NMU alumna Amanda Giracca, who earned a master's degree in English, has expanded her role with Literacy Network (LitNet). She joined the LitNet team in 2020 and most recently served as the organization's Grants and Communications Coordinator. She joins the staff full-time with the additional role of New Programs Coordinator.
When 1983 alumnus and NMU Foundation Board member Mark Pynnonen decided to retire from his Signs Now business in Negaunee Township, he transferred ownership to another member of the Wildcat family. Keven Hagans, who attended NMU from 2007-2010 and played football for the Wildcats, is the new owner.
NMU alumna Mia Cinelli recently published her first book, "Giving Type Meaning: Context and Craft in Typography." As an associate professor in the School of Art and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky, she engages with textbooks and resources surrounding the subjects of type and design. But she could not find a book that focused on the layers of meaning behind typography and answered her own question: “When we look at typefaces— when we look at words in the world and what they look like—how do we understand what they mean?” So she wrote her own.
Mike Oswald, a 2003 Northern Michigan University construction management alumnus and former Wildcat football player, has been promoted to CEO of Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors in Richardson, Texas. He joined the firm as a project engineer shortly after earning his NMU degree. His solid performance fueled rapid promotions through various leadership roles over the past 20 years. Prior to being elevated to CEO, Oswald served as chief operating officer, managing field operations for all divisions.
Wilbert Alik, a 2021 Northern Michigan University anthropology alumnus from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, recently donated a flag from the island nation in the northwest Pacific to the collection of world flags hanging in the Whitman Hall Commons on campus. After earning his NMU degree, Alik returned to his home country and became director of its Historic Preservation Office and the national historic preservation officer.
Northern Michigan University alumnus Geoff Parkhurst, who earned a master's in administrative service in 1995, was promoted to director of life cycle management at SRCTec. The not-for-profit research and development company “combines information, science, technology and ingenuity to solve ‘impossible' problems in the areas of defense, environment and intelligence."
Northern Michigan University alumna Doris Ranski-Zazula RN, MSA, is the new vice president of the Karmanos Cancer Network, which is part of McLaren Health Care and the largest cancer care and research network in Michigan. The 1983 BSN graduate provides oversight for several Karmanos locations in the Lower Peninsula.
Northern Michigan University alumnus Phil Gilchrist is the new executive director of Advancing Macomb, a nonprofit organization that convenes resources to solve community challenges and enrich the lives of Macomb County residents. His role involves program oversight, financial administration, strategic planning and execution, marketing and public relations.
NMU alumna Nanette Hanson, the 2023 Michigan State Teacher of the Year, was honored on the field before the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Jan. 8, and stayed to watch the Michigan Wolverines win the trophy. She is a first-grade teacher at Lemmer Elementary School in Escanaba. The recognition was part of the College Football Playoff Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers program.
Andy Contois, a 2006 NMU financial management alumnus and former Wildcat hockey player, will serve as an assistant coach for Team White when it faces Team Blue in the 2024 Chipotle All-American Game on Jan. 15 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. The game features 45 top prospects from the United States Hockey League (USHL)—the nation's only Tier 1 junior hockey league—who are eligible for the 2024 NHL draft.