The College of Science Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize and reward outstanding NU College of Science faculty for their significant contributions to student learning. We are pleased to announce this year’s winners.
Prof. Kirsten Fertuck, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Biology
Dr. Fertuck was recognized for consistently exceptional teaching performance and extraordinary dedication to guiding large numbers of students to success. Dr. Fertuck teaches Biochemistry to about 500 students per academic year and does so with remarkable ease and effectiveness. Her commitment to excellence is exemplified in her students’ profound appreciation of her accessibility and attentiveness to their individual journeys. Students remark on her deep knowledge of the subject, passion for teaching, and ability to explicate complex topics. In addition to Biochemistry, Dr. Fertuck teaches Inquiries in Biological Sciences, a first-year course that incorporates an exploration of primary literature. Dr. Fertuck currently serves as the Director of the interdisciplinary Biochemistry major.
Prof. Heather Littlefield, Teaching Professor, Linguistics Program
Dr. Littlefield was recognized for consistently exceptional teaching performance, extraordinary dedication to mentoring students, and contributions, through curriculum development, to the educational mission of the College. Dr. Littlefield has designed and taught 19 different courses for the Linguistics program and supervised over 90 independent research projects. Her commitment to excellence is exemplified in her students’ profound appreciation of the rigor and structure of her courses. Students remark on her deep knowledge of the subject, enthusiasm for sharing that knowledge, adaptability, and ability to inspire students to explore beyond their chosen field of study. As another testament of her outstanding record of excellence in teaching, Dr. Littlefield was awarded the 2018 John Portz Faculty Excellence Award by students in the Northeastern University Honors Program.
Prof. Dessy Raytcheva, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Biology
Dr. Raytcheva was recognized for sustained outstanding teaching performance, effective use of evidence-based teaching approaches, and contributions to the educational mission of the College. Dr. Raytcheva developed and teaches two courses, Biology Project Lab and Foundations of Microbiology. Biology Project Lab is the first inquiry based undergraduate course in the Department of Biology. It is a challenging course that introduces students to research laboratory practices and is now a highly successful multi-section course that is the foundation for students in the biological sciences at Northeastern. Dr. Raytcheva excels at inspiring curiosity while guiding and enabling students to become more comfortable with and even embrace “the messiness of the scientific process.” Students praise Dr. Raytcheva’s deep knowledge of the subject, passion for teaching, and positive influence on their growth as scientists.
View past award winners here.