Dr. Becky Crandall is an Adult and Higher Education Professor of Practice at the College of Education, CrossFit enthusiast, and Portland Thorns fan.

What led you to Oregon State University, and how long have you worked for the College of Education?

“I was excited to join the College of Education in June 2021. Three things drew me to Oregon State University: the amazing people who comprise the OSU community, the ways in which the position and the College’s values align with what I believe to be my life’s purpose, and Oregon as a place where I had wanted to plant my life.”

Dr. Becky Crandall (left) with Dean Susan Gardner; Dr. Tenisha Tevis, Assistant Professor of AHE; President Becky Johnson and her wife, Laurie Elkins.

What kind of research do you do? Can you give us the “elevator pitch” of a current or recent project?

“My scholarly approaches are hallmarked by a commitment to equity and supporting student populations such as intercollegiate athletes, LGBTQ+ students, and graduate students in higher education and student affairs programs. For example, two colleagues and I recently had a manuscript accepted that highlights senior student affairs officers’ perspectives of social justice education within higher education graduate preparation programs. Other colleagues and I are currently developing a study that will explore the experiences of LGBTQ+ student-athletes at religious institutions. For the past five years, I have also engaged in campus climate assessment projects alongside my colleagues at Rankin and Associates Consulting, LLC, a company that aids educational institutions in making data-informed decisions toward maximizing equity.”

What made you decide to engage in that kind of research/work?

close to two decades of postsecondary leadership experience, I consider myself a “scholar-practitioner.” In many ways, that work, namely the inequities I saw manifest at the various institutions at which I served, prompted me to engage in this kind of scholarship.”

Dr. Becky Crandall enjoys dirt biking in her free time.

What is your favorite part about your job?

“I love getting to engage with and learn from my colleagues and the wonderful AHE students!”

What do you like to do in your free time, outside of work?

“In my free time, I enjoy CrossFit, cheering on the Portland Thorns, and spending quality time with my close friends.”

Dr. Becky Crandall enjoys CrossFit in her free time.

If you are interested in being featured in a “Get to Know” faculty feature story, contact maia.farris@oregonstate.edu.

Following an article published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, covering the recent changes made by Corvallis School District to mathematics instruction in K-7 schools, Dr. Rebekah Elliott argues in her letter to the editor that peer-reviewed research supports the de-tracking of mathematics.

Dr. Elliott reports that this body of work provides evidence that detracked systems can support all learners and tracked systems negatively impact learners’ mathematical long term success because the system emphasizes acceleration over deep learning of concepts. Acceleration means that students often don’t engage in problem-solving of ill-structured problems that are seen as essential for STEM degrees and cultivating productive mathematical reasoning. Tracked educational systems create courses where students in “low track” courses repeat content year after year without evidence that these opportunities lead to academic success. Many of these students become adults who have developed math anxiety and are community members who exclaim that they are not a “math-person!” What that means for Oregon is economic loss, some estimate in the billions of dollars, lack of mathematical literacy essential for workforce development, and community members who don’t have access to quantitative reasoning to make sense of the complex problems facing us today. Dr. Elliott’s research investigates mathematics leadership development to reduce racial and educational injustice and to advance ambitious and anti-bias mathematics instruction. Read Elliott’s published letter below.

“More than 25 years of peer-reviewed research supports Corvallis School District’s mathematics instruction efforts.

Research documents the pedagogical practices needed to build a detracked educational system and support each and every student to be challenged mathematically. Tracking’s negative impact on learners’ long-term mathematical understanding and enrollment in advanced mathematics courses has long been documented.

Employing the pedagogical skills well supported by research, detracked classrooms do not reduce the opportunity for in-depth learning of mathematics; in fact, they increase it and attend to the disproportionate effects of tracking on students of color, including girls of color. This is why every professional mathematical and statistical organization supports detracking K-12 mathematics.

In a 2015 report, a third to half of Oregon’s students entering college were enrolled in a developmental math course (middle or high school mathematics content). We need a mathematics education system where every student can solve complex real-world problems in a data-rich world. We know the pedagogical strategies needed to support thriving in mathematics and creating opportunities for supported learning in a detracked system.

Corvallis administrators must provide the professional development, time, and ongoing support essential for every teacher to take up the pedagogical practices needed so that every student may engage in challenging and exciting mathematics. I am confident that the Corvallis middle school teachers have the skill and knowledge to do so! Do we as a community have the will to hold up a mirror and address the systemic racism that permeates our educational system?

Rebekah Elliott

Corvallis