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Honors and Awards

METRC Assistant Director Laura B. Fogle Receives NC State’s Award for Excellence for Outstanding Service

METRC Assistant Director Laura B. Fogle with NC State College of Education Associate Dean John Lee, Ph.D.

Laura B. Fogle, assistant director of the NC State College of Education’s Media and Education Technology Resource Center (METRC), has been awarded NC State’s Award for Excellence for Outstanding Service as a result of her public service during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Awards for Excellence are the most prestigious honor given to non-faculty employees at NC State and recognize outstanding accomplishments and contributions that go above and beyond an employee’s normal job responsibilities. 

Fogle’s award for public service is awarded to staff who have made outstanding contributions through volunteerism or the implementation of community or public service projects. 

“I am so proud to be a staff member in the College of Education. Our work touches many lives and never more than in this past year. Throughout our college, people stepped up, working long hours to redesign courses for remote delivery, volunteering as K-12 tutors, supporting students, offering training and guidance for K-12 and higher education instructors and so much more,” Fogle said. “Receiving the NC State Award for Excellence in public service gives me the opportunity to showcase the dedication and passion for service exhibited by my colleagues in the College of Education every day.”

Colleagues who nominated Fogle for the award said that she was critical in helping College of Education faculty and instructional staff be successful as they quickly adapted to online instruction in March 2020.

As a METRC team, Fogle, Kerri Brown Parker and Hunter Pinder, led training sessions on Zoom, provided consultations on remote learning and the recording of remote classes, wrote guides for hosting virtual events and transformed hands-on lessons into virtual ones. 

Although many in the College of Education already had the skills needed to transition online, Fogle was able to listen to their concerns and help build their confidence as they dealt with the change, one nomination letter said. 

While supporting the College of Education, Fogle also continued to engage in Digital Durham, a group she founded that includes librarians, technology refurbishers, nonprofit leaders and representatives of educational institutions who meet to share best practices, collect data and help community leaders understand issues related to digital equity. 

During the pandemic, members of Digital Durham helped to provide free digital literacy training, free wifi hotspots and free devices through mail, sidewalk pick-ups and touch-free drop-offs. 

“I believe in the transformational power of education, but lack of access to digital resources creates barriers to a quality education. We saw this highlighted during the pandemic when all learning moved online,” Fogle said. “I am so proud of the way Digital Durham accelerated our work in the face of the pandemic and its dire impact on school children, adjusting existing plans and launching new initiatives.”

Supported by a Catalyst Grant from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and the College of Education, Digital Durham held its first community-wide convening about digital equity in Durham. 

As a follow up to the convening, the organization created a digital equity plan with support from the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office, the NC State Institute for Emerging Issues and a College of Education graduate student. The plan is one of the first in North Carolina and aims to provide a vision and strategy for systematically addressing the digital divide. 

“As I spent my days in the pandemic helping instructors design online lessons, I couldn’t stop thinking about the students in my own community who couldn’t go online to learn. As technology becomes more integrated into our educational system, we must ensure equitable access for all students,” Fogle said. “I couldn’t do the work with Digital Durham in my personal time without the support of the college, particularly my colleagues in METRC. They are my pack and we draw strength from each other.”