Baas' areas of expertise include urban teacher education, school psychology and special education. She collaborates with psychologists to provide support to communities affected by trauma, such as school shootings. Her current projects include how to address mental health issues among immigrants and refugees; ethnic identity issues and leadership in the Hmong community; research of the efficacy of bilingual teaching and writing a Hmong component to the Cultural Detective instrument.
An author/contributor for a global Christian leadership e-magazine, Burger is an award-winning educator cited for her development of successful online learning programs. She has written and lectured extensively on bullying and cyber bullying, and has vast experience in curriculum development, course design, and design of forward-thinking plans. Burger also is a certified Leadership and Talent Management Coach.
Distad is a leader in the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative, a collaborative partnership of seven higher education institutions to improve K-12 teacher effectiveness as a means to close the achievement gap. The partnership was among those funded by the Bush Foundation in 2009 with an historic $40 million, ten-year grant.
Donovan's expertise is in the theory and practice of democracy, civic engagement, citizen politics, culture change in K-12 settings, strategies for public engagement of K-12 and university students and international democracy building. He has spoken for and worked with school, university, professional and community groups, nationally and in Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Poland, South Africa and Turkey. Donovan has 24 years of experience in K-12 education, including 16 years as a school principal.
Erickson is an expert in the areas of testing and measurement, K-12 education, school policy and governance, service-learning and technology integration in schools. He recently served on the Minneapolis School Board.
Fischer’s areas of expertise include reading, writing, literacy and assessment. She has recently been investigating the opportunities that exist when utilizing technology in the literacy classroom. Fischer began her professional career as a classroom teacher and maintains her Elementary Education and K-12 Reading Teacher License.
Gehrke is a professional educator with more than 20 years of experience teaching learners at all levels, from Pre-K through the collegiate ranks. She has been preparing future educators at Concordia since 1999. Gehrke specializes in early childhood and elementary education. She has coordinated Concordia's Early Childhood Education online programs since 1999.
Koomen taught for many years in elementary schools before joining the faculty at Gustavus. Her research interests focus on practices of exemplary teachers in science and mathematics, as well as learning by under-represented youth in science and math classrooms. She was a member of the Minnesota State Science Standards Revision Committee in 2009.
Matsuura works with future secondary mathematics teachers at St. Olaf, and has been involved in the preparation of pre-service teachers and professional development for in-service teachers for more than 10 years. He is an active member of Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), and currently serves at vice-chair of MCTM CONNECT, an initiative that supports beginning teachers in Minnesota. A former high school teacher in the Boston area, Matsuura has a Ph.D. in mathematics (number theory). His current NSF-funded research examines secondary teachers' mathematical habits of mind.
O'Connor's focus is in the area of community inclusion of people with disabilities. Specific foci include issues around diversity, the disproportionate representation of students of color in special education and promotion of self-determination through the use of service learning and public achievement.
Pitton is a member of the Board of Directors of Minnesota ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development). She is also the author of three books including Mentoring Novice Teachers and Developing pre-service problem solving skills through case studies. At Gustavus she supervises student teachers and serves as the Education department chair.
Starks began her career in early childhood education as a pre-school teacher. Twenty-two years later, her passion for teaching and making a difference in the lives of children continues through her instruction of future teachers at Concordia. Her doctoral dissertation explored approaches to early childhood teacher training in teacher education programs. She is a Master Cadre member for the state of Minnesota, working with the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) initiative.
Takkunen has expertise in educational technology, which was the subject of her doctoral research, effective online teaching practices and inquiry based learning. She recently led a highly successful conference for K-12 educators on educational technology and has served on the Minnesota Digital Learning Committee and the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee for Mathematics.
An enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Tanner has worked with Indian education programs throughout Minnesota at grade school through college levels. She has expertise in a variety of aspects of Native American education as well as culturally responsive teaching methods that embrace a diverse student body while building a sense of community among all learners.