School of Social Work: Award for Excellence in Teaching and Pedagogical Practices


The nomination should address sustained excellence in teaching, innovation in pedagogical practices, and contributions to professional teaching-learning beyond classroom instruction. The prize consists of a $500 award and a personalized framed certificate. The award will be processed by payroll, and will be adjusted up to account for estimated taxes.


  • All members of the School of Social Work (SSW) who provide instruction are eligible for consideration, including tenure-system, specialized, and field faculty, adjunct, and emeritus faculty, and graduate teaching assistants.
  • A minimum of 6 semesters taught within the SSW curriculum prior to the nomination deadline is required; this is reduced to a minimum of two semesters for graduate teaching assistants. Semesters need not to have been taught consecutively. Classes may have been taught online and/or in-person.
  • The nominee has not won this award in the previous 5 years.

Evaluation Criteria

Evidence of sustained excellence and innovative approaches in pedagogy and/or teaching practices (undergraduate, graduate/professional, online, and/or distance teaching/learning), that result in an overall positive impact on student learning, as demonstrated by activities such as:

  • Contributions to professional learning, and/or teaching practices
  • Contributions that improve instruction and/or focus on scholarly teaching
  • Demonstrated creativity in new course development, or the enhancement of existing courses, curricula and/or instructional methods
  • Supporting or enhancing student learning inside and/or outside of the classroom
  • Advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning, through publications, conference presentations, leading workshops on pedagogy, and/or participating in other professional development activities
  • Effective or innovative use of technology and media to teach online and/or through distance education (including off-campus site-based courses)
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to the learning needs of online and/or distance students

Nomination Process

A nomination may be submitted by any member of the School of Social Work community. Nomination packets must include the following and should be formatted in 12 point Times New Roman or equivalent font; single-spaced; and with 1 inch margins. You will submit this information, along with a cover page, online at the link below (under “Submission”).

  • A nomination letter addressing the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an instructor/teacher (not to exceed 3 pages).
  • A statement of teaching philosophy provided by the nominee. This statement should include information related to the nomination criteria (not to exceed 3 pages).
  • Outside review/evaluation of the nominee’s recent teaching practices, such the two most recent ICES profiles available from the Center for Teaching Excellence or teaching observation from a colleague with teaching/pedagogical expertise
  • Names and contact information for at least two current and/or recent students willing to support this nomination.*

*NOTE: Letters from students will be solicited by the School of Social Work selection committee, not the nominee.


Complete nomination packets are uploaded online HERE by midnight, May 30, 2020. Nominations will be reviewed by the School of Social Work Awards Committee, with final determination made by the Dean. Awards will be presented at the beginning of the academic year in August during the faculty retreat.

For questions, please contact: