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The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Superior Edge sees increase in involvement

After five years of establishment, Superior Edge has over a quarter of Northern Michigan University’s students enrolled  this semester.

Superior Edge is a student development program that provides students with experiences in and out of the classroom that set them apart from other students with employers or graduate school admissions.  There are 9,273 students enrolled at NMU this semester, and 2,671 of those students are enrolled in Superior Edge.

“I’m really excited about the number of students enrolled,” said Rachel Harris, associate director of the Center for Student Enrichment and Superior Edge coordinator.  “I think it speaks a lot about our students on our campus.”

Natasha Gallagher, member of Superior Edge, is fulfilling an “edge” in Chiriqui in Panama, Central America. Members in Superior Edge can complete four edges: citizenship, diversity, leadership and real world. // Photo courtesy of Cara Kamps

Harris was part of the committee that began the program.  The committee wanted to give more students the opportunity to get involved in a way that was structured, Harris said.

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“Our task force ended up being the Superior Edge task force when we came up with the idea,” said Harris.  “So it’s unique to Northern. Superior Edge isn’t at any other campus.”

Superior Edge has presented at national conferences and has been written about in different publications, Harris said.  People are hearing about it at other campuses around the U.S. and are intrigued, interested and ask how they can start something similar at their school, she said.

Will Keim, NMU’s 2010 Leader in Residence, is familiar with Superior Edge and has also been sharing it with other colleges.

“I think (Superior Edge) is a wonderful program,” Keim said.  “In my mind, it’s a tool to get students to engage in their own education and to engage in the Marquette surrounding community.”

Keim said that if a student goes through Superior Edge and completes the different edges, it gives that student something that differentiates them from others in the job market.

“I support leadership programs like the Leader Fellowship Program and Superior Edge,” said Keim.  “There’s a lot of lessons to be learned outside the classroom and a lot of them, fortunately for Northern Michigan students, are structured.”

Amanda Portice is one of the students at NMU who participates in Superior Edge and last winter semester became a team member in Superior Edge and last winter semester became a team member as a student coordinator.

“I originally joined Superior Edge because I knew I was going to be studying abroad and that would count for a large portion of my diversity edge,” Portice said.

Portice has been involved since her sophomore year and has been working towards completing all four “edges” by combining in and out of the classroom experiences.  The four edges are: Citizenship, Diversity, Leadership and Real World.  In the Citizenship Edge, a student becomes an engaged and involved citizen.  In the Diversity Edge, a students develops a world view and better understanding and appreciation of diversity.  In the Leadership Edge, a student grows as competent, ethical and effective leaders.  In the Real World Edge, a student learns to demonstrate the ability to relate theory to real world situations.  To complete an edge, students must document 100 hours of activities and experiences relevant to that edge and write a reflections paper about what they have learned through the process.

“I never really volunteered much my freshman year,” Portice said.  “But having Superior Edge, it was really easy to become more involved with the community and I discovered how much I really do like volunteering.”

Any student enrolled at Northern can join Superior Edge.  Every student must attend a one-hour orientation session before they can be enrolled, and once they are in the program, they can work toward all edges until they graduate.

“I’ve really enjoyed Superior Edge because it has challenged me to grow and work on certain aspects of my life,” Portice said.

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