It is with great pleasure that the Dean’s Office announces the winners of this year’s Outstanding Teaching Awards.
“Outstanding teachers go beyond pure instruction in the classroom; they leave an impression on students years after they have learned from them.”
– Outstanding Teaching Award nominator
Nicole Aljoe, Department of English. With this award, the committee recognizes Professor Aljoe’s commitment to providing students rich experiential learning opportunities, particularly in the context of the Early Caribbean Digital Archive and the cultural and intellectual history of African-Americans in Boston; her ability to reflect carefully on her teaching and to listen thoughtfully to her students; her close and effective mentorship of graduate students; her excellent reviews from students at all levels; and her contributions to undergraduate program development. As her nominator wrote, “Professor Aljoe is opening our students’ minds and opening doors for them as well. Her work as a teacher is vital to many of the core initiatives of the department and college, including experiential education, global cultures, inclusion and diversity, digital humanities, and community engagement.”
Denise Garcia, Department of Political Science and International Affairs Program. With this award, the committee recognizes Professor Garcia’s profound—often life-changing—impact on her students both in Boston and abroad, especially on her United Nations Dialogue in Geneva; her integration of her cutting-edge research with student-focused teaching; her ability to create diverse learning environments on campus and around the globe; and her close mentorship of students at all levels, which was evident in the multiple student nominations she received for this award. As one student-writer observed, “Professor Garcia embodies the true spirit of Northeastern by not only teaching and conducting incredible research but by working tirelessly to bring about a more secure future…Professor Garcia is truly a force to be reckoned with and a force for good in this world.”
Professor Laurie Edwards, Department of English and Writing Program. With this award, the committee recognizes Professor Edwards’ integration of the liberal arts with disciplinary expertise in the health sciences; her consistently outstanding student evaluations; her innovations both in face-to-face and online teaching; and her effective leadership as Director of Advanced Writing in the Disciplines and Online Instruction Coordinator for the Writing Program. As her nominator wrote, she is not only “fabulously successful by every metric” as a teacher—she is also a model for other teachers in the Writing Program and, we would add, across the college and university.
Krista Larsen, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. With this award, the committee recognizes Professor Larsen’s commitment to the experiential liberal arts as a practicing attorney; her attention to issues of diversity and inclusion in her “Due Process” course; the time and attention she pays to her students’ learning, often mentoring them outside of class; her engaged citizenship in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; and her consistently superb student evaluations. As her nominator wrote, Professor Larsen “embraces our experiential learning model by engaging her students with the criminal justice system in multiple ways. Her students frequently get out of the classroom and into the courtrooms and she brings examples from her work to the classroom to contextualize the material. Krista challenges first- and second-year undergraduates as though they were already students in law school.”
Matthew Cohen, Department of Political Science. With this award, the committee recognizes Mr. Cohen’s well developed teaching philosophy; his innovative teaching style, which incorporates lectures, storytelling, student-led discussions, simulations, and collaborative in-class projects; his excellent teaching evaluations; his well-conceived assignments; and his thoughtful responses to student feedback, which he consistently and actively seeks. Mr. Cohen’s nominator, a recent alumna who is now a Fulbright Fellow, recalled how Mr. Cohen patiently mentored her through a challenging class, concluding, “Outstanding teachers go beyond pure instruction in the classroom; they leave an impression on students years after they have learned from them. Matthew embodies all the qualities and more of an outstanding teacher.”
Please join us in congratulating our winners! We would also like to thank the members of the selection committee for their good work: Lori Gardinier, Human Services Program; Sidita Kushi, Department of Political Science; Faviana Olivier, Department of English and Writing Program; and Mya Poe, Department of English.