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Nominations for the 2019-2020 Innovative Teaching with Technology Award are now open. Please review the application process and deadlines below to nominate a faculty member for this award.

The Innovative Teaching with Technology Award recognizes a full-time RIT faculty member who uses technology to teach in effective and innovative ways. The range of acceptable entries is broad-such as the incorporation of a new technology, or the use of an existing technology or teaching methodology in a unique way. With the launch of the Innovative Learning Institute (ILI), and its emphasis on fostering the use of technology to positively impact student learning, nominations for this award will be evaluated against the Institute's definition and rubric of innovative teaching and learning:

"Any teaching strategy, approach, technique, or tool that is used, or used in a new way, to produce quantifiable gain for student outcomes or the student experience, and can be implemented widely at RIT."

2018-2019 Award Recipients
hinda mandell

Hinda Mandell, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, School of Communication

College of Liberal Arts

  • Joined RIT in 2011
  • Author or co-author of 11 peer-reviewed articles, five books, 13 book chapters, and one book series
  • Recipient of the Award of Appreciation from the Frederick Douglass and Family Legacy Committee and won Best Documentary in 2013 for “The Upside Down Book,” a film Dr. Mandell produced, researched, and wrote
  • Op-ed columnist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and online media sites, including Politico, The Guardian, The Boston Herald, and many more
  • Professional experience includes editorial positions at The Jewish Advocate, The Bennington Banner, and North Adams Transcript, and contributions to The Boston Globe, the NPR blog Cognoscenti, the Jewish Daily Forward, and The Jerusalem Post
  • Organized a social media initiative called Jewish Hearts for Pittsburgh in the wake of the deadly attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Two thousand five hundred Jewish Hearts were installed around Pittsburgh after the massacre. A second installation is in the works.
  • Completed two fellowships, including the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship in Poland, where she studied post-War religious reconciliation in Poland
  • Ph.D., mass communications, Syracuse University; MA, Middle Eastern studies, Harvard University; BA, Judaic & Near Eastern studies, Brandeis University
kelly norris martin


Kelly Norris Martin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Communication

College of Liberal Arts

  • Joined RIT in 2011
  • Director of the Expressive Communication Center in the Wallace Library; chair of the Visual Communication Division of the National Communication Association; series editor for the RIT Press Graphic Design chapter book series
  • Author or co-author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications
  • PI or co-PI on four external research grants, including two from the National Science Foundation.
  • Recipient of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012-2013
  • Employs collaborative and community project-based learning, campaign class initiated RIT FoodShare and visual communication class co-created RIT Zine Fair
  • Dr. Martin serves on five committees, including the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum Committee and is the College of Liberal Arts liaison for the Rochester Advertising Federation
  • Co-wrote course proposals for Communication, Media, and Gender course and Social Media course
  • Ph.D., communication, rhetoric, and digital media, MS, communication, North Carolina State University; BA, English and music, John Carroll University
2017-2018 Award Recipient


Nathaniel S. Barlow, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences
College of Science


  • Joined RIT in 2014
  • Professional objectives include increasing retention of STEM students from under-represented background
  • Teaching philosophy emphasizes active, incremental and inclusive learning
  • Engages students in demonstrations to connect areas of study to real-world examples
  • Designs hands-on activities for group workshops, where students replicate famous experiments
  • Uses new technologies, including 3D printing and images, to encourage students to view mathematical subjects in a multidimensional way
  • Strives to keep lectures and lessons relevant and accessible to all learning styles by frequently adjusting course delivery modes and using visual, auditory, and cognitive teaching practices
  • Customizes office-hours to meet the needs of students each semester
  • Participates in journal clubs to learn best practices in teaching and mentoring, as well as to reduce impact of implicit bias and reduce stereotype threat
  • Ph.D., BS, mechanical engineering, Clarkson University


2016-2017 Award Recipient

Elizabeth Reeves O'Connor
Principal Lecturer, Communication
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Advertising & Public Relations and Communication
College of Liberal Arts, School of Communication

Effective communication demands a deep understanding of audience. This concept drives Elizabeth’s pedagogy; it was foremost in mind as she created an online public speaking course. One major challenge was incorporating audience feedback, given that an authentic speech situation requires an audience beyond the instructor. Elizabeth’s solution was to use an online video management and assessment tool to organize and store recordings, and to facilitate time-coded instructor and peer review. A multi-step process for uploading, captioning, and streaming speeches was devised so that these reviews were accessible to all students (hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing). The result was a highly interactive course and a pedagogical experience that maintained the integrity of the material. The process can be easily adopted by instructors interested in including online peer-reviewed oral communication work in their courses. 

  • Joined RIT in 2005
  • Principal Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Advertising & Public Relations and Communication in the School of Communication
  • Current interests include researching pedagogical resources to help higher-education instructors accommodate and educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in public oral communication situations
  • Faculty advisor to School of Communication undergraduate students
  • Co-organizer of annual Institute Public Speaking Contest
  • Manager and trainer of oral communication tutors at RIT’s Expressive Communication Center
  • Co-creator of Advanced Public Speaking course
  • Recipient of 2011 Provost’s Learning Innovations Grant
  • MS, Communication & Media Technologies, RIT; BS, Professional & Technical Communication, RIT
2015-2016 Award Recipient

Brian Tomaszewski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Information Sciences and Technology
B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Brian’s innovative use of technology involves Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Because GIS deals with geographically-oriented problems, it’s applicable to a wide variety of teaching with technology contexts. GIS opens up the potential for breakthrough, creative teaching approaches. A colleague noted: "Professor Tomaszewski has incorporated the use of hand held GPS devices, cell phones, drones, and other location based devices into the classroom. As drones are not allowed outside the buildings, he created an imaginative setup in the classroom for the students to learn how drones can be used for disaster management and GIS information gathering and analysis. The students engage in using the drones to investigate the surroundings, record pictures of important information, and create a story from pictures they took using the drones." With respect to Brian’s use of GIS in his teaching, the selection committee was particularly impressed by the ways he was able to build bridges between computing and the digital humanities, as well as global campuses. 

  • Joined RIT in 2009
  • Active interdisciplinary, internationally-engaged researcher and scholar with focus on geographic information science and technology, disaster management, and refugee affairs
  • PI or Co-PI on nine sponsored research grants valued over $809,000 including the National Science Foundation, United Nations, UK Department for International Development (UK-DFID), and Grand Challenges Canada
  • Author or co-author of 34 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference proceedings, book chapters and posters, many with RIT student co-authors; author of Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Management, a leading textbook published in 2015
  • Creator of eight new geographic information systems (GIS) courses. Creator and advisor for geographic information systems minor
  • Extended faculty member of the Ph.D. Program in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, and the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science
  • Creator of RIT’s first faculty-led study abroad trip to Africa/Rwanda
  • Ph.D. geography, Pennsylvania State University; MA, geography, State University of New York at Buffalo, BA, anthropology, State University of New York at Albany
2014-2015 Award Recipient

Mario W. Gomes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Mario Gomes was recognized for his use of hands-on activities in engineering classes. His nominator noted: "Dr. Gomes does an amazing job using in class examples, demonstrators and online videos to help students learn how to program effectively and appropriately for their projects. He encourages students to use the tools available to them to fabricate parts of their robot, opening up their minds to how and what they can make. Students also figure out that their computers can also be amazing tools, rather than just social or fun items. This is important for many of them starting out in their career." 

  • Joined RIT in 2009
  • Active interdisciplinary scholar with focus on the dynamics and control of airborne wind-energy systems and highly-efficient robotic walking.
  • Creator of three new courses in Mechanical Engineering: Multibody Dynamics, Wind Energy Engineering, and Engineering Design Tools.
  • Faculty advisor to numerous MS thesis graduate students and committee member of Ph.D. graduate students, and supervisor and faculty mentor for many Multidisciplinary Senior Design Teams.
  • One of the winners of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC)’s 100 year anniversary Science Demonstration Competition.
  • Ph.D., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University; MS, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; BS, Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University
2013-2014 Award Recipient

Robert Garrick, Ph.D., PE
Associate Professor, Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology (MMET)
College of Applied Science and Technology

Robert Garrick was recognized for leading a multi-year study of learning technologies that combined tablet PC’s, multiple projection, and classroom management software. In the TRILE study (Technology-Rich Interactive Learning Environment), faculty piloting the approach designed by Dr. Garrick took both qualitative measures of improved student experience, and quantitative measures of the variables that lowered the DWF rate for students in those classes. 

  • Joined RIT in 2008
  • Active interdisciplinary scholar in engineering education research with a technology rich interactive learning environment and alternative energy internal combustion engine research. 
  • PI or Co-PI on 8 sponsored research grants valued over $1,000,000. Sponsors include National Science Foundation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, California Energy Commission, and the Propane Education Research Council.
  • Recipient of the 2009-2010 Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost's Excellence in Teaching Award  
  • Recipient of the 2012-2013 Provost's Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award.
  • Eight US and European Union Patents
  • Licensed professional engineer in New York State
  • Ph.D. mechanical engineering, University of South Carolina; MS  mechanical engineering, University of Rochester; MBA Rochester Institute of Technology; BS electrical engineering GMI Engineering & Management Institute
2012-2013 Award Recipient

Robert Teese, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science

Robert Teese was recognized for the LivePhoto Physics project, which published a book of video-analysis activities for introductory physics courses and Interactive Video Vignettes. The project has been holding frequent workshops for university and high-school teachers. 

  • Joined RIT in 2002
  • Current interests include physics education research and curriculum development.
  • Researched theoretical elementary particle physics during postdoctoral positions at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich and at the University of Mainz.
  • Principal investigator (PI) on a grant from National Science Foundation (NSF) for $105,000 to write software for collaborative lab report authoring.
  • PI for the LivePhoto Physics project funded by a series of NSF grants totaling over $850,000 in collaboration with Dickinson College, Tufts University, the University of Maryland and the University of Cincinnati.
  • Participated in LivePhoto Physics project dissemination including a series of three-day and five-day workshops for over 100 faculty from colleges and universities around the nation.
  • Currently leading the LivePhoto Interactive Video Vignettes project.
  • Developing a new genre of online teaching materials, in which short narrative segments are combined with interactive elements that include measurement and analysis activities.
  • Member of the Science and Mathematics Education Research Collaborative at RIT.
  • Ph.D., theoretical physics, MA, experimental physics, University of Texas at Austin
2011-2012 Award Recipient

Victor Perotti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Area Leader
Entreneurship & Digital Business
E. Philip Saunders College of Business

Vic Perotti was recognized for his development of DigEnt, a nationally recognized social network created on the Ning network for the Digital Entrepreneurship course. Its goal was to promote exchanges between RIT students and a network of other students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and investors from around the world. The key insight that led to the creation of DigEnt is that RIT students, as part of their course work, can create valuable content and in return receive feedback and advice from experts in the area of Online Entrepreneurship. 

  • Joined RIT in 1997
  • Active interdisciplinary scholar with focus on the transformation of entrepreneurship and revenue models by new information technologies. PI or Co-PI on 8 sponsored research grants valued over $840,000. Sponsors include National Science Foundation, Knight Foundation, Kauffman Foundation, National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Association.
  • Winner of RIT's highest teaching honors: 1999-2000 Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching and 2003-2004 Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching.
  • Creator of 12 new courses in Management Information Systems and Digital Entrepreneurship areas. Played leadership role in development of 3 academic programs.
  • Leader of RIT's Digital Entrepreneurship Initiative promoting student startups that leverage new information technologies.
  • Leader of Saunders College of Business Digital Business group supporting faculty collaboration on curriculum and research to advance Digital Business knowledge.
  • Faculty advisor to MS (communications) and Ph.D. (Computing) graduate students, McNair scholars, and numerous undergraduate student startup teams. Faculty president/advisor to Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity.
  • Ph.D., MA, Cognitive Psychology, The Ohio State University; MS, BS Computer Science, The Ohio State University

Eligibility Requirements, Nomination and Selection of Award Recipient

  • All full-time RIT faculty with at least one year of experience are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to those entries using existing technology that could be made available to all faculty. Nominees may be invited to demonstrate their application of this technology and share their experiences with the RIT community.
  • Candidates may be self-nominated, or nominated by any member of the RIT community including students, alumni, or colleagues.

Application Process and Deadlines

The applicant or nominator must complete and submit the following:

  • The online nomination form
  • Supporting material, such as a URL to a myCourses course shell or video link
  • Additional student feedback or letters of support, if available, email to:
  • Nomination deadline: December 8, 2019

Selection of Award Recipient

The review committee assesses nominations to determine if they meet eligibility requirements, then individually and collectively ranks the application package according to how strongly each candidate meets the stated criteria. After careful deliberation, one recipient is selected from the pool. The review committee provides its recommendation to the Provost.

Nominations are requested during Fall Semester each year, and one award is given annually in Spring Semester.


The award will be given at the spring Celebration of Teaching ceremony attended by the recipient and guests, Provost, deans, trustees, former winners of this award, and recipients of RIT distinguished teaching and service awards. The recipient will be presented with a framed certificate and a $1,000 award.

For Questions About the Award or Submission Process