Dr. Susan Boser

  • Susan BoserProfessor

    Office Location

    McElhaney Hall, 102D


    • Bonaventure University, BA , English
    • St. Bonaventure University, MSEd, Community Counseling
    • Cornell University, PhD, Policy Analysis and Management, Human Service Studies


    Susan Boser has a PhD in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University, with a primary concentration in human service studies program evaluation and action research. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania since 2002, she currently is a full professor and assistant chair of the Department of Sociology. In 2008–09, she served IUP as the interim associate provost for Academic Programs and Planning. Other prior appointments at IUP include dean’s associate for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and dean’s associate for the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Prior to her current academic career, Boser worked for 20 years in the field of human service practice as a practitioner, administrator, and program evaluator, and was active with grass-roots activism for reforming practice.

    Boser’s substantive area of scholarship involves the structural role of local government in fostering or hindering democratic practice and voice for marginalized groups. In 2012, she served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she conducted national-level research on the state of local governance and democratic voice. Since her return, she presented a paper on her Nepal research findings at the third annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalayas. While in Nepal, she also provided consultation to Dhulikel Hospital on developing evaluation for their community-based health outreach programs and conducted a national training in qualitative research methodology for public and nonprofit practitioners.

    Boser has also been active with the International Research Society on Public Management, presenting papers related to reconceptualizing the role of local government at their annual conferences in Dublin, Ireland, and Prague, Czech Republic, and for a select seminar on local government research in Milan, Italy, in 2013.

    Other earlier work includes program evaluation, qualitative research methodology, and academic program assessment. Her experience at IUP in these areas includes: leadership at the department, college, and university level in assessment design and implementation; faculty development for assessment; infrastructure development for assessment; accreditation self-study and reporting; as well as multi-year terms on the University Senate, the IRB, and three Middle States Self-Study subcommittees.

    Boser has over 15 years of private consulting experience in evaluation and training, including: New York State Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, University of Kuwait, University of Baltimore, Alvernia College, along with other public and nonprofit organizations. She has a number of publications in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals focusing on evaluation and research methodology for social and/or organizational change and development.

    In addition, over the past 15 years she’s made numerous presentations at national and international conferences on topics related to research or evaluation, including an invited expert lecture on “Outcomes Assessment in the Higher Education Context” at the American Evaluation Association national conference. Boser has also held leadership roles in the American Evaluation Association, including two years of service as chair of the Organization Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building interest group, an 800-member group.

    Areas of Expertise

    Social Policy, Action Research, Qualitative Research, Research Ethics, Mixed Methodology, Program Evaluation, Democracy and Social Change, Higher Education

    Susan Boser – Curriculum Vitae

    Completed Master’s Thesis, Committee Chair

    McCann, L. (2016). The seedling project: A case study. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Goss, R. (2006). pOLITICALLY qUEER: A qualitative exploration of queer identities and political activism. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Rosen, N. (2006). Kenyan women’s attitudes toward efforts to eradicate female genital cutting. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Stagmer, M. (2006). Voluntary seminary drop-out: A qualitative analysis. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Bowser, D. (2005).The Erosion of Social Control: An In-Depth Analysis of Habitual Marijuana Use in America. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Fitzpatrick, C. (2003). The connects and disconnects of theory and program evaluation practice. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Completed Doctoral Dissertations, Committee Chair

    Bylaska, P. (2015). The impact of financial issues on the departure of first-year, first-time-in-college, full-time students from a public, four-year university: An institutional case study.

    DiMatteo, M. (2014) Assessment of the efficacy of strengths-based mobile therapy

    Diehl, A. (2013) Making meaning of adversity: Experiences of women leaders in higher education

    Dowdy, J. (2011) Perceptions of identity and leadership among African-American female administrators within public higher education

    Williams, A. (2011) Organizational changes in community behavioral health organizations subsequent to the implementation of Medicaid managed care.

    Welliver, D. (2011) The quest for white, privilege-cognizant, anti-racist character: An autoethnographic inquiry

    Rapano, J. (2009) Initiating and evaluating a participatory action research project to generate strategies to address burnout among human service workers Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Feroz, B. (2009) An action research approach with Early Head Start families and community stakeholders. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Marshall, D. (2005). A qualitative approach to understanding African American students’ perspectives on retention programs at a historically black college and university and a predominantly white institution. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.

    Scotland, E. (2005). Civil society leadership in the Commonwealth of Dominica: A qualitative case study of leadership characteristics in a changing social context. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology.