Faculty team wins distance learning award

Sam Slike For immediate release: May 20, 2011

BLOOMSBURG — A four-member team headed by Sam Slike, professor of exceptionality programs at Bloomsburg University, received the platinum award for distance education during the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) held earlier this week in Long Beach, Calif.

The award, the organization’s highest, recognized the team’s success using Wimba, now known as Blackboard Collaborate, for online courses in education of the deaf/hard of hearing and speech pathology. The presentation was titled “Wimba @ Work: Improving Access for High-Needs Career Education.”

Other members of Slike’s team are Joneen Lowman, assistant professor at BU; Pam Berman, faculty at the Art Institute of Charleston, Charleston, S.C., and formerly a staff member in BU’s Institute for Instructional Technology; and Matt Wasowski, senior manager, Blackboard Collaborate.

A total of 30 finalist teams from 15 countries competed for the awards representing the United States, Korea, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia and Singapore, as well as one team with members from several European nations. Also attending the consortium was John Cavanaugh, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Slike has been a member of the BU faculty since 1979, serving as assistant professor, associate professor, professor and curriculum coordinator in education of the deaf/hard of hearing. His other awards include the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s first Innovation in Teaching Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Award in 2009 and the United States Distance Learning Award for Best Practices in Higher Education in 2008, which he shared with Berman.

In addition to teaching various courses in education of the deaf/hard of hearing, Slike served on four Council on Education of the Deaf national accreditation review teams and was the lead panelist for the 10-year paper reviews for the deaf education programs at Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y., and the University of Tulsa (Okla.)

For nine years, he was president of the board of directors for Camp HERO (Here Everyone Really is One!) and currently is a board member for both Camp HERO and Camp Victory. He earned bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Penn State University and a master’s from the University of Scranton.

IMS GLC, a non-profit consortium of leading institutions, suppliers and governments, aims to advance technology that can affordably improve educational participation and attainment.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.