Montclair State University Associate Professor of English Laura Nicosia was presented with the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English (NJCTE) 2012 Outstanding English Language Arts Educator Award at the organization’s conference at the University in March.
While accepting the plaque and a bouquet of flowers, Nicosia was given a standing ovation by dozens of her students who were among the 170 attendees of the conference. “I was thrilled beyond belief to have the support and acclimation of my peers,” she said. “And it was especially wonderful because there were so many students at the ceremony.”
The award recognizes “an exceptional English/language arts educator—a dedicated, innovative, dynamic educator whose activities have significantly and widely impacted New Jersey English language arts education.”
Nicosia, who joined Montclair State in 2004, is the director of English Education for undergraduate students. She teaches young adult literature, American poetry, modern American fiction, and a course in methods of teaching English.
She is also the first Montclair State teacher to receive the NJCTE award since retired Professor Maria Schantz earned the distinction in 1996.
Commenting about the award, Nicosia said, “It means a lot for the English program at Montclair State because it makes our program that much more noteworthy. We’re trying to showcase the excellence we have here.”
The award makes her eligible for the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, which will be presented in May.
Nicosia also received a Distinguished Faculty Award at the New Jersey Higher Education Showcase of Exemplary Practices: Excellence in Teacher Preparation event in Princeton, New Jersey on April 20.
The latter awards were presented by the Office of the Secretary for Higher Education and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. They are the first in a series of events and initiatives aimed at emphasizing the importance of higher education in New Jersey.