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K-State Today

January 16, 2018



Barbercheck to lead Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance

By College of Human Ecology

Chelsea Barbercheck

The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, or Great Plains IDEA, has named Chelsea Barbercheck the new executive director. Kansas State University is one of 19 partnering universities in the alliance. 

Barbercheck comes from Boston University where she serves as director for the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training, or BEST, program, a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative and part of a 17-school consortium. Under her leadership, the program engages more than 1,100 doctoral and postdoctoral trainees across two campuses as well as deans, senior faculty members and local professionals in career development. As a liaison between stakeholders, she coordinates advisory boards, the steering committee, program leadership, faculty, trainees and consortium members. She directs collection and analysis of data on key performance indicators for the program, budget management and funding distribution accordingly. Working across institutions, she developed innovative distance education opportunities. 

Before her work at Boston University, Barbercheck, a native of southeast Kansas, was at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She earned her doctorate in microbiology, cell and molecular genetics at Oklahoma State University and her undergraduate in biology with a minor in leadership studies from Southwestern College. 

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Barbercheck to the leadership role in the Alliance," said John Buckwalter, dean of the College of Human Ecology. "Her work with graduate students, faculty, and university administration in graduate studies across multiple institutions as well as engaging in innovative online education are great assets in advancing the mission Great Plains IDEA."

Great Plains IDEA is a consortium of distinguished, accredited universities offering online graduate programs. Each university brings a unique strength in faculty and curriculum to the multi-institution program. Students choose a home university where they apply, are admitted, register for courses and receive their degree. Online courses are taught by the best faculty in each discipline from several universities. Students pay one common price per credit hour regardless of which university is their degree-granting institution.