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What's New

The First Annual NewMexicoDLA Conference 2015

NewMexicoDLA is a non-profit association of learning professionals who advocate and promote the coordination and use of distance education in New Mexico. We welcome new members who want to be part of the discussion around distance learning policies and practices. NewMexicoDLA provides opportunities for professional development, networking, leadership, and collaborative opportunities for educators in K-12, higher education, and business settings. Membership is inexpensive and automatically conveys membership in the national organization, the US Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

NewMexicoDLA Spring 2015 Newsletter

President's Corner
By Dr. Ali Ahmad,

Greetings, New Mexico Distance Learning Association (NewMexicoDLA) members!
I hope your spring semester is going well. First of all, I would like to thank all board members who have worked with such dedication to form this first chapter of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) in New Mexico. We have collaborated well as a team. Together, and with the help of USDLA, we are officially registered and certified as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation organized under the laws of the state of New Mexico and the United States.

Our web site is and the Facebook page is to provide our members and visitors with up-to-date information. Please provide us with your input, comments and suggestions for improvement. If you have materials, topics or photos that you would like to share with NewMexicoDLA members, please email them to us.

We are offering our first totally free, totally online conference on May 20. I encourage all of you to participate. Information about the conference is available in this Newsletter and on our website. If you need more information, you can also contact our conference co-chairs, Julia Parra,, or Krista Kozel MacDonald,

We all have different areas of expertise and different online teaching experiences. Sharing expertise and experiences is a way for us to grow professionally and to be better online teachers.

Krista Kozel MacDonald will take over as President effective July 1, when we will also become official members of USDLA. We will introduce the new NewMexicoDLA President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer then also.

I look forward to "seeing" all of you at the conference in May.

Best wishes,
Ali Ahmad
NewMexicoDLA president

Attend for FREE! The 1st Annual NewMexicoDLA Conference 2015
By Dr. Julia Parra, and Krista Kozel MacDonald,

We are excited to announce the 1st Annual NewMexicoDLA Conference 2015! The theme of this conference is "What's New in New Mexico in Higher Education with Distance, Online and Blended Learning?" Join us as institutions and colleagues from around the state of New Mexico share what is new in the areas of distance, online and blended learning.

Note that if you are a NewMexicoDLA member, there will also be an Annual Membership Meeting so that you can be informed and contribute to the goals and progress of NewMexicoDLA.

This first conference will be free and held 100% online so you can join us from your office, home or even if you are on the road! We hope that you can join us - May 20, starting at 9 am MT. Register at We will email you with further details. Contact Julia Parra ( or Krista Kozel Macdonald ( if you have any questions.

United States Distance Learning Association – What Does It Offer?

By Niki Mott,

Under the motto "Uniting Distance Learning, Education and Training Globally," the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is the country's largest non-profit group that supports and promotes distance learning.

With chapters in most states in the US, the group was able to assist New Mexico's new association in its early stages, including writing bylaws, missions and goals, and gaining status as a non-profit.

One of USDLA's largest offerings for members and nonmembers is its annual conference, which this year will be April 26-29 in St. Louis with the theme "Distance Learning: Ignite, Innovate, Inspire!" For information about USDLA or the conference, visit their website

NewMexicoDLA plans to become a state chapter of USDLA, which will be beneficial for the chapter, as well as for individual members, who will automatically become member of USDLA when they join the new state chapter.

NewMexicoDLA Board of Directors 2015


Dr. Ali Ahmad

Dona Ana Community College


Krista Kozel

Dona Ana Community College 


Dr. Julia Parra

New Mexico State University


Kurt Depner

Dona Ana Community College


Niki Mott

New Mexico State University & DACC

Chair of Nomination and Newsletter

Nicole Olsson-Dail

New Mexico State University at Carlsbad

Chair of Awards Committee

Dr. Sharon Lalla

New Mexico State University

Chair of Membership Committee

Ricardo Montoya

Dona Ana Community College

Chair of Website Committee

Robert Doyle

Dona Ana Community College

NewMexicoDLA Board Member Biographies
President Dr. Ali Ahmad is a Mathematics Professor at DACC and has led many statewide mathematics organizations.

Co-Treasurer Kurt Depner teaches English online and in person, including Business & Professional Communication and Technical & Scientific Communication. His favorite hashtag is our own!

Website Chair Robert Doyle is an Instructor for the Computer & Information Technology Program at DACC. He is also a certified instructor for Cisco Network Academy, Microsoft, Comptia and TestOut.

President-Elect Krista Kozel MacDonald teaches face-to-face, blended, and online Communication courses at DACC, and serves as the Online Education Coordinator.

Awards Chairman Dr. Sharon Lalla teaches a graduate Education course on universal design for online courses through the NMSU Online Teaching and Learning program. She also leads the NMSU Quality Matters initiative for online courses.

Membership Chairman Ricardo Montoya is with the Virtual Learning and Instructional Technology Division (VLIT) of DACC. He also has developed training for WebCT, Blackboard and Canvas Instructure learning management systems.

Secretary Niki Mott teaches online and on-campus English courses for NMSU and DACC, and online for Adams State University in Colorado.

Nomination and Newsletter Chairman Nicole Olsson-Dail is the Manager of Instructional Technology and teaches online Computer Science courses at NMSU Carlsbad, where she also leads the Quality Matters initiative for online/blended courses.

Co-Treasurer and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting and Conference Committee Dr. Julia Parra is an assistant professor at NMSU, College of Education, Curriculum & Instruction Department, and Learning Design & Technology programs.

Catch the Online Learning Wave! Come Join Us at the Teaching
Academy Wed., March 11, 2:15-3:00

By Niki Mott,
To help spread the word about support and information available from NewMexicoDLA, and to talk about the free online conference, a group of officers will give a presentation at the NMSU Teaching Academy Wed., March 11, from 2:15-3:00 in Milton Hall, Room 50. As the flyer for the event states, "Catch the wave as technology advances improve online learning in higher education!"

New technologies are wonderful tools, but can be challenging to keep up with and to know what all is available. One of NewMexicoDLA's missions is to communicate with and connect educators from around the state so we can support each other to improve the effectiveness of our online teaching.

The presentation is designed to be interactive, so anyone attending can ask questions of the officers. Membership forms for the new group and registration forms for the free online conference on May 20, "What's New in New Mexico in Higher Education with Distance, Online and Blended Learning" will also be available.

Register for the event at, or by calling 575-646-2204.

NewMexicoDLA seeking Board member nominations

By Nicole Olsson-Dail,

NewMexicoDLA is seeking nominations to fill the positions of president-elect, secretary, and treasurer, whose terms will begin July 2015.

New Mexico Distance Learning Association is a non-profit association of professionals who advocate and promote the coordination and use of distance education in New Mexico and will be an affiliated Chapter of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). To learn more about NewMexicoDLA, please visit

The positions of President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer serve on the board of directors. The President-elect serves for three years: the first year as President-Elect, the second year as President, and the third year as Immediate Past-President. The duties of the President-elect are at the discretion of the President, but generally involve an internship for President. The President-Elect also serves as the Chair of the Publicity Committee.

The Secretary shall be elected for a one year term. The duties of the Secretary shall beto keep records of all membership and Board of Directors meetings, and to perform such other duties as are delegated by the President and/or Board of Directors.

The Treasurer shall be elected for two (2) year terms. The duties of the Treasurer shall be to collect all dues and other accounts due the Chapter, and deposit such funds in the name of the NewMexicoDLA in a financial institution approved by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer will file all tax forms to the IRS. The Treasurer will keep accounts of the sources of all income and the purposes of all expenditures, and provide a complete financial report for the Chapter membership at the annual meeting/conference with a revised and final report for the year being submitted to the Board of Directors each year.

Nominations for president-elect and treasurer are open through Tuesday, March 31. NewMexicoDLA members may nominate themselves or other members for these two positions. Please email your nomination to Nicole Olsson-Dail at

Positions will be announced at the Spring 2015 NewMexicoDLA conference on May 20.

NewMexicoDLA onTwitter
By Kurt Depner,

We're on Twitter! Follow #NewMexicoDLA for updates in the Twitterverse. We will also be setting up a hashtag for our conference and each individual session, so watch for those!

Come join us! Stay current with events, changes, and excitement online throughout the nation!

Committee Members:
Nicole Olsson-Dail, Chair
Niki Mott
Kurt Depner

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