Testimonials

“This edge gave me the opportunity to learn new things, step out of my comfort zone, and has pushed me to grow.  I definitely believe as I said it’s great to promote international diversity, because it really got me out of my comfort zone with food, extracurricular, and other activities, and it was well worth it.

Everything that I have learned through this edge has taught me the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone….  Everything that I have learned I plan to take with me into my future, and I am beyond grateful for everything that I have learned and experienced.  It has been more than worthwhile, and I am happy to have been a part of such a great program at Northern.”

~Chelsea Koziel
Diversity Edge

“I never thought I would be able to finish this edge, but the opportunities this school provides not only for education but knowledge into the world around us is phenomenal.  In my four years of experiences here at Northern, I have gained so much about experiences and opportunities that I never would have gotten anywhere else.”

~Alexander Perry
Diversity Edge

“I will continue to volunteer to help others and also stay informed as a citizen. I am thankful we have this opportunity at Northern. This edge really helped me find myself for the future. I was lost, and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life until I started working on my civic engagement projects. It showed me how interested I am in the political system and how I can help others through it, and it guided me to the program I am currently in.”

~Sally Osentoski
Citizenship Edge

“I will never forget my last Make a Difference Day. We asked the owner of the house to take a picture with all of us after we raked her yard, and she started sobbing when she stepped outside and saw her yard. She told us that she had had such a rough year and that our help meant so much to her. I will never forget when she told us, ‘It’s just so comforting to know that there are good young people out there who are willing to help out a stranger.’ …Make a Difference Day has taught me that giving back to my community, no matter how small the act, holds a big impact on people.”

~Sarah Eberhard
Citizenship Edge

“Before completing this edge, I expected to gain a better sense of how I can help my community and how my community can collaborate to solve problems.  This edge met my expectations by requiring me to get involved with serving my community and observing how community leaders work together.

 

By being an engaged, involved citizen, I learned that it is not always easy to give your time for others, but it can be very rewarding.  I saw how much my community depends on people being willing to help those around them, and I learned it is my duty as a citizen to help people who need me.  I think I have grown as a person by gaining a deeper understanding of how I can help people, especially since I now know how much some people need my help.  I also feel that by participating in this edge and helping my community, I was given an advantage while applying to graduate school.  While writing my application essay, I could cite these experiences when discussing how I have helped impact my community and what I did help people around me.”

~William Morgan
Citizenship Edge

“Through everything, I learned how important it was to invest in others around me and give back to my community so that together we could grow to create a better community for everyone.

…While it took me a while to complete this edge, I valued completing the civic engagement hours because it pushed me to take part in activities that I probably would not have originally took part of.  I think there is a lot of value to taking part in civic engagement and think that it is an important aspect of the program that should be left for future students to take part of.  Overall, the Citizenship Edge exceeded my expectations because it took me to places I would not have originally gone and gave me experiences that have helped me to understand and appreciate the people and works that make our communities special.

…Actively engaging myself with the Citizenship Edge has broadened my perspective on what it means to wholeheartedly serve others.  I learned that community processes are very important and crucial for growth, in addition to learning that the best form of service comes from putting others before oneself.”

~Cassandra Hastings
Citizenship Edge

“If a student were to walk up and ask me about Superior Edge, I would have a few pointers to give them:

• Start the program as early as you can in your college career
• Take some Academic Service Learning courses
• Log your hours regularly
• Take good notes when you log your hours, it helps a lot when you go to write your final reflection papers
• Meet and network with as many people as you can and you will have your edges complete in no time.”

~Michael Head
Superior Edge

“I would not change a thing about this experience, but I would offer up advice:  get involved in campus events!  Go to lecture series, join an organization of interest, get involved in student government, and look to community arts and music events to get to know the city.  By becoming engaged in this time of college, you are developing skills that will help you develop professional habits sought after by employers and to help become a valuable community member.”

~Kathleen Biddle
Citizenship Edge

“I am very happy with my performance on this edge.  As I’ve said repeatedly, it was way more than I expected to get out of it and I have a whole new outlook on life and the American culture.  I never realized how much other cultures can differ or how similar they can be as well.

…I learned a lot about myself; mostly the fact that trying new things can really have a significant impact on life.  …I learned that stepping outside of your comfort zone and having an open mind can lead to some pretty amazing discoveries and lasting memories and experiences.  I am pleased with my experiences and believe it has really opened me up to the culture and other opportunities in a diverse setting.  Being able to make a difference in the lives of those internationally was something special.”

~Trent Podskalan
Diversity Edge

"My life has changed a lot from completing the entire Superior Edge.  I feel very accomplished.  It takes a lot of time, hard work commitment, and dedication to finish the entire program.  I have put in the time and hard work to not only complete the program, but go beyond the hour requirements.  I’ve learned that whatever you get out something is directly correlated to what you put into it.  This applies to this edge.  If I hadn’t been so diligent in completing these edges, I would have had a lot more time on my hands; but I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  Completing the edges taught me so many lessons and helped me to acquire so much wisdom to make me a better person.  My life wouldn’t have been the same without completing these edges because I wouldn’t be who I am now.”

~Brook Derusha
Superior Edge

“My life has become much more accomplished.  When I started Northern as a freshman, I signed up for Superior Edge and was a little overwhelmed with how many hours were needed to complete it, but now I can look back and remember how I completed it all and be proud.  I have made connections with people that will help me move forward in life.   …It’s hard to describe how much I’ve changed as a person.  …I do give a lot of credit to Superior Edge and the encouragement to get involved.”

~Ellyn Carroll
Superior Edge

“Working at Pathways Community Mental Health allowed me to gain practical experience working with special needs children.  Prior to this experience, I had only very briefly experienced working with this population, but I knew I was drawn to it.  During and after this experience, it became very clear that this was my life’s passion, and I needed to change the direction of my life in order to pursue it.”

“I feel fabulous about my growth and learning during my involvement in this edge.  …This edge has given me a distinct advantage towards my future plans because I have an array of real world experiences that many people my age do not.  The things on this edge have already helped me to secure a job after graduation.”

~Robin Feuerman
Real World Edge

“As a citizen, I must contribute my efforts to make my community a better place.  There are a wide range of challenges that different people face every day.  What I learned about myself is that I have the ability to take the initiative to get out in the community and try to make a positive difference for those who do not have the same privileges as I do.”

~Shane Graves
Citizenship Edge

“I know my accomplishments will only help me in the future.  It assists in job searches to talk about this unique experience as well as makes me a better candidate to be hired.  While I attended the Oshkosh Placement Exchange, I was able to talk about my experiences in Superior Edge, since it is on my resume, and explain the benefits of having this great opportunity.”

~Hillary Hamblin
Superior Edge

“Superior Edge is a program that I knew I wanted to be a part of the minute I stepped on Northern Michigan University’s campus.  …I knew it was my job to stay committed to being a leader on campus and give back to the university/city communities.

…I knew I had some pretty strong leadership skills when I came to NMU, but I am absolutely amazed on how many more opportunities I have received through NMU to not only ‘lead’ others, but get involved in such a huge variety of student organizations and campus events.  I think I have bettered my leadership abilities through my work in student organization, but I have also learned about so many different leadership styles by working with ‘teams’ of leaders whether it be in the Student Nurses Association, Students Volunteer Abroad, or the Student Leader Fellowship Program.

I believe that everything I did in Superior Edge has left some sort of mark on my life.  I frequently find myself reminiscing about different activities that I took part in.  I think this is a distinct advantage when I am being interviewed, etc., for a future career.  I have so much to talk about and I can thank the edges in the program for this advantage.

I must say that much of my passion for NMU has come from my involvement.  Without being as involved as I have been, I do not believe I would have had even near the same experience.”

~Brendan Franklin
Superior Edge

“As I reflect on my completion of the Leadership Edge, it is amazing to see how much I have grown and all that I have accomplished.  I am in the process of applying for graduate school, internships, and even full-time positions in the field of forensic science.  The Leadership Edge has definitely given me a distinct advantage as I possess the leadership skills that other candidates may not have.  Many potential employers have commented that my leadership training is outstanding and something that they are looking for in candidates in order for them to maintain a successful workforce.”

~Ashley Foster
Leadership Edge

“I know my accomplishment will help me in the future because they have already helped me secure a job as a special education teacher through Teach for America.  Being able to speak about experiences I have had through Superior Edge gave me a great deal of material to discuss in my interviews.”

“My life has changed as a result of completing Superior Edge….  …I can always be proud of and it has given me a way to look back at all the things I have done over the years.  Without having my experiences recorded I wouldn’t have realized just how many things I have done while in college.  Completing all the edges and having to process the experiences through the logs has changed my life because it gave me the ability to speak about my experiences while in interviews.  Already having my ideas thought out because I had to write them down for Superior Edge allowed me to think quickly and speak eloquently about these things while working to get a job.”

“My suggestion to students who are starting Superior Edge is to log, log, log!  Always log your experiences after they happen.  …Not only will it benefit you and your growth to have to process what you have done and just go through the motions of it but it will also help you in the future.  Having a database of your experiences is very beneficial when you need to speak to things you have done.  Often life gets so busy that you forget some things and it is very convenient to have the logs to log back at.”

~Robin Feuerman
Superior Edge

“When I first came to Northern as a freshman, I heard about Superior Edge and thought that it would give me a good goal to work towards over the next four years.  I realize now that it was more than just a goal, but a part of my journey to becoming who I am now, and who I want to continue to grow to be.  The Citizenship Edge pushed me to become civically engaged and be a more involved citizen of the US and Marquette community.”

~Abby Engen
Superior Edge

My personal expectation for this edge was to become informed about city activities or what is going on in the city (civic engagement) and also helping others out and making their lives a little bit easier.  I have to say, through this edge, I did accomplish my expectations.  Like I said about my Real World Edge, this edge was the push that I needed.  I think that is going to be a common thread with all of these edges.  They push you to do things that you might not always be inclined to do.”

~Rachel Eckert
Citizenship Edge

“I also learned that paying attention to civic engagement things is also important because you should know what is going on in both your community and country.  …My growth and involvement has grown since being involved in this edge.  I say this because I did not use to do that much volunteering because I never realized how important it is but now I want to continue to volunteer and be involved in different activities.”

~Amy Geyser
Citizenship Edge

Leah Normand at Strut Your Mutt“At first, my personal expectations for the Citizenship Edge were simply to get a lot more volunteer experience.  As I worked through it, I found out that it was a lot more about connecting to the community around me and getting involved.  This edge exceeded my expectations.  One thing I would suggest to students just beginning this edge would be to attend at least one city commission meeting early on.  I waited until my last semester to begin attending them, and this turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences I’d have while completing this edge.

…I did a lot more volunteering than I would have otherwise, and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by attending the city commission meetings.”

~Leah Normand
Citizenship Edge

"Through this edge, I have been able to better understand the diversity within our community in Marquette and throughout our global community.  I have obtained a fellowship through the US Congress and the German Bundestag and will be moving to Germany for one year.  I know that this would not have been possible without my participation in this edge."

~Matthew Croschere
Diversity Edge

Jessica Hannink“Throughout high school and starting NMU, when it came time to pick course electives, I choose classes that seemed somewhat interesting yet in a topic I was fully aware of and would not have to put a lot of effort in.  After joining Superior Edge, I began to look at classes with the purpose of completing this edge, but after taking one cultural course and falling in love with it, I signed up for another one without thinking of the Superior Edge benefits.

…I began to truly enjoy the diversity opportunities offered at Northern and found myself participating in these activities beyond what was required of my classes and this edge.

I evaluated my performance based on how this edge has affected my life.  I not only achieved my biggest goal of completing this edge, but I actually fell in love with it.  I loved learning about different cultures, countries, and traditions.

…I feel that my growth and learning during this involvement in this edge went beyond anything that I could have anticipated.  I have become a more grateful US citizen and have grown to truly appreciate others and their stories and talents.”

~Jessica Hannink
Diversity Edge

What did I learn about myself?  I realized how judgmental I was, and I can see the changes in me from participating in these activities.  With these activities from this edge and from my social work classes, I have found myself judging less and wondering more.  I like to ask myself what makes that person who they are.  I like the growth I have made from participating in these activities.  I believe that these activities and this edge will help me become a better social worker in the future.”

~Corinne Holmes
Diversity Edge

Sarah Eberhard“Being a great leader means being flexible and able to adapt to the needs of others.  Sometimes being a leader means sitting back and encouraging others to lead.  Being a leader means living everyday as a role model and really being 'the change you wish to see in the world.'  Your actions speak louder than your words and other people are watching you constantly.

Being able to say that I have completed this edge has helped me so much.  When I was searching for jobs after graduation, everyone was looking for candidates with leadership skills. I was able to communicate all of my experiences and talk about what I took away from them.  People were not only impressed with my leadership skills, but the fact that I had spent so much time reflecting on them and learning from my experiences.

This edge has helped me for the future because I am now more comfortable with communicating my own leadership style and experiences. I am so happy that I can say I have completed this edge because I had always wanted to be a leader in high school but I was too insecure and shy.  I am so happy to see that I have overcome that and have truly become a leader.”

~Sarah Eberhard
Leadership Edge

Corey Engelhart“Frankly, when I began Superior Edge, I wasn’t expecting to complete the Leadership Edge.  I don’t plan to run for office, teach high school, or lead a revolutionary coupe anytime soon.  But when I arrived in Ghana, I quickly realized that because I am an American, I would immediately become someone that plays a leadership role.  In addition, I was put in a teaching role the second week after landing in Africa.  This edge did meet my personal expectation in that I have, in fact, learned to appreciate the multi-dimensional art of leadership.  As a follower, it is very easy to criticize your leaders.  But when you’re a leader, you quickly realized that it is very, very hard.”

~Corey Engelhart
Leadership Edge

Mollie Andereson“I knew right away that this was going to be the first one I completed.  I am extremely driven to have a career that I enjoy and I think that getting hands-on experience is the fastest way to make that happen.  I expected myself to build my resume incredibly while working on this edge, and I did just that.  I have padded my resume with many hours of work experience that will hopefully land me a national level internship, and eventually a great career.”

~Mollie Anderson
Real World Edge

Allison Carlton“Truthfully, I believe that my apparent failure at this edge taught me more than any success could.   ….I also had the idea that to complete the ‘real world’ I had to have an experience that was solely positive, only enhancing my beliefs that that is how I wanted to spend my life.  Looking back on it, however, I realize how positive my ‘real world’ edge experience truly was.  Without having the opportunity to complete this edge through traveling to Europe, I never would have realized that I no longer wished to be a French minor.  …In closing, the greatest thing that has come out of my ‘real world’ edge experience is that it allowed me to truly realize what fit and what did not.  If I could not have that experience, I never would have realized my shortcomings, and attempt to find a better fit elsewhere.”

~Allison Carlton
Real World Edge

“I feel really good about the growth and learning through my real world experiences.  This has given me a real advantage toward my future plans because I have real world experience in the job that I want to do for the rest of my life.”

~Kevin Corkin
Real World Edge

“As I reflect back on my Real World Edge, one experience really sticks out.  It was a time where I realized, ‘this is what I am suppose to be doing for the rest of my life.’  All of those hours spent studying anatomy, physiology, and biology are finally paying off.  The concepts I learned in the classroom, the hypothetical ‘what if’ situations became a reality.  I was in Nicaragua on a medical service trip, where the previously classroom patient cases became a reality.  During my trip, I helped out with four clinics.  I took blood pressures, vitals, patient histories, helped out in the pharmacy, administered physical exams and even helped make diagnosis….

The Real World Edge gave me far more experience than any textbook could have ever provided.  …I now have more direction in my future goals.  I have realized what field of medicine I like the most:  family medicine/general practice.”


~Brook Derusha
Real World Edge
 

“My expectation for this edge was exactly what it plans on doing and that would be getting me to get experience in my future field.  I have to say that I do like this edge.  Without this edge, I don’t know if I would be as motivated to go and get experience in public relations opportunities.  This was the push I needed….  When it comes to other students, I would suggest to go out and find an internship.  Not only does it make finishing this edge faster possible, but also it gives you a window into the world that you plan to enter after graduation.  It could also create connections for one, which could possibly help one out after graduation.  So finding an internship is definitely worth the finding.”

“I am proud of my growth.  …This edge has not only given me newfound confidence, which will help me more forward in my career, but this edge has also given me experience.  Experience that can someday, hopefully, open doors for me after I graduate.”

~Rachel Eckert
Real World Edge

"Working to complete the Real World Edge, I expected to finish with a strong sense of what a life in a science career would be like in addition to having gained lab skills and good work habits.  Because I was lucky enough to find an opportunity such as a freshman fellowship and an excellent professor to work with, my expectations for this edge were absolutely met and fulfilled.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my real world experiences because they have led me to conducting my own research.  I’m now receiving help from other students on my project instead of assisting others with their research.  Being able to conduct this research is one of the most important things that I have done with my time here at NMU.  It is preparing me for graduate studies and research after the completion of my undergrad degree.  I am a more confident and prepared scientist-in-training that I would have been without these experiences.

I have developed skills necessary for beginning a scientific career and what I have learned can and will be applied to future circumstances in grad school and beyond.”

~Ariel Egan
Real World Edge

“From this experience I learned that I am a lot more emotionally stronger than I thought and that I would make a good CPS caseworker.  I also realized that in a real job like that you have a lot more responsibilities than what I realized.  Also, there is a lot more critical thinking and decision making that has to be done and there is not always a policy or process that tells you what to do next.  I think I grew a lot as a person and even more as a social worker through this experience.  It provided me a lot more awareness of the different struggles that people have been through and the different lifestyles people lead.  The experience definitely gave me great advantages for the opportunities in my future.  I know most of the people in the agency, so when I apply there this year, they will already know my abilities and work ethic.  It also gave me relevant experience to the career and more knowledge about the profession.”

~Magan Scully
Real World Edge

“When I’m in interviews and asked about my experiences, I can talk at length and I think really impress my interviews because I have done so much in so little time.  Doing the reflection papers and logging the hours prepared me for a lot of interviews because I’ve already thought deeply about what I’ve accomplished and how it sets me apart from other applicants.

...The most important thing I could say to an incoming student is to get involved in as many different activities in Superior Edge as possible.  Meet as many people as you can.  Challenge yourself.  Push your own limits.  Do all four edges.  Make the most of your time at NMU through Superior Edge.  Last, cater your activities to your career because that will be the way to make important connections and learn crucial skills to help you in life beyond NMU.”

~Kristin Denryter
Superior Edge

Sarah Leissring“I would tell students just starting out with the program, Superior Edge, just to enjoy the experiences they have while they can here at NMU.  …Do the things you have a passion for, and try new things to see if you may have a passion you never knew you had.  The program is all about trying new things and testing your limits.  If you do that, you’ll grow in ways you never knew you could.  You really don’t realize how much you actually contribute and accomplish until you sit down and reflect.  The hours go by quickly, you’d be surprised how easy they are to complete.”

~Sarah Leissring
Superior Edge