January 25, 2013
MIDLAND, MI – Officials from MidMichigan Home Care/Long Term Care made a surprise visit to Northwood University during a faculty meeting last week. President Chris Chesny, Chief Financial Officer Brian Buckingham and Human Resources Director Bob Berg made a surprise presentation of a $2,000 scholarship for Northwood’s Hospitality Program. This presentation was made in honor of Karla Spaeth who, according to the MidMichigan officials, transformed food service at MidMichigan’s Gladwin Pines and Stratford Village centers into “culinary health.”
“It represents a major culture change for us,” stated Chesny. “Our chef is hosting cooking demonstrations in the dining rooms of our nursing homes. Everybody’s loving it—the staff, our residents. It’s increased the quality of their life tremendously,” she continued.
Spaeth, who was recently appointed facilities and events director at Northwood University and has taught in its hospitality program for more than nine years, served as consultant to MidMichigan Home Care/Long Term Care’s initiative to improve the quality of life for its residents. Despite efforts by MidMichigan officials to recognize and reward her work financially, Spaeth demurred on the grounds that her efforts are part of her service to the Midland community.
“I simply wanted to give back,” remarked Spaeth. “Food is about so much more than filling our hunger. It’s about knowing how to use what you have more intelligently to prepare meals that are tasty, healthy and enjoyable.”
Dr. Bill Bateman, president of Northwood University Michigan, was not surprised when he learned about the unexpected presentation to Spaeth.
“Community engagement and service is something we hold very high at Northwood. Karla has made an incredible difference on our campus and in our community for some time so it’s great to see her recognized in this way,” he stated.
An experienced hospitality professional, Spaeth earned both her M.B.A. and B.B.A degrees from Northwood and is a past recipient of the University’s Innovation Award and the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.
Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.
Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.