Grad Profile: Elli Manoogian-O’Dell

Elli Manoogian-O’Dell is a 2021 graduate, earning a Master’of Arts in Teaching. She is from Corvallis, Oregon.


What has been your most memorable class? 

I took a class from Professor Wu during fall term that really changed how I feel about teaching. We discussed curriculum, assessment, and classroom management through the lens of racial equity. Professor Wu pushed us to confront our own identities so that we would better teach students from diverse backgrounds. My cohort got a lot closer during the class, and we still reference what we learned.


What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus? 

I have an assistantship with Academic Innovation that really changed my experience at WOU. I helped professors with the transition from Moodle to Canvas and with enhancing their online classes. I learned a lot about teaching online, but I also learned a lot about working collaboratively as a team. Plus, Academic Innovation has the best meme game on campus!


What is the biggest lesson you have learned throughout your time at WOU? 

Stay organized! I have a big whiteboard on my wall in my room, and I list my to-do lists for every class on the board. I would update it every week, and that ended up being such a lifesaver–especially during online courses when everything seemed to blend together. 


Student planting a tall, green plant in what appears to be a greenhouse.
Elli Manoogian-O’Dell

Who stands out from your time at WOU and why? 

I took multiple classes from Professor LeJeune that will stick with me for the rest of my teaching career. Her classes taught me so much about being a language arts teacher, and she introduced me to ways to incorporate diverse, thought-provoking literature into the classroom. She also supplied my classmates and me with a box of books to start our classroom libraries. Professor LeJeune was such a supportive, calming presence through a crazy year. During her class, we were able to process the pandemic, the attack on the capitol, an election, and the huge storm that left many of us without power. 

Another professor that stands out to me is Professor Caires-Hurley. I wouldn’t have been able to complete my thesis without her. She provided me with so much helpful feedback throughout the last three terms of my program. She was always available to talk through random questions about teaching and how to handle situations during student teaching. I’m so thankful for both of these professors!


What is your favorite building on campus? 

Although my whole program has been online, I have been able to visit the library quite a bit. It has honestly been such a relief to have a new location to study. The building and the people are so welcoming, and it’s easy to find a cozy nook to study in.


What will you miss the most about WOU? 

I will definitely miss my cohort the most. Our whole program ended up being online. Because we are all student teaching, we were able to get vaccinated and meet in person for a BBQ during our last term. It was incredible to share our experiences with each other and realize that we had become friends through Zoom. 


What are your plans for after graduation? 

I accepted a teaching job at Central High School. I’ll be teaching language arts. I’m really excited to be in town and stay in touch with some of my professors at WOU!

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