Creative Teaching Awards

Marisa Pagnattaro gives Amanda Rugenski a Creative Teaching Award.

Amanda Rugenski, right,  receives a 2022 Creative Teaching Award.


Purpose of the Award

The Creative Teaching Awards recognize faculty members who have implemented in a course a significant, creative teaching innovation and/or strategy to improve student learning. These awards are presented annually by the Office of Instruction to encourage both instructional excellence and the dissemination of best practices by sharing promising innovations with faculty more broadly.

For 2023-2024, the competition will give priority to creative innovations in two domains:

  • promoting active learning across the curriculum
  • improving student writing and communication skills


  • Must be a full-time faculty member, including tenured, tenure-track, clinical, or non-tenure-track faculty.
  • The creative teaching innovation and/or strategy was implemented during the previous academic year.


  • Demonstrated effectiveness of the creative teaching innovation and/or strategy nominated for the award, such as new uses of instructional technology, pedagogy that extends learning beyond the traditional classroom, new approaches to creating inclusive courses, new ways to use active learning in non-STEM disciplines, new approaches for improving student writing and communication skills, new approaches to student collaboration, new methods for replicating the advantages of a small course in a large lecture course, or other new teaching strategies that have significantly improved student learning outcomes.
  • Demonstrated positive impact of the creative teaching innovation and/or strategy on improving student learning outcomes, such as improving the DF and/or W rates in the course, improving final grades in the next course in the sequence etc.

The Nomination and Selection Process:

Nominations will open on November  1, 2023 and may be submitted by any faculty member, dean, or department head.

Nominating Process

All Nominations must be submitted via online form  by January 12, 2024. The form asks for the following information:

  • Nominator's name, contact info, and relationship to nominee
  • Nominee's name, school/department, and rank
  • The course(s) or learning initiative(s) where the creative teaching innovation and/or strategy was implemented, including   Course Prefix, Number & Title (or name of initiative if not a course), # of Students, Semester/Year, Instructor/Facilitator
  • Any other contributors and list their roles
  • A concise description of the creative teaching innovation and/or strategy (300-400 words maximum). Include in the description both its purpose and context and its learning goals
  • A concise description of the evidence demonstrating its contribution to student learning (300-400 words maximum)
  • Dean or Department Head approval

Selection Process

  • Nominations will be reviewed by a committee selected from within the Office of Instruction.


  • Up to 5 recipients will be recognized during Honors Week  April 1-5 and through various university marketing efforts.
  • Each recipient will receive a cash award that may be used to further their innovative teaching efforts or at their own discretion.

2023 Creative Teaching Awards recipients

Audrey Haynes
Associate professor,  political science
School of Public and International Affairs 

Chris Herring
Lecturer, electrical and computer engineering
College of Engineering 

Jane McPherson
Associate professor
School of Social Work

Ellen Neidle
Professor,  microbiology
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Yoo-Kyoung Seock
Professortextiles, merchandising and Interiors
College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Send any questions  to