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The 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winner for Community Service has been named CEO/Executive Director of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA).

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Reggie Smith III served as Chair Emeritus of the USDLA Board of Directors. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, Smith was elected as the association’s first African-American president and then chairman.

Over the years, Smith has been recognized for his service in supporting distance learning, including the Federal Government Distance Learning Association’s (FGDLA) Hall of Fame Award, FGDLA Pillar Award, Virtual World Association’s Excellence Award among others.

“Distance learning is about using available technologies and technology infrastructures to make more effective learning opportunities accessible to all learners, whatever their age, location, or reason for learning from anywhere, at any time, and at any pace, in accordance with the individual needs of each student,” Smith said.

“It is critical to competitiveness in today’s fast-paced global, economic environment, which requires constant innovation, upskilling, and reskilling for lifelong learning, and distance learning is the only efficient, scalable, sustainable way to build and protect the value of our current and future workforce.”

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) serves pre-K-12 education, homeschooling, higher education, and continuing education, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets.

In his work with USDLA, Smith has been instrumental in launching “National Distance Learning Week” and USDLA’s Distance Learning Today quarterly supplement.

The purpose of “National Distance Learning Week” is to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning while recognizing leaders and best practices in the field.


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