David Houston Wood is the recipient of Northern Michigan University's 2015 Distinguished Faculty Award for his outstanding contributions to scholarship, teaching and service. In addition to serving as an associate professor of English, he also directs the Honors Program.
Wood joined the faculty in 2007. He said NMU appealed to him because of the lake, the town, the university and the AAUP union, for which he serves as a bargaining council representative for the English department.
“What I quickly discerned when I arrived here surprised me: a largely productive faculty-administration relationship that from the first enabled me to pursue my research in a way that I never thought would be possible at a mid-sized university," he said. "[Late department head] Ray Ventre and Dean Michael Broadway have made every conceivable effort to get me where I have needed to be in order to pursue my scholarship. I really hope such productive relationships can continue.”
A specialist in English Renaissance drama, Wood has written numerous articles in top journals, has published a monograph,Time, Narrative, and Emotion in Early Modern England, and is the co-editor of two volumes of essays:Recovering Disability in Early Modern England and Disabled Shakespeares.
“Dr. Wood’s work in the area of disability studies has revolutionized his field and made him a highly sought-after speaker and contributor,” wrote Lesley Larkin, acting provost, in an email announcing his selection. “Most recently, he was invited to deliver the keynote address at the University of Michigan’s 2014 Early Modern Colloquium.”
As director of the Honors Program, Wood has recruited hundreds of talented students of all majors, effectively doubling the size of the program to 230 students. He also has facilitated student scholarship by working with the NMU Foundation to attract private funding, including the $25,000 Anna and Rich Lundin Summer Research Fellowships and the $5 million John and Shirley Berry Annual Scholarships.
Wood was recognized previously by NMU with the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. One way he enhances the academic experience is co-leading annual summer trips to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, where students are exposed to what he calls “some of the finest classical theater in North America.” They watch six plays over three days and formulate related research projects.
“I am humbled to be acknowledged for my work here at NMU over the last eight years. I look forward to a long, long career in the glorious U.P.”