Media Grid News

Immersive Education co-Chair Dr. John Carfora receives Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)


WASHINGTON, D.C - November 2007 - Immersive Education co-Chair Dr. John Carfora this week received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) for his “sustained and distinctive contributions to the organization.” The award was presented to Carfora at NCURA’s 49th Annual Meeting during a special recognition luncheon on November 5. NCURA advances the field of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experience, and by fostering a professional, collegial, and respected community.

Dr. Carfora is Director of Sponsored Research at Amherst College, Chair of the Commission on International Research Administration, and co-Chair of the Immersive Education Technology Working Group (IETG; Carfora currently serves as Chair of the NCURA International Commission and the International Neighborhood Committee. He has presented at Annual National and Regional Meetings on a consistent basis, served on the NCURA Board of Directors, and participated as faculty for NCURA satellite broadcasts. He also served as Vice Chair of the Professional Development Committee and volunteered as a Leadership Development Institute (LDI) Advisor.

Dr. Carfora directs Immersive Education's best practices for pedagogy, assessment, and learning outcomes. Immersive Education is an award-winning learning platform that combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when attending a class or training session in person isn't possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems, Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and enrich the Immersive Education experience.

The Immersive Education initiative is an international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems. For details visit

About the Media Grid
The Media Grid is a public utility for digital media. Based on new and emerging distributed computational grid technologies, the Media Grid builds upon existing Internet and Web standards to create a unique network optimized for digital media delivery, storage, and processing. As an on-demand public computing utility, a range of software programs and Web sites can use the Media Grid for delivery and storage of rich media content, media processing, and computing power. The Media Grid is an open and extensible platform that enables a wide range of applications not possible with the traditional Internet alone, including: Massive Media on Demand (MMoD); Interactive digital cinema on demand; Immersive Education and distance learning; Truly immersive multiplayer games and Virtual Reality (VR); Hollywood movie and film rendering, special effects, and composition; Real-time rendering of high resolution graphics; Real-time visualization of complex weather patterns; Real-time protein modeling and drug design; Telepresence, telemedicine, and telesurgery; Vehicle and aircraft design and simulation; Visualization of scientific and medical data.

The Grid Institute leads the design and development of the global Media Grid through the open standards organization in collaboration with industry, academia, and governments from around the world.

To learn more about the Media Grid and Immersive Education visit and