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Awards / Honors

Jeff Foley wins Innovative Educator award

May 30, 2014

OnlinePlus presented this year's OPIE for engaging students and building relationships during the Spring graduation luncheon.

Colorado State University was proud to present the OnlinePlus Innovative Educator (OPIE) Award to Jeffrey M. Foley, assistant professor, adult education and training (AET), at the Spring 2014 graduation luncheon.  

“The OPIE award is our opportunity to recognize a faculty member who has gone above and beyond to engage with students, exemplifying outstanding instruction and relationship building in an online program,” explained Mike Palmquist, associate provost for instructional innovation.

Student nomination

Online students were provided with the opportunity to nominate a faculty member who had made the most impact on their educational experience while at Colorado State. Tim Schultz, a student in CSU’s online adult education and training program, said he submitted a nomination for Foley because of his ability to “transcend the personal disconnection inherent in distance learning and establish ways of motivating and challenging me as a learner that I have only experienced in real-life classroom settings.”

“Dr. Foley is easily one of the most exceptional educators that I have met during my 13 years of taking online courses for my undergraduate and graduate degrees," Shultz said. "His methods of discussion, reflection, and personal attention have established himself as an ideal that I hope to someday achieve as an educator.”

Department support

“Jeff’s background in experiential learning shines through in the courses he facilitates for the adult education and training master’s degree,” explained Karin Kaminski, chair of the AET program. “He has a way of communicating ideas and concepts through activities and visuals that helps students connect learning to their own lives and work settings. Often students talk about the experiential and applied aspects of Jeff’s classes that make the learning ‘stick,’ and how he makes it meaningful.”   

“In the Adult Education and Training specialization we (professors and graduate learners) come together as facilitators of learning to advance research, teaching, instructional design, assessment, evaluation, and learning transfer for adult learners,” Foley explained. “To be recognized by the learners in AET as an innovator in adult education is a very special honor. I am also very fortunate to work with a faculty team in AET that is very creative and supportive; we are continually exploring new and dynamic methods to engage online learners. Innovation is part of what makes teaching so much fun!”

Valuable contributions

Foley's contributions to the online adult education and training program at CSU help make it a valuable option for students looking to earn their master’s degree online.

“As the student who nominated Dr. Foley points out, his ability to overcome interpersonal barriers that can develop in the world of online learning makes him more than deserving of this honor,” Palmquist said. 

CSU OnlinePlus is a division of the Office of Engagement, which strengthens CSU’s ability to achieve excellence in the areas of teaching and learning, retention and graduation, admissions and access, and engagement and service, and assists communities through engagement, scientific discovery, and regional research.

For more information about Colorado State University OnlinePlus, visit or call (970) 491-5288. 

Contact: Amy Jo Miller
Phone: 970-491-2277