NMU Trustee and alumnus Steve Lindberg may be familiar for serving as Michigan's 109th District state representative for the maximum three terms, from 2007-2012. He also gained international media attention more recently for his retirement hobby of wildlife photography, by capturing a rare image of a three-antlered deer that was widely circulated. But Lindberg's previous and primary vocation was in education. He taught briefly in Wisconsin and at the former women's Job Corps Center at NMU before embarking on a 28-year career as a teacher and guidance counselor with Marquette Area Public Schools.
Having lived in Mexico at a young age, it is no wonder that Northern Michigan University Professor Timothy Compton took a liking to the Spanish language. In some ways, Compton followed in the footsteps of his father who was also a Spanish professor during his career. In other ways, Compton has paved the way for his own unique teaching career.
Northern Michigan University's Julie Rochester received the prestigious David Knight Award at the 2022 NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The award is presented yearly to an individual who has provided outstanding service to the organization. Rochester spent six years on the FARA Executive Committee, in capacities including D2 representative, vice president and president.
Northern Michigan University junior Luke Tschumperlin is enrolled in the Disney College program. He is working at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida until January while taking online classes at NMU. Tschumperlin is able to network with professionals throughout the Walt Disney Company, take part in learning and career development sessions, and live and work with people from around the world.
“Having grown up in Brighton, Mich., on a dirt road, getting my hands dirty was natural. Hard work is natural,” said Suzi Trdan, retail store manager of Starbucks and Sundre at Northern Michigan University. For Trdan, who is often smiling and eager to make connections with customers, hard work truly does seem natural.
This has been a year of milestones for Missie Holmquist of Marquette. In February, she was appointed by the governor to the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees, and recently played a role in selecting NMU's next president. This spring, she marked the 20th anniversary of both her 2002 graduation from NMU with a bachelor's degree in psychology and the launch of her longtime career with Upper Peninsula Health Plan, which she now serves as president and CEO.
For 31 years, Marquette native Steve Nystrom successfully used the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities he acquired while earning two Northern Michigan University degrees to successfully contribute to U.S. national security. He served in the U.S. Army during the Cold War, as a senior analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency, and as division chief and program manager with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Nystrom was selected as the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient based on his esteemed career and active involvement on behalf of the community and NMU.
Northern Michigan University 2003 alumnus Chris Mosier of Chicago is a trailblazing transgender athlete who has been a catalyst for policy change and a staunch advocate for inclusion in and beyond sports. Abiding by his motto, “Be who you needed when you were younger,” Mosier is a dedicated mentor to transgender and nonbinary youth, a highly regarded speaker and a leading grassroots organizer against the current wave of anti-trans legislation across the United States. For these reasons and more, he was selected as the recipient of NMU's 2022 Alumni Service Award.
Jim Paquette of Negaunee developed an interest in history and archaeology at a young age, in large part because his paternal grandfather instilled pride in the family's French Canadian-First Nation Métis ancestry and traditional lifestyle. As he grew older, Paquette wanted to learn more about his family's history in the region. He read and copied volumes of material from the library at Northern Michigan University, his alma mater, and began searching for and locating early cultural sites where various ancient stone and copper artifacts helped to reveal the story. This led to an avid passion for more discoveries and a partnership with NMU faculty, both of which continue today.
Stephanie Lay, who received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Northern Michigan in 2011, is this year's recipient of NMU's Outstanding Young Alumni Award. She provides crisis care to suicidal adolescents as a member of the behavior emergency response team at Children's Hospital Oakland in California. She also has a private therapy practice in nearby San Francisco, where she specializes in gender identity, depression, suicidal ideation and self-harm.