Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Dr. Schugar is an associate professor in the literacy department in WCU’s College of Education. She achieved her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from the University of Maryland. Her Bachelor’s degree was in elementary education with concentrations in science and English. Her master’s and doctorate degrees were both in curriculum and instruction with a focus on reading education. This is Dr. Schugar’s sixth year at West Chester.
“I knew immediately upon arriving on WCU’s campus that I wanted to work here. The students I met on my first visit were so motivated and eager to learn – and nothing has changed in my time here on campus. I am inspired every day by my students’ energy and their commitment to teaching literacy,” Schugar said.
Besides her work at WCU, Schugar taught reading education courses at the University of Maryland while working on her master’s degree and doctorate degree.
Schugar realized that after taking undergraduate coursework toward becoming a geneticist, her passion for working with children was much stronger. “I taught second grade for two years in Montgomery County, MD before going back to Maryland for grad school, and it was then I decided that my dream job would be to work with future teachers in a college setting,” Schugar said.
“Borrowing” teaching styles from her college mentors, Dr. Schugar said that she loved how her mentors challenged her as a student to take risks.
There is no shortage in the reward that comes from teaching for Dr. Schugar. “I love the relationships I have been able to build with my students both in and out of the classroom. I learn as much from my students and the experiences they are having out in the field as I hope they are learning from me in the classroom,” Schugar said.
As the faculty advisor for Alpha Upsilon Alpha (AUA), the reading minor honors society, Schugar thoroughly enjoys being able to work with her students outside of the classroom by volunteering for organizations and attending professional events together, according to Schugar. “It never ceases to amaze me how well my students juggle their coursework and jobs, while providing such important (and time-consuming!) service to the community,” said Schugar.
Dr. Schugar said that her biggest academic achievement was an article she co-wrote with a colleague and her husband in a journal called “The Reading Teacher.” After doing research with students’ comprehension of texts on iPads, Dr. Schugar found it rewarding to share the three authors’ thoughts with the larger academic community.
Although she spends a lot of her time teaching, Dr. Schugar has a passion for crafting and spending time with her children. “I am an avid DIY-er and am definitely of the mindset: ‘Why buy it when I can make it for less?'” Schugar said.
Something that students and faculty may not know about Dr. Schugar is that she was on the crew team during her undergraduate career. “We would head to practice around 5 a.m., and I would often rush into my 8 a.m. classes still dripping with water from the river because DC traffic was so difficult to maneuver,” Schugar said.
Schugar believes that college is about more than just academics. “It is a place for you to learn more about yourself as an individual. Take the opportunity to spend time on campus outside of the classroom. It is important that you use this time to figure out what unique or important contributions you will be able to offer society once you leave campus.”
Julie Singer is a second-year student majoring in special education and middle grades prep with a concentration in reading. She can be reached at JS781397@wcupa.edu.

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