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Katie Dawson named teacher of the year for her work with ULM Online

Published Dec. 12, 2018

Katie Dawson, Interim Director of ULM Online, has been named the 2018 Post Secondary Teacher of the Year for Region 8, an award she received for her innovative work with the University of Louisiana Monroe’s online programs.

She was presented with a certificate on Nov. 28, 2018 at the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators 34th Annual Conference. The association’s goal is to “enable the full utilization of the power of technology to assist in the fulfillment of the goals of education.”

Katie Dawson, Interim Director of ULM Online

"It was such an honor to be recognized with this award, and even more so to be nominated by a great faculty member. I feel fortunate to work in an innovative, collaborative, and supportive environment,” Dawson said.

Dawson was nominated by Dr. James Boldin, Associate Director and Associate Professor of Music of the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Dr. Eric Pani, Vice President of Academic Affairs commented on Dawson’s award, saying, “Katie Dawson’s commitment to online learning has made her one of our state’s leaders in distance education. She has worked with ULM Online since its inception and was involved in online learning before that. Her effort as a curriculum designer helped all the faculty who worked with her produce high-quality classes. As Interim Director of ULM Online, her performance has reached an even higher level of achievement, and her influence in making online learning better has expanded. I feel she has earned this award and want to congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.” 

Her first position at ULM was as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Communication Department where she prepared syllabi, course material, and taught a variety of courses. Dawson taught several classes, including public speaking, fundamentals in communication, interpersonal communication and honors communication. She was named the ULM Honors Faculty of the Year in 2013-2014.

“I started as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Communication at ULM in January of 2010. I joined the staff of the newly developed eULM Office, now ULM Online in August of 2013, and I became Interim Director of ULM Online April 30, 2018” Dawson said. “I've been fortunate to grow professionally at ULM and that as a staff member I can continue teaching a couple courses online each semester.”

Dawson’s approach to online course design is to take ideas used to teach in a face to face course and creatively redesign them to be used online. She realized that she could design online courses which fulfilled the educational requirements and were engaging and interactive for students at a distance.

For five years Dawson was Coordinator of Online Programs. It was in that role that she helped full-time faculty develop online courses for the ULM Online programs. As demand for online programs increased, the University expanded the online options for students. Dawson was a resource for helping faculty and programs create online courses to meet those needs.

Her curriculum vitae states some of her work as coordinator was to “facilitate online course development process for faculty, develop innovative course assignments and assessments, maintain undergraduate online course designs … “

Dawson and online learning are making an impact for the adult students who make up the majority of ULM Online students.

Dawson came to ULM from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky.

“I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate/Organizational Communication in 2006 and my Master of Arts in Communication in 2009 from Western Kentucky University,” she said.

She is finishing her Doctorate of Education, Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Ed Administration from Louisiana Tech.