Alumni News

GLWC director Mic Isham on panel discussion at Northland College

Isham heads Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Michael “Mic” Isham Jr. ’87 arrived at Northland College as a self-described punk kid who wanted to play basketball. During his time, he connected with the professors turned mentors—most notably, Native American Studies Professor Joe Rose ‘58—played intramurals, studied sociopolitical and environmental studies, and served as president of the Native American Student Association for two…

Northland College students do radio interview in early 1960s with photographer and curator John Szarkowski

Changing the Way We See


When John Szarkowski began as director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1962, photography was considered a utilitarian median, a means to document what existed. He elevated the photograph as a legitimate form of art. “Szarkowski’s thinking, whether Americans know it or not, has become our thinking about…

Northland College student Max Beal was awarded the Parker Matzinger Internship Award

Beal first to receive Parker Matzinger Internship Award

Northland College junior Max Beal is the first recipient of the Parker Matzinger Internships of Impact Award. Beal was awarded $2,000 for a six-week internship managing and conducting camera trap research on terrestrial wildlife in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Parker Matzinger was a 2016 graduate of Northland College who double-majored in biology and natural resources…

Northland College alum Tina Ramme in the field in Kenya

Conserving Big Cats

Large cat conservationist Tina M. Ramme ’90 is currently the director of The Center for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya and is the president of the Lion Conservation Fund. Since initiating this program in 2006, not one lion has been killed by retribution—one of the best records in East Africa. She initiated the Lion…

Ethiopian girl stretches before running (Girls Gotta Run Foundation)

A Lifetime of Empowering Girls and Women

Why shouldn’t a girl have a pair of sneakers? That’s the question Dr. Patricia E. Ortman ’71, a Washington DC-based retired women’s studies professor and artist, pondered in 2006 before she founded the Girls Gotta Run Foundation, the only nonprofit organization in Ethiopia using the national sport of running as an innovative approach to creating safe…

Alpha sigma women of 1968

Standing on the Right Side of History

When Laurel “Johnnie” Fisher ‘72 was looking for colleges, she went to the Internet of her time—the incredibly thick and heavy 1967 version of Barron’s List of American Colleges and Universities. Her only criteria: that she experience another part of the country. So, she closed her eyes, opened the book, and pointed her finger right at Northland…

Northland College student Abby Keller and National Park Service mentor Caroline Twombly stand outside the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Women in Outdoor Leadership

Nancy Franz ’81 was tired of being the only woman at the table so she did something about it.  She created the Women in Leadership internship, a partnership between Northland College and the National Park Service to support women pursuing outdoor careers. Franz graduated from Northland with a degree in outdoor environmental education, then went…

Bird on a barb fence

Ornithologist Susan Haig pioneering voice for birds on the brink

Ornithologist Susan Haig ’79 has spent more than thirty years working on avian species facing the brink of extinction and now she’s taking on one of her biggest challenges—she is leading an international team to develop recommendations for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of their efforts to enforce environmental laws in the Kingdom….

Northland College Alumni


Hometown: Maple Grove, Minnesota (Julia) and Waukegan, Illinois (Adrian) Current location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Major/Emphasis: Sustainable Community Development and Sociology ’16 (both of them) Experience/Internships while at Northland College: Both: Wendy and Malcolm McLean Intern at Compatible Technology International Julia: HECUA participant (NC’s first for many years) to Northern Ireland. Completed capstone work on the conflict…

Northland College 1970s alumni

The Clan of the Tropicals

By Juan Hernández ’78 I arrived in Ashland in September 1974. It was fresh and cool and the colors entranced me. These temperatures were not alien to me because I hailed from the highlands of tropical Guatemala. English was no problem either because my school was fully structured following American norms and standards. I was…