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Congratulations to all our award winners!

Blackboard is focused on highlighting customer successes and raising awareness throughout the educational industry by celebrating achievements and milestones. Acknowledging educators and administrators who are passionate about using technology in education and collaborating on best practices is something we look forward to each year.

The Blackboard Awards are an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments and help raise the standard for the entire industry.

Student Success
awarded to

Shashidhar Venkatesh Murthy
Associate Professor & Head of Pathology,
College of Medicine & Dentistry
James Cook University

This award recognises individuals and/or institutions whose creative program application has led to increased retention, increased completion, and/or improved outcomes through the implementation of new academic and/or administrative resources, data analytics solutions, scalable advising and intervention strategies, student support programs, and more. Submissions should focus on (a) how they fostered student success and (b) provide quantitative evidence of their success. This can be measured in terms of increased completion rates, increased student satisfaction (via a survey), an improvement in student learning outcomes, or an increase in student contact or interaction. Examples that demonstrate this achievement include but are not limited to:

  • High impact courses and experiences that lead to higher levels of student satisfaction, retention, and completion rates
  • Effective program evaluation practices that result in increased student outcomes
  • Retention coaching or mentoring programs that lead to higher levels of student retention and student skills
  • Broadening access to academic, technical, and/or transactional needs of students that lead to higher levels of student or institutional success

Professional Development
Awarded to

Nikki Meller
Western Sydney University


Mark Northover
Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching
Auckland University of Technology

Nell Buissink
John Davies
Herewini Easton
Piki Diamond
Emily Whitehead

This award recognises those who use Blackboard programs to support and enhance their faculty and staff’s professional development. This can include anything from creative learning opportunities to on-the-job training in the newest technologies, and should display an organisation-wide dedication to innovative training & development programs.

Examples that demonstrate this achievement include:

  • Effective and creative ways to support faculty and students that go above and beyond
  • Sharing and creating course content for entire program use
  • Tools used to internally support the program (e.g. mentors and power users)
  • Innovative training methods for faculty and staff
  • Providing a rich and structured training & professional development program



Leading Change
Awarded to

Dr Kulari Lokuge
Director eLearning
Monash College

Ian Rorke
Sharon Whippy
Paul Hellwge
Nathan Fitzgerald
Vy Tran
Divya Srinivas
Louis Doug An
Julia Vannucchi
Sohail Aslam
Prateek Jindal
Estha Hanning Su
Amit Vij
Emily Takayama

This award recognises institutions who are on the forefront of educational innovation; those who contextualise, plan for, and generate change in their communities in areas such as, but not limited to, teaching and learning practices, technological innovation, software development, and more. This award recognises those who champion active collaboration with others, cooperation, and sharing.

Examples that demonstrate this achievement include, but are not limited to:

  • At least one high-impact student success initiative that is seeing measurable results
  • Demonstrate active sharing of best practices and support of other institutions (i.e., either individually, through a consortium, and/or through membership in a larger community organisation)
  • Demonstrate how your institution’s innovative work is being adopted, adapted, and scaled at at least one other institution

Learn User Group Awards 2018/2019

Leader of the Year
Lisa Ransom
Auckland University of Technology

Member of the Year
Scott Davies
Department of Training and Workforce Development

Contribution Award
Sharon Long
James Cook University

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