For the week of May 22, 2006

From the 6th floor

Talk about dreary. In the two weeks between newsletters it seems as if it has rained every day. The low pressure system that was expected to stall over the Great Lakes? Well, it certainly did. We've been on the receiving end of nothing but rain, drizzle and cloudy skies for days on end. It sure made everyone grumpy. Not only that, but it led to a lot of water issues-- flooding problems, mud slides and those types of rain-related issues--around the county. We're hoping for some predicted sunshine to hang around for awhile.

Superior Dome topic of conversation in Lansing

As you are aware, Northern has had ongoing discussions at university forums about ways for the university to reduce the square footage that impacts the university state funding. Examples include possibly leasing space to outside entities in facilities such as the University Center and the Jacobetti Center. Such a move would enable NMU to re-allocate significant dollars to other functions of the university and reduce appropriations per FYES (Fiscal Year Equated Student).
An innovative strategy explored by NMU and state legislators is for Michigan to create a state building authority in the Upper Peninsula that may include the Superior Dome. Word from Lansing is that a bill to this effect has been introduced. Legislative support for this idea has been bipartisan and well received as a way for NMU to reduce its per FYES costs. The NMU Board of Trustees is also supportive of this initiative.
Currently, the proposed legislation does not specifically include the Dome; it just allows for the creation of a state authority in the area. The proposal does indicate that the NMU president would hold a permanent seat on the authority board.
If the legislation is passed, a state authority would exist and the authority board would likely propose taking the Superior Dome under its domain. It is expected that NMU would be named the management agent of the facility, so the university and the public will see little change in day-to-day operations. Financially, however, the Dome, including its maintenance and repair costs, will become the responsibility of the State of Michigan, and not NMU.
A big benefit of this would be Northern's ability to then reduce its appropriations per FYES significantly. Rather than being noticeably above the average, Northern would drop closer to the average. The state is interested in having the Dome under an authority because legislators understand that the Superior Dome currently functions as much as a regional events center as it does a university facility. The Dome can easily be considered the U.P.'s conference center as it is the single largest events facility in the peninsula. Every region in the state has such a facility; the Dome is the U.P.'s.
The proposal is in the beginning stages of what will likely be a lengthy process.

Provost search suspended

The search for a new provost at Northern Michigan University has been suspended. Three candidates previously visited campus and met with the search committee. NMU President Les Wong made the decision to suspend the search after those visits. Dr. Wong told the campus community he felt each of those candidates were qualified, but none seemed to be the right fit for Northern. Late last year, Provost Fred Joyal announced his plans to step down as provost and continue at the university in a different position. Dr. Joyal will remain in the position until a new provost is selected.

Distinguished faculty awards presented

Recipients of the 2006 Distinguished Faculty Awards were recently announced. The recipients were honored at commencement for their "significant professional contributions to NMU and to their professional areas." Those selected include:
Michael Cinelli, Art and Design
Cinelli is a digital cinema professor and department head. He joined the NMU faculty in 1973 after previously teaching at the University of Illinois and Illinois Institute of Technology. He added the department head title about five years later. Cinelli has several film screening and production credits, and is a member of both the National Association of Art Administrators and the University Film and Video Association.

David Lucas, Physics
Lucas became part of the NMU physics faculty in 1986 after teaching at Michigan Technological University and in Rochester, N. Y. He was named department head in 2001. Lucas serves as the primary adviser for approximately 200 students interested in the medical, dental, physician's assistant or chiropractic fields.

John Smolens, English
Smolens came to NMU's English department in 1996 after teaching at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate fiction workshops, undergraduate creative nonfiction workshop, good books, and composition. He previously directed Northern's Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing. Smolens has published five novels, with another scheduled for release in 2007.


NMU senior receives Fulbright

Anne Chitwood, a 2006 alumna from Hersey, Mich., has received a Fulbright Scholarship for 2006. From October until May, Chitwood will serve as a teaching assistant in the Austrian village of Lienz. She will teach English as a second language to high schoolers. She is a French education major and German education minor and is currently completing her student teaching in Wisconsin.
"I'm ecstatic; this internship not only gives me the opportunity to develop professionally as a foreign language teacher, but also to speak German on a regular basis and learn more about the Austrian culture," Chitwood said.
The scholarship is sponsored by the Austrian-American Educational Commission, the Fulbright Commission, and Austrian Ministry of Education.

NMU combines golf school with fundraising workshops

Golfing is one of the most popular activities for networking, fund raising and relationship building. But some people are much less comfortable talking business on the fairway than in the office because they've never had an opportunity to learn to play the game. NMU's College of Business is offering "How to Pitch and Putt the Deal," a unique program that combines golf lessons with fundraising workshops.
The program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19-22 in Marquette. It includes three days of golf with professional instruction and playing time, a workshops on fundraising strategies led by NMU Foundation staff, a hotel stay, reception and meals. Cost is $795, or $495 without hotel.
"There are so many golf outings each year that provide valuable networking opportunities, but some people are reluctant to participate because they have never learned how to play," said Rajib Sanyal, dean of the NMU College of Business. "We are delighted to be able to offer a school to introduce the game to both established professionals and up-and-coming executives whose careers may benefit from their ability to network and negotiate on the golf course. It is designed to help them chip and chat with confidence."
The registration deadline is Friday, May 19. For more information, or to register, contact the NMU College of Business at 906-227-2947.

And speaking of golf outings...

Golf season is under way and the NMU Athletic Department has released its golf outing schedule for 2006. For questions about any of the events, contact the NMU Athletic Department at 906-227-2105.
June 5 NMU Hockey Wisconsin Alumni Open
Thornberry Creek Golf Course
Oneida, Wis.
June 17 NMU Football Scholarship
Links at Pinewood
Walled Lake
June 22 Golden Wildcat Club Outing
Marquette Golf and Country Club
July 28 Football Fall Classic
Red Fox Run Golf Course
August 31 Blue Line Golf Club Extravaganza
Marquette Golf and Country Club
September 9 Wildcat Mens/Womens Basketball Golf Outing
Wawonowin Country Club

East coast alumni plan golf outing

The inaugural Ron Burton Golf Classic will take place Thursday, June 15 in Wayland, Mass.
The golf outing raises money for the Ron Burton Scholarship at Northern Michigan University. This scholarship is given to a graduate of the Ron Burton Training Village who chooses to attend Northern. The Training Village is designed for young men ages 11-17 in the Boston area.

Ron Burton Golf Classic
Thursday, June 15
10 a.m. Shotgun start, scramble

All East coast area alumni are invited to take part.

For registration information, contact Bill Brodeur '60, (508) 760-4844 or
Or Len St. Jean '72, (781) 344-1434 or

Fun stuff we found while digging around in old files

We've been doing some spring cleaning the past several weeks and have come across some fun odds and ends, including a large file folder of old photos from past issues of Horizons. While many of the photos have identities on the back, several, including this one, did not. It looks like it's probably mid-to-late 70s. Know anyone?
Another fun item we found: this poem composed by E.E. Roberts in 1909, on leaving the Northern State Normal, now known as Northern Michigan University. I thought it was appropriate to include it, seeing as commencement was earlier this month.

A Northern Poem

O, Normal Halls! We greet thee
Amid the Pines so tall
Though are a lasting monument
God's blessing on Thee fall.

Thy walls of stone stand boldly
Against a sky of blue
As bulwarks of a might ship
When coming into view.

So like the staunch sea vessel
May those that look on thee
Remember 'twas thy cargoes' wealth
That made me proud of thee.

May blessing of thy children
Forever on thee fall.
Here bring we wreaths of laurel
Farewell! O, Normal Halls.

A reminder from Student Activities...

The deadline for registration for June's Student Leader Fellowship Program Reunion is rapidly approaching. If you haven't sent in your RSVP, please do so by May 31st.

June 23-24

Student Leader Fellowship 15-year Reunion
Planned activities include a service project, campus tours, receptions.

Contact Cara Kamps

From the E-mail bag

Editors note: We received the following note from Carie LaFond '95. A month ago we shared with you a letter from Carie's friend Nancy. Carie had just undergone brain surgery to remove a tumor. In her note to us, Nancy asked alumni to send Carie notes of encouragement for her upcoming recovery. We are happy to report Carie is doing great.!

"I have really appreciated all the support from old NMU friends and the university. I received a note from Andrea Gommans in South Africa! It was great because she played volleyball when I was playing basketball and we had a few classes together. It really was nice to be reunited with old friends. The football guys who lived right around the corner also wrote. What a journey this has been...but thankfully Paul and I are able to focus on the many, many blessings we received throughout. Yesterday we saw Dr. Guthikonda for my first post-surgery check up. Overall, my Mom, Paul and I think the appointment was positive. The best part was when we went to the ICU to drop off a basket for the nurses and they were all shocked to see me up and walking in regular clothes! They saw me when things were the worst so to hear from them how well I'm doing was definitely a morale booster especially after hearing from Dr. Guthikonda that I need to be more patient. He did say that he sees progress with my eyes but I still need to use the walker and can't lift anything for at least 6 more weeks. I see him again on June 20 - hopefully at that point he'll say I can pick up my babies =) The biggest concern is still this "patch" in my brain and the absolute certainty that it is healed before I do anything that may cause it to leak again. Honestly, 4-6 more weeks in the grand scheme of things is nothing. My Mom has promised that she will get me home for May 25 - a special day for everyone in our family. It is our 10 year wedding anniversary, Jack graduates from preschool and Lauren turns 2 years old. It will be a very big day of celebrating!!! If things go well, I may stay home at that point because Paul is done with school on June 1.
I look forward to increased strength and hopefully being able to make the trip for Homecoming 2006!"
Thanks so much,
Carie LaFond '95

"Jennifer Church '97 and Richard Church (Payne Hall Director 1994-97) welcomed their son Zachary Bryce into the world on May 1, 2006 at Hartford, Wis. Jen was the graduate assistant in NMU's political science department and Rich served as assistant director of orientation during his summer months at NMU. We want to share our happy news with our Northern friends and family. We had to share a photo or two as well. Thanks!"
Rich and Jennifer Church
Jackson, Wis.

Don't forget, "What's New, NMU?" is on its summer bi-weekly schedule.
Look for the next edition to come your way, Monday, June 5.

"What's New, NMU?" is a service of the NMU Alumni Association. Consider joining today!