Dr. Winkelmes is the Founder, Director, and Principal Investigator of the Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education project (TILT Higher Ed), which promotes direct conversation between teachers and students about methods of teaching and learning and helps faculty to use education practices grounded in evidence about students' learning shared across institutions and countries. The impact of this project on students' learning and persistence in college has been the focus of Winkelmes's publications in the National Teaching and Learning Forum, Project Information Literacy, the National Education Association's Higher Education Advocate, AAC&U's Liberal Education and Peer Review, and additional book chapters and peer reviewed articles as well as the book Transparent Design in Higher Education Teaching and Leadership. Her work to improve higher education learning and teaching, especially for historically underserved students, has been recognized nationally by the Chronicle of Higher Education and with the POD Network's Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Education Development.
She has held senior leadership roles in the campus teaching centers at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Brandeis University. She has offered instruction as a member of history and art history departments at most of those institutions. She has consulted and provided professional development programming for faculty through the Lilly Endowment's higher education grant-making and teacher-training programs, and for teaching centers in the U.S. and abroad. She has also served as a senior fellow of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, an executive board member of Nevada Humanities and as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the professional Development Network in Higher Education (POD), and chair of its Research Committee. Dr. Winkelmes has provided hundreds of keynote addresses and invited workshops for faculty and staff at colleges, universities, and business institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
Winkelmes advocates her view that research, teaching, and learning are best practiced as a unified enterprise that benefits students and society in the book An Illinois Sampler: Teaching and Research on the Prairie. Winkelmes has also published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on college teaching and learning and on the history of art and architecture in Renaissance Italy, Benedictine church design and decoration, acoustics, and religious architecture. She has received numerous teaching awards as well as grants for her arts historical research from the National Endowments for the Humanities, Kress, Delmas, and Mellon foundations.
Winkelmes holds a PhD from Harvard University.