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Two SLU Faculty Receive Emerson’s Excellence in Teaching Award

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
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Two Saint Louis University faculty members and alumni received Emerson’s 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award. The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards Program recognizes educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area annually for their leadership in and passion for teaching, their contributions to student learning, and their knowledge and creativity.

Matthew J. Grawitch, Ph.D., director of strategic research for the School for Professional Studies (SPS), and Teresa Neal, director of the Health Information Management Program in Doisy College for Health Sciences, were notified earlier this fall of their awards.

About SLU’s 2020 Emerson Awardees

Matt Grawitch
Matt Grawitch, Ph.D. 
Matthew Grawitch, Ph.D.

Matthew Grawitch, Ph.D. (A&S ’01, ’04) has exemplified teaching excellence through his dedication to graduate students at SLU’s School for Professional Studies, where his contributions have been acknowledged with the Faculty Teaching Award in 2011 and 2018.

He received the service-based SLU Star award in 2014 and the SLU Scholarly Works Award for 2016.

Recently, he played a pivotal role in the development of SPS’s Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Graduate Certificate – a first-of-its-kind program.

In under two years, Grawitch designed four courses that prepare students to critically evaluate evidence and serve as the research and ethics backbone for all six of SPS’s graduate programs. These courses, as evidenced through SPS’s annual learning outcome assessment, have positively impacted the students’ capacity to articulate strong arguments as part of their action research graduate capstone projects.

Teresa Neal
Teresa Neal
Teresa Neal

Teresa Neal is an assistant professor of clinical health sciences whose research interests include incorporating the use, design and management elements of the electronic health record in experiential learning activities.

“I was truly honored to be chosen by my peers,” Neal said. “I know that I am part of an amazing and supportive team of excellent educators at Saint Louis University.”

Read more from a Doisy College profile of Neal

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an awards ceremony will not take place; however, a commemorative advertisement with awardees’ names will appear in the Sunday, Nov. 22, print edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Emerson honors educators ranging from kindergarten teachers to college professors. The recipients are selected by their educational institution and voted on by peers.


Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 12,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.