Morton A. Bender Teaching Awards

The Bender Teaching Awards recognize undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching at GW. Endowed by Morton Bender and the George Washington University, each award provides a $1,000 prize to be used by the recipient for professional development. Nominations are solicited from October through November. Departments may then endorse nominated faculty by submitting all supporting materials to Faculty Affairs by mid-January. A selection committee of faculty and students select the recipients. The recipients will be honored at the Faculty Honors Ceremony during the Spring semester.

Award Criteria

Any full-time or part-time faculty member of the George Washington University may be nominated by a department chair, colleague or student. Faculty members may also nominate themselves. The nominee must have taught at GW for at least two academic years. The award is based upon demonstrated excellence in the following criteria:

  • Application of appropriate pedagogical principles and effective teaching practices in higher education and/or the specific discipline or area being taught.
  • Commitment to student learning and adaptation of instructional methods to differing students' strengths, needs, and differences.
  • Use of student assignments that reflect high academic standards and expectations for high achievement.
  • Fostering a high level of student involvement and intellectual excitement.
  • Availability to students outside of regularly scheduled class times.
  • Participation in the peer review of teaching.
  • Engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Please download the Bender Teaching Award Criteria (.pdf) for more information.

Selection Criteria

Bender Awards are divided into the following categories:

  1. One of the awards is specifically designated to recognize teaching by a non-tenured, full-time faculty member.
  2. One of the awards is specifically designated to recognize teaching by a part-time faculty member.
  3. Two of the awards are designated as general teaching recognition awards and are open to any full-time or part-time tenured or non-tenured GW faculty member.

The recipients of the Bender Teaching Awards are selected by a committee of faculty and students based on the above criteria and materials submitted.

Endorsing the Nominee 

To endorse the nomination, the department is asked to submit the following supporting materials electronically as a single PDF document. Nominees also must fill out and attach the GW Teaching Award Submission Package Cover Letter (.pdf):

  • Summary of teaching experience and approach as it relates to the materials in the package (1 page).
  • One letter (1–2 pages) stating the department’s support of the nominee and addressing all of the criteria. This letter should be from the department chair or other departmental colleague with the chair's co-signature.
  • Two letters (1-2 pages) from departmental colleagues. At least on of these letters should include a peer-review of teaching by a colleague who has observed the nominee.
  • At least two but not more than five letters of support (1-2 pages each) from students/alumni who have completed a course with the faculty member. Letters should also address some or all of the criteria.
  • Summaries of two recent semesters of teaching feedback. All quantitative scores should be summarized into a table and all student comments into themes with supporting quotes (4 pages maximum).
  • At least one but not more than three examples of the teaching materials used in the course(s) (maximum of 10 pages total). Each should be labeled as to which criteria or criterion it is supporting. These can include:
    • Syllabi.
    • Course assignments or projects descriptions/prompts.
    • Presentation slides.
    • Active learning techniques.
    • Classroom or laboratory activities.
    • Sample of completed student work, with grading/feedback.

The entire dossier should be a minimum of 5 pages and a maximum of 30; material beyond the 30-page limit will not be considered (nomination materials will not be returned). Letters do not need to be on letterhead or signed by hand; typed signatures are acceptable but must be accompanied with complete contact information in the letter. To obtain a full review from the selection committee, dossiers should be strong, complete, and concise.

*Nomination materials will not be returned.*


Nominations for 2018-2019 Faculty Awards will be open from October 9th through November 24th. Submission packets from candidates endorsed by their department are due to Aaron Kramer by January 26th.

Please contact Aaron Kramer (202-994-5884; [email protected]) with any questions.

List of previous winners of the Bender Teaching Awards