NMU alumnus and former Wildcat basketball player Rod Coe ('58 BS) traveled extensively over his 26-year career with World Book Encyclopedia, before retiring as an executive vice president. His job put him in contact with NBA legend Bob Cousy, Mount Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary, “Mercury Seven” astronauts, First Lady Rosalynn Carter and others. Coe later formed an RV tour company. At 83, he continues to share his enthusiasm for travel, along with the knowledge gleaned from actually reading the encylopedias he sold.
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Northern Michigan University today donated 24 refurbished notebook computers to Norlite Nursing Center in Marquette, which has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the Upper Peninsula. All Norlite residents who have been isolated in their rooms since mid-March now have the technology to communicate with friends and family and engage in online group activities.
In "Wild Horses: A Crime Revisited," author and NMU alumna Susan Serafin Jess ('05 MFA) examines the 1967 case of a love triangle in lower Michigan that ended with a manslaughter conviction. Sarah Barclay had fallen hard for another woman whose husband became incensed and threatened her life. When he confronted Barclay forcefully one night, she shot him. Despite her claim of self-defense, she was convicted and died in prison only two years into her sentence, at the age of 26.
As protests in response to George Floyd's murder continued across the country, NMU President Fritz Erickson sent a campus-wide email earlier this week expressing solidarity in advocating for systemic equity in all sectors of society. He said Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jessica Cruz will take the lead in identifying “actionable strategies for moving forward and creating opportunities for dialogue” this summer and when classes resume this fall. Cruz shared her thoughts on recent events and the need for related campus initiatives in the following Q&A.
Three NMU education alumni have received accolades for their effective instruction. Jennifer Melero ('92 BS) is the Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year, Jeremy Connin ('05 BME) is the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association District 13 Teacher of the Year, and Nicole Sheltrow ('99 BS, '05 MAE) is Gwinn Area Community Schools' Teacher of the Year.
NMU alumnus Andy Herro will serve as Marquette County community bank president and commercial lender for Upper Peninsula State Bank when it expands with a new full-service location at the site of the former Burger King on Washington Street in Marquette. He graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
The Northern Michigan University Alumni Association hosted a live virtual event, Fireside with Fritz: A Conversation with President Erickson on May 20. More than 150 alumni from 19 states joined President Erickson for a fireside chat, as he shared campus updates, answered questions live and engaged with the Wildcat community.
Northern Michigan University Economics Professor Gary McDonnell was one of the featured expert panelists in a recent WalletHub piece comparing states' unemployment rates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He addressed the impact of the $2.2 trillion federal emergency relief package and the accuracy of a conventional measure of unemployment.
COVID-19 impacted instructional formats, with most universities initially shifting to online-only course delivery prompted by stay home protocols. It has also affected some college rankings, which now place more emphasis on distance learning options. Northern Michigan University is the only U.P. school in Michigan's top “Tier 1,” according to an Educate to Career (ETC) ranking adapted for the COVID-19 climate.
Four NMU alumni played pivotal roles in the creation of Disney-Pixar's Onward. The film's theatrical release was cut short by COVID-19, but its heartwarming premise and early availability on digital platforms have made it a welcome diversion for families self-isolating at home. Onward's story was inspired by director-writer Dan Scanlon's ('87 VOC) experience losing his father when he was only 1 year old and his brother was 3.
May. 19, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University, Peter White Public Library and the Marquette Regional History Center are collaborating on a project to document Marquette County's response to the COVID-19 pandemic for future generations. They encourage area residents to submit stories, images and artifacts that represent how the crisis has impacted daily life.
A consultant with 40 years of military and federal service in such areas as national preparedness and resilience planning, global health security and biodefense policy will help Northern Michigan University develop a strategic and comprehensive playbook for its return to face-to-face instruction this fall.
May. 18, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University has adjusted its fall semester schedule. Classes will begin one week earlier than usual—Monday, Aug. 17—and the semester will end shortly before Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The decision follows the university's previously announced plan to return to face-to-face instruction.
Years before COVID-19 escalated to a global health crisis, NMU English Professor Emeritus John Smolens wrote “Quarantine.” The historical fiction novel is based on an actual 1796 epidemic in a New England town, but its many parallels to the current pandemic—hoarding, profiteering, defying shelter-in-place orders—make it highly relevant despite the time difference.
Northern Michigan University's Continuing Education & Workforce Development is partnering with cannabis education and training leader Green Flower to offer non-credit online certificate programs beginning July 1. The four program options include the business of cannabis; cannabis agriculture and horticulture; cannabis law and policy; and cannabis health care and medicine.