IP&T Alumnus to be Honored with Award
Richard Culatta is among BYU’s distinguished alumni for 2013
As a graduate student IP&T alumnus Richard Culatta was influential in redesigning the McKay School’s faculty technology support program. Today Culatta is Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. For his work prior to and in his current position at the Department of Education, he has been selected to be one of BYU’s Honored Alumni for 2013 and will deliver his guest lecture on October 10. At this time he will present “Five Opportunities to Change the World through Learning.”
Culatta’s teenage years prepared him for his professional career. Barbara Culatta, his mother, a professor in the Department of Communication Disorders, said she can recognize how the “qualities that he possessed then are now being applied to bigger systems-level decisions and innovations directed toward increasing the quality of education.” Richard Culatta was chief technology officer of the education facilities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and then education policy advisor for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) before eventually progressing to his current position. Barbara Culatta said, “Richard has always been a creative thinker with an incredible amount of energy and dedication to whatever he would take on.”
While at BYU Richard Culatta was an employee of what is now known as the Technology Education Computing (TEC) Lab. He “helped lay the groundwork for the communication and technology procedures the McKay School uses today,” said Roxanna Johnson, McKay School public relations administrator. “As a student and TEC Lab employee, his optimism and enthusiasm for what could be [has] motivated us all.”
After he graduated Culatta returned on multiple occasions to the McKay School to share his ideas and experiences, inviting some of the faculty to voice ideas related to his work. “He has never wavered from his commitment to deliver quality educational experiences to students of all ages and circumstances,” said Al Merkley, assistant dean of the McKay School.
Culatta is a leader in and advocate for educational innovation. His work focuses on open education, personalized learning, and learning games. “He is passionate about using the resources that technology affords to help move forward educational opportunities for students and [educators] that will benefit learners of any age,” Merkley said.
Hear Richard Culatta speak Thursday, October 10 at 11 a.m. in 115 MCKB.