UPCEA Announces 2022 Association Award Recipients

February 9, 2022

8 Individuals and 8 Programs Receive Association’s Highest Honors

WASHINGTON, February 9, 2022 – UPCEA, the leader in online and professional continuing education, has announced the recipients of the 2022 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 2022 UPCEA Annual Conference, April 11-14 in Orlando.

“The exceptional submissions for this year’s awards exemplify the breadth and depth of the impact our members continue to make on higher education,” said Tanya Vincent, Program Manager, Online Student Services at Western Kentucky University and Co-Chair, UPCEA Awards Committee. “We congratulate and recognize each of this year’s recipients for the myriad ways they serve today’s learners and the online and professional continuing education field.”

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


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

Recipient: Students First: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Higher Education, Paul LeBlanc, Southern New Hampshire University


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: Vanessa Williams, Temple University


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: Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021 Strategic Plan, Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies


Dorothy Durkin Award for Strategic Innovation in Marketing and/or Enrollment Management recognizes an individual for achievement in strategic planning, marketing innovation or enrollment management success.
Recipient: Dr. Jason M. Ruckert, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical 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: Dr. Wanju Huang, Purdue University College of Education


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

Recipient: Linda M. Wilson, Kansas State University


UPCEA Research and Scholarship Award recognizes significant new research with implications for professional practice in the field of continuing higher education.

Recipient: UNC Charlotte Center for Teaching and Learning Research on Adjunct Faculty Development, UNC Charlotte


Outstanding Program: Credit Award recognizes outstanding professional and continuing education programs allowing students to earn academic credit.
Recipient: Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Technology Program, Anderson University (SC)


Outstanding Program: Noncredit Award recognizes outstanding professional and continuing education programs that do not offer credit.
Recipient: UCM Learn-as-You-Earn CNA Partnership for Critical Healthcare Positions, University of Central Missouri


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. Kristin Palmer, University of Virginia 


UPCEA International Program of Excellence Award recognizes a program engaged in activities that promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas of global significance.
Recipient: UD International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program, University of Delaware


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


UPCEA Outstanding Service in Postsecondary Instructional Design Award recognizes outstanding service to the field of instructional design in one or more of the following areas: modeling and disseminating research (via workshops, webinars, conferences, papers, etc.), best practices, innovative methods, and/or mentorship, all for the betterment of the instructional design community.

Recipient: Mel Edwards, Purdue University


UPCEA Award for Excellence in Advancing Student Success recognizes an individual or program for advancing the success of students in both credit and non-credit programs.
Recipient: Supporting a Culture of Academic Integrity and Accountability, University of Maryland Global Campus


UPCEA Award for Strategic Innovation in Online Education 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: Kapi’olani Community College Distance Education Team, Kapi’olani Community College, University of Hawaii System


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.
Recipients: School of Engineering and Computer Science Outreach Program, Oakland University


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UPCEA is the leading association for online and professional continuing 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, [email protected]



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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.