Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

  • Catherine M. Kelly, PhD

    Associate Professor, Education

    Catherine M. Kelly, Associate Professor of Education at St. Catherine University, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy methods and children's literature, content area literacy, research methods, and assessment in addition to supervising practicum and student teaching experiences. Her research interests focus on effective preparation of and induction for elementary teachers particularly for diverse school contexts. She holds current Minnesota teaching licenses in Elementary Education K-6, Reading K-12, and English as a Second Language K-12.

  • Dawn Quigley, PhD

    Associate Professor, Education

    Dawn Quigley, Ph.D. is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. Her scholarship uses Indigenous Research Methodology as she studies models of teacher education in how to include respectful Native American curriculum into P-12 classrooms. Dr. Quigley is also an author of children's books focused on contemporary Native American stories.


  • Elizabeth A. Whalen (Ring-Whalen)

    Assistant Professor, Education; Director, National Center for STEM Elementary Education (NCSEE)

    Elizabeth A. Ring-Whalen is an Assistant Professor of Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and the director of the National Center for STEM in Elementary Education (NCSEE.) She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction - STEM Education from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on STEM education: what this looks like in PreK-12 classrooms and the exploration of teachers’ beliefs of integrated STEM as well as how these beliefs influence teachers’ practices and student achievement in the classroom. Alongside this research, she has worked to explore the attitudes and beliefs teachers hold about cultural diversity and teaching culturally diverse students.

  • Erin Trondson, MS Ed

    Sister Ann Harvey Visiting Professor, Early Childhood & Montessori Programs

    Trondson holds a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Curriculum & Instruction where she completed qualitative research on the capacity for inclusion in Montessori schools. That research won the Outstanding Thesis Award with the American Montessori Society (AMS) in 2016 and can be found in the AMS online research library. She has since completed twenty years as a Montessori Head of School and participated in a year-long leadership residency program with Embracing Equity. Trondson has served as an adjunct professor for several years, this is her first semester as a full-time visiting professor.

  • Fadila Adam, EdD

    Assistant Professor, Early Childhood & Montessori Programs

    Dr. Fadila Adam is passionate about early childhood education. She has more than 16 years of teaching experience in Early Head Start and Head Start programs. She holds a Master of Science in Teaching, Learning and Leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University and earned her Doctorate in Education from Hamline University. Her dissertation focused on international research (Early Childhood Education in Ethiopia). She recently joined St. Kate's as Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood & Montessori program in August 2021.  

  • Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, PhD

    Division Chair of the Social Sciences, Associate Professor

    Jocelyn Fenton Stitt is an interdisciplinary scholar trained in women's and critical race studies. She earned her BA in Women's Studies and English from Pomona College, her MLitt in Caribbean cultural studies from the University of Edinburgh (UK), and her PhD in Women's Studies and English from the University of Michigan. Before joining St. Kate, she was Director of Research Development at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, and before that, Associate Professor of Women's Studies at Minnesota State University.

    Her book Dreams of Archives Unfolded: Absence and Caribbean Life Writing (2021) is part of Rutgers University's Critical Caribbean Studies series.

  • Lori R. Maxfield, PhD

    Education Program Director, Associate Professor, Education


  • Mary Hedenstrom, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Education Department


  • Molly Wheeler, MEd

    Sister Ann Harvey Visiting Professor, Early Childhood & Montessori Programs

    Molly Wheeler is an educator focusing on the Early Childhood and Montessori areas. has earned a B.A. from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, her AMS Early Childhood credential, and her M.A. in Education from St. Catherine University. Molly is passionate about Anti-Bias education and promoting access to Montessori through public programming. Her research interests include supporting teacher self-efficacy and child self-regulation skills through the use of mindfulness techniques and record-keeping strategies.

    Molly currently lives in Bogotá, Colombia with her family, serving in the U.S. Foreign Service.

  • Suzanne Kaback, EdD

    Associate Professor, Education

    I began my teaching career in Maine in 1990, teaching 5th and 6th grades.  I moved to Boston, MA, where I taught 7th grade language arts while earning my Master's degree in Literacy, Language, and Cultural  Studies at Boston University.  From Massachusetts, I moved back to Maine where I taught 5th grade, before leaving the classroom to earn my EdD in Literacy Education from the University of Maine in 2003.  After earning my  doctorate, I was hired as an assistant professor at Elmira College where  I taught for three years before moving to Minnesota and joining the  Education department at St. Catherine University in 2006.

  • Yasemin Gunpinar, PhD

    Associate Professor, Education

    Yasemin Gunpinar earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Department of Elementary Mathematics Education in Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) sponsored her while pursuing her master's degree. From 2006 to 2008, she taught mathematics in both private and public schools in Turkey. She co-wrote a publication titled "Supporting Lesson Book Including Subject Teaching for All Courses in Elementary 6th Grades". She enjoyed teaching mathematics as much as she enjoyed studying. This feeling influenced her desire to focus on mathematics education as her future career goal.