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.
Gabriel Thorburn credits his bachelor's degree in art and design from Northern Michigan University with helping to launch his career in animation post-production. He works for DreamWorks Animation as an online editor, collaborating on projects such as the Netflix series' Dragons: Race to the Edge and the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, which includes Trollhunters, 3Below and Wizards.
Passion doesn't require a back-up plan or have an expiration date, and it is especially powerful when used in the service of making a difference. Internationally recognized sculpture artist Kristine Poole shared those insights upon receiving her NMU Distinguished Alumni Award, and also contributed a piece of work to the DeVos Art Museum's permanent collection.
Joseph Evans of Marquette described how he made the journey from “undistinguished freshman” to a successful 34-year career in the domestic and international defense markets when he recently accepted his Distinguished Alumni Award from Northern Michigan University. He has worked with industry and government officials throughout Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
Water, sanitation and hygiene may not be captivating topics for conversation around the dinner table, but they are serious concerns in many parts of the world, including the United States. NMU alumna Nicole “Niki” Weber of Washington, D.C. has committed her career to addressing these issues through humanitarian service and education.