Paula Ford
Coordinator, Robert L. Smith Learning Resources Center
Penn State Altoona
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona PA 16601




Hello. I'm the coordinator of the Robert L. Smith Learning Resources Center at Penn State Altoona. I get to work with students, faculty, and staff. I have a blog at that will reflect on my experiences in History 197 as a student in the Spring 2012 semester.

A few of my duties:

  • Hire, train, and supervise peer and professional tutors
  • Administer LRC budget
  • Direct OASIS program
  • Write newsletters, handbooks, and other materials
  • Develop and present workshops
  • Teach study skills course
  • Teach tutor training course
  • Facilitate pedagogy book discussion group for faculty and staff
  • Maintain LRC webpage:
  • Co-principal investigator for NSF-funded S-STEM grant #0728567

I teach the following courses:

  • CI 200, Peer Tutor Training
  • PSU 3, First-year Seminar
  • EdPsy 297A, College Study Skills

I occasionally teach English courses. I have taught

  • Engl 4, Basic Writing Skills
  • Engl 15, Rhetoric & Composition
  • Engl 202C, Technical Writing
  • Engl 202D, Business Writing
  • Engl 215, Nonfiction Writing

My education:

  • MA, Penn State, 1987, in English with certificate in technical writing. My master's project was "Surface Mining in Pennsylvania: A Citizens' Guide."
  • BA, Penn State, 1972, in English with honors. My honors thesis was a study of the Old Man in Chaucer's "Pardoner's Tale."


  • Developmental Education Specialist, 2005, The Kellogg Institute, Appalachian State University. My practicum was "Peer Tutor Training and Supervision Improvements for Penn State Altoona."
  • Supplemental Instruction Supervisor, 2000, University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
  • Certificate in Teaching Technical Writing, 1983, Department of Humanities, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • I’m also certified in basic Hydrogen Sulfide safety. (Such a life!)


Please see this link for my resume.


  • Inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, October 2004. (Nominated and selected by students.)
  • Penn State Altoona Women in Achievement Award, 2002.


·        This is the cool stuff. When I was an undergrad, people would ask, "English major? What are you going to do with that?" Here are a few of the things I've done with my English degrees:

o   Instructor for English courses at Penn State University Park, Penn State Altoona, and Penn State World Campus

o   Freelance Writer

o   Technical Writer, Rutgers University, Dept. of Agricultural Economics

o   Consultant, National Citizens’ Network on Oil and Gas Wastes, Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM.

§  Represented Network on several committees of a project coordinated by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

§  Participated in reviews of state regulatory programs and training of state regulatory personnel.

o   Writer/Editor, Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries

o   Research Associate, Penn State Dept. of Horticulture, University Park

o   Technical Writer, Institute for Land & Water Resources, Penn State, University Park

§  Worked with two agronomists and three soils engineers to write training course (including slides) for soil conservation district managers in Pennsylvania.

o   Teaching Assistant in grad school at Penn State, University Park

o   Activity Aide, Cresson State School

o   Waitress, Keystone Truck Stop

I've also used my expertise in various volunteer positions:

  • Policy Council Member Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (Secretary)
  • Editor, The PADE Informer, newsletter of Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators
  • Storage Tank Advisory Committee, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources
  • Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (Coordinator, Special Areas Project, Dunlo Strip Mine Reclamation Area)
  • National Audubon Society

*        Audubon Council of Pennsylvania (President; Western Regional Representative)

*        Juniata Valley Audubon Society (State Council Delegate, Speakers’ Bureau, Conservation Chair, Newsletter editor)

  • Blair County Recreation and Parks Advisory Board
  • Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas Project
  • Pennsylvanians for Acid Rain Control (Executive Committee)

Have you read this far?

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, beading, birding, and kayaking. I collect turkeys. Most stay in the attic until November 1, when I bring them downstairs to decorate for my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. On December 1, I take all but a few back to the attic, and we decorate for Christmas. The hard part is deciding which ones to keep downstairs for the year.

Updated 3/21/2013