Apereo Dolphin Awards and Fellowships

Apereo Dolphin Awards and Fellowships

Each year, the Apereo Foundation celebrates the many volunteer efforts, innovations, and success stories of our open source community. In 2022, the Apereo Foundation celebrated esteemed founding executive director emeritus Ian Dolphin at Open Apereo 2022 by naming the Apereo Awards in his honor.

The four categories for the Apereo Awards are the following:

Apereo Fellows: These awards recognize exceptional service and contributions by individuals to the Apereo open source community. From development to project management to other acts of service and support, Apereo Fellows make important contributions to the projects within the foundation.

Teaching and Learning: These awards recognize innovation in teaching and learning using open source software, promoting excellent pedagogy, sharing new practices in teaching, and encouraging more faculty involvement in software evolution.

Enterprise Solutions: This is a new award that seeks to recognize academic institutions, project teams, or others in the development, deployment, and/or implementation of open source software that supports the operation of higher education.

Innovation, Advocacy, and Networking, i.e., "The IAN": This is a new, special honor to recognize an individual champion or leader, although this award can go to an organization as well. The recipient of this award promotes, propels, and transforms open source initiatives to meet the diverse and evolving needs of higher education.


Apereo Dolphin Fellows for 2022

Alan Regan, Pepperdine University

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Alan’s commitment to Apereo and Sakai over the past ten years, from his work advocating for teachers and learners through user-driven development initiatives to his broader foundation-wide contributions supporting the annual Open Apereo Conference. Thank you, Alan, for your commitment to Apereo, Sakai, open source software, and higher education.

Carlos Ribalta, Universitat Politècnica de València

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Carlos’ commitment to Apereo and the Opencast project, from his technical contributions with the new Paella player to his collaboration across the community to ensure accessibility and usability are top of mind in design and development. Thank you, Carlos!

Christopher Beach, Unicon, Inc.

The Apereo Board was impressed with Christopher’s commitment to Apereo, open source software, and community through his advocacy of OpenEQUELLA, technical contributions to uPortal, and leadership as a steering committee member, committer, and release manager. Thank you, Christopher!

Julianne Morgan, University of Dayton

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Julianne’s commitment to Apereo and Sakai through years of--often behind-the-scenes--contributions helping to define and drive improvements in Sakai. Julianne’s involvement with the Sakai marketing team, outreach at the Educause ELI conference, and participation with SakaiCon were just a few of her contributions listed in the fellow nomination. Thank you, Julianne!


Apereo Dolphin Awardees For 2022

Tobias Thelen, Universität Osnabrück

Tobias Thelen has been awarded the Dolphin Award for Teaching and Learning.

This Dolphin Award recognizes innovation in teaching and learning using open source software, promoting excellent pedagogy, sharing new practices in education, and encouraging more faculty involvement in software evolution.

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Tobias’ continued efforts to improve educational technology in teaching and learning over the last ten years. Innovative flipped classrooms and his new "Open Source Software Development" course inspired students and colleagues to explore new modes of education and the software to deliver it. On a technical note, the Board congratulates Tobias on his success in integrating open source tools for building online courses directly into the University's learning management system, an approach now used by several other universities. Congratulations Tobias and thank you!


Jim Helwig, University of Wisconsin

Jim Helwig has been awarded the inaugural Dolphin Award for Innovation, Advocacy, and Networking, "The IAN."

The IAN recognizes creative and visionary community members who promote and propel open source initiatives to meet higher education's diverse and evolving needs. 

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Jim’s record of leadership in the Apereo community across several projects and initiatives. A few examples of Jim's service to the community include his roles as a member of the Apereo and Jasig Boards, holding multiple roles with the uPortal Project including chairing the uPortal Steering Committee and serving on the Apereo Financial Committee. Thank you Jim, Apereo appreciates all you have done and continue to do for the Foundation!



Anyone may nominate candidates for an Apereo Dolphin Award. Nominees for Apereo Fellows, Teaching & Learning, and Enterprise Solutions must incorporate at least one Apereo project or community in the innovation or contribution. While Apereo affiliation for the Innovation, Advocacy, and Networking, "The IAN" award is preferred, anyone that has made outstanding strides for open source in higher education is eligible. All nominees must not have previously won a past Apereo Award in the last three years.

About the Awards:

Recipients of an Apereo Award will receive:

  • A certificate of recognition presented during the program ceremony at Open Apereo.
  • A special "swag bag" related to the award.
  • A cash award of US $599.00 (Non-US based recipients will be subject to Federal US tax withholding of 30% unless all requirements are met, according to our Vendor Policies page. Contact accounting[at]apereo[dot]org with any questions.)
  • Registration to the following year’s Open Apereo conference.
  • Up to US $1,500 toward Apereo-related conferences and event travel expenses, such as:
    • Travel and accommodation for the following year's Open Apereo Conference (airfare/baggage, taxi/bus/train/mileage, hotel, per diems for meals, visa fees).
    • Registration fees, travel, and accommodations to other, pre-approved, Apereo events (airfare/baggage, taxi/bus/train/mileage, hotel, per diems for meals, visa fees).


If an award recipient has not accepted their award within 6 months of written notification, the award expires. All funds must be used within eighteen months from the date of the award.


The Apereo Awards would not be possible without the time, effort, and passion of our Apereo community members. We want to thank Anthony Whyte for his many years of service to the Apereo Fellows program and prior Apereo and Sakai Fellows for their Apereo Fellows committee service. We want to thank the many members of the Apereo Teaching and Learning Committee for their dedication to evaluating Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS) applications and promoting teaching and learning success throughout our member institutions, with special recognition to ATLAS Leadership over the years.

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