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Swoboda earns national award for his service in continuing education field

The University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) has awarded the Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Outstanding Service to Dr. Donald W. Swoboda, dean of the Division of Extended Learning & Outreach at WKU.

Dr. Don Swoboda

The Bittner Service Citation is a national award given to express appreciation to an association member for outstanding service to continuing education at their institution, and service of major significance to UCEA.

Dr. Swoboda is the founding dean of the WKU Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO). The specific goals in creating the division were to expand WKU’s outreach mission, to operate as a self-supporting organization, and to enhance support for the academic capacity of the university. DELO relies on strong partnerships to create successful educational opportunities.

Dr. Swoboda has been in the field of outreach and continuing education for more than 40 years and has been an active member of UCEA for more than 20 years. During that time he has served on numerous committees and as UCEA Region V Representative to the Board of Directors.

This recognition came as a complete surprise to Dr. Swoboda.  “I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected by UCEA to receive the Walton S. Bittner Citation for Outstanding Service,” he said after being notified of the award. “I certainly thank the UCEA awards committee and board of directors for selecting me and approving my selection.  I greatly appreciate everyone who had a part in supporting my nomination and particularly Provost (Barbara) Burch who nominated me.”

The award will be presented at the UCEA National Conference on April 9 in San Francisco.

“I know of no one more deserving of recognition for their exceptional service, leadership and dedication to the goals of his profession,” said Dr. Burch, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at WKU. “Dean Swoboda has captured the respect and admiration of the entire campus and community that he serves in Kentucky, and he has created an organization that has blossomed under his leadership.”

The University Continuing Education Association serves as an important resource to the Continuing Education profession. Its members include public and private accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities, international universities, and nonprofit organizations with a significant commitment to professional and continuing higher education. UCEA attaches high priority to meeting the professional development needs of its members.

“Because of Dean Swoboda’s talents, energy, commitment to service and leadership strengths, WKU has come to enjoy what is one of the most successful and impactful outreach programs in the country,” Dr. Burch said.

Dr. Swoboda does not hesitate to give thanks, saying: “The credit for my success rests with the tremendous staff that I have had the opportunity to work with here at WKU, and the great partnerships we have formed throughout the university, community and beyond.  Obviously, to be recognized by one’s colleagues and national peers for such an award is in itself the greatest possible reward one can receive.”

Contact: Jennifer Perry, (270) 745-1926.

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