Saint Martin's professor Kathleen Allen receives ED.D.

Sept. 23, 2005

Lacey - Saint Martin’s University Assistant Prof. Kathleen Allen has just received her doctorate in education from George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.

For the past two years, Allen has taught undergraduate and graduate education courses at Saint Martin’s main campus, as well as at the Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base extension campuses. Before pursuing a career in higher education, she spent 15 years working as a teacher in Oregon’s Coos Bay and Tillamook school districts. Allen became a principal in the Tillamook district, but decided she wanted to mentor the next generation of teachers by becoming a professor.

“My grandfather and father were professors, and that was always a long-term goal of mine,” Allen said about entering academia. “I also can have a little more influence in the quality of a child’s education on a state and national level by being training future teachers.”

Allen gives her students “hands-on” strategies for teaching reading literacy at the elementary and middle school level, said Joyce Westgard, the university’s dean of education. Allen also leads her graduate students in researching “meta-cognition,” or how students learn and process information. For example, Allen has looked at whether or not students who struggle with spelling can correctly spell a new word by hearing it first.

Allen’s dissertation is entitled “Student Metacognitive Development in the Monitoring of Cognitive Profiles Yields Reading Comprehension Gains.” Her research found that determining a student’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses and then teaching them how to monitor those strengths and weaknesses while reading significantly affected their reading comprehension ability, as measured by a state standardized test (such as the WASL).

“Kathleen is an excellent instructor,” Westgard said. “We’re delighted to have her with us and look forward to the many exciting opportunities she provides for our students.”

In addition to her doctorate, Allen has a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in education from Portland State University.

“After meeting the dean and faculty, I felt it would be very positive place to work,” she said. “That’s what decided it for me, the mission and vision of Saint Martin’s - a small school where I felt I could make a difference.

Barbara Gayle
Vice president for academic affairs

John DeWeese
Assistant media coordinator