Amy Potthast | Instructional Coach & Designer | Learning Design Studios


Amy Potthast is an instructional coach & designer, adult educator & graphic designer.

Amy Potthast is an instructional designer & coach, graphic designer of instructional materials,  and nonfiction writing coach.

Subject matter experts teach, train, write, and present better as a result of working with Amy.

Her clients include national, state and local organizations such as: Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Clearly Next, Oregon Volunteers, Nonprofit Association of Oregon, Aprende con Amigos Preschool Academy, Confluence Environmental Center, MarriageTeams, and Tracy Schiffman Consulting, Inc.

As a member of the Academy of Design Professionals, Amy is dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence in instructional and graphic design. As such, she has pledged to uphold the spirit and letter of the Code of Professional Conduct for design professionals.

From August 2005 till December 2011, Amy was a program director and content developer for the national nonprofit Amy oversaw Idealist’s Graduate Degree Fairs for the Public Good; created content for, edited, and promoted the Idealist Nonprofit Career Center and Grad School Resource Center; wrote about careers, volunteering and service for the Idealist homepage blog; trained service corps members and program staff;  and created several blogs and podcast series including the Grad School show, the Careers show, The Civic Life show, the Nonprofit Career Month series & blog, and The New Service podcast & blog.

Amy is the author of  Service Corps to Social Impact Career – A Companion to the Idealist Guides to Nonprofit Careers. She’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Outside Magazine, Newshour with Jim Lehrer online, and Shattered Magazine.

In 2007, Amy earned the Building Bridges Award from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals for her work developing the Idealist Grad Fairs.

Early in her career, Amy served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Fuling, Chongqing, China, 1998-2000), as an AmeriCorps member with Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps (2000-01) and as a VISTA Leader with Clara Barton AmeriCorps VISTA Corps.


Amy earned her masters degree in adult education at Oregon State University. Her concentration is in organization and human resource education.

As a post-grad, Amy studied Chinese language & literature at University of Massachusetts at Amherst; at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China; & at Beijing Language and Culture University.

She also studied creative writing and history as an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon.

Finally, Amy graduated third in her class from Harrison Arts Center, a performing and visual arts high school, where she concentrated in drama & served as the student body prez.

Personal life

Amy is a native of Central Florida, the daughter of a photographer  and an emergency room nurse. She now lives in Portland with her husband, sons & cat.

She volunteers on the advisory board of Pixel Arts, and serves on the Evergreen School District Digital Arts Advisory Committee (Vancouver, WA). She also volunteers at Portland City Club, St. Johns Farmers Market Community Partners committee, Rosemary Anderson High School at POIC, and Multnomah County Library.

Additionally, Amy is the director and founder of the all-volunteer St. Johns Village Project, a small-scale, socially innovative approach to decreasing teen parent isolation and improving outcomes for their children. The Project brings together teen and adult parents in a monthly playgroup, and works in partnership with Rosemary Anderson High School, Oregon Mentors, Swapnplay, and St. Johns Farmers Market.

Additional information about Amy:


Comments on: "Bio" (2)

  1. Amy,

    I heard the thought provoking NPR piece on 5 Ways to Spot a Bad Boss. I think the most helpful part was the idea that we learn how not to be a bad boss from learning from those folks (who I perceived) as having lived up to the Peter Principal.


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