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French Professor Recipient of Michigan World Language Association’s Distinguished Service Award


A professor in Ferris State University’s English, Literature and World Languages department has received the 2020 Michigan World Language Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Daniel Noren was awarded his academic trophy and honor following the organization’s virtual annual conference during Fall 2020.

Noren joined the Ferris faculty in 1989 and established himself as an educator with a special interest in francophone countries, striving for instructional excellence by offering study abroad tours of France and Martinique. Noren said the MIWLA is a collaborative organization for teachers of French, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, German, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.

“Our MIWLA annual meetings are a great opportunity to stay engaged with peers across the state and appraised on the latest methods of improving ourselves, as educators,” Noren said. “Some ways we can expand on what a student can learn is through music in our particular language, along with new ways to approach aspects like conjugation of verbs. These conferences are rejuvenating. I return each year with around 100 new ideas for my teaching.”

The MIWLA Distinguished Service award is chosen by the association’s executive board, with service on that body being one consideration for a prospective candidate. Noren said several years ago, he joined the e-board as vice president and continued through a leadership progression as president-elect, president and immediate past president.

“It certainly meant my giving attention to a regular meeting schedule, in addition to my duties as a professor, but it was most enjoyable,” Noren said. “MIWLA leaders are passionate about their languages and students, so the company and the demands of service were very much a pleasure for me.”

Noren called his selection “a great surprise, a fun honor.”

“I was glad when Brenda Schnarrs, an instructor from the greater Detroit area, received the award,” Noren said. “I had always held her in high esteem and was acquainted with around a dozen others who had won MIWLA awards. My selection was kind of amazing because the association has given me so much more than I invested in its efforts and initiatives.”

Noren also won a Distinguished Teacher Award from Ferris, in 2000, sharing the honor that year with Psychology instructor Richard J. Pisacreta.