Gale Tenen Spak, PhD, is an associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Education at New Jersey Institute of Technology who has extensive experience in the area of professional workforce development and continuing education programs. Her experience includes managing, developing, marketing, proposal writing, evaluating and implementing programs for professionals who require new education and training to keep their skill sets at the cutting edge.
Spak designs programs that involve collaborations among academe, industry, and government; and utilize, as appropriate, online instruction. Under her leadership, 20 percent or nearly 4,000 NJIT students now enroll in online programs experiencing a quality “virtual classroom®,” which is a term coined by NJIT in the 1980s; and 67,000 employees of more than 600 New Jersey companies have benefited from NJIT-tailored training conducted on company premises.
Before joining NJIT, Dr. Spak was Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Education at New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York, and, during America’s first energy crisis, served as their Director of the Center for Energy Policy and Research. In the later capacity, she managed federally-funded energy information and technology transfer programs in the United States and abroad; developed and implemented study designs and data analysis procedures to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of technology-based information dissemination; and wrote various formal reports printed by U.S. Government and distributed by U.S. Department of Energy to every Governor and State energy official to facilitate energy efficiency information outreach activities. She also developed and provided overall academic management of a master's degree program in Energy Management; a Consolidated Edison Advanced Certificate Program in Energy Management; and a Combined Bachelors/Master's Degree Program in Architectural Technology and Energy Management which emphasized “green” education.
Her recent experiences include providing expert testimony to the New Jersey State Legislature regarding the capacity of NJIT and the sister four-year colleges in New Jersey to rapidly retool professionals for new positions in the 21st century and during an economic downturn. Other experiences include serving as a key strategy lead for the US Department of Labor’s $5.1m grant to North Jersey under the Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative; and as principal investigator for New Jersey’s Financial Services Sector Innovation Partnership Institute.
Her various professional activities and affiliations include serving as an external evaluator of distance learning programs at sister universities for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and on the program committee of Executive Women of New Jersey. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alfred P. Sloan/Virtual University Project; the New Jersey Virtual University Design Team. She writes and widely presents papers on distance learning and continuing education issues, with the most recent example occurring at an international conference on mLearning in Amman, Jordan in April 2008.
Spak earned her doctor of philosophy in political science and her master of science from Yale University after participating in a US National Institutes of Mental Health-sponsored Program of "Advanced Training in Psychology for Political Scientists." She received her bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in political science from Brooklyn College of City University of New York.
Last update: November 3, 2008
Topics: professional workforce development, distance learning, online instruction, continuing education