NMU names more outstanding grads
MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University has announced six more outstanding graduates:
Katreena Hite, a native of Gwinn, has been named one of three Northern Michigan University Social Work Department 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate students. She will earn a Master of Social Work degree Saturday. Her concentration is in public policy and administration.
Hite earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from NMU in 2007. Following a few years in Kansas City, she returned to Marquette County to serve the community as a social worker and change agent. She plans to continue serving the Upper Peninsula community in the mental health system after graduating from NMU.
Attending NMU has been a familial tradition for Hite, with her grandfather, uncle and an aunt having earned their bachelor’s degrees from the university. Hite will be the first woman in her immediate family to earn a graduate degree. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather Forrest Hite, a 1978 graduate studies alumnus, Hite said she is proud to have her graduate degree come from NMU.
Danielle Holland of Munising has been named the Northern Michigan University School of Education, Leadership and Public Service 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate student from the educational administration and supervision program. On Saturday, she will earn her Master of Arts degree.
Holland is a first-generation college graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary special education from Central Michigan University in 2013. She is in her sixth year teaching special education at Tahquamenon Area Schools.
As a student of educational administration, Holland continually sought to connect new professional experiences with coursework and to purposefully apply the practice of leadership in a school setting, according to her biography for the award. In the online classroom setting, Holland used experiences as an educator to provoke critical inquiry from classmates and as a lens to better understand personal leadership and the practice of educational leadership.
Hannah Holma of Marquette has been named one of three Northern Michigan University Social Work Department 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate students. She will earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree Saturday.
Holma is a certified alcohol and drug counselor who has been employed at Great Lakes Recovery Centers for the past five years. She said that furthering her education at the graduate level was “imperative to help her clients as much as possible.”
Holma has a passion for both clinical and macro social work, with the desire to use both to enact social change across the many spheres of social work. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, playing softball, traveling, keeping up on current events and “hitting the streets to make her voice heard.”
Whitney Schampers of Negaunee has been named the Northern Michigan University School of Education, Leadership and Public Service 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate student from the early childhood education program. She will earn her master’s degree Saturday.
According to Schampers biography for the award, she works tirelessly to meet the social-emotional needs of her first-grade students, knowing that children cannot successfully master academic standards if their immediate needs for a stable, loving and trusting adult is not being met. Schampers demonstrates commitment to relationship-building with each child by focusing on the child s immediate needs for belonging, love and acceptance.
Schampers is active in the community and engages families through events that emphasize play and strengthen children s development. She conducted a cross-curricular play-based activity that increased student engagement exponentially and fostered academic and social-emotional growth beyond the curriculum.
Molly Smith of Marquette has been named the Northern Michigan University School of Education, Leadership and Public Service 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate student. She represented the reading specialist program in the December graduating class.
In her biography for the award, Smith is described as being a dynamic teacher leader, literacy advocate and educator whose love for learning sparks pedagogical change. As a third-year teacher at Bothwell Middle School, she celebrates all forms of literacy and helps her students to see themselves as readers and writers.
Smith embodies the reading specialist program goals for literacy leadership and innovation in diverse contexts. She has presented at numerous state and international conferences and has published in Teaching Tolerance and AMATYC Educator.
Jaime Vanenkevort of Little Lake has been named a Northern Michigan University School of Education, Leadership and Public Service 2020-21 outstanding graduating graduate student. She completed the requirements for the reading specialist program in August.
Vanenkevort has embodied the reading specialist program goal of literacy leadership through her dedication to the NMU’s ALLIES program, UNITED Conference planning, co-creating the MQT Comes Out Community Event and fostering school-community partnerships with K.I. Sawyer Elementary School.
An Excellence in Education 2019 grant recipient, Influential Educator Award winner and recipient of a King-Chavez-Parks Fellowship, Vanenkevort has presented literacy-focused research for antiracist teaching at state and regional conferences.
She is presently pursuing an education specialist degree.
NMU’s virtual commencement will be held at 10 a.m. EST Saturday. Bryan Terrell Clark, a Broadway performer who played George Washington in the award-winning musical “Hamilton”, will be the keynote speaker.
Learn more about commencement and access a link to watch it live at www.nmu.edu/commencement.