Core Faculty


Dr. Jenni Conrad
Jenni Conrad, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Social Studies and Teacher Education 
Endorsement Areas: Social Studies and English/Language Arts


Dr. Conrad is passionate about K-12 and teacher education that support educational equity and justice — as a teacher educator, educational researcher, parent and community member. Her research focuses on understanding teacher learning, identities and instructional shifts towards justice-oriented practices in social studies and democratic/civic education, particularly with discussion — and inquiry-based teaching. Prior to joining OSU-Cascades, she served as research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, postdoctoral research fellow at Temple University, and as teaching faculty at the University of Washington and Seattle University.

Before earning her doctorate, she taught for eight years in Seattle Public Schools (mostly Title I contexts) and as an experiential educator with multiple outdoor and environmental nonprofits. She was awarded AERA Division K’s Outstanding Dissertation Award and the NCSS Social Justice Social Studies Research Grant, and her writing appears in Teachers College RecordTheory & Research in Social Education, Teaching & Teacher Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Qualitative Research, Multicultural Perspectives and others. Her work has been funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the National Council for the Social Studies, PEO International and the University of Washington’s Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.


Associate Professor Michael Giamellaro
Michael Giamellaro, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Master of Arts in Teaching; Program Coordinator, MAT and B.S. in Teaching
Endorsement Areas: Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics


Dr. Giamellaro is dedicated to preparing future teachers to work within the current schools of Oregon and the world. He is equally passionate about working with his students and current educators to imagine schools as they could be, pushing for innovative and student-centered learning experiences. Understanding learning through experience is also at the heart of Giamellaro’s research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Oregon Department of Education and private foundations. He studies how learning in or with real-world contexts impacts learning and this includes integrated STEM, teacher-scientist partnerships, field learning and digital immersion into simulated settings. Giamellaro has taught in public and private middle and high schools in Colorado and New York City. He brings all of these experiences into his teaching to help launch students into a productive and formative launch into their own teacher careers.


Melinda Knapp, Undergraduate Teaching Program Coordinator, Senior Instructor I
Melinda Knapp

Undergraduate Teaching Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Practice
Endorsement Areas: Foundational Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics


Dr. Melinda Knapp is interested in student learning and its connection to teacher development. With 15 years of K-12 mathematics classroom teaching and instructional coaching experiences, Knapp is particularly interested in how novice and expert teachers attend to students' mathematical thinking through discourse with other students. Her focus is on how teachers learn to orchestrate discussions that will support deeper understanding of mathematics for students.

Knapp's professional goals encompass creating opportunities for collaborating with teams of mathematics educators, practitioners, and school leaders in order to design innovative learning experiences and create vibrant intellectual communities for students, teacher candidates and practicing teachers.

In her most recent work, Knapp coordinates, plans, and facilitates "practice-based" mathematics methods courses in a local elementary school. These mediated field experiences give teacher candidates opportunities to learn how to teach mathematics in a school context with school aged students and with the support of university instructors. To learn more about this model of teacher education used at OSU-Cascades click here.


Rachael Schuetz
Rachael Schuetz, D.Ed.

Associate Professor of Practice, MAT/ B.S. Teaching: Elem. Ed & National Board Certified Teacher (she/her/hers)
Endorsement Area: Elementary Education


Rachael Schuetz is an associate professor of practice in the Master of Arts in Teaching and undergraduate teaching programs at OSU-Cascades. As a National Board Certified Teacher, she enjoyed teaching in the primary grades over nine years, most of that spent in the Bend LaPine Schools. In 2012, Schuetz was honored as a finalist for the Bend LaPine Schools Teacher of the Year award. Along with teaching and advising students in the elementary education programs, she continues her research in educational technology, teacher preparation and elementary classrooms.


headshot of Stephanie Thomas
Stephanie Thomas, M.A.

Assistant Director for Licensure, Accreditation & Assessment


Prior to her time at OSU, Stephanie worked in K-12 education in Washington state, most recently as the Coordinator of Instructional Programs for Secondary ELA in Spokane Public Schools. The majority of her time in Washington was with the Mount Vernon School District where she served first as the Assistant Director of Assessment & Data Systems, then the Director of Evaluation & Student Learning, and finally the Director of Teaching & Learning providing leadership for curriculum and instruction, professional learning, and assessment operations and reporting system wide. Prior to her time in Mount Vernon, Stephanie worked as the Research & Assessment Specialist in Bellingham Public Schools. She began her career as a middle and high school ELA and social studies teacher, interventionist, and instructional coach.