NUTN 2003 Presents Leadership Award And Recognizes Outstanding Achievement In Technology Enhanced Education At Annual Conference

June 17, 2003

Awards were also presented to individuals or organizations for Distinguished Service, Distance Education Innovation, Excellence in Teleconferencing and Best Research Paper. The Annual Awards program acknowledges the innovation and accomplishments of technology enhanced learning, highlighting individuals, educators and organizations who have achieved distinction in the field.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr. Mel Muchnik, past Chairperson of the NUTN Advisory Board and Professor of Media Communications, Governors State University, University Park, IL, said, “The NUTN awards recognize extraordinary efforts and accomplishments, the very best of the best. Not only have our 2003 distinguished recipients served the goals of technology applications in higher education, they mightily serve higher education generally by harnessing technology effectively for teaching and learning, providing quality and access, and options for all of us in a world that now requires life long learning in so much of what we do.”

The 2003 NUTN Awards were presented in the following categories:

J.O. Grantham Leadership Award: Cynthia Elliott, Dean of the Virtual College of Fort Hays State University in Fort Hays, KS. As Dean of the Virtual College, Ms. Elliott is responsible for the expanding credit and non-credit distance learning initiative of the only university in Western Kansas. During the past four years, the Virtual College has developed partnerships with community colleges, the military, corporations and internationally, and has achieved the University’s goal of an equal number of students through the Virtual College as on-campus. Before moving to Western Kansas and joining FHSU, Ms. Elliott was the initial Director of Distance Learning at Florida International University and the Manager of Product Development and Distribution at Miami-Dade Community College where she was responsible for the marketing of telecourses and other educational products. She also has been active on the NUTN Advisory Board and is a strong believer in the value of NUTN as a professional mentoring organization.

In 2001, the Nofflet Williams Service Award was established to honor the contributions and memory of Dr. Nofflet Williams as a founding NUTN member. Dr. Williams provided service to hundreds of individuals in the area of distance education, at the local, regional and national level. This award recognizes an individual who exhibits, over a sustained period and in a consistent manner, the commitment to providing service to those in the field. Since the central core of NUTN is to provide service in the exchange of experience, practice and theory to all in the organization in a free manner, this award is doubly significant.

Nofflet Williams Service Award: Dr. Mel Muchnik, Professor of Media Communications, Governors State University (GSU), University Park, IL. At GSU, Dr. Muchnik has also served 10-year stints as Chairperson of the academic Division of Media Communications as well as serving three University Presidents as Special Assistant to the President for New Communications Technologies, as well as, other administrative positions. Dr. Muchnik also chaired the Advisory Board and Executive Committee of NUTN. He is also a recipient of NUTN’s J. O. Grantham Leadership Award. Internationally, Professor Muchnik has been a speaker at a number of conferences in Europe, Asia and Australia including keynote addresses in Moscow twice and was a presenter and member of the steering committee for the world conference, “Distance Learning: An Open Question?” held at the University of South Australia in Adelaide just prior to the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on New Educational Environments in May 2002 at the University of Lugano in Switzerland. His particular areas of specialty include new communications technologies issues and applications, distance learning, and the use of technologies to foster international collaboration through electronic and personal exchanges. As Special Assistant to the President for New Communications Technologies at GSU, he was responsible for developing the University’s satellite and terrestrial capabilities, catapulting GSU into national recognition as a provider of quality distance education courses and videoconferences, and in the use of advanced communications technologies. Dr. Muchnik was executive producer for 12 national videoconferences at GSU, including several that received national awards including NUTN. He has also been a journalist for National Public Radio and an announcer for Chicago area special events, including the Chicago Marathon and the Special Olympics. He is the voice heard at the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs at the Center for Performing Arts at GSU. Most recently, he was awarded a Fulbright grant and will spend the Fall 2003 at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or group of individuals for major contributions to higher education in the use of electronic technologies in videoconferencing and distance education. It is the highest honor given to individuals by the NUTN Advisory Board.

Distinguished Service Award: Steven D. Crow, Executive Director of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. Mr. Crow was named Executive Director in August 1997. In this position he oversees the accreditation of 970 institutions in 19 Midwestern states. His vision in developing accreditation processes that respond to rapidly changing educational needs is shown in his emphasis on developing principals to guide international education ventures, investigating the impact of distance learning on institutional accreditation, reconceptualizing accreditation processes, and spearheading collaborative efforts with other agencies and associations. Mr. Crow holds a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College (OR) and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI).

Distance Education Innovation Award is presented to an individual or groups of individuals representing a member or non-member institution that has developed an innovative program or practice that contributes to the field of distance education. The award for innovation may be in relation to a new program, an ongoing program, student or support services, pedagogy, faculty development and support or technology.

Distance Education Innovation Award: Gerald H. Maring, Ph.D., for “The Washington State University Cybermentoring Project.” Dr. Maring is a co-principal investigator for the Collaboration for Teacher Education Accountable to Children with High Needs/CO-TEACH project, which involves university faculty in education, liberal arts, and sciences, along with school-based educators from 31 public and Native American tribal schools across Washington State. His research interests include developing and evaluating the effectiveness of literacy strategies in the context of cyberpartnerships and of cybermentoring interactions involving pre- and inservice teachers, parents and community members, and children. Professor Maring’s work in cybermentoring was featured in the WSU 2003 World Class/Face to Face Research Viewbook. Dr. Maring also teaches undergraduate courses in content literacy and graduate courses in literacy education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Washington State University (Pullman, WA 99164, USA).

Shirley Davis Award of Excellence in Teleconferencing recognizes a member institution with an outstanding teleconference. Programs submitted are judged by content issues, technical issues and administrative issues.

Shirley Davis Award of Excellence in Teleconferencing: Arlene Krebs, California State University, Monterey Bay for “READY2NET.” Since 1982, Ms. Krebs has served as the Executive Producer on over 50 national and international videoconferences-including the award-winning Ready2Net series. For the past three years, she has been working as Director of Technology Development at CSU, Monterey Bay, responsible for working with education leaders and industry to develop core technology-related projects. Beginning this year, Ms. Krebs will serve as the Director for the National Wireless Education & Technology Research Center, at CSU Monterey Bay. Ms. Krebs is the author of the nationally acclaimed, Distance Learning Funding

Sourcebook: A Guide to Foundation, Government, and Corporate Support for Telecommunications and the New Media (4th edition).

The NUTN 2003 Best Research Paper Award recognizes contribution of an individual or group of individuals to the collective knowledge and improvements in the fields of emerging and current technology in higher education.

Best Research Paper Award: Sharon Roy, Gary Brown and Carrie B. Myers from Washington State University, for “Formal Course Design and the Student Learning Experience.” The paper reports on what impact does collaboration between faculty and professional course designers have on the student learning experience. As the use of technologies increase, educational institutions have to find ways of identifying and addressing expectations about how those technologies can best be incorporated into the teaching and learning experiences. The paper describes efforts at Washington State University to develop and assess a course design and faculty development process and the impact the process has on student learning experiences. The results of a comprehensive set of faculty and student surveys from five groups suggest that the systematic course design process improve students’ opportunities for faculty-student interaction, student-student interaction, and other elements associated with best practice. The implications of this study for faculty development and policy implementation are discussed.

NUTN members and education technology professionals gathered at the La Mansion del Rio Hotel in San Antonio for this year’s conference. The conference, in cooperation with Old Dominion University, Dallas TeleLearning, MBS Direct, WebCT, and Blackboard, is designed to bring together distance learning administrators and practitioners; continuing education and higher education directors; college and university faculty and academic affairs personnel; distance learning faculty and staff; business and higher education partners; military education and training personnel as well as students.

About NUTN
The National University Telecommunications Network (NUTN) provides dynamic professional development opportunities in support of emerging and current technology applications to professionals involved in higher education. As a premier higher education organization in the educational telecommunications field, NUTN provides vision and experience in a highly personal setting. It utilizes numerous channels to facilitate and promote networking, mentoring, and collaborating among higher education institutions, administrators managing technology and content delivery, teaching faculty and educational technology professionals.


Joy Riach

Administrator, NUTN Secretariat

National University Telecommunications Network

Room 134 Gornto TELETECHNET Center

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA 23529

Tel: 800.293.7679 Outside the USA: 757.683.6402

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