Our Staff

Headshot of Steve VandenAvond

Dr. Steve VandenAvond
Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement


Dr. Steve VandenAvond became NMU’s Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement in April 2015. 

Dr. VandenAvond came to NMU from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he had been serving as the Associate Provost and Dean for Outreach and Adult Access. He had been at UWGB since 2010. From 2000-2010 he was a faculty member and administrator at Silver Lake College (Manitowoc, Wis.). He was the director of the psychology program at Michigan Technological University from 1997-2000 where he also co-founded and was the director of the Center for Educational Technology Research and Assessment.

He has a doctorate in developmental psychology from Loyola University (Chicago), a master’s in the same area from Illinois State University. His bachelor’s degree in psychology was earned at Marquette University.


Brad Hamel
Director of Global Campus Operations

Brad Hamel is currently leading the effort to establish NMU’s Global Campus environment and a quality online student experience. The establishment of a “Concierge Services” including, recruitment, admissions counseling, enrollment specialist, and continual academic advising makes NMU’s Global Campus an ideal choice. Addressing the needs of the online learner is a priority.

Brad Hamel has been with NMU since 1999. He began his career in the NMU Athletics Department and most recently resided in Alumni Relations as the Director of Alumni Engagement and External Relations Technology.

Brad is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He holds a master's in public administration and bachelor’s degree in justice studies, both from NMU. 


Dan Freeborn
Assistant Director of Global Campus, Marketing and Enrollment


Dan joined the Global Campus staff in May 2018 after five years serving as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions. He is responsible for creation of print publications, social media accounts, digital advertising and recruitment for online degrees. He enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, traveling, camping and fishing. 


Mindy Nannestad
Extended Learning and Community Engagement

Mindy Nannestad joined Extended Learning and Community Engagement in April 2016 as the division's administrative assistant. She has worked at NMU since 2002 and was the executive secretary for the Dean of Students Office. She is a graduate of Northern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in business management.