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Marguerite Sheffer, Ed.D., joins the Taylor Center as a Professor of Practice & Associate Director of Design Thinking for Social Impact. Dr. Sheffer holds an EdD in Educational Leadership and has a decade of experience as a K-12 educator in California and Louisiana. In her most recent position as Director of Impact at TrueSchool, Dr. Sheffer developed adult education curriculum, facilitated design thinking trainings, and managed and coached diverse cohorts of educators from across the United States. As the Associate Director of Design Thinking for Social Impact, Dr. Sheffer will lead the Taylor Center’s design thinking for social impact work, including public workshops, practitioner networking, and student and faculty training.

While at TrueSchool, Dr. Sheffer codeveloped four design toolkits for professional educators participating in the TrueSchool Fellowship. Dr. Sheffer’s work at True School culminated in a white paper titled “Radical Trust for Radical Change” which identified best practices in education systems around the world and described TrueSchool’s “Radiance” philosophy for systems-change in education.

Dr. Sheffer was first introduced to mindsets of design thinking for social impact through collaborative teacher inquiry in the Mills College Teacher Scholars program (now Lead by Learning). Dr. Sheffer began as a Teacher Scholar, and moved into the role of facilitator and evaluator, completing a mixed-methods investigation of program participants’ sense of teaching efficacy. Dr. Sheffer’s dissertation research found that program participants created professional narratives that transformed frustration into learning and improved pedagogical practice.

Dr. Sheffer is also the co-founder of Third Lantern Lit, a local community organization that connects and champions emerging New Orleans writers, with a focus on supporting writers from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Her personal essay, “The Man in the Banana Trees,” was published in The Pinch Literary Journal in March 2022. Dr. Sheffer will complete an MFA in Creative Writing in January 2023 and holds a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and Education (2009).

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