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Technology Instructional Enhancements|Outreach Credit Programs

TIE Faculty Fellow 

A passion ignited in the mid-1990s has led to a professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources to receive the Technology Instructional Enhancements (TIE) Faculty Fellow position in the Division of Outreach Credit Programs in the UW Outreach School.

Karen WilliamsKaren Williams in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) was one of the first online instructors at UW in the 1990s and sought to apply best practices in active teaching and learning strategies to distance learning. Now, she’ll be responsible for highlighting the innovative, curricular, research and training opportunities done through the outreach school.

She is the first such faculty fellow. Her duties begin this fall. “I was completely taken by surprise and still feel incredibly honored to be asked,” said Williams. “A big focus will be for me to help design a permanent TIE Faculty Fellows program for the Outreach Credit Programs.”

TIE is the research and development program that integrates with the distance education mission of the Outreach School and Division of Outreach Credit Programs, said Reed Scull, director of the Outreach Credit Programs and associate dean of the Outreach School.

“In Karen, we have someone with a solid track record of publications in distance education,” he said. “She has a record of academic leadership at the university that is equally impressive. We cannot be more pleased with Karen’s agreement to be the first TIE faculty fellow next fall.”

Following Williams’ immersion in distance learning in the 1990s, she created the distance program in child development in FCS.

“I recognized that distance education was a way for Head Start teachers and others to be able to meet their career goals when they could’t leave their families and jobs to come to campus,” said Williams. “Equity and access are core values for me. Since then, I’ve been teaching online, directing distance programs and doing research on pedagogy in online courses. It’s a passion!”

The fellowship entails a 50-percent buyout of her time from FCS. Professor Donna Brown, head of the department, said she is delighted Williams’ skills and interest in distance education and student learning have been recognized by being accepted as the first TIE Faculty Fellow.

“Karen has been a true leader in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and on-campus in creating distance learning opportunities for students and also encouraging many of the faculty members to explore distance teaching experiences,” Brown noted. “I’m sure she will be a great role model for others interested in distance education and for future TIE Faculty Fellows. 

Christine Boggs, TIE program director, said she is excited to be working with Williams.

 “Karen is amazing, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to work with her so closely,” said Boggs. “We have had more than 15 scholarly presentations and papers associated with TIE to date and, with Karen’s amazing expertise, we hope to increase that number.”

Williams was head of FCS from 2003 to 2010. She has served as director of the Bachelor of Applied Sciences program for the university since 2008. The bachelor of applied sciences degree is awarded by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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