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Connect Marquette Awards 2021 Tom Baldini Scholarship Recipients

Tiina Morin and Nina van den Ende were awarded the 2021 Tom Baldini Scholarship!

Marquette, Michigan – Connect Marquette is pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2020 Tom Baldini Scholarship: Tiina Morin and Nina van den Ende. Through years of involvement in the greater Marquette community, these two are making a positive impact on Marquette County and its residents.The Tom Baldini Scholarship was created in 2018 to recognize members of our community who have shown an interest in community and civic engagement. Tom Baldini, who passed away in 2017, was an active supporter of Connect Marquette (formerly 40 Below), and in the spirit of his unwavering commitment to Marquette County, the organization seeks to foster leadership and civic engagement among its membership by awarding this annual scholarship. The award also aims to develop award recipients’ leadership abilities, encourage engagement with the community and help to expand their networking opportunities.

The recipients will receive a one-year Connect Marquette membership, attendance to the 2021 Professional Development Conference and a ticket to one Marquette Economic Club dinner of their choosing.

About the recipients:

For over 25 years, Tiina Morin has worked to build community through arts and culture. She currently serves as the City’s Arts and Culture Manager, and in the last decade has facilitated the City’s first Arts and Culture Master Plan. This plan, and Tiina’s hard work, have transitioned the City’s Arts and Culture Division from a program-focused organization to a prized City institution, providing resources and services that strengthen our community.

Tiina led the development of the City’s first Public Art Policy, administers the City’s new public art program and led the public art component of the Father Marquette Restoration Project. That project was the catalyst for City’s newest initiative, a two-mile cultural trail along the shore of Lake Superior. Tiina recently received grant funding from the Michigan Native American Heritage Fund to interpret Native history and culture along this path.

Other projects have included the Halloween Spectacle, City Art Week and the recent Words to Live and Bike By public art project, in addition to an expansion of local Senior Arts Programming.

She serves on several arts and culture boards and is a founding board member and Chair of the Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture Alliance, serves on the Michigan Arts Access (MiAA) Board of Directors and Chairs the newly formed affiliate, MiAA-Marquette. She is also a Board Member for Friends of Marquette Public Art Commission.

Prior to working with the City, she served as Educator for the Marquette Regional History Center, where she designed the hands-on fur trade curriculum, working with local artisans and representatives of the local native community. Prior to that, Tiina was Education Director for the Swedish American Museum Center of Chicago and co-designed the Children’s Museum of Immigration. An active performing artist from 1991 to 2002, she co-founded Chicago’s first contact improvisation dance company, performing in venues including the Dance Center of Columbia College and the Chicago Cultural Center, and worked as an artist-in-residence in the Chicago Public Schools. Tiina received a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Michigan State University.

A proud Big Bay native, Nina van den Ende attended Powell Township School and Marquette Senior High School and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Nursing in 2008 from NMU.

Nina currently works at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, which we love, calling the Jacobetti staff an extension of her family. “They are an amazing bunch,” she writer. “They are my heroes.”

Prior to Jacobetti, Nina worked for more than 20 years at MGH, where she started as a gym attendant. She spent time there as a unit clerk, an LPN and an RN, with much of her time spent in the ICU caring for critically ill patients. She says that she misses her time there very much, especially now.

Nina is married to Hendrik van den Ende, who she calls “an amazing husband and father” and “my biggest cheerleader.” The pair have two children.

She enjoys running with friends, coaching and volunteering in the community (especially with kids’ sports).

Nina says, “This award is special for many reasons but even more special because my mom had Tom Baldini as a teacher and my aunt went school with him at NMU. My aunt and Tom became good friends. I met Tom several times but did not know him well, unfortunately. Most of the time, I would run into him at the New York Deli when it was located on Front St. That seemed to be his favorite lunch spot.

Connect Marquette was created in 2010 with professional development as one of their three pillars of excellence and mission. Connect Marquette hosts events throughout the year, focusing on topic areas that include networking, professional development, community engagement and leadership opportunities. To learn more, visit the Connect Marquette website at

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