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Instructional Design and Technology Faculty, Students, & Alumni Awards

Award-Winning Programs

According to An Analysis of Instructional Design and Technology Departments, the Emporia State IDT program is one of the top three institutions that won multiple awards within the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) the oldest and largest academic organization in the field.Our faculty and students have been nationally and internationally recognized.

Faculty Awards and Grants

Zeni Colorado, Ph.D.*

  • 2014 AECT Special Service Award
  • 2013 AECT Presidential Award
  • 2012 AECT Research and Theory Division Award for Three Year Service as President
  • 2012 Emporia State University Teachers College Excellence in Service Award
  • 2010 NSF/AECT Early Career Symposium
  • 2010 Colleague to Colleague (C2C) Innovation in Teaching Award

Janet Holland, Ph.D.*

  • 2019 Winner of the Best Conference Paper in World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Eye Tracking: Biometric evaluation of instructional materials for improved learning.
  • 2013 Faculty Recognition Scholarly Award, The Teachers College, Emporia State University
  • 2009 President, Kansas Association for Educational Communications & Technology
  • 2009 Faculty Recognition Teaching Award, Teacher of the Year, The Teachers College, Emporia State University

Dusti Howell, Ph.D.*

  • 2017-2020: Funded by the National Science Foundation for $454,356. Project: Integration of Computing in Rural Agricultural Education
  • 2016: Funded by Improving Teacher Quality for $194,820. Project: Fredonia, Altoona‐Midway, Neodesha – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Initiative.
  • 2015-2016: Funded by Improving Teacher Quality for $197,867. Project:STEM Makes Academic Success Happen (SMASH)
  • 2013-2014: Funded by the Kansas Board of Regents for $264,112. Project: STEM Experiences for All (NCLB Teacher Quality Grant to train teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)

Yeol Huh, Ph.D.*

  • 2018 AECT Emerging Researcher Award
  • 2018 High Impact Learning Grant
  • 2017 AECT Division of Distance Learning Burmeister Award (1st Place)
  • 2017 AECT Division of Distance Learning Journal Article Award Quantitative Based (3rd Place)
  • 2016 AECT Division of Distance Learning Burmeister Award (2nd Place)
  • 2015 AECT Dean and Sybil McClusky Research Award
  • 2014 NSF/AECT Early Career Symposium

Dabae Lee, Ph.D.*

  • 2017 AECT Division of Distance Learning Burmeister Award (1st Place)
  • 2016 AECT Emerging Researcher Award
  • 2011 AECT Young Researcher Award
  • 2011 AECT Outstanding Practice Award

*former faculty member

Awards and Recognitions received by Students and Alumni

2018: Joshua Key - AECT Mehnke Award

2018: Joshua Key - Capitol Graduate Research Summit Presenter Award

2018: Joshua Stock - International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Emerging Leader

2017: Joshua Stock - ISTE Make it Happen Award

2016: Joshua Stock - National School Board Association's "20 to Watch" Educational Tech Leaders list

2016: Julie La Combe and Milton Knopp – AECT Competition, Overall Winning Finalists

2013: Ziang Wang and Yun Lauren Liu – AECT Competition, Finalists

2012: Qing Zhang and Daniel Baldwin; Seung Gutsch and Daphne Tseng – AECT Competition, Finalists

2011: Jason Baker and Michael Stewart - AECT Competition, Finalist

2011: Curtis Chandler - Kansas State Teacher of the Year

2010: Michael Schwind and Rob Ervin – overall winning finalists

2009: Liz Ermis and Jennifer Gibson – overall winning finalists

2007: Sandy Valenti and Steve Harmon – finalists

ESU IDT Team Awarded Top Honor at International Competition

November 1, 2016

Las Vegas, NV – Once again, a team from Emporia State University’s Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) master of science program was chosen as a finalist in the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) International Design and Development Competition. The IDT team of Julie La Combe and Milton Knopp (L/R photo) presented their instructional design and development solution at the AECT 2016 International Convention in Las Vegas, NV this week. Out of the three finalist teams, they were selected as the overall winning team.


The AECT design and development competition has teams of two students design and develop a detailed written solution and oral report in response to a complex instructional design case study. During the year-long competition, over one dozen international doctoral and master’s degree teams competed in the first round of the competition with 6 teams moving forward to the second round. Three teams were selected as winning finalists and invited to present their solutions at the AECT convention. ESU IDT teams have achieved finalist status 7 out of the last 9 years, starting in 2007. Out of those 7 times, ESU IDT has been awarded the overall win 3 times.

Knopp said, "Even before the finalist presentations, the founder of the competition encouraged us to take a look at the list of finalist and winners since the beginning. Emporia has been well represented in recent years.”

According to Knopp, "The other schools represented in the finals were several times larger than ESU. Julie and I were the only masters students; the other four finalist were doctoral students. We were representing 'the little university that could'... and often has."

As the most recognized association of information concerning a wide range of instructional and educational technology, AECT is the oldest professional home for this field of interest and has continuously maintained a central position in the field, promoting high standards, both in scholarship and in practice. It provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas for its members and for target audiences; it is the national and international spokesperson for the improvement of instruction.