Unity College has hired two to senior leadership positions in support of its first-ever distance education program.

Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury appointed Dr. Amy Arnett to the new position of Distance Education Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, and Dr. Michelle Caminos to the first-ever position of Chief Distance Education Officer, both effective July 1.

The move comes as Unity College rolls out its M.S. of Professional Science degree online while anticipating a third consecutive year of record enrollment for its residential experience this fall.

Khoury said he created both distance education posts as part of his plan to build upon the place-based environmental curriculum of America’s Environmental College, making Unity’s unique transdisciplinary education more broadly available.

”We are a place-based educational institution, and our residential experience will always be the cornerstone of a Unity College education,” he said. “But we can no longer limit the benefits of a Unity education solely to the traditional residential experience. The world needs more Unity graduates, not fewer.”

“We are committed to a minimum of 51 percent of our courses in the online program being taught by full-time Unity College employees once the program is fully operational,” Khoury said. “Curricular integrity and instructional quality are important, and we must ensure our sustainability science program is brought online authentically.”

Caminos, the first-ever Chief Distance Education Officer at Unity College, “brings a rich mix of online teaching and distance education program development success to this critical position,” Khoury said.

She has held posts as Assistant Director and Lecturer for the Archer Center for Leadership Development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and as Associate Dean at the School of Professional and Continuing Education at The Sage Colleges. Most recently, she was a fellow at the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.
Caminos presents nationally on the use of technology for individualized learning and has taught courses ranging from psychology and human development to business and leadership. Caminos holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the Esteves School of Education, The Sage Colleges; an M.S. in Organization Management from Sage Graduate School of Management; an M.S. Ed. in Health Promotion from Virginia Polytechnic Institute; and a B.A. in Psychology from Sage College of Albany.
She will be responsible for leadership, planning, coordination, and evaluation of all aspects of Unity College’s distance education offerings, and is “very well prepared to provide leadership for Unity College distance education projects into the future,” Khoury said.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting time at Unity College,” Caminos said. “Thoughtfully building distance education programs will allow us to serve an entirely new student demographic and further advance the college’s unique and critical mission.”

Arnett, the new Distance Education Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, is a longtime Unity College professor and academic official. In her new post, she is the senior academic administrator of Unity College’s distance education program, responsible for curriculum development and assessment; instructional budget and course scheduling support; and recruitment and oversight of distance education faculty.

“I am excited to help deliver and develop online programs that further support Unity’s unique mission and am dedicated to maintaining the engaging, active, rigorous, small-class size experience that Unity is known for,” Arnett said.

Arnett, who conducted her post-doctoral research at the University of Nebraska, received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Vermont, where she did her research on geographic variations in the life-history traits of the ant lion; and her B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan.

Arnett is a 2009 Fulbright Scholar and served as Principal Investigator for Unity College’s National Science Foundation-funded Hemlock Ecosystem Management Study.She has published numerous articles on insect ecology and is a sought-after pedagogical expert on experiential learning in the natural sciences.

“Dr. Arnett brings a history of academic and administrative success that will serve the institution very well as she works to ensure the curricular integrity of distance education efforts at Unity College,” Khoury said.
Khoury said the hiring of Caminos and Arnett is a signal that the school’s commitment to distance education is just beginning.

For more information or to register for Unity College’s M.S. of Professional Science degree, visit Unity College Online at online.unity.edu.

Friday, July 22, 2016