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Staff Biographies:
Shawna Burtis, PhD

Shawna Burtis

About Me

Research Interests: Adult learners; online learning; student engagement; increasing student retention in online courses

Social Change Interests: Improving educational experiences for online learners

Joined Walden: 2012

Location: Washington

About Shawna: As an Instructional Specialist, I assist Shawn Picht in various student outreach and support platforms. My main focus is managing and updating the Academic Skills Center, Doctoral Writing Assessment, and Center for Academic Excellence websites. I also manage the ASC's Quick Answers database, including statistics, peer mentors, and more. I joined Walden as a graduate student in 2012 I decided to continue my journey with the Walden family and become a member of the support staff 2017!


   5 Reasons You Should Join a Student-Led Facebook Group Today (Blog)

   Completing my Doctoral Capstone (Blog)

   Staying on Track during COVID-19: We're Here to Help (Blog)

  Dr. Shawna Burtis on Being a Military Spouse, Teaching Service Members, & Learning HTML (Podcast)


My Advice for Walden Students 

Remember why you are pursuing a degree; let your academic journey be a part of your life, but find a balance so it doesn't take over your life. 

Don't be afraid to explore all the support services Walden offers; if you have a question, Walden has an answer for you... you just have to go out and find it!

What I do in my Role as an Instructional Specialist

In my role as support staff, I find myself doing a lot of different projects! My role is not "student-facing" (meaning I don't work directly with students), but I still like to consider myself as student support! It is my job, to build, update, and maintain our websites; this includes the ASC website, the CAEX website, Peer Mentors and Tutoring websites, and the Doctoral Writing Assessment (DWA) website. I meet with the amazing people in each of these areas and we discuss website analytics, and how we can make changes to benefit our students.

I also create, maintain, and update the QuickAnswers for the ASC, CAEX, and DWA. When you search the website, your student portal, or even in your classroom, you can find our resources through these search results! 

As a former Walden student, I know the challenges that come with being an employee, parent, and student; so it is my goal to help make our amazingly helpful resources easily accessible for you! 

My Favorite Project

There are so many projects that I have loved being a part of! A couple of my favorites would include the YouTube Channel overhaul, the PowToons projects, and of course, the ASC website redesign. 

For the YouTube channel project, I spent about a year watching all 200 of our YouTube videos and webinar archives! I would make notes regarding content and audience retention. My manager, Shawn Picht, was then able to take my notes and turn a one hour video into several shorter videos that were more specific and hopefully, more accessible and helpful to our students! 

We recently began creating PowToons videos, such as the course description videos for Graduate Writing Courses and Social Change Courses, and the Walden Student Stories PodToons. While I don't consider myself a creative person, I did have so much fun with these! I hope you have fun watching them!

We spent over a year redesigning the ASC website with a focus on how students use our website and attempting to create more engagement with our amazing resources! We wanted to add more colors, and images, and streamline navigation! And of course, highlighting our amazing staff, faculty, and mentors by building these new snazzy bio pages. 

My Experience as a Walden Student

I began my Walden journey in 2012 as a Masters student in the psychology program (technically a PhD track program). I completed my Master's degree in 2014 and my PhD in Educational Psychology in June of 2017, publishing my dissertation "Gender differences in discussion strategies of online asynchronous undergraduate psychology major student." 

I am now back as a Walden student in the Graduate Certificate Program for Information Systems. I started in November 2020 and should complete the certificate program by Summer 2021. 

Shawna Burtis
Shawna Burtis
Shawna Burtis
Shawna Burtis
Shawna Burtis

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