NMU Faculty Honored

Thursday 10, 2015

Northern Michigan University faculty members were honored at the annual Celebration of Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship ceremony. Recipients and their awards are: Maggie Moore of the School of Health and Human Performance, Excellence in Teaching; Steve Hughes of Art and Design and Mounia Ziat of Psychology, Excellence in Scholarship; and Scott Demel of Sociology and Anthropology, Breanne Carlson and Chris Kirk of Health and Human Performance and Kristi Robinia of the School of Nursing, Technology Innovation. 

Moore began as an adjunct instructor at NMU in 2006 before joining the faculty two years later. She is credited for her exemplary teaching record and for being known as an inspiring and exceptional educator. Moore has included numerous students in her research on migraines and concussions. Her scholarship in teaching includes presentations on methods of online and in-class learning tools and project-based learning. She teaches a broad range of courses, including athletic training, exercise science, sport science and health.

Hughes oversees the illustration program at NMU and operates a freelance art studio, Primary Hughes Illustration. His work has been displayed in more than 70 gallery exhibitions and used by The New York Times, American Greetings, Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation and others. One of his paintings was acquired by director Martin Scorsese. Hughes’ illustrations have won numerous awards, including a Silver Award from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, Creative Quarterly’s 100 Best of 2013, and a Silver Medal in painting from The National Art Museum of Sport. His work has also been featured in several publications. This past summer, Hughes served as a juror for the Society of Illustrator’s Los Angeles annual illustration exhibition and visited Iceland as part of Light Grey Art Lab’s artist residency program.

Ziat joined NMU in fall 2011 and was instrumental in developing the new neuroscience major. She has published six papers in peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters and six refereed conference papers and abstracts. She also has conducted four workshops and presented more than 20 posters and demonstrations at national and international conferences, nearly all with NMU students as coauthors. Her basic research advances the coverage of topics in psychology further into the fast-growing areas of cognitive and behavioral neurosciences. Ziat’s work promises to be foundational in the development of more sophisticated, next-generation devices, and is perfectly poised to make vital contributions to the development of cutting-edge technologies with significant commercial potential.

Demel began his career here at NMU in 2009, after serving as head of collections at the Department of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago. During his time at the Field Museum, he was trained in utilizing anthropological analytical equipment. The following description of Demel from his department head, Alan McEvoy, was shared at the ceremony: “Scott is the guy one sees walking in the woods with a trowel, paint brush and measuring tape, searching for our past in layers of mud. He is the guy who buries animal carcasses so his students in forensic anthropology can unearth their remains for scientific study. He uses a hovercraft to film archaeological sites, but deep down thinks it is a fun helicopter toy for adults. And he is the guy who constantly inspires our students to use the tools of science and the knowledge of anthropology to understand the human condition.”

Carlson has been facilitating learning at NMU since 2009 in the School of Health and Human Performance. Her courses are learner-centered, collaborative and technology-intensive. She promotes active, self-directed learning in her students to help them develop requisite skill sets for the new economy. Carlson’s open educational practices have spawned co-created classes that foster a sense of creativity and innovation. The NMU alumna’s interest in health education stems from the challenge of being a weightlifter. She represents NMU’s Olympic Training Site at the elite level.

Kirk began teaching at Northern in 2005. He serves as an associate professor in the School of Health and Human Performance and as clinical coordinator for the athletic training education program. Prior to employment at NMU, he served as head athletic trainer, assistant professor and inaugural director of Lake Superior State University’s athletic training program. Kirk has worked as an athletic trainer in hospital-based sports medicine clinics, a junior college and in universities with NCAA Division I and II athletic programs. His interest in teaching began when he served as an athletic trainer and part-time physical education instructor at St. Louis Community College.

Robinia has been a member of the NMU School of Nursing since 1995. Her work strives to help students connect classroom theory to hands-on experiences that develop nursing skills while serving others. For the past four years, she has focused on community nursing. Her students are challenged to identify and solve one problem for their assigned community agency by the end of the semester. Aided with grant monies obtained by Robinia, students have learned the process of assessment, prioritization, budgeting and implementation of programming. For example, with funding support from NMU’s Center for Rural Community and Economic Development, Robina’s students researched the pressing problem of low oral health literacy levels for parents in the Upper Peninsula. The held an oral health literacy educational night for parents, which continues today.







Kristi Evans
News Director

Pictured (from left): Chris Kirk, Breanne Carlson; Susy Ziegler, associate dean of Arts and Sciences; Scott Demel; Steve Neiheisel, VP for enrollment management and student services; NMU President Fritz Erickson; Steve Hughes; Provost Kerri Schuiling; Charles Mesloh, interim dean of Health Sciences and Professional Studies; Kristi Robinia; Mounia Ziat; and Maggie Moore.