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Fueled by a desire to honor his parents, NMU alumnus Ron Sarchian (BS '87) has set seven Guinness World Records and plans to pursue more this summer. The former Wildcat football player punched a heavy bag for 50 hours, nine minutes. He also split 42 watermelons with a karate chop in one minute on the "Today" show. The industrial technology grad worked seven years for Boeing in Seattle before moving to Southern California to be an actor, stuntman and personal trainer to the stars.
The south wing of the University Center was gutted after a demolition kickoff event last week, launching the first phase of the building's renovation. The book store previously relocated to the Peter White Lounge and West Hall and the North Wind Office to Gries Hall to accommodate reconstruction. The first phase is scheduled for completion in April 2019. Renovations to the Great Lakes wing will begin April 2019 and be completed in August 2019.
NMU engineering design junior Jordan Walker-Jenkins recently competed in Canada's largest yo-yo competition to see how he stacks up against the best "return-top specialists." A resident of Brimley, Walker-Jenkins has retained his Canadian citizenship, which made him eligible to compete in the country's national championship. While he did not advance to the finals, a video of his preliminary round is impressive and supports his contention in a sootoday.com feature that “Modern yo-yo-ing isn’t just like, do walk the dog and then maybe rock the baby on stage. It’s a lot more intricate.
Recent MFA graduate Amy Smith will guest edit an upcoming edition of "Stirring" literary journal, which revolves around a theme: Hot Mess. The poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction Smith selects for publication will celebrate "fantastical failures that we can’t look away from, moments when steering into the skid is the best decision.
After retiring briefly in January, NMU graduate Linda Opsahl ('87 BSN, '97 MSN) has resumed her longtime role as a family nurse practitioner, taking her talents to UP Health System-Kingsford Family Medicine Clinic. Her nursing career has spanned 45 years, with the last 20 as an NP in the area where she grew up and her parents still reside.
John McNaughton (BA 1999) was recently affirmed as director of the Grand Rapids Public Library. He has 17 years' experience, most recently as director of the Romeo District Library in southeast Michigan, where he helped to create a Teen Services department, re-design the lobby to improve customer services and developed a new strategic plan. McNaughton previously served as director of the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library. He earned an English degree from NMU and his master's in library and information science from Wayne State.
Chris Standerford, director of the Northern Michigan University Seaborg Center, will take on an additional role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. He has been named the MiSTEM Network Regional Director for the Central Upper Peninsula. MiSTEM is a statewide educational system that works to improve students’ preparation for an evolving workforce.
Kate Hooper (BA 2010), a regional admissions counselor for Northern Michigan University, was awarded the Admissions Professional of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Association for College Admissions Counseling. She is based in Madison and works with prospective students in central and southern Wisconsin. Hooper earned her degree in public relations. She has worked for NMU for five years.
The WACAC award honors college/university admission professionals who exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college.
NMU students Breanne Wilmot (biology) and Lynnae Branham (environmental studies and sustainability) are assisting the Great Lakes Conservation Corps with a tree-planting project near Harlow Lake off County Road 550. The project is part of a Michigan DNR wildlife habitat project intended primarily for game species like white-tailed deer, with a potential trickle-down benefit for other species. Wilmot and Branham are featured in a "Mining Journal" article on the project.
NMU alumna Francie Krawcke is executive director of the Michigan Avian Experience, a birds of prey rehabilitation center located at her Columbia Township home, which includes more than 20 acres. After earning her bachelor's degree in interpretation and environmental education from NMU, Krawcke was a raptor educator or program director in Minnesota, South Carolina and Ann Arbor. To see an "Outdoor News" feature story on her work at her sanctuary, click here.