Student Staff Spotlight: Stefan

As the 2017-18 academic year comes to a close, we at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives have to say goodbye to our graduating seniors: Stefan Nelson and Lydia Henning. So we’ll be bidding a fond “hail and farewell” to them by giving each of them their own sendoff here on the blog. This week’s spotlight is on Stefan.


Stefan Nelson came to Northern in the fall of 2014 after graduating from Stillwater Area High School in Stillwater, Minnesota. According to him, he chose to attend Northern for three reasons: “First off, it had the major I was interested in – Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Secondly, it was a medium-sized school, not huge like some of the big public schools in MN, WI, ND, and elsewhere where I’d looked at. Thirdly, there was a tremendous amount of opportunities to do things in the area. I could hike, bike, shop, fish, walk to downtown from campus, or drive for a few minutes and be in the woods. This was pretty unusual for almost all of the other schools I’d looked at that had been in cities with large suburban areas surrounding them.” In regards to why Stefan chose to major in Fisheries and Wildlife Management: “I chose Fisheries and Wildlife Management as my major after taking AP Environmental Science in high school. I had a great teacher who was actively participating in environmental science but also wildlife in his professional and personal life with his peregrine falcon breeding program.”


Outside of school and working in the Archives, Stefan enjoys hanging out with friends; going out to eat; enjoying good weather in the outdoors in the form of hiking, biking, (ice) fishing, skiing, hammocking, and camping; and going to the PEIF. He’ll carry with him a lot of memories when he leaves Northern: “I know I’ll always remember the great professors at NMU, the fishing, hanging out with friends, the parties, night hikes, and other spontaneous activities I got to do. All of this would’ve been extremely hard to do anywhere else but here.”


Stefan (right) and friend

After graduating from NMU, Stefan plans to go to graduate school to conduct research in the natural resource field on wildlife or fish ecology, dispersal and distributions, interspecific and intraspecific interactions, or population management. As of the date of this blog post, he is still waiting to hear back from four schools on six different projects, and has heard back from four already that have selected other candidates. Stefan would like to be able to apply the knowledge he’s learned at Northern and pair it with the summer experiences he’s gained over the last three years. Career-wise, Stefan would take a job working for a state, federal, or private agency in a wildlife science, research, or management position.


Stefan (left) and friend

In closing, here’s Stefan, in his own words, talking about what working in the Archives has meant to him: “Working at the Archives for four years has been a great experience for me. I’ve enjoyed being able to learn about the vast breadth of resources available to the public here at the Archives. It’s also been cool to have been the first male Senior Student Assistant. I’ve been able to practice interacting with members of NMU staff and the public, drive a full sized (green) van, perform historical research, practice good data entry and management, plan and organize public events, learn what an archives is, how it works, what kind of records it keeps, and how records retention works, among other things. I appreciate having worked with some amazing coworkers who have supported me with both work and non-work related things, and for the opportunity to work a job on campus that’s taught me so much about the history of NMU, Marquette, and the UP in general. Thanks to Marcus, Glenda, and all the student assistants!”


This post was written by Lucas Knapp.


The Fantastics

As I pondered what I should write my blog post on, I thought of all the fun photos I have looked at and remembered seeing The Fantastics. The Fantastics were a band here at NMU from 1971 to 1976 composed of 14 students. They were called, “Northern’s Musical Ambassadors,” and were characterized by wearing matching outfits and go-go boots. The Fantastics were very successful on campus, performing at different events, and popular outside of campus as well, performing as USO shows within the states, and internationally. They made a couple albums from various music companies. In 1973 The Fantastics were recipients of the Department of Defense Certificate of Esteem.

The 1973 campus yearbook, the Peninsulan, said of the Fantastics

“Northern Michigan University’s Entertainment Ambassadors, the “Fantastics,” have performed over one hundred times since their first appearance in December of 1970. The multi-talented young men and women have received rave notices following their performance not only in Michigan, but over a four state span. The secret to their success lies in the fact that they do all types of music. Stylistically, they are the 50’s, 60’s, and the 70’s all rolled up in one enthusiastic explosion of the finest in the sounds from the past three decades.

“In January of 1973, the “Fantastics” will be entertaining our American Forces in the Caribbean, as USO representatives selected through the Department of Defense and the National Music Council. The tour will last five weeks and will include performance in Cuba, Central America, the Panama Canal Zone, South America, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.”

Please enjoy some photos of NMU’s Fantastics!


If you are interested in hearing the Fantastics, I have included a link to one of their songs on YouTube: click here for The Fantastics!

This post was written by Eliza Compton.

Reading Room Highlight: Michigan Pioneer Collections

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I suffer from perpetual writer’s block. In fact the only difference between me and Ta-Nehisi Coates is that I can just never think of something to write about. This time, however, I had planned ahead! I knew this blog post was coming up, and had made notes to myself whenever an idea crossed my mind. This is why I am the smartest!

Smart enough to write ideas down, not smart enough to keep track of all the scraps of paper I wrote them on. Also, have you seen my handwriting? It’s the worst. I could only find and decipher two of my notes to myself. One had already been done, and the other was too similar to the last blog post. All was lost, and I collapsed into my natural state, a heap of self-pity.

Eventually I recovered enough to remember that I work in one of the most interesting places on campus (the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, for those of you just joining us. Follow us on social media!), and all I had to do to find a new idea was look around for a moment.


What’s that over there?









On the shelves in our reading room is a series of volumes titled the Michigan Pioneer Collections. They’re a collection of essays, speeches, reports and poetry, spanning the years from 1650 to about 1920. Most of the content is from the nineteenth century. The quality of writing is generally mediocre, but it is invaluable for students of Michigan history, both casual and professional. In volume III there is an article about the Upper Peninsula from 1861, and to tell the truth it’s a little dry, since it’s mostly concerned with the production of grain and how much ore had passed through the Sault Canal. However, the articles immediately before and after make up for it. The first is a letter to the editor from an 1879 Detroit paper that throws shade on Michigan’s first state fair (alleged), and makes reference to using “Michigan wildcat” as currency. The next is “A Michigan Emigrant Song”, supposedly from 1833. The lyrics are terrible, and I look forward to using them the next time someone starts telling me how much better music used to be.


Still better than Crocodile Rock.

You can find all this and more in the reading room of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, located on the first floor of the Learning Resources Center. Come visit us today!

This post was written by Emily Wros.