EDUCAUSE Medals Program

The EDUCAUSE Medals Program was a collaborative effort between Educom and then, beginning in 1999, EDUCAUSE, and academic disciplinary societies to honor individuals who demonstrated that information technology can help improve undergraduate education. The program was offered from 1995 through 1999.

1999 Winners

Phillip W. Barak
[email protected]
Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science
University of Wisconsin
Nominated by the American Society of Agronomy

Dr. Phillip W. Barak is at the forefront of crafting and promoting multimedia educational tools in soil and related sciences. His course Web site, Plant Nutrient Management [], contains both a standing Web page entitled "Essential Elements of Plant Growth" and class material consisting of course information, announcements, assignments, online readings, class notes, an e-mail connection that extends office hours, and links to related sites. Dr. Barak has also brought interactive 3-D chemical models with VRML (virtual reality modeling language) into the classroom as developer and co-curator of The Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules. Dr. Barak is associate professor of soil sciences at the University of Wisconsin.

Randall J. Bass
[email protected]
Associate Professor of English
Georgetown University
Nominated by the American Studies Association

As director of Georgetown University's Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies and associate professor of English, Dr. Randall J. Bass's thinking, teaching, and programmatic practices have made him a superb model and mentor for the use of information technology in the interdisciplinary American studies classroom. He is well known for his hypertext-based undergraduate instruction in teaching American literature within the larger framework of American studies, in which his methods require students to engage a range of primary source texts providing contexts for their study of the literature and history of a period. Dr. Bass was the founding project coordinator for the American Crossroads Project [], a cooperative Web project that provides an electronic gathering place for American Studies teachers around the world.

Jack Dangermond
[email protected]
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
Nominated by the Association of American Geographers

As founder, owner, and president of Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), Jack Dangermond's contributions to geographic information systems (GIS) education have helped to revolutionize the college teaching of geography. ESRI not only provides educational institutions with software at much reduced cost, but also offers, through a unique educational outreach program, the guidance and technical support needed to establish GIS instruction. Mr. Dangermond's most recent efforts focus on support for community colleges, which are generally least able to afford the costs associated with GIS training. ESRI has helped develop GIS courses at more than 250 two-year colleges, and an additional 200 schools are working with ESRI's full-time community college liaison to establish GIS courses in the near future. Another current initiative that offers strong support for undergraduate GIS training is the ESRI Virtual Campus, which provides Web-based courses in GIS applications.

Dorothy H. Verkerk
[email protected]
Assistant Professor of Art History
University of North Carolina
Nominated by the College Art Association

Dr. Dorothy H. Verkerk's Celtic Art and Cultures Web site addresses numerous pedagogical problems inherent in the teaching of Celtic Art, an art form that is not often covered by traditional art history and is often inaccessible to students. These challenges are addressed by a searchable database of 1,000 images, a series of animated, interactive exercises that cover the basic principles of Celtic design, an interactive definition and audio pronunciation guide, and maps and a timeline which orient students to the broad geographical areas and chronological spans covered by continental and insular Celtic cultures. Online discussion forums and resource links provide additional contexts for student learning. The multidimensional, integrative, and interactive nature of Verkerk's Web site [] empowers students to become active in research, to integrate the materials, ideas, and insights they have gained, and to think at a conceptual level about both Celtic art and information technology. Dr. Verkerk is assistant professor of art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

1998 Winners

Dr. Diana L. Eck
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Academy of Religion []

As director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Dr. Eck's pioneering work in linking CD-ROM with World Wide Web resources from 1991 to 1997 resulted in the creation of the CD-ROM, On Common Ground: World Religions in America. An extraordinary resource for the teaching of undergraduate classes in the history of religions in America, religious diversity, cultural studies, and world religions, the CD-ROM is supported and enhanced by the Pluralism Project Website, This project has expanded to other universities and involved students and teachers in a collaborative effort to add to the Website database-truly a living resource made available through creative use of today's educational technologies. Dr. Eck is professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University. More information may be found at []

David W. Fulker
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Meteorological Society

David Fulker is director of the Unidata Program Center at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. His conscientious and innovative leadership has contributed to the success of Unidata, an endeavor established to enable universities to acquire and use atmospheric and related data. Active in reaching out beyond traditional atmospheric science departments to cognate fields including oceanography, geography, geology, and earth systems science, Mr. Fulker guided the development of the Internet Data Distribution (IDD) system, which serves as an example of distributed data distribution for other disciplines. In addition, he supervised the development of the netCDF (the Network Common Data Form), a software library for storing and retrieving data which is used as the de facto standard for exchanging data by numerous commercial and noncommercial software systems.

Dr. Richard K. Larson
[email protected]
Nominated by Linguistic Society of America

Dr. Larson is credited with the development of Syntactica and Semantica, software tools for the study of syntax and semantics which engage students in linguistic inquiry and collaborative research. Using Syntactica and Semantica, students create and test rules that describe natural language data and receive immediate, visual feedback about the predictions of the grammars they construct. This information is then stored and shared with other students via email. Dr. Larson has involved his students in designing and debugging the software and accompanying text materials, a process which has contributed to the user-friendly nature of these tools. Dr. Larson is professor of linguistics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Dr. Stephen J. Ressler
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Society of Civil Engineers

For many years, Dr. Ressler has addressed significant pedagogical problems that are fundamental to civil engineering and engineering mechanics instruction. He has authored three software programs that can be downloaded from the World Wide Web-CME-Truss, a general-purpose truss analysis program, the Visual Stress Transformer, an animated stress-transformation visualization program, and Trebuchet for Windows, simulation software for the dynamic analysis of a medieval siege catapult. Perhaps his most important contribution is the West Point Bridge Designer, a computer-aided design software package developed specifically for the purpose of stimulating student interest in engineering and design. Lieutenant Colonel Ressler is professor and deputy head of the department of civil and mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy.

Dr. Paul F. Velleman
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Statistical Association

Dr. Paul Velleman has set the standard for how technology can and should be used for teaching and learning statistics. He is the designer and author of ActivStats, a multimedia learning environment that provides a statistics course and supporting software on CD-ROM. Through video, narrated exposition, interactive visualization, simulation, hands-on application, hypertext, and internet access to current information, ActivStats provides students with individualized instruction that allows them to move at their own pace. In addition to ActivStats, Dr. Velleman is the designer and developer of Data Desk-a statistics program for data exploration, graphics, and analysis-and the Data and Story Library (DASL, pronounced "dazzle"), a free on-line archive of over 120 datasets designed for use in teaching. Dr. Velleman is associate professor in the department of social statistics at Cornell University.

1997 Winners

Dr. Jon Barwise
[email protected]
Dr. John Etchemendy
[email protected]

Nominated by the American Philosophical Association

Drs. Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy are credited with leadership of development teams working on three computer programs that have advanced the teaching of formal logic. Turing's World enables students to more easily build and run complex Turing Machines. Tarski's World, which allows students to construct and evaluate symbolic sentences describing geometric worlds, offers a remarkable visual and intuitive approach to understanding symbolization and semantics. Hyperproof uses a style of reasoning about logic problems that is arguably more natural than natural deduction. Dr. Barwise is a College of Arts and Sciences professor of philosophy, mathematics, and computer science at Indiana University. Dr. Etchemendy is a professor of philosophy and symbolic systems and chairman of the Commission on Technology in Teaching and Learning at Stanford University. More information may be found at []

Dr. Jerry Goldman
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Political Science Association

For many years, Dr. Goldman has engaged in the creative application of technology to teaching and research. His early work in the development of Idealog, a microcomputer-based software product, helped students assess their own political ideologies. Dr. Goldman served as a contributor to the CD-ROM version of the Challenge of Democracy, the best-selling introduction to American government and politics. More recently, he developed the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Supreme Court, a visually engaging multimedia product that integrates information about the Supreme Court's composition, history, and cases. Dr. Goldman is codeveloper of Crime and Punishment, a CD-ROM and Internet-based multimedia criminal court sentencing simulation. Perhaps his most important contribution is the development of the Oyez Web pages, which provide online access to the audio records of hundreds of oral arguments as presented before the Supreme Court. Dr. Goldman is professor of political science at Northwestern University. More information may be found at [] and []

Dr. Michelle N. Lamberson
[email protected]
Nominated by the Geological Society of America

Michelle N. Lamberson's pioneering work on World Wide Web resources for undergraduate geoscientists serves as a model for educators seeking to maximize the Web's pedagogical potential. The site Dr. Lamberson has developed for the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of British Columbia ( includes course Web sites, interactive learning modules, exercises, discipline-specific databases, and developer tools. Dr. Lamberson recognized in 1994 the Web's potential for improving the learning environment for visually oriented students in geoscience. Since then, her academic fellowship enabling her to investigate Internet effectiveness as a teaching and learning medium has evolved into her current position as educational technology coordinator. More information may be found at []

Dr. Dawn Tilbury
[email protected]
Dr. William C. Messner
[email protected]

Nominated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

The work of Drs. Tilbury and Messner illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary engineering. Their innovative Web-based education aid for teaching automatic controls-Michigan-CMU Controls Tutorials for MATLAB-interacts with MATLAB, enabling students to design practical industrial control systems even as they master the program. The tutorial is available at all times through the World Wide Web not only to students but also to working professionals who need a refresher in the use of MATLAB for control system analysis and design. Dr. Tilbury is assistant professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Messner is assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. More information may be found at and []

1996 Winners

Dr. Fred S. Halley
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Sociological Association

Dr. Fred S. Halley has been an active, innovative teacher of sociology for more than two decades. He took on the challenge of teaching social statistics; a course that is essential in the sociology major. Fully aware of the literature on active learning, Dr. Halley designed software that enables students to work collaboratively while maintaining individualized learning materials. The result was GENSTAT, a study data generation system that integrates individualized homework, testing materials, laboratory assignments, and illustrations of key concepts. Dr. Halley's work has redefined the teaching of both sociology and social statistics. Dr. Halley is professor of sociology at the State University of ew York at Brockport.

Dr. James Noblitt
[email protected]
Nominated by the Modern Language Association

In 1968, when James Noblitt received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in French linguistics and Romance philology, the use of computers for foreign language instruction was unknown. Today Dr. Noblitt is the leading U.S. exponent of electronic technologies in foreign language instruction. Throughout his career he has consistently championed those aspects of electronic technologies that serve to make learning tasks easier and more natural for students. He is currently research professor of Romance languages and academic chair of the Institute for Academic Technologies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Burks Oakley II
[email protected]
Nominated by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers

For many engineering professionals, the teaching techniques derived from the use of computer-based asynchronous learning networks (ALN) represent the most fundamental innovation in undergraduate education in decades. Professor Burks Oakley, a pathfinder in the implementation of ALN, has quantitatively demonstrated in his electrical engineering classes that ALN techniques improve the educational process. As associate director of the Sloan Center for Asynchronous Learning Environments at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he is assisting faculty in all disciplines at his home institution as well as at other universities nationwide in the implementation of ALN techniques in undergraduate courses.

Dr. Cynthia Selfe
[email protected]
Nominated by the Modern Language Association

Cynthia Selfe has been writing and lecturing about computer-assisted instruction since 1981, when she received here Ph.D. in English curriculum and instruction. Her innovative applications of electronic technologies in the writing classroom have led to countless speaking engagements and lectures on the use of computers to facilitate and enhance learning in composition courses. Dr. Selfe is the author of Creating Computer-Supported Writing Facilities: A Blueprint for Action, a book that has helped countless English departments throughout the United States to establish smoothly functioning writing centers for undergraduate students. She serves as professor of composition and communications in the department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University.

1995 Winners

Dr. Alan Lesgold
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Psychological Association

Dr. Alan Lesgold began his research and teaching career more than two decades ago, when much of the information technology that we now take for granted was not yet available. Since then, Dr. Lesgold has devoted many years of his research to the study of educational applications of technology. He is being recognized for his pioneering work in teaching computers how to teach. Since the early 1970s, he has been designing and implementing human-machine interfacing systems and applications ranging from medical diagnosis to reading comprehension. His innovations in individualized instruction have been adopted by numerous institutions worldwide. Dr. Lesgold has been affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center since 1971.

Dr. Paul Schatz
[email protected]
Nominated by the American Chemical Association Division of Chemical Education

A popular educator, speaker, and innovator, Dr. Paul Schatz serves as director of Organic Laboratories at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Schatz became the first to conceive and implement the idea of using computers to teach undergraduate students to create and interpret nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectra. His computer simulations of analytical instrumentation and programs relating individual peaks of spectra to corresponding parts of the molecular structure have helped thousands of undergraduate chemistry students from hundreds of colleges and universities. Dr. Schatz is listed in the 1994-95 Who's Who in American Education and is a winner in the Natural Sciences Software division of a previous Educom awards program.

Dr. David A. Smith
[email protected]
Nominated by the Mathematical Association of America

Dr. David A. Smith is an early pioneer in the history of academic computing. He served as editor of CONDUIT and is credited for early projects to develop computer-based educational materials. Dr. Smith is best known for Project CALC, and is presently conducting a new project to extend Project CALC methods from application solely to calculus to applications to linear algebra and differential equations. He is associate professor at Duke University and codirector of Project CALC. He has served both as editor of the Computer Corner of College Mathematics Journal and as Learning Software columnist of UME Trends. Dr. Smith has received a number of grants and awards for his work, including several National Science Foundation grants and Educom's Award for Curriculum Innovation.