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Mark Hart will join the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy on May 18 as director of digital learning, Dean Judith Kelley announced today.

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Kelley said, “The Sanford School is fortunate to bring Mark aboard at this important juncture in digital learning in our world. This strategic new position is essential to significantly broaden and reimagine our professional offerings to equip students for the future of public policy and ensure the highest quality of our programs.”

Hart joins Sanford from the University of Florida, where he served as the director of online learning for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, along with directing the social and behavioral science master’s and doctoral programs. In this role, Hart managed a program with two master’s degrees and over 10 certificate programs, including the online Masters of Public Health (MPH) program named Best Colleges #1 online MPH in America in 2018 and 2020. 

In leading online efforts at UF, Hart worked with faculty collectively, and individually, to implement best practices for online courses, blended-hybrid courses, along with better ways to use technology in the classroom. Over the last five years, through UF’s Blended Learning Taskforce, the College of Public Health shifted more than 80 courses to a flipped model, offering training and use of a newly created recording studio to help faculty create professional offerings in an online format while opening more opportunities in the classroom for discussion and application.  

Hart’s research focused on the cross-section of technology and public health, with studies and publications centered on novel uses of social media data mining to track and monitor the community’s health and mobile app evaluations, along with studies with the College of Education which centered on how to build online communities for faculty and students. In addition to research, Hart worked with UF Health to create efforts to better connect the hospitals’ resources with the community through text messaging campaigns and virtual doctors and telehealth. 

“I am humbled by this opportunity. I look forward to working with Dean Kelley and the school to build a great online program to best serve the work force and Duke community,” Hart said.

Hart has more than 20 years of education experience, serving as a K-12 teacher and an assistant principal before starting in online higher education in 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Florida’s top-ranked doctoral program in curriculum and instruction - educational technology, along with holding degrees from Loyola College in the social sciences and Indiana University for education. Hart comes to North Carolina with his wife Amy and three sons.