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American Public University System Director of Research Methodology Melissa Layne Receives Wagner Award for Distance Education Leadership

Charles Town, WV, June 9, 2014 – American Public University System (APUS) today announced that Dr. Melissa Layne, director of research methodology and editor-in-chief of the university’s Journal of Internet Learning, has received a Wagner Award for Distance Education Leadership. Presented as part of the Distance Learning Administration (DLA) 2014 Conference, the award marks the fourth APUS leadership honoree, and fifth individual DLA winner overall, in the last seven years.

Sponsored by the University of West Georgia and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, the award recognizes significant contributions to, and research in, distance education best practices, and responsibility for the growth of distance learning programs. Dr. Layne, along with previous APUS Wagner Award winners Dr. Wallace E. Boston (2013), APUS president and CEO, and Dr. Phil Ice (2011), vice president of research and development, co-authored the Best Research Papers awarded at the DLA conferences in 2012 and 2013.

“Melissa’s seminal research on student retention, adaptive and personalized learning, and multi‐user virtual environments, among many other areas, truly exemplifies thought leadership in distance education,” said Dr. Boston. 

“I’m very proud to congratulate Melissa on this well-earned recognition,” added Dr. Ice.  “Her ongoing efforts have helped make APUS an established leader in data-driven decision-making and innovative distance learning programs that support successful student outcomes.”

In addition to Dr. Boston and Dr. Ice, Dr. Layne succeeds previous APUS winners Colonel Phil McNair (US Army – ret.), vice president of strategic initiatives (2009), and Dr. Larry Flegle, APUS professor of sports management (2008). Her breadth of research includes self- paced instructional design and implementation, text analytics, latent semantic mapping, informal learning, and quality assurance in online learning at the institutional, program and course levels. In addition to DLA, her publications have also been recognized by several other distance learning organizations, including the Sloan Consortium’s Effective Practice Award and National University Technology Network.

Dr. Layne serves on the advisory council for the New Media Consortium, which annually publishes The Horizon Report Higher Education Edition. In addition to her ongoing contributions as editor‐in‐chief of the Journal of Internet Learning, her work encompasses more than 30 peer‐reviewed journal publications, 10 book chapters and 35 presentations and invited keynotes.

Dr. Layne serves as chair for the Sloan Consortium International Conference for Effective Practices, and sits on the advisory board for Sloan’s Emerging Technologies Conference. She also served on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Post-Secondary Next- Generation Models Advisory Council.