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Finlandia Fridays Web Series

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Finlandia Fridays is an entirely new way for students, faculty and the community to find out exciting happenings around campus and in the Upper Peninsula. Hosted by Michael H. Babcock and directed by Brad Beaudette, Finlandia Fridays is a new and entertaining way to stay up to date with school events, stimulating discussion and student stories. These 5-10 minute excerpts will surely brighten your day and keep you in the FinnU loop.

Don’t have time to watch it? Listen and subscribe to the podcast version streaming on your favorite media service.

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Finlandia Fridays Staff

Brad BeaudetteCreative DirectorFinlandia UniversityCommunicationsbrad.beaudette@finlandia.edu906-487-7289
Michael H. Babcock
Michael BabcockDirector of Marketing & CommunicationsFinlandia Universitymichael.babcock@finlandia.edu906-487-7348
Walker EnstadMedia InternFinlandia Universitywsenstad@fu.edu(906) 487-7499

Finlandia Fridays Archive

Episodes of Finlandia Friday


  • Student representative Matt McLaughlin on Finlandia Fridays

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    On this season’s final episode of Finlandia Fridays, the weekly interview series features student representative Matt McLaughlin. Each year one outstanding senior is chosen as the student rep. To be eligible, a student must maintain a 3.9 GPA and be actively involved with the FinnU campus. 

    It will be a busy weekend for McLaughin, not only will he be graduating with highest honors at Finlandia University he will also be commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Army through [...]


  • Claudia Youakim and Hailee Johnson outline SCAS Capstone Presentations

    Hailee Johnson and Claudia Youakim on Finlandia Fridays

    This week on Finlandia Fridays, professor Dr. Claudia Youakim and senior sociology major Hailee Johnson join the program to touch on a very compelling capstone project through the Suomi College of Arts & Sciences (SCAS). SCAS Capstones are projects completed and presented upon by students here at Finlandia University. Until now these have been closed to the public, but Finlandia is opening its doors and welcoming anyone to come for the presentations.

    Johnson’s sociology capstone focuses on attitudes [...]


  • Help Finlandia Fridays improve and you might win $20

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    What can Finlandia Fridays do better? What did you like best? All questions that the crew at Finlandia Fridays needs answers to, and they’re looking for your help.

    Complete Finlandia Fridays Survey

    The staff of Finlandia Fridays kindly asks you to complete a short survey to help better the program. With participation, you will be entered to win a $20 gift certificate to North Wind Books, our on-campus bookstore. The winner will be announced following the [...]


  • Christopher Dennis talks criminal justice and his internship with government

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    This week Finlandia Fridays sits down with criminal justice student and Houghton native Christopher Dennis. After his tenure with the Marines, Dennis was looking for a way to make an impact on the community and remain a leader. His decision was to attend Finlandia University and become heavily involved with campus clubs and other events such as local tutoring. Dennis has recently accepted a unique internship working with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

    Per requirement to the criminal justice program here [...]


  • Coach Mo talks basketball and life in the U.P. on Finlandia Fridays

    Coach Mo on Finlandia Fridays

    John Motherwell AKA Coach Mo or as his twitter followers know him @Coach_Mo joined Finlandia University’s ranks this spring as the head coach of the women’s basketball program. This week Finlandia Fridays was able to catch up and learn more about Coach Mo, including diving into his accomplished 18 years of coaching and how he found his way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    Coach Mo knew from the jump that he wanted to live and coach in the upper [...]


  • Women Playing Hamlet with DJ Skinner

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    The stage is set. Come one come all to Finlandia University’s showing of Women Playing Hamlet. Finlandia Fridays sits down with lead actress DJ Skinner as she prepares for the exciting opportunity to headline a major production.

    The play, Women Playing Hamlet, is a spin of off a Shakespeare classic. The main character Jessica AKA DJ Skinner has recently been cast as the lead roll and continues to encompass all the trials and tribulations a lead actress goes through. “It’s really about [...]


  • Lights, camera, action with Finnish actor Antti Holma

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    Finlandia Fridays kicks off the weekend with international superstar Antti Holma. Holma, a 34-year-old Helsinki native, gained popularity after appearing on the 2014 season of the Finnish sketch comedy show “Putous.” That same year, he released his debut novel, titled “Järjestäjä,” and followed that with a book of poetry, “Kauheimmat runot” in 2015. He has also appeared in four feature-length Finnish movies, and several television series. He is most notably recognized for his work on “Putous,” a Finnish show similar to [...]


  • Bridget Durocher runs through Finlandia fitness

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    Finlandia Fridays gets fit this week with Bridget Durocher, Finlandia’s cross country coach, senior women administrator in athletics, and strength and conditioning center coordinator.

    Durocher joined Finlandia University nearly one year ago and has never looked back. “It’s phenomenal, it is a place of opportunity where if you put forth the effort, you are going to be given ample opportunities,” said Durocher. Starting off as Finlandia’s head cross country coach, she immediately found success and started to build her team. [...]


  • Swing for the fences with Kassandra Avila and Emily Nguyen

    Emily Nguyen and Kassandra Avila Finlandia Fridays

    Kassandra Avila and Emily Nguyen sit down with Finlandia Fridays and hit on everything softball. Avila and Nguyen are both freshmen at Finlandia University and come from the Southern California area.

    Finlandia University’s softball team starts its season every year with an indoor tournament played in Marquette, Michigan, where teams around the country battle it out in an entirely indoor competition. “Starting our season indoors was difficult,” said Nguyen. “We are both from California so [...]


  • Erin Barnett and the Summer Bridge Program

    Finlandia Fridays with Erin Barnett

    Interested in experiencing college a bit earlier than the norm? The Finlandia Summer Bridge Program is for you.

    This week Finlandia Fridays speaks with Director of Academic Success and Student Life, Erin Barnett as they dive into the Summer Bridge Program offered here at Finlandia University. The Sumer Bridge Program allows you to earn up to six credits before the fall semester starts. “Taking these classes early gives you a strong foundation heading into the fall semester,” said Barnett.

    This program is focused [...]


  • Opportunity knocked and Keith Arnold answered

    Keith Arnold Finlandia Fridays

    Laying in his dorm room during the first week of school, this week’s Finlandia Fridays guest Keith Arnold could barely sleep. The relative quietness of his surrounding, compared to the freeways and hustle and bustle of his hometown of Detroit was almost all encompassing to the 18-year-old Finlandia University freshman. That didn’t last long though.

    Soon it was Student Senate (Vice President as a junior, President as a senior), NCAA Division III Basketball, Black Student Union, study abroad to Europe [...]


  • Sandra Turnquist provides advice on how to best navigate Financial Aid

    Sandra Turnquist Finlandia Fridays

    On this installment of Finlandia Fridays Director of Student Financial Services Sandra Turnquist speaks all things financial aid. Turnquist outlines a two new financial aid opportunities to Finlandia students, the U.P. Commitment Grant and Service Scholarship. She also touches on Finlandia’s frozen tuition for the upcoming year. Outside of the announcement, Turnquist highlights that the priority deadline that is quickly approaching. Michigan recommends that all financial aid forms be submitted by March 1, so that all possible financial aid options are still [...]


  • The life of a nursing student explored in Finlandia Fridays

    Laura Kent on Finlandia Fridays

    This week Finlandia Fridays is joined by senior nursing student Laura Kent, who was featured in the fall 2016 edition of the Bridge. Finlandia University has long been known for its nursing program, and Kent found it to live up to the reputation. As a nursing student with a full-time job Kent has faced some difficulties, but will be graduating this May in excellent standings. The promise of a meaningful career after school motivated her to continue with the [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays studies abroad with Schwartzen Jarmond

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays host Michael H. Babcock is taken on a reminiscent adventure as management and entrepreneurship student Schwartzen Jarmond looks back on international study opportunities presented through Finlandia University.

    In May of 2015 Jarmond first traveled to Finland as a part of the Paloheimo Fellows Program and enjoyed it to the extent he had to go again. After working with Finlandia University he decided to study in Finland for an entire semester as an [...]


  • Find Finlandia Fridays on Stitcher

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    Finlandia Fridays has expanded to Stitcher.

    You read it correct, Finlandia Fridays, the university’s weekly web series and podcast, has expanded to yet another platform for you to enjoy its weekly episodes. What is Stitcher you might ask? Stitcher is a personalized smart radio that tailors shows to your liking by presenting you with similar content to your listening history.

    “Being on every platform for our audience is huge,” said Finlandia Fridays host Michael H. Babcock. “It allows for the [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays with Board of Trustees President

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    This week Finlandia Fridays sits down with Board of Trustees President Julie Badel. Badel was in town, from Chicago, for the annual winter Board of Trustees meeting. She explains her joy of coming to the Upper Peninsula every year as it is where her mother grew up. It is a place she has grown to love and she “never complains about coming up here. It feels like home.”

    Badel became interested in Finlandia University while attending the


  • Abigail Tembreull highlights the Art and Design Program

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    On this week’s episode of Finlandia Fridays we are joined by guest Abigail Tembreull. Tembreull discusses an upcoming event, an art competition scholarship she was awarded that included free tuition in Italy, the fact that she was awarded the Brule Scholarship to attend FinnU and other experiences she has encountered during her three years in Finlandia’s International School of Art and Design.

    One of many events that the Art and Design program facilitates throughout the year is the [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays discusses MLK Day of Service with René Johnson

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays host Michael H. Babcock speaks with René Johnson highlighting Finlandia University’s community involvement on MLK Day of Service (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). She briefly touches on the history of the holiday and how it came to be as well as Finlandia’s service throughout the day.

    Finlandia University offers numerous service activities during the day including a worship service, guest speakers, dining services, and a closing film. Finlandia [...]


  • Chef Mark highlights community and Winter Welcome

    Chef Mark Pittillo on Finlandia Fridays

    The small town charm and beautiful natural surroundings had Mark Pittillo smitten for Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, and now after living here for more than half a decade it’s the people that “Chef Mark” appreciates most. Especially the students he’s surrounded by at Finlandia University.

    Mark Pittillo, Food Service Director at Finlandia University.

    “Never did I imagine it would be as rewarding as it has been,” Pittillo said about his experience working at Finlandia. “The kids are incredible. I appreciate them on a [...]


  • Brule Art Scholarship announced on Finlandia Fridays

    Art Scholarship Discussed on Finlandia Fridays

    Today on the Finlandia Fridays we have some big news!

    Finlandia University announces six $20,000 scholarships for students interested in studying art and design. These art scholarships are made available because of the generous support Finlandia University has received from Elsa and David Brule. To help make this announcement, this week’s guest is Denise Vandeville. Vandeville is the Dean of FinnU’s International School of Art & Design.

    “The Brules have been huge supporters of the arts, and friends of the [...]


  • Online RN-BSN featured on Finlandia Fridays

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    As a nursing school, it’s important for Finlandia to continue to evolve its offerings to make sure students are provided the opportunities they need. That was the thought when the university created a RN-BSN program in the early 2000s, and it’s the thought that keeps that program going strong today in its latest evolution: the university’s first fully accredited 100 percent online program.

    In this week’s edition of Finlandia Fridays, the RN-BSN program is explored with Program Director Mark [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays explores art therapy

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    This week Finlandia Fridays speaks with  art therapy major Laurin LaBonte. Art therapy is a unique major offered at Finlandia that was first made available in 2013. This major has a wide range of uses as LaBonte outlines it can help immensely with Alzheimer patients, those suffering from PTSD, and even patients recovering from car accidents. Art has been found to carry numerous therapeutic properties that can aid in emotional behavior and even motor skills with Alzheimer patients.

    LaBonte will [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays speaks with local transfer student

    Samantha Richards

    This installment of Finlandia Fridays features a local student by the name of Samantha Richards who transferred into Finlandia from a larger institution. Richards, a Dollar Bay alum who is majoring in accounting, was asked to be apart of this week’s episode because of one of her latest Instagram posts.  “This post was touching to some of the staff at Finlandia,” said Michael H. Babcock, host of Finlandia Fridays.

    Finlandia University strives to be the university you are looking for and [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays hits the ice with Joe Burcar

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays we feature Finlandia’s men’s ice hockey coach Joe Burcar as he previews the future of the program and the ongoing season. The Houghton County Arena is a very familiar place for Burcar, winning the Harris Cup in 2007 and finishing his first stint with the team at a 104-96-11 record. Burcar remains the all-time winningest coach in program history, and plans to continue his legacy.

    Burcar says his choice to move back and [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays Explores the Paloheimo Fellows Program

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    On this installment of Finlandia Fridays special guest Dr. Hilary Virtanen discusses the Paloheimo Fellows Program with host Michael H. Babcock. This program offers a unique and special experience that allows four lucky Finlandia students (of any major) the opportunity to study abroad in Tampere, Finland. This program runs for three weeks every May and is guided by Finnish expert Dr. Virtanen. In Finland students will gain knowledge on social scientific techniques to observe and analyze the [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays dives into PTA program

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays host Michael H. Babcock discusses the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program offered at Finlandia University with soon-to-be graduate Devin Smith. In this installment of Finlandia Fridays, Smith outlines his personal experiences here at Finlandia University and during his time in the PTA program. Smith touches on topics including his first experiences at Finlandia, his personal involvement in the PTA program and the PTA Club – including Saturday’s Soup for Sneakers event at the Finnish American [...]


  • Campus Ministry covered in this week’s Finlandia Fridays

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays we feature Campus Pastor Soren Schmidt about the ins and outs of Campus Ministry here at Finlandia. In this episode Schmidt outlines the various campus ministry happenings revolving around the organization here on Campus. He goes into depth on events hosted by the folks involved with the ministry on campus including Campus Ministry Soup & Meet, Sunday Night Open Mic & Worship, and of course chapel services.

    Campus Ministry aims to [...]


  • Preview Day highlighted in first episode of Finlandia Fridays

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    This week on Finlandia Fridays we speak with Director of Admissions Travis Hanson about the upcoming Finlandia Preview Day 2016. In this episode Hanson outlines what exactly Preview Day is, and what it means for recruitment within the university. Preview Day is aimed at incoming students by showing them around campus, including tours of the dorms, classrooms and extracurricular spaces while providing them with a fun and memorable experience.

    Those taking place in Preview Day can [...]


  • Finlandia Fridays rolls out the red carpet

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    The stage is set and the cameras are rolling, Finlandia Fridays is prepped to air this upcoming Friday!

    Director of Marketing and Communications Michael H. Babcock and Media Intern Walker Enstad introduce this exciting new web series and discuss what Finlandia Fridays is and how it works.

    This unique platform introduces a vastly new way for students, staff and the community alike to receive information surrounding Finlandia University and the Upper Peninsula. In addition to being able to [...]