Alicia Simmons Appointed to State Commission on Digital Learning

Alicia Simmons Appointed to State Commission on Digital Learning


Alicia Simmons, JSU’s vice president for Research, Planning and Collaboration, has been appointed to the Digital Learning Study Commission by Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh. She will represent Alabama’s four-year institutions on the board, alongside other education and government leaders from throughout the state.

Established by a joint resolution of the Alabama Legislature in September 2015, the Digital Learning Study Commission is focused on identifying effective and sustainable ways of providing technology supported learning in PreK-20 classrooms – including infrastructure, digital content, devices, educator training and professional development, and funding.

Simmons brings nearly 30 years of experience in grant funding to the commission. A JSU alumna, she earned a B.S. in sociology with minors in social work and gerontology in 1985. She went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in social work from, respectively, the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia.

After graduate school, Simmons moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where she directed more than $3 million in annual federal contracts as director of grants management at LCG, Inc. in Arlington, Va. She managed contracts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

Simmons returned home to JSU in 2005 and established the university’s sponsored research program. Under her leadership, the Division for Research, Planning and Collaboration has secured millions of dollars in federal grant funding to enrich and support the campus and local communities – including more than $15 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to bring technology to high-need, rural classrooms though CORE, Collaborative Regional Education, which has established national, state and local partnerships with industry, non-profits and K-20 education partners across the U.S.

The Digital Learning Study Commission will report its findings and any proposed legislation to Rep. Hubbard and Sen. Marsh during the 2016 legislative session.