Nicole McNeil Honored with 2021 Faculty Award by the University of Notre Dame

Nicole McNeil, a professor of psychology, the Alliance for Catholic Education College Professor, and director of the Education, Schooling, Society (ESS) minor in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been awarded the 2021 Faculty Award by the University of Notre Dame.

The Faculty Award singles out faculty members who, in the opinion of their colleagues, have contributed outstanding service to Notre Dame through leadership activities, mentoring faculty colleagues, and exemplary dedication to students.

McNeil is an expert in the cognitive development of children, with a particular focus on how they think, learn, communicate, and solve math problems. The award cites McNeil’s work with TutorND, the free, online tutoring program for children of Notre Dame’s staff and faculty that was created to help Notre Dame families whose children’s education had been disrupted by the pandemic and accompanying virtual instruction.

McNeil’s work involved supervising the recruitment of undergraduate tutors and the design and implementation of curricula, training, and assessments.

“Nicole has been an outstanding professor and a leader in the Institute for many years,” said John Staud, the acting director of the Institute and the executive director of the Alliance for Catholic Education. “The amount of time, effort, and thought she poured into TutorND is a testament to how much she understands and cares about children.”

Under her leadership this year, ESS was also approved by the University’s Academic Council to be a supplementary major, allowing students to take ESS courses and complement their primary major in a more intensive way.

“It means a lot that someone noticed my contributions and thought they were special enough to nominate me for the award,” McNeil said. “But anything I've achieved this year has been a full team effort. I'm blessed to work with such dedicated, faith-filled colleagues in the Institute and our wonderful students. I learn so much every day!”