Profile: Stephanie Muise

Graduated: 2015
Major: natural resources—fisheries and wildlife conservation
Minor: biology
Hometown: Haverhill, Massachusetts

Stephanie Muise is a scholar, public speaker, and natural leader.

So much so that she was selected as the 2015 student commencement speaker and as the recipient of the Indelible Mark Award, a Northland College award that recognizes students that best exemplify the spirit and values of the campus by leaving a positive lasting impression on the campus community.

This summer she’ll participate in the Demers Scholars program in Washington DC. She will attend Michigan State University in the fall with a full scholarship to study fisheries conservation and management.

“She was given opportunities for leadership, academic success, personal growth, and the backing to present her senior research at two conferences,” says her mother Laurie. “She had the backing and support of an amazing group of educators who helped her to reach for the stars and helped her fine tune her already amazing gifts.”

A member of the Mik Maq nation, Stephanie has been instrumental in initiating the first chapter of the American Indians in Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and a student veterans network. She served as president of the  Native American Student Association (NASA) and this year advocated for and got NASA sashes for the commencement ceremony.

This past year she placed second at the national AISES conference for her presentation on the southwestern willow flycatcher. “I’m really interested in how invasive vegetation affects their breeding capabilities within the Middle Rio Grande riparian corridor in New Mexico,” she says.

“She has become an amazing speaker, often speaking from the heart extemporaneously,” says her mother, Laurie.

Public speaking has paid off. After delivering the keynote student address at the Northland College President’s Club dinner last November, Northland College trustee Hannibal Bolton approached her to ask if she would be interested in a full ride to Michigan State University this fall.

“There was no way I could turn that down,” she says.

Stephanie attributes some of her success to professors Jon Martin, assistant professor of forestry, and Erik Olson, assistant professor of natural resources. Muise believes that without Professor Martin’s open door, his drive to support students, and ability to mentor her during her time as an undergrad, her Northland experience would not be what it is.

Professor Olson provided her with hands-on skills that have already proven invaluable in the workplace and helped her to land a full ride to Michigan State University this fall, she added.

Muise will be studying the impacts of globalization on rural fisheries communities at Michigan State University. “I hope to be able to tie in my passion for indigenous cultures, biology, and conservation—and reveal the best plan for small fisheries communities,” she says.


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