Davenport University’s Kriss Ferluga wins 2020 Blackboard Catalyst Award

Davenport University’s Kriss Ferluga wins 2020 Blackboard Catalyst Award

Grand Rapids, Mich. – June 26, 2020 – Blackboard Inc., a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement, today announced the winners of the 2020 Blackboard Catalyst Awards. Among them is Kriss Ferluga, Ph.D., Davenport University’s director of university academic services.

Now in their 15th year, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts. Honorees from across the globe will be recognized during BbWorld, Blackboard’s premier annual global conference, to be held virtually July 21 and 22.

“We’re proud to recognize this year’s Blackboard Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community,” said Lee Blakemore, chief client officer and president, global markets at Blackboard. “Clients like these inspire us to accelerate innovation that drives student success and we’re proud to be a part of their story.”

Below are all of this year’s winners; Davenport’s Ferluga was awarded in the “Training & Professional Development” category.

Leading Change

This award recognizes institutions that have developed practices and/or technologies that have had a measurable effect on learning outcomes, student performance, or academic progression. The winners are:

  • CEU Educational Group, Spain: IT and Digital Transformation teams
  • Montgomery County Community College, United State: Students, Faculty, Staff, and Board of Trustees
  • Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Sahar Almasoud, Dr. Shorouq AlKhalifa, Manar almohaimeed, Najat Alsaleh, Ahoud Alturaier, Manar Alamery, Maryam Alotaibi, Yara Alhaidary, Nawal Alotaibi
  • Sam Houston State University, United States: SHSU Online Team
  • Tuscaloosa City Schools, United States: Andrew Maxey, Lesley Bruinton, Mike Daria, Junelle Christian
  • University of Northumbria, United Kingdom: Blackboard Ultra Project Team
  • University of Bahrain, Bahrain

Community Engagement

This award recognizes clients who are improving student achievement by fostering a connection between school districts, institutions, educators, students, and their communities. The winners are:

  • Alief ISD, United States: Leslee Hackett, Kimberly Smith, Carmelita Battle, Craig Eichhorn, Dee Jones, Tracy Lau
  • Northumbria University, United Kingdom: Kristen McCartney-Bulmer
  • University of Derby, United Kingdom: Claire Gardener

Teaching & Learning

This award recognizes those who have adopted flexible, distance and online delivery, including using mobile technologies to positively impact the educational experience. The winners are:

  • Dar Al-Hekma University, Saudi Arabia: Rasha Al-Malik, Abeer Al-Hattami
  • Davidson Academy Online, United States: Tina Crowder, Carly Ghantous, Jessica Potts, Tracy Sangster, Erica Shumaker
  • Eastern Kentucky University, United States: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Eastern Kentucky University, United States: Mathematics and Statistics Instructional Design Center, Patrick Coen, Mr. James Grogan, and Ms. Mary Henson
  • Grupo Ser Educacional, Brazil: Fábio Maia, Fabio Souza, Enzo Moreira e Equipe LMS
  • Johns Hopkins University, United States: Whiting School of Engineering, Dr. David L. Porter and Ms. Margo Williams
  • MEF University, Turkey: MEF University leadership, management, faculty, administration, library and students
  • The University of Lincoln, United Kingdom: Digital Education and Student Life
  • Universidad Internacional de Valencia, Spain: Daniel R. Soriano i Argente
  • Universidad de Palermo, Argentina: Matias Popovsky

Inclusive Education

This award honors those institutions whose methods have ensured their pedagogy, content, technology, and educational services are fully inclusive and supportive of all learners with disabilities. The winners are:

  • Texas Tech University, United States: eLearning Instructional Design & Blackboard Support
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, United States: Walker Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, United States: Centro de Educación Abierta y a Distancia
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell, Unites States: Lisa Panagopoulos, Carrie Powanda-Croft, Lois Reynolds, Alena Woods

Optimizing Student Experience

This award honors those institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. The winners are:

  • College of Western Idaho, Unites States: Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Schoolcraft College, United States: Distance Learning Team
  • University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Learn Foundations Project Team in ISG

Training & Professional Development

This award recognizes those who use Blackboard programs to support and enhance professional development within or outside of their organization. The winners are:

  • ADA University, Azerbaijan: Samira Rasulova
  • Auditoría Superior del Estado de Coahuila, Mexico: C.P.C. José Armando Plata Sandoval, Mtro. Jesús Javier Gozález Alacázar, Ing. Néstor Espinoza Guajardo, Lic. Alma Paulina Amador Duéñez, Ing. Danna de Jesús Zavala García, Ing. María del Carmen Yadira Herrera Romo, TSU Miguel Arispe Núñez
  • Baltimore City Public Schools, United States: Learning Management Support Group & Network Security Team
  • Belmont University, United States: Chris Rains – Department of Instructional Technology
  • Davenport University, United States: Kriss Ferluga, Ph.D.
  • Eastern Kentucky University, United States: Dr. Nedim Slijepcevic and the Instructional Design Center
  • Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates: Dr. Abdullatif Alshamsi, Jihad Mohaidat, Azim Ahmed, Sarah Whittake
  • Keiser University, United States: Keiser University’s Online Division
  • National Defense University, United States: Tammy J. Dreyer-Capo
  • Northumbria University, United Kingdom: Benjamin Coomber, Larry McGuirk, Cesare Rizzo, Lee Hall
  • University at Buffalo, United States: Center for Educational Innovation
  • Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Peru: Jorge Bossio, Silvana Balarezo, Isabel Arana, Cleofe Vergara

Student Success

This award recognizes individuals and/or institutions whose creative program application has led to increased retention, increased completion, and/or improved outcomes. The winners are:

  • Indian River State College, United States: Virtual Campus – Veronica Martabano and Dr. Leigh Clay & Advising Services – Dale Hayes and the Academic Advising team
  • King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Saudi Arabia: KAU Deanship of e-learning and Distance Education
  • Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Peru: Hector Viale Tudel and Jessica Vlasica

For more information on the Blackboard Catalyst Awards and this year’s winners, please visit https://community.blackboard.com/catalystawards.

About Blackboard

Blackboard’s mission is to advance learning in partnership with the world’s education community so that more students, educators and institutions can realize their goals today and prepare for tomorrow. Learn more at www.blackboard.com and follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

About Davenport University

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving about 7,500 students at campuses across Michigan and online. With tuition among the lowest of all private universities in the state, Davenport provides high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience and more than 60 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers in business, technology, health professions and urban education. To learn more visit www.davenport.edu.

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