Joseph M. Biedenbach – Distinguished Service Award 2024

Tamra Swann

Tamra Swann is the Bagley Distance Education Coordinator at Mississippi State University. In this role, she assists with the facilitation and coordination of the college’s distance education programs and recruitment of distance education students.

Swann’s leadership and service within the Continuing, Professional, and Online Education Division (CPOED) are noteworthy. She was elected to the Division’s Board in February 2023. She has been an active participant in CIEC since 2015 and has held the esteemed position of CIEC Program chair three times – 2018 in San Antonio, 2020 in Orlando, and 2023 in Charleston. Swann’s talent for working with people is one of her most notable strengths; she has coordinated new attendees’ welcome/reception for at least two years – a pivotal role that ensures effective engagement and resourceful networks within CPOED. As quoted from the nomination, “Her word is gold,” underscoring Swann’s reliability and integrity. Swann’s contributions are not just about fulfilling roles but elevating standards – making every task undertaken an opportunity for enhancement and growth for herself and the division at large. Tamra exemplifies the qualities defined by the Biedenbach award: the “talent for working with people (and) liv(ing) life in high gear generating ideas.”

She is a quiet, effective, and influential leader who inspires others through her actions. Her warmth and friendly demeanor at CIEC and other CPDD events have allowed newcomers to the field to believe they have a role to play in starting their contributions to the field of continuing professional development.

Tamra truly cares about distance education, service to students as well as a quality professional development experience for distance educators. She is always willing to volunteer to lead the next project or participate in any way she can. The division would be remiss if they did not recognize Tamra for this award, for she, as did Joe Biedenbach, has inspired us!