Kathleen Puckett - CSI, Director
Kathleen Puckett Ford is an intensely focused and visionary professional with a proven commitment to laying an optimal groundwork for the successful and timely fulfillment of projects that significantly enhance the availability of vital educational and social services to traditionally under-represented groups. With a progressive and multi-faceted career in management-level instructional support, youth services, and public relations, she currently focuses her expertise upon leading the provision of comprehensive qualitative instructional support to advance the mission and success of the University of Maryland's University College (UMUC), one of America’s foremost providers of online and distance learning programs.
In August 2008, Ms. Ford was promoted to her current position as Director of UMUC's Center for Support of Instruction. In this role, she leads academic technology integration projects, just-in-time training endeavors, and knowledge building/sharing initiatives. She also manages the design and development of learning objects, tutorials, and instruction sets and directs quality assurance activities related to online classroom delivery. She previously served as assistant director of the unit.
Initially brought onboard at UMUC in 1998 as a Distance Education Coordinator / Senior Instructional Support Specialist, Ms. Ford was tasked with developing a course design / revision model for the accelerated MBA program. She quickly decreased classroom preparation time from four weeks to four days, and her active promotion of the use of multimedia technologies in the classroom resulted in a 40% increase of technology use within the initial year of the MBA program. An articulate and dynamic instructor, she taught hundreds of UMUC faculty within both group and "on-the-fly" settings in the use of state-of-the-art tools, including WebTycho, Web page design and publishing software, and various multimedia capture and encoding technologies. She also represented UMUC and its innovative distance learning initiatives at several international conferences and meetings.
Dedicated to the concept of positive educational, social, and environmental change, Ms. Ford previously leveraged her strong background in public relations and journalism to significantly expand awareness and support for much-needed youth development programs in and around the District of Columbia. As Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, she shaped the national media agenda with strategic placement of stories regarding children’s reactions to violent crime in Washington, D.C., leading to the agency's first million-dollar congressional appropriation for the expansion of youth development programs in public housing communities. Utilizing her considerable communications, special events planning and grant writing skills, Ms. Ford raised significant public and private sector funding for affordable housing initiatives in Northern Virginia, Big Brothers of the National Capital Area, and Boys & Girls Clubs’ Group Homes and Shelters serving at-risk youth in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She has also served as a Public Relations Specialist for Governor Schaefer of Maryland, in which capacity she developed highly effective communications strategies that generated extensive media coverage of the former Governor’s environmental initiatives, including the Chesapeake Bay License Plate program and the One Million Marylanders for the Bay project.
Ms. Ford holds both a Master of Science in Management and an MBA from UMUC. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with honors and with recognition as the year's "Outstanding Senior, Public Relations Sequence."