On Tuesday, August 13, Dr. Rodney Hanley, Lake Superior State University’s President, welcomed Governor Gretchen Whitmer to campus for a luncheon with senior staff, faculty, and local leaders. Governor Whitmer is touring the Upper Peninsula this week, after concluding her Lower Peninsula tour last week.
“I am excited to welcome Governor Whitmer to Lake State,” President Hanley said. “I would like to thank our new Government Relations Officer, Steve Betz, for facilitating this visit. LSSU works closely with state and local officials to make a positive impact in Michigan, and the entire Great Lakes region. With projects such as the Center for Freshwater Research and Education, we stimulate the region’s economy by offering professional employment and attracting tourists.”
During lunch, Dr. Ashley Moerke, Director, Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) and Professor of Natural Resources and Environment at LSSU, gave a presentation on CFRE’s mission. She also talked about the programming, and how the new facility will help drive preservation efforts, as well as educate the community on the importance of sustainability and create new highly-skilled jobs.
“What most Michiganders don’t realize is that Michigan has a unique geographical setting in that it is the only state or province that is entirely within the Great Lakes watershed,” said Dr. Moerke. “Thus, Michigan has the most to lose from threats to this resource, but Michigan also has the most to gain from investing in programs supporting sectors of our economy.”
Governor Whitmer asked several questions about CFRE’s salmon stocking program and job placement for graduates of the School of Natural Resources and Environment programs. Dr. Moerke explained that undergrads work with more than 40,000 Atlantic salmon through their entire life cycle, developing both technical and critical thinking skills in the process. She also commented that many of the School’s programs boast nearly 100% placement rates for graduates.
“The staff, faculty, and students at Lake Superior State University are doing crucial work for our Great Lakes, environment and the future of our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Every Michigander deserves a path to postsecondary success, and the dedicated team at LSSU works every day to make sure students have the resources they need to build a good life for themselves right here in Michigan. I’m proud to partner with the university as we build a stronger, more sustainable Michigan for everyone.”
The luncheon ended with President Hanley presenting Governor Whitmer with a personalized Laker Hockey jersey to show LSSU’s appreciation for the Governor’s efforts and visit.