November 11, 2011

Disciplined Dreaming at Northwood 

Following feedback from our employees, members of our staff formed a health and wellness program aimed at providing helpful information and cultivating a work environment built on peer encouragement and team-building. The energy and enthusiasm of this effort flowed from our system wide Disciplined Dreaming exercises earlier this fall resulting in a staff-led effort announced this past week: The Health & Wellness Team. In addition to healthier living, the benefits of this program include: 

  • Greater employee involvement
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Decreased healthcare costs  

The Health & Wellness Team will hold its first meeting on November 15th to formulate a mission statement and begin planning for projects such as the “Get Fit” Challenge, a Health & Wellness newsletter, and the Great American Smokeout. In due time, they will devise a needs assessment survey, an annual review process, and criteria for determining the program’s effectiveness.  

Team members to date are:

  • Melissa Anderson, HR Assistant, MI
  • Kathleen Bowles, Campus Nurse, TX
  • Kimberly Bryant, ADP Program Center Manager, MI
  • Terri Calhoun, Asst. Business Office Manager, FL
  • Andy Chartier, Network Engineer, MI
  • Sarah Cresswell, Help Desk Coordinator, MI
  • Tenequa Curry, Admissions Secretary, TX
  • Diane Feffer, Adjunct Faculty, TX
  • Scott Fisher, Strength Coordinator, MI
  • Barb Hummelle, Executive Assistant, MI
  • Lisa Killey, HR Generalist, MI
  • Marla King, Director, Florida ADP & DeVos Graduate School, FL
  • Debora Lusk, Admissions Secretary, TX
  • Marcella Matzke, Academic System Mgmt. Coordinator, MI
  • Lisa Moseler, Director of Research, MI
  • Michelle Parker, Asst. Volleyball Coach, MI
  • LaVonda Robinnette, Director of Career Services, MI
  • Jill Russell, Admissions Counselor, OH
  • Cheryl Warner, Budget Director, MI
  • Robin Yancer, Alumni Relations Office Asst., MI 

If you would like to join the team or seek additional information, please contact Melissa Anderson at:

One initiative that grew directly out of our Disciplined Dreaming exercises is Seamless Enrollment, an effort designed to meet the changing needs of our learners. Beginning in summer 2012, Northwood students will have the opportunity to register for daytime, evening, weekend, and online classes. Once implemented, a student registering in Cedar Hill, Texas, for example, will have access to all of the courses offered through our Cedar Hill residential campus, the Cedar Hill Texas Adult Degree Program (ADP), and our ADP online offering.  

While this kind of change may appear to be easy or simple, it will in fact require coordination and collaboration at a level that has not occurred in our organization before. Similar to our semester transition, all processes, rules, and reports currently in place will need to be reviewed and/or revised to support this change. A system wide committee will steer this project using the LEAD model with the goal of successfully implementing it by March 2012.  

More updates on this, and related Disciplined Dreaming concepts and ideas, will follow including an update next week regarding plans to grow enrollment through a more robust summer course offering. 

A Proud Tradition: U.S.. Veterans & Northwood University  

November 11th is Veterans Day in America, a time when we commemorate the active, retired, and deceased members of our military. While all U.S. citizens carry a debt of service to the republic, those who serve in our military go above and beyond by sacrificing freedoms and opportunities the rest of us enjoy, potentially even life itself. 

Since the early 80’s, Northwood has partnered with the U.S. military to educate its members. The success of this program is made possible by two important teams at Northwood: Our Veterans Affairs (VA) certifying officials and our military base Adult Degree Program (ADP) Center managers.  

Northwood’s VA certifying officials are absolutely vital to the ability of our military personnel and veterans to attend classes. They act as a liaison between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the branches of the U.S.. military, our students, and our business office. In addition to staying current with the latest VA benefits and processes they “adopt” our students and guide them through everything from the enrollment process through the utilization of available stipends. 

“Having these certifying officials bridges the gap for our military students and ensures that their benefits are being processed correctly and effectively,” remarked Marla King, director, Adult Degree Program and the DeVos Graduate School of Management.  “Without them our military students might never enroll, much less graduate.”  

And she’s right. Through their hard and continuous work, Northwood is able to help the enlisted and retired members of our military realize their educational dreams. They are: 

  • Karen Camburn: New Orleans ADP Center
  • James Croan: Kentucky ADP Center
  • Diana Garcia: Texas Campus, Cedar Hill & Fort Worth ADP Centers
  • Michele Formanczyk: Troy, Livonia & Selfridge ADP Centers
  • Heather Meyer: Indiana ADP Center
  • Dawn Musgrave-Demarest: Florida Campus
  • Susan Ridgway: Michigan ADP, Distance Education, MBA
  • Marisa Toschkoff: Michigan Campus

Jack Bronka (Selfridge, MI), Karen Camburn (New Orleans, LA) and Brian Rolfes (Ft. Worth, TX) play an equally important role on our partnering U.S. military bases. They partner with our students and members of the ADP academic team on everything from enrollment and class scheduling to course delivery and the maintenance of a positive learning environment.

Beyond this, Northwood continues to look for ways to better serve our military personnel and their families. One example is the new tuition discount program instituted earlier this semester that benefits both military personnel and their spouses. As leaders in Washington D.C. review possible reductions in military spending, efforts like this are proving especially helpful.

Veterans Day at NU

I am proud to report that our partnership with the U.S.. military goes well beyond our degree programs. One example, among many, across our system is the annual Veterans Day program on the Florida Campus. Held in conjunction with the Seahawks men’s basketball game, the event begins with an observance ceremony and will be followed by a pre-game reception and a half -time performance and reception in honor of our veterans.

The 2011 program is the seventh in the Florida Campus’s history and one that has come a long way since its beginning. After becoming a VA certifying official in 2004, Dawn Musgrave-Demarest saw the need for a Veterans Day event. She started with one small table in the hallway of the Turner Education Center and, together with colleagues such as Carol Wagmeister and the student service department, has grown it into an evening event with speakers, honor guard colors presentation, and live performances.

“It has been getting bigger and bigger each year and is a great example of how Northwood is bringing different members of the community together,” she explained.

A special highlight of this year’s event is our “guest” speaker, Iraq War veteran and Northwood University ADP student Sergeant Gregory Wentz. His story, and those of whom he will speak, illustrates the depth of bravery and duty that ensure our freedoms (coverage of the Veterans Day Observance, including Sgt. Wentz’s speech, will be posted on our website early next week). 

Among the many guests in attendance will be American heroes Roy Foster and 20 of the military veterans with whom he works. A Top-Ten Finalist for CNN Hero of the Year in 2009, Foster directs Stand Down House, a program that works with homeless male veterans to build a lasting foundation for healthy living:

Have a great Veterans Day weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)