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.
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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.
Innovate Marquette SmartZone has expanded its project management team with the hire of new Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator Catherine “Cat” Stenberg. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in May with a degree in marketing and considers herself an Upper Peninsula transplant.
Northern Michigan University English professor and visual artist Russell Prather is the 2020 Peter White Scholar Award recipient. The funding will enable him to create new works, participate in three solo and three group exhibitions, deliver a scholarly paper and complete a two-month artist's residency.
May. 13, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University has announced the cancellation of all on-campus camps, clinics and non-NMU course activities that were scheduled to take place through July 31. Full refunds will be automatically processed for participants who previously registered for these activities.
May. 8, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University will implement three types of employee furloughs—voluntary, five-day and continuous—to counter a projected $8 million or more budget shortfall related to the COVID-19 crisis. The plan will remain in effect through July 31.
May. 8, 2020 —
Northern Michigan University will provide emergency grants of up to $700 to eligible students who have been financially strained by the COVID-19 crisis. NMU is using its share of the recently approved CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund monies for this purpose. The application period ends May 25. The grants will be awarded after that date.
Northern Michigan University has been named a “Gold-level Veteran-Friendly School” by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The program recognizes academic institutions committed to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students with gold, silver or bronze status, based on their services and programs.
May. 7, 2020 —
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is accepting nominations for the 2020 Upper Peninsula Folklife Awards through June 1. The annual awards honor individuals and organizations for their notable efforts in preserving and promoting the folk culture of the region.
It began with an isolated request months ago, but has expanded into a meaningful mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. On most days since the “stay home” order was implemented, recently retired music teacher and NMU alumnus Chris Charboneau ('93) has posted a video of himself playing a different song on the piano—and frequently singing along—for his Facebook friends. The activity gives him a sense of purpose and allows him to channel his creativity in a way that boosts others' spirits during socially isolated, uncertain times.
Recent NMU graduate and Michigan Army National Guard Sgt. Adam Szabo is one of six soldiers delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to county seats in the Upper Peninsula for distribution to those in need. He is an automotive logistics specialist with the 1431st “Sappers” Combat Engineers in Calumet.
May. 4, 2020 —
The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center recently received a gift of $25,000 to create a new multi-media web project based on the relationship between the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University. The website will feature expansive content detailing how the U.P. defined NMU and, in turn, how NMU helped shape the future of the Upper Peninsula.
A number of NMU academic departments are celebrating their graduates virtually, in lieu of the university's formal commencement, which was postponed by COVID-19. Two examples are the School of Nursing, which will hold an online BSN ceremony on Friday, May 8; and the Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (EEGS), which offered a live-stream ceremony May 1.