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New English Department faculty member wins book award

Photo by Christopher Huang.

Neal Lerner, who recently joined the Northeastern faculty as an associate professor of English, has been named the winner of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) 2011 David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English.

The NCTE, celebrating its 100th year, recently announced that Lerner’s book, “The Idea of a Writing Laboratory,” was the recipient of this year’s esteemed award. In his book, Lerner — the new director of the Writing Center in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities — examines the history and intellectual foundations of the writing laboratory in American higher education.

In “The Idea of a Writing Laboratory,” Lerner traces the history and development of contemporary writing centers and their intersection with efforts to teach students in scientific laboratories. Ultimately, Lerner offers experimentation essential to “laboratory approaches” as a way to improve current practices and structures of writing centers, as well as writing instruction more broadly.

Each year, the David H. Russell Award recognizes a single English scholar from the myriad nominations of model instances of genre, research, and accessibly reported material — all of which must reflect a project that stands the test of time.

Lerner will travel to Chicago in November to receive the award and speak at the 2011 NCTE Annual Convention.

He comes to Northeastern from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his research interests include writing across the curriculum and composition and rhetoric.

Written by Samantha Fodrowski.