Nelson H. Brooks Award

The Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession

About the Award

The Nelson H. Brooks Leadership Award honors a passionate leader who has made significant contributions to the world language community layered from the local, state, regional and/or national levels. Applicants’ dossiers include evidence of their dedication, influence, and collaboration in service to language learning, language learners, and language educators.The Northeast Conference Board of Directors has honored a member of the profession for distinguished service and leadership since 1968. In 1978 the award was renamed in honor of Nelson H. Brooks, who, through his work and publications about the importance of culture in the world language classroom, dramatically influenced second language instruction.

Click here to make a nomination.

The 2024 Nelson H Brooks Award Recipient:

Leslie Grahn, an exemplary language educator for over 40 years, during which she has exhibited a profound commitment to promoting language learning and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Her innovative teaching methods, creative curriculum development, and unwavering enthusiasm have had a profound impact on the lives of both students and teachers. Leslie’s service to our profession and generosity to colleagues is unparalleled. She has served at the local, state, regional and national levels working tirelessly to incorporate and share her knowledge, resources and experiences as an educator. As a mentor, her honest and collegial conversations foster growth and reflection.


Past Recipients
  • 2023: John D. Carlino, Northeast Conference (posthumous)
  • 2022: Susanne Nimmrichter, Millersville University
  • 2021: Rita A. Oleksak, Glastonbury Public Schools
  • 2020: Amanda Seewald, Maracas Language Programs
  • 2019: Sr. Mary Helen Kashuba, SSJ, DLM, Chestnut Hill College
  • 2018: Janis Hennessey, Dover HS, Retired
  • 2017: Thekla Fall, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Retired
  • 2016: Laura Franklin, Northern Virginia Community College
  • 2015: Charlotte E. Gifford, Greenfield Community College
  • 2014: Gladys Lipton, National FLES Institute
  • 2013: Heidi Byrnes, Georgetown University
  • 2012: Richard Brecht, Center for Advanced Study of Language
  • 2011: Gregory Duncan, InterPrep, Inc.
  • 2009: Marjorie Hall Haley, George Mason University
  • 2008: Eileen W. Glisan, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • 2007: Stephen L. Levy, ACTFL
  • 2006: Kathleen M. Riordan, Springfield MA Public Schools (ret.)
  • 2005: Ray T. Clifford, Brigham Young University
  • 2004: Martha G. Abbott, Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools
  • 2003: Frank W. Medley, Jr., West Virginia University
  • 2002: Robert J. Ludwig, NYSAFLT
  • 2001: C. Edward Scebold, ACTFL
  • 2000: Protase E. Woodford, Educational Testing Service (ret.)
  • 1999: June K. Phillips, Weber State University
  • 1998: Helene Zimmer-Loew, AATG
  • 1997: Ronald Walton, National Foreign Language Center (posthumous)
  • 1996: Edward D. Allen, Emeritus, Ohio State University
  • 1995: Earl W. Stevick, Emeritus, Foreign Service Institute
  • 1994: Eleanor Jorden, Emerita, Cornell University
  • 1993: Dorothy James, Hunter College
  • 1992: Sandye Jean McIntyre II, Morgan State University
  • 1991: Helen Warriner-Burke, Virginia State Dept. of Education
  • 1990: Ann Beusch, Maryland State Dept. of Education
  • 1989: Dora Kennedy, Prince George’s County (MD) Public Schools
  • 1988: Leo Benardo, New York City Public Schools
  • 1987: Mary P. Thompson, Glastonbury Public Schools
  • 1986: Robert Lado, Georgetown University
  • 1985: James E. Alatis, Georgetown University
  • 1984: Wilga M. Rivers, Harvard University
  • 1983: James R. Frith, Foreign Service Institute
  • 1982: Lorraine A. Strasheim, Indiana University
  • 1981: Laurence Wylie, Harvard University
  • 1980: Richard I. Brod, Modern Language Association
  • 1979: Dwight Bolinger, Harvard University
  • 1978: Howard Lee Nostrand, University of Washington
  • 1977: Kenneth W. Mildenberger, Modern Language Association
  • 1976: Wilmarth H. Starr, New York University
  • 1975: Theodore Andersson, University of Texas
  • 1974: Donald D. Walsh, Northeast Conference
  • 1973: Emma Birkmaier, University of Minnesota
  • 1972: Freeman Twadell, Brown University
  • 1971: Robert G. Mead, University of Connecticut
  • 1970: Harry L. Levy, Fordham University
  • 1969: Nelson H. Brooks, Yale University
  • 1968: Stephen A. Freeman, Middlebury College