Dr. Molly Phipps
Dr. Molly Phipps

The College of Education is pleased to introduce Dr. Molly Phipps as a guest lecturer for the winter term. Dr. Phipps will be teaching Dr. Lynn Dierking’s course, “Sociocultural Dimensions of Free-Choice Learning,” while Dr. Dierking is on sabbatical.

Dr. Phipps is the owner of Molly Phipps Consulting, a free-choice learning firm that conducts research and evaluation on environmental education and community-building endeavors. She is the first PhD graduate of the Oregon State University Free-Choice Learning program with a minor in Oceanography, where she studied the implementation of an iPod-based program at Hatfield Marine Science Center for her dissertation.

Dr. Phipps received her undergraduate degree in geology-biology from Brown University and worked as a research assistant and lab manager in a paleoclimatology lab at Brown before moving to Oregon. Since graduating from OSU, she has lived in St. Paul, MN where she worked as a Senior Evaluation and Research Associate at the Science Museum of Minnesota until 2013. At the Science Museum of Minnesota, her work focused on the visual display of data on Science on a Sphere, communicating climate change through exhibits and programs for the public, workshops for scientists, and community development project.

In her new venture, Molly Phipps Consulting, Dr. Phipps is focusing on evaluation capacity building for smaller organizations, program evaluation for free-choice learning opportunities, and ways to make evaluation more sustainable. She also serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Association of Environmental Education, on the Educational Committee for the Will Steger Foundation, and on the Editorial Board for Visitor Studies; she is the 2013-2014 Chair of the Informal Learning Environment’s Research SIG at AERA.

When she’s not working, Dr. Phipps enjoys spending time outside with her husband Ralph, their daughter Lila, and their pets gardening or walking along the Mississippi River, as well as cooking, and knitting.

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