Brian Forist, Lecturer with Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington in the Department of Health & Wellness Design is the recipient of the 2020 NAI Award of Distinction from the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). The award will be presented during the 2020 NAI virtual national conference streaming November 10-13th. The annual conferences provide participants with professional skills and ideas and networking opportunities with others in the fields of environmental, cultural, historical, and recreational resources interpretation. This year’s conference focuses on the theme of “Virtually: New Beginnings”.
The NAI Award of Distinction is presented to members who have distinctly or significantly furthered the mission and vision of NAI as well as the profession of interpretation and positively impacted the overall NAI organization.
More than forty years ago, this Indiana native began his ranger and interpreter career by moving across the country to the Northwest. Then after time in the Midwest, he landed in the Northeast. After a sojourn home he went West, and to our nation’s capitol, finally to return to his Hoosier State. During his “roving” he collected many diverse interpretive experiences, and after starting one doctoral program somewhat late in life, he finished another even later. That alma mater, Indiana University, now serves as his base in academia. At IU Brian studied and honed a new concept and now serves as a proponent: dialogic or two-way interpretation. In this “visitor-first” approach, the interpreter is more facilitator than orator. Of course, he also covers traditional styles in his interpretation courses. He serves as faculty advisor to the NAI Student Chapter at IU and also shares his four decades of experience in our field. Since its formation, Brian has been a leader in an important and timely initiative: NAI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.
The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources in settings such as parks, zoos, museums, nature centers, aquaria, botanical gardens, and historical sites. For more than 50 years, NAI and its parent organizations have encouraged networking, training, and collaboration among members and partners in support of our mission: inspiring leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. NAI’s growing network of members includes volunteers, docents, interpreters, naturalists, historians, rangers, park guards, guides, tour operators, program directors, consultants, academicians, planners, suppliers, and institutions. NAI has 7,000 members in over 30 countries with three international affiliate organizations: NAI-Greece, NAI-Korea, and NAI-China. For more information about the NAI or the Professional Awards, contact NAI Deputy Director, Paul Caputo in Ft. Collins, Colorado at 1.888.900-.283 or visit https://www.interpnet.com/.