Joe Lubig of the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and Neil Russell of the Physics Department are NMU’s 2017 Distinguished Faculty Award recipients.
Lubig has taught in NMU’s School of Education since 2004. He is a graduate of NMU’s undergraduate and master’s education programs and earned his Ed.D. from Central Michigan University in 2006. His scholarship focuses upon the measures and practices necessary for the support and development of exemplary professional educators.
The award citation commended Lubig’s ability to energize those around him to innovate and improve their own practice. He is also described as a visionary whose ideas inspire change and who effectively engages those around him to be part of his vision, maximizing their strengths.
“I was floored to receive this honor and grateful for the NMU community and all of the surrounding school districts with whom we work who could make something like this possible,” Lubig said. “I am proud of the education I received at NMU and even more proud of the fact that I now get to help others become professional educators as they too work to distinguish themselves and their students within their communities. At times like these, I like to draw on a statement made by a recent graduate: ‘I might not be smart enough to change the world, but I might teach someone who will.’”
A physics professor at NMU since 1999, Russell earned doctorates from Rhodes University in South Africa and Indiana University. His scholarship focuses on the foundational symmetries of Einstein’s relativity, in particular theoretical and experimental issues involving Lorentz and CPT invariance. Russell teaches courses ranging from non-major courses popular in the liberal studies program to advanced courses for physics majors. He has been recognized for his innovative teaching strategies and ability to connect with his students.
Russell has published widely and his work has been cited more than 600 times by his peers. His scholarship has had widespread impact influencing the work of experimental groups at major institutions around the world.
“What an honor to be recognized with a 2017 Distinguished Faculty Award,” said Russell. “Since an early age, I've loved the way that physics allows one to use mathematics and measurements to understand nature. As a faculty member in the NMU Physics Department, I feel lucky to pursue this passion every day. It's a pleasure to work with students as they learn science, and it's exciting to research new ideas. Thank you to my nominators for recognizing these contributions. I'm both humbled and gratified.”