UCF’s pioneer in distance learning had an “unparalleled optimism for the job”


Barbara Truman ’94 ’96MA, who helped create and grow UCF’s first e-learning businesses, died of cancer on July 17. She was 59 years old.

Truman has held several positions at the university since 1996, starting as a graduate student hired to help create UCF’s inaugural online program.

Barbara truman

She was then appointed Director of Course Design and Development for the Center for Distributed Learning before becoming a Strategic Advisor for Immersive Learning and Collaboration at the Institute for Simulation & Training at UCF in 2014. A video on its involvement in e-learning was carried out by the Center for Distributed. Apprenticeship in 2013.

Thomas Cavanagh, UCF vice president for digital learning, says Truman’s spirit was exemplified by the Rosie the Riveter poster that she kept in her CDL office.

“It’s hard to overstate its importance in the creation and development of e-learning at UCF. We are all the direct beneficiaries of his work, ”says Cavanagh. “She had unparalleled optimism for the work we do and an infectious enthusiasm.”

Truman was born in Park Ridge, Ill., Moved to Central Florida in 1972, and graduated from Lyman High School in 1980.

At UCF, she obtained her BA in Journalism and her MA in Educational Systems Design.

While studying for her doctorate in 2001, she was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Her interest in community development and transdisciplinary research has led her to initiate remote collaborations. In 2013, she received a PhD in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University and briefly worked for a private company before returning to UCF.

Until recently quitting her job, she was a graduate faculty member of UCF’s School of Modeling, Simulation and Training and worked at the Institute for Simulation and Training on various projects involving technologies. innovations for healthcare, cybersecurity and a Navy training initiative.

“His work and impact will be felt in the future, not only at UCF, but across the higher education landscape,” Cavanagh said.


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