An “Inspiring Instructor Who Encourages Intellectual Risk-Taking”

Dr. Nena F. Stracuzzi Honored with 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award

Nena F. Stracuzzi in graduation attire

Dr. Nena F. Stracuzzi, a faculty member in the Graduate Education programs, including the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, is a recipient of the College’s 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award. Nominations for the award, which annually recognizes two faculty members for knowledge, skill, creativity and innovation in teaching, are made by currently enrolled students. 

One student, who describes himself as a traditional classroom learner, said in his nomination that Dr. Stracuzzi “reconstructs the impersonal nature of online learning by creating a meaningful platform for spirited interaction between students, yet making it fun at the same time.” The student noted that Dr. Stracuzzi “humanizes learning and the need for [her] students to challenge [themselves] with trying to understand the unfamiliar or difficult.”

Another one of Dr. Stracuzzi’s students expressed that she “develops a powerful sense of community within her online courses, encourages intellectual risk-taking necessary for true learning and that the intellectual standards in [her] course content and rigor are high, but accessible to students willing to engage in the academic process.”           

Dr. Stracuzzi has been a member of the Doctor of Education faculty since 2011, and prior to joining the College she taught in the Department of Sociology and conducted research at the Carsey Institute, both at the University of New Hampshire.  She earned a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in Social Sciences from the University of California, Irvine.

The Graduate in Education program offers master’s in Elementary EducationSecondary Education, as well as a master’s in Education, which offers three different concentrations: Higher Ed AdministrationLearning and Instruction, or Special Education. The Graduate in Education program also offers a Doctor of Education degree.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Each year, the College of Professional Studies honors two faculty members for their excellence in teaching. In considering nominations, the committee seeks indication of especially high intellectual standards in terms of course content, rigor, and integration of the best scholarship, depth of knowledge in the subject and evidence of scholarly and pedagogical growth as new knowledge is created and new classroom technology is developed.  This year the awards are presented at the Northeastern University College of Professional Studies spring 2013 graduation held on April 21, 2013. 

To read about the other Teaching Excellence Award recipient, Dr. Sanga Kugabalasooriar, visit An Instructor who “Encourages Students to Attempt Challenging Problems without Fear or Failure”.

More about graduation

The College of Professional Studies celebrates two graduations, fall and spring, in keeping with the College’s flexible approach to education offering an array of options to students including part-time and full-time studies, Fast-Track, online, and hybrid formats.

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master’s degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern’s research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.