NMU center earns award

Braden Linick

Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) Tawni Ferrarini is the 2012 recipient of the Albert Beekhuis Award, a national accolade granted by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

According to Ferrarini, the award is given only when a network affiliated council or center does something deemed significant by the CEE. To be eligible for the award one must be a member of the CEE’s network which currently consists of roughly 200 university-based centers and councils.

“I was shocked. This is an enormous honor for me and Northern,” Ferrarini said. “I never expected this to happen. Pay attention to what others value and good things will happen.”

The Albert Beekhuis Award was established in 2002 after a donation was made to the CEE from the Albert Beekhuis Foundation. The award is granted to someone that shows outstanding performance in working with teachers and exhibits excellence in practice, delivery of high quality programs and outreach to its community, marketing manager of the CEE Leslie Rasimas said.

According to Rasimas, an awardee must demonstrate an ongoing dedication and superior service to K-12 educators. Under Ferrarini, the CEEE has been promoting economic education by providing workshops for K-12 teachers since 2000.

“The Center has worked to grow its reach broadly and deeply within the 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” Rasimas said. “Through its publications, conference presentations, workshops and webinars, it helped integrate economics into the preschool to high school curriculum as well as in higher education within the state of Michigan with special attention given to engaging students and teachers in their communities.”

Rasimas added that as well as Ferrarini’s work with training Michigan teachers, she has also held workshops for the CEE at the HSBC National Center for Economic and Financial Education.

Ferrarini said she center uses multimedia technology to expand their reach across the nation and world. She went on to give some examples of the work she has done recently.

“A teacher from the Hannahville Indian Community came to me with an idea,” Ferrarini said. “I brought him together with my students and other U.P. teachers, to create Monopoly on the Rez. People learn about personal finance and entrepreneurship through Native American lenses while playing the game. “

Ferrarini said she hopes to bring the Native American work to the CEE so economics, entrepreneurship and personal finance can be taught at the national level while getting to know more about Native American Culture.

Rasimas said over the past few years NMU’s center has served as a liaison between the CEE and the Council for Economic Education of Japan.

The NMU CEEE recruited the director of the first Center for Economic Education in Peru, Hugo Eyzaguirre, in Peru to build its staff.

“It draws visitors from places like Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay to learn more about how to succeed,” Rasimas said. “Visitors quickly discover that CEEE partnerships within the CEE/NAEE network and its local community are at the heart of its success.”

Ferrarini said the projects she works with are based on community needs, wants and values. She is open to suggestions and can be contacted at [email protected].