Staff Profile – Teresa George

If you have been a student at the Michigan Residential Campus, it is no doubt that you know (and love!) Teresa George, Northwood University Director of Student Life. Teresa is an avid sports fan and she shows it at many Northwood sporting events. Her passion is contagious and is a prime example of why the staff at Northwood University come to work every day, for the students! Active on campus, in the community, and with her church, Teresa serves as an example of compassionate leadership and selfless service.

Teresa Geroge Name: Teresa George
Years at Northwood: 12
Student Life
Title: Director of Student Life

Q. What is your role at Northwood University and what does it mean to you?

A. “I am the Director of Student Life.  This position gives me the pleasure to work with student leaders.  It also allows me to provide activities to engage students outside of the classroom.  For me, it’s a way I can give back.  My college experiences shaped who I am today and I only hope I can do the same for students at Northwood. I also believe in service and making a difference in people’s lives.  I truly love the Midland community and I feel we need to give back to show our appreciation to what this community has given my family and my students. I’m also the Co-Director of the Educational Success program.  This position has been one of my favorite positions I have held at Northwood University.  Northwood University believes in these students in this program.  We know that each student can be successful with hard work and creating relationships. ”

Q. Why did you become a staff member at Northwood University?

A. “When I was in college I had 2 loves… Special Education and Student Life.   I was working at Northwood as a Residence Hall Director as I was doing my student teaching and when I graduated from SVSU the Director of Student Life position became open and I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity. The best part about being at Northwood University is being able to work with students and witness their journey from a freshmen to an Alumni.  It’s also a way for my family to interact with the Northwood community and to value education at it’s finest.”

Q. What is your favorite part of your job and why?

A. “The Students!!  When people talk about Northwood being a family it truly is.  In life you may have ups and downs but you always have your family.  I have had the opportunity to be with students through their learning and leadership process as well as their life journey.  I’ve been honored enough to be there through the best times in my students lives and sometimes the hardest times.  My girls and I have been abIe to stay very close to our Northwood Alumni.  I may have 3 kids at home but I truly feel like I have 100’s of kids out there!”


Q. What are some unique facts about you?

A. “I love all sports, especially football. My favorite thing to do is dance. My favorite places to visit are Black Lake, New York City and as a family we love Disney.  I’m also honored to have a Student Leadership award in my name at SVSU.  I’m a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament.”


Q. What is one thing you have noticed about Northwood students?

A. “Northwood Students are always striving for success… they always have an end goal in mind.  They look at each opportunity and how it will make them better as they approach their career.  That business thinking is so intense… sometimes I need to be reminded I’m working with business students.”

Q. What is the most important thing a student should know about your department?

A. “I’m always here and I’m always looking for new opportunities to engage our students.  Sometimes even if you cannot find me on campus I’m always available no matter what time it is. My main goal is always to find a way for you to have a connection with Northwood and build a legacy.  I want each of my students to be able to say 10-20-30 years from now how proud they are to be a Timberwolf.  I want them to have butterflies at their Alma matter as I do.”


Alumni Profile – Lisa Villareal

Lisa V's workstation- tax time

Meet Lisa Villareal, Northwood Alumna, who who earned a BBA degree in accounting and then went on to transform herself by earning an MBA from the DeVos Graduate School of Northwood University. She gained practical application in her field during her undergraduate studies and learned how build business relationships and see the whole picture of the business world through her graduate studies.

Lisa V's headshot Name: Lisa Villareal
Graduation Year: 2012 (BBA) 2014 (MBA)
Major: BBA – Accounting, MBA

Where are you working now? Tell us a little about your company and what it does.
I currently work at Foulds & Co., P.C.. Foulds & Co., P.C. is a public accounting firm with 16 employees who serve the public by offering Accounting Services, Business Consulting, Tax and Estate Planning, Compliance Services, Computer & Software Consulting, Payroll Services, Employee Benefit Planning, Business Valuations, and assistance with Mergers and Acquisitions

What is your position/role at your company and what does it entail?
I am an accountant with specialization in client services and income tax for individuals and businesses. I perform income tax preparation for individual and business clients. I complete monthly, quarterly and year end accounting for businesses. After tax season I am busy with tax planning, responding and researching to tax notices, and consulting with clients as to best business practices for their success.

How did your experience at Northwood prepare you for your career?
The classroom environment and courses for my bachelor degree prepared me for real world tools for practical application on the job. My education to obtain my MBA opened my eyes to who I am and how to communicate effectively and build better business relationships in the business environment. I was also able to utilize course work in my current job to analyze the work processes. This has enabled me to offer improvements in my own area of expertise. I truly believe the program changed my way of thinking and working in the business world 360 degrees where I can add value to any position I take.

What was your finest memory from your time at Northwood?
Graduation, knowing I was able to accomplish my goals while working full time.

If you could do it all over again, what, if anything, would you change?
Start my education at an earlier time.


Alumni Profile – Parys Liddell

Parys- red

Meet Parys Liddell, Northwood University Alumnus that is putting his education into action in the Automotive field.  His personal transformation from Porter to Brand Champion took hard work and dedication.  Now Parys is putting his education use including the ethical business practices that are at the core of a Northwood University education.

Parys Liddell Name Parys Liddell
Graduation Year 2015
Major Automotive Marketing & Management

Where are you working now? Tell us a little about your company and your role.
I work at Saginaw Valley Ford Lincoln We are a franchise dealership that provide all services from purchasing a vehicle to repairing it in service or in our body shop. I’m the Lincoln Brand Champion that oversees Lincoln Sales & Service satisfaction and sell New & Pre-owned vehicles. I train sales people on how to serve luxury clients in sales and I also sell new and pre-owned vehicles.

How did your experience at Northwood prepare you for your career?
Northwood University helped me understand the structure of how a successful business functions and hows great morals and ethics will help sustain a competitive advantage.

Did you have an internship while you were at Northwood?
My internship started before I came to Northwood University. I started at Saginaw Valley Ford Lincoln as the porter in 2010, and I used my 3 years of sales experience as my internship.

What was your finest memory from your time at Northwood?
My finest memory at Northwood was when I finished my Bachelor’s degree and I came to see my Campus director and was greeted with a big hug that showed me how much my success meant to them.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Only thing I wish I would have done is come to Northwood University sooner.


Staff Profile – Andy Cripe

In this week’s staff profile we are speaking with Andy Cripe, Northwood University Dean of Students. While Andy doesn’t feel that he is very unique, ask anyone around him and you will hear that he is inspiring.  He has a true drive and passion to ensure that the students of Northwood University are successful and goes above and beyond to make it happen.  If you hear someone blaring Led Zeppelin late at night at the Church Building, that just may be him.

Cripe, Andy Name: Andy Cripe
Years at Northwood: 20
Student Services since 1/15
Athletics from 1/96-1/15
Title: Dean of Students

Q. What is your role and Northwood University and what does it mean to you?

A. “The Dean of Students wears a lot of different hats, but at the end of the day I am passionate about supporting the success of our students.  It’s incredibly humbling and gratifying to be able to help make a difference in the lives of Northwood students.  ”

Q. Why did you become a staff member at Northwood University?

A. “A friend of mine contacted me about the Head Athletic Training job and once I met some of the coaches, I knew Northwood was a special place.”

Q. What is your favorite part of your job and why?

A. “The people.  The students, faculty, and staff here are world class and they do things the right way, with integrity and ethics.  We support each other and look out for each other like family members. Also, making a difference in the lives of our students.  Being able to have personal relationships with our students, and making sure their experience here at Northwood is extraordinary is very important to me.”

Q. What is one thing you have noticed about Northwood students?

A. “How incredibly motivated they are.  Many of the students I talk to have their own businesses already.  The drive to be successful and to be exceptional is very strong in Northwood students.”

Q. What is the most important thing a student should know about your department?

A. “That we are accessible and here to help.  I don’t want anyone to ever say they had trouble getting ahold of one of us or that we were slow to respond to anyone’s inquiry.  I am the student’s dean and I am committed to the needs of our students and making a great place like Northwood even better.”



International Student Profile

Yubi 1 

Here at Northwood University we take pride in saying that we have around 73 different countries attending our Undergraduate and Graduate programs. On top of that, we have alumni in over 200 countries all around the world. Which makes it that much easier for our students to become more globally aware.

The next International student profile is also Latin American. Carol Yubitza Arnez Mercado, or better known as Yubi, is originally from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. She is currently a freshman here and is and International Business Major. Yubi was introduced to NU through another student here on campus, which also comes from Bolivia.  image1 (1)

 In addition to that she was extremely interested in a strictly business school with an exceptional tennis team. She has been playing tennis since she was 7 years old. Fortunately, she has been able to travel all over South America, Spain, Holland, France, Italy and many places around the U.S.A. to play Tennis. At the same time, she is able to work at sports events at ticket booths or concession stands. She says that for a small school such as NU she was really surprised to see how many foreign athletes there are on campus.

Yubi 2One of the things that most worried her was her lack of English, she came here with a very strong accent and her comprehension of the language was minimal. On top of moving half way around the world she still has to go to classes that were taught in a language she was not very familiar with. However, in her opinion, she was very lucky to move to a school that had such a good support system and professors that wanted to make sure she was as comfortable as possible.


International Student Profile

IMG_5524Adding 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. IMG_5525

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.”



International Student Profile

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. image1 (1)

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.”




Staff Profile – Dave Marsh – Athletic Director

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.

Dave Marsh Name: Dave Marsh
Years at Northwood: 18
Department: Athletics
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. ”

Dave Marsh speaking at the 2015 Timby Awards

Dave Marsh speaking at the 2015 Timby Awards

Dave with his son Ben, Northwood University Valedictorian Spring 2014

Dave with his son Ben, Northwood University Valedictorian Spring 2014


Jared Arnold

Active Duty Navy:  E-6/AD1
Years of Service: 11 YEARS
Stationed: NAS Fort Worth JRB
Northwood Major: Management

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.”


Around Town – Journey’s Coffee House

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
Midland, Michigan

Monday-Thursday: 6:30am-9pm
Friday-Saturday: 7am-6pm
Sunday: 12pm-6pm



Journey's sign out front

The coffee bar at Journey's

Josh the Barista

Game shelves in Journey's

Deep shot of Journey's