MARQUETTE, Mich.— Five Northern Michigan University faculty members were recognized at the annual Celebration of Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship Ceremony held earlier this month in the University Center. Recipients and their awards (pictured from left) were: Craig Rademacher of the health, physical education and recreation department, technology innovation; Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos of modern languages and literatures, excellence in scholarship; Mark Shevy of communication and performance studies, technology innovation; and Amy Orf of modern languages and literatures and Sandra Imdieke of education, both excellence in teaching.
Rademacher arrived at NMU in 2007 with a high level of technology skills from serving as an Apple creative trainer and instructional designer. Combined with his expertise in outdoor recreation, he has been propelled to the forefront in applying technology to environmental and cultural interpretation. His recently published Borrego iPad App is an entirely digital park brochure and the first of its kind nationwide. It guides visitors through the largest state park in California.
Strauss Sotiropoulos’ research has focused on 18th-century works using transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives. Early Feminists and the Education Debates, her award-winning monograph on women’s education in late 18th-century western Europe, shows how writers constructed their arguments for educating girls and women to win over hostile audiences. More than 400 libraries worldwide hold her book. She has recently expanded her research, publication and presentation agenda to discuss American documents pertaining to women’s education in the same period.
Shevy has used technology in the classroom to enhance the delivery of course material and to help students become familiar with the tools that they might use in careers. He brings speakers to class via web conferencing software, engages music recording sessions at a distance, creates online videos to present material that is better taught through self-paced learning and has students present their reports through various technological means before having them reflect on how they can use that technology in their careers and social life.
Orf has taught a breadth of courses at NMU, including elementary Latin, all levels of Spanish language, Spanish for health care, Spanish for criminal justice and linguistics for language educators. She has conducted faculty-led study abroad courses in Mexico and Argentina and has planned another for Cuba in the spring. Orf was praised for teaching with contagious enthusiasm and delivering instruction with a combination of tried and true techniques and her own innovations, which often include original music. She also incorporates academic service learning in several upper-level courses.
Imdieke’s outstanding work as a teacher of undergraduate students in face-to-face classrooms, graduate students in online environments and colleagues in professional development contexts has been previously recognized by the Michigan Reading Association, which named her Teacher Educator of the Year in 2006. She also was honored by the Michigan Association of Governing Boards in 1999 and with an NMU Distinguished Faculty Award in 2000. Imdieke has mentored students and colleagues on the value of children’s literature and the pedagogy required to support readers in constructing deeper meanings from texts they read. She currently chairs the Caldecott Award selection committee.