Nie is known for making her classroom into a welcoming and collaborative environment. In 2016, she was honored with Arts & Sciences' Distinguished Teaching Award. She also received a classroom innovation award from Arts & Sciences in 2019, which she used to engage students in extracurricular activities, and to collaborate with colleagues outside of WashU on new approaches to teaching Chinese.
At the end of each academic year, Washington University’s First Year Center holds a celebration to recognize outstanding members of the university community who contributed to the success of students navigating their first year at WashU. While the annual celebration was canceled this year because of COVID-19, the Center still published its list of outstanding faculty and staff.