Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Meet the Team

Suite 310, Miller Center
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Ave. S.
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Phone: 320-308-5282

Janet Tilstra (she|her|they)

Janet Tilstra (she|her|they)

  • CETL Director (Interim) and Faculty Fellow for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
  • Associate Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • BA, 1989, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • MA, 1991, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • PhD, 2007, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    • Dr. Tilstra has clinical training in speech language pathology and research training in educational psychology. She has taught in higher education for more than 20 years at several institutions in the areas of psychology, education, and communication sciences & disorders (CSD). Since 2015, she has worked full time in the SCSU CSD department as both associate professor and more recently graduate director. Dr Tilstra has a passion for educational research, scholarly teaching, and person-centered approaches to clinical work. In 2020, Dr Tilstra received one of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Educator of the Year awards. She has served as CETL Faculty Fellow for SoTL since 2021 and Director of CETL since summer 2023. Her scholarly work includes translating research findings into practical takeaways for clinicians and conducting research on interprofessional education. She loves to work with faculty to develop SoTL projects and scholarly approaches to teaching. She regularly partners with community organizations to assess programs, develop strategic plans, and develop applied research. In 2021 Dr Tilstra completed a certificate in Strategy and Innovation from the Carlson School of Management. In 2022, she completed a Certificate in Effective College Instruction from the Association for College and University Educators (ACUE).

    • Interests: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning; Stuttering & Speech Fluency Disorders; Language and Reading Development & Disorders; Interprofessional Education and Practice; Culturally Responsive Practices; Workplace Wellbeing/Belonging; Applied/Action/Translational Research/Strategy & Innovation


Michelle Kukoleca Hammes

Michelle Kukoleca Hammes

  • CETL Fellow for the New Faculty Program
    • Associate Professor, Department of Political Science (1998- present)
    • Interim Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2022-2023)
    • B.A. 1992, Niagara University
    • M.A. 1996, Binghamton University (formerly SUNY Binghamton)
    • Ph.D. 1998, Binghamton University (formerly SUNY Binghamton)


    Dr. Michelle Kukoleca Hammes has taught in the Political Science Department at St. Cloud State for the past 24 years.  During that time, she has served as a faculty co-director of the SCSU Survey and as director of the Democratic Citizenship core component of our previous general education program.  Her desire to mentor and collaborate with fellow instructors began during graduate school where she was the first graduate coordinator at Binghamton University of the Preparing Future Professors Program, sponsored by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), a Pew Charitable Trust initiative.  Currently, she serves as the facilitator for the SCSU cohort working on their four-course Certificate in Effective Teaching Practice through the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).   In 2021 she received her Certificate in Effective College Instruction from ACUE and is beginning to work toward the advanced certificate.

Debra K. Japp

Debra K. Japp

  • Emeriti Faculty, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • B.A. 1979, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
  • M.A. 1986, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
  • Ph.D. 1989, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
    • Previously serving as Interim Director of CETL, Dr. Japp has transitioned into retirement while still assisting CETL in the completion of several projects.
Paul Chappell

Paul Chappell

  • Office Administrative Specialist
David Perrault

David Perrault

  • Graduate Assisstant

Fairooz Nawar

  • Student Assistant

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