Carnegie Mellon University

Lazarus Award - Past Recipients

2023 Award Recipient

Danielle Wetzel
Teaching Professor of English;
Director of Writing & Communication Program
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Danielle focuses mainly on teacher training, curriculum design and assessment, specifically for first-year writing. Broadly, she is interested in how we design instruction to help linguistically diverse students make data-informed, mindful and culturally aware writing decisions for the genres they produce. She is also interested in how to motivate and assess the rhetorical reasoning that leads to those writing decisions.

Teaching & Research
Each spring, Danielle teaches a core course for English Ph.D. students who teach first-year writing: Theory and Design of Writing Instruction. She also teaches various flavors of our first-year writing courses, including our first-year writing half-semester courses called “minis.”

Currently, Danielle works with the DocuScope team (Dave Kaufer, Suguru Ishizaki, Necia Werner and David Brown), considering how to move a research-based tool to a pedagogical tool that puts the learner at the center. Her most recent research projects relate to this collaboration.

Writing Program Administration
As the writing program administrator who directs the foundational writing & communication courses for the university, Danielle works closely with the university’s Core Competencies educational initiatives, particularly in the area of writing and communication. These initiatives help her to learn about students’ needs throughout the university so that the foundations courses remain relevant.

In addition to this connection to university stakeholders, much of Danielle's perspective has been informed by two professional service positions that she was fortunate to hold. These positions connected her to research, assessment and teaching practices for high school students and for multilingual students. She served as Chair of the College Board’s AP Language & Composition Test Development Committee and also as Chair for the Second Language Writing Interest Section for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Danielle's work allows her to teach and practice with new writing teachers, whether new to CMU or new to teaching writing. She also teaches new college students—first-year students—who challenge her to keep the writing instruction sincere and grounded. 

Learn more about Professor Wetzel

Past Recipients



Jessica Hammer
Human Computer Interaction Institute and Entertainment Technology Center



Philip LeDuc
Mechanical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Computational Biology Department, and Electrical & Computer Engineering



Bonnie Youngs
Modern Languages


2018 Barbara Lazarus Award Recipient Diana Marculescu

Diana Marculescu
Electrical and Computer Engineering


2017 Barbara Lazarus Award Recipient Mitchell Small

Mitchell Small
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Lynn M. Walker

Department of Chemical Engineering

Jeanne VanBriesen
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems

M. Granger Morgan
Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy and Heinz College

Dena Haritos Tsamitis
Information Networking Institute and CyLab

William J. Hrusa
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Nancy Monda
Department of Modern Languages

Sharon Burks
Department of Computer Science

Everett Tademy
Human Resources

Susan Polansky
Department of Modern Languages

Indira Nair
Department of Engineering and Public Policy