Thursday 23, 2009
The 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award recipients at Northern Michigan University are Tawni Ferrarini from the economics department, Jill Leonard from biology and Jaspal Singh from English. They will be honored at spring commencement for their university and professional contributions.

Ferrarini was appointed the Sam M. Cohodas Scholar at NMU in January 2008. In that capacity, she serves as a regional economist for the Upper Peninsula, producing economic reports on the Upper Great Lakes economy, leading regional studies and serving as a liaison between the university and community members. She also directs the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, which promotes economic literacy in K-12 schools across the Upper Peninsula. Ferrarini holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Southern Illinois University and a master's and doctorate in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Since arriving at NMU in 2000, Leonard has done extensive research on the biology of migratory fish with a recent focus on the restoration of coaster brook trout to Lake Superior tributaries. She consistently involves students in her projects and has obtained external grant funding. Leonard teaches a variety of courses in the biology department. She also assisted NMU's Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) review team by chairing a committee that addressed the "climate for scholarship at NMU," one of three AQIP action projects for continuous improvement in 2007-08. Leonard earned her bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, her master's from the University of Delaware and her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Singh's teaching specialties include the following areas of literature: colonial and post-colonial; Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean; feminist; and both Asian American and African American. She has numerous publications to her credit, including the recent "Representation and Resistance: Indian and African Women's Texts at Home and in the Diaspora." Singh joined the English faculty in 2001. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from two Indian institutions: the University of Delhi and Agra University. She received another master's from Oregon State University and her doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Oregon.

Kristi Evans
News Director