Richard S. McKinnon, Ph.D.

1974 Orchard Drive NW  Olympia, Washington 98502  (360) 359-2208,


Doctorate of Philosophy in Linguistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1995

Master of Arts in Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts, MA, 2000

Master of Arts in Linguistics, City University of New York, New York City, NY, 1990

Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, 1986

Professional Experience

February 2018 to Present

Learning and Development Administrator;

Human Resources Division, Office of the Secretary, DSHS, Olympia Washington

Office of the Secretary of DSHS: DSHS is Washington state’s largest agency, serving 2.5 million people each year. Consisting of more than 17,500 employees, DSHS supports the state’s most vulnerable residents. The Office of the Secretary provides enterprise level leadership and support to the customer-facing administrations such as Developmental Disabilities Administration, Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, Economic Services Administration, and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Learning and Development Administrator, HRD: Leads a team of L&D professionals that develop policy, curriculum, training, and technical support for DSHS enterprise in Washington State.


December 2015 to February 2018

Curriculum and Training Specialist;

Training, Communication, Development, and Quality Assurance Unit

Home and Community Services, ALTSA, DSHS, Lacey Washington

Home and Community Services division of ALTSA: Washington State is a national leader in developing cost effective home and community based service options that have achieved a rebalancing of the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) system from one reliant primarily on nursing home care to one that serves 84% of the Medicaid population in home and community settings.

Curriculum and Training Specialist, TCDQ: Develops policy, curriculum, training, and support for long-term care workers in Washington State.


July 2013 to July 2015

Director of Elearning and Media;

South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia Washington

South Puget Sound Community College:  A community college serving the residents of Thurston County, Washington with a main campus at Mottman Rd. in Olympia and a satellite campus at Hawks Prairie in Lacey; 7000 students per quarter; budget of $27.5 million; approximately 100 full-time faculty 150 adjunct faculty, and a geographical service area of 774 square miles.

Director of eLearning and Media:  Leads a team of elearning and media professionals in providing state-of-the-art web and classroom-support services to the college community.



August 2008 to June 2013 

Elearning Support Manager;

South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia Washington

Elearning Support Manager:  Connects technology and instruction by supporting web-enabled learning across both campuses; supervise media production support staff.



September 2001 to 2013 

Adjunct Member of the Faculty;

The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

The Evergreen State College:  Evergreen is a small, public liberal arts college located in Olympia, Washington.  Formed to be an experimental and non-traditional college in which studies are organized into interdisciplinary programs and faculty write narrative evaluations instead of giving grades.  It serves roughly 4500 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students.

Member of Evening and Weekend Studies Faculty:  Taught an innovative series of face-to-face and hybrid courses to students, many of whom were returning to college in order to gain skills for a second or third career.

Courses Taught:


September 2005 to August 2008 

Special Education Mediator; Member of Statewide Cadre

Sound Options Group, Bremerton, Washington

Sound Options Group: provides change management and conflict resolution services within Washington State. The Special Education Mediation Cadre is a group of skilled mediators who facilitate the creation of Individualized Education Plans with families and local school district staff.


September 2003 to June 2006 

Speech Language Pathologist; 

A Step Ahead in Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington

A Step Ahead in Pierce County: a non-profit organization in Pierce County which serves infants and toddlers under the age of 3 with developmental delays as well as foster children who aren’t delayed but have social and emotional challenges. ASAP provides therapy and special education services including occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and infant mental health services. ASAP serves primarily the Puyallup, Bethel, Franklin, Pierce, Tacoma, Orting and Eatonville school districts.



September 2001 to August 2003 

Speech Language Pathologist and Family Resources Coordinator; 

Holly Ridge Neurodevelopmental Center, Bremerton, Washington

Holly Ridge Center: is a private non-profit agency whose mission is to enable children and adults with differing abilities to reach their fullest potential, creating a positive and lasting impact on the community. Holly Ridge has more than 50 years of highly specialized experience serving children and adults throughout the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas.



September 1999 to June 2001 

Member of the Faculty; Dept. of Communication Disorders

Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts

Our Lady of the Ems College:  a Catholic liberal arts college founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Massachusetts, and located in Chicopee, Massachusetts.  It serves approximately 1300 students from western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Member of the Faculty, Department of Communication Disorders:  Responsible for designing and delivering curriculum focused on language and linguistics to students preparing for graduate work in speech pathology and communication disorders.

Courses Taught:


September 1997 to June 1999 

Adult Education Consultant/ESL Instructor; Institute for Training and Development, Amherst, Massachusetts

The Institute for Training and Development: A small non-profit founded in 1985 that conducts an average of 10–12 stateside programs each year on subjects as wide-ranging as cultural identity, public administration, and the study of the US. Over 3,000 people from 90 countries have participated in ITD programs.

Adult Education Consultant/ESL Instructor: Taught English to groups of farmer/trainers from China, Indonesia, and Vietnam so that they could share their expertise in integrated pest management with farmers in Africa.


September 1995 to June 1997 

Post-Doctoral Research Associate; Dept. of Psychology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst: a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system.

Courses Taught:



Leadership Development Activities

Excellence Trainer (Day 3 specialist), DSHS, 2015-present.

Washington Executive Leadership Academy:

Microsoft Institute: 2-day Series for Education Leaders, October, 2012.

Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, eLearning Council,

Northwest Academic Computing Consortium Technology Roundtable:

Mediation Training:

Case Manager and Family Resources Coordinator, Kitsap County, WA, (2000-2002).

Project Management Training: 2-day Introduction and Overview. January, 2009.


McKinnon, R., Allen, M., and Osterhout, L. (2003). Morphological decomposition involving non-productive morphemes: ERP evidence. NeuroReport, 14 (6), 883-886.  

Osterhout, L., Bersick, M., and McKinnon, R. (1997). Brain potentials elicited by words: Word length and frequency predict the latency of an early negativity.  Biological Psychology, 46, 143-168.

McKinnon, R. and Osterhout, L. (1996). Event-related potentials and sentence processing: Evidence for the status of constraints on movement phenomena. Language and Cognitive Processes, 11(5), 495-523.  

Osterhout, L., McKinnon, R. Bersick, M., and Corey, V. (1996.) On the language-specificity of the brain response to syntactic anomalies: Is the syntactic positive shift a member of the P300 family?  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 8 (6), 507-526.

Administrative Experience

Member of the Joint Administrative Council, SPSCC, 2014-15

Member of the Strategic Planning Committee, SPSCC, 2013-14.

Member of the Innovation Task Force, SPSCC, 2012-13.

Member of Library Director Search Committee, SPSCC, 2011.

Member of the Budget Committee, SPSCC, 2010.

Member of CIO Search Committee, SPSCC, 2009.

Member of Nursing Faculty Search Committee, SPSCC, 2008.

Member of the Affirmative Action Committee, Elms College, 1999-2000.

Vice-President of Graduate Linguistics Students Association, University of Washington, 1993-1994.

Member of the Executive Committee, Department of Linguistics, City University of New York, 1988-1990.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York, 1988-1990.

Member of the Doctoral Students Council of the City University of New York, 1988-1990

Community Service Activities

Olyblog Founder -- Hyper-local citizen journalism website in Olympia, WA.

Community Mediator, Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center, Olympia, WA.

Bread & Roses Volunteer, Olympia, WA.

Chicken Soup Brigade Volunteer, Seattle, WA.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Hampshire Co., MA.

Adult Literacy Instructor, Orange, MA.

STARs Trainer for Community Childcare Centers, Thurston, Pierce, & Kitsap Counties, WA.