The Online Learning Consortium Announces Recipients of the 2015 OLC Awards and Effective Practice Awards

The Awards, which recognize individuals and institutions for excellence in online education, will be presented next month, at the OLC2015 Conference, in Orlando

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Sept. 29, 2015) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, today announced the recipients of the 2015 OLC Awards and the 2015 Effective Practice Awards. All awards will be presented at the 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference (OLC2015), in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 14-16, 2015.

2015 OLC Awards, Recognizing Advances in Online Learning

The OLC Awards recognize the tremendous advances in online learning that result from the ideas and initiatives of individuals and colleges and universities around the world.

“The OLC Awards acknowledge creative and effective approaches to advancing online education,” said Catheryn Cheal, Ph.D., chair, OLC Nominations, Awards and Recognition Committee. “The 2015 recipients represent extraordinary examples of the exciting innovation happening in online learning today, and we congratulate them on their successes.” 

The recipients of the 2015 OLC Awards are:

A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award in Online Education: Gerard L. Hanley, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Technology Services, California State University Office of the Chancellor, for extraordinary leadership of transformative initiatives that connect all aspects of online education, and for persistent dedication to delivering and sharing positive impact through collaborative achievement.

Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching: Online Teacher Certification, Kennesaw State, for its large-scale effectiveness, excellent use of quantitative data, and its flexibility for faculty offering multiple pathways to certification.

Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education: NYU Tandon School of Engineering, for outstanding success in furthering online learning programs in engineering, especially by using quantitative metrics to improve quality in their online pedagogy.

Bruce N. Chaloux Award for Early Career Excellence in Online Education: Witt Salley, Executive Director of Clemson Online, Clemson University, for outstanding leadership, energy and enthusiasm for collaborative service work, program development, and scholarship in online teaching and learning.

The John R. Bourne Outstanding Achievement Award in Online Education: M’hammed Abdous, Assistant VP for Teaching with Technology/Director, Center for Learning and Teaching, Old Dominion University, for strengthening, innovating, and collaborating in online education, both nationally and internationally, by developing frameworks, tools, and best practices that continue to foster and improve online education.

Excellence in Online Teaching: Steven P. Schinke, D’Elbert and Selma Keenan Professor of Social Work, Ph.D., Columbia School of Social Work, for success in offering a difficult subject online, both with synchronous and asynchronous methods, continuous improvement, while achieving extremely high retention and pass rates with a variable small to large-scale student enrollments.

Outstanding Online Program: West Virginia University Integrated Marketing Communications Program (WVUIMC) Reed College of Media, for excellent growth, leading-edge, interactive coursework, and a dedication to student success and satisfaction.

2015 Effective Practice Awards, Recognizing Effective Practices in Online Education

OLC’s Effective Practice Awards recognize effective techniques, strategies and practices that are shared by members of the OLC community to advance quality and access to online programs.

The 2015 Effective Practice Awards recipients are:

  • Melanie Shaw, Director of Research and Strategic Advancement, Clemson for “CONCERT, ENCORE(S), and BACKSTAGE: The Fine Art of Assuring Quality in Online Education”
  • Wendy Cowan, Associate Professor of Education and Mark Gale, Director, Academic Technology Services, Athens State University Athens State University, for “Creating a Hands-On Technology experience for the Online Student and Practitioner”
  • Jacob Bates, Techrangers Team Lead, and Karen Tinsley-Kim, Instructional Development Specialist, University of Central Florida, for “Effectively Improving Online Accessibility with UDOIT (Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool)”
  • Connie Johnson, Ed.D, Provost/Chief Academic Officer, Tonya Troka, Program Director, General Education and Judith Komar, Vice President of Educational Technology Colorado Technical University, for “Improving Performance in College Algebra Using Technology”
  • Omar S. Lopez, Ph.D. , Associate Professor, Texas State University, for “The Online Graduate Research Forum: An Effective Practice for Extending Students’ Discourse to Global Audiences”
  • Alexandra M. Pickett, Director, Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence on behalf of Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence, for “The Open SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) Process and Rubric”
  • Amy LimBybliw, Academic Technologist and Jerri Kjolhaug, Faculty, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, for “Training Teaching Assistants as Peer Educators Using an Online Peer Course Facilitator Training
  • Todd Karr, Assistant Director, University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, and Wesley Juranek, Assistant Director of IS University of Nebraska Online Worldwide/Web Application Development Team Lead, University of Nebraska, for “University of Nebraska State Authorization Dashboard”
  • Crystal Sands, Executive Director of the Online Writing Lab , Darren Walsh, Assistant Vice President of Learning and Academic Support Services and Michelle Abeyta, Learning
    Services Coordinator, Excelsior College, for “The Excelsior College OWL: Bringing Writing Instruction to Life”

Details about the 2015 OLC Awards are available at And additional information on the Effective Practice Awards recipients is available at

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.  


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Eileen Pacheco