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July 29, 2020 at 10:26 am

State Department Awards Bikowski Certificate of Appreciation for Online Education

Dr. Dawn Bikowski receives Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. State Department on behalf of Ohio University.

Dr. Dawn Bikowski receives Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. State Department on behalf of Ohio University.

Dr. Dawn Bikowski was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for her and her team’s work on developing and running online courses for the American English E-Teacher Program, which is changing its name to the Online Professional English Network: OPEN).

Bikowski directs the Academic & Global Communication Program (formerly known as the English Language Improvement Program) in the Linguistics Department at Ohio University.

The award was recognized during a Virtual Award Ceremony on July 16 and during the first Virtual TESOL International Convention. It featured Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affiars Marie Royce as distinguished guest, and English Language Programs Branch Chief Diane Millar presented the awards.

OHIO was in prestigious company among the 10 other universities also receiving the award, such as the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, George Mason University, and World Learning at the School for International Training (SIT).

“In the increasingly competitive world of higher education, these types of projects are becoming even more important,” she notes. “Having OHIO and the Academic & Global Communication Program recognized by the U.S. State Department not only through this award, but also through the grants we have received, is impressive and sends a definite message to professionals in the field, international institutions, and any students interested in joining us as OHIO Bobcats.”

Bikowski accepts the award on behalf of Ohio University during virtual award ceremony.

Bikowski accepts the award on behalf of Ohio University during a virtual award ceremony.

Bikowski and collaborator H. K. Park, PhD, also in the Academic & Global Communication Program, first created the online course English as a Medium of Instruction for the State Department as part of a $40,000 grant. The first pilot course was for professors from a variety of fields and located in Brazil and Vietnam, who were seeking to teach their existing STEM and business courses in English as opposed to their home-country languages. The course is now an OPEN Global Course and will be offered worldwide and in many sections throughout the year.

Bikowski and Park, along with other program faculty, are now creating a new grant-based online course titled English for Tourism Professionals, which will begin this fall with participants from Mongolia, with the plan being for this pilot to also be converted into a global course as well.

Screenshot of the Awardees along with Assistant Secretary Royce

Screenshot of the Awardees along with Assistant Secretary Royce.

Both online courses developed for the OPEN program are anticipated to eventually become State Department Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The Academic and Global Communication Program is recognized as a leader in using technology to create engaging, student-centered, and pedagogically sound learning environments. The program offers graduate and undergraduate courses in academic writing and speaking for on-campus and online students, and have a number of international partnerships as well.

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