Meet The Team

Meet the team of student and professional staff at The Commons, our peer tutoring and study space. We are a welcoming and inclusive community for all students to come study, find peer support, get tutoring assistance, and discover college and university resources. We are excited to meet you.

James Taplin


After a decade spent bouncing between various colleges and universities around the United States, I have found my home here at Oregon State. I previously worked as an adjunct philosophy professor, academic writing tutor and philosophy mentor. My research interests include the history and philosophy of education, philosophy of culture and ethical theory. Non-research interests include biking, hiking, games and time spent with close friends.

Kimberly Gratz


I currently serve as an instructor for the Blueprint series in the College of Business and as a program manager for Student Engagement. I have worked with students at OSU in writing and communication skills for more than a decade, first at the writing center, then as a WIC instructor, and now as an instructor in the College of Business. I am privileged to work with students and to help them grow in their ability to express themselves — to literally be heard and seen in the world. Building community with The Commons is a personal and professional goal on many levels, and I’m excited to see more students using the space.