For the week of April 9, 2007

From the 6th floor

If you haven't heard by now, you must lead a pretty sheltered life; after all, we were on the Weather Channel just about every day for five straight days. Record snowfall fell across Upper Michigan last week. The National Weather Service in Negaunee measured 24 inches of snowfall on Wednesday (April 4) setting a new record. The snowfall total was the second largest 24-hour total in the office's history. Record snowfall followed by high winds led to blizzard conditions Wednesday and Thursday. For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, Northern Michigan University was closed for two days in a row. Much of Marquette County was shut down by the blizzard. In the Keweenaw it was even worse; Painesdale had a record 38 inches in a 24-hour time period. The culprit? Lake-effect snow showers created by cold Canadian air. By Easter Sunday, things had quieted with the sun making an appearance. Forecasters say the week ahead will be more moderate, but cooler with a chance of snow showers.
On a related note, scientists say Lake Superior is warming faster than the climate around it. talked with the scientists studying the lake. Read what they had to say.

State budget update

As recent news reports from Lansing emphasize the state's escalating fiscal crisis and potentially extreme impacts on state services, Michigan legislators are in the midst of a dual challenge. They must determine how to address the current year’s deficit – estimated to exceed $940 million – while also developing a FY2008 budget around a more ominous projected shortfall of $2 billion.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s second executive order for FY2007 was approved by the Senate last week and is now before the House. Its impact on higher education would include deferring one-half of the August payment to NMU until October to coincide with the start of the state’s new fiscal year. For NMU, the delayed payment amount would be $2.1 million. The executive order also proposes new accounting procedures for how universities fund MPSERS, but in its current form is not expected to directly impact benefits.

NMU President Les Wong is scheduled to give his Senate testimony on Northern’s behalf on Monday, April 23, in Ypsilanti.

Maki receives lifetime achievement award

NMU President Les Wong and Phyllis Maki.

Phyllis Maki of Marquette is just the second person in the university’s 108-year history to receive the NMU President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was honored at a dinner on March 24.
“This evening is not just about a special person, but it is about a special person who remains a significant force in the growth and maturity of our university,” NMU President Les Wong said. “I can not think of a single person who has given more to make this university so special. Not one.”
The citation recognized Maki for her tireless advocacy on behalf of her community and NMU. She has served the latter as a distinguished member and past president of the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees, an honorary alumna and – along with her husband, Carlo – a generous contributor.
The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1999 to coincide with Northern's centennial celebration and was presented to former Lt. Gov. Connie Binsfeld. It recognizes "men and women whose lifetimes are marked by a rich and enduring body of work in any number of endeavors that: enrich the human condition; ennoble the human spirit; advance a particular field of study, discipline or art form; exhibit service to the community; and serve as an inspiration to others."

NMU and Ironwood Plastics create new certificate program

Scott Stephens '91 of Ironwood Plastics is pictured in front of the machine during a presentation and demonstration at the
Jacobetti Center.

Northern has partnered with Ironwood Plastics on a new one-year certificate program in plastics injection technology that will be offered beginning this fall.
The company and its owners, the Stephens family, contributed a gift valued at about $125,000 to fund student scholarships, a plastics injection machine, raw materials to operate the machine and an instructor who will teach some courses in conjunction with NMU professors.
“This program will provide graduates with the knowledge and technical skills needed for entry-level employment in the plastic injection industry as a machine operator, maintenance technician or mold technician,” said Dr. Tom Meravi of Technology and Applied Sciences.  “There are good jobs with sustainable incomes in the U.P. in this field, including at Ironwood Plastics.”
The partnership is mutually beneficial. NMU has tailored a program that will draw more students to the university and train them on the same equipment they will encounter in the professional arena. In turn, Ironwood Plastics and similar companies will be able to maintain a qualified workforce.
Graduates of the plastic injection technology program will be guaranteed an interview with Ironwood Plastics. Meravi added that all of the courses are transferable to an associate degree in manufacturing technology-industrial maintenance or to a bachelor’s degree, if a student wanted to continue his or her education while working in the industry.

Haven't joined the Northern Network? You're missing the chance to connect.

"I attended the 2007 ACPA/NASPA Joint Meeting (Student Affairs in Higher Education Conference) in Orlando last week. Because of the Northern Network, I was able to meet up with other NMU alumni who were attending the conference. I posted a note on the Northern Network and alumni from around the country were able to get together at the conference. The Northern Network is a great way to stay connected."

Kris Day ''94
University of Michigan-Dearborn

NMU alumni who work in student affairs at universities from around the country met up at a recent conference in Orlando.
Shown in photo, front row, left to right: Kerry Wallaert '04, Southeast Missouri State, Kimberlee Monteaux '02, University of Vermont.
Back row, left to right:
Jessie Stapleton '02, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse,
Rachel Harris '98, Northern Michigan University, Jodie Filpus '00, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Kris Day '94, University of Michigan-Dearborn.
"I really like the InCircle community. It is nice in the fact that it is just for NMU people and not open to other schools. I have already connected with one friend from college who I hadn't talked to in a long time. It is much easier way to reconnect with old friends than the online communities that allow members from all different schools."

Becky Webber '05

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Thanks for stopping by...

Kent '78 and Barbara '77 Nettnay from Batesville, Ind.

If you are in town visiting, please stop by and say hello. The NMU Alumni Association is located on the 6th floor of Cohodas Hall.

From the Email bag

"The package you sent of NMU items arrived last week and I have already put up some of the posters. My students are curious as to how people live in the middle of great amounts of snow! All my stories to them about NMU are sanitized to protect my good standing in their eyes. Might get a few up to the U.P. in another 10 years. I attached a recent class photo. Thanks again."
Fred Fisher '76
San Antonio, Texas

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