NMU students learn by doing in innovative program

There’s an old employment and education saying that holds, approximately, there’s nothing like actually doing the work.

Our interpretation of that, approximately, is that more, and better learning, takes place when actual work is undertaken and completed.

A pair of Northern Michigan University students this semester are doing just that, learning the ins and outs of city government by getting involved in real-life projects.

According to an NMU press release, Lexi Hagan, a senior management major from Iron Mountain, is assisting the city of Manistique to update its five-year recreation plan in conjunction with a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spark Grant of $800,000 to support city parks infrastructure.

Meanwhile Anne McIlhagga, a sophomore political science major from East Lansing, is working under the supervision of Marquette Assistant City Manager Sean Hobbins on the rollout of Marquette’s new master plan. She will also help to create and implement the city’s new strategic plan.

Both students were chosen through a competitive selection process. They receive a 100% tuition and fee scholarship as part of their financial aid package for the duration of the fellowship, which includes the current winter and next summer and fall semesters.

Student fellows also receive a stipend up to $15,000 to assist with living expenses and mentoring from experienced leaders who comprise the program’s advisory committee. They are mentored by an advisory committee of experienced leaders.

What a wonderful opportunity to learn by doing. Hats off to NMU and the municipalities involved for development of the initiative.


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