DePaul University Center for Teaching & Learning > Assessment > Awards

Assessment Awards

Assessment Award

This award is given to the best assessment project/report.  Each college/unit nominates one assessment project and report for this award. The Assessment Advisory Board will review all nominated reports and select one winner. 

These projects and reports are generally completed by a small group of people within each college/unit (usually about 3-5).  The winning project/report will receive $250, which will be transferred to the winner’s department, and can be used to purchase food (lunch, wine and cheese, etc.) to celebrate and an engraved plaque.

2015: Teacher Education - Secondary English Program
Assessment Committee Members: Hilary Conklin, Eunmi Lee, Stephanie Whitney

2016: BA English Program
Assessment Committee Members: Jennifer Conary, Dan Stolar, Rebecca Johns-Trissler, Bill Johnson Gonzalez, Eric Selinger, Robert Meyer
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2017: University Library
Assessment Committee Members: Heather Jagman, Jill King, Jennifer Schwartz, Gregory Tong
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Spirit of Assessment Award

This award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary efforts to promote a culture of assessment at DePaul University. The recipient receives a one-time cash award of $500 and a plaque, which is given during the annual Teaching and Learning Conference.


The Spirit of Assessment award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary efforts to promote a culture of assessment at DePaul University.  Specifically, the following criteria will be considered when selecting the winner of this award:

  • Significance of contribution to promoting a culture of assessment (e.g., within a program, department, the institution, etc.)
  • Going above and beyond expected job responsibilities
  • Impact of the individual’s work with assessment
  • Leadership or mentoring role in assessing student learning
  • Demonstration of a commitment to assessment over time
  • Efforts to share work outside of DePaul University


CTL welcomes nominations for individuals who have made extraordinary efforts to promote a culture of assessment at DePaul University.

To nominate someone for this award, please write 750 words or less describing the ways in which the nominated individual has promoted a culture of assessment at DePaul. Submissions should include at least one letter of support (750 letters or less) from a different individual in addition to the letter of nomination. Nominations and letters must come from individuals other than the nominee. Nominations and letters that exceed the 750 word limit will not be considered in selection of the award winner.

Please send all nomination materials to by no later than April 8, 2022.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact either Sharon Guan ( or Jen Sweet (

2015: Nancy Hill
Nancy has been working with the assessment of student learning at DePaul University for over 15 years. Nancy was a founder and the first director for the Center for Teaching and Learning (previously the Office for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment) at DePaul. Nancy’s assessment leadership and mentoring have been critical in establishing and promoting a culture of assessment at DePaul. Faculty submitting Nancy’s nomination materials noted her ability to develop sustainable paths for assessment. Faculty also noted that her work and interpersonal interactions around assessment help all the faculty she encounters not only engage in the assessment process, but see the value in doing so.

2016: Ellen Meents-DeCaigny, Robert O'Keefe, Gretchen Wilbur

Ellen Meents-DeCaigny
Over the past 12 years, Ellen Meents DeCaigny has worked to develop a strong culture of assessment in the division of Student Affairs, across DePaul University, regionally, and nationally. At DePaul, Ellen developed the student affairs assessment program from ground up. Ellen created the Student Affairs’ Annual Assessment Symposium and is a member of the institutional Assessment Advisory Board. At the regional level, Ellen is a cofounder of the Assessment Certificate Program and teaches graduate level courses on assessment at DePaul, Loyola, and Northwestern universities. Nationally, Ellen is a recognized leader in Student Affairs assessment. Ellen helped to develop and eventually co-chaired the Assessment Knowledge Community for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and serves as a Student Affairs assessment consultant for other universities. Ellen has also published many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on the topic of higher education assessment

Robert O'Keefe
Robert O’Keefe has devoted much of his academic career to assessment as a thoughtful, devoted, and enthusiastic champion of the assessment of student learning. His pioneering work put work put DePaul’s College of Business at the forefront of Colleges of Business’ assessment efforts. Robert has also served as an unofficial mentor for other business faculty in assessment and encouraged excitement about and involvement in assessment among business faculty. He has published extensively about assessment in books and national, peer-reviewed journals, as well as presenting on assessment at several conferences. Robert has also been an invited speaker at several other universities to talk to business faculty about assessment.

Gretchen Wilbur
During her time at School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) , formerly the School of New Learning, Gretchen has advanced the school’s assessment processes by creating effective partnerships with faculty, championing the increasing importance of assessment nationally, and furthering a research-based approach to assessment both within SCPS and across DePaul as a whole. Gretchen is director of the SCPS Assessment Center and a member of DePaul’s Assessment Advisory Board. Gretchen also serves as mentor for SCPS faculty in assessment, championing assessment as a way of “understanding more fully” in order to “engage more effectively.” Gretchen works hard to make assessment efforts positive, productive experiences and is a nationally recognized leader in Previous Learning Assessments.

2017:  Pablo Gomez

Pablo Gomez is the Psychological Science Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.  He has been a member of the psychology department’s assessment committee for almost 10 years and has chaired for 5 years.  Dr. Gomez has helped develop meaningful and transformative assessments for his department’s various concentrations and levels from bachelors to PhD.  He couples his creativity as a scientist with his expertise at methodology to develop innovative ways to assess learning at a deeper level.  Dr. Gomez continues to challenge the department to use assessment as an opportunity to understand deeper learning and critical skills.  For him, assessment is not a yearly requirement we have to fulfill, but an opportunity to improve the quality of education we offer our students.

2018: Scott Tharp

Since joining DePaul in 2009, Scott has made a significant positive impact on the culture of assessment at our University.  In his role as Student Affairs Assessment Coordinator, Scott was responsible for chairing the divisional Assessment Committee and supporting 13 departments in their assessment efforts.  Scott also was chair of DePaul’s Co‐Curricular Learning Assessment Committee, which was created to serve as a resource and support mechanism for campus units charged with implementing co‐curricular student learning experiences across campus.  Scott has played an active role in coordinating Student Affair’s Annual Assessment Symposium, which is designed to share and celebrate assessment results with DePaul staff, faculty, and students, as well as colleagues from the Chicago region.  Beyond his work here at DePaul, Scott has presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) on assessment topics including “Writing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Social Justice Education”.  Scott has also presented on co-curricular learning assessment at the Chicago Area Assessment Group (CAAG) and the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE).  

2019: Jennifer Schwartz

Jen Schwartz is a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian for our University Library and while assessment is not inherently required for her position, Jen has always been the first to volunteer for library assessment projects.  Over the years, she has developed creative new methods for assessing her department’s online and face-to-face instruction, as well as their print and digital teaching materials.  One of her many assessment projects includes one where Jen led her library team on assessing the effectiveness of teaching materials used in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) library instruction sessions to develop strategic thinking skills used in the early stages of research.  It was this project that won Jen and her University Library team the university’s Assessment Award in 2017.  Recently, Jen has co-authored a paper and presentation for the Library Assessment Conference in Houston on engaging library staff in the writing and implementation of library-wide learning outcomes.