2014 December Superior Graduates

Superior Edge Graduation
December 12, 2014

Nicolle Bezio has completed the Real World Edge.

Marissa BrooksMarissa Brooks has completed the Diversity, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  An elementary education major with an emphasis in math and integrated sciences, Marissa is from Farmington Hills, Michigan.  Marissa said that working at Camp Pinewood has been the most rewarding experience.  She says, “I was able to make an impact in someone’s life.  Forming the bonds with my campers and aspiring them to be the best self they could be made the experience all worthwhile.”  After graduation, Marissa will be teaching in the school she student taught in.
Min-Jung Chun has completed the Leadership Edge.

Christopher DanikChristopher Danik has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Madison Heights, Michigan, Chris is a computer science major.  He is most proud of his work with Relay for Life.  Chris says, “This event contributed to all four edges.  It allowed me to gain leadership experience and experience working as a team to put together a large event.  Since this event raises money, it also allowed me to give back to the community.”  After graduation, Chris will be a web designer at NMU!

Samantha DeNeefSamantha DeNeef has completed Real World Edge.  Sam is an elementary education major from Traunik, Michigan.  The highlight for Sam has been her mission trips to Mexico.  She says, “They have been a wonderful experience, and I have enjoyed getting to know another culture from personal experience.  The contrast you see is so strong and really makes you appreciative for all you have here.”  After graduation, Sam plans to start teaching as soon as possible.

Alicia DenHerderCongratulations to Alicia DenHerder for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Grand Rapids, Alicia is a sports science/pre-physical therapy major.  Alicia is most proud of attending the NMU service project to San Ignacio, Belize in the spring of 2013.  She says, “We volunteered at San Jose Succotz School tutoring students individually and in the classroom on math, reading, and writing. We built a sidewalk and planted numerous trees around the school.  With a minor background in the Spanish language, I was able to utilize these skills to reduce the language barrier. Seeing the impact that my fellow colleagues and I had on these children’s lives and the improvements they each made was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.”  After graduation, Alicia will be finishing up her research project to submit for publication in an academic journal, volunteering, shadowing therapists, and working while is waiting to hear back in February from the doctorate of physical therapy schools she applied to.

Mary DillowCongratulations to Mary Dillow on completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A secondary education social studies and physical education major, Mary is from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois.  She says, “From student teaching to volunteering in Ireland to giving my time to those less fortunate, it is difficult to choose which activity I am most proud of.  However, if I had to choose one, it would be Ireland.  Ireland forced me to step out of my comfort zone and live in a culture different than my own.  It was through this experience in Ireland and volunteering in the Montessori school that influenced my decision to pursue a teaching career in elementary physical education.  If it was not for my time in Ireland, I would have never discovered my passion for teaching physical education at the elementary school.”  After graduation, Mary will continue coaching high school girls’ basketball and was as pursue an elementary physical education teaching position.

Scott Evans has completed the Real World Edge.
Becky Foglesong has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges.

Laura HillockLaura Hillock has completed the Citizenship, Leadership, and Real World Edges.  From Marquette, Laura is an elementary education/language arts major.  Laura says, “Student teaching was the most enjoyable, rewarding, and flat out fun semester of my years spent at NMU.  It was during this time, I knew I was meant to be a teacher.  The actual process of teaching, lesson planning, attending parent/teacher and faculty meetings, staying after school much later than necessary, etc., proved to me that being a teacher is something I can not only do well, but something I truly want to do.  Being in the classroom full time and taking over all the duties have taught me far more than any book or lecture can.”  After graduation, Laura would love to find a job teaching kindergarten or first grade.

Alan KerrAlan Kerr has completed the Leadership and Real World Edges!  From Hawks, Michigan, Alan is a forensic biochemistry major.  Alan is most proud of being a Resident Adviser.  He says, “It not only showed me the leadership skills that I possess, but it taught me new ones as well.”  After graduation, Alan hopes to join the Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau.

Keara KangasCongratulations to Keara Kangas for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Gwinn, Keara is a graduate school prep, psychology major.  Going to Belize for spring break through the International Service Project, was a highlight for Keara.  She said, “We helped teach preschoolers English as well as planted trees and constructed a sidewalk.”  After graduation, Keara plans to go to graduate school to get a clinical neuropsychology Ph.D.

Elizabeth KlareckiCongratulations to Elizabeth Klarecki for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A graphic communications and network computing major, Liz is from Big Rapids, Michigan.  Liz is most proud of teaching computer classes to girls while volunteering in India.  She says, “It resonated with me personally as a woman in technology, and I was thrilled to share my knowledge and teach other women about my passion.”  After graduation, Liz will be working as a web designer and developer at Elegant Seagulls in Marquette.

Patricia LarkinPatricia Larkin has completed the Real World Edge!  Trisha is a public relations major with a minor in art from Arab, Alabama.  She says, “To complete my Real World Edge, I was an intern with the Nashville Predators of the NHL.  I am most proud of being able to rise to the occasion when needed and work in a fast-paced environment.  Changing a child’s view and being a positive role model in their life while at hockey camp was my main achievement.”  After graduation, Trisha hopes to work for a children’s charity or a corporate firm.

Katelyn LemireCongratulations to Katelyn Lemire for completing all four edges for Superior Edge!  Katie is a business management from Iron Mountain, Michigan.  Katie is most proud of her very first hours in Superior Edge.  She says, “I was inspired by a blind elderly man who was extremely happy and blessed that we were there to rake his yard for him when he couldn’t.  We sat and talked with him when we were finished.  Seeing how happy he seemed to have us there encouraged me to volunteer more and motivated me to finish all four edges.”  After graduation, Katie and friend will be traveling throughout Europe for a month or two, and then she plans to look for a job in her field.

Shelbi LiseckiCongratulations to Shelbi Lisecki for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From Newport, Michigan, Shelbi is a biology major.  Traveling to Honduras with the NMU nursing/public health departments was an activity that she was most proud of.  Shelbi says, “We were able to administer vaccinations to children and educate both children and their parents about health.  The experience helped me see the healthcare field from a different perspective and also helped me realize that despite imperfections present in certain aspects of healthcare in the United States, in comparison with other parts of the world, we are very lucky.  The experience was also eye opening in realizing that health education is also tremendously important in promoting a healthy society, especially in the developing world.”  After graduation, Shelbi would eventually like to attend a graduate school for an epidemiology program.

Autumn LoweryAutumn Lowery has completed the Real World Edge!  From East Tawas, Michigan, Autumn is a clinical laboratory science major.  While in Superior Edge, Autumn is most proud of being a teaching assistant in the Clinical Sciences Department.  She says, “I was able to TA in over 10 classes during my 4 years at NMU.  I really enjoyed being able to teach other students what I know and help them grow.”  After graduation, Autumn hopes to be able to stay in the area and get a job at the hospital.

Regan LussierCongratulations to Regan Lussier for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A history major with minors in anthropology and sociology, Regan is from Kalamazoo.  She says, “One activity I am most proud of is the volunteer work I did during my study abroad experience in Australia.  I volunteered with the Conversation Volunteers program where I worked in areas where the environment needed to be cleaned up and did things like plant flowers and cleaned up garbage.  I am so proud of what I did with the program because I felt like I was contributing to help the country that I temporarily lived in.  I was also doing something good for the environment and created something beautiful in a place that was devastated by man.”  After graduation, Regan plans to go back abroad to work in an international setting where she can put the skills that she learned in college to good use.

Kristina MattsonCongratulations to Kristina Mattson for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A secondary education – mathematics major, Kristina is from Negaunee.  Her favorite activity was participating in the Upward Bound Math Science program.  She says, “I was the resident director, a resident mentor, and the mathematics tutor.  I am most proud of this activity because I gained experiences in citizenship, diversity, leadership, and the real world.  I learned a lot from this experience that has helped prepare me for my future as an educator.”  After graduation, Kristina plans to further in education by pursuing a master’s in educational administration while teaching mathematics in a public middle school or high school.

Linsey McVickerLindsey McVicker has completed the Real World Edge!  From Petoskey, Michigan, Lindsey is an elementary education major with a focus on language arts.  Lindsey is most proud of participating in NMU’s Relay for Life.  She says, “I was the team captain for my residence hall.  I am proud of this because together my team raised a total of $250 for the fight against cancer! Relay for Life promotes exercise and brings the NMU community together to raise money for the American Cancer Society.   At last year’s Relay, NMU set a new school record!  We raised $28,342.  That is the most fundraised in the 10 years the event has been happening on campus.”  After graduation, Lindsey plans to move back to Petoskey to substitute teach.

Kathryn MeyersKathryn Meyers has completed the Real World Edge!  She is a biology major with a minor in French and is from Galesburg, Michigan.  Kathryn is most proud of being a vetling for the UP 200 Dog Sled Race.  She says, “From this event I gained a lot of experience with handling and working with animals.  It is from this experience that I realized my true love for animals and how I want to help them.  I also got to meet and get to know a lot of different people that I wouldn’t get to know otherwise.”  After graduation, Kathryn plans to work at a microbiology lab or company and gain some experience before she applies to graduate school for either epidemiology or food microbiology.

Carly MooreCongratulations to Carly Moore for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Carly is a language arts elementary education major.  Carly says, “My favorite activity was the volunteer project in Ireland.  I started out the helping in Irish schools.  I was able to connect with the community and see how Ireland’s school system functioned.  The students were super interested in having a foreigner in the classroom.  Also, the sites I was able to visit were breathtaking.”  After graduation, she plans to substitute while looking for her first full-time teaching position.

Michele OwensMichele Owens has completed the Real World Edge!  Michele is from Escanaba and is an elementary education with a math and science major.  She said that she is most proud of the Elementary Education Math Club created a new event called Math Day at the Peter White Library.  Michele said, “This was a great event for children in the Marquette area because they got to learn that math can be fun.  The students played games and did math activities.  The children had a blast.  I am proud of the club because we were new and wanted to create an event so we could get our name out.  I am also proud that our club came up with the ideas on our own.”  After graduation, Michele plans to substitute in the Escanaba area unless a job opens up.

Nichelle Paquette-ChristensenNichelle Paquette-Christensen has completed the Real World Edge!  From Marquette, Nichelle is an elementary education major with focuses in social studies and integrated science.  She is most proud of being a part of College for Kids on campus.  Nichelle says, “I was really able to put myself to the test, and I definitely came out on top.  I spent three hours teaching kids all about plate tectonics, rocks, and fossils.  I absolutely love teaching and education and this experience helped cement my passion for the profession.”  After graduation, Nichelle will be subbing in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Megan PierreMegan Pierre has completed the Real World Edge!  She is a clinical laboratory science – diagnostic genetics major from Yorkville, Illinois.  Megan is most proud of completing her internship in the Cytogenetic Laboratory at Marquette General Hospital and gaining the confidence that chose the right career.  After graduation, she will be taking a little break before she begins her job hunt.

Neil PogleseCongratulations to Neil Poglese for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  From St. Johns, Michigan, Neil is a biology/human physiology major with a minor in chemistry.  Neil says, “The activity that I am most proud of since coming to NMU has been my involvement in Dr. Ottem’s neuro lab.  This experience has given me a deep understanding of the chemical and cellular pathways responsible for neuromuscular development and disease development.  I gained a sound foundation in laboratory practices and techniques to assist in development and implementation of research protocol.  Additionally, I have gained experience in clinical based procedures that will be beneficial to my future profession.  My involvement has had a direct contribution to the scientific community in helping better understand and develop treatments for persons afflicted by neuromuscular diseases.”  After graduation, Neil will be continuing his education at Central Michigan University to complete the master’s of physician assistant program.

Kimberly RandolphKimberly Randolph has completed the Real World Edge!  From Jeddo, Michigan, Kim is a wildlife management major.  She says, “Working for the Department of Natural Resources as an explorer guide for Lakeport State Park was one of the most influential experiences I’ve had in my college career.  Not only did I get the opportunity to connect today’s youth to the outdoors, I was also able to improve my communication skills and explore all of the other career opportunities within the department.  My time working with the youth was enjoyable and eye opening.”  After graduation, Kim will be applying for the Michigan DNR Conservation Officer Academy, the National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ashleigh RogersCongratulations to Ashleigh Rogers for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  Graduating as a secondary physical education major from Flanagan, Illinois, Ashleigh is most proud of her volunteer trip to Ireland.  She says, “The most rewarding part of the trip was volunteering in the Montessori because the kids were so nice and we played through learning every day.”  After graduation, Ashleigh plans to find a job in Michigan.

Rebecca SmolarekRebecca Smolarek has finished the Citizenship and Real World Edges.  Rebecca’s major is elementary education with a mathematics major and an integrated science minor.  She is from Shelby Township, Michigan.  Rebecca says, “I am most proud of my K-3 lesson experience, where I developed different lessons for each grade.  It taught me an awareness of finding the timing of different lessons, as well planning and reflecting on how I taught the lesson and how the students responded to it. I have found more confidence in my lesson planning and teaching, finding that I have strengthened in my skills and can take lessons one step further as time went on.  This opportunity gave me a new appreciation for the students ranging in K-3 grades.”  After graduation, Rebecca will be looking for a teaching position and will be subbing in the meantime.

Congratulations to Danielle Thoune for completing all four edges for the Superior Edge!  A Marquette native, Dani is an art and design: ceramics major.  She is most proud of her time in Prague, Vienna, and London through the YMCA European Festival.  Dani says, “I participated in leadership training with youth from across the world.  I made connections that will last a lifetime.  I met people that want to change the world.  They want to help make things better for our generation.  By connecting, we are taking the first step towards that change.”  After graduation, Dani will take a few months off and will return in the fall to work on a master’s in psychology.  She hopes to eventually work with troubled youth and utilize her art background to teach art therapy.

Carolyn TrelaCarolyn Trela has completed the Real World Edge!  After graduation, Carolyn will be moving back to her hometown.  She will be working and looking or career opportunities while preparing for the birth of her first child that is due in April!