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UMass Lowell Online Course in Healthy Lifestyles Wins Blackboard Catalyst Award

Award Recognizes Outstanding Development of Community Best Practices through Innovative Course Design


Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or and  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell’s online course “Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Among Students” was named a winner of a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course, which recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards program since 2000, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well-designed and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. More than 200 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on the following components: course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support.

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards program annually recognizes and honors innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. 

UMass Lowell has long been at the forefront of providing quality online programs. The university’s leadership team cares deeply about course quality and has always supported my efforts to improve my teaching. I’m honored my peers have recognized this work with a Blackboard Catalyst Award, which encourages us to continue to find new and meaningful ways to engage learners,” said Carolyn Siccama, who captured the award for the UMass Lowell online course.

“It’s an honor each year to recognize forward-thinking educators who are helping create a world inspired to learn through the work they do every day,” said Jay Bhatt, Blackboard CEO. “We congratulate Catalyst Award winners on their vision and innovative approaches to education, and celebrate their accomplishments with them.”

Siccama, an adjunct faculty member in UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education, was honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld, Blackboard’s annual user conference that was held earlier this month.

Blackboard is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online. 

For a complete list of Blackboard Catalyst Award winners please visit

UMass Lowell is one of the largest online education providers in New England and is the recipient of international honors for quality, excellence in teaching and course design. Established in 1995, the university’s online education program has grown from a few dozen students to more than 20,000 enrollments annually. For more on the program, visit the Division of Online and Continuing Education at

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.