Academic Partnerships Adds Authorities in Online Learning to Its Academic Services Team

Press Release: Academic Partnerships Adds Authorities in Online Learning to Its Academic Services Team

April 15, 2013
Heather Farmakis and Michelle Pacansky-Brock Named Directors of Academic Services

DALLAS (April 15, 2013) Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities’ online learning in the United States, today announced that it has named Heather Farmakis and Michelle Pacansky-Brock as directors of Academic Services.  Dr. Farmakis and Ms. Pacansky-Brock bring significant expertise designing and implementing student-centered online learning experiences to the company.  They will report to Academic Partnerships’ Vice President of Academic Services Whitney Kilgore.


“Heather and Michelle are well-respected in the academic arena for their work in the evolution of online teaching through the delivery of exemplary professional development,” said Ms. Kilgore.  “They share Academic Partnerships’ commitment to providing best-in-class faculty support services to our university partners, and I am delighted that they have joined us.  I look forward to the contributions they will make on

Faculty eCommons, our social learning community for faculty in online university programs, to support our partners in the scholarship of teaching and learning.”


Dr. Farmakis was most recently a Technology Program Specialist at the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) in Fla.  In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the SDPBC’s online learning management system and the district’s professional development programs for teachers, administrators, and others.  Additionally, Dr. Farmakis was the co-host of the television shows Palm Breeze Café and Teaching with Technology, which promoted technology integration in education.  She is also an online adjunct professor for Lynn University and teaches technology leadership courses at the graduate level.  She serves on the University’s Advisory Board for the College of Education, planning and collaborating on graduate programs for the working adult.  Dr. Farmakis holds a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. from Lynn University. Based on her experiences in these roles, Dr. Farmakis wrote an eBook for students new to online learning entitled iLearn: Tips and Tricks for Online Learners.

Noted online instructor and faculty development specialist Ms. Pacansky-Brock has held numerous leadership roles in the national online teaching community and is the author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies.  In addition to consulting for a variety of companies and colleges, she served as a Steering Committee member of the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning (ET4Online) Symposium in 2013 and 2012.  In 2010, she was awarded a Sloan-C Effective Practice Award for her use of VoiceThread, the Web-based application that allows users to create a shared presentation as a media album and interact with via voice, video, or text.  Ms. Pacansky-Brock is also a recipient of the Sloan-C Excellence in Online Teaching Award, a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award for Teaching Excellence, and the Capella Educator Advancement scholarship.  She is the author of the forthcoming eBook How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread, which will be available this summer.  Ms. Pacansky-Brock holds a B.A. from San Jose State University, a M.A. from the University of California, Riverside, and is currently completing her doctoral work in Education Leadership and Management at Capella University.


About Faculty eCommons 

Developed by Academic Partnerships, Faculty eCommons is a social learning ecosystem for faculty across the globe to work together and better online education.  The site offers industry research, guidance, best practices, and professional development, with a focus on national quality standards.  Academic Partnerships has a strategic alliance with Sloan Consortium and a subscription to the Quality Matters™ program, which are available to AP Partner faculty.  For more information, please visit

About Academic Partnerships 
Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally.  For more information, please visit


Jaquelyn M. Scharnick

Academic Partnerships



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