Karen Kaminski honored for excellence in online education

Karen Kaminski

In recognition for her dedication to online students and adept course facilitation style, Dr. Karen Kaminski of Colorado State University’s School of Education was recently honored with a CSU Online Innovative Educator (OLIE) Award.

“The 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 or distance program,” explained Mike Palmquist, Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation.

“Life-changing” course facilitation

Kaminski was nominated for the award by two students who graduated from CSU’s online adult education and training master’s program at the end of last semester.

In the first nomination, graduate Bonnie Lynn Klein said there were a number of road blocks on her path to earning her master’s, including surviving intestinal cancer, working full time, and taking care of her three children and mother-in-law. However, she said Kaminski made a difference that kept her drive for school strong. In her nomination, Klein wrote:

“Karen Kaminski cares. She cares about the quality of education she provides each time she responds in a discussion. She cares about the integrity of her position as an educator and wants you to care too. Karen cares when she grades your assignment and makes sure you understand how to do better. She cares that her instructions are clear and concise enough for the learner to perform at his or her best. I know you might say there are other instructors who care, and wonder why Karen Kaminski stands out. I will tell you her knowledge is vast, her sharing is intense, her passion for her field is compelling, and her dedication to her students is highly admirable.”

Klein wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Graduate Jennifer Young wrote in her nomination that Kaminski deserved the award for:

“…her life-changing facilitation of her Program Development class! She made me take my own long-held dream seriously, and made it seem possible by her facilitation through the steps of development.”

A commitment to student engagement

In response to receiving the award, Kaminski said, “I sincerely appreciate receiving the OLIE award. It was in 1999 that I joined the School of Education and worked with Dr. Quick to build the online version of the master of education in adult education and training. We were determined to build a learning environment that is student focused, practical, and applied. I work to stay current with advances in adult education, technology, research in online learning, and communication tools to help my students engage in class in unique ways.”

“When my colleagues and friends ask me if it is challenging to work with students at a distance, I respond that I love it, as I get to know each student as a special individual. I learn about their work, their goals, and their dreams. Through each communication, interaction, and assignment we take steps together to enhance practice which creates a ripple effect reaching every learner they touch. It is an honor that students nominated me for this award.”

More about CSU Online

Colorado State University Online is the University’s Division of Continuing Education, offering more than 30 different undergraduate and graduate degree programs to meet the needs of learners world-wide. In addition, it offers online certificates, courses, and digital badges to help people meet their professional goals.

Online courses allow students to access their education on a schedule that fits their lives. Students are able to continue full-time employment, raise a family, or travel while getting an education.

CSU’s online students receive the same education, learn from the same faculty, and earn the same degree as students on campus.

For more information about CSU’s online programs, visit www.online.colostate.edu or call (970) 491‑5288.