Dawn Pfeifer Reitz

Assistant Teaching Professor
CAS 100 Coordinator
Penn State Berks
2020 TLT Faculty Fellow
Focus Area: Student Engagement

Pfeifer Reitz, assistant teaching professor and CAS 100 coordinator at Penn State Berks, recognizes a gap between “soft skills” that employers value, like oral and written communication and adaptability, and how they fit into the rigid academic constraints of STEM programs. Her fellows project will work towards creating a digital “tool kit” that will engage students with specific work designed to improve their soft skills.


“This project is a wonderful opportunity to bridge the educational gap between what students are taught in their STEM curricula and other skills they need to succeed in professional life,” said Pfeifer-Reitz. “Along with potential career impact, these ‘soft skills’ that our project will promote can help improve student sociability, increase campus engagement, and improve in-class group work.”

Pfeifer-Reitz and her team are setting out with the goal of marrying the technology aspect of teaching and learning – using an app, module, or tool to use “soft skills” to help create an elevator pitch – with the personal engagement aspect of connecting with students.

The Team

Jeff Badger
Erica Fleming – Project Lead
Mary Ann Mengel
Nick Rossi
Robin Smail
Brett Spencer