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School of Education online portal wins Innovator Award

June 19, 2013 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University was recently announced as a winner in Campus Technology’s 2013 Innovator Awards for the Graduate School of Education’s Dissertation Portal under the Student Systems and Services category. Liberty was one of nine honorees in six categories out of a pool of more than 230 nominations.

The honorees will be featured in the July issue of Campus Technology Magazine and will be recognized at the 20th Annual Campus Technology Conference July 29 - Aug. 1 in Boston.

Campus Technology is a leading resource on information technology initiatives in higher education and includes a monthly magazine, website, newsletters, webinars, online tools, and events.

The portal was created by Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw, School of Education assistant professor and chair of doctoral research, to help Liberty University Online students in the completion process of their dissertation. It uses Microsoft Office SharePoint, which Liberty University Information Technology implemented and maintains for the university. The portal is managed by Rockinson-Szapkiw and other School of Education staff.

By using SharePoint, students and faculty are able to better track edits and progress on documents, helping eliminate potential missed communication through email. It also allows for multiple editors on a document at the same time.

Rockinson-Szapkiw began work on the project in summer 2010 and launched it that fall. She said much of its success is due to the faculty who use the system to support their students.

“It is truly faculty mentorship and leadership that influences the students’ persistence through the process,” she said. “I am proud to be part of a school that is committed to supporting students’ persistence through innovative avenues and am honored to see that this endeavor is being recognized by Campus Technology as an innovative student system.”