June 3, 2011

Life’s like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

            - Seneca, 4 BC – 65 AD

The pursuit of excellence is more than talk at Northwood University. It is a daily ritual at work on a myriad of fronts. This week we look at two areas in which Northwood faculty, staff, students and alumni are doing all they can to do and be the very best.

Summer Orientation and Recruitment Excellence

Northwood faculty, staff, students and alumni are working hard to increase fall enrollments by actively executing on a number of important tactics. One such effort is early summer orientations. Our first orientation in Michigan took place on May 26th, and proved to be a great success. The second is taking place today. The Texas Campus gets it effort under way on June 10th and Florida follows later this month with its first orientation on the 24th.

And that is just the start. Several events will follow on all three of our residential campuses throughout the summer. The key dates are:

  • Florida:
    • June 24
    • July 29
    • August 27-28
  • Michigan:
    • June 3, 17
    • July 8, 15th
    • August 25th
  • Texas:
    • June 10, 24
    • July 15, 29
    • August 12

Some of you may wonder, “How can I help?” In short, anything you can do to make prospective students and their parents feel at home and affirm that Northwood is the “university of choice” is very helpful – in fact, it’s absolutely vital.  And doing so does not require an “Herculean” effort. As Dean Lindsey recently remarked, each of us can make a tremendous difference simply by being, “ready to mingle, visit and answer questions with the new Northwood parents when they come in…These interactions can be as simple as ‘Who is your child?’ or ‘Where are you from?’”

Other ways each of us can make a positive difference are to be found in exemplary efforts taking place system-wide.  Tom Alexander, chair and associate professor Finance (MI), for example, is staying in contact with prospective students to review potential degree paths amongst other important topics.

Our soccer program in Florida is another great example. Led by Ty Brewer, the entire men’s and women’s coaching team and staff have pursued new recruitment initiatives that are paying dividends: men’s soccer has signed four recruits above their goal while women’s soccer exceeded its commitment goal by five. In addition, both the men’s and women’s coaches and staff have volunteered their time in assisting Admissions with non-athlete recruitment by “jumping in” voluntarily to help with phone calls.

Yet another example can be found in Gala Bank, chair and associate professor ESPM (MI), who worked has worked with Dan Toland, dean of Admissions (MI) and four ESPM alumni who answered Gala’s “call to action”. Prior to the end of the school year, Gala sent a letter to both prospective and future ESPM students detailing the exciting and promising things that lie ahead. Concurrently she and Dan worked with four of our ESPM alumni - Sergey Kalnish (Pointstreak Sports Technologies Inc., in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada); Kayley R. Horwood (May 2011 graduate, ESPM Co-Ticket Chair and Co-Winner of the Outstanding ESPM Student Award); Jim Biewer (Detroit Red Wings); and Matt Rosen (Wheeling Nailers, 'AA' Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Wheeling, WV) - to write individual letters to prospective and future ESPM students.

In addition, she and many of our ESPM students were very active at the first orientation last week and will continue to be so throughout the remainder of the summer. And the results are showing. At last count, the ESPM program in Michigan had 61 commits, well on the way to their minimum target for the fall.

Speaking of alumni, Karla Spaeth chair and assistant professor of HRRM (MI) reports that David Dunn (Catawba Island Club) and Sasha Brill (Radisson Hotel) have been “stand outs” in their effort to support NU and recruit new students to our program. David has answered numerous inquiries from potential freshman and continues to reach to anyone Karla puts in his path. In addition to working with Karla and our recruiters he consistently recruits NU students for summer internships, thereby adding to the program’s attractiveness to potential students. Sasha in turn has volunteered her time to respond to potential student emails as well as to meet with students one on one when necessary.

I look forward to sharing more “recruitment excellence” updates – system-wide - with you throughout the summer.

Spring Sports Excellence

Members of the Northwood Community know that excellence on the fields and courts of competitive athletics is yet another area in which we pride ourselves. I am happy to report that our spring sports season produced another “crop” of  Northwood athletes and coaches who went “above and beyond.”


  • Emelie Andersson: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2011 Women’s Golf All-American
  • Guilherme Azambuja: Second Team All-Conference, Men’s Tennis
  • Chanty Cooper: All-Conference outfielder, Women’s Softball
  • Michelle Crompton: All-Conference pitcher, Women’s Softball
  • Kayla Duncan: All-Conference catcher, Women’s Softball
  • Danelle Girard: Daktronics NAIA Women's Golf Scholar-Athlete
  • Robbie Jones: All Conference Honors, Men’s Baseball
  • Ryan Osenton: All Conference Honors, Men’s Baseball
  • Melanie Roux: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2011 Women’s Golf All-Americans
  • Women’s Golf: Eighth at the 2011 NAIA National Championship


  • Valentin Bayle: GLIAC Freshman of the Year, Men’s Tennis
  • Marcus Bennett: GLIAC Champion and National Championship Track Meet Qualifier, Men’s Track
  • Kristin Cameron: All-America honors, NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships – the fourth time in her career
  • Zane Colestock: GLIAC Coach of the Year, Men’s Tennis
  • Angela Comer: Capital One Academic All‐America®, Women’s Softball
  • Megan Eddy: First Team All-Region Academic Team, Women’s Softball
  • Michael Goodwin: All Conference Honorable Mention, Men’s Baseball
  • Mark Heard: Second Team, All Conference, Men’s Baseball
  • Antoine Pangaud: GLIAC Player of the Year, Men’s Tennis
  • Ryan Palmer: All Conference Honorable Mention, Men’s Baseball
  • Blair Turner: Second Team, All Conference, Men’s Golf


  • Larisa Garcia: RRAC Pitcher of the Year, Women’s Softball
  • Sena Horne: RRAC Coach of the Year, Women’s Softball
  • Taylor Jones: RRAC Player of the Year, Women’s Softball
  • Alfred Kite:
    • Qualified for the NAIA National Championship Track Meet in the 1,500m, the 5,000m and the 10,000m
    • National Runner of the Week in April
  • Tancy Matthews: RRAC Defensive Player of the Year,Women’s Softball
  • Women’s Golf finished 15th at the national tournament
  • Women’s Softball: Conference Tournament Champions and national tournament qualifiers
  • Knights Baseball: Earned an at large bid to the Regional Tournament
  • Seven Knights earned NAIA Academic honors:
    • Bailey Bearden, Golf
    • Abigail Cienski, Softball
    • Adam Gelmon, Golf
    • Jillian Jones, Softball
    • Edwin Kiptoo, Track
    • Tara McCrory, Track
    • Garrett Randle, Baseball

Please join me in congratulating all of our spring athletes and coaches on their success.

Have a great 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)