in Detroit where she worked to clean up sidewalks and houses around Durfee Elementary-Middle School to make it safer and cleaner for the students who walk to and from school.  She says, “By clearing overgrown brush and debris, we were able to make the neighborhood safer and much nicer looking.  I increased my awareness of community challenges and enjoyed being able to help students to receive a better education.”  After graduation, Alyssa plans on pursuing a career in data analytics.

Congratulations to Johanna Snowden for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Escanaba, Michigan, Johanna is a nursing major who is most proud of her experiences with the Pre-Nursing Association.  Johanna says, “I helped create that organization my sophomore year and watched it grow into something bigger than I could have imagined.  This organization provides pre-nursing students information from the Student Nurses Association (SNA) members about the nursing program.  It gives these students an opportunity outside of the classroom to ask questions about the nursing program to those currently in it.  The SNA members are unofficial mentors helping these students feel more confident and prepared for their future in the School of Nursing.  I had a lot of fun with this program.”  After graduation, Johanna will take her nursing license exam and work as an RN in Escanaba. 

Gretchen Spencer has completed the Diversity Edge!  From Cedarville, Michigan, Gretchen is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major.  She is most proud of the time she spent in Belize.  Gretchen says, “This experience exposed me to a very different medical setting than I am used to and provided insight into how fortunate we are in the US to have access to the medical care that we do.”  After graduation, Gretchen will be going to graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to earn her doctorate in audiology.

Congratulations to Tiffany Stachnik for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Tiffany is a German studies major with minors in anthropology, sociology, and history from Midland, Michigan.  She is most proud of the Beaver Island field school archaeological dig she did during the summer of 2016.  Tiffany says, “I learned how to excavate archaeological sites and catalog artifacts during a very intense four-week course.  It was an extremely rewarding experience that boosted my confidence in my abilities.”  After graduation, Tiffany will be completing a teaching assistantship through the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science, and Research and the Fulbright Austria program where she will be teaching English to Austrian high schools in the region of Carinthia.

Congratulations to Jamie Sterr for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Tomahawk, Wisconsin, Jamie is a biochemistry/pre-pharmacy major.  She is most proud of being able to attend two of the Superior Edge International Service Projects.  She says, “My experiences in New Zealand and Thailand/Cambodia have helped me to share my knowledge of cultural diversity and have provided me with life-long memories and friendships.  This unique program is helping students reach their full potential of service and leadership.”  After graduation, Jamie will be continuing her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Pharmacy.

Congratulations to Taylor Susa for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Buffalo, Minnesota, Taylor is a neuroscience major with a behavioral and cognitive concentration.  Taylor is most proud of her undergraduate neuroscience research that she has done through psychological sciences under Dr. Joshua M. Carlson in the CABIN lab.  She says, “During this time, I have developed professional relationships in and outside of the lab, gained an enormous amount of experience being on three different studies and have appreciated every high and low of the process.  It has been so rewarding to do research here at NMU as it has helped me grow as a leader.”  After graduation, Taylor will be working on her master’s of psychological science at NMU as well as continue swimming for NMU’s Swim and Dive team.

Shelby Talsma has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges!  An accounting major, Shelby is from Skandia, Michigan.  She is most proud of volunteering with the Willow Farm Therapeutic Riding Program for her community service internship with the Student Leader Fellowship Program.  Shelby says, “At Willow Farm, I volunteered at the therapy sessions as a horse leader and a side walker.  I was able to combine my passion for helping people and working with horses.”  After graduation, Shelby will complete her CPA exam, and she has accepted a staff accountant position with Plante Moran, a regional accounting firm, in Traverse City, Michigan.

Madison VanGelder has completed the Leadership Edge!  From Rochester Hills, Michigan, Madison is a criminal justice and pre-med major.  Madison is most proud of volunteering as a transportation aide for MidMichigan Health System.  Her primary role was to discharge patients and run errands around the hospital.  She says, “Being in a hospital setting, I was able to observe and learn more about how the different professionals work together for a common purpose of providing excellent health services.  I was also able to work on my patient communication skills.  This opportunity allows me to learn a lot of useful skills for my future in healthcare.”  After graduation, Madison will be moving to Saint Maarten to attend the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.

Congratulations to Emily Winnell for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Petoskey, Michigan, Emily is an English major.  Emily is most proud of her Student Leader Fellowship Program community service internship with the Community Foundation of Marquette County where she worked to improve their grant evaluation process.  She says, “I got to interview people from all over the county who have been doing really interesting things to support and engage their communities.”  After graduation, Emily will be traveling with her family to Iceland, Norway, and Scotland.  After that, she will be applying for jobs in Marquette, her hometown, and a few other places while she decides what comes next.