USDLA 2020 International Awards Presented for Excellence in Distance Learning for Individuals, Organizations and Companies Honoring their Outstanding Achievements

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World's most prestigious distance learning awards were presented virtually for excellence in distance learning to individuals, organizations and companies.

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presented its 2020 International Distance Learning Awards sponsored by Barco in conjunction with the 2020 National Conference virtually. USDLA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association, founded in 1987, as the nation’s leading distance learning organization.

These prestigious USDLA International Awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs. Included in the recognition ceremony were awards for 21st Century Distance Learning, Outstanding Leadership, Innovation, Excellence in Teaching/Training, Global Impact, and Hall of Fame, and the Eagle.

The USDLA International Awards are closely followed by the distance learning community. "As the premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, USDLA has a history of honoring leaders within the industry," said Dr. Reggie Smith III, CEO / Executive Director of USDLA. "We recognize leaders in the field each year and their award winning best practices are especially important during a global pandemic when so many are learning from a distance.”

The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite and blended learning delivery technologies.

“This year’s USDLA Award recipients represent the finest examples of online courses, best practices, and leadership in our field. Each year we are impressed with the caliber of our winners and they stand as examples for the world to emulate," said Dr. Rhonda Blackburn, President of USDLA. “COVID-19 changed everything globally , however distance learning has been around for more that 120 years and it is the only efficient, scalable, sustainable way to build and protect the value of our current and future workforce and even more so during a global pandemic.”

For the 2020 International Awards program, USDLA focused upon several major areas that exemplify the dynamic nature of distance learning. Please join us in honoring the following 2020 USDLA International Award Winners:

USDLA Impact Award

Drake University and the Des Moines Regional Police Academy
Online Cultural Awareness Training Initiative

  • Dr. Chuck Sengstock, Director, Continuing Education and Professional Development, Drake University
  • Jean Hansen, Sr. Online Instructional Designer, Drake University
  • Chief Dana Wingert, Des Moines Police Department

USDLA Excellence in Teaching/Training Award

Elyse Wagner, Co-Founder & Chief Wellness Officer
Functional Medicine Coaching Academy

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah
University of Texas at Arlington

Melissa Martin
Florida Virtual School

USDLA Innovation Award

“15 Minutes Can Save Your Life”
Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Veracity Learning LRS

The Center for Online and Continuing Education, Florida Atlantic University
Dr. Papiya Bhattacharjee, Faculty Partner, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Florida Atlantic University

Samuel Mormando
Garnet Valley School District

AME Minute Microlearning
Aviation Safety
Civil Aerospace Medical Institute
Medical Education Division and
FAA Media Solutions

USDLA Outstanding Leadership Award

Stephanie Hinshaw
Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
American College of Education

USDLA 21st Century Distance Learning Award

Western Governors University

USDLA 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

Dr. Gerard Hanley

Dr. Rhonda Blackburn

USDLA 2020 Eagle Award

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D)
State of Arizona

Mrs. Janet Major, Chair of USDLA Board of Directors noted that, “This year’s award winners represent many of the most innovative leaders in the field of distance learning. We are thankful to all of our sponsors including D2L and Poly, Harmonize, the Association of College and University Educators, Barco, Zoom, the Arizona Telemedicine Program and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center, Enrollment Resources, IntelliBoard, K12, Inc., Vyopta, Wiley, Blackboard, Discover Video, and Wiris. They helped us produce an excellent experience for our International members and we really appreciate their support. They made this year’s conference possible.”

About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Washington, D.C. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the 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. For more information, visit

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Dr. Reggie Smith III, CEO
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