What's New, NMU? for the week of Nov. 9, 2009

What's New, NMU?

For the week of Monday, Nov. 9, 2009

From the 6th floor

A much-appreciated warm-up in the weather department this week. Temperatures reached into the 60s Monday (Nov. 9) and are expected to remain unseasonably warm for the early part of the week. The forecast calls for showers to move in late in the week, but temperatures should remain moderate, in the 50s. Deer season gets underway on the 15th, but it does not look like there will be any fresh snow on the ground in the woods. As you can see from the photo, not many leaves are left on the trees.

The World is coming to Marquette; watch on Versus

More than 200 of the world's best short track speedskaters from 34 nations will compete in the final International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup before the Olympic Winter Games. The action takes place Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 12-15, at the Berry Events Center.

Weekend races will be nationally and internationally televised. Versus, a sports cable network reaching more than 73 million households, has just announced it will tape Saturday's and Sunday's competition for use in a pair of two-hour highlight shows. They will air at 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday, with rebroadcasts at 1 a.m. Sunday and Monday. Saturday and Sunday races will be televised live in China and Korea.

"We are extremely pleased to have Versus provide coverage to the Olympic, speedskating and sports fans across America, as well as to have broadcasts going live to China and Korea," said Jeff Kleinschmidt, director of the USOEC.  "It's another chance for NMU and the community to demonstrate to a national and international television audience how exciting we make sports events here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, like we did when we packed the Superior Dome for the national broadcast of the NMU-Michigan Tech football game last year. Only this time we'll be packing the Berry and the audience will be global."

This year's World Cup is the final event for nations to qualify skaters for February's Olympic Games in Vancouver, making it one of the most important and biggest competitions of 2009.

"We will have more skaters and more nations here than will be competing in the Games. Most skaters have to earn their chance to skate in Vancouver right here in Marquette. There are only so many slots available at each race distance for the Olympic Games and skaters get those slots by their performances in the four World Cup competitions leading up to the Games," said Kleinschmidt.

For more information, go to www.goldrushskate.com.  To order tickets, go to www.nmu.edu/tickets, call 906-227-1032 or visit any NMU EZ ticket outlet.

UAW president meets with students

Ron Gettelfinger, President of International Union, UAW, was on the campus of Northern Michigan University this week. Gettelfinger participated in a question and answer session with NMU students and students from Michigan Tech via ITV. Gettelfinger addressed a number of important issues. The NMU Alumni Association is pleased to be able to bring you Gettelfinger's presentation in its entirety.

You can view the presentation here.

New issue of Horizons features innovators

As NMU President Les Wong said in his fall convocation address: "The status quo is being challenged on a number of fronts and we must use the time ahead to become much more clear about who we are, what are our core functions and what kinds of decisions will be needed to attain a new identity without sacrificing the quality of our current work with students...Let's give ourselves the freedom to put everything on the table for reconsideration."
That's just the philosophy that has driven many of our alumni including those featured in the new issue, to see old things in new, surprising ways, turn obstacle into opportunity and invent a future we can only begin to imagine.

Features include:

  • finding ways to help the offshore subsea construction market build the infrastructure needed to tap into oil reserves in an environmentally friendly way;
  • inventive uses for bicycle parts;
  • pioneering research on the world's endangered freshwater crabs

Horizons magazine should reach your mailbox in the next two weeks.

Professor explores timely topic in 'Waiting on a Train'

English professor James McCommons spent a one-year sabbatical riding the rails across much of the Amtrak system to research his new book, Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service. Published this week by Chelsea Green, the book is already gaining media attention because of its timely, relevant topic. President Barack Obama supports a high-speed rail network and $8 billion in federal stimulus funding has been earmarked to get the project on track.

It was a less than satisfying 2007 spring break trip with his eldest son on Amtrak's California Zephyr that convinced McCommons to pitch the book proposal. He wanted to tackle a couple of simple questions: Why has the greatest railroad nation in the world turned its back on the very form of transportation that made modern life and mobility possible? And why has Amtrak, created in 1971, failed to expand and play a significant role in surface transportation?

America's infatuation with the automobile certainly played a role. But through his conversations with the people who ride and work the rail--from transportation officials, government regulators and railroad executives to politicians, passengers, lobbyists and historians--McCommons discovered the answer is far more complex.

"The U.S. had a private rail system that was in big financial trouble by the middle of the 20th century," he said. "The government allowed the railroads to drop passenger service in 1971 to enable them to concentrate on freight. Congress created Amtrak to save a few passenger trains, but largely to save the railroads. It never really invested in Amtrak and rail. A lot of people thought passenger trains would simply fade away in a few years and all of our transportation needs would be met by highways and aviation."

Fueled by the national discussion and debate over high-speed rail, McCommons has been interviewed by FOX Business and national radio and print media. His book is also gaining favorable reviews. Library Journal magazine called it one of the "Best Picks for Fall." An accompanying review by Margaret Heilbrun stated, "Readers of travel memoir, of investigative reporting, those seeking to understand America today, even devotees of fiction of the American journey--heck, simply of fine writing!--look out for James McCommons' Waiting on a Train. McCommons interweaves stories of the men and women he encounters with an accessible and expertly traced history of America's enchantment and subsequent tragically wrongheaded abandonment of its railroads."

For more information, visit Waiting on a Train.

Get your holiday shopping done at the NMU Bookstore; enjoy up to $8 in free shipping

The NMU Bookstore is now offering up to $8 in free shipping exclusively to readers of "What's New, NMU?" All orders placed on the Bookstore Web site by December 5 are eligible. The NMU Bookstore offers a wide variety of gift merchandise and NMU attire.
Begin your shopping here.

To take advantage of the discounted shipping offer, enter Alumni09 in the coupon code when you check out.


Mark your calendar for these upcoming Alumni Association events

Minneapolis Alumni Reception
Dodge Holiday Classic
Saturday, Jan. 2
Chicago Alumni Reception Friday, Jan. 22
Wildcat Night Across the Country Friday, Feb. 19
NMU vs. Michigan

Keep your eye on the NMU Alumni Association Web site for more details.

Steve Mariucci host alumni and friends

On Oct. 23, Steve Mariucci '77, '83, hosted an event for a small group in his California home.

Back row, left to right: Patricia and Ernie '69 Telford; Jaqueline Johnson '84; Robert Caudill '80; Debra Hubers; Suzanne '67 and David '66 Wurzer.
Middle row, left to right: Steve Mariucci '77, '83, NMU Foundation trustee Sue LeGalley; NMU President Les Wong; Wendy Caudill.
Front row, left to right: Paul Walker '69, Barbara '62 and Bruce '63 Mihelich.

Check out the NMU Alumni Association on YouTube

Recently, in conjunction with Wildcat Make A Difference Day, project organizers in the Flint area appeared on TV to promote their events. Garn Lewis '86 and David Wirth '72 appeared on ABC 12.

You can check out their appearance here.

There are also other videos posted on our site.

Also, don't forget to visit the NMU Alumni Association on our social networking sites:

Wildcat sports update

The NMU football team completed the 2009 season with a win at home Saturday (Nov. 7). NMU ends the season with a winning record of 6-4 overall and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play. It was NMU's first winning season since going 6-5 in 2002.
The NMU women's swimming and diving team dropped a close meet to UW-Oshkosh, 120-117. The 'Cats will not be in action for a couple of weeks. Their next meet is at the Calvin College Invite Dec. 3-5.
The NMU hockey team split on the weekend during its visit to Ohio State. The 'Cats took Friday's game 1-0 but lost Saturday, 5-4. NMU remains on the road for its next series. The 'Cats are at Notre Dame Nov. 14-15.
The NMU women's cross country team competed at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships to conclude its season. NMU garnered 343 points to finish in 13th place.
The NMU volleyball team enters the post-season as the GLIAC North Division's No. 3 seed. NMU will face the Grand Valley State Lakers Wednesday night in GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal action at 7 p.m. in Allendale, Mich. The Wildcats and Lakers tied for second in the GLIAC North, but GVSU won the tie breaker for the higher seed.
The NMU men's basketball game against the University of Michigan will be shown live on the Big Ten Network. Tipoff is set for Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. from Crisler Arena.

From the e-mail bag

"This week on 'Cat Chat' we've got video highlights of NMU football's Senior Day win over Indianapolis plus post-game interviews with seniors Nathan Yelk, Zach Nichols, Zach Gauthier and Mark Bossuah. We also have a feature on NMU alumnus, former hockey player and Olympian Eric LeMarque, a recap of NMU hockey's weekend series with Ohio State and a preview for NMU volleyball in the GLIAC tournament. It's all on our Web site at http://www.catchattv.org/"
Pete Francis

Hello!  Here is a great pic of 19 NMU Alumni who gathered for a wedding on Sept. 26th in Iron River, MI.  Feel free to use it as you wish. We all loved NMU so much that we sang the fight song right after this picture was taken and the fight song was played at the wedding!
Front Row: Tera Holzschuh-Duvall 2001,  Lindsay Harmon-Demske (Bride) 2001, Mike Demske (Groom) 2001, Lacey Harmon, 2004.

Second Row: Roger Repuyan 2001, Steve Duvall 2002, Katie Rytkonen 2002, Tricia Walli-Vicenzi 2001, Meghan Marsden-Parsche 1998.

Third Row: Tim Haag 2001, Brian Baechtold 1998, Chris Kohler 2005, Dan Linsky 2000, Tom Hadley 1994, Andy Parsche 1999, Adam Quiring 1999, Sara Ginicchio-Quiring 1997, Mary Kudwa, Shannon Breisacher 2000.

Lindsay Harmon-Demske '01
Gaastra, Mich.

"Greetings. Just thought I'd let you know that on Oct. 18, I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon, finishing in 5:11;10. It's such a great feeling, especially after training and grinding out the miles, to cross the finish line and be presented with a Mylar blanket and a finisher's medal. Only question I have now is 'What do I do for an encore?'
Bob Cowles '06
Muskegon, Mich.
"Hi. My new job sent out this press release and I wanted to share it with you. Thanks."

Rebecca Thompson '09
Washington, D.C.

"People For the American Way Foundation Welcomes New Director of Young People For, Rebecca Thompson."

Note from the Editor:
Another item that crossed our desk, the news that the city of Marquette's marketing video has been named a Gold Award Winner in the MarCom 2009 International Awards competition. The MarCom Award is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. There were almost 5,000 entries from throughout the United States and several foreign countries in the 2009 competition. Check out the video here.

Have something you'd like to share?

Feedback should be directed to alumni@nmu.edu

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