UPCEA Announces 2020 Association Award Recipients

February 10, 2020

10 Individuals and 6 Programs Receive Association’s Highest Honors

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2020 – UPCEA, the leader in professional, continuing, and online education, has announced the recipients of the 2020 Association Awards. The UPCEA Association Awards program includes recognition of both individual and institutional achievement across the UPCEA membership.

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members’ outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.

Award recipients will be honored at the 2020 UPCEA Annual Conference, March 18-20, in Boston, Mass.

“Every day, UPCEA members are doing the important work of helping today’s learners achieve their educational goals,” said Mary Angela Baker, Director, Center for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, Salisbury University, and Chair, UPCEA Association Awards Committee. “This year’s Association Award recipients exemplify the myriad ways these professionals serve their students, and raise the bar of the professional, continuing, and online education field.”

The recipients of this year’s awards are as follows:

Julius M. Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership is given to an individual in recognition of unusual and extraordinary contributions to the cause of continuing education on the regional, national, and/or international level.

Recipient: Jay A. Halfond, Boston University


Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Outstanding Service in UPCEA is given to express appreciation to a member for outstanding service in professional, continuing, and/or online education at his/her institution, and service of major significance to UPCEA.

Recipient: Shelly Yu-Tze Wang, California State University, Fullerton

Adelle F. Robertson Emerging Professional Continuing Educator Award recognizes the scholarship, leadership and contributions to the profession of a person who has entered the field within the past five to ten years.

Recipient: Dr. Heather K. Hunt, University of Missouri


Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature recognizes the author and publisher of an outstanding work of continuing higher education literature.

Recipient: The Business of Innovating Online, Edited by Kathryn E. Linder, Kansas State University Global Campus


Dorothy Durkin Award For Strategic Innovation In Marketing And Enrollment Management recognizes an individual for achievement in strategic planning, marketing innovation or enrollment management success.

Recipient: Anca Matcovschi, Utah State University


UPCEA Excellence In Teaching Award is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding teaching, course development, mentoring of students, and service to continuing education.

Recipient: Amy Simons, University of Missouri, Columbia


UPCEA Outstanding Professional, Continuing, And/Or Online Education Student Award: Credit recognizes outstanding student achievement in professional and continuing education.

Recipient: Maria del Carmen Gonzalez, California State University, Fullerton


UPCEA Outstanding Program Award: Credit recognizes outstanding professional and continuing education programs allowing students to earn academic credit.

Recipient: GVSU Physician Assistant Studies, Grand Valley State University


UPCEA Outstanding Program Award: Noncredit recognizes outstanding professional and continuing education programs that do not offer credit.

Recipient: OSU Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate Program, Center for Executive and Professional Development, Oklahoma State University


UPCEA International Leadership Award recognizes an individual for representing innovative leadership in one or more of the following areas: educational programs and services; administrative practices; collaborations and partnerships; or research.

Recipient: Dr. Elizabeth Ivy Quansah, Auburn University


UPCEA International Program Of Excellence Award recognizes a program engaged in activities that promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas of global significance.

Recipient: Certificate of Engineering Projects Evaluation (EPE) and Certificate of Engineering Projects Management (EPM), University of Miami


UPCEA Business & Operations Award for Operational Excellence recognizes outstanding individual contributions in operations, entrepreneurial, and intra-preneurial work that move an UPCEA member institution into a more favorable position, specifically in financial, human, administrative and IT operations in professional, continuing and online units at postsecondary institutions.

Recipient: Jason J. Matjasic, University of Pennsylvania


UPCEA Excellence In Advancing Student Success Award recognizes an individual or program for advancing the success of students in both credit and non-credit programs.

Recipient: Innovations for Student Success, Western Governors University


UPCEA Strategic Innovation In Online Education Award recognizes an institution of higher education that has set and met innovative goals focused on online education and been strategic in the planning, development, implementation and sustainability in line with the institutional mission.

Recipient: Teaching Online Prep Program (TOPP), Kapi‘olani Community College


UPCEA Outstanding Service in Postsecondary Instructional Design Award recognizes outstanding service to the field of instructional design through modeling and disseminating research, best practices, innovative methods, and/or mentorship, all for the betterment of the instructional design community. 

Recipient: Penny Ralston-Berg, The Pennsylvania State University
This award was presented at the 2020 Summit for Online Leadership and Administration + Roundtable in New Orleans on February 5, 2020. 


UPCEA Engagement Award recognizes an outstanding mutually-beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources between a UPCEA member institution and one or more external constituents such as local communities, corporations, government organizations, or associations.

Recipient: College & Career Pathways for Alternative Education Students: A Partnership between Riverside County Office of Education and University of California, Riverside Extension

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UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The association supports its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues. Learn more at




Molly Nelson, UPCEA Vice President of Communications and Marketing, 202.659.3130,


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Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.