Nominations for 2021 Alumni Awards have closed. Any nominations submitted will be considered for 2022.
Alumni Association Awards are presented annually at Homecoming. They include the Distinguished Alumni Award; Alumni Achievement Award; Outstanding Young Alumni Award and Alumni Service Award.
First presented in 1964, the NMU Alumni Association Awards celebrate the personal and professional achievements of NMU alumni who distinguish themselves through exceptional contributions to their profession, community, and society.
Do you know someone who should be nominated? The nomination process is quick and easy. Nominations can be submitted year-round by friends, family, faculty, and staff through the online nomination process. Nominations received by December 31 are considered for recognition the following year.
Questions? Get in touch with us.
2021 NMU Alumni Award Recipients
Mary Jo Mulligan-Kehoe, Ph.D. ’68 BS
Distinguished Alumni Award
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Mulligan-Kehoe retired from Dartmouth Medical School in 2014 following a long career in academia focused on vascular biology research funded by the National Institutes of Health. As a professor and member of the Angiogenesis Research Center, her research focused on how the anti-angiogenic activity of a truncated recombinant plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 protein inhibited tumor growth. One of her most significant professional accomplishments is in the discovery and development of single chain antibodies for which she holds the patent, one of four patents in her name. Though retired, Mulligan-Kehoe continues her contribution to society as a scientific review officer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, chairing the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) Education Committee. Additionally, she develops and provides animated coursework for middle and high school students designed to promote careers in the biomedical sciences. A 1968 NMU graduate, she also earned a Master of Science in biology from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from the Catholic University of Louvain. She completed postdoctoral and senior staff fellow training in molecular and cellular biology at the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health.
Susan Meier ’87 BS
Alumni Achievement Award
Meier is a highly respected and admired educator with an unyielding commitment to educating and advocating for young children. Her impact reaches far beyond the classroom by involving her students in service projects, not only in her local community, but in the global community as well. Her commitment to education and community involvement is evidenced by numerous honors and awards. Meier is the founder of the Books for Babies Project, which promotes early literacy in children. She and her students raised over $59,000 and have given new books to over 14,000 newborns in Gratiot County. After 32 years, she recently retired from teaching kindergarten and is currently working as a literacy coach for Carson City-Crystal Area Schools and is a member of the Gratiot-Isabella RESD Early Literacy Collaborative. Meier earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Northern Michigan University and a ZA Early Childhood Education Endorsement from Central Michigan University.
T.J. Weber, Ph.D. ’11 BS
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Weber was recently named the Richard & Julie Hood Endowed Professor of Marketing in the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly University and is currently among the youngest chaired professors in the U.S. He earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing at the College of Business at Northern Michigan University, an MBA from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. in marketing from the Carson College of Business at Washington State University. Weber is well-known in the fields of marketing and public policy for his research examining the role of technology and political polarization in the formation of beliefs related to vaccinations, global warming and consumption. His research has been published by Oxford University Press, the American Marketing Association, and the American Academy of Advertising, and he currently serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Weber’s work has received significant press attention, including coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, L.A. Times, among others.
Lina Blair ’05 BS, ’08 MS
Alumni Service Award
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Blair is the director of student life and conduct at Grand Rapids Community College where she has set in place and maintained numerous service projects and efforts to address barriers to success. Blair advocates for student support in mental health, COVID-19 relief, and housing and food insecurity. In 2020, she led her team to establish a wider-reaching campus food pantry, with a new location and enough food to supply students in need. Prior to her role with GRCC, Blair worked at NMU for more than 10 years where she advised student government, created a new program for NMU’s first-generation college students and provided leadership for the student conduct program. A two-time NMU graduate, Blair earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Science in training, development and human performance.