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Professional Highlights from the Great Lakes Bay Region   Discovery Museum Receives Grant for Exhibit The Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum recent…

Professional Highlights from the Great Lakes Bay Region


Discovery Museum Receives Grant for Exhibit

The Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum recently received a grant for $40,000 from the Midland Area Community Foundation. The grant will support the completion of the new “3, 2, 1 … Blast Off!” exhibit, a multistory space-themed interactive climbing structure.

The structure has science, technology, engineering and math components that will occupy the museum’s silo area.

“Thank you to the Midland Area Community Foundation for supporting this exhibit and helping us to create more STEM-related education opportunities for our visitors,” said Lisa Phelps, museum executive director. “‘3, 2, 1…Blast Off!’ has been on our wish list since before our doors opened. We are beyond excited about receiving this grant, and we look forward to getting this project off the ground.”


Nature Center Announces Hew Hires

Chippewa Nature Center in Midland has announced the hires of Corrine Bloomfield as historical interpreter and Katie Horning as marketing manager.

Bloomfield earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Central Michigan University with a biology minor and museum studies concentration. She is also working on a master’s degree in education from CMU. Bloomfield has 30 years of museum experience as a curator and has served as the District 5 coordinator for Michigan History Day since 2005. She is also a member and past president of the Bay City Noon Optimist Club.

Horning has over 16 years of graphic design experience in marketing communications. She is the president, creative director and owner of Päpé Ink, a graphic design company. Before starting her own business, she was the senior graphic designer for Bolger + Battle Marketing Communications Inc. as well as creative director for MKR Fabricators and MKR Steel Sales. Horning holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Ferris State University and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Midland. She also serves as a trustee on the Midland Area Community Foundation board.

For more information about the nature center, visit


Arts Center Hosts Women’s Stem Night

In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11, the Midland Center for the Arts hosted Women’s STEM Night in the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art. The event featured hands-on science activities inspired by women scientists from history as well as a panel conversation by area women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The panel conversation was hosted by Amy Beasley, diversity equity and inclusion consultant at Dow Chemical Co. Beasley is currently working with Midland Public Schools and holds a doctoral degree in environmental toxicology. The informal conversation featured panelists Robbyn Prange, associate research and development director in core R&D at Dow; Katrina Piatek-Jimenez, mathematics professor at Central Michigan University; Dr. Shannon Martin, who is with MidMichigan Physicians Group; and Germaine Foley, neuroscience senior account manager with Lundbeck.

As part of the seeing HERstory exhibits and events at the center, the night was designed to dig into the challenges women continue to face as they pursue education in STEM fields, the professional workplace and their personal lives.


Cheese Haus Mascot Gets a Name

An April party celebrated the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus mascot’s five decades as an icon in Frankenmuth. Even more exciting, the beloved mouse mascot finally has a name.

Following a month-long contest held online and at the store, which drew 5,412 suggested names, four finalists were chosen. The finalist names included Klaus, Frankie, Charlie and Hans. Another round of votes narrowed down the top four names, with Klaus receiving the most votes at 38.1% out of 10,643 votes.

“We are excited to give our beloved mascot a name at last,” said Judy Zehnder Keller, owner of the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. “The Cheese Haus is a top tourist destination for generations of travelers to Frankenmuth, and everyone loves our mouse. He is one of the most photographed landmarks in all of Frankenmuth.”


Therapy Clinic Opens Inside Community Center

Renue Physical Therapy has partnered with Greater Midland Community Center to provide on-site physical therapy services to center members and the surrounding community.

On March 16, Managing Partner Alicia Heading opened a Renue Physical Therapy clinic inside community center. Heading is also the managing partner at Renue Physical Therapy at 2524 W. Wackerly St. in Midland as well as a clinic inside the Primrose Retirement Community in Midland. Crystal Parker will treat patients at the Greater Midland Community Center clinic.

“We have had great success helping patients at our clinics on Wackerly and at Primrose, but Midland has such a large footprint,” said Heading. “Having another Midland clinic inside Greater Midland Community Center will help us reach more patients with the convenience to meet their health and fitness goals all in one location. We are proud to partner with an organization that has such a positive community impact.”

Along with physical therapy services, the partnership will include collaboration between Renue Physical Therapy and the community center to provide free health screening programs and health education.


Saginaw Career Complex Alumni Recognized

Saginaw Intermediate School District has announced Jenna Wisniewski-Brownlie as the 2019-2020 Career and Technical Education Alumni of the Year. Presented by the Saginaw Intermediate School District and Saginaw Public School District’s Saginaw Career Complex, this is the third year honoring former career complex graduates who were successful in their high school program, followed the same career path, and currently give back to the school and mentor the next generation.

Wisniewski-Brownlie demonstrates a deep commitment to the Saginaw Career Complex, beginning with her time as a student until today. As a student, she participated in SkillsUSA, served as a judge for senior projects and is a current member of the advisory board for the Csreer and Technical Education Careers in Education program at the career complex.

According to Saginaw ISD Superintendent Kathy Stewart, “Teaching our youth is an honorable and fulfilling career. Lighting the light for learning and creating dreams in children creates a legacy impact. Congratulations are extended to Ms. Wisniewski-Brownlie for receiving this well-deserved recognition. She represents the characteristics of a teacher that we want for all children.”


Home Builders Hosts #SheBuilds Event

The Home Builders Association of Saginaw hosted a Feb. 29 event for girls in sixth grade through 12th grade at the Saginaw Career Complex.

The event introduced girls to the many opportunities they can achieve in the building and construction industry. A panel of women who work in the industry were on hand to talk about what inspired them to follow their passion in a world that, to many, is unconventional for women.

Through donors and sponsors of the event, attendees had the opportunity to build birdhouses to donate to the community.


DCECU Collects Items for Local Pantries

For the third consecutive year, individuals and families in the region are benefiting from a donation drive at Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union. Throughout February, DCECU collected food and personal care items to be divided among five organizations that distribute resources to community members.

In all, more than 5,600 items were collected, including contributed items as well as items purchased with a $600 donation from Garber Chevrolet in Midland, which was earmarked for use within Midland County, and a few cash donations from DCECU members.

Organizations benefiting from the drive were Safe Harbor Kitchen in Bay City, Midland’s Open Door, Greater Midland Coleman Family Center, Helping Hands Mission in Beaverton and the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Saginaw.

“We’re just amazed by the generosity of our community in providing donations that will make a tremendous impact locally,” said drive organizer Susan Phillips, DCECU senior executive assistant to the CEO. “To go from around 2,600 items our first year to nearly 4,000 items last year to 5,600-plus this year is wonderful growth. It’s a testament to the giving spirit of our members and employees, as well as the community at large.”

Saginaw-based nonprofit Hidden Harvest provided DCECU with boxes for the collection of items.


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