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a bit about me:

Call me "Staci"

Pronouns (she/her/hers)

Twitter - @StaciAGilpin


Hi there! Thank you for visiting my website. 


I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, which occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Yankton Sioux. Growing up on a family farm in rural northwest Iowa is one of my identities that continues to impact me professionally. This experience and the unique assets and needs of rural America are always on my mind. And continues to drive me to advocate for quality online instruction to provide access to higher education for those who live in rural areas, address related teacher shortages, and nurture diversity in all educational spaces. I currently reside in Duluth, Minnesota, on land that was cared for and called home by the Ojibwe people, before them, the Dakota and Northern Cheyenne people, and other Native peoples from time immemorial.


I recently, completed a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Research at the University of North Dakota. As a doctoral student, I was also a Graduate Research Assistant for The Initiative for Rural Education, Equity, & Economic Development (I-REEED). It is a research collaborative comprised of faculty and doctoral students from the University of North Dakota. They partner with school districts in all six regions of North Dakota to study state and local level issues (e.g., teacher retention and recruitment, special education teacher shortages, dyslexia legislation, juvenile justice reform impacts, etc.) that are important to rural communities. As part of this work, I wrote grants, led research studies by initiating the IRB process, creating surveys and interview protocol, conducting interviews and analyzing data using qualitative and quantitative tools, including R. I also received training in working with large data sets, structural equation modeling, coding, and creating data visualizations with R.

Before becoming a full-time doctoral student, I taught and designed graduate and undergraduate teacher preparation courses using multiple delivery methods, including face-to-face, online, and blended. I did this work full-time at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and The College of St. Scholastica, which made sense for me as these institutions serve a high percentage of rural and first-generation students. I teach graduate-level data analytics, research methodology, and special education licensure courses at the University of North Dakota and the University of Wisconsin-Superior. I also mentor pre-service teachers seeking dual special education and elementary education licenses in their special education student teaching courses.


My career spans three decades with a wealth of experiences in urban and rural K-12 schools including teacher for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities, elementary classroom teacher, instructional coach, and special education administrator. During this time, I worked in some schools that served large populations of Indigenous students. As a result, I also see digital spaces as having the potential, in part, to provide equity and access for students from historically underrepresented groups. And to create spaces that welcome those with diverse backgrounds into K-12 classrooms.

My teaching experiences inform my research. It utilizes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs with social justice and equity lens to study the scholarship of teaching and learning, online learning, open educational resources, and teacher preparation. I present at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), OpenEd, and AERA National Conferences. I recently published a persistence model for online learners and two book chapters about designing and using equitable online discussions. Further, I was a 2020-2021 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Open Educational Resources Fellow.

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