• Adjunct Instructor, Educational Leadership&Policy
  • Librarian, Marriott Library

Research Summary

My research agenda focuses on studying transitions in HE: working with transfer students, graduate students, undergraduate non-traditional students, and faculty who are transitioning or working in interdisciplinary work contexts. Although much interdisciplinary research literature exists, there is a paucity of research about those who regularly span departmental silos in their daily work. I will apply this research to redefine the librarian identity to help mediate change in higher education.


  • Ed.D., College of Education/Academic Leadership in Higher Education, Widener University. Project: Dissertation- Variations in How Faculty Approach the Process of Designing Courses in Higher Education: A Phenomenographic Study
  • M.S. Applied Technology/Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, Chestnut Hill College. Project: Thesis- The Chemistry Laboratory: A Formative Evaluation of a Situated Learning Community of Practice
  • BS, Biology / Medical Technology, Millersville University, Millersville, PA. Project: BS Degree in Biology (Medical Technology) and ASCP Board Certified Medical Technologist after completing a one-year laboratory internship at Abington Memorial Hospital (Abington, PA) in conjunction with college academic requirements


Donna Harp ZiegenfussEdD, is an Associate Librarian in the J Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. She received her BS in Biology/Medical Technology from Millersville University, her MS in Applied Technology/Instructional Design from Chestnut Hill College, and her Ed.D. in Academic Leadership Higher Education from Widener University, all in Pennsylvania. She has over 10 years of experience working in academic libraries, 18 years of experience in instructional design and teaching in traditional, hybrid, and online formats, and almost 25 years of experience working in the area of faculty and professional development. She was one of five University Teaching Award recipients in 2021.

As a qualitative researcher, she is interested in understanding how conceptual change theory can be applied to develop reflective, engaged, and forward-thinking librarians and faculty. Her research interests focus on librarian identity and academic leadership, qualitative research methods such as autoethnography and phenomenography, instructional design, online teaching and learning and assessment, and technology-integrated pedagogy. As a librarian, Donna is particularly interested in the practice of crossing boundaries in higher education, especially between disciplinary silos, to develop effective and innovative transdisciplinary teaching and research practices.