The emTech Partners
The Fred J. Vescolani Award for Technology Leadership
Dr. Vescolani was a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and served a term as its President. He also served as a collaborator in the establishment of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Education with his former graduate student and long-time friend, Dr. Ernesto Mannino. Dr. Vescolani served as a senior consultant for higher education to the Office of Overseas Schools until his death in 1992.
Throughout his career, Dr. Vescolani mentored many educators, but he has a particular interest in the American Overseas Schools and the educators employed in them. Professional development for overseas teachers was one of his great passions. He worked non-stop to arrange and support the delivery of graduate classes at international school locations, the funding of assistantships for teachers from overseas schools, and professional development conferences and resources.
Dr. Vescolani was also an outstanding administrator. He 'managed by wandering around' long before the Peters book was written! He spent his time getting to know everyone in the organization; no one in any position was beyond his scope of interest. As a result, he was very astute at initiating teamwork, again long before it became a mantra of organizational management classes.
In 1976, in his capacity as Dean of Education, he brought together three people who would later become emTech Consulting: Drs. George E. Marsh II, Barrie Jo Price, and Anna C. McFadden. As he so often did, he got to know them individually and then arranged opportunities for collaborative work, stating prophetically that they would make a good team. Price and Marsh, young faculty members, and McFadden, then a graduate student, began to work with Dr. Vescolani on various projects for American Overseas schools. As Marsh was recently quoted as saying, "That was when Barrie Jo was a brunette, I had hair, and Anna had just gotten her driver's license!". Throughout the late '70's, the trio worked on federally funded grants (some as large as a million dollars a year) and collectively published textbooks and articles in special education. In 1979, Dr. Vescolani sent Marsh and Price to South America to visit schools to consult on services for special needs students, under the supervision of The Office of Overseas Schools, U. S. Department of State. Through this association with The Office of Overseas Schools, Price and Marsh began their work as consultants for American-Overseas Schools, with McFadden joining them in international work in 1981.
In 1978 Price and Marsh were working on a project in San Jose, California and encountered their first microcomputer. They convinced Dr. Vescolani to buy them some of the Apple computers. His only admonition was, "Find something useful to do with the things, especially in terms of helping overseas schools!"
From that point forward, Dr. Vescolani supported the trio in their efforts for innovation with technology. Their collaboration with Vescolani produced many grants and exciting projects, such as the first comprehensive interactive high schools courses that used video tapes in Sony Betamax format, Apple computers (48K), and a CAVRI card to control the two media. This project, funded by The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, resulted in complete, media-delivered classes in algebra, physics, trigonometry, chemistry, and calculus for schools unable then (1979-1984) to hire certified teachers in these fields. In 1980, at the urging of Dr. Vescolani, Drs. Price, Marsh and McFadden formed emTech Consulting. The partnership's name, emerging technology, reflected the belief that technology was going to continue to change and evolve and not be limited just to computers.
Although Dr. Vescolani died before actually seeing the huge advances in technology on the Internet and the email/WWW explosion, he certainly predicted it with his description of the use of technology in schools as a "window on the world."
In 2000, their 20th anniversary of the official formation of emTech, the emTech partners decided to honor his vision and dedication about using innovation for a purpose, not to mention his belief in and support of them. A handful of pioneers in the use of technology in overseas schools were honored throughout the year 2000. They were:
These people have helped organize conferences, established ground breaking projects, nurtured novice technology users into experts, ‘fixed things’, explained things, and, in general, positively impacted the careers of those around them and created wonderful learning environments for students in international schools. In doing so, they have reflected the values so passionately exhibited by Dr. Vescolani.
When asked how he could be repaid for his assistance, Dr. Vescolani always said, "Pass it on." Therefore, this award was established not only to reward technical excellence and professionalism but also the ability to 'pass it on' -- to share.
The partners of emTech Consulting wanted to acknowledge the privilege
of working with Dr. Vescolani, their gratitude to him for his support,
and to 'pass it on.' They are pleased to continue to add to the list of
Fred J. Vescolani Technology Leadership Award Winners.