Since 1992, the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association has annually honored faculty throughout the university who excel in the art of teaching. The nomination and selection methods differ by school, but students must be involved in the process. Besides the Alumni Association award, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences offers additional teaching, advising, and mentoring awards to instructors and faculty advisers who inspire their students, and to teaching assistants who demonstrate expertise in the classroom.

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, staff, and alumni may submit nominations. Nominations must include the name and department of the nominee, as well as a description of what makes this teacher, adviser, or mentor different from others at Homewood.

For faculty awards, any professor, instructor, or lecturer who has taught at any level on a regular basis in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences for at least three years may be nominated. Faculty are ineligible to win the same award more than once in three years.

For teaching assistant awards, nominations must include the name and department of the TA.

Awards Criteria

Consider the criteria below as you prepare your nomination, and please use specific, concrete examples in support. The nominee does not need to represent all criteria, and nominations based on other criteria are welcome as well.

Exceptional instructors and advisors are consistently:

  • Engaging students – Students who actively engage with the content learn more than passively listening. Mentors who listen to and engage with mentees can provide advice that is more relevant and more easily accepted. What strategies did the nominee use to make their teaching or interactions more student-centered and provide opportunities for students to actively engage?
  • Building community – Learning is a social process. Developing a relationship with the instructor or mentor leads to long-term benefits for students. How did the instructor help students learn by connecting with their peers, the instructors, or other relevant communities?
  • Influencing and inspiring students – Ultimately the instructor’s or adviser’s role is to help students learn and develop. How did the nominee motivate students to exceed their expectations inside and outside of the classroom, help them learn difficult concepts, or prepare them to pursue opportunities inside and outside of Hopkins?
  • Promoting diversity and culture of inclusion – Instructors and mentors should engage all students, regardless of background. Promoting a culture of inclusion also encourages students to learn from the peers’ diverse experiences. How does the nominee facilitate a learning environment or advising relationship that encourages the discussion of serious questions and expression of diverse opinions while also providing all students, regardless of their background, the opportunity to achieve their potential?
  • Developing relationships beyond the classroom Faculty members influence students the most when their relationship goes beyond the classroom. When students believe that faculty care about them as both student and a person, the relationship becomes transformative.  How does the nominee go above and beyond to influence students outside of the classroom? How does the nominee cultivate a personal and meaningful relationship with students?

For nominations in the Krieger School of Arts and Science, please fill out the Krieger Teaching Award Nomination form.

The 2021 nomination deadline is Friday, March 5.

Krieger School Awards

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Award

2021 winner: Homayra Ziad, Lecturer/Director, Program in Islamic Studies

I have known Dr. Ziad for nearly two years now since I first took a course with her, and she continues to be a steadfast and luminous mentor for me. From academic to personal to spiritual, Dr. Ziad’s wisdom and reservoir of knowledge has always been a source of inspiration, and there have been countless times when I came away from our interactions with a new sense of purpose.

Homayra has sparked a renaissance for the Program in Islamic Studies not only through her teaching, but through her tireless work in developing programming. She seems to know every academic, artist, public intellectual, and activist in North America whose work connects to Islam, and she uses her vast network to organize events and attract speakers and artists who enrich our undergraduates’ experiences.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

This award is given to a faculty member in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences who demonstrates excellence in teaching and mentoring of graduate students.

2021 winner: Bécquer Seguín, Assistant Professor of Iberian Studies, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Bécquer Seguín has a deep level of understanding for the interests and needs of graduate students. For example, he shared his immense expertise and experience in public writing by guiding graduate students through various practical writing assignments in which we explore how writing for public outlets differs from academic journals. His feedback is detailed and nuanced and has been instrumental for my progress as a writer.

Not only is Bécquer Seguín an exceptional scholar and instructor, but he also excels as a mentor. He gave very useful advice for organizing a two-day conference. His support helped me reach out to keynote speakers and set up a virtual event that included 40 people from 10 different countries and 27 different universities.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Advising Award

This award is given to honor a faculty member in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences who has demonstrated a dedication to undergraduates and their education though excellence in advising.

2021 winner: Nadia Zakamska, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

I’ve only known Dr. Zakamska through Zoom. About a year ago, she took me on to her undergraduate research team to look into young stars, and in that one, remote year, she has made more of an impact on me than any teacher I’ve ever had. She helps her students grow by providing the perfect balance of appreciation, constructive criticism, encouragement, and excitement.

Dr. Zakamska has been a light in the darkness for the entire year I’ve known her. She has unwavering positivity, unparalleled patience, and a contagious love for her field. From the way she calls a complex special relativity problem ‘cute’ to the beaming smile she gives when someone shares a physics result, she never fails to draw my admiration.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Assistant Award

This award honors the best graduate teaching assistants in the School of Arts and Sciences. These teaching assistants are commended for the care and concern they take with their subject and their students.

2021 winner: Kate Keleher, Graduate Student/Instructor, The Writing Seminars

Kate is one of the strongest instructors of the Introduction to Fiction and Poetry course. She is warm and welcoming, and she has an excellent rapport with her students. IFP is largely a discussion-based class, and while many of the students have a limited background in literary craft, Kate excels in eliciting commentary from the class, making for lively and unselfconscious investigations of poetry and fiction.

Kate has completely turned around my perspective on writing and analyzing literature, as she encourages us to share our thoughts, even if we are not very confident in them and always values our opinions. Kate is the only professor who has made me feel like could actually express my thoughts about the pieces we read, even if they do not quite line up with her own ideas.

Other Awards

Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award

Funded by the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association, this award recognizes excellence in teaching. Past recipients have been honored for their enthusiasm in the classroom, interest in their students, and ability to teach complex and difficult information. An award will be given both to a Krieger School of Arts and Sciences nominee and a Whiting School of Engineering nominee.

The George E. Owen Teaching Award

This award was established by the 1982 Student Council to honor George E. Owen, who was dean of the Homewood Faculties. It is awarded annually by the Student Council for outstanding teaching and devotion to undergraduates. The award may be given to a faculty member in either the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering.

Winning faculty cannot win again for three years.

Past Winners


Krieger School Awards

Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award

Faculty Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

  • Ryan Calder, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

Undergraduate Faculty Advising Award

  • Meredith Ward, Faxon Director, Program in Film and Media Studies

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award

  • Alan van den Arend, Graduate Assistant, Department of History


Krieger School Awards

Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award

  • Patrick Fleming, Senior Lecturer, Biophysics

Faculty Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

  • Angus Burgin, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History

Undergraduate Faculty Advising Award

  • Linda Gorman, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Program in Neuroscience

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award

  • José Luis Rodríguez Aquino, Graduate Assistant, Political Science

Other Awards

The George E. Owen Teaching Award

  • Orla Wilson, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering


Krieger School Awards

Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award

  • Aliza Watters, Lecturer, Program in Expository Writing

Faculty Graduate Teaching/Mentoring Award

  • Douglas Mao, Professor, English

Undergraduate Faculty Advising Award

  • Sydney Van Morgan, Director, International Studies Program

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award

  • Aniruddha Dey, Teaching Assistant, Chemistry

Other Awards

The George E. Owen Teaching Award

  • Kristin Cook-Gailloud, Senior Lecturer, German and Romance Languages and Literature