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The Alumnae Award for Curriculum Innovation

The Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Innovation supports faculty innovations that enhance the undergraduate curriculum such as new courses, new course materials or components for existing courses, and/or new approaches to instruction. 

Read more about the most recent recipients of the Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Innovation in the University announcement.

award information and application procedures

Please direct questions to curriculumaward@northwestern.edu and a member of our staff will respond promptly. Faculty whose proposals are selected for funding will be notified in late December.

Congratulations to the 2022 Recipients

Heather Pinkett

Heather Pinkett

Irving M. Klotz Research Professor and Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

"Expanding representation in science lectures"

Heather Pinkett, the Irving M. Klotz Research Professor and associate professor of molecular biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will create modules with students that highlight the professional stories of scientists with diverse backgrounds, particularly emphasizing scientists currently working in the field.


Pinkett’s work will build on an existing biochemistry class, giving students additional opportunities to teach and learn from their classmates as well as implement changes to future curricula.


The project, called the Northwestern University Teach One Reach One project, or NU-TORO for short, promotes inclusion in STEM curriculum and gives students agency to reform STEM curriculum alongside their professor. By implementing a resource that highlights new connections between textbooks and contemporary research that traditional coursework may not allow, NU-TORO offers students different perspectives on the feasibility of careers in STEM.


Pinkett also will launch the NU-TORO website nationwide as a template for other educators to increase their own curriculum inclusivity, providing references and other resources.
The Pinkett lab looks at the way nutrients, antibiotics and chemotherapeutics are transported into and out of the cell, with an interest in ABC transporters, proteins that use ATP hydrolysis to move substrates across cell membranes.


Pinkett is an expert in ABC transporters, transcriptional regulation and host-pathogen interactions.

Alessandro F. Rotta Loria

Alessandro F. Rotta Loria

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

"Using data and sustainable engineering to innovate cities"

Alessandro F. Rotta Loria is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. Rotta Loria will deploy a wireless temperature sensing network in underground environments across the Chicago Loop district that will become a living laboratory for his class “Energy Geostructures and Geosystems” (EGG – CIV_ENV_353).


This network will provide a large set of real-world data that students in the EGG course will use to design innovative projects that can harvest renewable geothermal energy and waste thermal energy through the subsurface to meet buildings’ heating, cooling and hot water needs. These projects will be developed virtually but could be realizable immediately, with significant implications for the decarbonization of cities and the building sector at large. In support of this undertaking, Rotta Loria will provide students with cross-disciplinary competence in mechanics, energy and data science.


Rotta Loria’s research is at the intersection of geomechanics, energy and environmental sustainability. His goal is to understand the properties and behavior of soils, rocks, concrete and system thereof in the context of geological energy production and storage.