Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education
The Educational Development Council (EDC) annually solicits nominations for the Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education. Romeo was a dedicated professor of Electrical Engineering and a founder of the WPI Plan. This award in his memory has been presented annually since 1999 to recognize early career faculty members who have made specific innovations or improvements to undergraduate education at WPI that have resulted in benefits such as enhanced motivation, conceptual understanding, reinforcement of knowledge, or real-world applications of theory.
Meet Recent Moruzzi Award Winners
In order to be eligible for the award, a faculty member must meet both of the following requirements at the time of nomination:
- Appointed at WPI in a full-time position for less than six full years (with allowances made for parential leave and similar situations)
- Hold the title of Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Research Professor, Instructor, or Professor of Practice
Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to nominate an eligible faculty member is asked to complete a brief online form by December 9. Self-nominations are welcome. After the form is submitted, nominees will be notified.
The nominee will be in the best position to define the focus of the nomination and to solicit support letters. Nomination packets must be submitted by January 13 and consist of the following: 1) a two-page statement written by the nominee; and 2) up to three support letters. The nominee and letter writers should send their documents independently to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of January 13. The award winner(s) will be announced at the Faculty Awards Convocation in April, and each will receive $4,000 in professional development funds.
Advice to nominees
Please note that strong nominations focus on a “specific innovation or improvement” as opposed to general excellence in teaching. The initiative need not be new or innovative on a national scale; specific improvements to undergraduate education at WPI are valued. At the same time, the selection committee does consider the level of innovation evident in the project.
The two-page statement should include the following: a thorough description of the specific innovation or improvement that is the focus of the nomination; the rationale for the initiative; and evidence of student learning benefits.
The strongest nomination packages typically include input from both colleagues and students. Nominees are encouraged to communicate the focus of the nomination (i.e., the specific innovation or improvement) to letter writers so that they can tailor their comments appropriately.
Advice to letter writers
Because of the nature of the award, the most helpful letters emphasize the innovation or improvement that is the focus of the nomination rather than the nominee’s personal characteristics as a teacher or general excellence in teaching.
Letter writers are encouraged to describe the degree of innovation in the project, how the nominee’s initiative has improved undergraduate education, and/or evidence of benefits to student learning. A one page letter is sufficient.
Send letters directly to the Educational Development Council at email@example.com by the deadline of January 13.