Dear Alumni and Friends,
What a fall semester it has been as we continue to work to protect Northern from any significant COVID-19 outbreak. Fortunately, NMU has had a very low positivity rate of about 1 percent. All the work we did to prepare for a safe in-person semester seems to be paying off.
We continue to test regularly, evaluate the ever-changing situation, adjust our actions as needed, and be proactive in our efforts to mitigate this dangerous virus, even when that means making hard decisions. I am so proud of how the campus has responded and am especially proud of the actions of our students. You can follow NMU’s COVID-19 numbers on our online dashboard at nmu.edu/safe-on-campus. You may recall, we began the semester early (Aug. 17) and are now nearing its close (Nov. 24). We plan to begin the winter semester one week later, on Jan. 19, and end as originally scheduled on May 1.
Health and wellness have been two topics that have dominated our discussions and actions this year, but not all of that attention has been strictly COVID-19 related. In July, Northern formally launched its new Center for Rural Health. The goal of the center is to serve as a conduit for regional coordination of effort for improving the health and wellness of Upper Peninsula residents through education and leveraging of the region’s resources. In this issue of Northern Magazine, you will meet several alumni who are involved in U.P. health initiatives, as well as be introduced to NMU programs that are also advancing wellness causes. We have big ideas about growing Northern’s role in this arena, which we believe will also enhance and expand outstanding hands-on learning opportunities for NMU students.
True wellness, however, goes beyond the physical. The pandemic has demonstrated our physical human vulnerabilities and connectedness, but it has also helped to illuminate social inequalities, moral dilemmas and issues of social justice. Social inequality is long overdue for deep and thoughtful discussion and subsequent action in our country, our communities and certainly here on the Northern campus. The pages ahead will highlight some NMU individuals who are already busy tackling these complex issues. As we grow this conversation at Northern, I hope you, our alumni and friends, will be a part of the dialogue to help Northern develop the type of actions that bring about meaningful, necessary and lasting change. Please feel free to share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support. Best wishes for a healthy and safe fall and winter.
President Fritz Erickson
Northern Magazine, Fall/Winter 2020, Vol. 110, No. 1
- Expanding Understanding and Equity
- Metaracism: Explaining the Persistence of Racial Inequality
- Reading Radical
- NMU Days 1967
- NMU Rural Health Center Strengthens Connections, Outreach and Education
- Improving Tribal Health
- Aging with Care
- Reaching Farther