ACHE South Members Shine at the International Conference

A couple of our very own ACHE South members received well deserved honors during the ACHE International Conference in New Orleans this past October.

Rick Osborn of Eastern Tennessee State University received the most prestigious and coveted award given by the organization: The Leadership Award. Here is a bit of Rick’s background:

Dr. Rick Osborn is Dean of the School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach at East Tennessee State University, where he has worked for more than 25 years. A well-known leader in continuing education and lifelong learning, he has served as President for both the Association for Continuing Higher Education (2008-09) and the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education (1995- 96) (TACHE). Along the way he was elected Chair of ACHE Region VII, now ACHE South. Currently, he is the Executive Secretary/Treasurer for TACHE, a position he’s held for five years. Osborn continues to assist with the ACHE Annual Conference, most recently co-chairing the Call for Proposals Committee for this conference. He is married to Kathy, has three sons, two grandchildren, and two more on the way. Osborn completed his PhD at the University of Iowa and his master’s and bachelor’s at Western Illinois University.

After Dr. Susan Elkins won the Leadership Award last year in St. Louis, Missouri, she continued her winning streak! Dr. Elkins, Alice Taylor-Colbert, and their team at Palmetto College in South Carolina won the award for Credit Programming. Here is their story:

The University of South Carolina established Palmetto College to bring together the four regional campuses (USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter and USC Union), Extended University, and newly created online degree completion programs offered by all four of the senior institutions: USC Columbia, USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate. Through fourteen accessible, affordable, and flexible online bachelor’s degree completion programs of Palmetto College, citizens can achieve their dream of a college education. Since its inception in fall 2013, Palmetto College has had more than 1500 students enrolled and more than 500 graduates. The dream of USC President Harris Pastides to serve the higher education needs of South Carolina citizens has been realized by a unique and highly successful collaborative venture implemented by USC Palmetto College Chancellor Susan Elkins. The innovative approach using the latest in technology and instructional design theory appealed to the state legislature so much that it provides $5 million dollars in annual recurring funding. The dream that became reality continues to touch the lives of students who can now achieve their dream of a high quality USC degree.

Please join us in congratulating Rick and Susan and her team!

Let’s Shine the Spotlight on the South

Did you know that ACHE South members have won the most prestigious award given by the organization two years in a row? Susan Elkins won the Leadership Award in 2015 and Rick Osborn won in 2016! ACHE South has always been well represented at International Conferences. This past year, Susan continued her winning streak when her and her team at Palmetto College were presented with the Credit Programming award.

Now, we need your help to continue to shine at next year’s conference in Portland, Oregon! There are a couple ways you can get involved:

  • Submit a nomination for a program. Even if your program has been around for a while, we still want to recognize your hard work and innovation.
  • Submit a nomination for a colleague. Let the world know how well your fellow colleagues are doing. Nominate those who are new to the profession for a Rising Star award or honor a life-long career in education for the Leadership or Meritorious Service award.
  • Join the Awards Committee. Reviewing award nominations is a great way to get involved with the association. Also, you have the added perk of learning what your colleagues are up to and maybe even get some ideas that you can bring home to your own institution.

If you are interested in submitting an award nomination for 2017 or viewing past winners, visit our website:

Or, if you would like to join the Awards Committee, send an e-mail to the Awards Committee Chair, Lisa Schmidt at or call her at (270) 809-2159. She would be happy to answer all of your ACHE award questions!