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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.



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.  

curriculum vitae                                                    email


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. 

curriculum vitae                                                     email

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. He has published on the changing role of civics, systems thinking, and pedagogies for experiential and interdisciplinary learning. Seaton loves reading, weeding, and spending time in the wilderness with his wife and his two free-range ninja teenagers.

curriculum vitae                                               email

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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.                           email

Star Tarrant (Office Manager and Student Coordinator) Star comes to the OE with a background in event planning, grant writing, and teaching for organic farms and environmental education. Prior to joining the OE, Star initiated and ran environmental education programs for an award winning land conservation trust, and developed outreach projects for an international certifier of organic farms. She is a practicing herbalist, naturalist, and mom. In her spare time Star enjoys wildcrafting, exploring wilderness, yoga, and cooking. 


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