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Two Earn Distinguished Faculty Awards

Judith Puncochar (Education, Leadership and Public Service) and Michael Strahan (AIS-Library) are the 2014 NMU Distinguished Faculty Award recipients at NMU. 

In her 10 years at NMU, Puncochar has taught both undergraduate and graduate education students. She grounds her pedagogy in a belief that all students can succeed and master rigorous standards. Puncochar has been a leader at NMU in merging academic learning with community service. In 2012, she was honored with the prestigious Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service Learning Award. 

Puncochar led efforts to begin a conference on campus titled “Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity.” The UNITED Conference is now a highlight of the academic year, attracting more than 2,000 participants each year since its 2006 inception. It offers presentations and experiences that enable participants to better understand and work with diverse cultures. Puncochar's vision of providing leadership opportunities for young women resulted in the “Elect Her” Conference, an annual event that mentors young women and supports them as they pursue leadership roles.

Strahan has served NMU as a faculty member in the Lydia M. Olson Library since 1990. He works with faculty colleagues to ensure that students have the information literacy and research abilities they need to be successful. Strahan designed and regularly teaches a course titled “Research Using Digital Resources,” which lays the groundwork for advanced writing projects and graduate theses. He developed an APA style guide that has been accessed online nearly 2 million times since 2008.

The Embedded Librarian Instruction Services program that Strahan pioneered helps many online students succeed. He also co-founded and serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning. Strahan has served on several NMU committees and has been appointed to two national committees through the American Library Association’s Association of College and Research Libraries.