BCC’s Russell presented statewide distance learning award

Jack McDuffie Special to the Journal

October 3, 2013

DUBLIN — Bladen Community College’s Dean of Distance and Evening Programs Ann Russell was presented the North Carolina Community College System’s Distance Education Champion Award at a meeting of the state’s colleges Association of Distance Learning recently in Raleigh.

Russell has been BCC’s expert on distance learning since 2000 and has been a primary force in the college’s distance learning leadership in the North Carolina Community College System.

The “Champion” award is one of three annual awards presented by the organization. According to the award description provided by the association, the award honors “a community college employee who has blazed the trail ahead of others to allow us to make strides in our industry.” The association accepts nominations for the award from throughout the system.

In an interview after the ceremony, Russell commented on being nominated and selected for the award:

“I did not earn this award by myself,” she said. “This award is a direct reflection on all the smart, talented people who have taught me, helped me, supported me, and worked shoulder to shoulder with me for the past 13 years. I am humbled and grateful for this honor because it comes from others engaged in distance learning and learning technology.

“I am also really proud of our little college,” Russell explained. “BCC’s commitment to serving our students has enabled us to embrace innovation and technology to offer classes in delivery methods geared to the way our students need them.

“Our service to our students is excellent, and we use educational technology to better serve them. Our motto in distance learning at BCC is ‘Education at the speed of Life!’ That is our goal: to provide students an opportunity to pursue their degrees at whatever speed, and in whatever manner, they need to be successful while working, taking care of families, and living their lives,” she added.

BCC President William Findt attended the presentation and said that Russell is most deserving of the award.

“The fact that her peers state-wide recognized her with this award is indicative of the work she has done at BCC and for other community colleges in the state,” said Findt. “She has served as a mentor for many in other community colleges who are engaged in distance education.”

BCC has been a leader in distance learning in the North Carolina Community College System since it first began offering classes in the medium in 1995.