SOS: Driver Responsibility Fee elimination is a great day for drivers

March 22, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– Secretary Johnson expressed her enthusiasm when Gov. Snyder signed legislation on March 2 to fully eliminate Driver Responsibility Fees.

“What a great day for Michigan drivers,” Johnson said. “I want to thank Gov. Snyder, all the lawmakers who voted for this and all the work my staff has put in over the years to get rid of this automatic double-penalty that was hurting hard-working Michigan families. Too many Michigan drivers lost their license because of Driver Responsibility Fees that didn’t promote public safety but did make it harder for people to pick up their kids from school or get to work.”

As a state representative in 2003, Johnson voted against Driver Responsibility Fees. As secretary of state, she has pushed for repealing the Driver Responsibility Fee law, successfully advocating that lawmakers eliminate the most common fees in 2011, create a community service option for certain fees in 2015 and begin phasing out all fees.

Driver Responsibility Fees are an additional fee automatically charged for various traffic violations, including non-moving violations, on top of regular traffic citation fines and court costs. Unlike traditional court fines and fees in which a judge can take into consideration a driver’s ability to pay and order alternatives, such as payment plans or community service in lieu of payment, the automatically assessed Driver Responsibility Fees cannot be waived or reduced by a judge.

SAYT Superior Arts Youth Theater Holding Auditions, March 23-24

March 22, 2018


-A Midsummer Night’s Dream Directed by Teagan Sturmer Majority of roles for grades 6-12, but some younger roles available!

-Charlotte’s Web Directed by Nathan Morgan Based on the classic novel. Majority of roles for 8th grade and under!

Date: March 23, 2018 – 5-7pm & March 24, 2018 – 6-8pm Callbacks: March 25, 2018 – 2-4pm

Place: Marquette Hope Connection Center, Wesley Room

Performances: May 17, 18 & 20 (no performance on May 19 due to scheduling conflicts)

You can audition for either (or both!) shows on either audition date. We are looking for performers and technicians ages preschool-12th grade for a variety of roles, youth design positions, and administrative leader assistants!

Sign Up for a Time

Fill Out the Audition Form

Come join us in the fairy-inhabited forest or on the Arable Farm! You can learn more about the plays and what to prepare for your audition on the SAYT website.

Click HERE and scroll down to learn more!

Lovells Establish NMU’s First Endowed Professorship

March 22, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– Northern Michigan University has received a $1 million commitment from an alumnus and his spouse to establish NMU’s first endowed professorship in the School of Health and Human Performance. The Mark R. and Eileen Lovell Professorship will focus on education, research and patient care related to concussions. Dr. Mark Lovell (BS ’77 Psychology) is internationally recognized for developing the ImPACT Test, the first and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. He also serves as a neuropsychological consultant for several sports organizations.

Lovell developed the ImPACT Test in the early 1990s. He later became founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Concussion Program, where his pioneering approach to concussion management attracted professional athletes worldwide. Lovell directed the first neuropsychological testing programs for the National Football League and National Hockey League. He continues to consult the NFL Players Association, NHL, U.S. Women’s Hockey team, U.S. Ski and Snowboard team, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Irish Rugby.

The gift, according to Lovell, represents the culmination of a 45-year relationship with NMU. He enrolled as a freshman in 1973.

“The goals of this professorship are two-fold,” he said. “First is the goal of highlighting the status of the university by attracting top-notch academic talent. The study of concussion is a rapidly evolving area and it is our belief that NMU can make an important contribution to this field, both nationally and internationally. In addition, it is our strong belief that all academic endeavors in the area of health care should lead to advancement in the day-to-day care of the individual patient. We therefore feel very strongly that this professorship will serve—through the training and development of new and innovative treatments—as a catalyst for advances in concussion management.”

NMU President Fritz Erickson said, “We are honored that Mark and Eileen recognize the top-caliber research, involving undergraduate as well as graduate students, that takes place on the NMU campus every day, and that they want us to continue to explore this field and other health care issues that can improve lives. What started 45 years ago as NMU faculty igniting Mark’s passion for research will live on for other Northern students through this generous gift from the Lovell family.”

NMU granted Lovell an honorary Doctor of Science degree when he delivered the keynote address at spring commencement in 2011. He also is a past recipient of the NMU Distinguished Alumni Award. Mark and Eileen previously established the Roberta and Robert Lovell Athletic Scholarship in memory of Mark’s parents.

“The professorship established by the Lovells will enable NMU to continue to add to the important work of developing the science about concussion injuries into the future,” said NMU Provost Kerri Schuiling. “We are learning so many important things about concussions: their causes, treatment and long-term impacts. The ongoing development of an evidence base for recognition and treatment of concussion injuries is critical and this gift allows NMU to be a part of this very important work.”

In 2012, ImPACT Applications created a fund to support master’s-level student research within what is now the School of Health and Human Performance. Lovell was chair and CEO of ImPACT Applications at that time. He currently serves as chair of the board and chief scientific officer.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director

Full story can be found at:

Alumni-Owned Business Honored for Wildcat Signage

March 22, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– Northern Michigan University alumnus Mark Pynnonen (’83 BS) has won two consecutive runner-up Project of the Year awards for signage and graphics work that his Signs Now Marquette franchise completed for Wildcat Athletics. The honored work includes large window graphics and backlit brushed-aluminum letters on the exterior of the Berry Events Center. Signs Now Marquette also completed a composite of signage and banners for various athletic facilities.

Pynnonen and NMU alumna Jennifer Bell (’10 BFA), Signs Now Marquette graphic designer, attended Alliance Franchise Brands’ February 2018 convention in Las Vegas, Nev. Signs Now Marquette’s staff is composed of several NMU graduates and students.

“I was surprised and happy to be runner-up,” said Pynnonen. “The banners and signage entered in the competition this year were large, especially those in the Dome that were 16 feet by 32 feet in size. The installation was the most challenging aspect of the whole process. Some banners were placed 50-feet up.”

The most recent Project of the Year submission included the following: two mesh banners for the soccer field; a new sign and logo on the soccer building; new Fit Zone entrance signs; composite team schedules posted on and off campus; team photos and schedules for most sports; and pole banners located around the athletic facilities. At the Berry Events Center, large banners were installed at the two main concourse entrances and graphics were added to the main ticket office and hockey locker room. In the Superior Dome, banners were installed near the end zones, in the main concourse and in the main tunnel entrances.

Signs Now Marquette is a franchise of Alliance Franchise Brands, which links more than 625 locations in North America and the United Kingdom. Alliance Franchise Brands hosts a yearly convention attended by franchises representing its sign and graphics divisions. Alliance Franchise Brands and Wide Format & Signage Magazine, a national trade publication, sponsor the Project of the Year.

Pynnonen also serves as president of the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Links to full-size images: 
Berry Events Center Graphics-

Soccer Field Graphics-

Superior Dome Banner-

Prepared By
Jill Vermeulen
Student Writer

Full story can be found at:

TEDx Event at NMU, March 24

March 22, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– The TED Talks Club at Northern Michigan University will host a TEDx event featuring eight regional speakers who will share their ideas and research on a variety of topics. It is scheduled from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24. While NMU’s licensing agreement limited the number of tickets available for the event in the Jamrich Hall auditorium, campus and community members are welcome to view a live stream on their own or obtain tickets for an overflow viewing in 1322 Jamrich Hall, which includes access to a reception with presenters in the University Center.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). Communities and organizations are able to coordinate similar experiences at the local level through the affiliated TEDx program. The NMU event can be watched via live stream at Overflow viewing tickets, which include access to the post-event reception, can be reserved at The individual talks will also be available internationally through the video clearinghouse.

Presenters and topics for the NMU event are as follows:

-NMU alumna Kaylee Laakso will share her insights on fake news, and how we can make more informed choices when it comes to selecting news sources.

-NMU graduate student Ryan Brandt will talk about neuroplasticity and expanding/exercising the brain.

-NMU Professor Jes Thompson will discuss changing the conversation around climate change.

-NMU alumna Emily Stulz will show how to be more authentic on social media in the post-college stage of “adulting.”

-NMU alumna Liz Peppin will explain how better understanding the mechanisms of pain can lead to more effective treatment of chronic pain.

-NMU student Abigail Zeman will make her case for removing “to be” from the English language, to be more honest and simple in our speaking. This version, also known as E-Prime, is similar to George Orwell’s “Newspeak” in his novel, “1984.”

-Nancy Langston of Michigan Tech will discuss conserving Lake Superior and the importance of that specific body of water.

-Kate Remlinger of Grand Valley State University will share what she’s learned over many years studying the Yooper dialect.

TEDx events are self-organized locally but subject to certain rules and regulations in order to be affiliated with the global TED umbrella organization. The NMU license restricts the audience in Jamrich Hall to 100.

“The Student Finance Committee is the primary funding source for this event, contributing nearly $7,000,” said Allison Opheim, TED Talks Club member. “Because the SFC is supported through the $35 activity fee every student pays, the 100 available tickets were reserved for students on a first-come, first-served basis. But recognizing how much interest there is in this event, we coordinated the live stream and overflow viewing in Jamrich so that everyone has a chance to watch it.”

Fix-it Friday at NMU March 23

March 22, 2018

Marquette, Mich.– Fix-it Friday at NMU’s Jamrich Hall Ticket Booth, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Two sewing machines and skilled volunteers will be available to do quick fixes on clothing, such as sewing a button back on or fixing a hole. This is an effort to promote a campus culture based on repairing, rather than throwing out. Order forms will be available for participants to describe their clothing, what needs to be fixed and an expected pick-up time. Any clothes not picked up by the end of the day will be donated.

Calendar – Benefits/Fundraisers – U.P. Honor Flight Pancake Breakfast in Escanaba – Mar. 25

March 22, 2018

Escanaba – The U.P. Honor Flight Pancake Breakfast will be held on Sunday, March 25 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UWS 2-21 Union Hall, 1201 Sheridan Road in Escanaba.

Sponsored by USW LOCAL 2-21 Women of Steel, the breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, coffee, orange juice, and milk. A free will offering will be taken to benefit the U.P. Honor Flight. A bake sale will also be held at the event. Meal deliveries will be available by calling 399-4195, starting at 6:30 a.m.