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Staff, faculty honored for contributions to UT Online

UT Online recently recognized three employees for their outstanding contributions to The University’s online learning services.

The first award, named for Dr. Ella Fridman, who was one of the first UT faculty members to convert her courses to online versions, was presented to Barbara Mauter, adjunct instructor in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.

“[Mauter] should be recognized as an excellent example of what being an online instructor truly means. She is dedicated to quality and student engagement, and continues to be a strong faculty advocate for all of UT Online’s services,” wrote a nominator.

Mauter began teaching at The University of Toledo in 2007 and taught her first online course in 2010. She has written two of her own courses and is in the process of creating a third. Mauter was the first faculty member to complete the Pathway to Master Online Instructor program.

“I enjoy what I do. Maybe that’s it. I enjoy working with the students,” Mauter said when asked what she believes has made her so successful.

The second honor presented was the DiAnne M. Masztak Award, given annually to a UT community member who has supported online learning in a distinguished fashion and gone above and beyond his or her duties to provide exemplary service to students, faculty and the UT community.

This award went to Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, professor and director of the Recreation Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences. She was called “an endless advocate for online education and UT Online” by her nominator.

Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development, center, showed off the Mark A. Yeary Award she was presented by Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, who held the plaque where Ballard’s name was added, and Dr. Mingli Xiao, senior instructional designer.

Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development, center, showed off the Mark A. Yeary Award she was presented by Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, associate provost for online education, who held the plaque where Ballard’s name was added, and Dr. Mingli Xiao, senior instructional designer.

“I try to improve my skills and educate myself [about online learning] more all the time and connect with other online faculty so that my classes are interactive, interesting, designed well, and have good content,” said Kucharewski, who has worked at the University since 1997.

UT Online’s Mark A. Yeary Award was named in recognition of the man who worked at the University 23 years. During his time at UT, Yeary’s dedication to the distance learning program contributed greatly to the development of the largest distance learning program in Ohio here at UT.

The winner of this award was Phoebe Ballard, director of instructional design and development. Since, 2003, Ballard has worked in UT’s Online learning division, and in her spare time, she teaches at the University, serves on the board of directors for The Independent Collegian, and is an adviser for the Student Media Association.

Nominators called Ballard a “capable, caring and passionate leader” who “exhibited exemplary dedication to her work and for serving members of The University of Toledo community.”

“This award is extremely important to me because it came from my peers. They inspire me and challenge me daily, and I am very proud to be a member of this dedicated group,” Ballard said.