Mary Ann Tobin, Ph.D., is Assistant Research Professor and Instructional Consultant with Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (SITE), where she shares her expertise on classroom and course assessment techniques, student engagement techniques, outcomes-based course design and curriculum development, inclusive and equitable teaching strategies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and other instructional matters with faculty throughout the university system.

Before joining SITE in December 2016 she served as Triton College’s Director of Teaching and Learning, where she oversaw the college’s Office of Curriculum and Assessment and its Center for Teaching Excellence. There, she worked with faculty and administrators to develop student-centered pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment techniques.

She has taught English composition, literature and business writing, in both traditional and online classrooms, since 1994 when she was a Teaching Fellow at Indiana State University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in English Literature. She then taught for Duquesne University, where she earned a doctoral degree. She also taught for the Community College of Allegheny County, DeVry University Online, and Triton College.

Beyond her pedagogical interests, her professional interests  and scholarship include 19th-century British culture and literature, particularly the life and work of Charles Dickens, marital law and custom, and women’s education.  She has presented on these topics at national and regional conferences, and her work on them appears in Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice (McFarland, 2012) and Critical Insights: Great Expectations (Salem Press, 2009). Most recently, she has explored the intersections of Neo-Victorianism and innovative pedagogy as chair of a Dickens Society Sponsored Panel entitled “Neo-Dickens for a New Audience: Reading, Watching, and Teaching Dickens in the 21st Century” at the Northeast Modern Language Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference, in which she presented “A Christmas Carol: The Gift Book We Keep on Giving …  And Should Give More Often!”


Ph.D. December 2006 Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
English Literature with concentrations in late eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British literature

M. A. May 1996 Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
English Literature with concentrations in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British literature

B. A. December 1992 Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
English Literature and Classical Civilizations

A. S. B. June 1985 Duff’s Business Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Fashion Merchandising


“300 Ways to Teach the Epic.” Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice. Ed. Lan Dong. Jefferson NC: McFarland, 2012.

“From Sham to ‘Gentle Christian Man’ in Great Expectations.” Ed. Eugene Goodheart. Critical Insights: Great Expectations. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2009.

“Dickens, Poe and the International Copyright Battle.” The Dickensian 98.2 (2002): 197-205.


Co-facilitator. Penn State University Park New Faculty Colleagues Group.

Co-instructor. Course in College Teaching.

Co-instructor. Course Design Academy.

Co-instructor. Take Action for Student Learning (TASL).

Co-instructor. Teach to Reach: Maximizing Learning for All Students.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“Universal Design for Learning: It’s Just Good Design!” The Schreyer Conference 2020. The Pennsylvania State University. 9 January 2020.

“Create a Pedagogically-Inclusive Classroom with the Universal Design for Learning Framework.” Bridging the Praxis Gap: Tools for Early Career Teaching. Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Boston, MA. March 2020.


International Dickens Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, Branch #97
Modern Language Association
Northeast Modern Language Association
Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education

Mary Ann Tobin

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