Susan Palmer

Executive Director

The Five Colleges of Ohio

Susan Palmer is the Executive Director of The Five Colleges of Ohio, a consortium founded in 1995 to efficiently coordinate administrative and operating functions and develop collaborative academic programs for The College of Wooster, Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, and Ohio Wesleyan University. From 1990-99, Dr. Palmer served as the Carolinas and Ohio Science Education Network (COSEN) Executive Director. COSEN, a consortium of 8 institutions, was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to improve science education. The member institutions were the five Ohio colleges plus Davidson College, Duke University, and Furman University. COSEN was a science enrichment program primarily for those underrepresented in science and mathematics, involving 200 students and 100 faculty members each year. COSEN student activities encompassed mentoring by faculty, peer-group support, one-week career conferences, three-week field research programs, ten-week summer research experiences, and annual research conferences. In 1994, COSEN was named A Program That Works by Project Kaleidoscope.

Dr. Palmer's educational background includes a B.S. in chemistry from Otterbein College, a M.A.T. from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with concentrations in cognitive neuroscience and science education from The Ohio State University. She taught chemistry, biology, and physical science in the Baltimore City public high schools and chemistry and neurochemistry at Kenyon College. Palmer also participated in the organizational process leading to the formation of the Kenyon Neuroscience Program in 1993. Since that time, she has assisted with the capstone seminar Current Research Topics in Neuroscience and lectured in the Introduction to Neuroscience course on brain imaging techniques and the effects of hormones on brain activity.

Although her recent professional activities involve classroom and program research and assessment, consortial operations, and the educational uses of technology, Dr. Palmer remains committed to making improvements in science education at the undergraduate and K-12 levels, and encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to enter science careers. Palmer has served as a consultant to other colleges about their science programs and was on the Science Advisory Committee for the development of a model K-12 curriculum framework for the Ohio Department of Education. She is a long-standing member of Sigma Xi, a participant in the Ohio Project (a state-wide initiative to improve undergraduate science education), and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Consortium Leadership.