2014 May Graduates Comments

Graduation Reception Comments
April 25, 2014

 

Monica Ahles has completed the Leadership Edge.  Monica is from Wausau, Wisconsin and is a math major. 

Harlee Alexander has completed the Citizenship and Real World Edges.  From Derby, Kansas, Harlee is a political science major who is most proud of volunteering at UPAWS.  She says, “I have been able to work with animals and get them to open up to humans especially if they have been abused or neglected.  I have always had a huge passion for helping animals and this has helped me to actually do something for them.”  After graduation, Harlee will be heading to Florida Coastal School of Law.

Rebecca Allers has completed the Diversity and Leadership Edges.  Rebecca  is a social work major from Marquette.
Congratulations to Emily Anderton for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Houghton, Emily is a nursing major.  She is most proud of becoming a resident adviser.  She says, “It truly developed me as a leader and as a person.  I was able to touch so many lives and take skills that I will use forever.  Being a nursing student and a RA is not easy, but I was able to successfully do both.  I am very proud of that.  It made me the person I am today and for that I am grateful.”  After graduation, Emily will be returning to Houghton to take the nursing boards in June and then apply for nursing positions in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Victoria Arnold has completed the Leadership Edge.  A biology major from Rockford, lllinois, Victoria is most proud of her participation with the Gliding Stars disability ice skating program because she was able to build such a great relationship with her little buddy.  She says, “I still continue to visit him.  He is a nine-year-old by with spina bifida.  We recently went to the Children’s Museum.  I love that I have taken my volunteering and applied it to my own personal life.”  After graduation, Victoria will be attending the master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, California.

Congratulations to Stephanie Beeman for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Stephanie is a psychology major from Ionia, Michigan.  Stephanie is most proud of her involvement as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) Committee Member.  She says, “I am the first and to date the only student to become an IRB Committee Member at NMU.  This unique exposure to research ethics will always be helpful to my future in academic research.  It has been exceptionally rewarding to seek out such a professional experience and to have the involvement experience that an NMU student has never had before.  I consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by such a professional board and get to know faculty in this setting.”  After graduation, Stephanie will be going to graduate school to study psychology and would eventually like to become a professor.

Danielle Benson completed the Real World Edge.  Danielle is a clinical lab science major from Dollar Bay, Michigan.  She is most proud of volunteering at the Blood Donor Center and completing her six-week internship.  She says, “I loved representing NMU in a positive light while volunteering and interning.”  After graduation, Danielle will be staying at NMU to work on a master’s degree.

Congratulations to Kathleen Biddle for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge.  Hailing from Petoskey, Michigan, Kat is a nursing major who is most proud of her work with the Alzheimer’s Association where she developed an understanding about the culture of:  the area, disease, and the role of caregiver.  She says, “The view society has for disease is strong, and I am now hopeful we will turn around some very bad habits within our health care system to heal this stigma.  By looking globally, across history, we can see the necessity for a non-judgmental and stereotype-free place for the people of the community to heal.  I found the light to combat a darkness of social isolation and mistrust of community resources, where community can heal openly.”   After graduation, Kat will be taking her licensure exam and get an RN position.

Congratulations to Courtney Brown for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Midland, Michigan, Courtney is a triple major in French, English, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts.  Courtney’s most rewarding experiences was working with the Lake Superior Youth Theatre (formally the MACC Youth Theatre).  She says, “Not only have I met and worked with great youth members but also many people and parents in the community.  I have worked with the theatre for about five years and helped with over 10 major productions and concerts.  Serving as a stage manager, director, and technical director on different productions provided me with true insight into teaching theatre in general and through these experiences I have developed a close relationship with my spectacular mentor, Nikke Nason, founder of the youth theatre.”  After graduation, Courtney plans to return to NMU to obtain her Michigan teaching license.  After that year, she would like to work in professional theatre doing costume design and construction before teaching at the secondary level.

Congratulations to Kristine Bush for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A biology major from Traverse City, Michigan, Kristine said her most influential experiences was completing the Diversity Edge.  She says, “I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Honduras and Tanzania, and I’m so grateful I was fully immersed in these cultures.  They were the most humbling and educational experiences I’ve had so far, and I plan to continue traveling throughout my life.”  After graduation, Kristine plans to attend nursing school and travel.

Erin Carey has completed the Citizenship Edge.  She is an athletic training major who is from Sawyer Lake, Michigan.  The activity that Erin found most rewarding was doing her clinical rotation with the NMU football team.  She says, “Through this rotation, I gained an invaluable knowledge about various athletic injuries while working in a fast-paced, high energy environment.  I gained a confidence in both my athletic training skills as well as in myself.  I also learned how rewarding it is to be able to bring an athlete back to full participation after a significant injury.”  After graduation, Erin will be attending California University in Pennsylvania to complete a master’s degree in athletic training as well as do a graduate assistantship.

Congratulations to Jamie Carter for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Ishpeming, Michigan, Jamie is an entertainment and sports promotion major who has enjoyed working in the NMU Athletic Department.  She says, “It has been an eye opening experience.  It has also been the best hands-on experience I could have asked for my future career choice and has given me countless opportunities.”  After graduation, Jamie will be working in the NMU Sports Information Department.

Congratulations to Nickolas Cook for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Ellsworth, Michigan, Nick is graduating with his master's degree.

Congratulations to Carolyn "Lizzie" Corser for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Ontonagon, Michigan, Lizzie is graduating with her master’s in public administration.  Lizzie is most proud of participating in the Superior Edge sponsored International Service Trip to Thailand.  She says, “Over the course of three weeks, we toured the country completing service activities, exploring cities and engaging in the social and political environment perpetuated by Thailand’s revered traditions.  The trip was by far one of the most culturally engaging, enriching and eye opening experiences I have had as a Wildcat and one I very much hope to repeat.”  After graduation, Lizzie will be continuing her position as the marketing and administrative assistant at the Marquette Downtown Development Authority while she searches for a position on the east coast.

Danae Cowell has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  A psychology major from Menominee, Michigan, Danae is most proud of her involvement with the Circle K 24-Hour Service Project.  She says, “It was a great opportunity to help out and appreciate the local organizations around Marquette like the Beacon House, Bay Cliff Health Camp, and the Salvation Army.”  After graduation, Danae plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stout to pursue a master’s degree in school psychology.

Congratulations to Jessica Duncan for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Cedarville, Michigan, Jessica is a social work major.  She is most proud of her senior social work field placement at an orphanage called Acres of Hope, Uganda.  She says, “I was faced with many challenges, but through various Skill Builder! workshops and activities prior to leaving, I felt confident in the work I had set out to do.  I am proud to say I was the first social work student from NMU to do a senior field placement in a third world country.  I can honestly say if it wasn’t for the confidence I gained from my involvement in the Student Leader Fellowship Program and Superior Edge, I don’t think that would have been possible.”  After graduation Jessica plans to get her master’s in social work and continue advocating for education for people in all parts of the world where education is lacking and is not being treated as a basic human right.

Elizabeth Ernst has completed the Real World Edge.  From Clarkston, Michigan, Elizabeth is a double major in Earth Science and Physical Geography.   She is most proud of firefighting with the US Forest Service.  Immediately after graduation, she will be fighting fires in the Denali National Park.  After that, she will start applying to graduate schools to study forest ecology.

Congratulations to Melissa Esser for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Fair Haven, Michigan, Melissa is a psychology/behavior analysis major.  The activity Melissa is most proud of is her Student Leader Fellowship Program Community Service Internship with the Women and Children’s Center at Marquette General Hospital.  She says, “While interning, I was responsible for running Sibshops, workshops for children that have siblings with various physical or mental disabilities.  In the workshop, the children got to meet others that are going through the same things as they are and we got to address their feelings about their sibling in a safe, positive environment.  It helped open my eyes to the fact that a disability not only affects an individual but the entire family.  This knowledge I gained from this amazing opportunity will help me in my future career.”  After graduation, Melissa will be attending graduate school at Western New England University in Massachusetts to get a master’s in applied behavior analysis.  From there, she hopes to become a board certified analyst and specialize in helping children on the autism spectrum.

Congratulations to Christopher Fast for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Topher was the first person to do our interview process for completing an edge.  Topher is an environmental studies and sustainability major from Kalkaska, Michigan.  Topher is most proud of reconnecting with his family in his birthtown of Olongapo City, Phillipines.  He said he found the truest sense of freedom.  He says, “After spending valuable time with my sister, I found a farm in Castillejos, Philippines. Sherry Zimmer, a Scottish born and educated American citizen, has done so much for that area and has changed many lives including the Aetas’.  I made good friends with the shy natives becoming invited to join their village.  I was able to help in their politics, their hut building, and even hunting.  There has never been a time I felt as free as I did with them.”  After graduation, Topher wants to start up a farm internship on his grandmother’s property and set sail for a bit of traveling.

Mindy Grabko has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Mindy is an outdoor recreation leadership and management major from Sussex, Wisconsin.  Mindy is most proud of her trip to Costa Rica for RE 495X:  Ecology and Ecotourism of Costa Rica.  She says, “It provided me with a great opportunity to experience a culture outside of the country.  I was immersed in the food, dance, and politics of Costa Rica.  I found it very interesting just how aware the Costa Rican people are about preserving their precious environment.  Costa Rica has the most diverse ecosystem in the world because it is in between two continents and two oceans.  They are making strides towards preserving their environment, and NMU students had the chance to help out with tree planting, sea turtle research, and in turn, developed a deep appreciation for the nature.”  For the summer, Mindy will be interning at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to complete her degree requirements; she is graduating in August. 

Congratulations to Carrie Grishaber for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  Carrie was the first person to do videos to complete her Superior Edge reflection papers.  From Kalamazoo, Michigan, Carrie is a social work major who is most proud of volunteering with the American Red Cross disaster action team which gave assessments and did client casework with people affected by house fires.  She says, “I also provided support to first responders such as police and firepeople and taught disaster preparedness classes to Habitat for Humanity families.”  After graduation, Carrie will attend graduate school at the University of Michigan to complete the advanced masters in social work program with the practice method of community organization and practice area of social systems.

Congratulations to Rachel Gruler for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Petoskey, Rachel is a nursing major.  She is most proud of traveling to Santa Cruz de Yojoa for a faculty led study abroad trip for health care students.  She said, “I thoroughly enjoyed being able to help the children and families throughout the village with vaccinations and health assessments, and I love learning about the culture in Honduras.  I felt as though we made an impact on the health of others and that was really important to me.”  After graduation, Rachel hopes to find a job in Michigan working as a circulating nurse in an operating room.

Bethany Grysko has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  From Plymouth, Michigan, Bethany is a physiology major who is most proud of her involvement in The Next Chapter Book Club.  Bethany says, “This reading group for mentally disabled or illiterate adults allows its participants to experience the benefits of reading in a social environment.  Reading has always been important to me, and I believe that it is important to help people acquire this skill.  After being a part of this program for over two years, I have seen the members improve so much and become more confident in their abilities to both read and comprehend the books.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing them laugh over a particularly humorous part of book or seeing how proud they are of themselves when they finish reading a particularly difficult page.”  After graduation, Bethany will be attending graduate school.

Shelby Guilbault has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  A public relations major from Greenland, Michigan, Shelby is most proud of her NMU athletic internship and her experience in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).  She says, “I was able to gain the confidence and experience I need to help me in my career.  I worked with athletics and PRSSA to enhance my skills and realized how hard work truly pays off.”  After graduation, Shelby will be either going to grad school or will look for a job.

Jeremiah Harrington has finished the Leadership and Real World Edges.  An outdoor recreation leadership and management major from Royal Oak, Michigan, Jeremiah enjoyed participating in the Leave No Trace Trainer program.  He said, “It provided me with a wonderful opportunity to practice my outdoor and leadership skills in a structured and fun environment with like-minded people.”  After graduation, Jeremiah plans to work and travel out west or in Alaska for a year before returning to school to earn a master’s degree.

Congratulations to Shavon Harris for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An international studies major from Chicago, Illinois, Shavon is most proud of her Student Leader Fellowship Program Community Service Internship with the Marquette Adult Day Services.  She says, “I am proud of it because it's not flashy and it's not super grand.  It's just something that I had no prior interest in, and now I have got to learn so much about hospice care and being an active listener in that environment.  I love working in that community, and it is an activity I will take with me for years to come.”  After graduation, Shavon plans on sitting back with her feet up and watch the money roll in.  Plan B is to teach English in South Korea.  She says, “I applied for that in case plan A doesn’t work out, fingers crossed for both of them.”

Congratulations to Cassandra Hastings for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  A physics major from Hillsdale, Michigan, Cassy is most proud of volunteering at the Tosmaganga Orphanage.  She says, “The kids at the orphanage in Tanzania touched my heart in more ways than they can ever know.  It was a privilege to be able to teach first graders English, while also getting the opportunity to care for the infants.  From that experience, I have learned that working with children is something that I want to pursue in the medical field as well as working internationally.  My time at the orphanage is something I will never forget and memories I will have for a lifetime.”  After graduation, Cassy plans to attend Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine.

Congratulations to Samantha Hawkins for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Waterford, Michigan, Sam is an elementary education major.  She is most proud of working with Miracle League of Michigan.  Sam says, “It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to work with children of different abilities and see the absolute joy on their faces as they play a game that was created for them.  I have made great friends through the organization and have learned more about life in my time working with those kids than I ever could have imagined.”  After graduation, Sam will be looking for a teaching position in the metro-Detroit area.

Christina Helms completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Tina is a loss prevention major.  She is most proud of the community service she has done, mostly through Kohl’s.  She volunteers at 15-25 events each year.  Tina says, “I have had a lot of fun doing these events and have met a lot of great people.  I enjoy being a part of a great program that gives back to children and breast cancer charities.”  After graduation, Tina plans to get a position in loss prevention and work with more charities and organizations like the American Legion.

Rozemary Howard has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Hailing from Gaylord, Michigan, Rozemary is a zoology major who is most proud of her dog walking program.  She says, “I was able to help local citizens as well as dedicated students.  It allows an animal interaction that tends to be forgotten when students go to college.  I have made some community members very happy with this program, and I have seen more smiling faces then I ever thought I could.  This program was the best thing I could have done for my Community Service Internship with the Student Leader Fellowship Program, and I am glad to have been able to share such a wonderful experience with so many people.”  After graduation, Rozemary will be attending veterinary school at Michigan State University.

Congratulations to Sara Hujar for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  An entertainment and sports promotion major from Binghamton, New York, Sara is most proud of her involvement in Circle K International.  She says, “Looking back to my freshman year, I would’ve never imagined that I would have become so involved on campus, in the local community, and even the surrounding regions.  My leadership roles in this community service organization have opened my eyes to some of my greatest passions in life, and I plan to continue my involvement post-grad by joining the Kiwanis!”  After graduation, Sara plans to pursue her master’s degree at NMU while working as a graduate assistant in the Center for Student Enrichment.

Abigail Iwen has completed the Real World Edge.  Hailing from Greenfield, Wisconsin, Abigail is a pre-physician assistant with biology/physiology who is most proud of volunteering in the inpatient pharmacy.  She says, “This is where I felt like I was really helping.  I was able to do odds and ends jobs with the pharmacist so they could focus on the really important things.  I learned how busy they are and sometimes just doing simple tasks can really go a long way.  I made a difference in not only with the pharmacist work but also in the patients’ lives.  After graduation, Abigail will be taking classes at Carroll University and will be going to PA school eventually.

Sarah Juday has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Sarah is an elementary education/language arts major from Woodhaven, Michigan.  Sarah is most proud of creating a kickball event where all the proceeds go towards Leader Dogs for the blind.  She says, “Creating an event on my own and doing all the work myself was both challenging and thrilling.  Having the event be so successful for three years has been an unexpected blessing that has helped so many people.  To have been the founder of this event and to have it continually run is something I am very proud of and would not have been possible without the support and skills I have learned through leadership.”  Sarah will be staying in the UP after she graduates and will be applying for a permanent teaching position.  She also plans to stay involved with the Marquette Lions Club and volunteer as much as she can.

Chelsea Koziel has completed the Diversity and Leadership Edges.  Hailing from Woodstown, New Jersey, Chelsea is a psychology major.  Chelsea is most proud of her service trip to Ecuador.  She says, “During those ten days I got to learn about other native cultures, practice my Spanish speaking skills, relate lessons that I have learned at NMU through my NAS minor to other cultures, and help people. That experience was eye opening and forced me to step out of my comfort zone which taught me a lot about myself, the people we helped, and it has inspired me to go to graduate school for international development.”  After graduation, Chelsea will be going to the University of Denver to obtain her master’s degree in international development through Master’s International with the Peace Corps.  She will complete two years at the University of Denver and then be placed overseas for 27 months to complete the Peace Corps part with the hope of one day creating her own non-profit organization to help save and promote indigenous languages.

Congratulations to Stephanie LeClaire for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Stephanie is an elementary education major from Kingsford, Michigan.  She is most proud of all of the activities she has done while in Superior Edge.  She says, “Each one of those has helped me grow as a person and has allowed me to help other people.”  After graduation, Stephanie plans to travel and pursue her dream in educating children.

Nicole Lewis has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  She is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major from Galesburg, Michigan.  Nicole really enjoyed the opportunity of being able to apply what she learned in the classroom.  She said, “I have learned so much from working with clients and gained more knowledge just with the firsthand experience.  I have gained so much myself during the semester including different personality traits I never knew I had.  I feel I have become more patient, more knowledgeable, more creative, and less worried about perfection.  Working with real clients gave me more patience because it is all of their time and their temperament for that specific session.”  After graduation, Nicole will be in the distance program at the University of South Carolina for a master’s degree in communication disorders.

Daniel Love has completed the Real World Edge.  From Midland, Michigan, Daniel is an environmental science major.

Meghan Marquardt has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Meghan is a theatre and English writing major.  Meghan said the most rewarding activity she participated in was the Drama and Dreams Camp through Lake Superior Youth Theatre.  She says, “I have never worked with such a diverse, enthusiastic group of kids, and it was absolutely amazing to see the group blossom as we gave them a safe space to explore and play in.”  This summer, Meghan will be working at Hershey Park as a stagehand and then will be moving to either Portland, Oregon, or Seattle, Washington, to pursue a career within a theatre company.

Dawn Marsh has completed the Real World Edge.  From Greenville, Michigan, Dawn is an environmental science major who is most proud of her internship with the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.  She says, “These internships allowed me to grow personally and professionally, and allowed me to get a great head start on my future career as a scientist.”  After graduation, Dawn will be working as the applied sciences crew leader at Seney National Wildlife Refuge and in a year will attend graduate school.

Congratulations to Mollie McConnell for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mollie is a social work major who is most proud of the time she spent in Haiti.  She says, “I had the opportunity to meet a lot of fantastic people and see how they live on a daily basis.  This experience made me realize how fortunate we are to live where we do.  I am proud of the relationships I formed and the things I taught so many children while I was in Port Au Prince.  Having been to another country to experience a new culture and way of life has made me open my eyes to international social work; something that is so often overlooked and seen as unimportant.”  After graduation, Mollie hopes to obtain a career in child welfare in Marquette County.

Jamie McCraren has completed the Real World Edge.  Jamie is a speech, language, and hearing sciences major from Highwood, Illinois.  Jamie loved seeking out an internship for a speech-language pathologist in her hometown.  She says, “Internships in this field are rare because you must have a license to practice.  She taught me so much through practical experiences and became my mentor in the field.  I helped out around her private practice and even observed therapy sessions.  This experience helped strengthen my confidence in pursuing a career as a speech-language pathologist.  After graduation, Jamie will be attending College of DuPage in Illinois to pursue an associate’s degree as a speech-language pathology assistant.    

Congratulations to Rachel McOwusu for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Taylor, Michigan, Rachel is an international studies major who is most proud of volunteering at the Beacon House Orphanage in Ghana, West Africa, during her study abroad.  Beacon House is an orphanage built for children ranging from infancy to 18 years.  She led tutoring sessions, arts and crafts, discussion forums and other educational but fun activities to help enhance their skills in whatever areas they needed help, all while having fun.  She got the children motivated and they felt challenged by the goals they set for themselves.  Rachel was really touched by the one-on-one time the students fought over with her.  She was really excited about their motivation to read and see how excited they were.  This summer Rachel will be an RA/Tutor with Upward Bound at Ohio State University.  In the fall, she will be attending Columbia University in New York while she works on her masters of social work degree.

Elijah Meert has completed the Real World Edge.  Hailing from Rockford, Michigan, Eli is a math major who plans on pursuing a career as an actuary.  Eli is most proud of tutoring at All Campus Tutoring.  He says, “I really enjoyed helping others succeed in math, and I especially liked the feeling I got when they came back to thank me.”  After graduation, Eli will be studying for the GRE and applying to graduate schools so he can pursue a degree in college math education.  He says, “I realize that I love tutoring math and teaching it too much to turn away from it.”

Sarah Miller has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Wausau, Wisconsin, Sarah is an elementary education language arts major.  She is most proud of student teaching abroad in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and experiencing real-world situations, as well as a whole lot of diversity and leadership.  The trip summed up all three areas.  It was such a rewarding experience.”  After graduation, Sarah will be heading abroad with her fiancé to doing some teaching.

William Morgan has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  An English major from Jackson, Michigan, William is most proud of his volunteer work at Marquette General Hospital.  He said, “I made a meaningful impact on those I interacted with, and it was very rewarding to make that kind of difference.”  After graduation, William will be attending medical school at Michigan State University.

Congratulations to Danielle Morrison for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Danielle is a psychology:  graduate school preparation major from Springfield, Illinois.  Danielle is most proud of working in the mental rotation lab.  She says, “Not only have I gained a multitude of professional knowledge directly applicable to my chosen research career, participating has allowed me to present at professional conferences.  The mental rotation lab has provided me the opportunities to build not only my professional capabilities and confidence, but my personal ones as well.”  After graduation, she will be attending a Ph.D. program at the University of Glasgow.

Andrea Nelson has completed the Citizenship Edge.  Hailing from Oakdale, Minnesota, Andrea is an English major.  Andrea is most proud of her work at a cat shelter.  She says, “I worked weekends for over a year cleaning the shelter and socializing the cats.  I helped many cats become ready for new homes and assisted families in finding a cat that matched their wants and needs.”  After graduation, Andrea plans to start a career in technical writing with the hope of one day being an editor in a publishing company.

Congratulations to Nicole Nutt for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Farwell, Michigan, Nicole is a social work major and is most proud of her internship at the Marquette Women’s Center/Harbor House.  She said, “I got the incredible opportunity to work with women and children in need who had nowhere else to go.  While at the Women’s Center, I developed a passion for sexual assault advocacy and I am now a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team for Marquette County.”  After graduation, Nicole plans to stay in Marquette while pursuing a job in social work.

Congratulations to Sarah Parkkonen for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Negaunee, Sarah is a nursing major who is most proud of working with the Lose the Training Wheels program.  This is a program that teaches children with disabilities to independently ride a two-wheel bike.  Bike riding provides a person with disabilities a lifelong means of transportation and immense independence.  Sarah says, “While volunteering for this program, my role was to run behind the children on their bikes, keeping them safe and encouraging them.  I will never forget the look on the children’s faces when they rode a two-wheel bike for the first time.  Through volunteering with this program, I enjoyed nurturing the potential of children with disabilities and was inspired by their enthusiasm and self-determination.”  After graduation, Sarah will be working as a pediatric RN at University of Wisconsin’s Health Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jenelle Pelletier has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Grant, Michigan, Jenelle is an environmental conservation major who is most proud of conducting an environmental impact assessment on the Longyear Property in which NMU owns.  She says, “Through this, I was able to develop real-world experiences and present the class’s research to the Board of Trustees as well as at a dinner for President Haynes and the administration.  I was part of the water quality and aquatics team and was able to analyze environmental impacts of the property.”  After graduation, Jenelle is hoping to get a residence hall director position within Student Affairs.

Congratulations to Alexander Perry for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Newport, Michigan, Alex is a nursing major who is most proud of traveling to Honduras for a nursing abroad trip.  He says, “During this trip, I was able to strengthen my fundamental nursing skills and gain experience in another cultures way of life.  Half of the trip was to administer vaccinations and provide teaching as well as medical assessments to school age children.  The second half of the trip was mainly to gain knowledge and live experience within the Honduran culture.  I developed an appreciation for international diversity through this trip by fully immersing myself in the culture of the Honduran people and gaining fundamental nursing skills.”  After graduation, Alex plans to get more experience in the critical care field and eventually moving into a master's or doctorate degree.

Congratulations to Sara Pingel for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A Germanstown, Wisconsin, native, Sara is an outdoor recreation leadership and management major.  Sara is most proud of coordinating the Earth Day Celebration at Moosewood Nature Center.  She says, “Local artists entered natural themed pieces into a gallery.  Cash prizes were awarded to the top two pieces as well as the winner of audience choice.  There were judges from the community to choose the winners.  In addition to the art gallery, many local environmental non-profit agencies came for an open house.  Each agency was able to set up a table with an activity or information to get youth and their parents thinking about how they can better their impact on Earth.  It was great experience in community-wide event planning, and it was great to set up an outlet for talented artists and dedicated non-profits to show off what they have been up to!”  After graduation, Sara will be staying at NMU to pursue her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs.

Congratulations to Trent Podskalan for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Trent is from Wayland, Michigan, and is a multimedia journalism major.  Trent is most proud of his Student Leader Fellowship Program’s Community Service Internship at Sandy Knoll Elementary School in a first grade classroom where he helped the kids with writing twice a week.  He says, “I can tell that it means a lot to the students, and they often greet me with hugs and/or a “Hi, Mr. Trent!”  It has been wonderful to watch them grow in their writing and to be able to be a role model for them as well.  I’m truly going to miss them after this year.”  After graduation, Trent will be working at Walt Disney World as a part of their Disney College Program.  He hopes to be able to grow within the company or else he will be pursuing a master’s somewhere during the fall of 2015 in student affairs/higher education.

Congratulations to Morgan Raether for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A secondary education – English major, Morgan is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  She is most proud of organizing the partnership between the Honors Student Organization (HSO) and the US Forest Service Greenhouse in Marquette while she was the president of HSO.  Morgan says, “For two years, I helped to organize volunteers to clean greenhouses, water plants, and plant seeds the greenhouse.  In so doing, we were able to play a small part in helping keep the UP’s native plants thriving throughout the UP.”  After graduation, Morgan will be looking for a high school teaching position in the UP.

Congratulations to Brittany Ridge for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Hudsonville, Michigan, Brittany is a nursing major who is most proud of working at Bay Cliff Health Camp during the summer as well as other weekend camps throughout the school year.  Brittany says, “I loved working with the campers and encouraging them to be as independent as possible.  It is also great to be able to make normal children activities such as jumping in the pool or cross country skiing available for kids who have physical disabilities.”  After graduation, Brittany plans to work as an RN in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Congratulations to Katie Selinger for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Katie is from Grayslake, Illinois, and is an English writing major.  She is most proud of her participation with Special Olympics.  Katie says, “Taking the time to give the athletes their moment to shine and celebrating with them was one of the most gratifying moments I’ve had in Superior Edge.  More importantly, the event taught me to get out of my comfort zone by realizing even people with special needs have special gifts.”  After graduation, Katie is taking training to get TESOL certification and intends to apply for the JET program to teach English in Japan.

Congratulations to Kayla Shupert for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A double major in psychology and sociology, Kayla is from Alpena, Michigan.  Kayla is most proud of her participation for two years in Camp Star, a children’s bereavement camp.  She says, “It was one of the most influential experiences I've had.  It allowed me to connect with a younger child who was going through the loss of a family member and give them some support to help them work through it.  These kids would go from a very emotional healing circle to running around and playing. I t was inspiring to watch them work through it and still be able to laugh and enjoy themselves.  After graduation, Kayla will be going to graduate school.

Congratulations to Cassandra Sovereen for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Cassie is a psychology major from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She is most proud of working in a group home.  Cassie says, “Working with mentally and physically handicapped women has truly made me value how lucky I am.  I feel like I was put on this earth to help others and working in the group home has helped me to do that.  I see that I can make a difference, and I do, every day.”  After graduation, Cassie will be taking the GRE and going to grad school.

Congratulations to Sara Stafford for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Huntington Woods, Michigan, Sara is an environmental studies and sustainability major.  Sara is most proud of her work in Brazil.  She says, “This trip and completing this edge opened my eyes to a completely new world:  one where I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.  This edge taught me to be confident, independent, and open-minded.  Experiencing new cultures, languages, and meeting new people was a life-changing experience.  The things that I did and the people I met are something that I would have never imagined myself doing in a million years when I was a freshman.  Now I see myself not on a level in the US but a global level as in I can live and work anywhere and that borders will not stop me.”  After graduation, Sara will be moving to Orange, Texas, where she will be participating in an environmental education internship.

Congratulations to Michelle Stewart for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Michelle is a clinical laboratory sciences major from Monroe, Michigan.  She is most proud of her experience in Guatemala.  She says, “It forced me to step outside my comfort zone and see what the world had to offer and what I had to offer the world.  I thought I would have so much to offer the people of San Lucas and instead they gave me more than I could have imagined.  That experience changed me as a person and I am extremely grateful for every second I got to spend with the people who made me a better, educated, well-rounded human being.”  Michelle’s practicum doesn’t end until July so she will be officially graduating in August.  She is the process of applying for jobs.

Congratulations to Emily Stulz for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Marquette, Emily is a multi-media journalism major who is most proud of her participation in Women for Women’s Hear Us Roar, a sexual assault survivor’s reader’s theatre.  Emily says, “It gave me the opportunity to be involved in some of the strongest young adult’s lives I’ve ever met and be able to be with them as they took steps towards overcoming their own fear in sharing their stories.”  After graduation, Emily plans on getting her master's in higher education.
Kevin Sundt has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Hailing from Lake Orion, Michigan, Kevin is a biology major who is most proud of his experience at Marquette General Hospital in the operating room.  Kevin says, “Observing the procedures done on real patients in real situations prepared me for the medical atmosphere and influenced how I thought about medical procedures.”  After graduation, Kevin plans to attend the masters of bio-imaging program at Boston University.

Mark Surrell has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  Mark is a biology and philosophy double major from Marquette.  Mark is most proud of being the president of Platform Personalities for three years.  He says, “I was able to bring meaningful ideas and discussions to campus.”  After graduation, Mark plans on traveling around the United States and then looking for employment in various industries.

Samantha Terry has completed the Real World Edge.  Samantha is a communications studies major from Reese, Michigan.  She says, “I am so thankful that I started participating in Superior Edge as a freshman.  Although I haven’t completed all of the edges, it gave me the motivation to branch out and try new experiences as well as helping out a new community.  One experience that really resonated with me was my time spent at Scheurer Hospital.  I will be moving to this area upon graduation and volunteering there was a great way to get to know their community.  During my time at the hospital, I volunteered in the Community Relations department.  I helped with their children’s wellness fair and assisted kids with putting together ‘make your own first aid kits.’  It was a great experience that got me involved with a community I hope to be working in upon graduation.  I was also helping out in the office with various tasks involving their upcoming events.  I really enjoyed this aspect and it gave me a greater understanding of what the area has in place for health education and involvement as well as what could be improved.”  Samantha recently got engaged, will be getting married in August, and will be moving downstate to be closer to her family.  She hopes to find a job promoting community wellness and actively engaging the decisions.

Sandra Thomas has completed the Real World Edge.  Hailing from Canadian Lakes, Michigan, Sandra is a social work major that is most proud of serving as a long-term care ombudsman and advocate for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities throughout Marquette County.  At this time, she unsure what she will be doing after graduation.

Devon Tocco has completed the Diversity Edge.  A secondary education – English major, Devon is from Warren, Michigan.  She is most proud of studying abroad in Vienna, Austria and then traveling in Europe for two months.  She says, “I then was able to take my experiences back with me to my classroom to dispel negative generalizations and stereotypes.”  After graduation, Devon will be looking for a teaching position in the US or will go abroad to teach English.

Sara Trudgeon has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  She is a political science/pre-law major from Grayling, Michigan.  Sara is most proud of her work with the Model United Nations Club.  She says, “I was vice president of the club for 2012-13 and president during 2013-14.  Through much hard work, I encouraged members to extend their knowledge of different nations around the world and study global issues.  Under my leadership, the Model United Nations club won multiple awards for outstanding achievement.”  After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in three years, she will be studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools as well as save money for future expenses.

Megan Weber has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.  She is an elementary education major from Neenah, Wisconsin.  Her favorite activity was being a leader for Wildcats for Life.  She says, “I really enjoyed connecting students and alumni together.  It was such a great experience and I learned a lot, whether it was networking skills or tips on what to do after graduation.  Through this organization and other on-campus organizations such as Hunt Hall government, I was also able to participate in Make a Difference Day or volunteer at UPAWS.  All of these little activities have really made a difference in my life, and I don’t think I would be where I am in life without meeting the people I did and doing the things I did.”  After graduation, Megan plans to move out of the area to find a teaching job.

Christopher White has completed the Citizenship Edge.  Hailing from Kingsford, Michigan, Christopher is a construction management major whose favorite memory was building some outside structures for the children at Bay Cliff.  He says, “It put a huge smile on my face when I saw how happy those kids were.  Those children were so happy, and it was the least we could do was spend an afternoon making their lives a little bit better.”  After graduation, Christopher will be moving to Cincinnati, Ohio for a job.

Congratulations to Linaye Whitehead for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Litchfield, Michigan, Linaye is a psychology behavior analysis major who is most proud of her practicum.  She says, “It gave me a chance to actually experience what I’m going to school for.  I was able to interact with people in the desired setting and learned many things about myself.  It helped me improve my decisions for my future.”  After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school.


 

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