SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: Sullivan – Diane Riegal
Diane Riegal is a Professor within the Catskill Hospitality Institute at SUNY Sullivan. She has worked in academia for 25+ years and was part of one of the first cohorts to train for the online delivery of courses within the SUNY Learning Network (now SUNY Online). She currently teaches a variety of business management courses and has developed numerous courses for online delivery. Her creativity and passion for teaching, as well as her commitment of service to the community, has earned her the following recognitions: SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Region 1 Teaching Excellence Award, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) International Teaching Excellence Award, Business & Professional Women honoree (Sullivan County Democrat), Distinguished Service Award by the Professional Women of Sullivan County, SUNY Sullivan Andrew Schwarz Alumni Award, and SUNY Sullivan Foundation “Women Who Make a Difference” Distinguished Alumni.
I feel fortunate to have been a part of online learning in its infancy. I feel equally as fortunate to be a part of SUNY Online … a leader in online education. Online educators have the unique opportunity to richly engage with students in an environment they understand and feel comfortable in – the digital environment. I have learned so much over the years … what works, and what does not work….and more importantly, the critical role online education plays in reaching those who might not otherwise be able to attend college in a physical setting. Online education offers students the flexibility to attend classes around their schedules and presents a viable pathway for them to reach their educational goals. I can speak from experience that this opportunity can change the trajectory of a student’s life. I was a returning adult when I began my online MBA degree program. I juggled 2 jobs, 3 children and all the demands of family life while obtaining my degree fully online. Can you say, “full plate”? Had it not been for an online degree program, I probably would not have been able to obtain my graduate degree. Through that experience, I developed a great appreciation for online education and the opportunities and impact it can make to transform lives. I am a living example of that!