For the week of August 27, 2007

From the Academic Mall

Pretty near perfect weather for the start of the fall semester on the campus of Northern Michigan University today. Those lucky enough not to have a Monday class can be found at the beach. We may finally get some much-needed rain over the next few days as scattered storms are in the forecast.

Here's a look at Fall Fest on the Academic Mall today. More than 100 local businesses and student groups including the NMU Alumni Association, took the opportunity to pass out information on programs and services.

President delivers convocation address

Future transformation was the dominant theme of Northern Michigan University President Les Wong’s fall convocation address to faculty and staff on Wednesday, August 22. His annual speech ushers in the new academic year at NMU.
Wong said he has been working with the President’s Council, an advisory body he meets with regularly, to develop “NMU’s Roadmap to 2015.” He described it as a tool to discuss what is being done, when, by whom, toward what goal and at what cost. Wong said recruiting, retaining and graduating students remain the top priorities.
“There is a national, statewide and Upper Peninsula demographic cliff for the traditional college-aged student population,” he added. “In the U.P., we believe we start to experience that drop possibly as early as 2009, but certainly by 2010.  We must offset that change by drastic changes in our recruiting – already under way – but also possibly to our academic offerings or how we offer courses to those new population groups.”
Other elements of the roadmap include striving for even more innovation in all university processes and “continuing to fulfill our civic duty and promote the interests of our campus, our area and the entire U.P.”
Wong said Northern has managed to create a future while the economic condition of the state has eroded. Despite the budgetary challenges, Wong said the campus community this year must begin to confront one of the most complicated issues of his presidency: defining a “library of the future” for Northern. Wong said the discussion must begin now so that a plan is in place before funding becomes available for the renovation of the Edgar L. Harden Learning Resources Center.
“What should our new library look like, what should it have in it and how can we build it so it remains a highly functional facility 20 years later? … With our talent, our IT infrastructure and notebook computers, we must begin to think and talk about NMU’s library of the future. The tradition and power of reading won’t change, but the nature, scope and challenge of managing information in meaningful ways will—it’s doing so already.”

The full text of the convocation speech is available here.

NMU Police Academy holds graduation ceremony

Northern Michigan University's Regional Police Academy held its graduation ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 22. The 18 recruits received certificates of completion. The recruits are from Michigan and Wisconsin.
The academy consists of 16 weeks of training that covers a curriculum set forth by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MICOLES). For more information regarding the NMU Regional Police Academy, please call Leonard Dawson at 906-227-1408.

New programs debut

Several new academic programs are being offered at Northern this fall. Students may now pursue associate of applied science degrees in radiography, respiratory therapy and surgical technology; a certificate in plastic injection technology; graduate-level certificates in criminal justice management, facilitated training and performance improvement; a post-master’s nursing educator certificate; a bachelor’s degree in loss prevention management; and a master’s degree in experimental psychology.
Loss prevention management is Northern’s first completely online bachelor’s degree program. According to criminal justice professor Bob Hanson, it had been in the planning stages for several years. But because the primary market is non-traditional students who work full time, implementation had to wait until technology made it possible to deliver the program in a strictly electronic format.
“We worked with our advisory board to identify essential courses,” Hanson said. “Based on that, we identified content experts from across the United States to work with faculty here to deliver classes. From what we can tell, this is a unique program in terms of the specialized audience it targets. We identified a niche – people already working in the loss prevention field whose upward mobility is limited because they don’t have a degree – and worked to develop something tailored to their needs. Target recently became the first retailer to require employees in its asset protection division to hold a bachelor’s degree.”
The national advisory board includes representatives of Target, along with Shopko, Lowe’s, Sears, Walgreens, Game Stop and other retailers representing more than $100 billion in sales. As of this week, 17 students had been accepted into the program this fall and another 20 are in some stage of the application process. Only one hails from Marquette, which shows the far-reaching recruitment potential.

Three NMU students head to Stratford

Dornquast Scholars, from left to right: Shauntaia Rogers, Tony Paquette, professor emeritus Robert Dornquast, and Kelly Passinault.

Three Northern Michigan University students were in Stratford, Ont. for the better part of a week to see plays and meet with theatre professionals. All of this is courtesy of retired NMU Communications and Performance Studies professor, Robert Dornquast. Thanks to his generous endowment, the trio has tickets to four shows, lodging and transportation.
Seniors Tony Paquette, an accounting/financial planning major from Marquette, and Shuantaia Rogers, a political science/pre-law major from Brownstown/Rockford, along with graduate theatre major Kelly Passinault from Christmas.
The three saw The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Oklahoma! and King Lear on the various Stratford stages. They will also get a backstage tour of the theatre itself, and meet actors and designers in an informal setting.
"This is my first opportunity to see several professional productions," said Paquette. "And it's Stratford! Watching four plays in the space of several days will be an unbelievable experience."

Wildcat sports update

Bob Laughna

Bob Laughna '69 has been named head coach for women's swimming and diving. Laughna is no stranger to NMU as he has been associated with the women's swim team for over 20 years. He has been a volunteer assistant and was interim head coach for the 2002-03 season.
The NMU women's soccer team ran its record to a perfect 2-0 with a 3-0 win over UM-Crookston, Sunday, Aug. 26. With the win, the team captured the Holiday Inn express Tournament in Bemidji, Minn. NMU will be in action again at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3 for its home opener against Lewis University.
The NMU volleyball team suffered four losses at the Concordia-St. Paul Tournament last weekend. First-year head coach Dominic Yoder said his young team played hard and aggressive. "This is something to build on," said Yoder. NMU will play at the North Dakota Fall Tournament this weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1).

Rugby reunion scheduled for Labor Day Weekend

The annual NMU rugby reunion will take place in Marquette, Sept. 1-3. Events include a social and alumni rugby match.
For details, contact Steve Nemeckay '90 at

From the Email bag

Kate (Marston) and Brian Cleven '91 are proud to present a fourth generation Wildcat in our family, Philip Lee Cleven, class of 202_? He was 6 lbs., 4 oz. and measured 18.5 inches. He was born on August 6th, the same birth date as his grandfather, Philip Cleven '65. C.E. Cleven '50 is proud of his first great-grandson."
Brian Cleven '91
Severna Park, Md.

"Just got back from my annual trip 'home' to Marquette. Reading 'What's New, NMU?' today and as usual, it's loaded with good info. Was not able to get to the 6th floor, but was across the street at the NMU Bookstore. Had two grandchildren selecting NMU apparel and yes, I got my 10% discount! 'Horizons'? Read it on the way up to Marquette. Shamrock? While the family was shopping at Getzs, I stopped by and talked to a construction worker who let me know of the soon-to-be 'Chop House'. Will try it next year."
Paul DesJardins '71
Richmond, Va.

"You know you're getting old when half the buildings on campus are named after professors that you had. It's still wonderful to get news from NMU. Living at the old Theta house on Arch Street, the North End was a long walk so our favorite hangout was the Tip Top. Of course, Flanigans was also a favorite, especially on St. Patrick's Day. Standing in line at Home Depot recently, I spotted a man with a 'Say ya to the U.P., eh' shirt. Turned out we were both 1955 graduates. What a small world. Keep up the good work."
Don Balzarini '55
Prescott, Ariz.

"My curiosity about the landscape change with the flood, and a family gathering in the Northern L.P., made me make it to Marquette for the first time since 1988. Amazing how things change. Not just due to the flood, but development, also. Nobody sells moccasins or smoked fish on the roadside. It's all casinos now. I enjoy the Monday updates from campus. Thanks."
James Vass '87, '88
Waterford, Mich.

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