Program Directors

Program Director

Michael JoyAs of June of this year, Dr. Michael Joy, Professor of Spanish, accepted the position as Director of the Honors Program. He served as the Assistant Director starting in 2014, and was also the Interim Director of the NMU Honors Program while Dr. Wood was on sabbatical for the 2013-2014 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 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.

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, which made it to the national championship tournament in 2014. He has also organized 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.