Northland College Alumni Outcomes
Outcomes Piece, Northland College
Think differently. Live differently. Grand Marais, Minnesota East Lansing, Michigan Northland education take you? Boston, Massachusetts Winnip Cana Where can a Portland, Maine Chicago,Illinois Anchorage Phoenix, Arizo South Royalton, Vermont Roslin Midloth Salt Lake Cit San Diego, Washington, D.C. Locust Valley, New York Choose your own path... Some people will tell you that a job isn't everything, that a satisfying life is more important than a successful career. That may be true, but a satisfying life and a successful career don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, for many Northland alumni, a fulfilling career is one of the key aspects of a meaningful life. Your career can be a way to improve your community, to positively influence other people's lives, and ultimately to change the world for the better. Many Northland graduates also find that a well-rounded education helps them balance a successful career and the rest of their life. For more than a century, Northland has been the launching point for scientists and educators, business owners and dedicated professionals in almost any field imaginable. Northland's liberal arts and sciences curriculum with its unique focus on the environment and sustainability prepares you to address problems head on. A Northland education provides you with the tools, confidence, and vision to be successful in anything you do. Read about the amazing ways in which Northland alumni put their degrees to work, and about new research that shows how learning differently at Northland results in graduates who think differently and live differently. For more information about what you can do with a Northland education and how Northland's graduates are distinctly different from other college and university alumni, go to: northland.edu/outcomes Fisheries Researcher Alumni reporting that they: Met a professor who was a mentor or role model. 74% Primary Midwest Public Universities 47% 49% Participated in faculty-directed research or other applied learning. Primary Midwest Public Universities 33% in Portland, Maine "Herring research is controversial. So, if everyone is mad at you, you're probably right there in the middle of it all," says Jason Stockwell. He laughs. Jason is a pelagic ecologist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in Portland, Maine. Jason is currently working on several research projects that focus on population dynamics in herring, alewives, and other fish. Jason grew up in Massachusetts and came to Northland in 1987, knowing that he wanted to study fisheries. A summer internship with the Lake Superior Biological Station in Ashland, Wisconsin, further cemented his love of fish and showed him the importance of quantitative skills in any sort of wildlife research. Math is the key. "Anyone can go out and catch a fish, squeeze it, measure it, all that stuff," says Jason. "It's what you do with that data afterwards that separates scientists from people who just like the outdoors." With that in mind, Jason double-majored in biology and mathematics at Northland. But he points out that his education wasn't just calculus and vertebrate physiology. He also took classes in everything from Native American worldviews to humanity and nature in literature. Jason graduated from Northland in 1991, and went directly into a doctoral program in zoology at the University of Toronto. After completing his Ph.D., he worked on post-doctoral research at Colorado State University and Michigan State Alumni reporting that their college was effective in helping them have a sense of purpose in life: 75% Primary Midwest Public Universities 52% University. Before taking the position at GMRI, Jason returned to Ashland to serve as station chief for the Lake Superior Biological Station, the same facility where he interned as a student. Today, the broad perspective he gained at Northland helps him work with the varied stakeholders to whom his research is important. Research from the GMRI helps to inform the Herring Oversight Committee and other decision-makers in the New England Fisheries Management Council, the governing body for commercial fishing on the Atlantic Coast. Ph.D. Candidate in East Lansing, Michigan "Our research is looking at what makes cisco tick," says Jared Myers, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University. A cisco is essentially a freshwater herring. Jared is studying some of the factors that influence cisco populations in the Great Lakes, and he's not doing it alone. While majoring in biology at Northland, Jared worked for three summers as a student intern at the Lake Superior Biological Station in Ashland, Wisconsin, a United States Geological Survey (USGS) research facility focused on fisheries. At the time, Jason Stockwell (previous article) was serving as the station chief. When Jared graduated from Northland, Jason helped him write the grant that would fund his master's degree and, another that would support further research for his Ph.D. Jared's research involves working on the water for part of the year. In the fall, he works on the Kiyi, a USGS research vessel where he makes population estimates using hydro-acoustics. In the spring, he uses a small boat and conical nets to collect samples of cisco in their larval stage so he can estimate the number of offspring that have survived the winter. Continuing the connection with Northland, Jared hires current Northland students to help with the field portion of his research. See videos about fisheries research at northland.edu/outcomes Law Student in South Royalton, Vermont For Scott Wold, a graduate student at Vermont Law School, being a lawyer isn't about money or notoriety. It's about having the power to make change happen. A former Northland College Student Association President, Scott is familiar with being a leader. But, when you ask him about a future in politics, he gives an emphatic "no." "Lawyers are the real movers and the shakers," he says. "If you want to change something, as a lawyer, you have the tool kit to do it." Scott also believes that Northland gave him the set of skills he needed to be successful at Vermont Law. The science and environmental policy courses he took for his major, environmental studies, gave him a strong background in those fields, but he also credits his overall courses and minor in philosophy with changing the way he thinks about issues. "That's the beauty of Northland," he says. "It's not the one class you look back on, or the one experience, it's everything put together." In addition to his law degree, Scott is also simultaneously working on a Master's degree in environmental law and policy. The combination of the two degrees, a special program at Vermont Law, will put Scott in a unique position to work on the environmental issues that interest him most. While he hasn't focused in on specific concerns yet, he hopes to get involved with issues related to freshwater, mostly protection and advocacy. "It's not the one class you look back on, or the one experience, it's everything put together." - Scott Wold See a video about Scott and Vermont Law at northland.edu/outcomes Rachel Penner, a middle school teacher in Mellen, Wisconsin, considered three main factors when choosing a college: She wanted to stay close to her family; she wanted to play basketball; and she wanted a great education. That's why she chose Northland. "It's all about making connections," says Rachel. "And if you want to make connections, Northland is the place to be. Because of the small campus and the close-knit community, you have the ability to make connections quickly." A native of Northern Wisconsin, Rachel was enrolled in the Mellen School District, about twenty miles south of Ashland. After graduating from high school she attended Northland and earned a degree in Elementary Teacher in education with a minor in social studies. She also played basketball at Northland and served as the assistant sports information director. Now, Rachel teaches in the middle school that she attended as a child, and coaches both the middle and high school women's basketball teams for her district. "It's a balancing act," says Rachel of working in the schools. "And I learned how to find balance at Northland with all the things I was involved in." In addition to athletics and a student work study position, Rachel worked with other Northland students in an after school program with the Ashland Public Schools. "That was huge. We were getting these first-hand experiences in front of a classroom, managing students," says Rachel. That experience, along with other classroom visits early in her college career, solidified her interest in education, something that not all teaching programs can offer. Faculty Dedicated to Your Success Faculty are at the heart of Northland Agreed faculty were College, and our alumni can attest to interested in students that. With a student to faculty ratio personally as well as of 10:1, lifelong relationships and academically. career-oriented experiences prepare you to succeed academically, personally, and in your chosen career. In order for Benefited very much you to accomplish your future goals, it from personal interaction takes faculty and staff members who with professors. are dedicated to providing you the tools to make it happen. Alumni reporting that they: 87% Primary Midwest Public Universities 43% 74% Primary Midwest Public Unv. 19% Mellen, Wisconsin "If you want to make connections, Northland is the place to be. Because of the small campus and the close-knit community, you have the ability to make connections quickly." - Rachel Penner Entrepreneur in Naples, "Northland's great faculty and curriculum taught me to be inquisitive, to be compassionate, to look at problems from multiple angles," says John N. Allen, the CEO and owner of Industrial Equities, LLP, a Minneapolis real estate investment company. John majored in broadfield social science with minors in history and political science and then went on to earn a law degree from Hamline University. From an early age, John knew that he had no interest in practicing law in the traditional sense. But he had the foresight to know that a law degree would give him a competitive advantage in a complex business world -- and, it has. He credits his one-on-one experience with professors and trustees for developing his public speaking skills and his ability to build persuasive arguments. These skill served him well in law school and later in business. "My professors didn't teach me what to think, they taught me how to think, how to problem solve," says John. "If you're prepared to work hard, work smart and define your personal long-term vision, Northland will drive you," he says. "There are no limitations on what you can learn." Today, Industrial Equities owns more than three million square feet of commercial property in several areas of the country. Unlike many in the real estate business, John As a Northland student, you will build long-term, meaningful relationships with your professors as they help prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career. Alumni reporting that they had: Conversations with professors outside of class. 72% Primary Midwest Public Universities 27% 78% Professors who challenged but help meet the challenges. Primary Midwest Public Universities 49% Florida hasn't bought and sold property in quick deals. The company avoids looking for the fast dollar. They've simply collected good investments over time, and focused on a solid, long-range plan rather than a boom-and-bust business model. "Northland gave me a diverse educational background to prepare me not only for law school, but also to found a successful company," says John. Not all of that education came from a classroom. During his time on campus, John served as a senator in the Northland College Student Association and later as a student trustee on the Northland College Board of Trustees. That experience was pivotal for John. "Those small steps early in your career help you decide if you want to reach high--take big chances--or go the comfortable route. I wanted to reach high," says John. "My professors didn't teach me what to think, they taught me how to think, how to problem solve." -John N. Allen Resource Conservation For Holly Wolfe, resource conservation manager for the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon, reducing our footprint on the world is a passion. But she knows that not everyone feels the same way. "Environmental education is very political," says Holly. "But when you speak in money terms, people can all agree. Financial savings is the way to sell it." For example, a five percent savings in the district's electric bill amounts to $37,000. That kind of money means the possibility of another full-time teaching position in the schools. So when it comes to getting everyone to turn off their lights at the end of the day or shut down their computers, it just makes sense. But there's more to Holly's job than just turning the lights off. She also ensures that resources aren't going to waste in other ways. By allocating state grant money to infrastructure improvements like new windows or higher efficiency heating and cooling systems, she's helping the buildings become more energy efficient. She also works with classes to compost food waste and develop good recycling habits. To help with these projects, Holly has organized "Green Teams" in the schools. Made up of teachers, staff, and students, the teams help to Manager in Portland, Oregon organize initiatives and evaluate how their projects are going. The idea is to get everyone involved. Holly was originally drawn to the environmental programs at Northland because of an interest in alternative energy. But she graduated in 2005 with a double major in psychology and business. Why the change in direction? "You can know the technical side of the things," she says, "but really you need to change people's behavior. Understanding why people don't change and how to get them to change, that's the crucial part." Faculty at Northland gave Holly a broad understanding of human behavior and business. That combination made her uniquely qualified for her current position. Holly started her work with the district three years ago as an AmeriCorp member. But the district soon saw the value of her work and made the position permanent. As the district grows, Holly hopes to put more and more policies into place that will not only save the schools money but will also educate the children. "If you want to make change," says Holly, "starting with the kids is the solution." Contributing to the Community Northland students serve the local community by providing critical work that helps to build and sustain the Chequamegon Bay region. You will gain significant skills and relevant experiences to better prepare you for your future career aspirations. Thirty-four percent of Northland alumni have held leadership positions in foundations or non-profit community organizations within the first few years after graduation. Northland students believe it is important to play an active role in their communities, including their on-campus community. Alumni reporting that it is extremely important to contribute to your community: 51% Primary Midwest Public Universities 36% 90% of Northland College alumni agree that their college experience fostered a concern for the environment and sustainable living. Internships 44% of Northland internships are with non-profit organizations 33% are with city, county, tribal, or other types of organizations In a recent survey, 100% of current Northland students said that their internship was either "Excellent" or "Good" at preparing them for the workplace. Internships are an integral part of Northland's unique curriculum. They pair classroom theory with invaluable work experience in your chosen career field. Northland has partnered with regional and national organizations to develop a rich network of internship opportunities. Lately, students have interned with the National Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Geological Survey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Minnesota Zoo, National Geographic Society, Mayo Clinic, Matanuska Glacier Adventures, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Chicago Botanical Gardens, Democracy Matters, sustainable agriculture, and artist's galleries. Each year more than 60 partners, alumni, and organizations visit campus during Northland's Job and Internship Fair. The event allows students to learn more about internships, along with job and volunteer opportunities as well. Northland's staff and faculty work closely with you to identify opportunities that match your unique educational and career goals. While you research, develop, and participate in your internship, Northland's coordinator of applied learning supports you every step of the way, ensuring that your experience is both challenging and fulfilling. More than 20% of Northland College students take part in an internship each year. Northland Alumni play an important role in helping students get internships by recruiting at the Job and Internship Fair, sending position announcements to the College, and directly hiring and supervising internships. For more information about Northland College internships and career opportunities go to: northland.edu/internships Chief of Fire & Aviation Management at Yosemite "Northland really and truly changed my life," says Kelly Martin, chief of fire and aviation management in Yosemite National Park. Kelly credits the Northland faculty not only with introducing her to the Park Service, but also with giving her the communication skills she needs to be a successful leader. Even before she completed her degree in outdoor education from Northland, Kelly was starting her career with the National Park Service as a co-op student working for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. That experience paved the way for a post-collegiate position as an interpretive ranger in Grand Canyon National Park. There, monitoring small fires in remote areas of the park, she got her first taste of wildfire. Kelly was hooked. She left the National Park Service in 1990 to pursue a career in wildland firefighting with the Forest Service. A young woman in a heavily male-dominated field, Kelly set out to be the best at what she loved. Between 1990 and 2006, she worked fire details in Idaho, California, Utah, and Nevada. Kelly rose through the ranks to become a fire management officer first in Moab, Utah, and then Carson City, Nevada. In 2006, she returned to the National Park Service as an expert in wildfire, and ready to serve as the head of fire management in one of America's premier national parks: Yosemite. Kelly oversees all of the fire related activities in the park. She supervises Alumni reporting that it is extremely important to become an authority in your profession: 31% "Northland really and truly changed my life." -Kelly Martin Primary Midwest Public Universities 19% National Park monitoring and suppression efforts, prescribed burns, and research. She also manages the helicopter and crew used during the peak of the season for both fire activities and search and rescue efforts, of which there are many. Unlike many seasonal wildfire positions, Kelly's work continues through the winter. The off-season is when plans are made, and a park like Yosemite requires a lot of planning. Part of her job is to make sure that fire can serve its purpose in the park without putting people at risk, and that requires educating the public about the need for fire in the ecosystem. "Ever so slightly, people are beginning to understand why we need fire" she says. "But not everyone is going to buy into that quite yet. There's still a ways to go." Many visitors to the park, and local residents, still view fire as a tragedy, not an integral part of a natural process. See more photos from Yosemite National Park and find out more about Kelly's career at northland.edu/outcomes Radio Program Director in Seattle, "The education was more than just the classrooms," says Jeff Hansen, program director at KUOW 94.9 FM, a public radio station in Seattle, Washington. "It was everything else combined." An Ashland native, Jeff originally planned to attend college in California, but after his father passed away unexpectedly in 1972, he wanted to stay closer to home. Northland was the clear choice. During his time on campus, Jeff was involved in the Ashland Folk Festival, an annual event still held on campus each spring. Northland also introduced him to poetry. "I remember going to Professor Lee Merrill's poetry readings," he says. "I think I learned as much there as in my classes. And I learned a lot in my classes." Jeff graduated from Northland in 1976 with a degree in broadfield social science. He first took a job with the Wisconsin Employment Service, and, while working for the state, had his first opportunity to test the radio waves. A local public radio station sent out a request for volunteers to serve as talk show hosts. Jeff jumped at the opportunity and began hosting a morning news and information show. Eventually, he left his job with the state to work for the station full-time. Later, Jeff made the big switch from hosting and producing content to serving as a program director at a small public station in Maine. He then moved to bigger stations in Houston and Dallas before taking his current position in Seattle in 2001. Instead of being in the studio developing stories, Jeff makes the decisions about what programs to run at which times, what news to pursue in depth and what to skip. Basically, he decides what listeners hear. Though Jeff never went into teaching as he had initially intended, he says that Northland also prepared him to educate people in a much broader sense. "I just decided teaching wasn't what I wanted to do. But what I ended up doing is very much in the educational mode." See a video about Jeff's work at KUOW-FM 94.9 at northland.edu/outcomes Washington "I remember going to Professor Lee Merrill's poetry readings. I think I learned as much there as in my classes. And I learned a lot in my classes." -Jeff Hansen Making Comparisons In 2011, Northland participated in a nationwide research project that measured an extensive range of college experiences and then linked those experiences to the careers and lives of alumni from various types of colleges and universities. Drawn from more than 15,000 graduates from institutions across the country, this evidence provides valuable information as you consider a college. Our research covered three primary topics: � Academic experiences and interaction with faculty � Types of experiences inside and outside the classroom � Activities and attitudes of alumni after they graduate Alumni reporting that they benefited very much from: Interaction with other students with shared interests Many small classes with fewer than 20 students A high-quality, teaching-oriented faculty A safe campus environment A majority of classes taught by professors Extensive classroom discussion Friendships that developed from classroom experiences Interaction with students with similar values Integration of values and ethics in classroom discussions 40% 16% 31% 39% 31% 50% 60% 73% 57% 70% 85% 78% 56% 61% 64% 77% 82% 30% Primary Midwest Public Universities In regard to their experience inside and outside the classroom, Northland graduates were much more likely to report that they: � Found a mentor or role model in college � Met a professor who was a mentor or role model � Agreed faculty were interested in students personally as well as academically � Agreed there was a sense of community among students In regard to their experience inside and outside the classroom, Northland graduates were much more likely to report that they participated in: � Faculty-directed research or other applied learning � Off-campus study � Classes that included perspectives of women and minorities � Informal student study groups � Music or theatre performances � Campus publications or student government � Volunteer or community service activities Alumni reporting that they: Found a mentor or role model in college Agree there was a sense of community among students 58% 57% 84% 91% Primary Midwest Public Universities Alumni reporting that they participated in: Off-campus study 32% 38% 41% 33% 33% 29% 49% 56% Classes that included perspectives of women/minorities Informal student study groups Music or theatre performances Campus publications or student government Volunteer or community service activities 16% 11% 47% 54% Primary Midwest Public Universities Did these college experiences really make a difference in our alumni's careers? You be the judge! Learn more at northland.edu/outcomes Think differently. Live differently. A Northland education stretches beyond the confines of a traditional education. It does not exist only within the margins of textbook pages, but through faculty interactions and career experiences. A Northland education is about connecting ideas to give you a better understanding of the world around you. Sometimes that means traditional classroom education, but it also means practical hands-on experience. Focused majors prepare you for the careers and life you want. Northland students start building their resume long before they graduate, proving to employers that they have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful at anything they do. That's the power of a Northland education. It's a place where you will learn differently. Learn more about what you can do with an education from Northland College by calling toll-free (800) 753-1840 to talk to an admission counselor today. northland.edu/outcomes Washington, D.C. Portland, Oregon Minneapolis, Minnesota northland.edu Warren, Michigan Royalton, Vermont Chicago,Illinois Yosemite National Park Think differently. Live differently.