UPCEA Announces 2021 Regional Award Recipients

September 29, 2021

17 Individuals and 21 Programs Honored Across 5 Regions

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2021 – UPCEA, the leader in professional, continuing, and online education, has announced the recipients of the 2021 Regional Awards. Each of UPCEA’s five Regions recognizes both individual and institutional achievement of the UPCEA members within the Region. 

Award recipients will be honored at the virtual 2021 UPCEA Regions Week conference, October 18-21.

“We are so impressed by the important work being done by our professional, continuing, and online education colleagues across all five of UPCEA’s Regions,” said Hal Morgan of the University of Phoenix, West Region Awards Co-Chair and Crystal Davis of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, South Region Awards Chair. “These individuals and programs are an example to all of us in the field. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to each of this year’s Regional Award recipients!”

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

Central Region

  • Engagement Award: School of Engineering and Computer Science Outreach Program, Oakland University
  • Excellence in Instructional Design Award: PoRTAL 2 (Purdue Repository for online Teaching and Learning), Purdue University
  • Excellence in Student Support Award: Pat Walsh, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Wanju Huang, Purdue University
  • Outstanding Professional, Continuing, and/or Online Education Student Award: Linda M. Wilson, Kansas State University
  • Outstanding Program Award: ION Professional eLearning Programs, University of Illinois – Springfield


Mid-Atlantic Region

  • Alexander Charters Emerging Professional Continuing Educator Award: Vanessa Williams, Temple University, Office of Off-Campus Programs and Training
  • Dorothy Durkin Award: Marketing & Promotions, Broadcast or Print Award: UofT SCS Knowledge Hub, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • Engagement Award: K-12 Teacher Engagement and Community Partnership by Lyndy McLaughlin, Syracuse University
  • Engagement Award: Building Resilient Communities, New York Institute of Technology and Let’s Talk Safety, Inc.
  • Engagement Award: Temple University and Project HOME: Customer Service Training Program, Temple University Off-Campus Programs and Training, Project HOME
  • Excellence in Teaching Award: Leona Brandwene, College of Liberal and Professional Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • Faculty and Staff Development Award: Live Support Specialist Mentorship Program, Online Campus, Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Marketing & Promotions: Electronic Award: A Unique Microsite to Tell our SCS Story, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies 
  • Mid Atlantic UPCEA Leadership In Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award: Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021 Strategic Plan, Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies
  • Outstanding Professional, Continuing, And/Or Online Education Student Award: Steven Marciano, Excelsior College
  • Outstanding Program Award (credit or non-credit): Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Certificate Program for Public Managers, Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies, The Center For Government Services (CGS)


New England Region

  • Excellence in Engagement Award: Natural Helpers’ Leadership Program, University of Southern Maine, Professional Development Programs, and City of Portland, Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Exemplary Teaching Award: Vicki Hart, Ph.D., University of Vermont,  Larner College of Medicine
  • Innovative and Creative Programming Awards (Credit and Non-Credit Programs): MIT Professional Education Digital Plus Programs, MIT Professional Education
  • Outstanding Continuing Education Support Specialist Award-Staff in a Support Role: Jonah H. Carlson, University Without Walls, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Outstanding Student Award: J. Mary (JM) Sorrell, University Without Walls, University of Massachusetts Amherst


South Region

  • Emerging Professional, Continuing and Online Education Leader Award: Lauren LaRocca, SMU Office of Global, Online, and Continuing Education
  • Outstanding Service to Professional, Continuing and Online Education Award: Melissa Allen, University of Florida
  • Professional, Continuing and Online Education Instruction Award: Betty Farmer, Western Carolina University
  • Professional, Continuing and Online Education Instruction Award: Joshua Bond, Volunteer State Community College
  • Professional, Continuing and Online Educator Award: Christopher Little, Mississippi State University
  • Program of Excellence: Credit Award: M.S. in Instructional Design and Learning Technology, Anderson University (SC)
  • Program of Excellence: Noncredit Award: Georgia Tech Remote and Hybrid Teaching Academy, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Program of Excellence: Noncredit Award: WIOA Training Program for Dislocated Workers, Center for Continuing Education, Mississippi State University Extension
  • Programs for Special Populations Award: African Scholarship Cohort, University of Virginia, Distance Education for Africa
  • Research & Scholarship Award: Dr. Heather McCullough, UNC Charlotte


West Region

  • Engagement Award: UVU Community Development and Economic Development First Semester Certificates, Utah Valley University, Community Outreach and Economic Development
  • Excellence in Teaching Award: Aaron Whelchel, Ph.D., Washington State University
  • Outstanding Administrative Process or Service Award: CSUDH Extended Education Digital Badging & Credentials, California State University, Dominguez Hills – College of Extended & International Education
  • Outstanding Credit Program Award: Communication Leadership Master’s Program, The University of Washington
  • Outstanding Non-Credit Program Award: Spanish/English Translation Certificate Program, Continuing and Professional Education,  University of Arizona
  • Outstanding Service Award: Helen Torigoe, Kapi’olani Community College


Learn more about this year’s Regional Award recipients by attending Regions Week 2021.

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UPCEA is the association for professional, continuing and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of 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. Visit


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