The Excellence in Online Teaching award is bestowed by Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) to Rutgers faculty, lecturers, or staff, in recognition of outstanding work in the design and teaching of online and hybrid courses to create meaningful, effective learning experiences for students. 

2024 Award Winners


Excellence in Online Course Design:

Dr. Bari Hanafi - Earth and Planetary Sciences, SAS NB

Dr. Nathan C. Walker - Philosophy and Religion, CAS Camden


Excellence in DEI & Accessibility

Dr. Carla Giaudrone - World Languages and Cultures, CAS Camden


Excellence in Non-Credit Programming

Maggie Albright-Pierce - Psychology, SAS NB

Award Categories

Excellence in Online Course Design 

This category recognizes educators who exhibit exceptional skill and innovation in crafting online courses. Awardees in this category demonstrate a keen understanding of instructional technology, pedagogical principles, and engagement strategies. This award celebrates educators who create dynamic, thoughtfully structured courses, fostering interactive and collaborative learning experiences that make creative use of the online environment. 

Excellence in DEI & Accessibility  

This category honors instructors who excel in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within their online teaching practices. Awardees in this category prioritize creating an inclusive digital classroom where all students can thrive. Through their commitment to DEI and accessibility, these educators contribute to a more equitable online education landscape, fostering a sense of belonging and enriching the educational experience for all learners. 

Excellence in Non-Credit Programming 

This category recognizes educators who demonstrate outstanding expertise in developing and delivering non-credit online educational programs. Awardees in this category design engaging and impactful short courses, workshops, and training modules that cater to the needs of lifelong learners, professionals, and enthusiasts. This award celebrates those who create dynamic pathways for continuous learning, contributing significantly to the personal and professional growth of their learners. 


Rutgers faculty members and lecturers who have taught one or more academic credit-bearing online course are eligible for the Online Course Design and DEI & Accessibility awards. At least one course must have been taught for at least two semesters prior to application/nomination.

Rutgers staff, faculty, or lecturers who have developed and/or taught one or more non-credit online course or program are eligible for the Non-Credit Programming award. At least one course must have been delivered at least twice prior to application/nomination. 


Any faculty member, instructor, department head/chair, staff member, or student may make a nomination on behalf of an eligible individual. Self-nominations will also be accepted.


  • Creative Approach: The nominee has used technology to implement a creative approach to address one or more instructional design or teaching challenges.
  • Quality of Course Materials and Instructional Strategies: The nominee has created well-designed course materials and utilized appropriate teaching strategies to meet instructional goals.
  • Inclusivity: The nominee has demonstrated efforts to adopt inclusive teaching strategies to create an equitable and accessible learning experience for all students.
  • Learner Satisfaction: The nominee has demonstrated rapport with learners and has a strong instructional presence in the online course.
  • Effective Learning Outcomes: The nominee has measurably demonstrated effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes in the online course(s).
  • Supporting Letter: The supporting letter addresses the qualifications of the nominee as an outstanding online teacher.

Selection Process

The selection committee will be chaired by the Associate Vice President for Online Programs, along with representatives from the Division of Continuing Studies (DoCS), Academic Technology Services (Newark), and Instructional Design and Technology (Camden), and representatives from other academic support units at Rutgers. 

2024 Committee Members:

  • William Pagán, Associate VP for Online Programs (Chair)
  • Dena Novak, Director of Instructional Design, TLT
  • Emily Corse, Director of Instructional Design & Technology, Camden
  • Joy McDonald, Manager of Academic Technology Services, Newark
  • Jason Khurdan, Manager of Central Services, Rutgers Access and Disability Resources
  • Kaylin Padovano, Diversity Education and Outreach Coordinator, University Equity and Inclusion
  • Julie Johnson, Director of Continuing and Professional Studies, SC&I


Recipients of the Excellence in Online Teaching Awards will receive a plaque recognizing their achievement and be honored at the annual Rutgers OnlineLearning Conference in March 2024.

Award recipients will also be invited to participate in a panel discussion at the conference to showcase their accomplishments in online teaching.

Required Award Documentation

  • Letter of nomination from peer, department head/program director, staff, or student. (Note: This is not required for self-nominations.)
  • A general description of the online course(s) taught, with an in-depth focus on one course.
  • A rationale that highlights the nominee's qualifications for the specific award category
  • A URL link to a copy of the course. Please note, student data will be removed when copying a course into a sandbox. If submitting a link to the course on behalf of a nominee, written permission from the instructor teaching the course must be obtained for the selection committee to be given access
  • Descriptions of the online course design and teaching approaches utilized
  • Up to three examples of well-designed course materials that embody effective active teaching strategies. This may be in the form of files/documents, screenshots from the course, or links to additional resources used.
  • Evidence of effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes in the online course (s), such as assessment data or other measures. Please include the course objectives to which each measure is linked.
  • Evidence of meaningful engagement with students and learner satisfaction, such as student survey data, SIRS or other student feedback, and/or demonstrated rapport with learners and other course participants.
  • Letter of support, which may be from a student,  colleague, or administrator.