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Whitmer appoints U.P. university trustees

MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced appointments to the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees and the Michigan Tech University Board of Trustees as well as the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents and the boards of trustees of Ferris State, Grand Valley State and Western Michigan universities.

Named to the NMU Board of Trustees was Gregory J. Seppanen of Marquette, a retired teacher who taught U.S. history, government, world history and economics in the Marquette Area Public Schools for 24 years. Seppanen has also served as a Marquette County commissioner, supervisor of Chocolay Township and as a member of the U.S. Army Presidential Honor Guard. He remains an active member of both the Marquette County Planning Commission and the Central U.P. Planning and Development Regional Commission.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in history and geography from NMU in 1979 and attended trade skill training in welding at what was then called the NMU Skill Center.

Before enrolling at NMU, the U.S. Army veteran served in the U.S. Presidential Honor Guard, “The Old Guard,” in the Washington, D.C., area.

“When I was at Northern, the support for veteran students continuing their education was superb, and it’s my understanding it’s still very good. That was very important to me,” said Seppanen, whose grandparents arrived in the area separately from Finland at the turn of the 20th century, in a news release. “Northern was initially a teacher’s college and that’s still an important focus.

“Hopefully my local ties, my educational background and the planning experience I gained through 27 years as an elected official in the Marquette area will prove helpful to the board and university.”

Seppanen is appointed for a term beginning Friday and expiring Dec. 31, 2028. He succeeds James Haveman, whose term expires Thursday.

Also appointed as an NMU trustee was Jason T. Morgan of Ann Arbor, who currently serves as the 8th District commissioner and chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. Morgan is also a service member with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and a member of the Ann Arbor SPARK Executive Committee, the Washtenaw County Environmental Council, Homeland Security Task Force, Public Works Board and the Criminal Justice Community Collaborative.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in political science from NMU in 2011, and holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

During his term as student body president, he presented regular updates at NMU board meetings. Morgan said he now looks forward to serving his alma mater in his new capacity as a trustee.

“What I loved about NMU as a student was the outdoors, of course, but also how well integrated the university and community were together,” he said in a news release. “As a student, working with community activists and leaders was very impactful to my career and to the person I am today.

“I’m really excited to be part of the university again. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to listen to and work with students, faculty, staff and the administration to see what I can do to help.”

Morgan is appointed for a term commencing Friday and expiring Dec. 31, 2028. He succeeds outgoing NMU Board Chair Steve Mitchell, whose term expires Thursday.

Matthew D. Johnson of Marquette was named to the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. Johnson is the manager of government and community relations for Eagle Mine. Johnson previously served as a division director for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and a district administrator for former U.S. congressman Bart Stupak, who was representative for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.

Johnson is a currently the co-chair of the Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future. He holds a bachelor of science degree in public administration and a master of arts in public administration from NMU.

Johnson is appointed for a term starting Friday and expiring Dec. 31, 2022. He succeeds William Johnson, who resigned effective Thursday.

Another MTU board appointee is Andrea Dickson of downstate Grosse Pointe Farms, who is the former CEO and co-founder of ENT Biotech Solutions Inc. and is currently a principal at the start-up telemedicine company Quintree.

Dickson previously served as executive vice president and chief of staff of Wayne State University and as outside general counsel for Michigan Tech. She is a current member of the Detroit Institute of Arts Board of Directors and the board of Invest Michigan. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College and a juris doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Dickson is appointed for a term commencing Friday and expiring Dec. 31, 2028. She succeeds Bob Jacquart, whose term expires Thursday.

Jon E. Jipping of downstate Ada, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ITC Holdings Corp., is another Michigan Tech board appointee. Jipping is the past chair of the board for the North American Transmission Forum, a former chair and current advisory board member for the Michigan Tech College of Engineering, and a former board member for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Calvin College and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech.

Jipping is appointed for a term commencing Friday and expiring Dec. 31, 2028. He succeeds Linda Kennedy, whose term expires Thursday.

All appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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