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Citelighter Named winner of the $25,000 APUS Prize for Innovation in Online Education

Also Recognized for Contributions to Open Educational Resources as part of 2012 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

Charles Town, WV, June 21, 2012Citelighter, an online research platform that enables students to quickly find and record facts, has  been named the winner of the American Public University System (APUS) Prize for Innovation in Online Education. Part of the 2012 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC), the $25,000 award recognizes the best business plan that leverages online/distance learning within higher education.

"We collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education to create this award with the goal of helping stimulate new thought and structure within institutions and to support the growth and success of e‐learning in higher education," said Dr. Wallace E. Boston, APUS president & CEO. "We congratulate Citelighter for this noteworthy accomplishment, and also for being recognized separately for their innovation in open educational resources." Dr. Boston, a Penn GSE graduate, served as one of nine judges for the competition, which recognized five winners overall, with a total of $120,000 in prize funding.

Co-founded by Saad Alam and Lee Jokl, Citelighter consists of two components: a highlighting framework and collections of curated facts. The framework enables students to record facts and automatically cite sources so they can develop higher-quality research papers or documents. These facts are then aggregated topically and published onto "Knowledge Cards" for both users and non-users to learn from and incorporate into their own research.

Now in its third year, the EBPC is designed to stimulate cutting-edge ideas that serve the world’s educational needs, from Pre-K to adult learning. Of over 200 submissions, ten worldwide finalists were selected to gather in Philadelphia to compete in a live competition judged by a panel of industry leaders. Sponsored by the Networking Education Entrepreneurs for Social Transformation (NEST), the EBPC, and the NEST Summit that follows it, were developed to create a forum for education entrepreneurs, whether focused locally or globally, public or private, to catalyze innovation in education.

Launched in 2010 as a partnership between University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and the Milken Family Foundation, the EBPC and NEST Summit were held on the Penn campus on June 19-20, 2012. More information on NEST can be found at: and award competition photos and information at

In addition to Dr. Boston, a NEST Summit panelist, judges included Jeanne Allen of The Center for Education Reform; Mark Claypool of Educational Services of America; Gregory Milken of AltEgo and the Milken Family Foundation; Elizabeth Neal of the School Leaders Network; Madan Padaki of Erudient and MeritTrac; Laurie Racine of Startl; Alan Todd of Corporate University eXchange; and Victor Vuchac of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The event was emceed by David Pottruck of Red Eagle Ventures, Inc.