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USU-Online Names Online Fellows

Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013

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Angela Minichiello and Curt Radford, USU-Online fellows

Angela Minichiello (left) and Curt Radford (right) have been named USU-Online Fellows.

Jason Leiker, USU-Online Fellow

USU-Online Fellow Jason Leiker.

Utah State University-Online has named three online fellows, including Angela Minichiello, engineering education, Curt Radford, communicative disorders and deaf education, and Jason Leiker, sociology. The fellows are recognized for their innovative and highly effective online teaching methodologies.

Neal Legler, assistant director and a senior instructional designer for USU’s Center for Innovative Design and Instruction, oversees the online fellows program and believes the fellows will be important resources for all faculty teaching online courses.

“The idea behind the fellows program was to incorporate more faculty into promoting good online teaching practices,” said Legler. “The work that these fellows have done is exemplary and will serve as a showcase to benefit other faculty as they construct their online courses.”

The fellows were chosen based on an internal evaluation cycle that showed the effectiveness of online courses. The top performers were invited to become online teaching fellows and serve as mentors.

Angela Minichiello, faculty in mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the first online fellow from the College of Engineering and has successfully translated complex material into an online learning format.

“I am excited to be a part of the development and delivery of fundamental engineering and engineering science courses in an online format,” said Minichiello. “Online education has great potential to break down formidable barriers to entry into engineering for many students. We are already seeing an impact at a very early stage in the process.”

The fellows are appointed for a one year term and will present two webinars each about relevant topics such as presentation of information, multi-media and support or creating accessibility for students with auditory or visual issues.

The fellows are also asked to provide in-service training to other online instructors, serve as an online teaching mentor to new or inexperienced online instructors, be available for questions about online course development and instruction from faculty in a peer-to-peer setting and provide feedback on policies and procedures related to online distance education delivery. Their courses will be used as examples of quality online development and content, available for viewing by other instructors.

Legler is confident the fellows will improve the quality of USU’s online offerings especially as demand continues to grow for more flexible higher education options.

“The teaching fellows exemplify what is great about USU Distance Education,” said Legler. “We are excited that they are willing to share best practices with all faculty teaching in an online format so we are able to better fill the needs of the increasing demand for non-traditional learning opportunities.”

Utah State University Distance Education is a leader in higher education and offers high quality programming and a commitment to innovation.

More information about the online teaching fellows can be found on the website.

About Utah State University’s Distance Education

Since the late 19th century, Utah State University’s mission as the state’s land-grant university has been supported by the delivery of higher education in Utah’s rural communities. Students are served in all of Utah’s 29 counties, every state and more than 30 countries. Three –hundred-eighty-five courses are delivered online, with 450 new online courses developed by USU faculty since 2008. All distance education courses and nearly 50 percent of all USU classes use a web-based support system. Thirteen new online programs, including economics, aerospace engineering, a master of engineering — computer or electrical, agribusiness and family life studies have been developed since 2006.

Contact: Neal Legler, 435-797-1903,

Writer: Paige Pagnucco, 435-797-1429,

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