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2014 – 2015 Distance Learning Awards

The Florida State University Office of Distance Learning is pleased to present the Third Annual Distance Learning Awards in recognition of the outstanding work by our distance learning faculty and to further promote effective practices for distance learning across all disciplines. All Florida State instructors of record and mentors were eligible to be nominated.


Categories included:

Excellence in Online Course Design

For new or newly redesigned online courses that exhibit quality design as measured by the Quality MattersTM rubric, which includes review of instructional materials, learning objectives, assessment strategies, learner interaction and engagement, course technologies, learner support, and accessibility.

Excellence in Online Teaching

For recently delivered online courses that exhibit effective use of online teaching strategies that engage students as learning partners. Criteria include review of teaching evaluations and strategies used that demonstrate superior methods of instruction and student engagement.

Excellence in Online Mentoring

For recent service in the capacity of online teaching assistant that demonstrates highly effective strategies for student support and engagement in the course materials and learning environment as indicated by student testimonials and a philosophy statement.

Faculty and Instructor Award Winners

Ken Armstrong portrait 

Ken Armstrong
CGS 2518 – Spreadsheets for Business Environments
Excellence in Online Course Design View video
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Ken Armstrong, an instructor with the Program in Interdisciplinary Computing at Florida State University, develops and teaches technology and computer courses in an array of disciplines. His courses focus on Excel, data mining, database and data warehouse design, and improving organizational decision making. He has extensive experience teaching students the spreadsheet skills needed to enrich their professional lives. For his online Excel course, Armstrong connects with students through face-to-face lectures, YouTube videos, and an online help forum. He supports online teaching as an efficient way to reach a wider group of students.

Michael Brady portrait 

Michael Brady
MAR 3023 – Basic Marketing Concepts
Excellence in Online Course Design View video
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Michael Brady is the Department Chair and Carl DeSantis Professor of Business Administration for the Department of Marketing at Florida State University. His expertise includes frontline service transactions, service employees, and customer satisfaction, and he has published articles in top academic journals. In his online marketing course, Brady uses web-based technology that allows students to relate virtually. His goal is to replicate the traditional classroom, providing students an interactive learning experience in an online platform. One method of engagement is a simulation game that gives students a chance to “do” marketing.

Elwood Carlson portrait 

Elwood Carlson
SYD 3600 - Cities in Society
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Elwood Carlson, the Charles B. Nam Professor in Sociology of Population at Florida State University, specializes in demography involving reproductive health, adult mortality, and marriage and family. His online course is designed around a series of classic journal articles with the goal that, as students interact with the content, they will think deeply about cities in society. Learning is reinforced with short video lectures alternating with quizzes. Carlson embraces online teaching because students can customize their learning experience with regard to time, content, and emphasis.

Parmjeet Cobb portrait 

Parmjeet Cobb
MAD 3105 – Discrete Mathematics II
Excellence in Online Course Design View video
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Parmjeet Cobb is a mathematics instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University Panama City. She teaches Calculus with Analytic Geometry, Applied Linear Algebra, Engineering Mathematics, and Complex Variables. In her online mathematics course, Cobb strives to meet her students’ need for classroom communication, as well as an in-depth examination of the topic. Her instructional vision involves producing a series of video lectures to increase student engagement. Her goal as an online instructor is to create self-learners who can apply what they have learned to their careers.

Shannon Hall-Mills portrait 

Shannon Hall-Mills
SPA 5462 – Developmental Communication Disorders: School-Age Issues
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Shannon Hall-Mills, an academic faculty member in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University, balances her scope of work among teaching, research, and service endeavors. Her teaching interests include language development and disorders, schools practicum, applied research, research evaluation, and phonetics. Hall-Mills uses systematic instructional design to incorporate instructional strategies into her online course on communication disorders. She implements these strategies through discussion boards, live polls, pop quizzes, project rubrics, and group recorded presentations.

Markus Huettel portrait 

Markus Huettel
OCE 4265 – Coral Reef Ecology
Excellence in Online Course Design View video
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Markus Huettel is a Professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at Florida State University. His research interests include benthic ecology and the ecology of coastal and shelf environments. He embraces the motto of “learning by doing” in his online course, taking his students on virtual dives to sites in the Florida Keys and the Great Barrier Reef. Embedding digital images and videos into the course adds an engaging visual element to the online experience. For Huettel, communication between student and instructor is critical and he builds on this bond through email, phone, Skype, and discussion boards.

Kyle Killian 

Kyle Killian
ARH 2000 – Art, Architecture, and Artistic Vision
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Kyle Killian, an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Art History at Florida State University, focuses on archaeology, architecture history, and cultural heritage studies, with a concentration on the Middle Ages. His scholarship involves diverse cultural and geographic areas, including Native North America, Gothic France, and Byzantine Cyprus. For his online art course, Killian organizes assignments and materials into modules, giving students both flexibility and structure to foster engagement. The course spurs self-reflection for students as they gauge their own reaction to art, as well as the responses of their peers.

Richard Miller portrait 

Richard Miller
GEO 4280 – Geography of Water Resources
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Richard Miller is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at Florida State University with a research interest in physical geography. The online water resources course is his first venture into distance learning. His use of a multimedia approach, including video, music, callouts, and animation, emphasizes key ideas and lets students visualize and comprehend the material. Miller’s online experience has influenced his pedagogical approach. In using discussion boards, he discovered a stronger collaboration with his online students than their in-class peers and now implements online techniques in the traditional classroom.

Owen Mundy portrait 

Owen Mundy
ART 3654C – Web 1: Art, Design, Code
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Owen Mundy is an Associate Professor of Art and Area Head of Digital Media in the Department of Art at Florida State University. As an artist, designer, and programmer, he explores the relationship between public space and data. His research areas include digital media, Internet art, web development, and visual culture. For his online course, Mundy identifies and implements three features based on student needs: structure, the different learning styles of students, and ease of use. Considering the idea of practical application, he uses technology that echoes what students will encounter in the real world.

Charles Nyce portrait 

Charles Nyce
RMI 2302 – Risk in Business and Society
Excellence in Online Teaching View video

Charles Nyce, an Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at Florida State University, specializes in catastrophic risk financing. He has written articles on various topics, including enterprise risk management, title insurance, IPOs, and natural hazards. In his online risk management course, Nyce uses videos, recorded lectures, discussion boards, question-and-answer sessions, email, and face-to-face office time to maintain instructor-student communication. He believes the key element in teaching, whether online or in person, is to prepare students to think and apply the knowledge learned to real-world situations.

Jeffrey Paterson portrait 

Jeffrey Paterson
ACG 2021 – Introduction to Financial Accounting
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Jeffrey Paterson has been at Florida State University since 1995 and is a full professor and an Arthur Andersen Professor of Accounting. Taxation, financial accounting, and risk management are among his areas of expertise. He has taught a variety of courses, including financial accounting, doctoral seminars, and online courses he developed for the Department of Risk Management and Insurance’s master’s degree program. For his online accounting course, Paterson adds comprehensive content for students to Blackboard, as well as announcements to keep students on track regarding important information.

Christopher Witulski portrait 

Christopher Witulski
IFS 2072 – A Social History of America’s Popular Music
Excellence in Online Course Design View video

Christopher Witulski is a teaching faculty member in musicology at the Florida State University College of Music. He specializes in ethnomusicology and his research examines changes in sacred performance practices in contemporary Morocco. He teaches courses in world music and American popular music, both live and online. Witulski’s goal in distance learning is to foster interaction, cooperation, and collaboration among students. He accomplishes this by building student engagement through discussion boards and participation in multimedia group projects.

Honorable Mention in Online Course Design

  • Nari Jeter
    FAD 2230 – Family Relationships
    College of Human Sciences
  • Chad Marzen
    BUL 3310 – The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
    College of Business
  • Onsurang Norrbin
    ECS 3200 – Economics of Asia
    College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
  • Banyon Pelham
    CJE 4615 – Conduct of Investigation
    College of Applied Studies
  • Darren Prum
    BUL 3310 – The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
    College of Business

Honorable Mention in Online Teaching

  • Melissa Gross
    LIS 5564 – Information Needs of Children
    College of Communication and Information
  • Kathleen McCullough
    RMI 5345 – Risk Management in the Business Enterprise
    College of Business
  • Christopher Witulski
    IFS 2072 – A Social History of America’s Popular Music
    College of Music

Excellence in Online Mentoring

Ji Yae Bong portrait 

Ji Yae Bong
EME 6635 – MOOCs & Open Learning
College of Education
View video

Ji Yae Bong is a doctoral student in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies at the College of Education at Florida State University. She has been a graduate teaching assistant since 2013, helping instructors and students with their teaching and learning in online environments. In spring 2014, she served as an online mentor for the MOOCs & Open Learning course. Bong embraces online teaching because she can connect with distance learners who want to pursue professional development. Her goal is for her students to not only learn the material, but to build their online identities and strong relationships with other learners.

Honorable Mention in Online Mentoring

  • Sarah Buck
    ARH 2000 – Art, Architecture, and Artistic Vision
    College of Fine Arts
  • Judith Cuadra
    PAD 4833 – International and Comparative Disaster Management
    College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
  • Katherine Gorman
    PET 3361 – Nutrition and Sports
    College of Medicine
  • Mehnaz Gul
    COM 2080 – Online Communication & Presence
    College of Communication and Information

Distance Learning Awards Committee Members

  • Neil Abell, College of Social Work
  • Ken Baldauf, College of Arts & Sciences (PIC)
  • Shawn Bayern, College of Law
  • Kevin Beaver, College of Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Janet Berry, College of Social Work
  • Gang Chen, College of Engineering
  • Vanessa Dennen, College of Education
  • William Dewar, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Susan Fiorito, College of Business
  • Read Gainsford, College of Music
  • Melinda Gonzales-Backen, College of Human Sciences
  • Jonathan Grant, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Robinson Herrera, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Christie Koontz, College of Communication & Information
  • Gloria Lessan, College of Social Sciences & Public Policy
  • Sandra Lewis, College of Education
  • Thomas Miller, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Joshua Newman, College of Education
  • Rosemary Prince, College of Applied Studies
  • Arthur Raney, College of Communication & Information
  • Lisa Spainhour, College of Engineering
  • Phyllis Underwood, College of Education
  • George Williamson, College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Distance Learning

  • Dr. Susann Rudasill, Director
  • Dr. Joseph Clark, Associate Director, Instructional Development

Instructional Development Faculty

  • Dr. Kerry Burner
  • Dr. Annette Jones
  • John Braswell
  • John Crow
  • Karen Hawkins
  • Liying Miao


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