Leadership and Support Team
Get to know the leaders who are a driving force of the OLC Digital Learning Award competition. We’ll also be including the award judges, reviewers, advisory member committee members, key partners, and volunteers as we build upon this exciting initiative.
Meg Benke, Ph.D, Professor and Coordinator, MA Adult Learning MA Learning and Emerging Technologies, Empire State College, Fulbright Scholar 2015-2016 Waterford Institute of Technology, OLC Past President/Board Member. Meg.Benke@esc.edu
Meg Benke is a professor and coordinator at Empire State in adult learning and emerging technologies. Dr. Benke had an administrative career at Empire State College, serving as dean of the Center for Distance Learning, vice provost, provost and acting president. Dr. Benke also coordinated a grant on adaptive learning from the Gates Foundation for the college. Dr. Benke was a Fulbright Fellow for 2015-2016 with the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland.
Dr. Benke was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame for her contributions to adult and online learning. Dr. Benke was recognized for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, by the Online Learning Consortium in 2007 and was named an inaugural class of Sloan-C Fellows, for her extraordinary qualifications, significant experience, distinguished service and leadership in the field of online learning. She was president of the board of directors of OLC from 2011-2014.
Dr. Benke is a commissioner for the Middle States Association for Higher Education, and participated as a commissioner for the National Commission on Inter-state Regulation of Distance Education. See also serves as a member of New York State’s Regents Advisory Council.
Dr. Benke recent book chapters include in an edited volume, “Leading Change in Distance Education,” “Optimizing Student Success,” “Leading Beyond the Institution,” “Visualizing and Actionable Future,” and “Game Changers: Education and Information Technology,” edited by Diane Oblinger. “SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning,” Educause Digital Book.
Rhonda Spells Fentry, Ed.D.Interim Vice President, Technology Services, CIO, Prince George Community College, mailto:email@example.com
Rhonda Spells-Fentry serves as the interim Vice President for Technology Services at Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD. In this role, she is responsible for managing the College’s technology strategy and managing overall technology operations including learning technologies and support services, administrative technology, IT security, and eLearning.
Dr. Spells-Fentry has held several positions in technology and education including system administration, technology training and project management, distance education, and classroom teaching at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Rhonda is actively engaged in educational technology and distance education at the local, state, and national levels. She holds membership in a variety of professional organizations, including the board of directors of Maryland Online, the Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies (CHECS), and two affiliate councils of the American Association for Community Colleges, the Instructional Technology Council (ITC) and the National Council on Blackboard American Affairs.
Dr. Spells-Fentry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in community college leadership from Morgan State University.
Online Learning Consortium Leadership
Noreen Barajas-Murphy, M.A., Grant Project Director, Online Learning Consortium, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nori has worked in education for over 25 years as an educator, faculty developer, and grant specialist.
She has acted as the project director for two Title V HSI grants at a private university in Southern California. For the Title V Part B Graduate Grant, she was the project lead for developing a 4-course certificate in Online Course Design aimed at K12 teachers. In her role as the grant director in the Title V Part A Coop Undergraduate Grant, she oversaw collaboration between a community college partner focusing on increasing the number of underrepresented students completing a 4-year degree in education. As part of the grant activity, Nori also lead an instructional design team in the complete redesign of the undergraduate Educational Studies Program, bringing Instructional Design services to the university for the first time. Nori also served as the team lead and grant writer for the development of a third Title V grant, focusing on Competence & Connection. Additionally, Nori has served as a grant groomer and grant selection committee member for a variety of K12 grants including Digital High School and Knox Grants.
Prior to and concurrent with her role on grants, Nori worked extensively in faculty development. She has developed a 6-module certification program for faculty to transition to online or blended teaching, she has developed an innovative digital scholarship training series in collaboration with university librarians, and she has developed comprehensive multi-year training programs for institutional roll outs of new student information systems at two large K12 school districts.