On December 8, the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) awards ceremony recognized the innovative use of technology for distance learning within federal agencies. The Public Sector View editorial team had the opportunity to attend and meet the federal government and private industry program managers and technologists who came together to share their success stories.

On an annual basis, the FGDLA Awards bring attention to distance learning programs that effectively leverage new technologies and approaches to deploy solutions that enable effective training programs, such as job training, academic coursework and military procedures. The FGDLA Awards recognize the people and programs that improve upon existing practices to deliver cost savings and measurably improved performance.

This year, Dr. Sae Schatz, current Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL), served as the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. Dr. Schatz is widely respected in the distributed learning community for her work in learning science, with a focus on andragogy, human performance assessment, adaptive training, simulation, online and blended learning, and human-systems integration.

To kick off the event, Schatz encouraged the attendees to continue the great work that they do. “I hope you leave here today with your head held high,” said Schatz. “But also, more than that, with our voices in a common chorus. Because if we all work in different directions toward the innovation of the future, we will never get there.” She cautioned against focusing on “bells and whistles” and advised the community assembled to continue to think and act as the scientists they are to shape the future of learning.

The Public Sector View would like to congratulate 2016 FGDLA Award recipients and thank them for their dedication to their field and their willingness to work continuously for better, more efficient methodologies across the federal government. This year’s winners include:


Special Recognition Award:

Broadcast & Video Group, NewBay Media


Pioneer Award:

Dale Carpenter, Program Manager, Distance Learning Group, National Park Service

Andrea Simonelli, Government Team Lead, Video Technologies Team, Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Naval Air Systems Command

Dr. Damon Regan, Systems Engineer, Advanced Distributed Learning

JoAnne Green, Director of Academic Computing, iCollege, National Defense University

Paul Thurkettle, Director, NATO E-Learning, Allied Command Transformation


Hall of Fame Award:

Kenneth P. Pisel, Ph.D., Satellite Program Manager, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University


Pillar Award:

Elearning Media Group


Innovation Award: 

Distance Learning Group, National Park Service

Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness)

NATO E-Learning, Allied Command Transformation


Five-Star Award:

Acquisition Career Management Group, Acquisition Policy and Oversight, Federal Aviation Administration

Digital Learning Network, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)


Eagle Award:

College of Distance Education & Training, Marine Corps University


FGDLA is the premier professional association supporting distance learning in the federal government. This year’s award winners deserve our congratulations for these prestigious awards, which serve as recognition for their innovative and dedicated efforts.

To see a list of the 2015 FGDLA Award winners, click HERE.