Adding onto our International Student portfolio is sophomore, Amel Ljaljic. He is currently enrolled at Northwood University as an International Business Major. Although he spent most of his time growing up in the city of Celic, Bosnia, he was originally born in Tuzla. At the age of 8 his life changed dramatically. He got on the next plane to the U.S.A. and began his 4,700 mile long trip to Port Huron, MI. Most of his Middle and High School education was also done here in Michigan. At the end of his Senior year a family friend referred Northwood to him as a possible University option.
While deciding what University would be best for him he took into consideration which school was going to give him not only the best education, but also would not be overly expensive. He received a total of 4 scholarships, half were from NU (Academic scholarships and Private Donor scholarships) and the other half came from local scholarship opportunities he earned. These scholarships added up to $25,000 dollars, making Northwood seem like an even better option.He quickly got into contact with the admission and athletic offices. Since he had always played Soccer he decided to send his video and begin the recruiting process with the University. During his Freshman year he was a part of the Men’s Soccer Team on campus where he was able to experience the student athlete culture in a college setting.
Now, as a sophomore he decided it would be best for him to focus on his studies and pursue his career. Within the last year Amel has been coaching Youth 15 and has had wonderful results. He says it gives him a sense of pride to see that all the hard work he put into his young athletes had an exceptional outcome. Now that the season is over he has decided to become one of NU’s Student Ambassadors. His job mainly consists of giving tours to high school field trips and prospective students wanting to learn more about Northwood University.
Despite the fact that he is only a sophomore he is thinking of doing a Minor in Accounting as he is good with numbers and math. The combination of International Business and Accounting leads him to believe that these degrees will help set him up for further success in his future endeavors. Once he graduates from college he plans on opening up his own Third Party Exercise facility. This journey according to him will take him outside the Mitten state, however, he feels that because of Northwood’s business perspectives and diverse teaching methods it has greatly helped him gain understanding and confidence to attack his dreams in the business world.
Lastly, as an international student he has more obstacles to overcome than most students. The largest hurdle in his view is the distance between him and his family, mainly because a large portion of them still live in Bosnia. On top of this his parents travel consistently which means he is unable to see them during a large portion of the year. In order to address that he has to take time out of his busy schedule to call them on weekends. He agrees with the idea that many students aren’t thankful enough for having their families so close to them, “Many students don’t realize that most of the international students only get to see their parents twice maybe three times in the whole year.”
As we move into a more globalized world, we must also become more adaptable and flexible with big changes in our lives. International students attending Northwood University are wonderful examples of these characteristics. Some of them must prepare themselves for a long and bumpy journey ahead, and others will soon be saying goodbye to their second home.
This weeks International Student Profile is on Felipe Batistella, currently a senior here at NU, is finalizing his last credits to receive an Advertising Marketing degree. Originally from São José dos Campos, Brazil, he has had to adapt with not only different cultures but a new type of climate as well. Coming from a tropical country where most of the year is above 70o F he has had to overcome many obstacles. Since transferring from a small University in Brazil in January of 2014 Felipe has been able to make the best out of the crazy Michigan weather. As a Tennis player at Northwood he has been able to meet most of his close friends, which today he considers his family. In addition, due to Tennis he has been able to travel to a few different states (Florida and Ohio) to compete alongside his fellow teammates.
Felipe understands that in the near future he will start having to look for jobs. Of course, it’s a little different for him than it is for most college students. He has to fill out an application for an OPT, which stands for Optional Practical Training. The OPT enables him to work for a full year at any company (within his field of study). If the company decides that he is a good fit they can either extend his application for an extra 3 years or sponsor a Green Card (Permanent Legal Resident). He also plans on completing a masters degree, either at the end of his OPT or in the middle of it. Due to the fact of his NCAA eligibility status he still has one more year of eligibility which means that he can still play Tennis while doing his MBA.
Since he is applying for jobs in the near future he is relieved he picked such a business oriented school. According to Felipe, the University has enabled him to network with employers and has definitely changed his life for the better. When asked if he fears anything going wrong in the future the answer was simple “No. I believe that there are so many doors waiting to be opened that I really don’t see how anything could go wrong. Worst case scenario I can hop onto the first plane back to Brazil knowing that I have gained so much experience in such a short period of time. I’m more prepared than most college students back home.”
In this week’s staff profile we are speaking with Dave Marsh, Northwood University Athletic Director. Dave is a Midland resident and his children are fourth generation Midland Chemics. He is involved in numerous volunteer activities in our community (including but not limited to: MCTV, youth sports coaching, Royal Family Kids Camp, Midland Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees and Grants Committee member, former Pregnancy Resource Center board member and Rotary Club member) and has even served on the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee, the NCAA D2 Women’s Basketball Committee and is the current chairman of the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) Management Council. A special point of pride is that his son, Ben, was valedictorian at Northwood University in 2014.
|Name: Dave Marsh
Years at Northwood: 18
Title: Athletic Director
Q. What is your role and Northwood University and what does it mean to you?
A. “Athletic Director – I am honored and grateful to have this position and to be able to serve the student-athletes, our staff, and the university. I believe in Northwood and what we do here. It is much easier to work at a place you believe in.”
Q. Why did you become a staff member at Northwood University?
A. “I enjoy working with the student-athletes, helping them fulfill their dreams, and then seeing them succeed in life. I also enjoy working with great people at Northwood. Also Northwood encourages us all to Go MAD (Go Make a Difference), which make this a great place to be.”
Q. What is your favorite part of your job and why?
A. “Seeing coaches and student-athletes succeed because it is great to see our collective hard work pay off.”
Q. What is one thing you have noticed about Northwood students?
A. “For the most part they have more career focus when they arrive at Northwood than the average college student, and they are well prepared when they graduate.”
Q. What is the most important thing a student should know about your department?
A. “We [the Athletics Department] have a staff that puts in countless hours to try to achieve the goal of giving student-athletes a positive life-changing experience and helping them to succeed. ”
Tell Us About You:
“I’m proud to say, I joined the military over 11 years ago. I’m from Southwest Louisiana, more specifically Duralde, LA. You’d be hard pressed to find it on a map. It’s a small farming and agriculture community. I’m not from New Orleans, and it’s not the swamp. Swamp People and Bourbon Street are terms many associate with Louisiana, but that’s just not my case. I graduated high school in the neighboring town of Basile, La, and shortly after joined the military. I’ve been married for four years to my beautiful wife Angie. She’s endured almost 6 years of me and Uncle Sam. I was grateful to get stationed in Fort Worth close to both our families.”
What Prompted You to go to School on base?
“The fact my wife is a school teacher with several degrees tremendously helped influence my decision to pursue my degree. Also while checking aboard, senior leadership strongly encouraged taking advantage of this shore duty tour and getting back into school. I personally knew it was time to get back on the horse.”
Why Did You Choose Northwood?
“I choose Northwood to receive a quality education. The institution offered an Adult Degree Program which provided evening scheduled classes aboard NAS Fort Worth Installation. The school also had a Campus located in Cedar Hill, which is about 30 minutes from the base. Northwood’s classes, location, and scheduling provided an opportunity for me to earn my degree while balancing my flexible military schedule.”
What Military Education Benefits, such as the G.I. Bill®, Did You Use?
“I’m currently taking advantage of the the Military’s Tuition Assistance program. I’m using the post 9/11 GI Bill® and plan on using my benefits to pay for upcoming classes once I’ve expended my TA credits.”
What Has Your Experience Been Like as a Student?
“It’s been different from my perception of college. I figured I’d be the older student going back to class. With Northwood’s ADP program, it just isn’t the case. It’s just students, both service members and civilians, returning to school to pursue their degree. It’s actually provided me with an opportunity to network.”
What Challenges Did You Have Adjusting to classes while in the military?
“I’m sure there would be major challenges if I were pursuing my degree while on Sea duty, but on while on shore duty; it’s been an easier transition. The longer days sometimes get discouraging. A 0600- 2100 work day, especially while balancing your job and gearing up for midterms and finals, can get a bit rough. I admire the students who currently accomplish this task with kids.”
Do You Believe Your Military Experience Has Made You a Better Student?
“Regardless of military experience, ‘What you put into is what you get out of it’. Fortunately, the military has helped impact the way I approach college. It’s not just a degree; it’s my career’s future.”
What Advice Do You Have for Service members/Veterans Returning to School?
“The military encourages all Service members/Veterans to receive an education. Whether it’s using your Tuition Assistance, Montgomery GI, DANTES, taking CLEPS or Certification’s; use it because you’ve earned it. The military provides leadership and support for furthering your education. For those who are on the fence, the hardest part is getting past the excuses.”
Before even entering the door of Journeys Coffee House, I spy a specials board in front of the store with a play on the meme of Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story with a joke about Pumpkin Spice, a favorite drink in most cafés in the last couple of years. From the first moment I walked into Journeys I am instantly welcomed by the smell of freshly brewed coffee and steaming espresso.
Comfy chairs, couches and tables are scattered around the café and the low lighting instantly soothes every customer who walks in the door. Quotes on the topic of journeys are decaled onto the walls throughout the shop, some are inspirational while others are funny. The atmosphere of the coffee shop is warm and relaxing. Journeys is a place you can sit down, do homework, or play a game with friends at one of the big tables to de-stress while enjoying a delicious coffee, smoothie, pastry or cup of ice cream. The baristas start friendly conversations with everyone who comes up to the counter and joke around with each other, it is obvious that they enjoy their job, meeting new people and even catching up with some regular coffee shop goers.
Today, the barista talking with me is Josh. When I ask him what he believes makes the shop unique and differentiates it from other cafés, he tells me that put simply; it is the staff. “We always have at least two staff members on at all times so that we can ensure timely service, but also so we can give customers our attention and really get to have fun or meaningful conversation with them,” Josh goes on to explain to me. It is obvious to me that the staff honestly cares about the quality of service that they can provide to customers.
Josh and I start talking about the reasons why college kids come in and keep coming back. “I would say it’s primarily a coffee and caffeine addiction,” he jokes. Aside from the overflow of caffeine Journeys Coffee House is a great alternative place to study and relax if you feel the need to get off campus every now and then but it is also a cool place to bring friends to unwind after a long day of classes. Journeys has an entire bookshelf dedicated to card and board games to play in store and any of the shop’s tables. In the back of the café there is lighting and a small stage for bands and musicians to come play adding yet another feature to the list of reasons to check out Journeys Coffee House.
Journeys Coffee House
201 E. Main Street
Mock Trial is a highly competitive and exhilarating intercollegiate activity that takes place right here at Northwood! Students participate in all facets of an actual trial competing as attorneys as well as witness. Currently there is about 20 members of Northwoods Mock Trial, who regularly meet to practice for invitational tournaments that will take place in January. When February rolls around the intercollegiate Mock Trail eliminations begin and the teams who do not finish top will not advance. If you’ve ever watched Law an Order and wished to be a part of the action, Mock trial at Northwood could be your calling.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding Mock Trial here at Northwood!
Dylan Pankow is a freshman here at Northwood University and is pursuing a career in Marketing. Although, he’s considering picking up a minor in Fashion. Dylan has always been conscious about the way he dresses and pulls many of his inspirations from Luka Sabbat and Ian Connor. He describes his style as “contemporary street wear” with an emphasis on layering. You may see Dylan around campus rocking his slip-on Vans, an article he never leaves his dorm without. Keep your eye out for other great ensembles here at Northwood, and remember to always stay stylish.
Name: Cody Davidson
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Major: Advertising & Marketing/Automotive Aftermarket Management
Year, Make, Model: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta
Engine, (Natural Aspirated/Turbo): 2.5 Naturally Aspirated Inline 5
Transmission, AWD/RWD/FWD: Manual 5 speed, FWD
Why this particular car?
I chose this car to replace my Dodge Challenger, I bought it because it would have a higher resale value in Michigan than in Wisconsin where I bought it. However, that all changed when my Jetta got rear ended. That’s when I began to modify it.
What Mods have been done to this car?
Exterior: RGT wide body kit, Vader spoiler, euro aftermarket headlights
Engine: AFE air intake, Borla cat-back exhaust
Active Duty Marine; 6046 Aviation Maintenance Data Specialist
Years of Service: 7 years
Stationed: NAS Fort Worth JRB
Northwood Major: Management
Tell Us About You: “In many ways I’m a free spirited individual. I love to be active in sports and extra-curricular activities. Ever since I joined the Marines, I’ve fallen in love with traveling. Recently, I ran my first marathon in Washington D.C. and I just received my Privates Pilots License. I really enjoy good conversations and meeting new people from diverse back grounds. Life is good.”
What Prompted You to go to School on base? “I’m a driven individual that seeks to better myself on a daily basis. My parents instilled an inherent desire in me at a young age to continually educate myself. Once I had completed my first year in the Military, I realized that without a formal education I would never reach my true potential in the Marines. The benefits of having an education far out way the drawbacks of not having one!”
Why Did You Choose Northwood? “The Northwood Idea has always captured my attention. I truly want to be a leader in a future global, free enterprise society. The faculty at Northwood has been more than helpful with my transition into the Adult Degree Program.”
What Military Education Benefits, such as the G.I. Bill®, Did You Use? “Since I am still active duty, I am eligible for the Tuition Assistance program in the Marines. Funding for that program has been intermittent in the past few years. Once when funding was unavailable, the staff at the Northwood Fort Worth campus quickly helped me utilize my other benefits so that my education could continue uninterrupted.”
What Has Your Experience Been Like as a Student? “I live by the motto, ‘Nothing worth having in life is ever easy’. Working full time and going to school full time hasn’t been easy, but it has been extremely rewarding. My co-workers and peers within the military always show me a sense of respect and admiration when they find out about my weekly college attendance. Overall, I’ve wholly enjoyed my experience as a student at Northwood.”
What Challenges Did You Have Adjusting to Campus Culture During Military Life? “The campus staff is very understanding of military lifestyles and demanding work schedules. Many of my fellow students are either currently in the military or are former military. I do enjoy the fact that not everyone in my classes have a military background. This makes class discussions and interactions well balanced and diverse.”
Do You Believe Your Military Experience Has Made You a Better Student? “My parents instilled an understanding and appreciation for education in me, but the Marines taught me the value of hard work. I think that this set of experiences has made me a better student.”
What Advice Do You Have for Veterans Returning to School? “I always encourage anyone to educate themselves. It’s more than just receiving a piece of paper to place on the wall. Returning Veteran students need not be intimidated by college. It’s a great experience that you won’t regret in the future. Beginning on day one, Northwood University will set you up for success. With hard work, dedication and a desire to better yourself, anyone can succeed at Northwood University.”
Professor Jay Chandran grew up and did his undergrad studies in India. Coming to the United States for graduate school at the University of South Florida he received his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Management there, later becoming certified in International Business at the University of South Carolina. He worked for an international bank specializing in foreign exchange and industry loans for 12 years. While at the bank he would teach other employees about foreign exchange which is where his affinity for academia and teaching first began.
He taught at the University of South Florida for a couple of years before hearing of a teaching position opening up at Northwood University. Although he did not have much teaching experience he decided to apply for the graduate school position and evidently the administration liked him because he has been at Northwood for 21 years now! After teaching in the MBA program, he eventually moved to teaching in the undergrad program. His focus areas are International Business (he is the Chair of International Business) and management. He teaches Intro to International Business, Principles of Management, and Strategic Management.
Chandran says he cannot pick a favorite class to teach because the international business class is very different from the management class and the freshman classes are on a different scale then the upperclassmen class of Strategic Management. The emphasis in the different classes are unique as the international business class has a focus on laws and cultural differences amongst countries whereas the management classes are mostly focused on strategy.
Professor Chandran says that bringing industry experience that was had 30 years ago is something he tries not to do as he believes it is not relevant and is out of date in this quickly developing business world. Instead, he tries to do research, travel and interact with faculty from around the world to stay up to date on current trends in business to relay the information to his students. He believes that the best part of teaching at Northwood is being able to “hopefully have a good influence and help them find their paths for a career and in life.” Challenging students to grow and broaden their perspectives on the world is what he loves the most about being a professor. Chandran believes the students here are respectful of their professors and serious about learning and are typically well-rounded students who make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.
A little personal fact? Professor Chandran is not all business! He has a keen interest in English literature and the arts, even dabbling a bit in writing, although he says he hasn’t published anything. He also loves sports; his favorite three being basketball, tennis and ping pong. He keeps his ping pong paddles in his office so if you’re ever feeling up for the challenge, ask him to play!