Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Elaina Marinik

My education at Lake State taught me not only the basics of exercise science and health and wellness but prepared me for my future research career. I became involved in national organizations, improved my networking skills to create working relationships, and ended up with an amazing paid internship that turned into a 3-year research professional position at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. Now in graduate school pursuing a doctorate degree at Virginia Tech, I rely on the knowledge I acquired at Lake State and put it to practice daily while discussing health-related topics in class or conducting obesity and inflammation research in our laboratory.

Elaina Marinik
Exercise Science Alum,
Graduate Student,
Virginia Tech.

Distinguished Teaching Award

Jame W. T. Moody, Recipient 2006

Professor James W.T. MoodyLake Superior State University students have chosen longtime history and anthropology professor James W. T. Moody as recipient of this year's Distinguished Teaching Award.

The award was announced on Saturday during commencement ceremonies on campus, when nearly 650 students received degrees.

"The Distinguished Teacher is a member of the LSSU community who exemplifies the best of our University," said LSSU Provost Bruce Harger in his introduction of Moody. He said a distinguished teacher is caring, compassionate, available to students, demanding but fair, and an expert in the field that he teaches.

Moody, a Fulbright Scholar who studied at University of London, came to LSSU in 1971 after teaching for seven years at Greenville College. The Rockford, Ill. Native holds a bachelor's degree from Greenville and master's degree in history from Michigan State University.

"When I began teaching here 35 years ago, I wondered how long my career would be," Moody said as he accepted his award. "I have enjoyed every year...I extend my thanks to the committee of students and colleagues for this honor."

Recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award are chosen by a committee comprising five of the most recent recipients of the award and graduating students who have the highest grade point averages in their schools. Nominations come from students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Students who nominated Moody said they appreciated his knowledge of his field and the passion he exhibited in his teaching.

"I took away knowledge of how to become the teacher that people admire, and hope that in my elementary education career that I will acquire some of the same attributes that will inspire others to become admirable teachers," said one of his students.

"When I asked questions about why I was marked down on a test, he would answer that he expected much better of me," said another student. "His expectations caused me to strive to write better essays and he showed me that I was capable of achieving more."

A former student, now a college professor in Virginia, said Moody captivates his audience, especially with tales of his travels.

"His office is a treasure trove of statuary and artifacts and he provides unique insights about their many origins."

Besides teaching at LSSU, Moody has been active in the community since his arrival in 1971. He served on the Sault Ste. Marie City Commission, was chairman of the Kincheloe Air Force Base Conversion Authority, and was a member of the former St. Mary's River Regional Study Commission, as well as the Chippewa County Historical Society.



Dereck Wonnacutt

Dereck Wonnacutt
Robotics and Computer Science

"Lake Superior State is the only robotics program of its kind in the country. I can work up any research or senior project idea with a professor or my advisor. I studied for a year in Japan through LSSU's connection with the Japan Center for Michigan Universities, and became fluent in Japanese. A Japanese company called Fanuc makes most of the robots in our lab. I'd like to roll my senior research project into a career with Fanuc that bridges the two countries and cultures."

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