Hoffman joins ed. department


Madison Doucette

Audrey Hoffman

Audrey Hoffman smiles from behind her desk in McClellan Hall, a “Throwback Thursday” playlist has been emanating softly from her computer as she works.


It’s a typical Friday afternoon in the cheery office of the Education department’s new assistant professor.
She is one of five new hires at JSC and is teaching three courses this semester, Educational Studies, Research Methods, and Ecology of Human Experience.


Although her primary role at JSC is to teach, Hoffman is excited to be working on a few other projects with the college. She was hired to help set up an early childhood special education program, which, according to Hoffman, would broaden opportunities for students studying early childhood education. One idea she has been working on is setting up a behavior clinic at JSC for the community.


According to Hoffman the clinic would serve schools as well as the general community. “Teaching behavior skills, teaching appropriate behavior, and a lot of it for those individuals who have severe behavior problems. Those would be our main clients,” she said. “We could help in schools and in community settings.”


Plans for the clinic are just beginning, and Hoffman doesn’t expect them to fully come together until after the unification with Lyndon State is finalized, but once they do, she expects it to be a place where students can gain experiential learning while helping the community.


Another major task assigned to Hoffman is the construction of an applied behavior analysis program, which JSC does not currently have.


“Audrey brings a wealth of experience and scholarship in the field of applied behavior analysis, which was an expertise that was lacking on campus,” said the chair of the Education department, Rob Schulze. “We are thrilled for her to be able to share this knowledge base with our students.”


Hoffman graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. in Psychology, a M.S. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis, and a Ph.D in Disability Disciplines.


“I’ve always been drawn to the helping professions,” she said. “I initially thought I was going to be a counselor or therapist of some sort.”


After attaining her B.S. in Psychology, Hoffman opted out of a master in Psychology, and entered the program for Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis, a decision that would push her towards education.


“I just kind of stumbled into the world of Applied Behavior Analysis, and then once I got there I saw how effective it was, and I was able to help people, and change their behavior and change their lives,” she said.


Hoffman worked as a research assistant and an assistant professor at Utah State. She encountered her first teaching experiences during these jobs, mentoring and supervising students in grades below her.


It was at Utah State that Hoffman also realized she wanted to teach. “Starting my Ph.D program I didn’t exactly know I wanted to be a professor, but throughout the program, going out of it, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.


Vermont is a far leap from Utah, but Hoffman felt confident in her decision to move her family across the country. A large part of that was because of the JSC community. “I really liked and felt welcomed by my department while I was doing the interview process and that helped me know this is a place that I could see myself working,” she said. “But even since I’ve been here they’ve been really helpful and supportive. It’s good to see how much they really love the students.”


Hoffman and her family greatly enjoy outdoor activities and are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities Vermont has to offer. “It has everything we like,” she said with a large grin on her face.