Alumni

Distinguished Alumni Award: Steve Nystrom

Sep. 30, 2022 —
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.

Alumni Service Award: Chris Mosier

Sep. 30, 2022 —
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.

Alumni Achievement Award: Jim Paquette

Sep. 30, 2022 —
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.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Stephanie Lay

Sep. 30, 2022 —
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.

Baltes is College of Business' Executive in Residence

Sep. 15, 2022 —
Northern Michigan University's College of Business will host NMU alumnus John Baltes as the 2022 Executive in Residence Sept. 27-29. He is the retired CEO of SVA, a multi-entity professional services company. Baltes will share insights from his 30 years of leadership and business strategy experience, as well as a strong data systems background, with the NMU and Marquette communities.

NMU Hosts Program on Farmer Stress

Sep. 2, 2022 —
“Mending the Stress Fence,” a presentation on managing the stressors faced by farmers and agricultural professionals, will be held at Northern Michigan University on Friday, Sept. 9. The presentation begins at 3 p.m. in the Northern Center Peninsula II room. It will be about 30 minutes in length with an open discussion at the end. 

Alumna's Nellie Bly Musical Premieres

Aug. 29, 2022 —
Northern Michigan University alumna Karen Saari was commissioned to co-write a musical titled Ten Days in a Madhouse, about journalist Nellie Bly's experience infiltrating a notorious insane asylum to report on the abhorrent conditions. The show had its world premiere Aug. 19-27 through Music Theatre of Madison in Wisconsin. The Upper Peninsula native said it was research for an NMU class assignment that sparked her lifelong fascination with Bly.