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Julia Penn Shaw
Associate Professor/Academic Coordinator, Human Development and Social Science Research
Center for Distance Learning


  • Distance and online education
  • Distance and online learning
  • Quality and outcomes of online education
  • Semiotics
  • Developmental Learning
  • Development and Learning Across the Lifespan


Julia Penn Shaw specializes in adult and online learning. She has spoken and written on adult learning, with a special emphasis on development, mentoring and reflection. In online education, she has presented and written on topics such as the development of online curricula and how to create a compelling online environment. She also has studied and spoken on developmental psychology across the lifespan, as well as semiotics, which refer to the study of symbols as means of communication.

During her time at Empire State College, she has served as an academic coordinator, an assistant professor, and a mentor. As an academic coordinator of the Human Development and Social Science Research programs for the Center for Distance Learning, she has developed 13 courses in the area of social sciences and has revised or supervised 13 more.

She has written for the college’s publication, “All About Mentoring”, and has often presented with the Jean Piaget Society for about 15 years. She has addressed meetings of the American Psychological Society, the Conference on Internet Technology, and the New York Association for Continuing and Community Education.

Shaw earned her Ed. D. and C.A.S. at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to Empire State College, she was a professor at Elmira College and Binghamton University. She also was a business consultant and educational trainer for IBM.

Photo of Julia Penn Shaw
Julia Penn Shaw


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Hope Ferguson, Senior Communications Associate
Office of Communications and Government Relations
SUNY Empire State College
2 Union Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518 587-2100 x2509

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