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PhD, Educational Policy, University of California, Davis, 2009; MA, in Education, California State University, Sacramento, 1996; BA, History, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1988
Dr. Belcastro has been at SOU since 2001. Prior to coming to SOU, she worked as a member of the research and development team for the California Department of Education. She also taught in alternative education as well as teaching Social Studies, Language Arts, Multiple Subjects, and being a Title I Reading Specialist. Her professional areas of research include education policy; higher education retention and success of historically underserved populations; K-12 curriculum and assessment policy; social-emotional learning; and issues of social justice and democratic schools.
Pat is a Professor Emeritus at Southern Oregon University. She completed her graduate and post graduate work at the University of Oregon. She also earned a graduate diploma from Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Her undergraduate work was completed at George Fox College (University), Portland Museum Art School, and Southern Oregon College (University).
She has served on the faculty at SOU in a variety of capacities since 1978, most recent before retirement, as Director of Distance Learning for 12 years, pioneering Distance Education at the institution, and training other faculty to use online teaching tools. Pat also served as an Associate Professor, teaching courses in the Masters of Education/Continuing Teaching Licensure programs.
In post-retirement, she continues to serve in the Division of Education. Having been employed professionally in the field of education since 1967, Pat has enjoyed working as a secondary/middle school teacher, and media specialist, in addition to the many hats worn at SOU. With 48 years as a professional in education, she specializes in the areas of Talented and Gifted education, exceptional learners, differentiated curriculum and instruction, intervention/prevention of child abuse and neglect, and intervention/prevention of bullying in the schools.
Pat is a master printmaker and an artist. She firmly believes that “A great teacher is a dream maker, not a dream breaker!” ~ Chauncey Veatch, 2002 National Teacher of the Year.
MS, Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1998; BS, Education, Texas Christian University, 1997
Tanya Blakeley has been with SOU since 2009, where she is half time in Education and half time in Criminology and Criminal Justice as the Program Coordinator. Prior to moving to Oregon, Tanya worked as a classroom teacher in grades 5-12, and in various non-profit organizations in areas of education and program coordination.
Assistant Professor of Education
PhD, Curriculum & Instruction, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2019; MSEd, Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, Walden University, 2010; BA, Social Studies, Madonna University, 2007
Dr. Casto began teaching at SOU in 2019. Prior to that, she devoted 12 years to teaching students in grades K-8 and improving the quality of instruction for students in North Carolina. She has taught in a variety of K-8 settings throughout her professional journey, including traditional public, STEM magnet, private, and charter schools. Dr. Casto is most passionate about topics in education related to the themes of STEM education, multicultural education, and the professional development of preservice and inservice teachers.
Assistant Professor – Environmental Education and Education
Dr. Coker is co-coordinator of the Environmental Education Graduate Program at SOU, and she teaches in both the Environmental Education program and the School of Education. Teresa approaches education through an equity lens, continually seeking to make education accessible and attainable for all. She has experience working in both nonformal and formal education settings. Her nonformal environmental education experience includes teaching at Sandy Creek Nature Center, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, and the Urban Tree House Project. Her formal education background includes elementary teaching and faculty positions at other institutions. In addition to her educational experience, her research interests have led her to examine program evaluation for nonformal organizations.
PhD, Curriculum & Instruction and Education Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2022; MS, International Studies, Oklahoma State University, 2016; MA, Social Studies Education, Loyola Marymount University, 2005; BA, History, Colorado College, 2003
Dr. Corrigan’s passion is multicultural education. His goal is to provide teachers with critical/global perspectives on issues of diversity and equity within the field of education. Prior to his time in higher education, Dr. Corrigan taught social studies for 14 years in Compton, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Vanuatu. His research currently focuses on human rights education and how to support teachers in centering social justice in their practice, particularly when they may face opposition in doing so. In his courses, Dr. Corrigan incorporates disciplines from the humanities and social sciences to broaden critiques of forces within education.
MS, Education, San Jose State University, 1996
Susan brings 15 years of classroom experience to her role as a faculty member at SOU. She worked in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching 4th, 5th, and 8th grades. She earned National Board Certification in 2003 and 2013. She uses the experience gained through that process to support all licensure students at SOU as the edTPA Coordinator. Her areas of interest include reflective teaching, differentiation, math investigations, science inquiry, and mentoring of student teachers. She considers her role in the School of Education as an investment in our future teachers.
PhD, in Multicultural Special Education, University of Arizona, 2010; MS, Education, Southern Oregon University; BS, Cultural Geography, Humboldt State University
Dr. Farnsworth possesses a strong commitment to teach, serve, and collaborate with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse families and students who may experience exceptionalities. Dr. Farnsworth has taught in both public and private schools in California, Oregon, Arizona, and Hawaii. She is currently co-authoring a textbook that will help teachers meet the needs of diverse learners.
Ed.D, Educational Leadership, Seattle University, 2010; MAT, Seattle University, 2002; BS, Sociology with Minor in Women’s Studies, University of Washington, 1999
Dr. Gravelle started teaching in the School of Education at SOU in the fall of 2009. She loves her role as Coordinator of the Multiple Subjects MAT program as it allows her to work closely with MAT students, schools, district administrators, faculty, and the guides/supervisors. She also teaches literacy courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs and is able to build on her previous work as a preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade public school teacher – helping future teachers learn the stages of reading and writing development and taking that information to consider how to create classrooms that will motivate their future students to become lifelong readers and writers. She also teaches the capstone/practicum courses to the undergraduate senior education students. She feels it’s a fascinating course because it enables her to take what she learned through her years teaching in elementary schools and also her study of leadership and apply it to her with work with SOU students. She really enjoys digging into topics with her students that focus on self-growth, one’s role in society, poverty, diversity, assessment, and differentiation in instruction.
PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1998; MA, Education, California State University, Fresno, 1992; BA, English Literature with a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, California State University, Fresno, 1981
Dr. Greene has taught in a variety of grade levels and cultural contexts that include California, Hawaii, and American Samoa. He came to Oregon in the fall of 1998 to help launch the newly established Master of Arts in Teaching program at SOU. His current teaching and scholarship focus on holistic education and human development..
M.A., Human Development, Pacific Oaks College
Susan holds an M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Her experience includes working with children and families in a variety of programs. She has worked as an Early Childhood Teacher, Director and Trainer.
Currently, Susan works with Early Head Start as an Education and Family Partnership Supervisor and as an instructor at SOU. She has presented workshops at OAEYC and NAEYC.
PhD, Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education, University of Oregon, 1996
Dr. Kim taught in the School of Education at Oregon State University from 1996-99 and worked as a child development specialist during the years 1990-96. Dr. Kim has been teaching in the Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education programs in the School of Education at SOU since 1999. Her scholarship includes holistic teaching and learning, core reflection approach to teaching, contemplative education, and linking play to practice.
PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2001; MEd, Special Education, UCLA, 1984; BA, Psychology, UCLA, 1981
Dr. Lau-Smith began her career as a Special Education demonstration teacher at the UCLA Fernald School. Her work as a teacher/researcher at UCLA continues to have a significant influence on who she is as an educator today. She learned that students with learning, emotional and behavioral needs can be engaged in school when learning is explicitly linked to their personal interests and goals. A focus on students’ intrinsic motivation, providing choices and highlighting students’ strengths have been a hallmark of her teaching approach. Her teaching at SOU continues to be student-focused and has evolved further with the application of core reflection, a strength-based process that assists students to become reflective and intentionally inviting teachers.
MAT, Southern Oregon University, 2010; BA, English – Education Concentration, University of Colorado, 1990
Cathy Lemble earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado in 1990 with a focus in Education. She then went on to teach and help direct 11 years of preschool in Montessori-enriched programs. In 2010, Cathy earned her MAT from SOU after teaching 10 years at Willow Wind and Walker Elementary schools in Ashland, Oregon.
Cathy’s interests include alternative education, multicultural curriculum, children’s literature, social emotional learning, and family-community relationships. She values interest-led learning in a child-centered environment and weaves the value of respecting our environment and all of its creatures throughout her curriculum.
PhD, Curriculum and Instruction, New Mexico State University, 2014; MA, Education, SOU, 1999; BA, Theater, Lewis and Clark, 1997
Dr. Longhurst has been with SOU since 2011 and with the School of Education since 2014. Her research interests include rural education, teacher education and the role of place, class and culture in schooling. Before coming to SOU, Dr. Longhurst was a high school language arts, drama and social studies teacher as well as community college writing instructor.
MA, Education Administration, SOU, 2016; BS, Early Childhood Education, SOU, 2014; AAS, Early Childhood Education, Umpqua Community College
Shawn has lived in Douglas County, Or for most of her life, and graduated from Glide High School. She has six children and enjoys having big family gatherings, and watching her grandsons wrestle and her granddaughters dance. Shawn likes to read, enjoys being involved in her community, and channels her passion for working with young children into the several committees in which she serves.
Shawn has worked at UCAN Head Start for the past 21 years. She started out as a teacher’s assistant, then moved to being a teacher. After earning an AAS degree in Early Childhood Education from Umpqua Community College, she became a supervisor, and eventually worked her way up to manager where she oversaw all classroom and education components, including staff training. This past year she moved up to the Assistant Director position where she now oversees all of the day-to-day operations in education, facilities, the health component, and family services.
Shawn graduated with a BS degree in Early Childhood Education from SOU in 2014 and received her Master in Education Administration in 2016. Shawn also holds a Director’s credential from the state of Oregon and is a Johnson and Johnson fellow from the Business Administration program at UCLA. For the last 2 years, besides working at Head Start, she has worked as an instructor for both UCC and SOU in their Early Childhood Education programs.
Paula Lynam, M.Ed., is the Founder and Director of The Secret Garden Preschool and Kindergarten, an instructor at SOU, RCC, and Waldorf Teacher Training Eugene, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Applied Eco Psychology. For close to 40 years she has been working with children and families in a variety of capacities, including Parent/Child Facilitator, Handwork/Art Teacher, Educational Support Teacher/Practitioner, Games/Integrative Movement Teacher, and Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher and Mentor.
Paula advocates for the effectiveness of holistic practices in education and nature-play-based early learning, while encouraging educators on their path of inner-development to incorporate nature, creativity, hand-work, and soul filled reflective practices into their daily life.
PhD, Bilingual and Special Education, New Mexico State University, 1997; MS, Bilingual Special Education, New Mexico State University; BS, Special Education, New Mexico State University
Dr. McCain came to SOU in 2000. He has over 25 years of experience at the university level. Prior to SOU, he was a special education teacher in New Mexico and taught at four different universities including Southern Illinois University, Eastern Oregon University, New Mexico State University, and the University of Texas at El Paso. He has several publications in areas of multicultural education, critical theory, bilingual education, special education, as well as comparative research on indigenous education. Dr. McCain currently teaches special education, educational research and oversees the ESOL/Bilingual endorsement program at SOU.
MS, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Oregon, 2001
Bridey Mendoza-Moore, MS, received her Master’s Degree and teaching credential in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education from University of Oregon in 2001. She has been an advocate for children and families for over 20 years serving as preschool teacher, home visitor for families at risk, child development consultant, and parenting class facilitator. Bridey has several years of experience supporting adults in their professional development through supervision, trainings, and instruction. Most recently she has served as an instructor with SOU since 2016 in addition to teaching at Rogue Community College and providing trainings for Childcare Resource and Referral Network. Bridey’s professional interests include early attachment, executive functioning, social -emotional development, and building resiliency. She is passionate about supporting professionals in applying early childhood developmental theory and research to daily routines.
EdD, Organizational and Adult Learning and Development, Columbia University Teachers College, 2019; MA Educational Leadership, University of Colorado, Denver, 2007; BFA University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1990
Dr. Owen joins SOU in 2020 with more than two decades of experience as a school leader in unique public and private schools. She uses a holistic, human-centered approach toward closing the opportunity gap and uplifting the human spirit. She also works to develop non-profit leaders and boards. Her ongoing interests are in transformative learning, contemplative practices, the neuroscience of racial bias, and self-organizing governance.
Michele A. Pavilionis
Tribal Nations Liaison
B.S. Southern Oregon University 2011; M.I.I.S Southern Oregon University 2020
Michele grew up in small-town Ashland Oregon, spending time in the woods and hiking the local trails since she was a youth. A mother of two, Michele has been a naturalist and educator in the outdoors for over 20 years. Former lead instructor and creator for an outdoor wilderness survival program for preschoolers. Experience includes training as a circle facilitator for female youth circles; level one challenge course facilitation; wilderness first aid and responder certification; basic archery and Qigong instructor. She is trained and practiced in mindfulness-based, non-violent communication skills as well as restorative justice mediation. Michele earned her bachelor’s degree with a major in Early Childhood Development, minoring in OAL and NAS. Michele focused her master’s degree in Holistic Education, building on to curriculum combining the interdisciplinary aspects of Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Native American Studies, with recent certifications in NAS and Holistic Education from SOU. She has been a presenter at AORE and PGMONE, and continues to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors.
MS, Early Childhood Special Education, University of Oregon, 2003; BA, Speech Therapy, Communication Disorders & Sciences, University of Oregon, 2001
Sarah followed her passion for working with young children by earning her master’s degree and teaching license in Special Education and Early Intervention at the University of Oregon. This pivotal experience opened the door for an amazing and rewarding career in several top performing, award-winning school districts. She has devoted herself to helping early childhood elementary students realize their full potential. She has successfully taught in the Palm Springs Unified School District, San Juan Capistrano Unified School District, and most recently in the Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas. She is devoted to empowering parents to be advocates for their children, creating inclusive school environments and building a school community that values all learners. She believes that aspiring to be an educator is the ultimate profession and feels honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with future teachers. See Sarah Razzano’s blog website here.
M.Ed., Southern Oregon University, 2014; BA, Elementary Education, Southern Oregon University, 1983
Sara Stearns, M.Ed., works for the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children as Associate Executive Director. Sara received her M.Ed. from Southern Oregon University in 2014. She earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from SOU in 1983 with an emphasis in early childhood education. Sara has worked in the field of early childhood education for over thirty years holding many positions including parent educator, teacher, mentor, trainer, and director. Her professional focus over the past few years has been on teaching, training and mentoring early childhood care and education practitioners. Her experience encompasses the non-profit and for-profit market. Her last year before joining Oregon AEYC in 2014 was concluding her nine-year tenure as SOU Schneider Children’s Center Director in Ashland.
Sara is a Master Trainer for the Oregon Registry. Sara orchestrates conferences and workshops for the early childhood care and education workforce though out Oregon. She is a native Oregonian and lives in Oregon City
Rebecca Tree has over 35 years in the early childhood field. After serving as the Founder and Director of Roots & Wings Community Preschool for 25 years she joined The Community Preschool at SOU as its Director in addition to instructor in the ECD program. Ms. Tree received her Master’s in Education from SOU at the age of 62, proving that learning is a life-long endeavor and as long as we breathe we should be engaged in meaningful work.
Ed.D, Curriculum and Instruction, Montana State University, 2016; MAT English and Secondary Teaching, University of Portland, 1994; BA, Philosophy & Theology, University of Portland, 1991.
Dr. Waterton taught secondary English in Colorado and Montana for fourteen years before working in teacher education at Montana State University in Bozeman. His areas of interest and research include rural teacher education, culturally sustaining education, narrative inquiry, English education, particularly writing pedagogies, and the National Writing Project’s influence on teachers and students.
Coordinator for Minority Outreach Programs
MA, Higher Education, Portland State University, 2013; BA, Communication, Southern Oregon University, 2009
Jonathan has been working at SOU since 2009. For the past eight years, he has devoted his time working with the Latino community to increase high school graduation, college enrollment, parent participation, assistance to undocumented students, and the creation of numerous programs for underrepresented students. He has been working with youth for over 14 years in southern Oregon. Currently, he is the Co-Director of Academia Latina hosted at Southern Oregon University. Jonathan’s passion is the implementation of programs in higher education institutions that can help guide underrepresented students to obtain a college education. In his free time, he is a member of numerous boards and organizations that included the Oregon Community Foundation’s Latino Partnership Program, the Southern Oregon Latino Scholarship Fund, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Cultural Connections, Hispanic Interagency Committee, and SOU’s Diversity & Inclusion and Strategic Planning Committees. In March 2017, Jonathan was appointed to the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs by Governor Kate Brown.
Student Success Coordinator
BS, Social Science, Western Oregon State College, 1989; EdM, College Student Services Administration, Oregon State University, 1992
In her role as Student Success Coordinator, Mary advises new and transfer students as they set a path toward reaching their educational and career goals. From taking the first steps of registration to finding footing in a major, Mary is dedicated to providing support and access to resources for Education, Health & Leadership students while always encouraging them to be leaders in their own lives. She is excited to be a part of the diverse, innovative and welcoming culture of SOU. A long-time resident of southern Oregon, Mary enjoys spending time with her family, theater, running and volunteering for creative organizations that serve children and teens.
Minority Outreach Programs Navigator
MA, Education, Southern Oregon University, 2015; BA, English Education, Southern Oregon University, 2012
Kayla taught English as a foreign language in South Korea for one year before joining on as the Minority Outreach Programs Navigator in 2014. Currently, she assists with Pirates and Bulldogs to Raiders and the Early Childhood Development program, and is an instructor for the ECD Orientation and Writing for Teachers online courses.