Meet the 2022 OLC Fellows and Award Winners


Samantha Becker, Online Learning Consortium Storyteller

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For learning experiences to be meaningful, so much happens behind the scenes. Dedicated leadership, learner-centered design, and the ability to adapt. The people in the trenches – sparking significant changes in online learning – deserve to be recognized for their impact.

That’s why each year the OLC launches a call for nominations for a variety of awards, to coincide with our Accelerate conference. We’re pleased to announce our 2022 awardees as inspirational models for our field.

“Online and blended learning are moving at lightning speed, and it’s important we pause to thank the people behind that progress,” shared OLC CEO Dr. Jennifer Mathes. “I am proud of our 2022 Fellows and Awardees as they reflect the tremendous talent dedicated to quality digital learning in our community. I am personally inspired. We all have a lot to learn from them.”

Get to know the bright talent, below, and Join them at Accelerate 2022 onsite in Orlando, Florida as they are honored at our awards ceremony.

2022 Class of OLC Fellows

For the 13th year, the OLC specially recognizes individual members for outstanding contributions. OLC Fellows cannot self-nominate, but instead must be nominated by others in the field. Nominees are then evaluated with a substantial set of criteria:

  • Outstanding qualifications in the field of online learning:
  • Significant experience in online learning or an allied field:
  • Extraordinary contributions and leadership in the field of online learning:
  • Distinguished service to OLC or the field

For 2022, the Fellow Selection Committee recommended three exemplary change-makers to the OLC Board of Directors to become OLC Fellows:

Terry Anderson is Professor Emeritus at Athabasca University. He was the editor for ten years of the peer reviewed journal, International Review of Open and Distributed Learning, which is the most cited Journal in this field. With a deep publications track record, he has authored ten books and 100+ peer reviewed articles, including the original work developing the Community of Inquiry Model. He also taught in the Masters and Doctoral program in Online Education and has keynoted international conferences.

Luke Dowden is the Chief Online Learning Officer of Alamo Colleges District – the largest accredited body of community colleges in San Antonio Texas. Through Alamo Colleges Online, he leads and supports capacity-building initiatives at all five Colleges, enabling them to reach a diversity of learners. He is a persistent advocate for designing experiences for learners with some college and no degree as well as those who are employed and income constrained.

Kate Jordahl has worked at the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District for over 25 years as a professor and administrator. Currently, Jordahl is a professor in the Fine Arts and Communication Division/Photography Department at Foothill College. Jordahl has been on the board of the OLC since 2017 and currently serves as Secretary of the Board, Chair of the Governance Committee and Tri-chair of the OLC DEI Taskforce. In her vibrant career, she has been dedicated to quality and equity in online education, particularly the fine arts.

Accelerate 2022 Award Winners

This annual OLC Awards program is an opportunity to showcase leadership and innovation in the field of online, blended, and digital learning. The winners represent individuals who are pushing the envelope of creativity to empower learners. Inclusivity, digital transformation, and collaboration are key features inherent across these bodies of work.

While the competition was strong this year, please join us in congratulating the selected winners:

Excellence in Faculty Development

Reed Dickson, Pima Community College – “PimaOnline Educators’ Conference (POEC)”

Reed is recognized for the design and implementation of an engaging professional development experience that empowered faculty and designers to expand their approaches to teaching online.

Excellence in Instructional and Teaching Practice

Joseph Rene Corbeil and Maria Elena Corbeil, The University of Texas Rio Grande –

“Digital Transformation of Higher Education Through Disruptive Pedagogies”

Joseph and Maria are awarded for their innovative work to ‘wrap a course around a course;’ students in online graduate courses are engaging in self-directed learning. The result has been greater learner agency.

Mark Gale, Athens State University – “The ActiveFlex Format”

Mark is recognized for leading the Athens State COVID-19 response by piloting an effective HyFlex initiative that fostered resiliency in students who returned to the classroom for face-to-face instruction.

Gomory-Mayadas Award for Excellence in Online Educational Leadership

Matthew Pittman, Ivy Tech Community College“IvyOnline”

Matthew is awarded for stewardship of a team to align online courses with faculty teaching online from Ivy Tech’s 19 campuses into one online academic unit – underpinned by cultural development.

John R. Bourne Award for Excellence in Online Programs and Programming

Mara Huber and Christina Heath, University of Buffalo – “UB Project Portal”

Mara Huber and Christina Heath are recognized for their leadership around the Experiential Learning Network at UB, which has cultivated vital community exchange and learning around innovative and effective practices for online learning.

Accelerate 2022 Scholarship Winner

This scholarship recognizes individuals achieving extraordinary accomplishments in the field of online education at an early stage in their careers. Recipients – including this year’s winner – are known for leadership activities, service to the profession, scholarly publications, and/or contributions to advancing online and blended learning. 

Bruce N. Chaloux Scholarship for Early Career Excellence

Marcela Ramirez, University of Texas at San Antonio

As the Associate Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning & Digital Transformation at UTSA, Marcela has made a career and passion out of supporting faculty and students through innovative design strategies.

We look forward to honoring this incredible group of leaders with you at Accelerate 2022!

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