This award rewards faculty members for productive academic outreach in which they go The Center for Teaching and Leanring presents Dr. Rich Simmons with the Faculty Award for Academic Outreach during the 2023 Georgia Tech Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon. beyond their normal duties to enrich the larger educational community with their subject matter knowledge. Initiatives may involve furthering the learning of K-12 students, teachers, or other educational stakeholders in Georgia.

One or two awards will be granted annually, depending on the number and quality of nominations. However, no more than one faculty member from any given academic unit will be selected in the same year. The award amount is $3,000. If two awards are given, this sum will be evenly split between the two winners.

Questions? Contact Carol Subiño Sullivan.

  • Packets are due on Friday, February 9, 2024 at 11:59pm.
  • Award recipients will be honored at a campus celebration, date and format to be determined by the institute committee.
  • Names and nomination packets of the award winners will be posted on the CTL Faculty Award website.
  • Names of winners will be added to the Teaching Awards wall located in the Clough Undergraduate Commons.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Full-time faculty of any rank are eligible.
  • Self-nominations are permitted.
Nomination Materials

The nomination packet (which should be no more than 12 pages) should be submitted electronically as a PDF document to Georgia Tech's awards portal: It should include the following items: 

  • Letter of nomination or self-nomination.
  • Table of contents for the packet.
  • Description, written by the candidate, of the excellence and impact of the outreach activities (no more than four pages).
  • Three to four letters of support for your nomination.  Letters of support should come from::
    *Candidate’s department head or chair (if this person is the nominator, the nomination letter will suffice for this requirement).
    *Two or three letters from those who have observed the candidate’s outreach activity. Letters should show why the author feels the projects are meritorious. The writer should be a stakeholder in K-12 education (e.g., teacher, parent, administrator, member of state or county education agency, etc.).
Review Process and Selection Criteria

The Center for Teaching and Learning establishes a committee consisting of previous Georgia Tech educational award winners to review the nomination packets and select the winners of this award. Each submission for the award is reviewed in the context of department and institutional standards. Evaluation/endorsement of the submission is provided by letters from the department chair and individuals who have observed the academic outreach. The selection committee will take the following criteria into consideration and will determine whether the project accomplishes the following:

• highlights the clearly defined goals and productive outcomes of the academic outreach..

• demonstrates educational innovation.

• advances discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning.

• shows benefit to local venues or to society in general.

• makes a significant impact on students' or teachers’ lives, both in and beyond the classroom.

• includes efforts that produce long-term (multiyear) benefits.

• reaches beyond the Georgia Tech classroom and laboratory.

• includes a variety of activities and/or venues.

• carries out activities that are inclusive (i.e.with multiple groups of students or citizens).

This award and the Education Partnership Award follow the same timeline. So, there may be movement of applications between the two pools, depending on which competition is more appropriate for the application.

Winner 2023

Richard Simmons, Senior Research Engineer, Supply Chain and Logistics Institute (Nomination Packet)

Dr. Rich Simmons leverages his non-traditional background to open students’ minds to think critically about the intersection of technology, people and the world. You might find him coaching K12/STEM students as they operate microgrids, remote-controlled electric cars, and steam engines during CEISMC’s Energy Unplugged Camps… Or explaining energy fundamentals to online learners via his Energy 101 Course or open-access textbook… Or instructing GT Capstone and mechatronics teams to evaluate complex trade-offs that will not only prepare them for graduation, but life beyond Tech! 

Previous Winners

James R. Sowell - Physics (Nomination Packet)
“For three decades, Jim has been the face of astronomy education at Georgia Tech,” says chair of the School of Physics, Dr. Michael Schatz. Dr. James Sowell has been a driving force in the development of infrastructure to support astronomy education on the Georgia Tech campus and beyond. In 2007, Sowell worked tirelessly to secure funding to build the first observatory on campus in over 120 years. In addition to the hundreds of Tech students he teaches each year, Sowell has engaged thousands of local residents through public viewing nights, open houses, workshops and continuing education courses at the observatory for more than a decade.

Chandra Raman – Physics (Nomination Packet)
“As a faculty member trying to balance the daily demands of research and teaching, I find outreach to be a breath of fresh air,” writes Dr. Raman as he reflects on his passion for engaging in K-12 outreach. In 2019, Raman sponsored a summer research internship program in partnership with Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). He was recognized for this work with the Paul A. Duke Georgia Intern Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) Program Mentor Award from CEISMC for mentoring a high school teacher and her student from Stilwell School of the Arts, a school with a large population of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Raman is also active in engaging K-12 students and teachers in physics and has done lectures and research with them. In addition, he’s helped train 21 students in undergraduate research, many of which have received the President Undergraduate Research Award (PURA).  Through his many initiatives, Raman makes efforts in and out of the classroom to act as a mentor to students at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, and beyond.  

Cassie Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Cassie Mitchell has worked tirelessly to help students explore their scientific interests at Georgia Tech and beyond. She has coordinated a variety of academic outreach and science programs for K-12 students throughout Georgia, running one of the largest high school research programs in the state, the Laboratory for Pathology Dynamics High School Internship Program. Dr. Mitchell is also the co-founder and director of the ABLE Alliance at Georgia Tech, an organization intended to serve the disabled community by providing them with greater access to disability services, professional development, networking opportunities, and a socially inclusive environment to connect with their peers. Chair of the BME Awards Committee Dr. Ajit P. Yoganathan states, “Dr. Mitchell is the premier example of a professor passionately engaged in educational outreach that makes the world a better place.”

Jonathan Clarke, Associate Professor of Finance, Scheller College of Business (Nomination Packet)

For over a decade, Dr. Johnathan Clarke has run the Wall Street on West Peachtree Summer Program, a week-long program that hosts 45 students on the Ferris-Goldsmith trading floor to educate students about financial literacy. High schoolers who participate in this program show significant improvement in fiscal literacy, averaging 30% higher than the national average on the financial literacy exam. In addition, Dr. Clarke has developed a personal finance course for Tech students, and he also hosts a one-day session with the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in which boy scouts earn the personal finance merit badge.

Flavio H. Fenton, Physics (Nomination Packet)
Raquel L. Lieberman, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Nomination Packet)

Manu O. Platt, Biomedical Engineering and Robert M. Nerem, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)

Thomas Morley, Mathematics (Nomination Packet)

Ellery D. Ingall, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Nomination Packet)

Stefan A. France, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Nomination Packet)

Award 1:
Loren Williams, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Award 2:
Michael Knotts, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Jack Wood, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Ionnis Brilakis, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Meghan A. Duffey, Biology
Jake D. Soper, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Edward H. Conrad, Physics