About Us

The Official News Organization of North Central University since 1960

The Northerner is NCU’s very own student-run newspaper. From sports to academics to Minneapolis news, we cover it all! The Northerner has seen some change over the past years, moving from hardcopy paper to a digital source in news. We have revamped our style in hopes to reach a wider audience while upholding journalistic standards to seeking out the truth.

Email us at ncunortherner@gmail.com with questions or comments.

Staff & Writers

Hannah Grubbs – Editor

Hello! My name is Hannah Grubbs, and I am a senior planning to graduate with a degree in Journalism. This is my fourth semester in the Northerner and first as an editor. I have always loved to write, but back in my small town in Ohio, my perspective was a little limited. Upon coming to NCU and Minneapolis, I have been able to write and report about a whole number of things that actually matter to my community and the world at large.

Some of the things I have been able to write about pertain to an organization I am a part of called the Institute for Digital Humanity (IDH). I am a research associate for this student-run think tank where we tackle issues of digital ethics and hope to bridge gaps across different people groups. I originally chose NCU because I was recruited by the women’s basketball team and eventually, the women’s soccer team. Those two sports teams are definitely enough to keep me at NCU, but the real-life experience that I have gained through the Northerner and the IDH are really helping me get ready for my future.

Outside of all that, I love music, both playing and listening. I grew up playing the piano, so I have a soft spot for classical, orchestra, jazz type music, but my average day of listening includes alternative, pop, and R&B. I enjoy going out to the movies or staying in, just movies in general. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) from last year would have to be Dune, King Richard, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Pig.

Micah Headley – Editor

My name is Micah Headley and I am a junior here at North Central from Forest Lake Minnesota studying Media Communications. This is my fourth time being a part of the Northerner and this semester I will be serving as an editor. I love being on the Northerner because it allows me to gain real journalism experience while reporting on stories that are important to my peers. I graduated from Forest Lake High School in Forest Lake Minnesota in 2019 and since the day I was handed my diploma, I knew that North Central was my future home. I was always hearing such great things about this school and I loved that it was a smaller scale community with strong spirit-led values. I knew a few people that were current students and I heard nothing but great things about this university.

I am also involved with the IDH, the Institute for Digital Humanity, which is a student run think tank that focuses on issues surrounding digital ethics. I am the Research Project Manager and I love being able to make change in my community in real, tangible ways. I have been involved with the IDH since my freshman year and I have loved being able to create zines, podcasts, articles, and videos that focus on issues that truly matter.

Outside of school, I serve at Revive Church which was recently planted just over a year ago by my parents, Bob and Kristi Headley. I have always enjoyed drumming on worship teams and I am super excited that I now get to follow one of my passions under my parent’s leadership.

Madi Olejnicak – Editor

Hi! My name is Madi Olejnicak and I am a junior at North Central studying Journalism. As a journalism student, I wanted to be a part of our newspaper because I love writing and informing others about current events. I currently serve as an editor for The Northerner. However, I didn’t always like writing. When I was eight years old I used to cry while doing my writing homework. In later years when I looked back, I realized I never would have discovered my passion for writing if I hadn’t truly given it a chance. 

I was born and raised in Minnesota, and I currently live about 20 minutes away from campus. My original college plan was to attend UNW in St. Paul, but I fell in love with NCU the first day I toured. My favorite part about North Central’s campus is that both Miller and Carlson used to be Asbury hospital. The best part? The hospital was started and funded by a group of Methodist women seeking to minister to the sick and poor. Even before this was a school for ministers, this was a place of ministry! 

I’m also very passionate about kids and youth, but especially ages one to five.  After college my goal is to write Christian non-fiction books for young adults, and possibly start a youth ministry.

Annie Salle – Editor

Hi! My name is Annie Sallee and I am a junior from Brighton, Michigan, majoring in Media Communication. This semester I am serving as an editor on the Northerner as it will be my fourth semester participating. I joined the Northerner because I am passionate about writing and I love to stay informed on what is happening in my community. Even when I didn’t realize it, North Central was always on my radar. Up till late highschool I was planning on attending Michigan State University with the goal of becoming a lawyer. During the later years of high school, my passions changed and soon I found myself committing to attend North Central to study Media Communications.

Today, I have found a passion working for the Institute of Digital Humanity as the Director of Research. Working for the IDH allows me to find more of what I enjoy in the communication realm specifically. I have had many opportunities to work on projects focused on social justice and health issues.

My favorite project to work on is my new podcast (which is still in the creation stage) titled “The College Chronicles.” This podcast focuses on life with a chronic illness while being a college student. I cover all sorts of topics in hopes to spread awareness while helping to bring community to those who relate to chronic illness. Besides working for the IDH, I am also a part of Resident Life on campus. I serve as an RA for the apartment community on campus.

Rebecca Buckman – Writer

Hello! My name is Rebecca Buckman, I am a senior at North Central with a communications major in Journalism. I visited NCU while I was in high school and fell in love with the city campus. I am not a traditional student here at NCU; I took some time off from higher education, and then decided to study journalism. I was born and raised in Bemidji, MN, and during my twenties I traveled around. I joined the Northerner for the experience of being part of the team for my degree. I loved the idea of sharing content with the campus; I found it fun and exciting. I am a commuter student and a single mother, which leaves very little time for extra-curriculums. I am currently not involved in any NCU clubs sports or organizations besides a little work with the IDH.

I am in recovery from addiction, so my passions are to help addicts in recovery. I am heavily involved with volunteering my time at my church to help people in need of food and other resources. I have a big heart and passion to help those who struggle with homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues. Addiction and mental health are epidemics in this country, and the world is in need of strong, healthy Christians to share the good news. I use my public speaking skills to spread hope with my testimony and found wisdom to help those still struggling. I also volunteer at addiction recovery treatment centers. 

For my favorite hobby, I love food! I love to eat out at popular, small, interesting, ethnic and new restaurants. I also have been cooking at home and in commercial kitchens for over 10 years. I have a deep passion for food and sharing it with people. Jesus ate food with his disciples and I believe you can create a sacred and strong bond by sharing a meal with people.

 

Abby Dorland – Writer

My name is Abby Dorland, and I am a Senior majoring in English at North Central. I joined The Northerner to gain more journalistic experience, as my minor is in Journalism. I’ve been a writer on staff since fall 2021, and I did some work for the IDH last semester as well. Currently, I also hold a position in the IIE (Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship) as an SEO Analyst/Writer. I work with an external client as a ghostwriter and gain real-world experience as a full-time student!

I decided to study at NCU because of its downtown location, its wonderful professors, and its strong spiritual emphasis. When I came to NCU on a Preview Day as a high school senior, I had plans to study biology. At the time, NCU did not have a biology program, but I had heard good things about the school and wanted to take a tour. I had lunch with Dr. Libengood, the head of the English department (and current dean of the College of Arts and Sciences), and she planted the seed that changed my mind to attend North Central and major in English. Three years later, I have no regrets and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here studying English and journalism.

I have had consistently excellent professors that care about me, push me, and are excited for my future. I love the small class size, daily chapel, and community cultivated through living in the residence halls. Some fun facts about me: I am from Plymouth, MN (15 minutes west of Minneapolis), I am the youngest of seven siblings, and I am a homeschool graduate. I enjoy reading (of course!), photography, hiking, watching Marvel TV shows, and spending time with my family and friends. I am a proud aunt of a 15-month-old nephew and 4-month-old niece.

Alivia Farrell – Writer 

I’m Alivia Farrell and I am a sophomore here at NCU majoring in Secondary Education Communication Arts and Literature. I grew up right around Minneapolis in the Bloomington-Eden Prairie area. When it came time for the college search, I was looking for a school that was close to home and had a Christian foundation. While I had several options, I was drawn to the community and spiritual life here at North Central.
 
Honestly, I never imagined myself on a newspaper crew, but I am excited for the new experience! I enjoy writing on topics I am passionate about and I hope to bring that to The Northerner this semester. I volunteer both at an after-school program in South Minneapolis with Urban Ventures and at my local church’s youth group. I enjoy reading, which is good because with my multiple literature classes I’m taking this semester I have books upon books to keep me busy!
 
Other than that I like thrifting, hanging with my friends, watching movies, playing volleyball (recreationally), and listening to Folk music. Another interesting thing about me is that I’m a 2 on the Enneagram, so I really find purpose in helping those around me. I look forward to this semester with The Northerner!
Juliana Puccini – Writer
 
Hello! My name is Juliana Puccini, and I am a junior Secondary Communication Arts and Literature Education major here at North Central University. I am from Kearney, Nebraska, but I left the cornfields for the city to attend North Central! Both of my parents went to NCU, so this school has been on my mind for as long as I can remember. Being a student here has been a dream come true!
 
I picked NCU because of the spiritual formation and emphasis that is engraved into the culture of chapel and the classroom. This year, I am on staff as a writer for the Northerner. I joined the Northerner in part because of the communications requirement for my major, but mainly because I want to learn the behind-the-scenes of managing a school newspaper. English teachers are often awarded the task of teaching journalism, running the school newspaper, and arranging yearbook classes. This experience will give me the knowledge of not just running but actually participating in a student-led newspaper. I will be able to implement what I learn this semester in the future classes that I teach.
 
When I am not writing for the Northerner, you can find me working as an assistant in the Education Lab, reading, or watching my favorite show. Right now I am rewatching an old high school favorite show, Pretty Little Liars. Additionally, I am a Teaching Assistant for the Educational Psychology course here at NCU, and I operate as a class representative for the Education Department. Outside of school, I sing on the worship team at my local church. I am so excited for all that is to come this year at North Central University and The Northerner!

Nicholas Wright – Writer

Hello! My name is Nicholas Wright and I am a freshman here at NCU in pursuit of a Secondary Education Communication Arts and Literature degree. I am joining The Northerner as a writer to refine and gain experience with my writing. Alongside this, I am joining to step outside my comfort zone to prepare myself for a future career as an English teacher.

I spent a third year of my life in Missouri before moving to China. I spent a few years in China and then moved back to the United States to finish my education. I chose NCU to further my education because they provided two things I’ve been lacking in my life up till now: a Christ-centered education and a Christ-centered community.

When I am not occupied with school or work, I focus on finding new stories. I love all types of stories in all types of mediums. I am an aspiring author, and I leave a special place for books in my heart and my schedule. Although I am usually more focused on stories that take place in fantastical worlds, I am excited to find and share stories in our North Central and Elliot Park communities.