In December, the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences (OILS) program was proud to see eight students graduate from the program. One of these students was Austin Megli who received his doctorate degree and was hooded by distinguished professor, Dr. Charlotte “Lani” Gunawardena.
Megli's research focused on distance education and eLearning. He graduated with his dissertation, entitled "Social presence as a predictor of social construction of knowledge in online discussion forums in asynchronous online higher education courses.”
“I knew I wanted to focus on distance education and eLearning when I started, but I didn’t realize just how vast the field was until I enrolled in OILS 365 Research in Online Education with Dr. Gunawardena,” said Megli.
Megli said that he chose the Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences (OILS) program because it provided him with the unique opportunity to focus on research related to distance education.
“The faculty members of the program were incredibly supportive and knowledgeable, and their mentorship and guidance were crucial to my success in the program,” Said Megli.
Since earning his degree, Megli has secured teaching positions that focus on teaching online, and he credits the OILS degree with providing him with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance his career.
For students considering the OILS program, Megli advises them to carefully consider their research interests and make sure they align with the program's offerings. He encourages them to take advantage of the expertise of the faculty members and seek out opportunities for mentorship and collaboration.
“The faculty are very supportive of helping students to nurture their own research interests and they helped me to leverage opportunities to travel and present my research at conferences across the globe.”
Megli is currently working at Sandia National Laboratories as a Principal Agreement Specialist and is teaching in the business program at New Mexico State University.