Virtual School Meanderings

December 27, 2013

ICDE Prize of Excellence Awarded to USDLA Board Member – Dr. Don Olcott, Jr.

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An ICDE Prize of Excellence was awarded to Don Olcott at the Standing Conference of Presidents meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. This follows the awards made to Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Yilmaz Buyukersen at the World Conference in Tianjin, China. The winners were selected by an independent international jury appointed by the ICDE Executive Committee, following nominations made by ICDE members.

Don Olcott receiving the award from ICDE President Tian Belawati

Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., Professor of Educational Leadership and Open and Distance Learning University of Maryland University College, USA

Dr. Olcott was awarded the Individual Prize of Excellence for very significant contributions to the international community of open and distance education and his leadership in the work of an educational association of open and distance education and moving the international cooperation agenda forward in a decisive manner.

Dr. Olcott has played an important role in developing collaborative approaches to transnational open and distance education. As leader of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education from 2007-2010, Dr. Olcott served as an advocate for the use of open and distance learning in transnational higher education and founded the first global forum on Transnational Education, held in Malaysia in 2009. During this same period, he chaired the Board of Directors of the United States Distance Learning Association, in which role he encouraged collaboration with national associations on four continents, including an ongoing collaborative partnership between USDLA and EDEN. For this work, he was recognized as an EDEN Fellow in 2010.

Dr. Olcott recently completed an extended consultancy as Head of Strategic Planning and International Engagement with the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. He has also served as an external consultant with the UK Open University and as an adjunct professor with the University of Maryland University College and the University of New England, Australia.

The jury concludes that “Dr. Olcott’s career exemplifies his commitment to the spirit of borderless collaboration that is the hallmark of open and distance learning in the Information Age”.

For more information, please visit:

About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.

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