Trish has been a life-long social activist, which has included flying medical mission trips deep into the heart of Mexico (El Fuerte, Ocarone, Alamos, among other villages), designing and implementing after-school programs for at-risk learners, and organizing and training a cadre of 66 tutors who served over 330 students in East Multnomah County. These programs, administered through the Student Literacy Corp at Mt. Hood Community College, earned national recognition and became the subject of the Education Policy Institute, Inc. research initiative on outstanding student literacy models. Trish also volunteered as a triage specialist and coordinator of Clinica para Cuidad de la Familia, which provided basic medical care through the Farmworkers™ Health Access Project. She also worked with a local team of doctors through Northwest Medical Teams, which visited migrant camps around East Multnomah County.
Trish served as a high school math and Spanish teacher, high school administrator, adjunct faculty at Mt. Hood Community College for 10 years and has spent the last 11 years at Concordia University. Her interests include neuropsychosocial studies, allopathic and emergency medicine, naturopathic medicine, transformative education (Parker Palmer, Michael Fullan), game-based educational theory and the fascinating world of online teaching and learning.
Trish invites education students to explore and apply a variety of multimodal, multipathway learning strategies. She facilitates an intentionally inviting (Purkey, et al., 1992) learning environment both online and face to face, where students research and participate in activities centered on transformative education. As Dean of Concordia University Online, Trish focuses on the application of transformative education theory to a growing program of nation-wide educators who experience transformation in their own practices that enhance the teacher-student learning experience and improve student outcomes.Trish's greatest joy comes from her family - husband, Dave Shields, a retired college educator, sons Andrew and Gabe, and daughter Maria. Most notably, she describes being "Aana" or "Grandma" to her grandchildren as one of her most fulfilling parts of the day. Her leisure activities include camping in Alaska with her family, skiing, gardening, scuba diving and reading.