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A Cabrini professor reading a children's book, Grover's Five Senses, in class

Susan Pierson, PhD

ESL Program Coordinator
Associate Profesor, Education
Coordinator Graduate ESL Specialist Program

Susan Jacques Pierson, PhD, came to Cabrini as a full time faculty member in Fall 2010 after teaching in the Reading Specialist Program from 1992-2009.

Pierson served as a 4th and 5th grade teacher in the West Chester Area School District from 1975 through 2009. While in West Chester, Pierson taught technology education, migrant education, remedial reading and Adult ESL and Literacy classes.

She also served as a tutor for Volunteer English Program of Chester County and continues to work for this organization today as a tutor of adult English Language Learners and on the Board of Directors. 

She is most proud of her work over the years with students of all ages from preschool through adult, especially recent immigrants to the United States. In addition to teaching ESL at Cabrini, she also teaches conversational English at the Tredyffrin Library. 

Pierson is deeply committed to the Mission of Cabrini University and has been privileged to be part of partnerships with Cabrini Ministries, Swaziland and Cabrini in Argentina.  She traveled to both Swaziland and Argentina where she taught ESL and was involved in staff development.

Pierson is grateful for opportunities to support the work of the Missionary Sisters in any way she can. She came to Cabrini because of the Mission and is happy to be a part of a school that inspires service beyond oneself, advocacy for marginalized people around the world, and a commitment to working for social justice.

Pierson earned Pennsylvania certification as a K-6 teacher, Reading Specialist K-12 and ESL Program Specialist PreK-12. She attained a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College, a MS in Elementary Education and a PhD, In Literacy, from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation entitled “The Secrets Within,” explored the efficacy of portfolio assessment. She earned her ESL certificate through Drexel University.

Areas of Expertise

Developing and implementing best practices for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students of all ages

Publications

  • Pierson, S., Halpern, C., Green, R., and Wagenbaur, R. (2015). Cabrini Bridges: Using Tablets in a Mentoring Program.  One Voice International.
  • Pierson, S. (2015).  Crossing the Bridge to Swaziland: A Transformative Field Experience. Journal of International Social Studies, 5(1), 174-184. 
  • Pierson, S. (2015). Bridges to Swaziland: Using Task-Based Learning and Computer Mediated Instruction to Improve English Language Teaching and Learning. Journal of Teaching English with Technology, 15(2), 105-119.
  • Pierson, S. (Winter 2015).  Education in Swaziland: Hebron’s Story. Childhood Explorer (published quarterly by The Association for Childhood Education International), 2(1), 8-11.  
  • Pierson, S. (2014). The Power of Story: Using Personal Narrative, Computer Technology and Podcasting with Young Adult English Language Learners.  Journal of Teaching English with Technology, 14(4), 3-16.

 

Presentations

Conference Presentations: 

  • Pierson, S.  (2016, October). Combining SIOP with UDL: Best Practices for ESL. Presentation for the Keystone State Reading Association, Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. October 22-25, 2016.
  • Pierson, S., Gentile, A., & Budzilowicz, M. (2016, October).Seizing the Initiative as Teacher Educators: Preparing our Students for Teaching Multicultural and Linguistically Diverse Students through Integration of SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) with UDL (Universal Design for Learning). Workshop and Presentation for the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. October 25-27, 2016.
  • Pierson, S. and Lelli, C. (2016, October). Teacher Educators and Technology: Providing Pre-Service Teachers with the Skills and Digital Tools They Need to Succeed. Presentation for the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. October 25-27, 2016.
  • Pierson, S.; Gardner, A.; Lou, J. & Hong, Y. (2015, November). Teaching and Learning with Adult English Language Learners: Computer Mediation and Cultural Competence. Online presentation for the Global Education Conference.  November 17, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2015, November). Developing Social Responsibility Through Literacy Teaching: Reflections from Swaziland. Round table paper presentation for International Assembly of National Council of Social Studies, New Orleans, Louisiana. November 12, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2015, October). Lessons for Swaziland: Engaging Teacher Candidates in an International Partnership. Panel Presentation for the Pennsyvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. October 28-30, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2015, October). Reimagining Reading with English Language Learners: Based And Computer Assisted Teaching. Presentation for the Keystone State Reading Association, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. October 21-24, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2015, July). Building Bridges to Swaziland Using Digital Tools. Poster Presentation for the Conference of the International Society for Technology in Education, Philadelphia, PA. June 28-July 2, 2015.
  • Pierson, S., Gentile, A., & Budzilowicz, M. ( 2015, May). Using Student Data on the Preparation of Faculty to Utilize the Principles of Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education Classrooms. Poster presentation for The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education, Faculty Development Conference, Rosemont, PA. May 12, 2015.
  • Pierson, S., Halpern, C., Green, R., & Wagenbaur, R. (2015, March). Civic Engagement for the Enhancement of Latino Educational Opportunities. Presentation for the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development, Philadelphia, PA. March 15, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2015, February). Crossing Bridges: Transformative International Field Experiences. Round table paper presentation for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Atlanta, Georgia. February 28-March 2, 2015.
  • Pierson, S., Gentile, A., & Budzilowicz, M. (2015, January). Collaboration by Design: Applying the Principles of Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. Poster Presentation for the 13th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. January 8, 2015.
  • Pierson, S., Paradise, E., & Poole, C. (2014, November). Crossing the Bridge to Swaziland as Global Citizens: Results of a Transformative Student Immersion Experience. Round table paper presentation for International Assembly of National Council of Social Studies, Boston, Massachusetts. November 21, 2014.
  • Pierson, S., Halpern, C., Green, R., & Wagenbaur, R. (2014, November). Cabrini Bridges: Sustained Mentorship and the Integration of Computer Technology. One Voice International Educational Conference New York, West Chester, New York. November 14, 2014.
  • Pierson, S. (2014, November). The Power of Story: Using Personal Narratives and Podcasting with Young Adult English Language Learners. One Voice International Educational Conference, New York, West Chester, New York. November 14, 2014.
  • Pierson, S. (2014, November). Maintaining Bridges to Swaziland Through the Use of Social Media. Online presentation for the Fifth Annual Global Education Conference, November 19, 2015.
  • Pierson, S. (2014, October). Developing Champion Readers: Literacy Lessons from Swaziland. Presentation for the Keystone State Reading Association, University Park, Pennsylvania, October 26-29, 2014.
  • Waring-Chaffee, M. & Pierson, S. (2014, October). Roaming the Known: An Introspective Look at the Capacity-Building Processes within Communities of Practice. Presentation for the Keystone State Reading Association, University Park, Pennsylvania, October 26-29, 2014.
  • Pierson, S., Bryde, B., Poole, C.; Poole, C., & Paradise, E. (2014, October). Crossing the Bridge to Swaziland. Panel Presentation at the Conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, October 22-24, 2014.
  • Pierson, S. Gentile, A. Lelli, C. & Budzilowicz, M. (2014, October). The Come Alive Classroom: Implications and Applications of Universal Design for Learning for Teacher Educators. Presentation at the Conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, October 22-24, 2014.
  • Pierson, S., Paradise, E. & Scherer, L. (2013, November). Bringing Literacy To Life Through Social Studies. Poster Presentation for the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, November 20-22, 2013.
  • Pierson, S., Paradise, E. and Scherer, L. (2013, November). Bridges to Swaziland. Round table paper presentation for International Assembly of the National Council of Social Studies, St. Louis, Missouri, November 22, 2013.
  • Pierson, S. (2013, November). The Power of Story. Presented online for the Global Education Conference, November 18-22, 2013.
  • Pierson, S., Lelli, C., Budzilowicz, M., Paradise, E. & Scherer, L. (2013, October). Getting on the Same Page: Co-Creating Alternative Texts for Differentiated Instruction Using iPads. Presentation at the conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, October 23-25, 2013. 
  • Pierson, S., Lelli, C., & Budzilowicz, M. (2013, February). Engagement, Innovation and iPads. Poster session at Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, Hershey, Pennsylvania, February 9, 2013. 
  • Pierson, S. (2013, January). Building Digital Bridges to Swaziland. Virtual presentation for the 9th Annual Conference of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, January 13-14, 2013.
  • Pierson, S. (2012, November). Building Bridges to Swaziland Continues. Presented online for the Global Education Conference, November 12-17, 2012.
  • Pierson, S., Lelli, C., Budzilowicz, M., St. Pierre, S. & Lebedynsky-Pencak, K. (2012, October). Step Up Your Teaching and Learning with iPads! Presentation at the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, October 24-26, 2012.
  • Pierson, S. (2011, October). Bridges to Swaziland. Presented online for the Global Education Conference November 14-18, 2011.
  • Pierson, S. & Bryde, B. (2011, October). Building Bridges to Swaziland. Presented at the Conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, October 26-28, 2011.

Invited Presentations:

  • Pierson, S. (2015, June). Best Practices for Teaching Pronunciation to Beginning, Adult English Language Learners.  Workshop presented for tutors of Volunteer English Program, Exton, PA. 
  • Pierson, S. (2015, June). Best Practices for Teaching Pronunciation to Advanced, Adult English Language Learners.  Workshop presented for tutors of Volunteer English Program, Exton, PA. 
  • Pierson, S. (2014, August). Best Practices for Teaching ESL in Inclusion Classrooms. Presentation for ESL Seminar for Field Experience Students at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA. 
  • Pierson, S. (2013, August). Teaching English Language Learners. Presentation for ESL Seminar for Field Experience Students at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA. 
  • Pierson, S. & Budzilowicz, M. (2013, April). Step up to the Plate with iPads: Using iPads in Early Childhood Programs. Presented for Faculty Development Program for Independent School Teachers, Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA.
  • Pierson, S. (2013, March). Using iPads at the Children’s School. Presented as a Faculty Development Workshop for Teachers at the Children’s School of Cabrini College, Radnor, PA.
  • Pierson, S., Halpern, C., Green, R., & Poole, C. (2012, October). Strategies for Reaching and Teaching English Language Learners. Presentation for the Norristown Area School District Faculty Development in Norristown, PA.
  • Pierson, S. (2012, August). Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. Presentation for Field Experience Students at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA. 
  • Pierson, S. (2011, August). What You Should Know about Teaching ESL. Presentation for Field Experience Students at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA.

Awards and Recognition

  • Cabrini College Undergraduate Summer Research Grant: Developing Best Practices and Tools for Assessment while Teaching Pronunciation to Adult English Language Learners, Summer 2015.
  • Awarded $1000 (with Mary Budzilowicz, Kathleen Johnson, and Amber Gentile) from The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) as part of the initiative Building Faculty Capacity for 21st Century Teaching, for faculty development in Universal Design for Learning, October, 2014.
  • Granted 15 Nexus 7 tablet computers through Map Your World. Deployed for work in Swaziland and also in Norristown, Pennsylvania, December, 2013.
  • Awarded 6 OLPC XO computers through One Laptop Per Child, December 2012.

2020 ROADMAP:
Vision. Impact. Growth.

Discover Cabrini University's strategic plan for diversification, sustainable growth, and expanded outreach.