Pearson Announces Cite 2013 Award Recipients

Share Article

Awards Honor Higher Education Leaders for Excellence in Online Teaching and Administration, and Donates $1,000 to Each Winner’s Designated Scholarship Fund


This year’s Pearson Cite 2013 award recipients are employed at Park University, Texas Christian University, Saint Leo University and Regent University. The awards are divided into two categories — Excellence in Online Administration and Excellence in Online Teaching — and honor outstanding accomplishments in online higher education. As part of Pearson’s efforts to encourage and support excellence in online higher education that drives student success, Pearson will donate $1,000 to the scholarship fund of each winner’s choice.

Dr. Michael Eskey (Park University) and Dr. Brian O’Connell (Saint Leo University) received the Excellence in Online Teaching award. Dr. Eskey is a tenured, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, and he serves as the Program Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Department. As a program coordinator, his role includes the recruitment, training and evaluation of 100 online instructors. Additionally, he serves on half-time release as an online instructor evaluator for Park Distance Learning. This includes the formal observation of 90 online instructors in all disciplines, on an annual basis. Dr. Eskey has personally developed 10 online courses at the undergraduate level and eight courses at the graduate level for the criminal justice programs that he has taught since his retirement from the military in 2001.

Dr. O’Connell is an Associate Professor of Education in rural Madison, Florida, where he teaches in a program that Saint Leo University offers at North Florida Community College. The program offers five bachelor’s degrees designed for students who cannot attend classes on the main campus, including the university’s highly respected elementary education program. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Dr. O'Connell has recently completed development of the course, EDU427, Educational Assessment. Working with the instructional design team, he focused on application and analysis exercises utilizing data collected by the state, and increased student engagement and interest. He also models exceptional teaching by providing detailed rubrics and effective feedback.

The Excellence in Online Administration award went to Ginger K. Zillges (Regent University) and Kerrie Conover (Texas Christian University). Ms. Zillges is an Assistant Vice President of Online Learning and Instructional Technology at Regent University, where she has served for nearly 20 years in the field of distance learning. Overseeing the Center for Teaching and Learning’s instructional staff, Ms. Zillges promotes faculty support, development and exemplar practices in online course design and teaching. Collaborating with Information Technology, Academic Affairs and Faculty, she helped launch the first online M.B.A. and implemented the Quality Matters Process for online courses. Ms. Zillges has completed her course work at Old Dominion University, where she is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Instructional Design and Technology.

Ms. Conover has been a Learning Management System Administrator for over seven years at Texas Christian University. Her instructional design, instructional technology, and troubleshooting skills have positively impacted TCU, and provided key automation solutions for both face-to-face and online faculty members. She has developed over 100 video tutorials for faculty and students to access from the TCU website, in order to provide quick solutions for common issues and steps in adopting and using online learning tools. Ms. Conover has also developed online orientation courses, which all distance learning students must complete, allowing students to familiarize themselves with online learning at TCU, and allowing the institution to pull key data points for new students and identify at risk students from the beginning.

“With more than 6.7 million students taking at least one course online, online learning continues to provide increased access to learners in pursuit of quality, flexible higher education,” said John Dobbertin, Senior Vice President, Business Operations and Services, Pearson. “This year’s Cite award winners are outstanding examples of the driving force behind the prevalence of online learning. We congratulate these leaders for their commitment to excellence in teaching and administration that promotes student achievement.”

For more information, visit

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, business information through the Financial Times Group, and consumer publishing through the Penguin brand. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Susan Aspey, susan.aspey(at)pearson(dot)com, (or) 800-745-8489

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Susan Aspey
Email >
Visit website