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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

New development center enhances local community

NMU will be initiating a Center for Rural Community and Economic Development to help advance the quality of life for the Upper Peninsula and its surrounding regions.

The center was approved during a council meeting on Dec. 10 and will be launched this month, though a location is still being worked out. According to Susan Koch, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the project has a budget of $70,000 a year that will be provided by an external grant that has been set aside specifically for economic development activities. The center must become self-sustaining by 2014, which it plans on doing by seeking grants and getting private support.

“A major theme of NMU’S strategic plan, the Road Map to 2015, is community engagement,” Koch said. “The [Center for Rural Community and Economic Development] will contribute significantly to NMU’s being more engaged with and contributing to the health and vitality of communities throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the surrounding area.”

The center was formed to help enhance economic development and to improve the Upper Peninsula’s quality of life and surrounding areas by combining research, public service, education and training.

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The project will connect the private, public and non-profit sectors of communities across the Upper Peninsula and in bordering counties in Wisconsin. The team will collect, analyze and distribute data between the two sectors. They also will conduct and publish applied research and provide training and professional development. They will work with community and regional partners that include businesses, economical development groups, cities and other similar groups.

“I am confident that it will lead to new and enhanced partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as new opportunities for our students to gain important experience in the real world,” Koch said.

Part of the short-term goals of the project include creating opportunities or incentives for NMU faculty and students to participate in research, as well as pursuing active learning activities that will contribute to the center.

Included in the project are two co-directors, Tawni Ferrarini and Brian Cherry. Ferrarini, economics professor and a Sam M. Cohodas professor, will be focusing on developing the private sector while Cherry, head of the political science department and public administration, will be looking at the public and non-profit sectors. Both professors helped develop the idea for the center and will report to Koch for the beginning of the project.

“Our goal is to be a leader not only in the region, but in the nation,” said Ferrarini. “We want to be the go-to center for other rural entities and gain national recognition for that in five to 10 years.”

The committee plans on visiting at least three other university-based centers in order to enhance strategic planning for the center.

Ferrarini said that the project was an all-campus initiative. Faculty and staff that are interested in joining the project should contact Ferrarini at [email protected] or Cherry at [email protected].

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