Program Directors

Program Director

Michael JoyDr. Michael Joy, Professor of Spanish, became Director of the Honors Program in June 2019. He had previously served as the Assistant Director from 2014-19, and was also the Interim Director of the NMU Honors Program while Dr. Wood was on sabbatical for the 2013-14 academic year.

Joy taught for four years at Carleton College and three years at Presbyterian College before his arrival at NMU in 2006. He holds a BA in Spanish from Carleton as well as an MA and PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. His area of research is the literature of the Spanish Golden Age (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries). His most recent journal publication is entitled "Wrestling Miguel de Cervantes: (Golden-)Aged Heroes in Don Quijote and The Wrestler." His current research focus is centered on the cultural significance of games in general, and gambling in particular. More specifically, he looks at how gambling was depicted (not always in a negative light) by novelists and playwrights of Renaissance Spain; his most recent scholarly presentation was a talk on the use of gambling imagery by seventeenth-century playwright Antonio Mira de Amescua at the Congreso Internacional de Literatura y Estudios Hispánicos in Granada, Spain in June, 2018. He also participated in the National Collegiate Honors Council's "ideas exchange" event in November 2019, speaking about his work as the coach of the successful NMU Quiz Bowl team.

Joy has taught all levels of Spanish language, literature, and culture, as well as courses in the Honors Program and in NMU's First Year Experience program. In the fall of 2012 he was recognized with NMU's Excellence in Teaching award. He is a two-time winner (2014 and 2018) of NMU's Advisor of the Year award, for his work with the NMU Quiz Bowl team. He has also organized seven faculty-led study abroad programs in Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain.

Read Joy's biography on the website of the Department of Languages, Literatures and International Studies. He can be reached via e-mail at, or by phone, 906-227-1818.


Program Assistant Director

Dr. Anna Zimmer, Assistant Professor of German & International Studies, became Assistant Director of the Honors Program in October 2019.  She has taught  atNMU since 2015 and for the Honors Program since 2017. 

Prior to her arrival at NMU, Dr. Zimmer taught at Emory University, Hood College, and Georgetown University. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in German from Georgetown University.  Dr. Zimmer researches twentieth- and twenty-first century Germanophone literature, memory, and migration studies.  Some of this research inspired the development of her Honors 201 course, which focuses on art and literature from around the world after 9/11.  Her 2015 article “Putting the Past and Present on Trial: Migration and Memory in Ludwig Laher’s Documentary Novel, Verfahren” appeared in German Life & Letters.  Her current research focuses on European representations of refugees in diverse media, from popular crime fiction to avant-garde documentary film.  She looks forward to the publication of her chapter entitled “The Politics of Memory and Implication in Nicol Ljubic’s Meeresstille” in the edited volume, German-Balkan Entangled Histories with the University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2020.

When not teaching or researching, Dr. Zimmer also enjoys meeting with prospective Honors students, advising current Honors students, and serving as the faculty mentor for NMU’s interdisciplinary undergraduate journal, Conspectus Borealis, which is run by Honors Program.  She also serves on the Gender and Sexuality Studies Committee and the DeVos Art Museum Advisory Board.

Read more about Dr. Zimmer on the website of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and International studies.  She can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 906-227-1889.