Meet the National Council for Online Education

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Learn about a new partnership between OLC, QM, UPCEA and WCET. This panel session will talk about the work we are doing and special initiatives this group will tackle. Come prepared to talk about what online learning issues are important to you and help us identify areas of focus.

Sponsored By


Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D serves as the Chief Executive Officer at the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she provides the strategic direction for the organization and supports the development of key projects and programs to support OLC members. Dr. Mathes has 25 years of experience in both public and private education where she has continuously supported digital learning initiatives. In addition, Dr. Mathes is the author of the ICDE Report Global Quality in Online, Open, Flexible and Technology Enhanced Education: An Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (2019) and co-editor of the OLC Quality Scorecard Handbook: Criteria for Excellence in Blended Learning Programs (2017). She continues to write and present on key topics in online, blended and digital learning.
Angela Gunder is the Chief Academic Officer and VP of Learning for the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she is responsible for gathering, curating, and leveraging the intellectual capital created by and disseminated through OLC. Prior to her position at the OLC, Angela served as the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning, managing and mentoring the team that builds the fully-online programs for The University of Arizona. Her over fifteen-year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in web design, usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is also the recipient of two Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards for the creation of a framework for personal learning networks, and for the creation of exploratory installations of education technology, respectively. In 2019, Dr. Gunder was named an OLC Fellow for her dedication to service, innovation, and scholarship in support of student success in online learning. Her research interests include open educational practices, digital literacies, narrative in online course design, and emerging technology for second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University. Angela completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where in 2020 she was named an Erasmus Scholar by the College of Education for her commitment to the college, the university and to the community. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Julie Uranis serves as the Vice President for Online and Strategic Initiatives at UPCEA. In this capacity she manages the Center for Online Leadership (COL) and leads the planning efforts for both the Summit for Online Leadership and the Online Leadership Roundtable. Prior to joining UPCEA she lead the distance learning and continuing and professional development teams at Western Kentucky University as the Director of Distance Learning and Innovation. Since 2012, Uranis has taught the Intro to Adult and Continuing Education course at Eastern Michigan University. She began her career at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she held both teaching and administrative positions. Uranis has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, a Master of Science in Technology Studies, and a Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership from EMU. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Russ Poulin leads the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which advocates for effective practices and policies for digital learning in higher education. WCET’s members represent institutions, state agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations from all fifty states. In paying attention to federal, state, and institution policies, he twice represented the distance education and competency-based education communities in federal negotiated rulemaking processes. The Presidents’ Forum, Excelsior College, the National University Technology Network, and the Online Learning Consortium have all recognized Russ for his contributions. He is also partial to movies, cats, and his wife, Laurie. Contact: or @RussPoulin.

Additional Authors

Dr. Robert J. Hansen was named Chief Executive Officer of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association in 2010. Under Hansen’s leadership, UPCEA has grown by 125% in the past seven years. He established a number of initiatives focused on the association’s unique role in online leadership and management under the umbrella of the National Council for Online Leadership, including: the Summit for Online Leadership and Administration, the Online Leadership Roundtable for chief online learning officers, and the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership. In 2016 UPCEA developed a companion framework, the Hallmarks of Excellence in Professional and Continuing Education. With the two Hallmarks, UPCEA now provides a comprehensive set of standards that reflect the ambitions, potential, and importance of units that serve adult learners. Hansen previously served as Associate Provost for University Outreach at the University of Southern Maine, a regional public university located in Portland, Maine. Prior to that position, he spent six years at Saint Xavier University of Chicago as Assistant to the President & Secretary of the Corporation, and then as founding Executive Director of Orland Park Campus & Off-Campus Programs. Hansen also previously served as Assistant to the Governor for Education in the administration of former Illinois governor, Jim Edgar. Hansen earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Deb Adair is the Executive Director of Quality Matters, a non-profit organization providing a program for quality assurance in online learning and serving K12, postsecondary, government, corporate, and other organizations involved in eLearning in the U.S. and internationally. With over 25 years' experience in higher education, she has held faculty appointments with several institutions, served as an organizational consultant, and worked in the adult literacy field prior to joining QM. Deb received her A.A. degree from Broward Community College, a B.S. degree from Boston University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Arizona. She serves on the advisory boards of the Presidents' Forum and the technology-based education associations WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies and the National University Technology Network and has authored and presented widely on the topic of quality assurance for online learning.

Extended Abstract