The Northern Michigan University Alumni Association is launching Northern Now, a monthly digital event series for alumni and friends. The series kicks off at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct. 14, with exclusive interviews featuring Heidi Voigt, head coach of NMU's swimming and diving program, and Grant Potulny, head coach of the NMU Wildcat hockey team.
Under Greg Toutant's leadership as CEO, Great Lakes Recovery Centers (GLRC) has expanded its scope and reach. In addition to its longtime role in addressing substance abuse, GLRC now provides a wide range of behavioral health treatment and prevention services throughout the Upper Peninsula. Toutant's role in that effort, combined with his active community involvement, have earned him Northern Michigan University's 2020 Alumni Service Award.
Per Utnegaard left his hometown of Oslo, Norway, to attend Northern Michigan University on a Nordic skiing scholarship. His willingness to venture beyond his comfort zone at a young age stoked his fascination with other countries and cultures, and served as a springboard to his successful career as a global transport and logistics executive. It also inspires his solicited advice for current students as a recipient of NMU's Distinguished Alumni Award.
Many college students change academic majors when they realize their first choice is not a good fit. Iron Mountain native Amanda Rosenburg took a handful of electives at Northern Michigan University to explore her Plan B options. It was a child development class offered by the psychology department that ignited her passion. Now Rosenburg works with Google to pioneer new ways to educate children in the digital age, which is especially timely and relevant in the context of COVID-19. The 2007 graduate is NMU's 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient.
As a biochemist working to develop new molecular methods for synthesizing treatments for drug-resistant cancers, Anita Mattson is combining the skill sets she developed at Northern Michigan University and in graduate school. Like her NMU professors, the Marquette native is also committed to involving undergraduate students in research. She leads the Mattson Group laboratory at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is the recipient of NMU's 2020 Alumni Achievement Award.
Two NMU alumni athletes have signed new professional contracts to advance their playing careers. Former Wildcat point guard Naba Echols (BA '19) will showcase his basketball talents in Croatia, playing for Košarkaški Klub Alkar (also known as KK Alkar). Veteran hockey forward and Marquette native Justin Florek (BS '14) has signed with the South Carolina Stingrays, the minor league affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears.
The North Country Trail Association (NCTA) recently honored two women with Northern Michigan University connections during its annual awards ceremony, held virtually this year because of COVID-19. May graduate Lynnae Branham received the 2020 Rising Star Award and Professor Emeritus Lorana Jinkerson received the Thomas L. Gilbert Lifetime Achievement Award.
NMU alumnus Martin W. Grosnick (BS '68, MA '76) recently won the grand prize in the Pangolin Photo Safari Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. His winning image, selected from 1,000 entries, shows a leopard basking in the subtle rays of sunrise on Kenya's Masai Mara. The Copper Harbor native's first serious foray into wildlife photography occurred at Isle Royale National Park. He served as the park's postmaster over four summers after high school and honed his camera skills in his spare time.
Aug. 21, 2020 —
NMU alumna Katelyn Gage has been promoted to a branch manager with mBank. She started with the institution in June 2019 as assistant branch manager of the Ishpeming Main and Negaunee locations.
Aug. 21, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University MPA graduate Michael Stelmaszek ('96) has been hired as the new Kingsford city manager, after filling the same role in St. Ignace. He previously worked as a Kingsford Public Safety officer for 25 years, including three months as acting director.