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Getting to know Katie Linder

Research director, Ecampus Research Unit

Katie Linder smiles with her hands resting on the table in front of her with her fingers interlocked. On the table is a black microphone with a pop filter.

By Heather Doherty  
November 9, 2016

As the research director for the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit, Kathryn (Katie) Linder has established the research unit’s vision, mission, goals and priorities; developed a web and social media presence for the research unit; established and implemented the Extended Campus Research Fellows award program; procured $1.1 million in external grants and contracts; co-authored three book chapters with Ecampus colleagues; conducted a sponsor-funded national study; and launched a podcast, “Research in Action,” among other accomplishments. As podcast host for “Research in Action,” Katie interviews experts across a range of disciplines about topics and issues related to research in higher education, in addition to recording solo episodes. 

Prior to Oregon State, she served as the director for the Center for Teaching & Scholarly Excellence at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass. Katie is the author of “Rampage Violence Narratives,” (Lexington Books, 2014) and “Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide,” (Stylus, 2016). Some of her more recent journal publications can be found in Innovative Higher Education and the Journal of Open, Distance, and e-Learning. Katie earned a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Whitworth University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University.


Tualatin, OR

When did you begin working at Oregon State?

August 2015

What excited you about the opportunity to work for OSU Ecampus/the Ecampus Research Unit?

I loved the idea of being able to contribute original research for the purpose of improving student learning. Also, I really wanted to write more for my day job – I definitely got my wish!”

You recently launched the “Research in Action” podcast. Briefly describe what the podcast is about, and what others can learn from tuning in.

The ‘Research in Action’ podcast is a weekly show where I get to interview other researchers about topics and issues that they are passionate about. Hopefully, listeners get to learn a little something about research in each show that they didn’t know before.”

A lot of people can be intimidated by research, but I think it’s fun to frame questions, design investigations and gather data to find answers. It’s like the ‘geekier’ version of being a detective.”

White letters on an orange background read "Research in action, Oregon State University Ecampus."

“The goal of the podcast is to do two things – increase research literacy and build community among researchers,” said Katie Linder, podcast host and research director at Oregon State Ecampus. Read more about the “Research in Action” podcast.

Are you currently working on any research projects?

“Currently, I’m working on an ongoing research project about whether or not using closed captions helps students learn. I’m hoping to understand more about which kinds of closed captions are most impactful for student learning and motivation.”

What would you say is the most fascinating aspect of this field of study?

The most fascinating component of distance education research is how much we still need to learn.” 

What made you decide to get into this field?

There are a lot of gaps in the literature, so there’s a ton of opportunity to make contributions to the field – that’s really exciting for any researcher!” 

What do you like most about your job as the Ecampus Research Unit director?

Getting to work with so many different people in Extended Campus, collaborating with other researchers and vendors in the field, and getting to meet so many new people through the podcast are all great parts of my job.” 

What do you wish others knew about your job?

A lot of people can be intimidated by research, but I think it’s fun to frame questions, design investigations and gather data to find answers. It’s like the ‘geekier’ version of being a detective.”

What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment in this position?

Although I still consider this position to be very new, bringing in more than $1 million for institutional initiatives in our first year felt pretty great.”

What advice would you like to give to students, alumni, faculty/staff who are aspiring researchers?

My advice would be to not be intimidated by research. Don’t feel like you have to know everything about research methods and design to be a ‘real’ researcher.”

What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?

My father-in-law is a Hollywood movie producer, which means sometimes I get invitations to fancy movie premieres, although I haven’t been able to attend one yet. My favorite movie that he produced is ‘Hocus Pocus’ – I watch it every year for Halloween.”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

I binge watch Netflix more than people probably realize – my current favorites are ‘Longmire,’ ‘Blacklist’ and ‘Revenge.’ I’m also always reading a book – mysteries are my favorite fiction genre and memoirs are my favorite for non-fiction. To make up for both of those sedentary hobbies, I like to run most days. Also, I have a podcast outside of work, too. It’s called ‘You’ve Got This’ and I work on it most weekends.”

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