Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education

Nomination Process

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. More information about Romeo Moruzzi and a listing of prior recipients can be found on the Faculty Awards website.  

Consistent with the wishes of the Moruzzi family, a candidate must be a pre-tenure, tenure-track member of the WPI faculty at the time of nomination. Nomination packets 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 by the deadline of January 15. The award winner will be announced at the Faculty Awards Convocation in April and will receive $5,000 in professional development funds.

Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to nominate an eligible faculty member is asked to approach that person, encourage him or her to be a nominee, and offer to write a letter of support if appropriate. Self-nominations are also welcome. The nominee will be in the best position to define the focus of the nomination and to solicit support letters.

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 by the deadline of January 15.
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