Public views new NMU cosmetology, hospitality facilities

Northern Michigan University cosmetology student Abby Morrissey, standing, demonstrates her hairstyling skills on fellow student Hallie Miron during a Thursday open house of the new cosmetology facilities at the Northern Center. The new hospitality management section also was open to the public. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — Hairbrushes, ovens, and pots and pans now fill several areas of the Northern Center at Northern Michigan University.

An open house took place on Thursday at the new home for NMU’s cosmetology and hospitality management programs, which recently relocated from their old location at the Jacobetti Complex. The complex is in the process of being renovated, so the public got a chance to see where students in the programs now are learning their skills.

The two-year cosmetology program moved to the first floor of the Northern Center. Students learn basic skills in the first-year studio, and when they reach the 350-hour mark, they may provide their services to the public, said Kelsey Jordan, an instructor with the program.

“A quick two years and they’re out in the industry,” Jordan said.

Denise Hudson, cosmetology program coordinator, noted that there has been an increase in the number of students in the program as well as a demand for hairstylists.

During COVID-19, she said, everyone was cutting their own hair, and a different opinion formed about the industry — more respect.

“It’s not easy to cut your own hair, you know?” Hudson said.

Regarding the demand for stylists, Hudson said salons have called to ask if there are students in a particular area who could work in their shops.

“As the baby boomers are starting to retire, we now have to fill those areas,” she said.

Second-year cosmetology student Hallie Miron explained why she’s in the program.

“I have always been interested in cosmetology ever since I was a little girl,” Miron said.

Providing color services such as lightening and “fun colors” — anything that has to do with a “big transformation” — is her favorite part of cosmetology.

According to NMU, the cosmetology program offers a half-year esthetics certificate, a half-year manicure certificate and a half-year cosmetology instructor program in addition to the two-year cosmetology certificate. The esthetics program, Hudson said, will restart in the summer.

The hospitality management program offers a four-year degree as well as a two-year associates of applied science degree in restaurant operations. It also has a one-year minor in hospitality systems.

The facilities for hospitality management are on the second floor of the Northern Center.

Loganne Glendening, a professor of hospitality management and restaurant operations at NMU, gave a tour of those facilities at the open house.

“These digs are so shiny, it’s like sometimes I’m afraid to touch things, but it’s been absolutely beautiful,” Glendening said. “We still have a couple of growing pains as time has gone on, but all of those growing pains have been completely worth it. Everything is coming together really nicely for us.”

She said plans call for a new restaurant in the facility to open in the spring semester.

“We’re still looking for a name for that establishment, and we’re taking suggestions, but as a whole, our new training kitchen, which is built for 16, has been working flawlessly,” Glendening said.

In fact, open house attendees were encouraged to share their ideas for the new restaurant and salon names.

In 2021, the NMU Board of Trustees voted to invest $90.6 million in capital projects, major maintenance and campus improvements. Projects included transformation of the Jacobetti Complex into a career and engineering tech facility at a cost of $28.6 million. The project previously was approved for $20 million in capital outlay funding from the state of Michigan.

Projects also included renovation of unoccupied space in the Northern Center for the cosmetology and hospitality management programs for $4.8 million.


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