Photo of Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education
National honoree and keynote speaker Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Drexel University Online will celebrate National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) with its sixth annual awards ceremony, honoring exceptional leaders, faculty and staff for their accomplishments and dedication to online learning, on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at Drexel University.

“Our faculty and staff’s tremendous commitment to online learning is what has built Drexel’s stellar reputation into a recognized online education leader,” said Arthur Zamkoff, co-founder and president of Drexel University Online. “Celebrating their passion and dedication at our National Distance Learning Week ceremony provides for a great opportunity to showcase their achievements.”

This year’s national honoree and keynote speaker is Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. Cator directed Apple's leadership and advocacy efforts in education prior to joining the department. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators.

"Technology and the distribution power of the Internet have the potential to vastly improve the opportunity to learn for all Americans,” said Cator. “We are tremendously interested in how these technologies, in the hands of increasingly competent professionals, will support the transformation of American education."

According to the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board’s ninth annual survey, approximately 6.1 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2010. Today, more than 7,000 students from all 50 states and more than 20 countries are pursuing a bachelor's, master's, or certificate through Drexel University Online.

“I am incredibly happy with the online Master’s of Science in Higher Education degree I earned from Drexel University Online,” said 2012 Drexel graduate Alicia Murphy. “Drexel's faculty and staff provided exceptional instruction and guidance throughout the program, and I’m excited to attend the NDLW ceremony to celebrate them.”

Distance learning has exponentially grown throughout the years and Drexel University Online has been a premier leader of online education since 1996. In an effort to create greater awareness of distance learning and to recognize exceptional leaders and best practices in the field, Drexel University Online founded NDLW, in conjunction with the United States Distance Learning Association.

Created in 2007, NDLW seeks to celebrate the tremendous growth and accomplishments occurring today in distance learning education, while showing appreciation to those who make an indelible mark in the field and with students.

“As demonstrated by the growth and development of distance learning programs throughout the world, online learning is altering education, making it more accessible to all,” said Samantha Ortiz, online MBA program manager of the LeBow College of Business. “National Distance Learning Week is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of those individuals who are student-centered and dedicated to creating innovative strategies to further engage online.”

For more information on Drexel University Online’s 2012 NDLW ceremony, please visit Also, follow the conversation on Twitter at #DrexelNDLW.

About Drexel University Online: 
Drexel University Online, a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Drexel University, specializes in innovative, Internet-based education programs for working professionals, organizations, and corporations in the United States and abroad. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the “Best Online Graduate Programs” in the fields of business administration, engineering, nursing, and library science, Drexel’s online programs are among the elite in the nation. Drexel University has been an innovator in the e-Learning industry, offering degrees online since 1996, and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools. For more information on Drexel University Online, please visit