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Northwestern University

The Alumnae Award for Curriculum Development

The Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Development is intended to support faculty work over the summer to develop new course materials, new courses, or new modes of teaching (including online courses or online education), that will enhance INNOVATION in our undergraduate curriculum.

Each Curriculum Development Award recipient will have the opportunity to address a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Alumnae of Northwestern University and to present the outcomes of their project at the annual TEACHx promoting experiments in teaching and learning forum. In addition, Provost Holloway will recognize recipients of the Curriculum Awards at the annual luncheon he hosts for all current recipients of awards established by the Alumnae of Northwestern University.

Nominations for summer 2018 awards are now closed. For questions about the Alumnae Curriculum Awards, please contact Lee West, Director of Undergraduate Education at

Congratulations to the 2017 Recipients

Jeremy Birnholtz

Jeremy Birnholtz

Associate Professor in Communication Studies, School of Communication, and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, McCormick School of Engineering

"Computing Everywhere: Informally Engaging Non-Technical Students with Computational Thinking"

His proposal is designed to bridge the gap in Communication Studies students’ familiarity with digital technology. By providing learning opportunities through a series of workshops in novel settings, this course will draw on examples from students’ everyday lives to teach them how to critically engage with software, algorithms, engineers, and developers.

“Just as media literacy was essential in the past, computational literacy, or the ability to understand and critically engage with software and programmers/engineers, is an essential skill for all Northwestern undergraduates,” says Birnholtz. He believes the class “will position [students] well for careers in industry user-experience research or product development, graduate programs in information and communication technology, and introductory coursework in computer science.”

Amanda Stathopoulos

Amanda Stathopoulos

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering

"Engineering Possibilities: Decision Science in the Age of Smart Technologies"

Her proposal, “Engineering Possibilities: Decision Science in the Age of Smart Technologies” is designed to give students multiple perspectives on global problems, while helping them understand how local conditions contribute to the success or failure of real-life engineering projects.

“There is ample evidence that young engineers are eager for space and tools to reflect on the social impact of their work,” Stathopoulos notes. Through teaching students how to evaluate technological, economic, and policy implementations as well as the benefits, costs, and trade-offs of competing solutions, she hopes this course will provide such opportunities for students in the beginning of their engineering courses, helping to increase critical thinking and engagement throughout their education.

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