Two NFL coaches with Northern Michigan University ties will face off in Sunday's NFC championship game. Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who calls the offensive plays executed by Aaron Rodgers, served as NMU's quarterback coach early in his career (2006). San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, one of the league's prime head coaching candidates, was an all-conference tight end as a Wildcat (1998-2002) and graduated from NMU with a bachelor's degree.
Two NMU alumni were involved in a recent Upper Peninsula birthday celebration held at the Marquette Regional History Center. State Rep. Sara Cambensy introduced a House-adopted resolution commemorating Dec. 14 as the 183rd birthday of the U.P., while Mark Ruge gave a presentation on the “Frostbitten Convention” held on that date in 1836, which ensured that Michigan's boundaries would include the entire Upper Peninsula.
Despite a major assist from Mother Nature to accelerate the start of the ski season in this region, snow-making systems are critical to many ski areas. Alumnus P.J. Britz secured a job with TechnoAlpin, a global leader in the industry, with the help of NMU's ski area business management program.
NMU alumnus Brian Swift's parents were killed in 2013 when a logging truck—driven by a man with THC in his system—ran a red light and careened into their car. The Escanaba native channeled his grief into a personal crusade to keep drugged drivers off Michigan roads and spare other families from enduring similar, avoidable tragedies.
NMU alumnus Scott Crady ('19 BA) is taking his degree to new heights ... literally. He spends his days in the mountains of Colorado providing photo and video services for Red Bull and Adidas. Crady captures sponsored professional climbers such as Sasha DiGiulian (Red Bull) and Molly Mitchell (Adidas) while they're in their element.
NMU alumnus Greg Quayle of Champion was featured on the 'Today' show during a segment titled "Power of Gratitude: The Positive Effects of Giving Thanks." His daughter, Lindy, and wife, Linda, were both diagnosed with rare forms of cancer within five years of each other. During the televised segment, the women read letters to Quayle expressing gratitude for his love and support during their difficult times. See the introduction and full segment here.
Northern Michigan University alumna Jessica Betz took advantage of a collaborative program that allows students a seamless pathway from NMU's education specialist (EdS) degree to Central Michigan University's doctor of education (EdD). She recently became the first individual to complete the latter, as she successfully defended her dissertation titled “A Phenomenological Study of Remote, Rural Teacher Induction.”
When Northern Michigan University alumna Christy Sener Townsend (BS ‘11) shared a link on her Facebook page seeking book donations to stock her classroom library, NMU's School of Education, Leadership and Public Service answered the call with a shipment of young adult literature. Townsend is an English teacher at Springport Public High School in south-central Michigan.