Goals and Professional Development

I have spent nearly my entire adult life working in higher education.  At the University of Pittsburgh, I worked in International Studies, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the English Language Institute.   At Ivy Tech Community College, I worked in Testing Services.  At Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, I worked in Career Services and Workforce Development.  While I have enjoyed being part of the administrative processes of higher education – everything from strategic planning to promotion and tenure to admissions – where I really shine is working to create engaging instruction for adult students.  Few experiences have left me as fulfilled as my time tutoring English as a Second Language with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

As a tutor, I was matched with a visiting scholar from China who wanted to improve his conversational English.  While we did have textbooks, he and I ended up working together to tailor the sessions to best meet his needs.  I designed the instruction that he needed. Instead of basic vocabulary and scripted conversation prompts, we took field trips to grocery stores to

everything from names of foods at the grocery store to how to call an insurance company to discuss billing issues.  Looking back, helping him achieve his goals was a defining moment for me.