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Press Release

ATD Recognizes Karl Kapp With Its Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award

Published Thu May 23 2019


(Washington D.C.), May 21, 2019 – During its 2019 International Conference & Exposition held in Washington, D.C., the Association for Talent Development (ATD) recognized organizations and individuals for their excellence and contributions across the talent development field. The ATD Awards ceremony was held on May 20.

The Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award is presented in recognition of an exceptional contribution that has had sustained impact on one or more aspects of the talent development field.


This year’s winner of the award is Karl Kapp, graduate professor of instructional technology and director of the Institute for Interactive Technologies at Bloomsburg University.

Kapp, who’s also a consultant, author, entrepreneur (and more), wears yet one more hat—that of lifelong learner. A major source of that learning is from his students, to whom he credits his knowledge of blogging. “I had a student, Waleed Jameel, who introduced me to blogging before anyone was professionally blogging. … He carefully explained it to me, and I carefully and politely listened.” Kapp continues, “I then promptly forgot about blogging for a few years. Then, as other learning professionals began blogging, I saw the value … and remembered what Waleed had told me.” Today, Kapp Notes consistently appears on lists of the top L&D blogs.

“When I first started writing and speaking about gamification for talent development,” explains Kapp, “no one knew what it was. … I had to spend a great deal of time explaining the concept—using parts of games for learning but not an entire game. The primary question early on was, ‘What is this thing called gamification’?”

In addition to advancing gamification in the talent development sphere, he shares his game-based learning concepts with Cub Scout troops, middle school students, and high school teachers. Kapp also serves as a team member on a National Institutes of Health project creating a gamified learning system to help childcare workers in Maine better identify signs of child abuse.

Kapp’s work extends well beyond the boundaries of the United States. “People really are the same everywhere,” he explains. “I find internationally that companies and leaders tend to focus on the human aspects of work rather than just the financial or productivity outcomes.”


A complete list of award winners can be found on the ATD website.

About ATD

The Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly ASTD, is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. These professionals help others achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports the work of professionals locally across 100 chapters, international strategic partners, and global member networks.

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