Jean Kinnear, a professor in the health, physical education and recreation department at Northern Michigan University, received the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Fellow Award for 2008. The NAI is a professional organization of more than 4,000 members, including park historians and managers, naturalists, zoo and museum educators and heritage interpreters. 

The Fellow Award is the NAI’s highest honor. It is presented to a member who provides strong support for the organization and who exemplifies career achievement in guiding the interpretive profession through instruction, mentoring, research, writing, front-line interpretation and management.

In describing the qualities that earned Kinnear the award, the NAI wrote:

“She created a strong and diverse interpretive program as part of the outdoor recreation division at NMU. Her courses, based on sound principles of interpretation, utilized the most recent resources including textbooks research and classroom visits from practicing professionals. Dr. Kinnear understands the field of interpretation and excelled at challenging her students to be market-ready for the profession. Her influence on students and young interpreters expands well beyond the walls of the classroom. In the history of NAI Region 4, no one person or agency has involved the students as much as Dr. Kinnear did at regional workshops. She has also been a strong supporter of involving students in regional and national presentations.

“Dr. Kinnear is extremely dedicated. Her main contribution to the profession is training future interpreters. She is the bridge between those who are masters in their field and those students whom she has a hand in molding to be the future of interpretation. Through her gifts of time, service, instruction, finance and pure devotion, Dr. Jean Kinnear has made NAI as an organization and the field of Interpretation more fervent.”

            The NAI Fellow Award was presented at the organization’s national workshop in Portland, Ore.

Prepared By
News Director
December 19, 2008