Michele J. Korf brings four decades of experience as an award-winning leader in educational media production with a focus on strategic development for new markets and higher education. The formation of MKA brings together her professional career in both educational media production and higher education. She has worked in publishing and with a range of media companies, higher education at the system level, and in public television as an executive producer and head of the leading educational programming division within the public broadcasting system.
As Senior Executive for Educational Media for the WGBH Educational Foundation, the Boston-based public television station and flagship producing station for PBS, she was responsible for strategic development in education across all media. Over a two decade period as Executive Producer and Executive Director of the Educational Programming and Outreach Department, she established and grew WGBH educational programming to a $36 million national production entity responsible for the station's programming and activities in education at the K-12 and college levels, and in adult continuing and professional education. Her work drew on collaborations with leading educators, companies and organizations nationwide. It focused on harnessing television and new media for development of curriculum-based resources to support distance education at the college level and beyond, teaching tools for the K-12 classroom, resources for teacher training and professional development, and strategic direction in education for the public broadcasting service overall. Early on she brought WGBH to a leadership position in broadcast-based college courses nationwide and later created the first standards-based nationwide educational media service for schools.
As Executive Director for Distance Learning and Outreach for The University of Alabama System for nearly a decade, she was responsible for new initiatives, distance learning models, and a broad range of cross-institutional collaborations at system, state and national levels. She served on the task force that launched a statewide virtual high school in Alabama and on numerous academic boards. Previous to these positions, she was a strategic planner for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, Time-Life Media, and The McGraw-Hill Companies, focusing on educational programming development and entry into new media markets. She also worked for McGraw-Hill as Director of Telecourse Research and Development, for WNET to launch a higher education office, and in cable television in front and behind the camera.
Ms. Korf is the recipient of many programming and educational awards for her work, including the Emmy, CINE Golden Eagle, Columbus International Award, and other top national and international awards for educational programming and digital media initiatives. She has served as PI and Co-PI on a range of federally funded projects, on numerous curriculum boards, distance learning task forces at state and national levels, and many strategic planning boards. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University and holds a M.A. in teaching and curriculum from Columbia University Teachers College.
Arthur R. Smith is a nationally recognized digital media production expert specializing in educational content. His background includes 15 years leading digital projects for WGBH, the flagship station in the PBS system, with award-winning projects spanning K-12, adult education and lifelong learning, professional development, and online education. His work includes nationally broadcast course series and websites, digital components of major national documentary series with digital outreach, and he was responsible for the first DVD to be fully accessible for blind and low-vision users.
Mr. Smith has led many grant-funded projects including NSF-supported work to promote STEM education and careers, train adjunct faculty, and introduce problem-based case learning pedagogy in technician education. He was a member of the leadership team for a large-scale grant to improve the quality of academics in Afterschool, a program of the US Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program; the resulting video-rich website is the cornerstone of a national training program used in hundreds of after school programs. Working in partnership with organizations such as Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the American College of Medical Genetics, he produced patient education websites and professional development training for a range of medical topics, including healthy sleep, epilepsy and genomic medicine. Before joining WGBH, he directed research, editorial and technology activities for OPERA America, overseeing 30 publications a year and transitioning member information services to the web. For nine years he was a regular contributor to the Washington Post, also serving on the newsroom staff as news researcher and database editor. He also worked for the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress in research and technology areas. In addition to his work with MKA on digital education strategy and training, he is lead digital producer for VOX Television and consults for Vocal Arts DC on digital and editorial outreach, and WGBH on media for teaching and learning. He graduated from Washington College where he received the Clarke-Porter Medal and writes a personal blog on mostly arts and culture topics at afewreasonablewords.com.
Judith Stoia is an award-winning Boston and New York media veteran with a background in journalism, drama, children’s programming and a range of educational media. Ms. Stoia’s work most often focuses on education: she covered education in Boston for WGBH radio and television, produced documentaries and magazine segments on the city’s schools and teachers, and authored The Hardest Lesson, which won the Christopher Medal for non-fiction. She spearheaded a major literacy initiative in the rural South, featuring a media-rich preschool literacy curriculum, and was Executive Producer of an extensive video library for Washington D.C. featuring techniques of the district’s most highly effective teachers. She was also Executive Producer of a professional development video series for Macmillan Publishing.
Ms. Stoia also has a background in commercial broadcasting at Boston’s ABC affiliate where she created a groundbreaking nightly magazine series and, as Executive Producer, oversaw documentaries, presidential debates, a children’s series and after school specials for ABC, winning a Peabody Award for her documentary on a year inside a MA high school. She returned to WGBH as Executive Producer for The AIDS Quarterly with Peter Jennings after a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and went on to produce drama for PBS and ABC, local and national documentaries, a comedy series, public affairs specials, election night coverage and a highly acclaimed national PBS children’s series, Between the Lions. The program won ten national Emmys, Parents Choice Awards, the top prize in the International Film and Television Festival, a rare endorsement from the National Educational Association and twice was named Best Children’s Program by the Television Critics Association. Ms. Stoia also has won Gabriels, Cine Golden Eagles, New York Film Festival and Robert F. Kennedy awards. In addition to her production training and mentoring work for MKA, she led a seminar on education at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, taught television production at Charles University in the Czech Republic, and in Republic of Georgia, and teaches a regular weeklong video production seminar at the University of Georgia.
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