The Emerson College Alumni Award for Teaching Innovation is awarded to faculty members who engage students in active learning in and out of the classroom; employ effective, new, inclusive teaching methods and/or utilizing technology to enhance learning; and provide a stimulating environment that encourages students to challenge the intellectual and creative status quo and discover new ways to accomplish their goals.

Emerson College Alumni Award for Teaching Innovation Recipients

2024 Recipient – Jae Williams, Marketing Communication

The Alumni Award for Teaching Innovation goes to Jae Williams, Senior Executive in Residence in Marketing Communication, a two-time alumnus of Emerson College, earning his bachelor’s degree in media production in 2008 and his master’s degree in integrated marketing communication in 2016, who students say “values setting his students up for success, not in a specific industry or field, but as professional human beings navigating the world.”

2023 Recipient – Brenna McCormick, Marketing Communication

Brenna McCormick is a brand and marketing strategist who specializes in creative thinking, collaboration, marketing, and the Creative Economy. She brings over a decade of digital agency and consulting experience to her teaching in the Business of Creative Enterprise undergraduate major and Strategic Marketing Communication graduate program. McCormick's career started in the luxury stationery industry where she established a love of all things tactile and tangible when weaving together ideas, strategy, and storytelling.

2022 Recipient – Joanne Lasker, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Dr. Lasker's teaching and research focus on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), specifically for adults living with acquired neurogenic disorders. She has published numerous papers and chapters related to assessment and treatment of adults with acquired communication disorders who may benefit from augmentative and alternative communication techniques, in particular people living with aphasia. Her work has been published in several refereed journals, including Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, and Clinical Aphasiology.

2021 Recipient - Maria Agui Carter, Visual and Media Arts

Maria Agui Carter is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and long-time media diversity advocate. Formerly an in-house producer for WGBH-TV, she founded Iguana Films in 2000, and writes, produces, and directs both dramatic and documentary works broadcast and screened internationally, in English and in Spanish. Also a playwright, her play 14 Freight Trains, about the first American soldier to die in Iraq, an undocumented Latino, premiered at Arena Stage Fall 2014. She is the founder of ARC (Artist Retreat Center) NALIP, an arts residency for women filmmakers and screenwriters of color. She has also served as a mentor for other producers through labs and programs at NALIP and Firelight Media.

2020 Recipient - Amelia Broome, Performing Arts

Amelia Broome is a certified Linklater voice teacher with over twenty years experience teaching voice, speech, and musical theatre. She has served as dialect coach for the Lyric Stage, Speakeasy Stage Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and the Huntington Theatre Company. She is on the Acting Faculty at Emerson College.

2019 Recipient - Steven Himmer, Writing, Literature and Publishing

Steven Himmer is a Senior Lecturer and First-Year Writing Program Director in Writing, Literature and Publishing. He is the author of three novels, and his stories, essays, and reviews have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. He is also faculty director of Emerson's Global Pathways summer travel writing program at Kasteel Well.

2018 Recipient - Michael Brown, Journalism

Mr. Brown has been on the faculty at Emerson since 1970, and has also taught a variety of courses at Northeastern University, Boston College, Bunker Hill Community College and the Massachusetts School of Law. He is a member of the New England Political Science Association and the American Political Science Association, as well as an elected member of the Northeastern University Corporation. His areas of interest include the First Amendment, international politics, civil rights issues and Third World politics & culture.

2017 Recipient - Jabari Asim, Writing, Literature & Publishing

Jabari Asim was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author of four books for adults and six books for children. His poetry, drama, and prose have been widely published in various periodicals and anthologies. He was an editor for 11 years at the Washington Post, where he also wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture, and social issues.

2016 Recipient - Rhiannon Luyster, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Dr. Luyster is a developmental psychologist who studies social communication and language in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is interested in identifying early features of ASD using standardized behavioral measures as well as exploratory methods like infra-red eye tracking and electrophysiology.

2015 Recipient - Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, Writing, Literature & Publishing

Mary Kovaleski Byrnes is a poet, travel writer, and essayist, whose work has been featured in numerous publications and anthologies. She is a co-founder and coordinator for the EmersonWRITES program, a free creative writing program for Boston Public School students.