Nord Grants

Nord Grants support UCITE’s goal of empowering people to learn through the development of innovative faculty teaching and research projects that directly benefit student learning. Projects may be created by individual faculty members or in collaboration with others, including members of educational and cultural institutions external to CWRU.

The Nord Family Foundation is a successor to a charitable trust established in 1952 by the entrepreneur and industrialist Walter G. Nord. Mr. Nord and his family believed that it was both responsible and prudent for a business to invest in the community it served.  Two of Walter's children, Evan and Eric Nord, were early donors to UCITE, and sponsored the Nord Grant program promoting faculty innovation in teaching.

Nord Grants may of particular interest to those who wish to:

  • Explore innovative teaching and learning strategies or projects
  • Explore creative teaching ideas to support learning in remote and hybrid class settings
  • Integrate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Internationalization work into course curricula
  • Innovate instructional techniques through the application of teaching and learning technology
  • Develop Inter- and Trans-disciplinary collaborations to create student learning opportunities beyond the classroom environment
  • Use academic data to understand and improve student learning
  • Evaluate the impact of innovative teaching strategies on student learning



  • Nord Grants have no fixed financial parameters. Project support is commensurate with provided justification. Priority is given to faculty who have not previously been awarded a Nord Grant.
  • Awards are typically given twice yearly, with starting dates of January 30 (Winter awards) and July 30 (Summer awards).
  • Winter awards are provided for 1.5 fiscal years (e.g., January 2024-May 2025)
  • Summer awards are provided for 1 fiscal year (e.g., July 2025-May 2026)
    NOTE: Summer awards will not be available this academic year, and will resume academic year 2024-25.


Full-time CWRU teaching faculty are eligible to apply for a Nord Grant. Visiting faculty, part-time faculty, SAGES Fellows, and graduate students may collaborate as team members with a full-time faculty member for grant proposals (the team leader must be full-time faculty).


2-Step Application Procedure

Fellowship applications consist of two steps:
1. Conference with UCITE Director Matthew Garrett to review a drafted proposal
2. Complete online contact and summary information through the Nord Grant Application Form which will request:

  • Contact information
  • De-identified proposal forms
  • letters of support (see details below)

Proposal conferences with the UCITE Director must be completed prior to submitting online proposals.

Online Nord Grant applications for the 2025 Winter cycle must be received by November 18, 2024.

Step 1: Project Development and Initial Review with UCITE Director
Submit a draft PDF copy of your completed Project Description form to Dr. Matthew Garrett and arrange for a review meeting to discuss the proposal. You may access an MSWord form template here. A review of drafted proposals may help ensure that all areas of the project description are addressed completely. Proposal conferences must take place prior to submitting online proposals.

Step 2: Applicants should proceed with their submission of the Nord Grant Application Form after completing a Project Description Form and gaining Documentation of Support by Monday, November 18, 2024.

Faculty Contact and Project Summary Form
Complete an online form that provides UCITE with necessary contact and summative information. Using this form, applicants will upload a completed project description form and Letter(s) of support:

Project Description Form
Submit your completed Project Description Form on the deadline date. The information in your project description should be concise and clear, and should address each of the prompts listed. You may access an MSWord form template here.

The review committee will read applications as anonymous submissions. Please do not put your name anywhere in the text of your project description. You may include other details, such as your department and course titles. If you have questions about how to ensure anonymity, please contact our office.

While each proposal will be different, each applicant must address the following four areas, using the form:

  • Project Nature and Goals: How will your project produce deeper student learning through more impactful teaching? What scholarship about teaching and learning does your project engage with? What experiential or service learning opportunities may be possible through your project? What campus resources might you engage to accomplish your goals (e.g., [U]Tech, KSL)? How does your project align with the University priorities of: 1) elevating academic excellence, 2) expanding research enterprise, or 3) enhancing community engagement and impact? If your proposal aligns more closely with departmental learning outcomes, provide specific details about those outcomes and how your project will help accomplish those goals.
  • Professional Impact: What is the relationship between your project and your teaching and research responsibilities at CWRU? Will your project have short-term or long-term impact on teaching and learning? How do you plan to maximize the number of students that may benefit from involvement in this project?
  • Evidence of Student Learning: What evidence will you seek to collect and analyze to determine how well or to what extent project goals were achieved? How will you measure evidence of student learning? Be sure to incorporate measurement tools beyond student perception surveys.
  • Budget and Timeline: How will Nord Grant funds be used to support the project – for materials/equipment, for student stipends, or for something else? What support, if any, will the project receive from other sources, including on-campus (e.g. department funds) or beyond-campus (e.g. discipline-specific awards) funds? Given that funds are available for approximately one fiscal year, what is the proposed timeline for the project? Is this a new project or is the work already underway?

Letter(s) of Support

  • Letter of Support from Department Chair (one page): Include a letter from your department chair, indicating their initial review of your proposal and budget. The chair should comment on your proposed project timeline, the possibility of departmental or outside financial support, and the overall practicality of the proposal. The chair should also indicate support for the budget, including the total funding amount.
  • Additional Documentation of Support (as needed):  Documentation of support is requested, as appropriate, from university resources. These types of email correspondence or more formal letters are necessary to acknowledge collaborative support of your proposal from other units within the university. For example, if you are planning a new interdisciplinary project, you will need to include communication from the other department(s) involved, demonstrating support for your proposal.



Proposals (including budget) will be publicly accessible. Accepting an award means the proposer agrees, unless explicitly requested otherwise.


Budgets must conform with the rules of the proposer's department and school, as well as those of the university. Grant applicants must check with appropriate entities to be sure their items meet such criteria before submitting the budget. UCITE approves a proposal on the basis of its appropriateness. UCITE approval does not imply conformance to university rules (such as the need to obtain IRB approval); the proposal author is responsible for checking and complying with such rules. The budget should list the titles and amounts of any prior Nord Grants received by the requester. Support for the budget, including the total funding amount, should be included in the letter from the department chair (or other appropriate supervisory authority in schools where there is not a department structure).


FYI: Public Disclosure 

  • Proposals (including budget) will be publicly accessible. Accepting an award means the proposer agrees, unless explicitly requested otherwise.
  • Nord Grant recipients will collaborate with UCITE in publicizing their project to the CWRU community through our website and other appropriate venues.



  • Within two months after the award period ends, the grant recipient must file a report with UCITE (approximately 300 words) that contains project accomplishments, including impact on student learning. The report will be published in UCITE’s annual report.
  • Recipients must also file a brief summary of budget expenditures, to be kept on file.



At the end of each academic year, Nord Grant recipients will give a short public presentation at the UCITE Teaching & Learning Colloquium.

Publicity and Acknowledgements

  • Any resulting publications and presentations should acknowledge the support of UCITE. For example, “The author of this publication received financial support from a CWRU UCITE Nord Grant for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.”
    • Please submit electronic copies of any publications.
  • Nord Grant recipients may be invited to record brief comments about their project for the UCITE website or other university publicity purposes.



Nord Grants Awarded

The following faculty were awarded grants to fund the listed proposals. 

Investigator Department Award Proposal
Elias Ali Civil Engineering $6,850 Fostering Active Learning in Core Engineering
Susan Burden-Gulley & Kathleen Hershberger Biology $7,580 An emphasis on student engagement using a flipped approach and applied learning in a large enrollment introductory biology course
Cassi Pittman Claytor Sociology $10,000 Building Awareness and Inspiring Action: Race, Climate Change and Environmental Justice
Elliot Gardner Biology $9,978 Collections- and field-based learning in plant sciences
Sara Kraus School of Medicine $8,150 A Patient Centered Approach to Problem Based Learning: Bringing Real Patient Stories to the Forefront of Physician Assistant Education
Fey Parrill Cognitive Science $5,010 We Need to Get Outside! Exploring Mind, Body, Community Connections through Outdoor Education
Soumya Ray Computer and Data Sciences $10,000 Advancing Inclusion, Internationalization, Diversity and Equity in the Computer and Data Science Curriculum
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry $7,000 Designing a Biochemistry Laboratory Based On Current Research


Investigator Department Award Proposal
Marjorie Edguer Social Work $9,200

Holistic Assessment of Specialized Competencies

Brian Gran Sociology $14,750 Gaming the Gender Landscape: Teaching Justice to Diverse Audiences
Kathleen Harper & Kurt Rhoads Engineering $16,100 Inverting Lectures in ENGR 130

Paul Iversen

Classics $10,700 CLSC 318/418 (Archaeological & Epigraphical Field School): The Lechaion Harbor & Land Settlement Project
Deborah Lindell Nursing $12,000 Curriculum Transformation at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Mafu Mhlambululi Physics $8,200 Active Learning and Applied Critical Thinking in General Physics
Alessandra Parry

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

$12,400 Teaching Spanish as a Heritage Language
Charlotte Sanpere

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

$4,800 Medical French Program in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Elizabeth Sell Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics $12,900 Active Learning in Multivariable Calculus
Investigator Department Award Proposal
Sarah Bagby Biology $7,674 Microbial Competition, Human Collaboration: Teaching Interdisciplinary Team Science through Hands-On Analysis of Microbial Community Dynamics
Gurkan Bebek Nutrition $8,354 Teaching Bioinformatics with LEGO Serious Play
Marjorie Edguer MSASS $4,175 Mindfulness Matters Revisited
Ellen Van Oosten Organizational Behavior $16,000 Navigating Differences in Negotiation Conflict through Team Coaching
Andrew Rollins Biomedical Engineering $6,000 Scaling up ENGR 395: Community-Engaged, Interdisciplinary Team-Based Design Projects
Christopher Wirth; Erika Weliczko Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering $9,000 Real World Energy Systems Analysis at CWRU to Deepen Student Learning

Investigator Department Award Proposal
Michael Folise Law $3,700 Intellectual Property Venture Clinic (IPVC Instructor Manual)
Chris Mihos Astronomy $6,144 Data Science Modules for Astronomy Education
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry $5,,000 Chemistry, Culture, and Cuisine: A Spicy Journey
Robert Ward Biology $6182 Pilot Redesign of Introductory Biology Laboratory as a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)
Investigator Department Award Proposal
Mary Assad English $3,000
Think Like an Artist: Engaging in Multimodal Communication
Christine Duval Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering $3,800 Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio Get to Know Nuclear
Hossein Miri Lavasani Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering $6,900 Smart, Connected, Multifuctional Sensors
Michael Martens Physics $4,282 A Physics Playground
Chris Bohan Theater $4,215 llumination Station
Marjorie Edguer MSASS $10,000 Mindfulness Matters
Elina Gertsman Art History and Art $4,000 The Breath of All That Lives: Medieval Jewish Art
Kenneth Loparo Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering $6,750 Enabling Dual-Delivery of Hardware-based Laboratory Courses
Alp Sehirlioglu Materials Science and Engineering $3,360 Breadth of Engineering in Engineering Core Level
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry $3,000 Active Learning in Remote Learning Environment
Investigator Department Proposal
Drew Meyer Chemistry Problem Solving in Chemistry
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry POGIL for Biochemistry
Heather Hurwitz Sociology Teaching Sociology to Prepare Students for the MCAT and Beyond
Brian Gran Sociology The Human Right to Science
Joy Bostic Religion The use of Hybrid Technology Projects in the course Introduction to Africana Studies
Thiago Porto Dentistry The Practical Application of Adhesive Dentistry
Lakshmi Balasubramanyan Weatherhead

FinTech as EdTech: Modernizing the Curriculum Content of Banking and Financial Intermediation to Enhance Contextual Learning


Department Proposal
Longhua Zhao Math

Redesigning and Enhancing Math 432

Lisa Koops Music Popular Music in Education
Narcisz Fejes SAGES Food Programming and Symposium
Investigator Department Proposal
Lauren Calandruccio Psychological Sciences and Communication Sciences  Using the Immersive Hearing Loss and Prosthesis Simulator (i-HeLPS) to Improve Learning in Communication Sciences
Vincent Graziano Math Developing Software to Increase Student Engagement in Mathematics
Kurt Koenigsberger English Active Learning in the Book Arts and Print Culture
James Overholser


Teaching Psychological Topics Through Classroom Discussion, Games and Activities
Alp Sehirlioglu

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Introduction of Holographic Teaching in Materials Science 
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry

Novel Hierarchical approach to flipped class-room involving graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants with peer-peer learning-Phase II

Horst von Recum Biomedical Engineering

Evaluating the effect of academic technology on student learning outcomes

Investigator Department Proposal
Lauren Calandruccio Psychological Sciences and Communication Sciences Enhancing Classroom Education for Undergraduate Students in Communication Sciences
Vincent Graziano Mathematics and Applied Statistics Streamlining Lectures for Undergraduate Students in Mathematics
Paul Iversen Classics Experiential Learning in Field Archaeology and Epigraphy
Amy Przeworski, Marc Buchner Psychological Sciences Comparing Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality in Psychological Sciences Research 
David Preston Neurology Neuroimaging in Neurology 
Silvia Saccon Mathematics and Applied Statistics

Implementing Inquiry-Orientated Curricula for Advanced Mathematics

Investigator Department Proposal
Megan Holmes and Zoe Breen Wood MSASS

Evaluating the effect of academic technology on student learning outcomes

Cheryl Killion Nursing A‌ttend a seminar on teaching using the case method
Scott Simpson Anatomy Developing a 3D atlas of human and primate skeletal materials
Investigator Department Proposal
Chris Fietkiewicz Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Multiplayer Quiz System for Self-Assessment

Masahiro Heima Dentistry Behavioral Science Course in Dental Fear and Anxiety
Daniel Lacks Chemical Engineering International Engineering Entrepreneurship Course Offering in Developing Countries
Corbin Covault Physics Towards A Flipped Classroom for Introductory Physics
David Hammack History U.S. History for International Students
Mingguo Hong Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Software for Power Systems Analysis
Barbara Kuemerle Biology A Longitudinal Study to Assess LearningRetention
Rekha Srinivasan Chemistry Active Learning in Organic Chemistry
Nicole Steinmetz Biomedical Engineering Nanoman II
Investigator Department Proposal
Nicole Steinmetz Biomedical Engineering Nanoman
Jing Li Electrical Engineering and Computer Science App Development for iOS
Lisa Koops Music Center in Music and Teaching
Susan Case Political Science Outcome Learning Assessment, SAGES
Tatiana Zilotina Modern Languages and Literature Russian for Heritage Speakers
Jeffrey Ullom Theater Musical Theater, SAGES
John Fredieu Anatomy 3-D Modeling of Anatomical Structures
Noelle Giuffrida Art History Issues in the Arts of China: Chinese Contemporary Art
Charles Tannenbaum Molecular Medicine Initiation of a Laboratory Component for Molecular Methods and Tools
Todd Oakley Cognitive Science Autism, Intersubjectivity & Language
Peter Zimmerman International Health, Genetics and Biology Whole Genome Sequencing and Bioinformatic Analyses to Undergraduate Students
Investigator Department Proposal
Kelly McMann Political Science Understanding Democratization through Original Data Analysis
Peter Yang Modern Languages and Literature Independent Study in Chinese (CHIN 399)
T. J. McCallum Psychological Sciences Aging and Functional Change
Michael Pollino Psychological Sciences Experiential Learning of Structural Systems for Undergraduate Engineering Students
Investigator Department Proposal
Linda Ehrlich Modern Languages and Literature Topics in World Literature (WLIT) 390: ShadowPlay (An Interdisciplinary course)
John Fredieu Anatomy Specimen Conservation for Anatomy 491
Dan Lacks Chemical Engineering ENGR 225B: "Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer (in Botswana)"
Jenifer Neils Art History Parthenon Frieze Video Project
Celeste Alfes Nursing Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators
Ricardo Apostol Classics Greece Classics Seminar, American School of Classical Studies
Patrizia Bonaventura Psychology Instrumental Measurements in Speech Science
Mary Grimm English ENGL 376 Studies in Genre: Urban Fantasy
Dan Lacks Chemical Engineering Collaboration with the University of Dakar, Senegal
Investigator Department Proposal
Darin Croft Anatomy Creating a guide to skull identification of the main mammal groups
Paul Iversen Classics Experiential learning course on Landscape Archaeology and Epigraphy
Carol Savrin Nursing Study of clicker effectiveness in nursing school courses
Robert Spadoni English Materials to develop a course and text on early horror films
Gary Wnek Biomedical Engineering Support for course in biomedical design