Feeling A Bit Homesick?

Freshman year of college is a non-stop adventure full of discovery, excitement, and -of course- many ‘firsts’.

The realization that you are an adult and are officially responsible for yourself and your decisions begins on move-in day. Watching my parents drive away was strange, but the moment it really set in that I was on my own was in September. I was sick and had to go to see a doctor, sit at Walgreen’s to wait for my prescriptions and then REMEMBER to actually take my medicine on my own without my mom’s reminder texts. And so, here I am about to tackle the daunting task of trying to give not only my perspective on the amazing time that is Freshman Year but also helpful advice on how to overcome those obstacles that undoubtedly will arise.

Today’s topic is an obstacle that plagues most freshman starting after the first couple weeks of school have gone by and students are still trying to settle into a routine…Homesickness.

According to Wikipedia, Homesickness “is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home”.

Homesickness hit me hard back in September. I was sick and miserable and it really made me wish I was home. Taking care of yourself is not nearly as comforting as having your parents worry over you and take care of everything. I didn’t have anyone constantly nagging me to take medicine and drink orange juice “because I need my vitamins” (orange juice isn’t a cure all mom) and that was nice at first. But the absence of nagging also meant the absence of my dad throwing just-out-of-the-dryer warm blankets on me as I’m napping, Grandpa’s homemade soup, and my mom playing with my hair because she knows it relaxes me. And that was hard. Really hard.

I was having to pump myself up just to get down the nasty syrup the doctor prescribed me and having to give myself pep talks in order to convince myself that going to class was worth it (“you will feel better if you get out of bed and get ready and go to class because you definitely need the notes from the hour and twenty minute long lecture on Chapter 5 even though you already read it and took notes before today gosh darn it!”).

Not having those comforts of home can be difficult so here it is, my best advice on dealing with Homesickness.

  1. Call Home– Although it’s not the same as being in person and it definitely lacks the comfort of getting hugs as you walk through the door, hearing your parents and siblings talk to you about even the most mundane things when you really miss them will do wonders to comfort you. But make sure not to call home too often and definitely don’t go home every chance you get, college is the time to really let yourself figure things out on your own so you can’t just call or run home for advice every time!


2. Get Out of Your Shell– Join student organizations or maybe an intramural sports team, find a job, make some new friends. The more you do things for yourself- things that make you happy and keep you busy- the more satisfied and comfortable you will be at school and the less you’ll miss the routine and comforts of home, because you will feel more at home while at school!


3. Talk to Your Friends About It– Opening up about something like being homesick can be awkward and isn’t necessarily the first thing that most Freshman will want to do when they miss home.  However, you are not alone in being homesick! At some point or another, every student will miss home and talking to your friends about it allows them to open up about being homesick themselves.  Just talk about what it is you are missing from home and maybe make some plans to do something with your new friends that you used to love to do at home. Cook a meal together, put on that song that your mom always has to sing along to when it comes on the radio, or play that family-favorite board game!


4. Stay in Touch with Old Friends– Hearing from your family is amazing, but chances are that it’s not just them that you’re missing. Those old friends that know everything about you (maybe too much in your opinion) are staples of being home. Going off to college for me meant no more sitting on my kitchen floor eating cookie dough and telling those “Remember that time when” stories with my best friend or staying up into the wee hours of the morning laughing until I was crying while surrounded by my closest friends. I love my new friends at school and I am incredibly thankful and blessed to have them, but calling or FaceTiming with the friends I had back home always makes me feel a lot better, and I’m sure that it will make you feel better too.


Northwood Fashion Marketing & Management Students to Attend MAGIC Tradeshow

This week, a number of Fashion Marketing & Management students will head to Las Vegas to represent Northwood at MAGIC, a global fashion tradeshow.

We encourage you to follow some of these students as they take on the fashion world! A little bit more about them:

Leann ColellaLeann Colella

What groups are you involved in on campus?

I am General Chair for Auto Show, Vice Chair of Style for Style Show and Membership Coordinator and a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta.

How did you did you receive the opportunity to attend MAGIC?

I have always been in love with the Fashion industry and coming to Northwood and studying the business of fashion has been a dream come true. When Mrs. O announced the trip I knew that I wanted to go! I am ecstatic and honored to be attending the MAGIC show and can’t wait for the experience. 

What are you most excited about as you head into this experience?

I am really looking forward to networking and experiencing the show. I cannot wait to meet indusrty professionals and the seemingly endless number of vendors. I’m pumped to see what is new in the industry and learn everything I can.

How can we follow along with you while you are in Las Vegas?

I will mainly be posting on Instagram and Snapchat: leanncolella.

Casey BrownCasey Brown

What groups are you involved in on campus?

Northwood Softball Team and Collections Chair for the Style Show 

How did you did you receive the opportunity to attend MAGIC?

Being in the Fashion program at Northwood, we got the opportunity to attend MAGIC, while we get to learn and gain more experience in the fashion field. 

What are you most excited about as you head into this experience?

Attending MAGIC and experiencing all that it has to offer! As well as my first time going to Las Vegas! 

How can we follow along with you while you are in Las Vegas?

My Facebook name is Casey Brown, and my Instagram name is ccaseyxo.

headshot junior yearKendal Penney

What groups are you involved in on campus?

I’m president of Cause for Paws here on campus and I’m also the Show Vice Chair for this upcoming Style Show which is April 15th this year.

How did you did you receive the opportunity to attend MAGIC?

I’m very active in the fashion program here and I’ve heard of this trip since my freshman year. The older students in the program have gone and shared great stories about what they learned and the connections they made by going to the MAGIC show. I’m very excited to go this year and see Las Vegas and see the infamous show.

What are you most excited about as you head into this experience?

Our program is a very close knit group I would say and I’m looking forward to gaining this new experience with the students I’ve known for the past three years as well as our professor Mrs. Ouellette as this is her last semester here at Northwood.

Emma Huck

What groups are you involved in on campus?

Collections Chair on Style show, Secretary for Cause for Paws, & Business Professionals of America (BPA).

How did you did you receive the opportunity to attend MAGIC?

Mrs. O has been talking about MAGIC ever since I was a freshman, and I have been wanting to attend ever since!

What are you most excited about as you head into this experience?

I am mostly excited about getting to see how tradeshows operate. This summer I will be working at a few tradeshows for my internship in Chicago, so to get this experience it is awesome! I am also looking forward to meeting vendors, and seeing what will be trending next year.

How can we follow along with you while you are in Las Vegas?

Twitter (Huck_Emma), Instagram (emmahuck), Snapchat (emma_huck)


Northwood Student Reflects on Super Bowl Internship

We caught up with Olivia Ross after her internship experience at Super Bowl 50. Here’s what she had to say:


What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

I learned that in events like these you are going to deal with all sorts of people so being able to effectively communicate on their level will get you much further then if you just stay in your own comfort zone. Being complex and able to adapt will serve you very well.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

Although communication was key, so was critical thinking. I understand the tremendous amount of effort that goes into these global events and feel much more versed in this area now.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these type of experiences while they are in school?

I think students need to have these experiences, especially in this field of work, because as Dr. James would say, “learning theory in a classroom is great, but it’s not until you actually get out there and do it yourself that you will truly learn.” Beyond that, you meet professionals that you will be working side by side with down the road so you’re going to much better off then students who graduate knowing absolutely no one.

What was the highlight of the trip for you?

Of course the day of the Super Bowl! Although we didn’t actually get to work the game, we were in Super Bowl City in downtown San Francisco and there were thousands of people. The city came alive and it was remarkable to see.

Anything else we should know about this experience?

This would not have been possible without the support of my family, Dr. James, or the Super Bowl Host Committee so first and foremost thank you to them. I would love to see more opportunities like this opened up to our students so others can share what I experienced. I think there should be a scholarship fund developed specifically to help students participate opportunities like these. I know many of students could not attend because they were financially unable and that is something we should work to collectively change.


Northwood Students Score Internship at Super Bowl 50

Five Northwood students are getting the internship experience of a lifetime this week at America’s most popular sporting event – the Super Bowl.

Senior Olivia Ross, who is double majoring in Marketing and Entertainment, Sports, Promotion Management, will be sharing her experience from San Francisco this weekend. We encourage you to follow along with her on this adventure!

Olivia Ross Headshot

We wanted to get to know Olivia a little bit more before we tuned in, so she answered a few questions for us before she left:

What groups are you involved in on campus?

I am the president of Northwood University’s Entertainment, Sports, and Promotion Management Association (ESPMA), the VP of Recruitment for Alpha Chi Omega, the VP of Marketing and Communications for Communications, and I’m also a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and a Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) member.

How did you did you receive the opportunity to intern at the Super Bowl?

Dr. James! He is always helping us students get real hands-on experience and, in this field, that is the key to success.

What are you most excited about as you head into this experience?

Ah! The atmosphere! Being the most watched sports event each year, the city is going to get crazy and that will make my time here so much more exciting!

How can we follow along with you while you are in San Francisco?

On Snapchat (Add user oliviaross12), Twitter (@oliviaross1212), and Instagram (olivia_ross12)


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.”