Below is a little bit about my background and the work I do at Penn State York.
When I tell people my job title, I often get the question, “What do you do exactly?” Well, an instructional designer (ID) usually works with faculty in a resource capacity:
- providing information and resources on best practices in education
- assisting collaboratively in the course design process
- instructing in the effective use of technology in teaching
My time is usually spent in collaborating one-on-one with faculty, developing resources to help faculty inform their teaching practice, conducting workshops, and researching current trends in education.
I often think of IDs as people who carry a tool belt full of ideas and applications for educational endeavors. By talking with faculty about what they would like to do with their classes, IDs can recommend activities and approaches that will help faculty build successful and rewarding courses for instructors and students alike.
I teach college reading courses as well as the occasional ESL course on this campus and sometimes at our local community college as time allows. I love teaching. It is my passion and laboratory! I have been working for the past few years on developing my teaching craft, using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) as the conduit through which I try new approaches, measure impact, and communicate results (positives and flops!) It has been a rich and rewarding journey. After six or so years on the journey, we are building up quite a capacity for SoTL projects among the faculty which just adds to how meaningful this is for me. See some of their recent action research projects here.
Over the last several years specifically, I have been working with people at the University of Bristol (UK), using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to help students strengthen the learning attributes they need to be successful and powerful lifelong learners. In the summer of 2015, I had the great privilege to attend UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center’s Summer Institute for Educators on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Read more about this rich experience! From this I have begun to incorporate SEL and mindfulness practice into my courses and faculty professional development on campus. It has been a very rewarding and meaningful journey!
In 2017, I began working with Dr. Leo Flanagan of the Center for Resilience Advisory, to help improve resilience on our campus. This has been a really wonderful project and we are learning a lot! Many faculty and students are participating in the efforts and it has been very rewarding professionally. You can see what’s happening in the project at this website.
I am a York native, happily returning home after many years away. I served as an instructional designer at Montgomery College (near Washington, DC) and briefly at Towson University before moving back to York and my current position here. I love my job because it gives me access to so many different content areas and teaching situations which I enjoy tremendously. I also enjoy cooking, traveling, and am dedicated to adult literacy and ESL issues.
Institutional Research Certificate (PSU) on-going
MSEd Language Education
Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
MEd Instructional Systems
Pennsylvania State University Great Valley Campus (Malvern, PA)
BA in Geology
University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
Senior year study abroad at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.
Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate General Science 7-12
Immaculata University (Immaculata, PA)
PA Program Specialist in English as a Second Language
I.U. 13 (Lancaster, PA)
AS Occupational Science in Culinary Arts
Johnson and Wales University (Providence, RI)
Mindfulness & Social-Emotional Learning
Summer Teaching Institute to design HDFS 108, The Art and Science of Human Flourishing. Grant funded by Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP). May 15 – 17, 2019 University Park, PA.
Contemplative Practices in Higher Education Summer Session – Contemplative Mind in Society – Smith College, Northampton, MA – August 5 – 10, 2018.
Mindful Educator Essentials – Mindful Schools – mindfulschools.org – May 17 – June 27, 2018.
Mindful Fundamentals – Mindful Schools – mindfulschools.org – August 3 – September 13, 2018.
CARE: Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education – Garrison Institute, Garrison New York July 31 – August 4, 2017
Mindfulness Tools: A 5-Day Intensive in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)– with senior instructors from Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Omega Institute – Summer 2016
Summer Institute for Educators on Social-Emotional Learning – University of California Berkeley – Greater Good Science Center – Summer 2015
Helping Students Become Effective Lifelong Learners using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) –Vital Partnerships– Penn State York – Summer 2013
Muscanell, N. & Shaffer, S.C., Breaking it down and building them up: Helping students develop higher-order discussion skills in an upper-level seminar course. Submitted and accepted for review, June 2019. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education.
Shaffer, S. C. & Smeltzer, J. (Conference Proceedings 2018, July). Embedding Resilience Support into Developmental Math Instruction. Paper presented at the PADE Annual Conference. http://bit.ly/2kSUilO).
Shaffer, S.C., Gill, S., Seidel, A., Schwab, J., Yaure, R., & Jacobson-McConnell, L. (Fall, 2018). Lessons Learned from Using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to Support Student Growth and Success. The Journal of Access, Retention, and Inclusion in Higher Education (1). West Chester University.
Shaffer, S.C. (2017). Building Resilience: Resources in Support of a Multi-Campus Penn State Project. https://sites.psu.edu/resilience
Moore, T. & Shaffer, S. C. (October, 2017). Awakening the learner within: Purposeful prompts and lifelong learning measures in a first-year composition course; Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. https://josotl.indiana.edu/article/view/21899
Santiago-Blay, J.A., Shaffer, S.C., Eshbach, B. ;(2015). SENCERizing a Biology General Education (Gen-Ed) Course; Life: The Excitement of Biology; Vol. 3 Issue 1, p 33-56; Blay Publishers, York, PA; DOI:10.9784/LEB3(1)Santiago-Blay.02 https://blaypublishers.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/leb-31santiago-blay-et-al-pp-33-56-sencerizing.pdf
Shaffer, Suzanne C. M.Ed., M.S.Ed.. “Building Student Capacity for Reflective Thinking.” The Common Good: A SUNY Plattsburgh Journal on Teaching and Learning 3 (2015), http://hdl.handle.net/1951/69782.
Shaffer, S.C., Eshbach, B.E., & Santiago-Blay, J.A.; (Fall 2015). A dual approach to fostering under-prepared student success: Focusing on doing and becoming. InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching; Vol. 10;The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Park University. Parkville, MO. http://insightjournal.park.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/7-A-Dual-Approach-to-Fostering-Under-Prepared-Student-Success-Focusing-on-Doing-and-Becoming.pdf
Shaffer, S. C.; (March 2013) Would they Play? Would they Learn? The Teaching Professor; Vol. 27 Issue 3, p1-6. 2p, Magna Publications, Madison, WI.
Sutton, J. & Shaffer, S.; (2007) Could Communication Be the Next Outsourced Commodity? Fostering Communicative Competencies in a Global World. Teaching Ideas for the Basic Communication Course, Volume 11. Kendall/Hunt Publishers, Dubuque, IA.
Shaffer, S., Lackey, S. P., & Bolling, G; Blogging as a Venue for Nursing Faculty Development; Nursing Education Perspectives (May/June 2006) National League for Nursing. New York.
Professional Development Blog postings http://sites.psu.edu/shafferpsy/blog/
Joint Penn State York – Harrisburg Area Community College student presentation (March 25, 2020) Understanding and Harnessing the Power of Emotions. Penn State York.
Lancaster Learns (February 28, 2020). Study-Reading as a Systematic Approach to Successful College Reading. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
Keuka College student services staff retreat (June 11, 2019). Building Student Resilience. Keuka Park, New York. Presentation materials available here – https://spark.adobe.com/page/fgRDqmFx5uxyS/
Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators (PADE) Annual Conference (April 1-2, 2019). Integrating Reading Skills using the Decoding the Disciplines Framework, Camp Hill, PA.
Lancaster Learns (February 22, 2019). Contemplation’s Key Role in Learning. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
Keuka College faculty development day opening address (January 16, 2019). Building Student Resilience. Keuka Park, New York.
IDTL Show Share Solve Series webinar (November 27, 2018). Mindfulness Practice as a Holistic Approach to Instructional Design with Emily Baxter, Instructor, John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences, Penn State University Park. University Park, PA.
National Association of Developmental Educators (NADE) webinar series (September 26, 2018). Using Mindfulness Practices as a Holistic Approach to Learning.
Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators (PADE) Annual Conference (April 5, 2018). Embedding Resilience Instruction into Developmental Math Instruction with Joan Smeltzer, Penn State York. York, PA.
Lancaster Learns (February 23, 2018). Building Student Resilience: Lessons Learned from a Multi-Campus Project. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
Lancaster Learns (February 23, 2018). Students and Memory –A Four Step Model Fostering Success with Dr. Cora Dzubak Millersville, University. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
Creating Positive Learning Environments with Resiliency & Mindfulness, a 4-hour regional colloquy for faculty sponsored by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence for PSU western campus faculty (January 15, 2018); Penn State Fayette, Beaver, & New Kensington.
Doing & Becoming: Helping Students Succeed with the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) (November 9, 2017). Penn State York Faculty Affairs Research & Creative Accomplishments Colloquy.
Lehigh Valley First Year Seminar presentation (November 10, 2017) Group Support in Building Resilience; Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Lehigh Valley Campus presentation (November 10, 2017) What’s Resilience Got to Do With It? Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Learning Design Summer Camp (July 20, 2017) Connecting with Yourself! Mindfulness Techniques and Self-Care in an Age of Anxiety; Penn State University.
LancasterLearns (February 24, 2017) Coaxing Lifelong Learners from Within: Getting to the Heart of the Matter in Any Course. Co-presenter with Dr. Tara Moore, Instructor of English, Elizabethtown College; Elizabethtown College, PA.
LancasterLearns (February 24, 2017) Stop, Look, and Listen: Exploring Lessons Learned from Mindfulness Practice; Elizabethtown College, PA.
Panelist, Celebrating the Writing in Our Lives Professionally and Personally;The National Day on Writing; October 20, 2016; Penn State York.
Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (September 27 & 28, 2016) Mindfulness Applications in the Higher Ed Classroom. Online via Zoom. State College, PA. http://news.psu.edu/story/427167/2016/09/21/schreyer-institute-offer-online-workshop-mindfulness-higher-education
Penn State Learning Design Community presentation (May 26, 2016) Mindfulness in Higher Education; Online via Adobe Connect. Website at https://sites.psu.edu/selfcare/
Spotlight on Education: Spring Open House and Forum for students and faculty of the Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum Program (April 21, 2016) Teacher Self-Care and Mindfulness; Penn State York; York, PA.
Schreyer Conference: Transformative Teaching and Learning (October 20, 2015); Co-presenter with Fred Haag and Noel Sloboda; Challenges and Possibilities of Assessing Creative Work; Penn State University; State College, PA.
2015 Family Science Association Conference: Using Instructional Activities to Enhance Student Engagement and Higher Order Learning Outcomes (June 15-16, 2015); Co-Presenter: Sukhdeep Gill and Katie Smith; Enhancement of Bloom’s Affective and Cognitive Domains with Mindfulness-based Instruction; St. Augustine, FL.
Learning Design Summer Camp (July 17, 2014); Using self-knowledge and purposeful reflection to encourage positive change in the college years; Penn State University; State College, PA.
Innovations in Faculty Development Symposium (June 3, 2014); Co-Presenter: Barbara Eshbach, Head Librarian, Penn State York; Springboarding as a Faculty Professional Development Model; Shippensburg University; Shippensburg, PA.
The Lilly Conference on College Teaching & Learning (May 30, 2014); Co-Presenter: Barbara Eshbach, Head Librarian, Penn State York; Building Lifelong Learning Attributes in First-Semester Students Using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI); Bethesda, MD.
Center for Teaching Excellence Business Professor Teaching Summit; (May 15, 2014); Co-Presenter: Dr. Samir Shah, Associate Clinical Professor in MIS, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University; Measuring of Student Growth as Lifelong Learners in Global Information Systems Classroom Projects; Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Excellence: Gateway Course Experience Conference (March 24, 2014); Using Adaptive Learning Technology and Reflective Exercises to Improve First-Year Success in a Paired Developmental College Reading/Environmental Science Course; Indianapolis, IN.
Teaching & Learning with Technology Symposium; Penn State University; (March 22, 2014); Co-Presenters: Barbara Eshbach, Head Librarian, Penn State York & Dr. Jorge Santiago-Blay, Biology Instructor, Penn State York; Using Adaptive Learning Technology and Reflective Exercises to Improve First-Year Success in a Paired Developmental College Reading/Environmental Science Course; State College, PA.
Drexel University Center for Teaching Excellence Business Professor Teaching Summit; (May 17, 2013); Co-Presenter: Dr. Samir Shah, Associate Clinical Professor in MIS, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University Innovative One-shots Build Motivation and Currency in a Gen-Ed IST Course, Philadelphia, PA.
The Lilly Conference on College Teaching & Learning; (June 1, 2013); Carpe Diem: Making the Most of a Paired Reading Course for First Semester Students; Bethesda, MD.
2013 TLT Symposium (PSU): Using Stanford University’s dSchool Process to Build Creativity and Innovation in Courses and Campus Processes. March 2013; State College, PA.
Invited online panelist: Beyond employability: Embedding life skills in higher education; October 5, 2012; The Guardian, London, UK; http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/oct/03/embedding-skills-in-higher-education
Presentation for the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA) Summer Education Conference; July 13, 2012; Technology in Accounting Education: Learning Support and Professional Readiness; Hershey, PA. http://teachaccountingtech.wordpress.com/
Shaffer, S., Using On-line Study Groups for Faculty Development; Faculty of the Future Conference; June 3, 2005; Bucks County Community College, PA. Presenter.
Shaffer, S., Issues in the recruitment, selection, training, and retention of Catholic sisters. Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research Program; Works of Love: Scientific & Religious Perspectives on Altruism; (June 2, 2003, Villanova University, PA). Roundtable discussant.
Penn State York “Unsung Hero” Service Award recipient – April 27, 2014 – recognizes a Penn State York faculty or staff member for unselfishly providing outstanding service to the campus and its students, often with limited recognition. Selection is made through student, faculty, and staff nominations.
Suzanne C. Shaffer
Penn State York Campus
1031 Edgecomb Rd.
York, PA 17403