The United States Distance Learning Association has honored
two University of Texas at Arlington professors for their efforts to promote
the development and application of distance education.
Peggy Semingson, assistant professor of curriculum and
instruction in the College of Education and Health Professions, received the
organization’s Platinum level – Best Practices Award for Excellence in Distance
Learning Teaching. Samuel H. “Pete” Smith, vice provost
for digital teaching and learning, received the Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in
the field of Distance Learning Award.
“We are proud of Dr. Semingson and Dr. Smith for the critical
leadership that they have provided in the area of distance education,” said
Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Their dedication,
expertise and innovative teaching styles, combined with advanced technologies, offer
UT Arlington distance education students an unparalleled learning experience.”
Semingson joined UT Arlington in 2008. Her research
focuses on digital pedagogies as well as students who face challenges in
literacy learning. She uses extensive videoconference and digital mentoring
tools to offer highly personalized, one-on-one learning for graduate students
in complete online settings. Additionally, she conducts bi-weekly webinars with
undergraduate teacher candidates in an online venue.
Smith joined UT Arlington in 1992, as director of the
Language Acquisition Center in the Department of Modern Languages and a
specialist in Russian. He went on to found UT Arlington’s Center for Distance
Education, which opened in 1997.
Under Smith’s leadership, the center has grown to offer
innovative programs such as the Finish@UT degree, which helps adults complete
their undergraduate degrees. In all, the center enrolls more than 20,000
students a year and offers more than 1,300 courses.
U.S. News and World Report recognized online degree
programs developed by the center as “Best in Nation” in both 2002 and 2003. The
USDLA previously recognized UT Arlington for its distance education efforts, but
this is the first time the University has received platinum, the organization’s
Rob Robinson, president of the United States Distance
Learning Association, said Semingson, Smith and this year’s other award
recipients represent the finest examples of online courses, best practices and
leadership in the field.
“The depth and breadth of the USDLA membership allows us
to engage with leaders from higher education, K-12, industry, military,
government who daily demonstrate the power of distance learning. We are so very
proud and excited to be able to recognize this level of excellence,” Robinson
States Distance Learning Association
The United States Distance Learning Association is a
501(c) 3 nonprofit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston,
Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and
members operating in and influencing 46 percent of the $913 billion dollar U.S.
education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application
of distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking
and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include
pre-K-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business,
corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked
logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to
the distance learning industry. Visit www.usdla.org for more information.
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of
more than 33,800 students and 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas
and the second largest member of The University of Texas System. Research
activity has more than tripled over the past decade to $71.4 million last year
with an emphasis on bioengineering, medical diagnostics, micro manufacturing,
advanced robotics and defense and Homeland Security technologies, among other
areas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.