Quirk awarded 2021 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service

Quirk awarded 2021 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service

A longtime North Dakota University System Core Technology Services employee was recently recognized as being one of the state’s dedicated public sector workers making a positive difference.

Director of Enterprise Services – Applications Corey Quirk received the Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology during the public award ceremony in early September. Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford presented the awards during an in-person and virtual ceremony livestreamed from the Capitol during State Team Member Recognition Month.

The award recognized Quirk for his work enabling students to take multiple courses from multiple NDUS institutions all in the same online space, setting the stage to effectively manage instructional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Quirk said he was surprised and honored by the award. He noted that he had been under the impression initially that he was a finalist for the award, not necessarily the winner.

“I didn’t have much time to process, I was just so impressed of all the other award winners and their accomplishments,” he said. “Then during the presentation, I learned that the winners had to say a few words and was not prepared for that. So many people to mention and thank – that was the most stressful part!

“I am extremely honored to be receiving such a prestigious award. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition we – CTS and the campuses – have received for our work because I am pretty sure that every other nominee for this award was as capable if not more, of winning this award,” Quirk added. “We have extremely dedicated, hardworking, people that truly care about the work we do. It is a pleasure working with everyone and the challenges they bring to table. We have a great team and excited to see where we go from here!”

Chancellor Mark Hagerott recognized Quirk for his efforts in leading the implementation of Blackboard Learn as the systemwide learning management system.

“The success of this project was proven in the spring of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced more than 11,000 face-to-face classes to pivot to online and alternative delivery formats. Blackboard Learn’s resiliency was critical in supporting this massive effort during an uncertain time,” Hagerott said. “Corey has done a tremendous job in positioning both the state and the NDUS for success in higher education and I want to extend my gratitude to him and the entire NDUS team. Their effort exemplifies the great work done every day by the employees of the NDUS.”

The formal nomination noted that Quirk’s “enthusiastic leadership championed all 11 NDUS institutions to a single instance of Blackboard (Bb) Learn SaaS. By providing a single learning management system for all students, the project created efficiencies and opportunity for collaboration for the institutions, streamlined support, and set the stage to effectively manage institutions’ instructional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this new Bb instance, students can take multiple courses from multiple NDUS institutions all in the same online space. Only one other state in the country (Oklahoma) has moved all its institutions onto a single instance of Bb and they used the North Dakota experience as a model in that effort. Corey continues to build on the success of Bb to deliver enhancements for students and faculty to best take advantage of this centralized system. He led the delivery of Analytics for Learn providing Administrators and faculty the ability to optimize the learning environment and empower students through data and analytics previously unavailable. Corey currently leads the next phase of Bb by implementing Bb Ultra Base Navigation that will update and modernize Bb’s interface for a simpler, more intuitive, and mobile-friendly user experience for students and instructors.”

Burgum said that individuals like Quirk helped ensure that North Dakotans continued to receive excellent service in new and innovative ways.

“The more than 900 nominations we received this year is a testament to team members’ exceptional work and a Governor’s Awards record,” Burgum said. “We are deeply grateful for these individuals, their teams and their tireless dedication to the state of North Dakota and its citizens.”