Transformational Change Initiative
Meet the Team
Dr. Erika Offerdahl
Director and Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
Erika Offerdahl is Director of the Transformational Change Initiative, Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences (SMB), and Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs in SMB. Offerdahl is a biochemist by training but her research centers on understanding the mechanisms that support transformational change in undergraduate STEM teaching and learning. She is PI for the Research in Interdisciplinary STEM Education project and Co-PI on the Values-based Academic Leadership Trajectories for Women in STEM (VAuLTS) project at WSU, a member of the Association for Faculty Women, and the SMB liaison for ADVANCE. In 2020, Offerdahl received the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction. Nationally, Offerdahl is known for her work as a founding member of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research and as a member of the Education and Professional Development Committee for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Washington State University
Johnson Tower 501
PO Box 4852
Pullman, WA 99164
General TCI inquiries
TCI Steering Committee
Dr. William Davis
Interim Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, and Associate Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine
William (Bill) Davis is the interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement, and associate professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences. He received his BA from Drury University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University in 1999. After two years as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Technical University of Munich, Davis joined the faculty of the School of Molecular Biosciences in 2001. As the associate director for Undergraduate Studies in SMB, he helped lead transformation of its curriculum through the implementation of ongoing programmatic assessment and a focus on undergraduate research. Bill is a faculty mentor in the WSU Team Mentoring Program, a peer and faculty mentoring program for underrepresented students in STEM.
Davis’ current research interests focus on the impacts of classroom and laboratory pedagogy on student learning outcomes in large enrollment freshman classes. He also is active in innovative programs that lead to the transformation of both individual faculty and departments/institutions, such as serving as a PULSE Vision & Change Leadership Fellow, a facilitator for the NAS Scientific Teaching Institutes, and a Co-leader of the AAC&U/Project Kaleidoscope STEM Leadership Institute.
Dr. Laura Griner Hill
Senior Vice Provost and Professor in the Department of Human Development, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Laura Hill is senior vice provost, professor in the Department of Human Development, and a founding faculty member of the Prevention Science PhD program at Washington State University. Hill trained as a clinical psychologist, but along the way became more interested in preventing social and emotional problems rather than treating them.
For years she has conducted research on how parents can strengthen family bonds to promote healthy development of their children and adolescents. Recently, Hill served as associate director for health promotion, research, and evaluation in the university’s Health and Wellness Services. In that role she studied risk and protective factors, including relationships with parents and instructors, that affect college students’ health, well-being, academic performance, and persistence. Hill is particularly interested in how parents and universities can apply science-based tools to help students feel connected, commit to valued actions, stay focused, and flourish in an academic setting.
Dr. Samantha Swindell
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Scholarly Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
Samantha Swindell is a scholarly professor in the Department of Psychology and assistant dean of undergraduate programs for the College of Arts and Sciences. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in psychology at the University of Puget Sound in 1993 before coming to Washington State University to earn a master’s and doctoral degree in experimental psychology.
Swindell completed a postdoctoral research appointment at WSU in 1999 and served as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Psychology prior to her appointment as an assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2015. Swindell’s expertise is on behavioral principles of learning with particular interest in the role these principles play in evidence-based practices in teaching and training.