CDL Dean's Blog

By Tom Mackey, Ph.D.

Archive for October, 2010

Melba Tolliver Keynote at ESC Conference

Posted by tom mackey on 31st October 2010

One of the highlights from last week’s Student Academic Conference in White Plains, New York was the keynote address by Melba Tolliver, which is now available online:

Melba Tolliver Keynote Address

Melba is a graduate of SUNY Empire State College and she was the first African American to host a national network news program. She talks about this experience during her talk and it is a part of her biography available on her web site. She also mentions the book she is currently working on entitled Accidental Anchorwoman, which is a part of her blog title.


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Nursing Program Accredited by CCNE

Posted by tom mackey on 27th October 2010

We just learned this week that the R.N. to B.S. Nursing Program at SUNY Empire State College has received a full five year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

We extend our congratulations to Associate Dean Rosann Urso, and all of our nursing faculty, including Kimberly Balko, Mara Kaufmann, Mary Guadron, Rebecca Hegel, and Teresa Smith, as well as Catherine Hoff, Erin White, and JoAnne Christensen.

As I stated in an email to the entire CDL community, this is an impressive achievement that reflects well on the innovative and dedicated work this team has accomplished over the past few years. CCNE is the top accrediting institution in the field of Nursing and to receive a full five years is a distinctive honor.

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Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Posted by tom mackey on 23rd October 2010

In August we hosted a visit by Florence Lojacono from Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to explore potential collaborations between our two institutions. Florence just sent us a link to the images she captured during her visit to CDL. Thank you Florence!

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2010 Student Academic Conference

Posted by tom mackey on 22nd October 2010

I’m attending the Empire State College Student Academic Conference in White Plains, New York. This is a great opportunity to connect with our CDL students in person. This is the 6th Annual Conference but my first chance to attend. I am impressed with the quality of the presentations and the learner-centered community of scholars that I have been observing. Here are a few pictures from today’s event:

Tom with Francesca from IP, Fitim from Albania, Linda, and Bob Trullinger from HVC

Tom with CDL Student Tracy Pickell

Tom with CDL student Rochelle Campbell

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CDL Awards in Grants and Academic Support

Posted by tom mackey on 22nd October 2010

CDL has been on a roll lately with two high profile awards, one is a grant award with an international dimension and the other is a national award in academic support. First, our Interim Associate Dean Betty Lawrence and college wide Vice Provost for Global and Online Learning Meg Benke led the way for a successful HP Catalyst Initiative grant for $150,000. This grant will allow the college to partner with St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, located in St. Petersburg, Russia, focusing on research about best practices in online education for STEM students specifically. This past week we learned that Craig Lamb and Terry Vamvalis, our Academic Support team, were recognized with a national Innovation Award in Online Student Services sponsored by the Center for Transforming Student Services (CENTSS). This award specifically recognizes the great work our Academic support team has been doing with the Peer Tutor Program originally developed by Craig Lamb, our Director of Academic Support.

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CDL Publications: From local to global

Posted by tom mackey on 21st October 2010

Our faculty and professionals at the Center for Distance Learning (CDL) are engaged in ongoing scholarly activity, and present their research in a range of venues from local to global publications. Several recent examples of this include an article in the Sunday Times Union from Miriam Russell entitled “A carol in autumn honors wonderful woman.” In addition, Sheila Aird and Cindy Conaway recently published a research article in Flow called: Black Guy White Corner: What the Upfront Photos Say about the State of TV. Also, this past week, Val Chukhlomin had a case study accepted by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education entitled Delivering a SUNY Degree in Siberia: What Works and What Doesn’t from a Host Institution Perspective. This is impressive work everyone, congratulations!

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Open Access Week

Posted by tom mackey on 11th October 2010

There are a number of resources celebrating Open Access Week (October 18-24), including the video below from Vimeo. Here’s the press release from SPARC and a page on WikiEducator.

Open Access 101, from SPARC from Karen Rustad on Vimeo.

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Posted by tom mackey on 9th October 2010

On Thursday we launched a new online “Conversation with the Dean” using an enhanced version of Elluminate, which now includes a video component.  

Screen-capture of Elluminate Session

Screen-capture of Elluminate Session

In advance of the session we surveyed students through a quick poll in the Student Community space in Angel and we received over 40 respones. The session went well overall and it was a great opportunity to connect with students. but we did learn a few things about how to do a session like this with video and audio (and not just text). When we set up the room we did so using one of our flat panel screens, camera, and microphone, but we could have done this with just a laptop, which is what we will be using next time.

Elluminate set-up in conference room

The problem with the larger set up is that it was necessary to look up at the screen to advance slides, rather than into the camera. About halfway through the presentation I figured this out but it took a while to adjust. We also had a few problems with the audio; the sound is somewhat distorted and we had echo problems in a few places. But these kinds of adjustments are expected when doing something new. In terms of the content, it was very helpful to have the questions in advance so that we were able to organize by topic and address a greater number of questions in a shorter period of time. We will definitely continue this online “conversatin with the dean” next time, perhaps as soon as the next term, but we may change the time of the event to include more students (perhaps an evening session next time). Overall it was a great experience and the response from students was very positive. One of the students who attended the live session even said that it was “heartwarming” and was a good example of building community! Thank you! I look forward to using Elluminate again! Tom

Tom just before Elluminate session

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Conversation with the Dean

Posted by tom mackey on 7th October 2010

Today we launched a new online “Conversation with the Dean” using Elluminate.  In advance of the session we conducted a survey in Angel and asked students to post questions.  We received over 40 questions that we organized thematically.  While it was not possible to address all of the questions in one hour, I did cover most of the themes.  The questions were excellent and it was great to receive this kind of feedback from students.  Here are a few pictures from the session:

Posted in CDL | 2 Comments »

The Semantic Web

Posted by tom mackey on 6th October 2010

Here’s a great resource about the semantic web that one of my colleagues at CDL recently shared with me. In addition, I noticed that George Seimens recently wrote about the Semantic Web as well in his ELEARNSPACE blog, referring to Web 3.0 and the extended Web xWeb.


Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

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