Research Summary

My agenda focuses on HE transitions: transfer students, graduate students, and my own capacity as a boundary-crossing librarian. Research is lacking on those who regularly span departments and disciplinary boundaries, and work in the fringe between disciplinary silos. I am creating my own boundary crosser autoethnography as I learn about how boundary-crosser skills, dispositions, and knowledge can enhance the increasing focus on interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research and services.


  • Ed.D., College of Education/Academic Leadership in Higher Education, Widener University. Project: 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: 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 Ziegenfuss, EdD, is an Associate Librarian 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, 12 years of experience in instructional design and teaching in traditional, hybrid, and online formats, and 20 years of experience working in the area of faculty and professional development. 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, academic leadership, qualitative research methods such as autoethnography and phenomenography, instructional design, assessment. and technology integrated pedagogy. Donna is particularly interested in what is required for crossing boundaries in higher education, especially between disciplinary slios, to develop effective and innovative transdisciplinary practices.