Dr. Knipe began her career in social work as a child protective services worker, practicing in both Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Within the CPS system, she has engaged in investigations, ongoing permanency work, and prevention services. She later moved into the realm of school social work at the School District of Black River Falls in Wisconsin. During this time, she became involved in several different diversity initiatives in collaboration with the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Social Services and the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Education. She also began leading professional development trainings during this time, educating teachers and administrators in school districts throughout Western Wisconsin on the issue of educating students in poverty.
Prior to teaching at Saint Mary's University, Dr. Knipe was the Social Work Program Director for North Central University in Minneapolis. She has also previously taught in the University of Wisconsin system for Eau Claire and Madison at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She holds a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma where she was a Title IV-E scholar. Her research focuses on critical consciousness development in social work students and the challenges and barriers that hinder this complex process. She has an article on this topic currently in press with the Journal of Teaching in Social Work.
Dr. Knipe lives in Maple Grove, MN with her husband and son, and enjoys reading, traveling, and cheering on the Duke Blue Devils basketball team.