Entering education from the private sector, my business experience integrated management, accounting, forecasting and information system design within the service sector. For 10 years, I worked for the largest law firm in Orange County and also served many years on the directorate boards of several privately held corporations. One day as I was staring at Catalina Island from my office window, a vision of myself with white hair doing the same job caused me to resign from a successful career. Opining that there must be more to life, I enjoyed a lot of social lunches and played many sets of tennis. Later for fun, I returned to college taking a class in probability and statistics. I enjoyed the course and enrolled for others. Realizing that it would be wise to pursue a degree and finish my CPA, en route I discovered my passion for economics and for helping students to learn the economic way of thinking. With a life course charted, my goal was to become an economics instructor with the South Orange County Community College District. I am pleased to have achieved this vocational goal.
As a re-entry student who attended both Saddleback and Irvine Valley Colleges, I received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in economics from California State University, Fullerton. Post graduate work included two independent studies, Research Assistant for a USC Sea Grant, and a certificate for the Online Teaching Program offered through UCLA.
Since my first adjunct teaching assignment at Irvine Valley College (IVC) in January 1989, I have taught economics courses with the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD), Chapman University and California State University, Fullerton. Prior to that time, I worked for 5 years as an Instructional Assistant at the Saddleback College Learning Assistance program. During August 1997, I became full-time faculty at IVC and for 7 years served as Academic Chair for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
I have been fortunate to have received a Certificate of Achievement award for co-creation of Irvine Valley College Business & Education Partnership; Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award, Irvine Valley College; Saddleback College Staff Achievement award from the Outstanding Women in South Orange County; Outstanding Graduate Award, CSUF Department of Economics; and Outstanding Senior Award, CSUF Department of Economics.
At IVC, I have been involved in many rewarding projects such as being co-creator of the Irvine Valley College Business and Education Partnership to provide student internship opportunities; initiator of the John D. Lafky Scholarship for the Outstanding Economics Student; textbook reviews for Schiller, Colander, Hall and Lieberman, and Taylor; and organizer of the Technology Fair for the CCEE (Community College Economics Educators).
My professional associations include the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, the Atlantic Economic Society, Omicrom Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Community College Economics Educators, the Institute of Management Science, and the California Teachers Association.
Within economics, my primary areas of interest are macroeconomic policies and institutions that provide an environment conducive for economic development and growth. During the 2003-2004 academic year, I completed my sabbatical project, "Economies in Transition" when I traveled to 15 newly independent countries (NICs) of the former Soviet Union and the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) to research and observe economies undergoing structural change from central planning to market systems. If you wish to view some of the pictures from my research, you may view at: http://faculty.ivc.edu/mstuffler/sabpicts.
While teaching economics is my passion and personally very rewarding, it is of equal importance to my professional vision to create and use innovative teaching techniques to convey that economics is a way of thinking about problems and choices that students will use throughout their lives. This desire along with observation of student struggles to learn economics principles led to the authorship of the Microeconomics Resource Guide, Macroeconomics Resource Guide, and the Resource Guide for Introductory Economics.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy the beach, boating, biking, exploring, traveling and wildlife photography with my husband. We have been married many years—no specific number here. To date we have visited 145 countries and of those, we have visited 64 countries two or more times. Since his retirement 19 years ago, my husband still does some consulting and web design, but more importantly he’s learned to cook—wahoo! We try also to spend some time in Maui each year, we have a retirement condo there and it is our paradise. While I am very tempted to learn to use inline skates, I am certain that my lack of coordination would mean massive injuries to me and other innocent victims. So it is better that I stick to tennis. But if you look carefully on the grassy lawns around the IVC baseball diamond, you might see me twirling and tossing my baton up in the air or hitting a few softballs.