Wood Among Three State Professors of the Year

Thursday 13, 2017

Northern Michigan University Professor David Wood has been recognized as one of three recipients of the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions and dedication exhibited by the faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students. 

The academic affairs officers of the Michigan Association of State Universities will recognize the nominees and recipients of this annual award during an April 21 luncheon held at Troppo in Lansing. The other two winners are Michigan State University Professor Ann Folino White and University of Michigan Professor Barry Fishman.

Wood is professor of English and director of the Honors Program at NMU, where he has taught since 2007. One of his colleagues once commented that the level of student discussion in his classes was the finest she’d encountered at NMU – one of many reasons he was the recipient of the NMU 2015 Distinguished Faculty Award and 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. He also was co-chair of the Liberal Studies Program Task Force in 2012, which restructured general education at the university.

As director of the Honors Program, Wood has doubled the program’s enrollment without diminishing standards, and has been instrumental in landing the largest gift in the university’s history, which will go toward undergraduate Honors student learning. Thanks to this stewardship, he reinvigorated the Stratford Festival Endowment, which brings students to the renowned Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.

As a Shakespeare scholar, Wood also infuses his academic work on disability into his literature classes, creating innovative courses that teach older primary course materials alongside culturally and politically current secondary materials. This work on disability studies extends to his service as trustee of the Tyler Rigg Foundation, where he can steer funding to areas of health, disability and alternative education.

Wood earned a B.A. from Skidmore College in 1993, an M.A. from the University of Alaska–Fairbanks in 2000, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2004.

“Dr. Wood is truly extraordinary in his dedication to our students and their learning,” said Kerri D. Schuiling, Northern Michigan University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “He is an exemplary teacher who engages students to think deeply and participate actively in their classrooms and communities.”

“Professor Wood represents the very best of teaching, innovation and dedication to student success,” said Dr. Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “He’s reinvigorating student programs, symbolizing the excellence in higher education for which Michigan’s public universities are globally renowned.”

The Michigan Association of State Universities serves as the coordinating board for Michigan’s 15 public universities, providing advocacy and fostering policy to maximize the collective value these institutions provide in serving the public interest and the State of Michigan.

This release was prepared by the Michigan Association of State Universities