Annin, Smoniewski To Speak At Northland College Commencement

Author: Ashland Current

Original Article

More than 80 graduates will take part in Northland College’s 101st Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 26. The event will be held outside the Kendrigan Gymnasium on the Northland College campus beginning at 2:30 p.m. In honor of the graduating seniors, a reception will immediately follow the ceremony outside the Craig A. Ponzio Campus Center.

Peter Annin will deliver the 2012 commencement address. The student address will be given by graduating senior Clara Smoniewski of Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Peter Annin

Annin, author and veteran environmental journalist, is a former writer for Newsweek magazine and has investigated the role politics plays in addressing threats to freshwater and the Great Lakes. As a journalist, he has reported stories ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing to environmental stories about the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. His nonfiction book, Great Lakes Water Wars, chronicles efforts to preserve freshwater and investigates what may transpire if water is diverted from the Great Lakes. The book won the 2007 Great Lakes Book Award. Annin studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York. He serves as the managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative, which looks at ways to address threats to water resources.

Smoniewski is graduating from Northland with a major in biology and a minor in environmental studies. Clara received the Engagement Scholarship and Lake Superior Scholar Award, and she has received numerous awards from the college. In 2012, she received the Steen-Tucker Award from the Northland College Music Department. Northland faculty also recognized Smoniewski with the Environmental Science and Natural Resources Faculty Award. She has been involved in many college organizations, including the Northland College Student Association, Northland Chamber Choir, Northland Singers and Chequamegon Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her college achievements, Smoniewski served as a volunteer withFaith in Action and a great lakes fisheries intern for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Smoniewski will work as a kayak guide this summer while also serving as a respite provider with New Horizons North in Ashland, Wisconsin. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree and plans to seek a career in microbiology or women’s preventive health.

Northland College is a traditional liberal arts and sciences college with a unique focus on the environment and sustainability. Northland College and its Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute are located in Ashland, Wis., near theshores of Lake Superior. The College has been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation for science and mathematics, as a model environmental campus for the Lake Superior Basin, and as one of Wisconsin's true liberal arts colleges. Founded in 1892, Northland now enrolls 550 students from across the nation and across the world. For more information about Northland College and its Institute, visit our website at