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 2023 Nelson H Brooks Award Winner:

The Brooks Award is given, posthumously, to John D Carlino, former executive director of NECTFL.  John’s leadership in and advocacy for language learning echo across the wide landscape of our profession. Always ready to volunteer for any effort that promoted language teaching, always professional in his demeanor, John shone a light that radiated through constituencies and inspired colleagues to always reach for a higher caliber of professionalism. His stewardship of the NECTFL mission and vision provided the strong foundation for the work of the board of directors. Everything John has done at NECTFL, he has done in service to educators and language learners. Connecting NECTFL to the work of each state in the region, especially his cherished NYSAFLT, and to ACTFL, as well as JNCL-NCLIS, has kept NECTFL at the forefront of innovations in language teaching and learning. His greatest passion at NECTFL was the annual conference and endeavoring to see it create meaningful experiences for each participant. The NECTFL Board of Directors is honored to recognize John with the Brooks Award for 2023.

The 2022 Brooks Award Winner:

Susanne Nimmrichter has forty years of experience as educator, teacher trainer, and presenter. She has taught German language, culture, and linguistics at the graduate and undergraduate level at Millersville University of Pennsylvania for over twenty years. She has also supervised student teachers in world languages and taught the methods course. She has been an active member in both her regional AATG chapter and the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association, PSMLA, serving for many years in various roles including the presidency. In addition to helping organize numerous local and regional meetings and conferences, she has presented regularly to share her expertise in language teaching. She is most proud of the many former students who have themselves become successful teachers and leaders in the profession.


The 2021 Brooks Award Winner: Oleksak

Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession

Rita A. Oleksak, Glastonbury Public Schools



Past Winners
  • 2021: Rita A. Oleksak
  • 2020: Amanda Seewald
  • 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