2014 Excellence in Teaching Award Winners

May 21, 2014

Outstanding Faculty Honored for Excellence


Nominated by students in the Graduate Education Master of EducationMaster of Arts in Teaching, and Doctor of Education programs for her passion, engagement, and support of students, Dr. Gail Matthews-DeNatale is noted for providing outstanding learning environments that use multiple forms of communication to share feedback and encourage student advancement toward educational goals. One student nomination noted that “the chance to talk with Professor Matthews-DeNatale has been the most important aspect of my journey.” Dr. Matthews-DeNatale has been recognized in many professional and scholarly organizations for her work in the advancement of learning design, blended learning, ePortfolio, and digital storytelling.

Nominated by students in the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for being a role model, an extraordinary teacher, and a mentor, Dr. Arsenio Paez is noted for teaching his classes with “a wonderful sense of adventure.” He “is simply excellent,” said one student submission.  Another nomination stated, “Dr. Paez has made a profound impact on my education… his teaching revolutionized the way I practice. We are all better clinicians as a result of his class.” A 2006 graduate of the doctoral program, and an undergraduate Northeastern alumnus, Dr. Paez is a senior lecturer in physical therapy, as well as a principal in private practice in New York, at Platypus Therapy, Inc. In his work, Dr. Paez serves developmentally delayed and at-risk children and young adults, and specializes in treatments for neurological, genetic, and medical impairments, using therapy integrating motor and cognitive skills. 

Teaching excellence encompasses various elements, the first being high intellectual standards in course content, rigor, and integration of scholarship and new knowledge. Second, excellent teaching, in part, is defined by relationships and interactions as faculty and students travel the journey, together, as collaborators in a community of learners. A third element of teaching excellence recognizes the work faculty do in an effort to make effective and inspiring links between theory, practice, and experience, and to do so with an extraordinary ability to communicate and build rich learning experiences.