Younghee Kim

Younghee Kim, Ph.D., Professor, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Development program, School of Education, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon. 

Dr. Kim teaches in the Early Childhood Development, Elementary Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching Programs at Southern Oregon University. After graduating from Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, in 1985, she received her master’s degree in 1992 and her doctorate in 1996 from the University of Oregon in the area of early intervention/early childhood special education. Prior to coming to SOU in 1999, Dr. Kim taught in the Early Child Education Program and the Master of Arts in Teaching program in the School of Education at Oregon State University, Corvallis during 1996-1999. 

Her research interests include holistic education, alternative assessment for young children with special needs, family collaboration in early intervention, whole child and teacher development, core reflection, the human potential, presence and compassion, contemplative practices in teacher education, as well as multicultural education for individuals with diverse backgrounds. 

Susan Faller Mitchell

Susan Faller-Mitchell

Susan brings 15 years of classroom experience to her role as a faculty member with Southern Oregon University. She is a nationally board certified teacher as a Middle Childhood Specialist. She holds a Master of Science degree in Mass Communication from San Jose State University and earned her teaching credential from California State University East Bay in 1993.

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.

Erin Wilder

Erin Wilder

Erin holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Seattle University.  She earned a Masters in Teaching degree from Seattle University in 2002. 

She spent several years teaching both full day and half-day kindergarten and first grade, in districts east of Seattle.  She has also worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in a Montessori classroom.  Her areas of professional interest include early childhood intervention programs, literacy in both early childhood and the elementary classrooms, multicultural education, cognitive development, collaborative learning, developmentally appropriate practice, teacher leadership, educational technology, and the use of authentic assessment in the classroom. 

Erin enjoys working with pre-service teachers, helping them develop a sense of identity as teachers, guiding them through reflective teaching practices during their time in the program at SOU.  She has two toddlers who help her put theory into practice and continue to build on her understanding of the need for effective parent/school/community partnerships.

Susan Hamilton Image

Susan Hamilton

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 Adjunct Instructor at SOU. She has presented workshops at OAEYC and NAEYC.




Pat Bentley

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.

Rebecca Olien Image

Rebecca Olien

Rebecca Olien has twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher. During this time, she was involved in designing and developing curriculum in science, math, social studies, writing, and health curriculum, as well as, outdoor education, technology and science leadership, and professional development leadership for the school district.

Her development of curriculum and educational material led her to the publication of teacher resource books and content for professional publications and websites, and the also publication of over fifty books for children. For the past seven years Rebecca has developed courses and taught for READ Oregon and the education courses for Southern Oregon University.

Rebecca holds a Masters’ degree in Professional Development and is currently working toward a second Masters in Education Technology and Adult Education. She currently works as an online teacher community and education material developer in Washington D.C., while continuing her passion for online interactive teaching and learning in Oregon.

Cathy Lemble Image

Cathy Lemble

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.

Sara Stearns

Sara Stearns

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 an adjunct faculty member at Southern Oregon University’s School of Education.  She 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 8.9.16

Rebecca Tree

Rebecca Tree, M. Ed., is the Founder and Director of Roots & Wings Community Preschool, an adjunct faculty member at SOU and a strong advocate for play and playful learning in early childhood programs and beyond. She has served in the early childhood field for over 30 years beginning in Colorado prior to moving to Oregon in 1990. She considers herself a research junky when it comes to young children and best practices. She believes that it will take more than a village to push back on many of the current trends regarding curricular mandates and invites all practitioners to become well-educated, well-read and articulate regarding child development and what young children really need in the early years.

 Shawn Lybarger for Web
Shawn Lybarger

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 adjunct professor for both UCC and SOU in their Early Childhood Education programs.

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