Students learn in immersive cosmetology experience

Updated space in the Northern Center offers hands-on cosmetics education.
TALENTED STYLING — With steady hands, a student focuses as she works on an intricate hairstyle.
TALENTED STYLING — With steady hands, a student focuses as she works on an intricate hairstyle.
Amelia Kashian/NW

Denise Hudson, instruction and program coordinator for NMU’s cosmetology program, has seen a number of changes within the world of cosmetology, especially within the walls of Northern’s student salon.

“Because I was a student myself in the mid 80s, I have seen a lot of changes,” Hudson said. “[The cosmetology program] was at the Jacobetti Complex for 40 some years. I’m very proud that we have been able to add a new beautiful new space here at the Northern Center.”

With first-hand experience, Hudson has plenty of knowledge when it comes to her program. In fact, she decided to come back to it after many years.

“I, as a student, went out and worked in the field for a number of years and then I came back, and I enrolled in their cosmetology instructor program. That was about three years after I completed my own cosmetology certification,” Hudson said. “Years later, after I moved back from Montana, I decided to further my education and that’s when I received my bachelor’s degree here at Northern.”

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NMU’s cosmetology program provides three Limited License programs, excluding the full cosmetology program. Such programs are offered in a 12-week period during the summer and include the manicure, esthetic and natural hair cultivation programs. These programs are a small part of the plethora of things Hudson is proud of when looking back on her experience with cosmetology.

Students enrolled in the cosmetology program start each day with theory, or a lecture class, along with a lab. They are taught the history and science behind cosmetics and are expected to apply what they have learned later on.

One of these students is Lucy Seitz. She went NMU for two years in the program and went to esthetician school in the summer. Now, she is in the natural hair cultivation program. Seitz found her passion for cosmetology in high school and continues to work with it today.

“My senior year of high school, I job shadowed at a hair salon. That is what made me figure out that this is where I see myself,” Seitz said. “The summer before cosmetology school I shadowed another hair salon to make sure it was what I wanted. I keep going back.”

Seitz continues to find herself learning and growing as she pursues her career.

“I learn things even as someone who has been in hair school already,” Seitz said. “Today, I learned how to do a zigzag parting in textured hair, which was really cool. I’m getting well-rounded, and then just seeing where it takes me.”

Students like Seitz can find their place as a cosmetologist in NMU’s program and explore the different careers they can take up after learning and mastering skills through their program.

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