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Suzanne E. Hiller Blue Swallow Farm Foundation

Suzanne E. Hiller, PhD has worked in the field of education as a practitioner, professor, researcher, and evaluator for over three decades. Notably, she was the Teacher Naturalist with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. She has served as an assistant professor teaching educational psychology, program evaluation, research, and preservice teacher courses in curriculum and assessment. While affiliated with Wingate University, she was the Director of the Graduate Education Program and the Director of Multidisciplinary Studies in Education with Hood College.

Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting inclusive, authentic experiences in outdoor education through research and training while motivating students in STEM careers. In light of this mission, Suzanne E. Hiller has been working with educators, administrators, researchers, and scientists on a variety of projects related to professional development, curriculum development, and research, with a particular emphasis on outdoor classrooms and citizen science. Most recently, she has conducted a series of research studies on the impact of water quality programs on student STEM achievement, career motivation, environmental attitudes, and social emotional well-being. Through this type of research, professional development on designing and utilizing outdoor classrooms, curriculum resources for educators, and mentorship and support for doctoral students, she continues to encourage growing interest in providing students with exposure in STEM activities within natural settings.

In support of educational research at large, Suzanne E. Hiller has served on the editorial board for the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology and the Journal of Experimental Education. She has also been a reviewer for a variety of journals, such as Learning and Individual Differences; Learning, Culture, and Social Interaction; and Heliyon. She has written one book on using metacognitive and self-regulatory strategies to promote student science achievement, and co-edited one book on fostering STEM career motivation through citizen science.

Her background in motivation and self-regulation was particularly relevant as a Co-Principal Investigator on a grant from the Maryland Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund to provide assistance for teachers during the recent health crisis. Using an online format, the program serviced teachers across the state of Maryland with presentations, mentorship, and projects related to social emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, mind brain education, and self-regulation, all topics that were critical for student success during the pandemic. The experience of working on this grant serves as a model for several upcoming programs to train educators and administrators in outdoor instruction through the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation as well as to develop curricular materials for outdoor learning, Grades K-12.