- DEd., Adult Education, The Pennsylvania State University
- M.S., Computer Science, Villanova University
- B.A., Computer Science, Temple University
Dr. Shaffer began developing software professionally in 1983, two years before he completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science as a President's scholar at Temple University (summa cum laude). He developed his career by being one of the earliest software engineers to combine artificial intelligence techniques with large scale relational database systems, eventually for large chemical and pharmaceutical companies. After obtaining the designation of Certified Systems Professional in 1989 and completing his Master's degree in Computer Science at Villanova University in 1990, Shaffer founded Decision Associates Inc., a consulting firm specializing in clinical data management and software quality assurance. In 1995, Dr. Shaffer sold the company and entered a doctoral program at Penn State. Two years later, he accepted a faculty position with the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at Penn State, where he taught software engineering, artificial intelligence, and programming. During this time, he obtained the designation of Certified Software Quality Engineer and completed a doctorate in Education, with emphasis on educational psychology and distance education. Dr. Shaffer left CSE in 2012 to accept his current position with the College of IST.
Throughout his time in industry, Steve worked for, consulted to, or trained employees from such diverse organizations as NASA, several major Pharmaceutical companies, Scott Paper Company, The Federal Reserve, National Telephone Directory, Rohm & Haas, U.S. Department of Defense, the IRS, Perot Systems, and The Smithsonian Institution.