2018 Recipients
Online Learning Excellence Award

The purpose of the Online Learning Excellence Award is to recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate exemplary leadership, innovation, collaboration, and results that advance online and blended learning in the State of Oklahoma. Awardees are selected based on the criteria listed below. Evidence should be provided that supports how the nominee demonstrates each of the criteria.

Photo Randy Dominguez Team 2018 OOEA Innovation


Online Learning Department

Tulsa Community College

Mr. Dominguez and his team are praised by colleagues across campus for their online faculty development project, “Ongoing Professional Development Plan for Faculty Who Teach Online”. This initiative targets improving online education outcomes by strengthening online teaching skill development for faculty. It requires full-time faculty to attend a recognized and significant training activity and meet the training outcome of demonstrating a proven effort to improve online course design or content. This innovative, three-year program gives faculty members the flexibility to select one of eight options, all with the goal of improving online teaching.

Photo Southerland 2018 OOEA Teaching


Dr. Stacy Southerland

University of Central Oklahoma

Dr. Southerland’s colleagues describe her online teaching and learning environment design practices as a “pillar of excellence.” She has been recognized for innovative, creative teaching with UCO’s Vanderford Initiative Award, given by UCO’s President Don Betz for exceptional initiative in support of character, civility, community and leadership and the USDLA Teaching Award. Her dedication to helping students learn online is evidenced in her effective online course design and teaching practices that support learner success in UCO’s online Elementary Spanish courses. Dr. Southerland’s commitment to helping students excel academically learn is evidenced by students comments expressing appreciation for her empathy for and understanding of their needs as second language learners, the high academic standards she sets, and her effectiveness in helping them achieve course outcomes.

Photo Gary Dotterer 2018 OOEA Individual Leadership

Leadership: Individual

Dr. Gary Dotterer

Rogers State University

Dr. Dotterer is known as a “tireless advocate for student and faculty needs in online education.” As a leader in online teaching and learning, he led a major, university-wide initiative to migrate to a new learning management system. Dr. Dotterer demonstrated careful leadership in this process, resulting in the university’s distance education committee, faculty senate, and academic council unanimously voting to migrate to the same learning management system. His endeavors have yielded tangible results: even when on-ground enrollment has declined, online enrollment has continued to grow under his leadership.

OUIT 2018 OOEA Team Leadership

Leadership: Team

Courtney Kneifl, Eddie Huebsch, Zena Chatman Madi, Kevin Buck

Office of Information Technology, University of Oklahoma

OU Information Technology (OU IT) is a nationally recognized, leading information technology organization in higher education. It has demonstrated ongoing excellence in user experience, community engagement, and innovation on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus. OU IT has successfully promoted student engagement. Office staff recognize that the process of coming to college can be overwhelming with new people to meet, a new place to live, classes to locate, and jobs to find, all in addition to coursework that is far more challenging than anything students have previously experienced. To make this time less stressful, OU IT ensures that students can quickly and easily access the IT resources they need. Additionally, the team recently undertook a campus-wide transition of OU’s online learning management system. To prepare students for this transition, the team refreshed the university’s Tech Bootcamp course to showcase the new LMS. By adding multimedia content and offering incentives for participation, the team has increased student engagement with technology used to complete coursework.