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K-State Today

April 9, 2015

Great Plains IDEA honors Gould with Distinguished Service Award

Submitted by Carol Hockersmith

Carol Gould, executive director of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, received a Distinguished Service Award from the alliance cabinet. The honor came at the Great Plains IDEA annual meeting March 30 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Cabinet chair Greg Sanders, an associate dean at North Dakota State University, said, "Carol has miraculously managed communication across cabinet, academic boards, faculty groups and numerous functional teams. She has enhanced a shared vision for Great Plains IDEA across these many groups."

Kansas State University is the lead university for the 18 members and two affiliates active in the online consortium. Gould has been executive director of Great Plains IDEA since July 2009.

Under her leadership, the Great Plains IDEA human science area added a new master's degree and the first bachelor degree program. Agriculture programs increased from four to 11. Human sciences program enrollment increased by 51 percent and agriculture program enrollment increased by 863 percent.

Gould made a functional, easy-to-use website a priority for Great Plains IDEA and AG*IDEA. She guided creation of faculty handbooks and updates to the policy and procedure manual. She initiated new marketing strategies with program banners and brochures.

"There seemed to be no 'getting up to speed' phase when Carol Gould assumed the executive director position due to her dedication and strong management experience," said Shiretta Ownbey, an Oklahoma State University associate dean and chair of the Great Plains IDEA Human Sciences board. "She is able to recognize student issues, policy needs, faculty development opportunities, and many challenges that need to be addressed and also to recognize possible solutions."

Gould was previously director of K-State's Community Service Program and co-director of the Kansas Center for Rural Initiatives. She served three years as director of public relations for the city of Junction City. She has a master's degree in political science from K-State.

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