Chris Sax is a nationally recognized expert in academic innovation and online education. She has 35+ years of experience in higher education leadership and teaching and scientific research. She has taught online and face-to-face classes at the graduate and undergraduate level, and she has robust record of scholarly publications and presentations.

Professional Narrative

Dr. Sax holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond VA, with Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi honors. She completed genetic counseling clinical training as a doctoral student. She holds a B.S. in Microbiology with High Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester, in Rochester NY.

Chris has served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at MUIH since 2016. Prior to MUIH, she was the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Outreach and Innovation at Shippensburg University (PA). She served at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC, now UMGC) as the Interim Senior Associate Dean, Assistant Dean of Social, Behavioral, Natural, and Mathematical Sciences, and Academic Director of Natural Sciences. She was the co-founding Director of the Quality Matters (QM) Program which created a nationally recognized framework and process for the quality assurance of online courses, and she co-founded the Collective for Academic Innovation and Transformation (CAIT) and the Southcentral Pennsylvania Education Collaborative (SPEC). Chris was a research scientist at the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

She served as a faculty member at UMUC; University of Maryland Baltimore County; United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Foundation for the Advancement of Education in the Sciences (FAES); and Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. Science literacy for the general public is an area of interest for Chris and she is a frequent volunteer judge for K-12 science fairs. She served on the Editorial Board of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, the Science Education Resources Working Group of the NIH Office of Science Education, and the joint Curriculum Review Panel of the National Academy of Sciences and Smithsonian Institution.

She serves as an accreditation reviewer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For the University Professional and Continuing Education Associate, she served as an officer, Board of Directors member, regional cabinet chair, regional council chair and secretary, and chaired the Diversity & Inclusive Excellence Committee. Dr. Sax served as Vice President of the Maryland Distance Learning Association.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Dr. Sax’s research and scholarly activities focus on the areas of academic innovation; online teaching, learning, and quality assurance; faculty development; higher education leadership and planning; STEM education; and molecular biology, gene expression, and transcriptional regulation. Her record includes more than 50 scholarly and research publications, and more than 200 conference, symposia, seminar, workshop, and training presentations on the national level, including the following examples.

DEI THEME: Striving for Inclusive Excellence: A Personal Journey. Bajor, W., Sax, C., Dennis, M., John, S., Mayol, A.R. American Journal of Management, Vol. 20, Issue 4, 54-65, 2020.

TEACHING/CURRICULUM THEME: Framework for Graduate University-Wide Outcomes. Falabella, D., Sax, C., Snow, J., Warner, K., Middle States Commission on Higher Education Annual conference. 2019.

LEADERSHIP THEME: Becoming a Manager with Influence in Online Education: Behaviors to Increase Your Impact. Cini, M., Sax, C.M. Distance Education Report, vol 16 no 4, Feb 15, 2012.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THEME: Committee Work as Intentional Professional Development and Learning. Sax, C., Nardone, P. Chief Learning Office. April, 2021.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY THEME: Transketolase Gene Expression in the Cornea is Influenced by Environmental Factors and Developmentally Controlled Events. Sax, C.M., Kays, W.T., Salamon, C., Chervenak, M.M., Xu, Y.S., Piatigorsky, J. Cornea 19:833-841, 2000.


Genetics, molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, human biology, and general biology.

Education Courses: Principles of education, science education, curriculum design, and student learning assessment. Online course design, quality assurance, teaching, and learning.

Leadership Courses: leadership, strategic planning, institutional assessment, accreditation, professional development, and faculty development.


Julius M. Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (2021)

Mid-Atlantic Region Extraordinary Leadership and Service Award, University Professional and Continuing Association (2020)

Women of Influence Award, Central Pennsylvania Business Journal (2016)

Faculty and Staff Development Award, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (2015)

Partnership Award, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (2014)

Program Development Award, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (2013, 2012, 2009, 2000)

Conference Award, University Professional and Continuing Education Association (2005)

Outstanding Work Award, Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET, 2005)

21st Century Best Practice Award, United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA, 2005)

Program of the Year Award, Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA, 2005)

Distance Educator of the Year Award, Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA, 2004)

Personal Narrative

Chris enjoys hiking and spending time in nature, playing with her dog Grady, reading spy novels, and visiting the Grand Tetons mountains in Wyoming.

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