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Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Suzanne Edmonds

Photo of Suzanne Edmonds in the CTI lobby.
Suzanne Edmonds in the CTI lobby. Photo by Thomas Crocker.

As a teacher at heart and a lifelong learner, being an instructional technologist is the perfect fit for Suzanne Edmonds.

Before joining DELTA in April 2015, Edmonds served as an instructional technology specialist at a community college for three years. Prior to that, she was an elementary school teacher for seven years.

Edmonds graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is the only person in her family to obtain a master’s degree, also from Appalachian State in educational media.  

Why did you decide to pursue instructional technology?

Photo of Suzanne Edmonds and her husband at an Appalachian State football game
Edmonds and her husband at an Appalachian State football game

During Edmonds’ years as an elementary school teacher, she knew she wanted to go back for a master’s degree. “I started thinking about what my interests were and where I wanted to go within the next years, and I started looking into instructional technology. I knew technology would only advance in the future,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds was able to complete her master’s completely online in two years. During that time, she made a switch to a new elementary school that had advanced technology for teachers such as laptops, SMART Boards® and document cameras. While Edmonds really enjoyed showing the technology to the students, it was not until her required master’s internship that she realized she liked teaching adults.

“I really enjoyed facilitating staff development and teaching the teachers how to use certain tools so they could, in turn, help their students use the technology. It evolved from teaching students into teaching adults,” said Edmonds.

How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?

“I typically tell people outside of the university that I help instructors implement technology into their classrooms,” said Edmonds. She is responsible for a variety of tasks including teaching workshops and holding consultations in order to support faculty with problems they have with technology tools in their classrooms.

In addition, Edmonds works with WolfWare Outreach to help outreach coordinators streamline their use of DELTA’s enterprise technologies. She serves as a liaison between the training team and coordinators to ultimately help instructors use technology in their non-credit courses.

Edmonds’ day-to-day tasks vary depending on the time of the semester and what instructors specifically need at the time. “Usually, I’m preparing for workshops, creating documents to help faculty with various technology tools, and researching information for either workshops or consultations,” said Edmonds. Oftentimes, she is also learning bits and pieces of new tools that are out there.

What areas do you enjoy working on the most?

Photo of Suzanne Edmonds and her dog at the beach
Suzanne Edmonds and her dog at the beach

Edmonds is a workshop whiz — whether she is creating a new workshop or revamping an old one to reach more faculty, workshops are her specialty.

“Anytime I can incorporate teaching strategies or figure out better ways to engage our faculty during training and workshops, I am happy!” said Edmonds. She also noted she enjoys helping make complicated ideas easier to understand and less overwhelming for faculty.

“Bringing a new workshop idea to life and incorporating different resources and activities and putting my creative juices to work helps me enjoy what I do,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds enjoys learning new tools in order to teach them to faculty in the future. Her work with the recent Top Hat implementation was especially interesting for her to see the project go from a pilot phase to full enterprise-level learning technology.

What makes your job special?

“Like most other people for this article series have stated, I truly enjoy the people I work with. We’re like one big happy family,” said Edmonds. The Instructional Technology Training team has really become like family to Edmonds since her relatives are located in the mountains of North Carolina.

She also values the collaboration among DELTA staff whether it be working with other teams or simply having a conversation or lunch with people from across DELTA.

Above everything else, Edmonds’ love for teaching is truly what makes her work special.

“I love it when I’m teaching a workshop, and I can see the light bulb go off with a faculty member because that means they really understand how to apply these concepts within their own classrooms to help their students. It makes me think this is why I’m doing this; this is why this is my job; this is why I come to work,” said Edmonds.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Suzanne Edmonds and her husband and dog in the mountains of North Carolina

“I enjoy reading, going for walks with my Miniature Schnauzer, taking trips to the mountains and the beach, hiking to waterfalls, going to Appalachian State football games and playing disc golf,” said Edmonds. She enjoys traveling and has visited multiple iconic places in the United States such as Key West, Florida; Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

As a native of Weaverville, North Carolina, and a graduate of Appalachian State, Edmonds loves being in the mountains the most. “My heart is happy when I am there,” she added.

Currently, Edmonds has been spending her time learning and living a plant-based lifestyle. Upon recommendation from her coworker, Allie Giro, Edmonds started a blog dedicated to her new lifestyle. It includes posts such as Edmonds’ reason for the change, meal planning, recipes and budgeting.

“It’s my passion right now, and it is really making an impact on my life in general,” said Edmonds.

To learn more, visit Edmonds’ blog.