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Internet2 Honors Late James Werle With 2019 Richard Rose Award

Posted on Feb 28, 2019 by Sara Aly
Tags: 2019 Internet2 Global Summit, Community Anchor Program, Frontpage News, Richard Rose Award

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2019 –  Internet2 announced that the late James Werle, former executive director of the Community Anchor Program, is this year's winner of the Richard Rose Award. Werle’s family will accept the award on his behalf at the 2019 Internet2 Global Summit taking place in Washington, D.C. from March 5-8.  

The award honors educators or technologists who have made demonstrable impacts on the formal and informal education community by extending advanced networking, content, and services to community anchor institutions nationwide. Werle was committed to education and keen on working collaboratively with stakeholders to promote research and education in the United States.

"James embodied the true spirit of Internet2. He worked tirelessly over many years to help schools and libraries understand the benefits of advanced technologies and how they can be used to help improve teaching and learning. He was committed to serving the education community and he is a well-deserving recipient of this award," said John Morabito, vice president of external relations for Internet2.  

Most recently, Werle served as the executive director of the Internet2 Community Anchor Program. His commitment to supporting schools and libraries in their quest for better broadband infrastructure is evident from his work with the Presidential Primary Sources Project. This annual program was developed in partnership with the National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Presidential Libraries, and other presidential and historic sites and museums. It enables classrooms from around the country to connect to each other, presidential historians, and park service rangers in real-time via interactive video conferencing, to learn how various presidential administrations helped shape our nation’s history.

Werle’s interest in integrating teaching, learning, and technology began nearly twenty years ago. As a graduate student and one of the first employees of the Internet2 K20 Initiative, he worked with educators and community leaders, such as Louis Fox, the current President and CEO of CENIC, to further novel approaches in education and technology.  

"James was not just the inspiration and leading light of the Community Anchor Program, he was a kind, gentle, and nurturing mentor to many of his colleagues. He believed deeply in building communities across the diverse participants of the Community Anchor Program, and that the value of these communities would have impacts across the educational spectrum — both through “formal” education, in schools and colleges, and through “informal” education, through libraries, museums, and cultural and scientific organizations," said Fox.

Werle also helped develop the Toward Gigabit Libraries project. Through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the project engaged rural, remote public and tribal libraries across the nation to improve their community broadband services and support stronger advocacy for their libraries' broadband infrastructure needs. Werle had been leading the efforts to roll this successful program out to library communities nationwide.

"James was resolute in his commitment to bring networks and rich digital resources to students, teachers, library patrons — any and all touched by the Community Anchor Program — knowing that that these resources would be transformed in unimaginable ways by these individuals, that advancing knowledge and discovery was possible across many communities, and that by bringing opportunity to those with talent and imagination, especially where opportunity was unevenly distributed, great things would happen. His ability to take the work seriously but to do so in a self-effacing way, with his wry humor and delight in life’s absurdities, drew colleagues and friends to him. He was truly sui generis, one of a kind, and while he will be dearly missed by his colleagues and friends, he will always be remembered fondly," added Fox.

The Rose Award is named in honor of Richard Rose (1947-2007), an early leader in the national Internet2 K20 Initiative, now the Internet2 Community Anchor Program. Rose was executive director of the University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications System and the University System of Maryland Office of Information Technology. He was an indefatigable advocate for extending the Internet2 Network to students at all levels—in both formal and informal education—in the U.S. to broaden and deepen opportunities in learning, scholarship and science. 

The Rose Award is given annually based on criteria such as commitment to the mission and vision of the Internet2 Community Anchor Program, recognized innovation in the community, and leadership and mentoring qualities. Going forward and in recognition of Werle’s contributions to the Community Anchor Program, the Richard Rose Award will be renamed the Rose-Werle Award. 
About Internet2
Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 316 U.S. universities, 60 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 100,000 community anchor institutions, close to 1,000 InCommon participants, and 60 leading corporations working with our community, and 70 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.

Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2's core infrastructure components include the nation's largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Media Contact: Sara Aly
Communications Manager, Internet2