MARQUETTE, Mich.—Judy Puncochar, an education professor at Northern Michigan University, is the recipient of the 2012 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award. The biennial award is presented to employees at MCC member campuses who’ve made “outstanding contributions” to service learning over the previous two years. She was honored Jan. 30 at a dinner in East Lansing.
Puncochar was credited for creating valuable learning opportunities for NMU students through her field-based education course on teaching for learning in the secondary classroom. The students apply their educational theories and research to real-world experiences outside their typical comfort zones. They assist with after-school programs at the Lake Superior Village Youth and Family Center. They help Bothwell Middle School students and teachers as MathCounts assistants, Homework Club tutors and helpers at school dances and music and sporting events. They also spend a full day working at the Hannahville Indian Community’s K-12 Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy in Harris.
In addition to serving as an educator and mentor, Puncochar coordinates NMU’s annual Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference. The event features presentations by national experts on diversity issues, along with film screenings and other cultural activities. Attendance has ranged from 1,000-2,600.
Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education.