UP200, Midnight Run, and Jack Pine 30 February 15-17

February 10, 2019

Marquette, MI – The UP200, Midnight Run, and Jack Pine 30 sled dog races will kick off on Friday, February 15th. The UP200 will begin at 7 pm, the Midnight Run will begin at 8:30 pm. The Jack Pine 30 will commence at 10 am on Saturday, February 16th.

For a full list of events throughout the week prior to the races and through the weekend, please visit the UP200 website.

27th Annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show and Ride

February 10, 2019

Naubinway, MI – The 27th Annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show and Ride will take place on Friday, February 15th – Saturday, February 16th. A breakfast sponsored by the Top of the Lake Communities Association will kick off the weekend at the Naubinway Pavilion from 8-10:30 am on Friday. For a full list of events, please visit the website.

The Mechanics of Music with the Superior Wind Symphony

February 10, 2019

Houghton, MI – The Superior Wind Symphony will present “The Mechanics of Music” concert on Friday, February 15th at 7:30 pm at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts in Houghton, MI. For more information visit the Rozsa Center’s website.

NMU Grad Helps to Shape Governor’s Vision

February 10, 2019

Marquette, MI – As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to deliver her first State of the State address, Northern Michigan University alumnus Mark A. Burton (’99 BS) is helping to formulate the vision for her administration and assembling the teams that will work toward achieving it. The Champion native was appointed the governor’s chief strategist in January. Burton appropriately describes his professional journey as rock climbing rather than ascending the rungs of a ladder. He has firmly grasped opportunities in front of him and nimbly shifted among different footholds in the political and advocacy landscapes.

“I’ve done a number of things inside and outside government with the goal of having a positive impact on the next generation and beyond,” Burton said. “But I’ve been very careful to engage in advocacy lobbying only for causes that I deeply believe in. That’s why I spent several years advocating on behalf of public education, which has been negatively impacted by funding cuts or legislation that diminishes its potential. That’s one side of the coin. The other is that I’m now working for a governor who wants to make up significant ground, whether it’s related to infrastructure and clean water or education and closing the skills gap created by years of disinvestment.”

After graduating from NMU, Burton earned a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law—an experience that included Oxford University’s Joint Programme in International Human Rights Law. His first job while at MSU was with then-Rep. Stephen Adamini, who later served as an NMU trustee. Burton worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation and later directed the successful 2008 statewide voter campaign that amended the Michigan Constitution to modernize stem cell research laws. He previously served as Whitmer’s chief of staff when she was Senate Democratic leader and rejoined her executive team after she won the governor’s race.

“When it’s early in a new administration, that peaceful transition of power kind of resembles a start-up company,” Burton said. “The new governor hires her own people and chooses a cabinet of directors who support the governor’s vision and represent the diversity of our wonderful state. My role is assembling the puzzle pieces for realizing her vision, not just on a day-to-day basis, but year to year and hopefully from the first term to a second term. The governor has articulated bold, long-term changes for moving the state forward. That’s all in the bailiwick of what I work on.”

Burton completed his bachelor’s degree in public administration at NMU in three years, thanks to dual-enrollment credits attained while he was a senior at Westwood High School. He fondly recalls building impactful and enduring relationships with NMU professors Brian Cherry and Steven Nelson, his adviser.

“It was a busy time for me with my credit load, but my professors made it enjoyable because they were always accessible, open and thoughtful in interacting with me as a student and watching my future unfold. That kind of mentorship and advice is what many students appreciate about Northern. I don’t know that they would have quite the same experience at other schools. I’ve been able to pursue a lot of different things off a solid foundation built at NICE Community Schools and Northern.”

Burton will give a campus presentation on the rural, suburban and urban dynamics of a number of policy issues that will be addressed in Tuesday’s State of the State. The event is scheduled from 3-4:30 pm Thursday, February 14, in Mead Auditorium.

Grant Will Help U.P. Math Teachers

February 10, 2019

Marquette, MI – Northern Michigan University has been awarded a nearly $300,000 MiSTEM Advisory Council grant that will incorporate the Add+Vantage Math Recovery program for Upper Peninsula elementary schools and provide related training for teachers.

There are three MiSTEM Network regions in the Upper Peninsula. Chris Standerford directs the central region that covers Marquette, Alger, Delta, Menominee, Schoolcraft, Dickinson and Iron counties. He also directs NMU’s Seaborg Center, which will contribute expertise to the grant-funded effort.

“Even though we led the writing of the proposal, this grant was a collaborative effort and is intended to impact the entire U.P.,” Standerford said. “What it means for school districts is that they will have an opportunity to send teachers to training in very close proximity to their schools at one of six facilitation sites. The workshop is offered in two parts, each spanning four days. It’s designed for elementary teachers, but also good for those in K-12 special education. We’re excited to focus on the elementary level because that’s viewed as a gateway. If we can help build confidence early, students will be less intimidated by mathematics later and will have greater access to STEM fields.”

Renee Jewett, STEM education consultant at NMU, explains the benefits of Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR):

“The program provides the tools needed to recognize students’ current understanding of numbers and focuses on data-driven instruction. AVMR provides the expertise teachers need in order to customize any commercial math curriculum for the individual needs of their students. Teachers are expected to differentiate their instruction to meet the diverse needs of all students, but many often do not receive the training to confidently do so in mathematics. AVMR addresses this need so teachers will feel empowered to analyze and modify tasks for whole or small group instruction.”

The MiSTEM Advisory Council was created by the State Legislature in 2015 to recommend high-quality programs for funding and create a vision for a statewide STEM strategy. It identified four pillars necessary to establish a well-equipped foundation for a statewide STEM educational network: create a STEM culture; empower STEM teachers; integrate business and education; and ensure high-quality STEM experiences. Standerford said that a heightened emphasis on STEM education benefits both students and Michigan as a whole.

“As this network evolves, there are talented, hard-working people from around the state coming together to reach a cohesive vision for STEM in Michigan,” he said in a previous release on his appointment. “Not everyone will want to pursue a STEM career, but everyone should have the opportunity to explore these areas, recognizing their individual talents and how these connect to the arts, career and technical fields, the social sciences and other areas in the K-12 system. Connecting business needs with STEM education initiatives will give Michigan the capacity to be a leader in the nation.”

Aside from the grant for Add+Vantage Math Recovery, Standerford said U.P. teachers have an opportunity to engage with an additional $1.3 million in MiSTEM Advisory Council funding for other U.P. and statewide STEM-related projects.

Exhibit Explores Technology at NMU

February 10, 2019

Marquette, MI – The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University will open a new exhibition titled “From Chalk to Light Boards: Technology at NMU.” The exhibition will feature dozens of artifacts, not only from the Beaumier Center’s collection, but from offices and storage facilities as well. A free opening reception with food and refreshments will be held at 1 pm Saturday, February 16, in the center’s Gries Hall gallery.

The Beaumier Center will also host a related roundtable discussion titled “NMU’s Laptop Initiative: 20 Years Later,” which will detail the process behind how NMU was able to provide each student with their own laptop computer. This event will take place at 7 pm Wednesday, February 20. Admission is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will be on display through May 2019.

‘History Hounds’ Program February 13 at Beaumier

February 10, 2019

Marquette, MI – The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will host a Historical Society of Michigan presentation titled “Murder and Mayhem II: True Crime in Michigan History.” This free History Hounds Lecture Series event, offered via teleconference from Lansing, features author Tobin Buhk. It will explore cases including the 1916 poisoning of the Peck family of Grand Rapids, murderer Helmuth Schmidt and Mary McKnight, the “Strychnine Saint.” The presentation begins at 7 pm Wednesday, February 13th, at the center in Gries Hall at NMU.

Buhk has written a number of related books, including True Crime: Michigan, about the state’s most notorious criminal cases, The Shocking Story of Helmuth Schmidt and Michigan’s Strychnine Saint.

City of Negaunee Regular Meeting February 14th

February 10, 2019

Negaunee, MI – The City of Negaunee will host their regular meeting on Thursday, February 14th at 7:00 pm at the Negaunee Senior Center. Details are pictured below.

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