The Perfect Fall Weekend

view through the trees

In Michigan, apple orchard and cider mill trips are a fall tradition for many people. We Michiganders love these places as much as we love Mackinaw Store frontIsland fudge and Vernors ginger ale. So of course when I went home this past weekend, it was a necessity for me to head to the local cider mill back in my hometown of Hartland. Spicer Orchards has been around since IMG_3828 1967 and started out with a few rows of apple trees and blueberries and a small donut shop in a barn by Alan and Wanda Spicer. Today Spicer’s has over 15 varieties of apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pumpkins and fresh produce and makes thousands of donuts on any given fall day. The entire Spicer family comes together to work at the orchard with three generations working side by side, however they do employ numerous local high school kids.

Spicer’s is one of the largest orchards in the state and when my family and I went right around 12:30 in the afternoon, business was really starting to pick up. Pumpkins were lined up outside the store for people who did not want to or have the time to pick their own and the aroma of hot cinnamon donuts and apple cider floated through the air. My family made our way to the pick-your-own barn to grab a bag to pick apples, hopped on a hayride out to the apple orchard; along with about 30 other people (it was a full ride)! Although apples have been in season since the end of August, the tree branchesIMG_3857 were still bent with the weight of the abundance of apples they were supporting. After filling our bag full of my favorite apples for me to bring back to school, we started making our way back up from the orchard to the store and along the way found an apple that was almost bigger than my face!

As we walked back up to the store, we passed a play area with zip lines, bikes, slides, a sandbox, and a petting farm. IMG_3848The new winery building (with wines made from Spicer fruits) was bustling and people were pouring out of every door in the store. We made our way to the back of the store to get apple cider and hot cinnamon donuts and then went and sat outside on the hillside to enjoy our treats and the amazing view over the entire orchard. We also went to the back of the building where you can watch employees make the apple cider.


All in all, just like every Michigan native, I loved my visit to the cider mill. If any of you Timberwolves, Michiganders or otherwise, want to take a little trip to an orchard sometime I suggest checking out Bayne’s Apple Valley Farm and Leaman’s Green Applebarn! Get directions and hours of business at these websites: and Do not forget to share your fun fall photos with us on Instagram and Twitter, tag us with @NorthwoodU!



Daniella Gama-Diaz

IMG_9709Daniella Gama-Diaz is an Advertsing and Marketing major here at Northwood University. Her whole life she’s watched commercials and seen advertisements, never feeling satisfied with them. “I just feel like I have good ideas and the ability to improve current advertisements to make them more effective.” she says as to why she chose her major. It seems to be working well for Daniella, and it better with such big aspirations. Daniella plans to graduate with her masters by the age of twenty-one and participate in internships to make sure she has a job straight out of college.  After a while in her field Daniella wants to get her PhD at MSU. Her final destination will be in print advertising but she might not stop there, “I could also see myself as an editor” she jokes, “I just can’t stand poor grammar”. Wherever Daniella Gama-Diaz ends up, we hope she enjoys it, and gets there by using the skills she learned at our very own Northwood University!


Campus Rides-Don Handley

Name: Don Handley

Year: Senior

Hometown: Clarkston, Michigan

Major: Automotive Aftermarket Management

Year, Make, Model: 2000 Volkswagen GTI

Engine, (Natural Aspirated/Turbo): 2.8 VR6 naturally aspirated

Transmission, AWD/RWD/FWD: 5-speed manual, FWD

Mileage: 114,000


Why this particular car?

I chose this car because it’s sporty and this had the VR6 engine I wanted, and I’m pretty brand loyal to Volkswagen.


What Mods have been done to this car?

Engine: Cold air intake, headers, 262 cams and a 3’’ full exhaust with a Magnaflow muffler

Transmission: Short throw shifter

Suspension & Wheels: Solowerks coilovers and 18×8 Alzor 349 rims







SYNW Template


Meet the Social Media Ambassador Team!


This year, six students became the university’s first Social Media Ambassador team. Their role is to share an unfiltered view of student life here, in the hope that prospective students like what they see. During their inaugural year, the Ambassadors will cover hot topics such as dorm life, the Greek system, cars, campus events, student profiles and more.

AmeliaMonsalvo Amelia Marie Monsalvo is a freshman at Northwood University studying fashion! Straight out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is Amelia’s first time out of the city for more than a month. Amelia speaks volumes of her dream job, and that’s to be a buyer in the fashion industry. She wants to spend more time picking out plus sized women’s clothing because she believes everyone deserves an equal shot to feel beautiful.
Aside from fashion, Amelia is passionate about music. From pop punk to old school hip hop, Amelia listens to it all. She thinks music is just something we should generally appreciate, and enjoy hearing. Amelia actually has been playing the guitar for the past eight years, singing her entire life, picked up the ukulele, and even dabbled in the cello. Talk about an Amelia of all trades, huh?
Amelia is driven by the idea of becoming more. She spoke of how stuck she felt for so long, and now she wants to get out to experience the world. Amelia wants to use her career as a door to places she has never been, and new experiences that she can cherish for the rest of her life.
Oddly enough, Amelia was originally going to Boston for school, but some complications landed her right here in Midland. Amelia calls it a “happy accident”, because what better place to end up at than NU?! Amelia is a ball of excitement, energy, and knowledge. You will definitely want to check here for her posts as she is apart of our social media team!

MitchelVedder Mitchel Vedder is a sophomore here at Northwood University, he is also a Marketing and Advertising Major. Originally from a small town called Pinckney (Michigan), Mitchel always knew he wanted to come to a strictly business school so his choice was simple; apply to Northwood and strive for success. His hobbies include skateboarding and snowboarding and because of that his favorite place to visit is Colorado. He spends weeks at a time enjoying the slopes with his father and brother.

At Northwood he participates in Greek Life and volunteers his time to the ALS Foundation. Once he graduates from Northwood he wants to use his expertise in ski resorts and help them better promote themselves to their respective markets.

WilliamAmes William Ames is a junior here at Northwood and is majoring in Advertising and Marketing. Ames was born in the small town of New Boston, MI; spending most of his childhood playing golf, basketball, tennis, skiing, and anything concerning a lake. Perhaps it was his love of lakes and water that lead him to become a certified life guard. Will has other interests too, such as football. Being the huge University of Michigan fan he has attended over 30 games! He loves fall and a birthday of October 20th means that his love for Halloween and horror movies is more than appropriate. William is ecstatic to begin his position as a student ambassador and looks forward to the new skills and experiences he’ll gain while a member of the coolest social media team here on campus!


Jessica Hinkle is a Freshmen this year at Northwood, majoring in International Business and on the Cheerleading team. She is from Heartland Michigan which is a small town about an hour North of Detroit. Jessica’s high school years were spent heavily involved in DECA, achieving a position of State Vice Officer her senior year.

When Jessica has free time, she enjoys watching movies and reading poetry. She will watch any horror movie you put on, but her favorite is The Strangers. She plans to use her major to do personal branding for people all over the world with hopes of one day settling down in the beautiful Carolinas. Look for Jessica and other members of our social media team around campus to have your student profile posted!


Stephanie Dehn is a sophomore here at Northwood University studying Automotive Marketing and Management. Stephanie grew up and spent a lot of her life in Sao Paulo, Brazil but has lived in various places around the world, and maybe that’s why she is fluent in four different languages. Traveling the world is one of her passions in life along with sports cars, which explains a lot about her major. Stephanie currently lives in Midland and graduated from Dow High. She loves to relax and hangout at the local coffee shops and meet new people around town. Some of her favorite dishes include: Feijoado (Brazilian rice, beans, meat) and Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ). Stephanie loves living in Midland and going to Northwood because she believes the city and university have so much to offer for her future. She is very excited to be a part of the Social Media Ambassadors group and helping the university grow in many ways. She is a very creative, bright, and especially motivated individual. We are very happy to have Stephanie be a part of our team and even more excited to see what she can bring to the table for Northwood University!


Brandon Justice is a Freshman here at Northwood University and is majoring in ESPM with a minor in Innovation. Brandon is from Trenton, Michigan. He chose Northwood because he loved the small town feel and the amazing curriculum. He says he chose the ESPM major because he has been involved with blogging about sports for the past four years and the experience has allowed him to see a side of sports that fans do not usually get to see. His dream job is to one day be involved with the University of Michigan’s athletics (he is a huge U of M fan). Something aside from sports that Brandon is passionate about is…Hip-Hop! He listens to, watches videos of, and even writes hip-hop!

When asked what drives him he will joke that it is currently a 2007 Cadillac STS but his true inspiration is his family, especially his father and grandfather. Stay tuned to see great posts and articles from Brandon, a member of our Social Media Ambassador team!