Electronic Portfolio

Professional Resume

Ellen V. Blackmun
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 977-9510
(240) 418-6359 (cell)


  • 30 years of experience in higher education and learning technologies including classroom, computer-based, and Web-based
  • Broad range of training and presentation experiences
  • Experience with various systems technologies for support of student financial aid and learning management
  • Experience as a college administrator with responsibility for student financial aid and related systems and staff training

Work Experience

September 1996 to present
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Washington, DC
Director of Technology Initiatives and Distance Learning
Previously: Director of Electronic Services Projects
Responsibilities include:
  • Helping Association develop new ways to deliver information and services to members using current technology
  • Helping members stay abreast of innovations in technology that can provide them with ways to improve their institutional aid delivery systems
  • Participating in industry-wide standards-setting activities
  • Providing Association with expert advice on distance learning issues
  • Directing Association's Web-based training project, LearnStudentAid.org, initially funded through federal government FIPSE grant
  • Developing Web-based learning activities for members
  • Planning and implementing infrastructure to support Web-based learning including selection of learning/content management platform and commercially supported Webcasting tools
  • Consulting, advising, and training on Web-based training using appropriate authoring tools
Primary accomplishments:
  • Developed one of the first winning proposals for a federal Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership (LAAP) grant
  • Managed Web-based training implementation and conversion to ANGEL Learning Systems content management system
  • Organized and moderated two pre-conference workshops on distance education issues and co-presented distance education conference with Higher Education Washington, Inc.
  • Program manager for NASFAA's LearnStudentAid.org Web-based learning program.
  • Working with subject matter experts, developed approach to instructional design and curriculum development
  • Implemented partnership program with state financial aid associations to bring LearnStudentAid.org Web-based training to neophyte financial aid administrators with little access to classroom-based training
  • Developed and implemented Association's live Webcasting program
February 1997 to August 2003:
AOL Community, Inc. (a division of America Online), Dulles, VA
Community Team Coordinator (remote)
Responsibilities include:
  • Developing and delivering training to AOL's remote community volunteers, using AOL proprietary online publishing, chat, and message board tools
  • Coordinating activities of chat room and message board volunteers
  • Developing special features using online publishing tools to support community events and activities
June - September 1996
Consultant/loan analyst
Contractor for EDS - Direct Loan Origination System, Arlington, VA
Responsibilities included:
  • Providing financial aid expertise to software development team
  • Developing testing protocols
  • Conducting modular testing
September 1994 - June 1996
Dow, Lohnes & Albertson (DLA), PLLC, Washington, DC
Senior Higher Education Manager
Responsibilities included:
  • Providing professional financial aid expertise to law firm's higher education practice group
  • Assisting clients in addressing a variety of compliance issues relating to their participation in the federal student financial aid programs
February 1988 - September 1994
The Art Institutes (AII) - Education Management Corporation (EDMC), Pittsburgh, PA
Vice President, Student Finance
Responsibilities included:
  • Coordinating student financial aid management for nationwide group of degree-granting institutions offering programs in graphic design, photography, computer animation, culinary arts, and related subjects
  • Participating in corporate system reengineering projects
  • Spearheading development and publication of wide-ranging recommendations for improvement in the federally-funded student financial aid programs
December 1974 - February 1988
Jostens Education Systems (formerly Metridata), Louisville, KY
Vice President for Financial Aid
Responsibilities included:
  • Managing central financial aid operations for group of 35 business colleges nationwide
  • Implementing systems to support remote delivery of aid with central administrative control
  • Managed compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements
  • Represented organization in associations and with the U.S. Department of Education as workshop trainer, presenter, and facilitator


University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland
Master of Distance Education
  • Certificate in Foundations of Distance Education, December, 2002
  • Certificate in Distance Education Technology, May, 2003
  • Certificate in Distance Teaching, May, 2003
Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky
Master of Business Administration, Management
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
Master of Arts, French Literature, with minor in Comparative Literature
  • Completed course requirements for Ph.D. qualifying examination
  • Recipient of teaching fellowship for five years
  • Exchange teacher in Paris, France, through U.S. Embassy
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
College of Letters and Science
Bachelor of Arts, French, with minor in Art History
  • Participant in Wisconsin-Michigan Junior Year in France Program
  • Graduated cum laude

Articles and Related Writings

Authored Chapter 12 on "Learning Communities" with Phyllis Pouyat Thibodeau, in Learner Support in Open, Distance and Online Enrironments by Jane E. Brindley, Christine Walti and Olaf Zawacki-Richter, Editors. Bibliotheks- und Informationssystem der Universitat Oldenburg, 2004.

Capstone project for University of Maryland University College Master of Distance Education Program, "Building an Online Learning Community: The University of Maryland/Oldenburg University Master of Distance Education Program," published online at http://www.black-wolff.net/Ellen%20Blackmun%20Electronic%20Portfolio%202/Capstone.htm, May 2003.

"Understanding Distance Education: A Primer for Financial Aid Administrators: What is distance education, and why is it so confusing?" in Vol. 13, No. 3, Student Aid Transcript, 2002.

"Has Financial Aid for Distance Learners Come of Age? Revisiting the 1997 Student Aid Transcript article 'Distance Learning Comes of Age,'" in Spring 1999 Student Aid Transcript.

Special Skills

  • Microsoft Office XP - Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • AOL Rainman online publishing tools
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver and Flash Web authoring tools
  • SumTotal (formerly Click2Learn) Toolbook authoring system
  • Citrix GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar online meeting and Webcasting tools
  • On24 live Webcasting production
  • ANGEL Learning Systems ANGEL learning and content management system
  • Click2Learn Ingenium Learning Management System
  • University of Maryland University College WebTycho online classroom system

Professional and Academic Affiliations

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Maryland Distance Learning Association
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators


About this page

This electronic portfolio as been created in satisfaction of a final requirement for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Master of Distance Education (MDE).

For information about the MDE program, its objectives, content, and requirements, visit the MDE program Web page. For general information, visit UMUC on the Web...

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