June 09, 2003

Tanana Valley Campus Professor Wins Distance Educator Award

June 9, 2003» NR09-03

Melissa Brown, an assistant professor of applied business at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Tanana Valley Campus, has been named the recipient of the 2003 President’s Outstanding Distance Educator Award at the University of Alaska.

University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton started the award two years ago to honor UA faculty members who show an “uncommon commitment to distance learning.”

Brown began incorporating distance education strategies into her teaching at TVC in summer of 2001 when she developed the university’s first online web based applied business course. Each subsequent semester since then she has developed and taught a new web-based course, an effort that has been the catalyst for TVC’s push towards the delivery of entire certificate and associates of applied science degrees via the internet. The classes have been among the most popular ones within the applied business program, with enrollments made up of students from all over the state of Alaska.

Brown’s online courses have won her the praises of her students and her colleagues, who consider her approach to be highly innovative and extremely student centered. In her courses she utilizes the internet as well as a self-produced CD-ROM, a tool that is extremely beneficial for students in rural Alaska who have limited internet access.

“Professor Brown has established the standard of excellence for developing and teaching distance delivery web based courses at TVC and is the role model for other faculty pursuing distance delivery,” wrote TVC Director Jake Poole in his support of Brown’s nomination. “Much of her success is due to her thorough researching of the state of online learning, discovering what works and what doesn’t, and incorporating and improving upon successful online pedagogy.”

Brown received her master’s degree in northern studies from UAF. She has been an assistant professor of applied business at TVC since 1999.

President Hamilton will present the award to Brown during the Board of Regent’s meeting June 9-10 in Fairbanks.

Last year, the award went to Dr. Cable Starlings, an associate professor of special education at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller 907-474-6311
An image of Melissa Brown is available on the web at: www.alaska.edu/opa/downloads/MBrown.jpg