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OCW Consortium Announces Inaugural Winners Of Awards For OCW Excellence

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., (March 10, 2011) — The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW Consortium) has announced the inaugural winners of the individual categories for the Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE Awards). Managing Director at Portal Universia, S.A, Pedro Aranzadi Elejabeitia is the recipient of the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s Leadership ACE Awards for his efforts in organizing Spanish and Latin American opencourseware projects. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Physics professor Walter Lewin was selected to receive the Educator ACE Award for his world-renown physics courses available through the MIT OpenCourseWare site. Creative Commons CEO, Catherine Casserly has been awarded the President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence for her work in developing the Open Educational Resources program while at the Hewlett Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to recognize these outstanding contributions,” said OCW Consortium Executive Director Mary Lou Forward. “Each of these individuals embodies the commitment to open sharing that has allowed this movement to grow so dramatically.”

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and opencourseware sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are presented each year at the annual OCW Consortium global conference, to be held this year May 4-6 in Cambridge, Mass. Individual award recipients are selected by the Consortium’s Board of Directors, while the site and course awards are selected by an awards committee populated from the Consortium membership. Site awards will be announced later this month and course awards at the global conference in May.

The OCW Consortium Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence are sponsored by KNEXT, a learning assessment and advisory service and is owned and operated by Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, a division of Kaplan, Inc., a world leader in education and training services.

Award Recipients
Currently managing director for Universia Spain and CIO for Universia Holding, Pedro Aranzadi Elejabeitia has worked in a number of roles at Portal Universia since 2003 to further the open sharing of educational materials on the web. From 2004-2005, Elejabeitia led the translation of MIT OpenCourseWare courses into Spanish and Portuguese, and from 2006 on he has coordinated the development of OCW sites at more than 100 Spanish and Latin American universities. Prior to his work at Portal Universia, he was the founder and managing director of Spaindustry, the first B2B marketplace online in Spain. He also served as marketing director and associate managing director of Camerdata, S.A., a pioneer company in the telematic information business prior to the internet era.

A native of The Netherlands, Professor Walter H. G. Lewin has published world-renown physics courses available through the MIT OpenCourseWare site. Professor Lewin’s courses, including 8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics, 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, and 8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves, have consistently been among the most visited courses on the MIT OpenCourseWare site and have been collectively visited more than 5 million times on the OCW site. In total, more than 100 lectures from Professor Lewin’s courses are available on the web, through MIT OpenCourseWare as well as through iTunes U and YouTube. His videos collectively receive more than one million views a year through these outlets. Fans send Professor Lewin dozens of e-mails daily, all of which he answers himself. Professor Lewin was a pioneer of open education sharing well before opencourseware, with his recorded lectures appearing on Seattle public television starting in 1995.

Catherine Casserly is currently CEO of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. Creative Commons licenses support the open sharing of many Consortium member course materials. In her prior role at the Carnegie Foundation, Casserly served as Senior Partner & Vice President, Innovation and Open Networks, spearheading Carnegie’s work in the area of open education and supporting the creation of alternative mathematics pathways for community college students. She also served as director of the Open Educational Resources Initiative at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and guided more than $100 million in support to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge sharing worldwide. Casserly’s work helped raise global awareness of resources, participants and their projects. She also served as program manager for Hewlett’s grant to MIT in support of MIT OpenCourseWare.

ABOUT KNEXT: There are millions of adults interested in finding a new job, moving onto a new career, or getting a college degree. But as we all know, the path can seem daunting, expensive and confusing. Enter KNEXT. We help adults identify how to earn college credit for their learning from life and work experience— be it on the job, traveling, volunteering or training. We provide a wealth of resources to help them make the right decisions for their future. And we inventory this information and advocate on their behalf at universities across the country — helping adult students transition to college in a faster, less expensive manner. For additional information about KNEXT, go to www.knext.com.

ABOUT THE OPENCOURSEWARE CONSORTIUM: The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a community of more than 250 universities and associated organizations worldwide committed to advancing opencourseware sharing and its impact on global educational opportunity. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning for educators and self-learners around the world through the sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials packaged as courses readily accessible on a digital platform. The Consortium showcases its members to a global audience and provides information and training through webinars, newsletters, and free and open opencourseware materials.

Activities of the OpenCourseWare Consortium are supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, member dues, and contributions from sustaining members including: African Virtual University, China Open Resources for Education, Delft University of Technology, Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Netease Information Technology, Open Universiteit, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Tufts University, Universia, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of the Western Cape. For more information, visit http://www.oeconsortium.org.