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On Thursday, April 26, Molly Mead, Manager, Information Technology & Instructional Designer with UMKC Online, received the 2018 Chancellor’s Education First Staff Award as part of the inaugural Staff Awards.

Devon Cancilla, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, nominated Mead for the award, saying, “Molly promotes and fosters scholarship and lifelong learning in all of its forms. In addition to working as a full-time staff member of UMKC Online, Molly teaches graduate level courses in the School of Education. She believes strongly in ‘practicing what she preaches’ as an instructional designer, and continually experiments with new approaches to teaching and learning—putting students first and recognizing that, even as an instructor, she is always learning.”

Recipients of the award consistently demonstrate three or more of the following qualities within the entire scope of their work performance, according to a press release:

  • Recognizes and incorporates students [as] integral to everything we do;
  • Is committed to lifelong learning;
  • Promotes and fosters scholarship in all its forms;
  • Promotes and fosters sharing of knowledge; and
  • Encourages students to identify and reach their true potential.

Mead said she was honored to receive The Chancellor’s Education First award. “I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work,” she said. “Nomination for this award would not have been possible without the inspiration and knowledge I have received from my team and my colleagues, for whom I have the deepest respect.” Mead has been employed at UMKC full-time since July 1989 and with UMKC Online since its inception in 2013.

Mead’s work with learning analytics to guide course design and delivery was recently recognized as a “Blackboard World Best in Class”. Her online presentation of this research attracted more than 400 participants across the globe. “This truly puts Molly in the national forefront of eLearning,” Cancilla said. “Molly is a strong believer in open education and freely shares her interests, knowledge and discoveries in a way that supports a creative and exciting learning environment for students and colleagues alike.”