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NMU launches seven new graduate programs

Northern Michigan University announced it will offer seven new graduate degree programs this fall. 

Some are on-campus and others are online; some are summer sessions and others are evening classes, to offer flexibility for students in various stages of their careers. They are: applied behavior analysis, clinical molecular genetics, educational administration, higher education in student affairs, master's of business administration, post-secondary biology education, and public administration

The applied behavior analysis degree focuses on learning to affect behavior change in populations like students, workers or patients. It takes place on campus with a summer practicum. 

Other on-campus programs are the MBA program, which comes in two flavors, behavioral or quantitative, and offers evening courses; post-secondary biology education, which prepares graduates to teach biology at the college level and includes a summer session.

Online classes include the higher education in student affairs degree, for those interested in student services at colleges and universities, which takes place in real time online courses. The clinical molecular genetics program also is online, but has a one-week on-campus lab experience at NMU and is one of the few programs of its kind in the country. 

Other online programs are educational administration, which prepares principals and leaders in K-12 schools; and public administration, which offers several concentrations like state and local government, human resource administration, criminal justice administration and public management.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Code Michigan will take place in Marquette this October

Code Michigan is coming to Marquette this fall, so software developers and coders in the U.P. will have a chance to compete close to home.

The civic coding event, organized by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, invites developers and designers to build mobile or web applications in a three-day event. At the end, cash prizes and the chance to pitch their app to investors await the winners. 

Apps and software should be designed to fill civic purposes like government transparency, citizen engagement, government efficiency, public policy, or economic development.

"Code Michigan is an exciting opportunity for civic-minded developers and designers to help reinvent Michigan's government by creating mobile and web apps for the public good," says David Behen, Michigan DTMB director and chief information officer. "I'm really looking forward to seeing what our competitors develop this year."

This year, Code Michigan will be held Oct 3-5 at three locations; Detroit, Newaygo, and Marquette, the last on the campus of Northern Michigan University. It's free to enter, but only 65 slots are open to developers at each location, so online registration is needed and can be found here.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Keweenaw Chamber has new executive director

The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director, Cheryl Fahrner. 

It's a return to the area for Fahrner, who worked for D&N Bank in Hancock about 20 years ago, and is an Ironwood native. She comes to the Keweenaw from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where she has most recently been regional corporate events director for the American Heart Association.

Previously, her roles include being the executive director of the Plover Area Business Association from 2001 to 2008. She has experience in economic development, business association operations and marketing, also having been marketing coordinator at Schwan's in Minnesota.

"We're really excited to begin working with Cheryl to implement her ideas for bringing greater levels of service to the business community," says chamber board president Glen Tolksdorf. The board has been overseeing the chamber for the past few years while it's been without an executive director.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce

Stephenson National Bank promotes two to VP

Stephenson National Bank and Trust now has two new VPS who were recently promoted. 

Greg Salmen will serve as executive VP and trust manager, while Charlie Cappaert will be senior VP and chief lending officer.

Salmen has been with the bank since 2002 and oversees the investment management and trust services department as well as account administration and new business development. 

Cappaert also joined SNBT in 2002 and has more than 25 years of banking experience in the region, including commercial lending, credit counseling and analysis.

"Their years of experience and hard work have greatly contributed to the overall success of SNBT, and they will continue to be integrally involved in all facets of the bank's operation as managers and leaders within our organization," says Daniel Peterson, SNBT president and CEO.

Stephenson National Bank and Trust has locations in Menominee and Marquette, as well as in Marinette and Oconto, Wisconsin.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Stephenson National Bank and Trust

Michigan Tech cuts ribbon on new Honors College

A new honors college program was inaugurated at Michigan Technological University this summer. 

The Pavlis Honors College will be home to several leadership and research initiatives designed to push students to excel, like the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership, which was founded in 2005 with a gift from both programs' namesake, 1938 chemical engineering graduate Frank Pavlis.

Other programs under the Honors College roof are the Honors Institute, the Research Scholars program, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and the Enterprise program. It also will house the office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships. The dean of the Pavlis Honors College will be Lorelle Meadows.

"The Pavlis Honors College will serve students university-wide, by providing an intellectual home for engaging educational programs in leadership, innovation, research and service," says Meadows. "The Honors College will instill in our students what Mr. Pavlis calls 'the plus factors,' those factors that encourage the unexpected in our students and inspire them to meet the University's vision of creating the future."

Pavlis founded the company Air Products and Chemicals in 1940 after also completing a master's degree in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. After a long career with his company, he retired in 1980, leaving it a global Fortune 500 company. In 2009, he received Michigan Technological University's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

New surgeon joins Dickinson Medical staff

Dickinson County Healthcare System has a new surgeon on staff, and his name is Dr. Jeffrey Kreyer.

Kreyer, who hails from the Chicago area, joins doctors Cecconi, Terrian and Donohue in the practice of general surgery.

Kreyer completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, earning a bachelor's of science degree in cell and structure biology and another bachelors in phsychology. He went on to earn a master's degree in biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His medical degree was earned from Southern Illinois University.

He went on to complete his five-year surgery residency at UIC Mt. Sinai in Chicago.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Dickinson Medical

Pepin on staff at UP Rehab Services

UP Rehab Services announced recently that the company has added to its staff with the addition of Jeff Pepin to their rehabilitation team. He will be working for Marquette General Therapies and UP Rehab Services and will be at Doctors Park Rehab Services in Escanaba.

Pepin brings experience in post-operative, sports and return-to-work rehabilitation as well as manual therapy. He originally hails from Gladstone.

You can find out more about UP Rehab by visiting its website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Rehab Services

NMU works with tech company to develop new pathogen test

Micro Imaging Technology announced the latest news from its ongoing collaboration with Northern Michigan University--a new test method for pathogens. 

Researchers and students at NMU will look into a pathogen sample preparation method that could shorten testing time for bacteria culture tests to just a few hours. The tests currently used have a culture growth time of 16 to 24 hours; the new method would improve MIT's testing methods and develop a completely new service to offer clients in clinical health and food safety.

At NMU, the project is headed by Josh Sharp, assistant professor in the biology department. His lab is using the current testing system developed by Micro Imaging Technology to work on the method, which would capture staphylococcus aureus bacteria more directly from samples for testing.

"If Dr. Sharp's efforts are successful, and we are highly confident they will be, this will be a major game changer since this new method can easily be extended to other significant clinical and food safety pathogens," says Jeff Nunez, president of MIT. The MIT testing system also identifies listeria and salmonella bacteria.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Micro Imaging Technology, Inc.

Portage Health home to two new doctors

Portage Health will be employing two recent graduates from the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program.

Six doctors graduated after three years with the residency program hosted at Marquette General Hospital this year; Mandeep Gill, Timothy LaBonte, Thomas Massie, Ashwaty Menon, Michelle Seguin and Tara Varoni.

LaBonte and Seguin, who both also earned their medical degrees at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, will make the journey to the Keweenaw to work with the Portage Health team. 

LaBonte is a Laurium native and will be returning to the Copper Country to work at Portage Health's Lake Linden clinic.

Seguin is an Iron Mountain native and will be serving patients at the Hancock clinic, focusing on outpatient family medicine.

"While we are sorry to bid farewell to these fantastic individuals, we are pleased that they will be utilizing their outstanding skills with their own patients, some right here in the Upper Peninsula," says Dr. Stuart Johnson, director of the program.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program

Stephenson Bank promotes Hofer

Sam Hofer has a few new responsibilities at Stephenson National Bank & Trust after earning himself a promotion recently. 

Hofer is now the assistant vice president and manager of financial advisory services for the financial institution. Previously, he was a financial advisor with Stephenson Bank. 

Hofer has nearly 30 years in the financial field. He joins Paul Aftanas, Maria Berlin and Karen Fehrenbach on the financial advisory services team at Stephenson National Bank & Trust. The team will be expanded soon with more financial advisors as the bank continues to grow. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Stephenson National Bank & Trust

Bay College hires digital technology coordinator

Bay College will be working on its digital presence with the addition of a new digital technology coordinator to its staff.

Shawn Curtin will fill that role at Bay College Library on the college's main Escanaba campus. He is an Escanaba native with ties to Bay already; he received an associate's degree there before completing a bachelor's degree in electronic imaging at Northern Michigan University. 

He also brings several years of web design, marketing and technical experience to the new job, which will include promoting the library's online presence, implementing and using new technology within the library to better serve its students and users, and managing social media.

"I think Bay College is such an important part of our community and I am thrilled to be a part of an institution working to serve students, the public and surrounding communities," says Curtin.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Bay College

MGH hires two new doctors from its recent class of residents

The Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program announced it has six new graduates--and what's more, two of them are going to be sticking around in Marquette, since they've been hired on at MGH.

The program offers residencies to a few physicians graduating each year from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine or the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, and has been doing so since 1978.

This year's graduating class consisted of Mandeep Gill, MD, Timothy LaBonte, MD, Thomas Massie, MD, Ashwaty Menon, MD, Michelle Seguin, MD, and Tara Varoni, DO, all of whom have spent the last three years in the Marquette residency program.

Massie and Varoni both will be staying within the Marquette General system. Massie, of Ishpeming, will join Sound Physicians and become part of the hospitalist team of physicians at MGH in Marquette. 

Varoni, of Manistique, will be a little closer to home, joining the staff at Doctors Park Family Physicians in Escanaba, which is also part of Marquette General.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette General Hospital

Biologist gets grant to research grain genetics

Grain crops are what feeds most of the world, but they're also one of the most complex plants as far as genetics go, making research on their characteristics difficult. 

A Michigan Tech biologist is working on a way to advance the study of grain genetics, with the help of a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant and colleagues at Kansas State University and the University of California at Riverside.

Guiliang Tang, who joined the Tech biology faculty in 2011, will head the project, which aims to undertake a three-year study of the key genetic processes for corn, rice, and soy plants. They hope to identify genes that can help agricultural scientists develop crops with higher yields and greater pest and drought resistance.

Tang plans to use a new technology he has pioneered that gives his team a way to block small snippets of RNA in the plants from acting. The tool, called a small tandem target mimic, should allow different genes in the plants to be expressed depending on which RNA molecules are blocked. Part of the grant also will fund workshops in which Tang will introduce that technology to students in other U.S. universities.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

Wattsson and Wattsson hires two

Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers of Marquette has two new faces in very notable roles as it announced the hiring of Dar Shepherd and Isaac Taylor to the positions of general manager and customer service manager, respectively. 

Shepherd is no stranger to Wattsson & Wattsson, having co-founded the store before leaving to run a small business consulting and development business. She brings with her plenty of experience in the business and will be responsible for store operations, inventory, marketing, and community relations. 

Taylor's position will require him to focus on improving customer service, something Wattsson & Wattson has always prided itself on. 

The store, which is located downtown on Washington Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers

Island Resort names Mancilla new general manager

The Island Resort and Casino in Harris has a new general manager who will be overseeing all the casino and resort operations, Tony Mancilla. 

He's sort of worked all the way around the position already; Mancilla has most recently been an attorney for the owners and operators of the resort, the Hannahville Indian Community, but he's also been co-chair of one of the resort's biggest annual events, the Island Resort Championship.

The championship is a professional LPGA-qualifying golf tournament held at the resort's Sweetgrass Golf Club each year on the Symetra Tour, and Mancilla was one of the driving forces bringing it to the U.P. in 2011. 

Mancilla will be in charge of keeping budget goals on track, managing operations and overseeing staff across the Island Resort and Casino. Besides the golf course, that includes a 24-hour-a-day gaming floor with slot and table games, five restaurants, private banquet and dining rooms, hotel accommodations, and weekly live entertainment.

"Working closely with Tony for many years, I've seen firsthand how his sharp mind, amicable personality and relentless work ethic directly contributed to the growth of our resort and success of the Island Resort Championship," says Kenneth Meshigaud, tribal chairperson. "I expect the Hannahville Indian Community to be gratified with their selection of Tony Mancilla for years to come."

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Island Resort and Casino
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