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LSU Receives 2021 Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Outstanding Service in UPCEA Association Award

March 24, 2021

Lisa Verma, senior director of Professional Development & Community Programs at LSU Online & Continuing Education

BATON ROUGE - March 24, 2021 - Lisa Verma, senior director of Professional Development & Community Programs at LSU Online & Continuing Education, is the recipient of one of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) highest honors, the 2021 Walton S. Bittner Service Citation for Outstanding Service in UPCEA Association Award. This award is given to an individual for their outstanding service in professional, continuing, and/or online education at their institution, as well as their significant service to UPCEA. Verma will receive the award at the virtual 2021 UPCEA Annual Conference on April 7.

“To align with numerous changes across the higher education landscape, the 2021 Association Awards are different than in prior years,” said Mary Angela Baker, Chair, UPCEA Association Awards Committee. “This year’s awards program was simplified to recognize a narrower set of categories, representing areas of broadest engagement and particularly acute activity in this unprecedented time.”

“Lisa has been instrumental in building and maintaining strategic partnerships with business and industry leaders to help meet their workforce needs,” said Sasha Thackaberry, vice president of LSU Online & Continuing Education. “She is integral to the future growth and success of the Professional Development and Community Programs at LSU and this award is a tremendous tribute to her years of service.”

Over the past 27 years, Verma has served in many capacities at LSU. From leading the Professional Development and Community programs to developing custom programs taught nationwide, she exemplifies the type of staff member that is crucial to the success of LSU. At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, she led a team to quickly pivot all in-person classes to live-online and have since launched over 150 online courses and programs in high-demand fields like data analytics, digital marketing, cloud computing, business, leadership, and more. She has assisted LSU in fulfilling its mission to provide lifelong learning by broadening the availability of all types of educational opportunities. She has contributed to the reputation and financial goals and objectives of LSU as well. With her written proposals, Lisa generated over 2 million dollars in Incumbent Worker training grants through the Louisiana Workforce Commission in the past year.

“I dedicate this award to my incredible team,” said Verma. “I am incredibly grateful to get to represent LSU in this capacity and I look forward to continuing my participation in UPCEA for many years to come. Lifelong learning is a personal value of mine and I am thankful for the support and recognition from the university and my UPCEA colleagues.”


See the full list of 2021 Association Award recipients.

About the University Professional & Continuing Education Association

UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. For more than 100 years, UPCEA has served most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. Founded in 1915, the association serves its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues.

About LSU Online & Continuing Education

LSU Online & Continuing Education supports more than 100 online degrees and certificate programs from the LSU family of institutions. These flexible programs stack together to help advance careers and reach educational goals with no credit left behind. Our mission is to meet learners' evolving needs by creating education opportunities in high-demand, workforce-relevant fields. Programs are designed for online and taught by award-winning LSU faculty and expert instructors. Online students will earn the same diploma as their on-campus peers and can expect world-class customer service through personal, concierge-style learner support. Explore our programs today at online.lsu.edu.

Learn more about our professional development programs.