The SOU Laboratory of Anthropology was awarded $500,000 by Congress

SOU Laboratory of Anthropology project rewarded by Congress

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology’s Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project – an ongoing, collaborative effort to research and document the lives of Oregon’s early Chinese immigrants – was awarded almost $500,000 in the spending bill approved by Congress this month. The federal allocation more than doubles the total funding that the archaeological project has received since it began in 2016.

SOU is the only one of Oregon’s four technical and regional universities to receive congressional funding in the new spending bill.

“This is another example of our representatives at both the state and federal levels recognizing the important, innovative work that is coming out of our university,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “Senators Merkley and Wyden supported this request through all the twists and turns of the congressional budgeting process, and the result will be a far greater understanding of the vital roles that Chinese Americans and immigrants have played throughout Oregon’s history.”

The new federal funding will allow the award-winning Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project to expand well beyond its original focus on 19th century mining and railroad settlements, to encompass areas throughout the state where Chinese immigrants have had a presence. The project will also incorporate “orphaned” collections from other archaeological efforts, and will result in a series of field schools, volunteer opportunities, exhibits, digital content and free, public talks and programs.

“We have investigated railroad and mining sites across the state, but these funds will be used to explore and document the history of Chinese Oregonians living in diverse geographical areas and working in a variety of industries, in an effort to better capture the full range of Chinese American heritage and experience in Oregon,” said archaeologist Chelsea Rose, director of the SOU Laboratory of Anthropology.

“While we have done amazing things working with our partners to date, this allows us to investigate some of the ‘bucket list’ sites we have encountered over the years, and implement some of our dream projects,” she said.

SOULA works on the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project with agencies including the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management, the Malheur National Forest, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon State Parks, the Oregon Historical Society and the Portland Chinatown Museum.

Researchers have used local history and public archaeology to challenge dated stereotypes and highlight the transnational lives of the Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans that helped establish the early infrastructure and economic industries of Oregon. The project has included digging, interpreting and touring numerous archaeological sites around the state where Chinese immigrants worked and lived, and researching censuses and community records.

The effort has won several awards, including one last fall from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and a national Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) in June of 2022.

Sens. Merkley and Wyden submitted a “congressionally directed spending request” on SOU’s behalf to better enable students to assist with a comprehensive, statewide inventory of Chinese heritage sites. It will pay for archival research, targeted field visits and community outreach, and archaeological investigations at seven to 10 sites identified during the survey.

“These investigations would target sites that will fill in gaps in the documentary record, including industries or areas of the state that have been understudied,” the congressional request said. “This will consist of a mix of archaeological excavation, intensive survey, or analysis of orphaned artifact collections.”

About two-thirds of the $499,743 allocated by Congress will be used for fieldwork and reporting, with most of the remainder earmarked for travel, curation and supplies. The funding is part of the federal Labor, Health and Human Services budget for improvement of postsecondary education.


SOU receives Tree Campus designation

SOU earns 10th Tree Campus designation

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been honored by the national Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for the 10th consecutive year, in recognition of SOU’s commitment to the effective management of its urban forest.

Tree Campus Higher Education, a program that began in 2008, recognizes U.S. colleges and universities, and their leaders, for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. SOU, which first earned the distinction in 2014, is one of 411 higher education institutions nationwide to receive the most recent recognition.

“We are delighted to be awarded Tree Campus certification for another year at Southern Oregon University,” said Becs Walker, SOU’s director of sustainability. “This is very much a collaborative effort of faculty, students, staff and the community. Our trees are also facing increased stress from drought and disease, and our landscape department is working hard to minimize this impact.”

SOU earned the Tree Campus designation by fulfilling the program’s five standards for effective campus forest management: maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project..

Trees on campus and in urban spaces can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. Trees can also improve students’ mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses and create shaded areas for studying and gathering.

“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member, nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. The foundation, launched in 1972, has helped to plant nearly 500 million trees in more than 50 countries.


Travis Campbell recognized by American Economics Association

SOU economist’s research recognized by American Economic Association

(Ashland, Ore.) — SOU economist Travis Campbell and a co-author from Rutgers University have been recognized by the American Economic Association for writing the best research paper over the past year on LGBTQ+ economics.

The award for Campbell, an assistant professor of economics at SOU, and co-author Yana Rodgers of Rutgers was announced at the AEA’s annual meeting this month in San Antonio, Texas. Their paper, “Conversion therapy, suicidality and running away: An analysis of transgender youth in the U.S.” was nominated for the award from the AEA’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession.

The research paper by Campbell and Rodgers was published last year in the Journal of Health Economics. Their study is based on data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, and found that the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” increases the risk of suicide attempts among transgender youth by 55 percent, and increases the likelihood of running away from home by 128 percent. Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation – or gender identity or expression – to conform with heterosexual norms.

Campbell and Rodgers analyzed data from U.S. Transgender Survey, which is the largest-ever assessment of transgender people with more than 27,700 respondents across the U.S. participating.

Campbell has also authored an article for The Conversation website that summarizes the paper he co-authored with Rodgers, and a few related papers he has written.

Campbell joined the SOU Economics faculty after earning his Ph.D. in economics in 2022 from the University of Massachusetts. His research applies microeconomics to social justice issues, including economic inequalities based on race, gender and sexuality. His classes at SOU include Micro and Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods and Application, Healthcare Economics, Labor Economics and Gender Issues in Economics.

The AEA’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession presents its award annually to the best paper, published in a peer-reviewed journal or academic press, on topics “especially relevant to or about LGBTQ+ populations.”

The AEA committee was created to help build an economics profession that is open to all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, family status or disability. The committee is based on the belief that a diverse profession encourages the highest quality scholarship.


SOU's Neil Woolf to become president of New Mexico Highlands University

SOU VP named president of university in New Mexico

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University Executive Vice President Neil Woolf, who has served at SOU for the past five years, has been selected to become the 19th president at New Mexico Highlands University, in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The NMHU Board of Regents voted unanimously at a special meeting today to hire Woolf as the successor to President Sam Minner, who is retiring at the end of June after nine years as the university’s president. Woolf is expected to continue in his role at SOU until beginning his job at NMHU next summer.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at SOU, which I feel have prepared me well for this next chapter in my career,” Woolf said. “SOU and the communities of southern Oregon hold a special place in my heart.”

Woolf began work at SOU in January 2019 as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. He previously led enrollment efforts at higher education institutions in Wisconsin, Washington and Nevada.

“A couple of his many achievements include helping SOU to coordinate with the Oregon Health Authority and others throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and initiating data sharing with school districts throughout Oregon and beyond – an effort that has already had a significant positive effect on our enrollment,” SOU President Rick Bailey said.

Woolf received his bachelor’s degree in government from Eastern Washington University, his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah and his Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

New Mexico Highlands is a public university just east of Santa Fe in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and has satellite campuses in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Farmington and Roswell.


SOULA receives national recognition

SOULA receives national recognition

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has received an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) for SOULA’s collaborative work with other agencies on the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project – a wide-ranging effort to research and document the lives of Oregon’s early Chinese immigrants.

SOULA and other entities collaborating in the diaspora project received the National Trust/Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation during the NTHP’s recent PastForward Conference in Washington, D.C. The NTHP is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save historic places nationwide, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency; the two entities partner in presenting the Federal Partnerships award.

SOULA works on the ongoing project with agencies including the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management, the Malheur National Forest, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon State Parks, the Oregon Historical Society and the Portland Chinatown Museum.

Researchers are using local history and public archaeology to challenge dated stereotypes and highlight the transnational lives of the Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans that helped establish the early infrastructure and economic industries of Oregon. The project has included digging, interpreting and touring of numerous archaeological sites around the state where Chinese immigrants worked and lived, and researching censuses and community records.

The NTHP award honors outstanding partnerships that advance the preservation of important historic resources and have a positive impact on the community. It celebrates a project or program in which a federal agency and one or more nonfederal partners have achieved an exemplary preservation outcome.

“We are pleased to recognize the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project for their collaborative, multi-agency grassroots effort to uplift the underrepresented role of Chinese Oregonians in the region’s history,” ACHP Chair Sara Bronin said. “This project can serve as a model as we prioritize telling the full story of American history through preservation of historic places.”

The NTHP award was the second prestigious recognition for the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project in a little over a year – it received a national Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) in June 2022, as part of that organization’s Leadership in History Awards.

“The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project is thrilled to have our work nationally recognized,” SOULA Director Chelsea Rose said. “What began as a small, grass-roots collaboration now spans the state and is enriching our collective history by re-entering the important roles that Chinese Oregonians had in the settlement and development of the region.

“This (NTHP) award not only helps us continue to do this work, but will hopefully inspire others to work together, pool resources and seek out the important stories that have been lost or erased over time.”

The Federal Partnerships award was one of nine awards presented at this year’s PastForward conference to honor those who excel in preservation.


SOU teacher preparation programs achieve accreditation

SOU teacher preparation programs receive national accreditation

(Ashland, Ore.) — The seven teacher preparation programs offered by Southern Oregon University’s School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities have achieved accreditation from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation, meeting the Oregon Legislature’s mandate that all programs in the state that offer licenses to teachers or administrators must be nationally accredited by July 2025.

All teacher preparation programs in the state are working through the accreditation process, which at SOU entailed four years of work to develop a 550-page report to AAQEP that details the university’s education programs. AAQEP accreditors made a site visit to the SOU campus in April, and the agency – one of two that is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation – granted an unconditional seven-year accreditation for the SOU programs in July.

“National accreditation is very beneficial for our graduates, as there are some states and districts that require a new hire to have been prepared by a nationally-accredited program,” said Susan Faller, a senior instructor and accreditation coordinator for SOU’s School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities.

National accreditation assures the quality of educator preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review. The standards- and evidence-based process is intended to ensure accountability and continuous improvement.

AAQEP – which currently has about 190 member programs in 36 states and other jurisdictions – uses a model that honors local context and fosters innovation and collaboration among institutions.

“Congratulations to all of the faculty, staff and stakeholders of Southern Oregon University who have achieved their goal of national accreditation by AAQEP,” said Mark LaCelle-Peterson, the agency’s president and CEO. “The program’s strong support for candidates and long-standing P-12 partnerships ensure that the teachers it prepares are ready to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms.”

The SOU academic programs that were accredited by AAQEP include four initial licensure programs, two advanced programs and one added endorsement. The initial licensure programs are:

The advanced programs are SOU’s Initial Administrator (principal) License and the Continuing Administrator License; the added endorsement is for the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.

“Accreditation by a well-regarded, nationally recognized agency is an honor for the school and the university,” said Vance Durrington, director of the SOU School of Education, Leadership, Health & Humanities. “It demonstrates our commitment to preparing the outstanding educators who in turn will provide positive learning experiences for future generations of our state and region.”

SOU will work during the seven years of the current accreditation to prepare materials that will support the education programs’ annual reports and reaccreditation in 2030.


SOU makes Campus Pride list

SOU on Campus Pride’s “Best of the Best” list for 11th year

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has earned Campus Pride’s top ranking for the 11th consecutive year as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.  Campus Pride is a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ+ people on campuses nationwide.

SOU is the only Oregon institution – and one of just three in the Western U.S. – to be included on this year’s Best of the Best list. San Diego State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are the other Western schools on the list.

“At a time when many states are persecuting trans and nonbinary young people, it is critical for colleges – especially institutions in more supportive states – to be sanctuaries for LGBTQ+ students, and the Best of the Best colleges have worked to be places where trans and nonbinary students feel welcomed and included,” said Dr. Genny Beemyn, coordinator of the Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse.

SOU earned five out of five stars overall on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.

“People are willing to learn and understand my perspectives,” a 24-year-old SOU student who identifies as queer is quoted as saying on the Campus Pride Website.

“This is important to me because all stories matter and by sharing more of ourselves it helps others to be more empathetic,” the student said. “SOU, in focusing on inclusion efforts, has helped me to be more authentically me.”

The Campus Pride recognition is meaningful for current and prospective LGBTQ students, particularly during a period of political polarization.

This year’s Best of the Best list is made up of campuses that have done “exceptional work in LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, programs and practices,” the organization’s website said. The Campus Pride Index rates colleges and universities based on self-reporting of factors including non-discrimination statements inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, gender affirming health care, LGBTQ+ peer mentorship programs, campus safety trainings on sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBTQ-specific major and course offerings, and the presence of LGBTQ and ally student and faculty organizations.

Supportive SOU programs and policies range from academic courses to residential living opportunities to co-curricular activities and groups. For instance, University Housing offers a gender-inclusive living environment in which students may decide whether or not they want gender to be a determining factor in their campus living arrangements. Many SOU majors and minors – including the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program – offer courses related to queer studies. The university also offers resources for queer and trans students through its Social Justice and Equity Center, promoting educational outreach, community engagement, and support and advocacy.


Alison Burke presents to United Nations conference

SOU criminology professor presents at United Nations session

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University criminology and criminal justice professor Alison Burke attended a United Nations conference in Vienna, Austria, last month to present her research on restorative justice to an international panel on crime prevention and criminal justice.

Burke was invited to the 32nd session of the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice – one of two policymaking bodies within the U.N. that guide international action on drugs and crime. Resolutions and decisions developed by countries’ delegates provide guidance on crime and justice issues to United Nations member states and to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Burke and two other criminal justice academics from the U.S. – Stephanie Mizrahi, Ph.D., of California State University-Sacramento, and Angela Henderson, Ph.D., of the University of Northern Colorado – were invited to the U.N. session by Phillip Reichel, Ph.D., a representative of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, an American organization. Their presentations were made to a side panel organized by the ACJS.

The three U.S. criminologists discussed “Amplifying Victims’ Voices to Enhance the Functioning of the Criminal Justice System,” and Burke’s particular presentation was “Harmed People Harm People: Seeing the Offender as the Victim Through a Restorative Lens.”

The three were also invited to participate in other commission sessions as observers.

Burke, who has been an SOU faculty member for 15 years, served in a variety of juvenile justice positions before earning her doctorate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and shifting her career to higher education. Her research interests include gender and juvenile justice, and delinquency prevention.

She created and teaches the classes for a Certificate in Restorative Justice at SOU, and also serves as a community restorative justice facilitator for the Emerging Adult Program in Deschutes County.

“I was able to apply outcome data from their EAP program to my (United Nations) presentation on incorporating restorative justice practices and show how restorative justice programs can be immensely effective and applicable worldwide,” Burke said.

“And thanks to students who are interested in learning more about alternatives to incarceration and reframing the punitive nature of the current criminal justice system, I get to teach restorative justice classes full of robust conversations, insightful and inclusive discussions, and true community building within the classroom setting.”

Burke was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to lecture and teach a course on women and crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico and her master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has also studied at England’s Oxford University.

Her work has appeared in publications including the International Journal of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Journal of Active Learning in Higher Education and the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. She has authored the books “Gender and Justice: An Examination of Policy and Practice Regarding Judicial Waiver,” published in 2009 by VDM Publishing; and “Teaching Introduction to Criminology,” published published in 2019 by Cognella Press.


SOU's 150th anniversary recognized by Oregon Legislature

Oregon Legislature congratulates SOU on 150th anniversary

The Oregon Legislature has recognized the 150th anniversary of Southern Oregon University, moving last week to adopt a resolution that applauds and congratulates the university for its ongoing “service, leadership and contributions to the State of Oregon.” The legislation – House Concurrent Resolution 1 – was signed by Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner in an event attended by SOU President Rick Bailey and SOU Board of Trustees Chair Danny Santos.

150th anniversary event in SalemSOU, which was founded in 1872 as the Ashland Academy, has celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary throughout the 2022-23 academic year. The institution has been in its current location since 1926, and was known by a total of nine other names before becoming SOU in 1997.

Last week’s resolution was sponsored by State Rep. Pam Marsh and State Sen. Jeff Golden, both of Ashland. It was co-sponsored by representatives Kim Wallan, Zack Hudson, Boomer Wright, Emily McIntire, Ricki Ruiz and David Brock Smith.

The resolution contains 19 “whereas” notations – recognizing everything from the evolution of SOU’s name and focus, to its commitment to sustainability, to the leadership of its graduates – before concluding with a “therefore” statement congratulating “SOU, tens of thousands of SOU alumni and all Oregonians” on the university’s 150th anniversary.

The complete text of the resolution follows:

House Concurrent Resolution 1
Sponsored by Representative MARSH, Senator GOLDEN, Representatives WALLAN, HUDSON, WRIGHT; Representatives MCINTIRE, RUIZ, SMITH DB

Whereas Southern Oregon University (SOU) can trace its beginning to 1869, when local citizens formed the Rogue River Valley Educational Society with the goal of building an academy of higher learning in Ashland, Oregon; and

Whereas in 1872, the first building was completed, and the Ashland Academy officially opened and welcomed its first students; and

Whereas in 1882, the Legislative Assembly authorized creation of a state normal school in Ashland for teacher training, and the school was renamed Ashland State Normal School; and

Whereas in 1895, the school was renamed Southern Oregon State Normal School and was located about a mile south of the present campus; and

Whereas in 1925, the City of Ashland donated 24 acres for a new campus, the present site of SOU; and

Whereas the institution has grown and evolved as a resilient organization with the support of the public over the course of 150 years, including attaining university status in 1997 with an official name change to Southern Oregon University; and

Whereas SOU has prepared future generations of teachers since 1882 and was named the top college for K-12 education degree programs in 2020 by, based on the United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; and

Whereas SOU’s School of Business was named best in the Northwest and was ranked 10th in the United States for MBA programs in nonprofit management by, based on analysis of regional accreditation statistics in 2019; and

Whereas SOU advances and encourages the arts within the institution and in the surrounding community, including Professor Angus Bowmer’s vision that created the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1935; and

Whereas SOU has fostered creativity education by hosting the annual international Creativity Conference since 2018; and

Whereas SOU proudly implements character-driven athletics programs as a foundation for sportsmanship and athletic accomplishments, and SOU has been recognized twice with the Cascade Collegiate Conference Presidents’ Cup for Academic Excellence, was first in the fall 2018 LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup rankings from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and has achieved multiple conference and national championships; and

Whereas SOU has been lauded as one of the most environmentally responsible higher education institutions in the United States and Canada, including recognition as a “Tree Campus USA,” as the nation’s first “Bee Campus USA” and as the nation’s top pollinator-friendly college in the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” rankings; and

Whereas SOU has been included in the top 20 list of green colleges and universities by the United States Environmental Protection Agency since 2008 and received the Excellence and Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and

Whereas SOU achieved the “Gold” level for sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and received a Climate Leadership Award at the Presidential Climate Leadership Summit of the nonprofit organization Second Nature; and

Whereas SOU strives to create an inclusive campus community, resulting in it being named one of the nation’s “Best of the Best” LGBTQIA+ campuses for 10 consecutive years by Campus Pride; and

Whereas for 150 years, dedicated faculty and staff have led the way at SOU, continually renewing the university’s commitment to putting students first by building a community of learners who impact their own lives and the lives of those around them; and

Whereas graduates of SOU have become leaders in business, government, academia, the military, science, medicine, education, the arts and every other field of human endeavor; and

Whereas the SOU Board of Trustees received the John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership in 2019-2020; and

Whereas Southern Oregon University has publicly acknowledged that these successes exist within the ancestral homelands of the Shasta, Takelma and Latgawa people; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That we, the members of the Eighty-second Legislative Assembly, commemorate the 150th anniversary of Southern Oregon University and congratulate SOU, tens of thousands of SOU alumni and all Oregonians on this significant public milestone of service, leadership and contributions to the State of Oregon.

SOU grad recognized for higher education research

SOU grad recognized for higher education research

Sabrina Klein, a 2013 SOU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication, has earned recognition for her exceptional work in higher education research.

Klein received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2022, and has been named the second-place winner in this year’s American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Rural Education Special Interest Group (SIG) awards for her dissertation titled, “There’s More to the Story: An Organizational Analysis of Rurality and Higher Education.”

In her dedication, Klein expressed her gratitude toward her undergraduate advisor, Alena Ruggerio, and the communication department at SOU, citing them as the sources of inspiration and education that have helped shape her success as a researcher. She wrote that “I cherish every heartbeat I spent learning” from Ruggerio.

“The experiences and growth I had in the communication department at Southern Oregon University gave me the confidence and knowledge to articulate my thoughts and turn them into actionable narratives,” Klein said in the dedication. “Thank you to the entire communication department for the exceptional education I received, which has given me so many essential skills that have aided in every aspect of my life.”

She will be honored at the AERA Rural SIG awards ceremony in Chicago in April. The AERA, founded in 1916, is a national research society that aims to promote knowledge about education and use research to improve education and serve the public good. The Rural Education SIG, in particular, provides a forum for scholarly conversation about the lives of rural people, places and their schools through research.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from SOU in communication and media studies, Klein earned master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA in higher education and organizational change. She served two years as an academic mentor and three years as a graduate teaching fellow while at UCLA.

Her skills in higher education, qualitative research, nonprofit organizations, youth programs, fundraising, networking, and training make her a valuable asset to the education community.

Klein is described in her LinkedIn profile as an advocate and educator with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry, with skills including qualitative research, nonprofit organizations, youth programs, fundraising, networking and training.