News for NMU Employees

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013


NMU Reports Increase in Freshmen

Northern's 10th day enrollment report shows the number of incoming freshmen pursuing bachelor’s degrees increased by 22 students, or 2 percent, over last year’s figure. NMU also appears in the top tier of best Midwest regional universities—placing in the top 100—in U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of “Best Colleges.”

The rise in new freshmen helped to counter some of the exiting effect of one of the university’s largest graduating classes on record last spring. Their academic credentials also improved. The average ACT score is 22.9 and the average high school grade-point average is 3.17. Full Story


Singh Named Peter White Scholar

After spending the last academic year in India fulfilling her Fulbright Teaching and Research Award, Jaspal Singh (English, center) has returned to campus with a new honor for the year ahead. She is the 2013-14 Peter White Scholar at NMU. Singh opted for reduced time instead of a monetary award so that she can complete her book,Imagining Nations and Homelands in Indian Literature: Gender and Sikh Identity in India and the Diaspora. She will also present her final piece of research in India, where this week a jury convicted four men of December’s brutal gang rape and murder of a college student. Singh was in Delhi for her Fulbright when the incident happened and recalls getting caught up in the aftermath.

“The case shocked the country and world and turned into a huge revolutionary moment,” said Singh (pictured center during a protest). “I was among those who took to the streets afterward, trying to convince lawmakers to strengthen sexual assault legislation. Some laws did change related to rape, stalking and voyeurism. But marital rape still is not considered a punishable crime in India. Women cannot press charges against their husbands. That’s something Indian feminists continue to fight against.” Full Story


United Logo


UNITED Conference Sept. 21-26

Northern’s UNITED Conference will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, through Thursday, Sept. 26. UNITED stands for Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity. Presentations, films, art exhibits and other events take place throughout the week. This year’s presenters include an author on anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, a documentary filmmaker on the experience of Asian Americans, two bloggers who answer questions of young gay people and an entrepreneurial panel (see related story below). Full Story


Entrepreneurship Panel Kicks off Critical Issues Conversations Series

An entrepreneurship panel featuring Northern Michigan University and Marquette community members will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Reynolds Recital Hall. Participants include Nheena Weyer Ittner of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Tom Vear of Donckers and Bob Stefanski, co-founder of Tibco Software and founder of Michigan E-Lab. NMU President David Haynes and NMU Trustee Thomas Zurbuchen, who is associate dean for entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, will host the event. The panel is titled "Make Your Dent in the Universe: Lessons from Three Entrepreneurial Stories." Full Story


Paul Truckey portrait

Theater Season Underway

The comedic talents of the Second City have returned to campus to kick off the 2013-14 season at Forest Roberts Theatre. Two alternating productions, The Second City Goes to College and Happily Ever Laughter, continue through Saturday.

Next up will be a new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Miserables Wednesday, Nov. 13, through Saturday, Nov. 16. The show was cast this week. It stars former Broadway actor Paul Truckey (CAPS, pictured) in the role of Jean Valjean. Truckey has performed in the Broadway and touring companies of the show, which is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Full Story

Alumni Award Winners Announced

The NMU Alumni Association will honor four award winners over Homecoming weekend. The recipients and their awards are: William Stark of Cheboygan, Alumni Achievement; Paul LeVeck of Berkley, Alumni Civic Leadership; Diane Husic of Kunkletown, Pa., Distinguished Alumni; and Daryl Vizina of Cheboygan, Outstanding Young Alumni. Knowing that so many faculty and staff stay in touch with graduates, the Alumni Association also encourages NMU employees to nominate alumni for future award consideration.  Full Story

Homecoming Next Week

Northern’s 2013 Homecoming celebration begins with the annual Dead River Games for students on Sunday, Sept. 15. It will culminate with the parade, all-alumni reception, game day community block party and football game later in the week. Employees and community members are encouraged to participate in the festivities.

The Homecoming parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, on Third Street. The rain date for the parade is the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21. Also on Friday night, the All-Alumni Reception with free appetizers and a cash bar will take place from 6:3-8:30 p.m. in the lobby and lower level of the Landmark Inn. Full Story

Several framed photos grace the walls and desk in Kathy Solka's office in the Jacobetti Complex. Al, her husband of 28 years, appears in a couple. So do their canine and feline pets. But the most popular subject—hooves down—is Rye, her 15-year-old Mustang gelding. Not only does the buckskin-colored horse trump hubby in number of appearances, but his image graces a frame inscribed with the tender expression, "Life is Better with You."

"I don't think Al knows about that one," Solka laughs. "I'm lucky to have such a tolerant husband. He's a great guy and understands that my horse is my passion." Full Story