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Erin McNabb of Grand Rapids will be the student speaker at Northern Michigan University’s Dec. 16 commencement. She said her speech will address overcoming fear and mistakes. Cheyenne Kaufman of Houghton, Mich., will be the student soloist at the ceremony. She will lead the singing of the university’s alma mater, “Hail Northern” and the national anthem.
“My speech aims to prepare students for a world that can be a scary place,” said McNabb, a social studies and French education major. “Being able to own your fears and allowing yourself to make mistakes will benefit you in your life.”
McNabb was in the Honors Program, which provides academically talented students with a four-year series of interdisciplinary and department-based courses designed to complement the student’s undergraduate degree. As a Freshman Fellow, she worked with history professor Gabe Logan to create new content for the history department website.
During her time at NMU, McNabb was influenced by Kathryn Johnson of the history department. Johnson helped McNabb gain a position as a teaching assistant in the history department and advised McNabb on a summer research project on social studies education.
McNabb completed her student teaching at Marquette Senior High School where she had the opportunity to teach social studies and French. “My student teaching experience was rewarding. NMU’s relationship with the area schools was very beneficial in my success.”
“Being selected as the student commencement speaker circles back around to the advantages I’ve had as a student at NMU. Over the past four and a half years, I’ve had opportunities to do things I wouldn’t have at other colleges. Being able to end my time as a student with this opportunity is a great way to end it.”
As a dance minor, McNabb was a member of the Hip Hop Dance Crew and attended a national competition. She was also involved in the Dance Association, a student organization that is a less technical dance team.
After graduation, McNabb will begin substitute teaching near Grand Rapids while looking for job placement in the 2018-19 school year.