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UC Irvine Extension Course Instructors, Advisory Board Members And Partners Receive Top Honors

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A select group of course instructors, advisory board members and organizations were honored at The University of California, Irvine Extension's 13 th Annual Instructor and Advisory Committee Member Appreciation Breakfast, held on Friday, November 16, 2012. The individuals and organizations received awards in four award categories.


"The high caliber of contributions from these course instructors and advisors is what makes UC Irvine Extension a top-notch institution," said Dr. Gary W. Matkin, dean of Continuing Education, Distance Learning and Summer Session at UC Irvine. "Our incredible national and international recognition is due to the dedication and support of each of these honorees."

The "Dean's Outstanding Service Award," which recognizes an individual who has proven to be an invaluable resource to UC Irvine Extension, was presented to Donn Silberman.  Honored for his contribution as a founding advisory committee member of the Optical Engineering and Optical Instrument Design certificate programs, Silberman has more than 28 years of experience in optics-related businesses. His efforts have helped UC Irvine Extension recruit high-quality instructors and offer program participants industry-leading courses.

Cheryll and Richard Ruszat received the "UCI Extension Partnership Award," which celebrates businesses, organizations, or individuals who have enhanced UCI's continuing education programs, expertise and professional skills of their employees through partnership. The collaboration between the Montessori Schools of Irvine and UC Irvine Extension has spanned more than 20 years and has resulted in more than 600 individuals who have become certified in Montessori teaching. A second "UCI Extension Partnership Award" was presented to Heidi Burns, administrator of educational services with the Brea-Olinda School District. Through the partnership of the school district and UC Irvine Extension at a time when gifted and talented education programs (GATE) were being eliminated, nine students were able to enroll and complete the entire GATE program. The third "UCI Extension Partnership Award" was presented to Sinan Kanatsiz, founder and chairman of the Internet Marketing Association (IMA). This partnership has resulted in the school offering an Internet Marketing Certificate Program and becoming a leader in online marketing education.

The third award category, the "UCI Extension Distinguished Advisory Committee Member Award," recognizes advisory committee members who volunteer their time, energy and expertise in assisting the school's program directors in the development and ongoing offering of certificate programs. Individuals receiving this award include:

  • Marina Wetrosky, Reading Certificate Program
  • Mark Sklarow, Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program
  • Charles Cannon, Paralegal Certificate Program
  • Kai Williamson, Paralegal Certificate Program
  • Rick Hefner, Systems Engineering Certificate Program
  • Matthew Witmer, Tier One and Tier Two Teaching Credential Programs
  • Debora Wright-Henley, Project Management Certificate Program

The final award category, the "UC Irvine Extension Distinguished Instructor Award," is presented annually to educators who demonstrate outstanding performance in their creative use of instructional techniques; continuous commitment and flexibility in addressing student needs; presentation of current and relevant material that positively impacts students' careers or life; and qualities that inspire enthusiasm and enhanced learning. This year's recipients were:

  • Tony Gaidhane, Information Systems Security Certificate Program
  • Michael Fischer, Paralegal Certificate Program
  • Gail Schwartz, GMAT Test Preparation, Business English and ESL Programs for International Students
  • Mirna Bard, Social Media Specialized Studies Program

About UC Irvine Extension: University of California, Irvine Extension is the continuing education arm of UC Irvine. Through thousands of courses and programs offered on campus, online and on site, UC Irvine Extension helps adult learners reach their career advancement and personal enrichment goals —and is celebrating 50 years of providing universally accessible, university-level learning to local, regional, and global communities. Learn more at, or join us on Facebook at

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit

Contact: Vivian C. Slater 714-573-0899 ext.235                        

SOURCE UC Irvine Extension

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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