Rotunno receives University-wide Excellence Award

Laura Rotunno, associate professor of English and the Honors Program coordinator, has received the University-wide Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Each year, Penn State honors several members of its faculty and staff for the highest levels of academic excellence, outstanding leadership and meritorious service. The award recipients exemplify best practices and achievements among Penn Staters reflecting the University's mission of teaching, research and service. The Penn State Alumni Association, in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate governing bodies, established the Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching award in 1988. It honors distinguished teaching and provides encouragement and incentive for excellence in teaching. Recipients are expected to share their talents and expertise with others throughout the University system during the year following the award presentation.

Rotunno said she strives to stimulate engaging conversations in her classes, “leading students and myself outside our comfort zones to test ideas.” One student nominator wrote that classmates continued their classroom debate in the hallway after class, noting that Rotunno “had managed to get a group of about 15 20-year-olds so excited about a few fictional characters from a 500-page novel written in 1891 that our class discussion could not be contained in a 50-minute block.” As honors coordinator, Rotunno helped launch the Spotlight on Teaching And Research (STAR) series, in which faculty describe how they integrate research into their classrooms. She has led trips to London to tour archives and show students “that archival work was neither tedium nor the stuff of Dan Brown novels.” She is working with other professors to lead students in composing abstracts of oral histories at the Flight 93 Memorial. Rotunno received Penn State Altoona’s Athleen Stere Teaching Award for 2010-11 and the Grace D. Long Faculty Excellence Award in 2010.

Rotunno will receive her award at a private ceremony at noon Monday, March 24, on the University Park campus.

Last Updated March 24, 2014