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UPCEA Announces 2021 Association Award Recipients

7 Individuals Receive Association’s Highest Honors


WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 – UPCEA, the leader in professional, continuing, and online education, has announced the recipients of the 2021 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 virtual 2021 UPCEA Annual Conference, April 7-9.


“To align with numerous changes across the higher education landscape, the 2021 Association Awards are different than in prior years,” said Mary Angela Baker, Chair, UPCEA Association Awards Committee. “This year’s awards program was simplified to recognize a narrower set of categories, representing areas of broadest engagement and particularly acute activity in this unprecedented time. We congratulate and recognize each of this year’s recipients for the myriad ways they continue to serve today’s learners and 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: Christina Sax, Maryland University of Integrative Health


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: Lisa Verma, Louisiana State University Online & Continuing Education


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: Katie Linder, Kansas State University Global Campus


UPCEA Leadership in Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes an individual or a program that represents best practices and demonstrates positive impact in promoting cultural shift in the organization that promotes diversity and inclusive excellence.

Recipient: Bhaskar Pant, MIT Professional Education


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

Recipient: Long-Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Even Exist Yet, Michelle R. Weise, Strada Education Network, Inc.


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: Athena Owen Nagel, Mississippi State University


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

Recipient: Javier Cuadras, University of Pennsylvania College of Liberal and Professional Studies


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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 upcea.edu.



Molly Nelson, UPCEA Vice President of Communications and Marketing, mnelson@upcea.edu

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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.