Hailing from all corners of the country, OE faculty and staff have at the core of their work a deep love for this place and the students that join us here.
WHO WE ARE
Kelton (Tad) Cobb (Ph.D. University of Iowa) joined the faculty of the Oregon Extension in the fall of 2011. He has taught Christian theology, church history, and comparative religions at Wesleyan University, St. Joseph’s University, and Hartford Seminary. He grew up in Colorado, but has led an itinerant academic life in Oregon, New Jersey, Iowa, Germany, and Connecticut. He has published one book called The Blackwell Guide to Theology and Popular Culture, and is currently interested in how Christianity has learned, with great difficulty, to be moral through the hard lessons of its darkest hours. He lives at Lincoln with his two sons.
Seaton Tarrant (Ph.D. University of Florida) has grown organic food and developed and taught sustainable lifestyle practices for the last twenty years. He is a writer, musician, and social scientist with research experience in community resilience, social justice, theories of empowerment, and sustainability education. He is a certified restorative justice practitioner and an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Seaton is wrapping up his time at the OE, and planning to build one more beautiful garden in the spring of 2024 before leaving this summer to return home to the mountains of North Carolinas.
Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer (PhD University of Virginia) is returning to the OE as a Visiting Professor for Fall 2023. A mathematician by training, Deirdre has taught at the University of St. Thomas in MN and Eastern Mennonite University in VA, served as an academic dean for six years, and worked as a senior administrator with the Mathematical Association of America. An avocational passion for sustainability has led Deirdre into roles that include Co-Chair of the Anabaptist Climate Collaborative and Vice Chair of Harrisonburg's Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee. Deirdre loves hiking, baking and cooking, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Hannah Dierdorff (M.F.A. University of Virginia) is a poet from the scablands and pine savannas of Eastern Washington. Most recently, she has lived with her occasionally feral black cat in Virginia where she taught writing, rhetoric, and poetry and worked with the Appalachian Conservation Corps. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Cut Bank, Arkansas International, and About Place. Her first book, Rain, Wind, Thunder, Fire, Daughter, was selected for the 2022 Betsy Joiner Flanagan Award in Poetry and will be published by the University of Nevada Press in 2024.
Will Lake (Office Manager and Student Coordinator) is a Hope College ('19) and OE ('18) alum that couldn't keep away from the Oregon Extension. Since graduating college, Will has come back to serve the OE in many different roles including as farm coordinator, maintenance guy, groundskeeper, forest crew, carpenter, and recruiter. In between his stints at the OE, Will has worked in Big Sky, Montana as a ski lift operator, and in Madrid, Spain as an English teacher. Will loves to speak Spanish, play guitar, cruise around the mountain on his motorcycle, and read books. During the semester you can probably find him among the students playing volleyball, chatting about the Brothers Karamazov, or leading a backpacking trip. email