The mission of Invent@NMU is to enhance student attraction, retention, and placement after graduation, and to support economic development throughout the Upper Peninsula.

Invent@NMU Student Teams

We provide our student employees with the opportunity to apply their education in real world situations, while simultaneously contributing fresh ideas to the product and business development process of our clients. Our student teams consist of individuals from a variety of educational backgrounds that may include business, design, engineering, and marketing. They collaborate with Innovate Marquette SmartZone’s professional mentors to help you navigate the best path to success for your idea, whether it is high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech. Collectively, these talented workers research competitive landscapes, design and make prototypes, create logos and packaging, build websites, source materials and manufacturers, and engage in marketing campaigns.

We may not have a position posted, but we are always looking for talented individuals with unique skill sets! We are always accepting applications.

Meet our creative student teams:

Mechanical Engineer Technologist

  • Aaron LaPierre

    Aaron LaPierre

    Aaron LaPierre

    Mechanical Engineer Technologist

    Aaron is a Junior at NMU, majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a Mechatronics concentration. He is a member of the SAE Baja racing team at NMU. He enjoys working with his hands as well as computer design.

  • Anthony Mirabella

    Anthony Mirabella

    Anthony Mirabella

    Mechanical Engineer Technologist

    Anthony is one of the Student Mechanical Engineering Technologists here at Invent@NMU. He is currently a Sophomore at NMU studying Mechanical Engineering Technology. Anthony grew up building various wooden things with his father that sparked his passion for hands-on work and exploring new innovations.

Marketing Team

  • Micah Carroll

    Micah Carroll

    Micah Carroll

    Marketing Assistant

    Micah is one of our Student Marketing Assistants. He is a sophomore at Northern Michigan University studying Environmental Public Relations with a minor in Art & Design. When Micah isn’t in the office, he’s climbing rock faces in the forests surrounding Marquette. After graduation, Micah hopes to work on environmental campaigns, telling stories that promote the conservation of wild places.

Design Team

  • Aiyana Aldred

    Aiyana Aldred

    Aiyana Aldred

    Graphic Designer

    Aiyana is a Marquette native who is currently obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, listening to music, and spending time with her family. Aiyana is also an avid traveler who loves to experience new places and cultures, a passion that was cultivated after a summer spent traveling Europe. After graduation, Aiyana hopes to move out west to pursue a career as a graphic artist.

  • Maddie Arquette

    Maddie Arquette

    Maddie Arquette

    Graphic Designer

    Maddie is a Student Graphic Designer here at Invent@NMU, who enjoys spending her time hiking around Marquette or in the garden with her nieces and nephews. Maddie also enjoys sketching and writing out stories that teach people about different mythologies and histories. After graduation, Maddie wants to travel the world to study ancient cultures, and pursue a career that involves cultural and environmental preservation.

  • Tiffany Nutt

    Tiffany Nutt

    Tiffany Nutt

    Graphic Designer

    Tiffany is a non-traditional NMU student in the school of Art & Design with a concentration in Graphic Design. As a creative, she enjoys engaging in Marquette’s art scene and photographing the beauty of the area. As an adventurer, she enjoys swimming and hiking with her husband and pup. In addition to experience as a reporter, writer, and graphic designer, Tiffany runs an up-and-coming wedding + elopement photography/videography business based in Marquette, MI.

Project Management Team

  • Autumn Woosley

    Autumn Woosley

    Autumn Woosley

    Project Manager

    Autumn is a Student Project Manager here at Invent@NMU. She is currently a Junior at NMU and is earning a Bachor of Science Degree in Management. In her free time, she enjoys being with friends and family as well as watching sports like NMU Hockey. In the future Autumn would like to work for the United States Government.

  • Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Josh Gosseck

    Project Manager

    Josh is entering his junior year as a Finance and Risk Management major with a concentration in Corporate Finance and Investments and a minor in Military Science. He is an Army veteran and is an active member in NMU’s ROTC program. His plan after graduation is to pursue a career in banking and serve part-time as an Officer in the Army National Guard. He enjoys spending his time with his wife and two dogs enjoying the outdoors and traveling.

Management Team

Our management team is comprised of professionals who are passionate about the development of student talent, entrepreneurial support, and the expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula. Their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and networks lead to a wide range of capabilities and knowledge around product development and the entrepreneurial process.  

Meet our management team:

  • Cat Stenberg

    Cat Stenberg

    Cat Stenberg

    Project Manager

    Cat is a non-traditional senior studying Marketing. In her spare time she indulges in the practice of yoga and exploring the great outdoors. She is very passionate about environmental sustainability and self-sustainability. Her plans after graduation are flexible and open to the growth and opportunities she will endure over her last year of undergrad.

  • Joe Thiel

    Joe Thiel

    Joe Thiel

    Executive Director

    Joe Thiel is a northern Michigan native and proud 04’alum of Northern Michigan University’s Industrial and Electro-Mechanical program who finds grounding in his innovative spirit and drive as an entrepreneur. From his first role as an engineer and supervisor in a challenging union manufacturing environment to creating and building an international supply chain, he has prided himself in always striving for success. In his 17-year career, Joe has worn many hats: engineer, supervisor, sales executive, management executive, board member, serial entrepreneur, consultant, trainer, public speaker, coach, and mentor. Much of his attitude on dedicated focus and continued learning stems from his ability to build strong relationships as he’s encountered a plethora of highly skilled mentors and partners. Through skilled mentorship and gained business perspectives Joe has had the opportunity to manage, review, and evaluate large corporations, gain capital funds, and coach countless employees, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and students. All in all, Joe loves his family and has an appreciation for nature and outdoor recreation. Of course, this led him to seek a way to get back to Marquette while also giving back to the community that gave him his start as well as a top-notch education. He now is the CEO of Innovate Marquette SmartZone and Executive Director of Invent@NMU. He feels that the Marquette area is the ideal place to raise a family due to the natural resources, kind community, and top-notch school systems. In his spare time, you can find him tasting local food flare, snowboarding on Marquette Mountain, hiking Hogsback, swimming at Rum Runners, kayaking to Little Presque Isle, camping up North, and testing out our bike trails. He appreciates the arts as he’s played the guitar since childhood and loves to write music. He’s really looking forward to integrating into the Marquette community and making it his forever home.

  • Nicole Johnson

    Nicole Johnson

    Nicole Johnson

    Marketing Manager

    Nicole is a ’14 BBA Marketing graduate of Western Michigan University, Upper Peninsula Native, and outdoor enthusiast. After living away for 8 years on four different continents building a career in marketing focused on content creation and SEO strategy she happily found her way back home to this unique slice of paradise in October of 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, photography, plant-based cooking, and reading a good book near a body of water.

  • Paulette Perttunen

    Paulette Perttunen

    Paulette Perttunen

    Operations & Finance Manager

    Paulette is a Marquette-born NMU graduate who is the Operations and Finance Manager for Innovate Marquette SmartZone and Invent@NMU. She enjoys traveling and is looking forward to finding her roots while exploring the Finnish Arctic Circle. During summer free time, you can find her at her family’s cottage in Big Bay where she finds peace and serenity from beautiful Lake Superior. Long winter nights you will find her in front of the TV watching the train wreck that is Bravo TV with her bulldog, Marty the Meatball, and Charlie the cat.