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President's Medal

This award is intended to recognize individuals for exceptional contributions to the field of adult and distance education, as well as to Excelsior and its mission.


Russell Poulin
Russell Poulin

Russell Poulin

Deputy Director, Research and Analysis
WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)

Russell Poulin is a leader in national policy affecting access to online learning, as well as in the development and implementation of new technology-based models for extending access to higher learning. As deputy director, research and analysis, for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, he helps find answers to elearning questions facing WCET members. WCET accelerates the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. Based in Boulder, Colo., WCET’s membership represents 47 states and 8 countries.

Poulin has earned recognition with state and national organizations as a researcher and leader in championing online and distance education for working adult students. He also directed the Transparency by Design project and its Web site, which provides consumer information for adult learners. He also directs WCET’s work on the management, financing, and services of elearning consortia, and coordinates the Managing Online Education survey. He has been a champion of, and advisor to, Excelsior College on numerous occasions and serves as a member of the Presidents’ Forum Multi-State Reciprocity in Postsecondary Approval and Regulation project, a Lumina Foundation sponsored-endeavor that seeks to make state authorization for online educational institutions more efficient and uniform.

Previously, Poulin coordinated distance education activities for the North Dakota University System. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and a master’s in statistics and research methodology.