Neal Lerner, who recently joined the North­eastern fac­ulty as an asso­ciate pro­fessor of Eng­lish, has been named the winner of the National Council of Teachers of Eng­lish (NCTE) 2011 David H. Rus­sell Award for Dis­tin­guished Research in the Teaching of English.

The NCTE, cel­e­brating its 100th year, recently announced that Lerner’s book, “The Idea of a Writing Lab­o­ra­tory,” was the recip­ient of this year’s esteemed award. In his book, Lerner — the new director of the Writing Center in the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties — exam­ines the his­tory and intel­lec­tual foun­da­tions of the writing lab­o­ra­tory in Amer­ican higher education.

In “The Idea of a Writing Lab­o­ra­tory,” Lerner traces the his­tory and devel­op­ment of con­tem­po­rary writing cen­ters and their inter­sec­tion with efforts to teach stu­dents in sci­en­tific lab­o­ra­to­ries. Ulti­mately, Lerner offers exper­i­men­ta­tion essen­tial to “lab­o­ra­tory approaches” as a way to improve cur­rent prac­tices and struc­tures of writing cen­ters, as well as writing instruc­tion more broadly.

Each year, the David H. Rus­sell Award rec­og­nizes a single Eng­lish scholar from the myriad nom­i­na­tions of model instances of genre, research, and acces­sibly reported mate­rial — all of which must reflect a project that stands the test of time.

Lerner will travel to Chicago in November to receive the award and speak at the 2011 NCTE Annual Convention.

He comes to North­eastern from the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology, and his research inter­ests include writing across the cur­riculum and com­po­si­tion and rhetoric.

Written by Samantha Fodrowski.