As Wilfrid Laurier University’s vice-provost: teaching and learning, I create opportunities for members of the Laurier community to engage in ongoing conversations and scholarly explorations of what matters most in the education of our students. I am a passionate advocate for innovations in curriculum and evidence-based, inclusive teaching and learning practices and keen to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) at Laurier. I am committed to deepening Laurier's shared dedication to excellence in curriculum and teaching and learning, and to advancing our collective efforts to graduate students who are well prepared to lead rich and meaningful personal and professional lives.
The vice-provost role provides strategic leadership and oversees four functional dimensions of teaching and learning at Laurier through the Teaching, Learning and Development; Teaching, Learning and Retention; Experiential Learning and Career Development; and Accessible Learning units. By building collegial networks and leading broad, collaborative efforts, the vice-provost nurtures Laurier’s pervasive commitment to knowing and caring for individual students as evolving members of an engaged academic community, to cultivating opportunities for students to stretch themselves and develop self-knowledge and agency, and to continuously building expert, rigorous instruction in academic disciplines as well as in socially powerful knowledge, skills and habits of mind.
I hold a Specialized Honours BA in Psychology and English and an MA in English from the University of Guelph, as well as an EdD in Theory and Policy Studies from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. As an award-winning teacher and researcher, I created the Supported Learning Groups program and Canadian Centre for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Guelph where I also served as an Educational Developer in Guelph's teaching centre and an Instructor in Guelph's First Year Seminar Program. I served for three years as the inaugural director of the Centre for Innovation in Art & Design Education at OCAD University, and for six years as the first director of the Centre for Academic Excellence at Niagara College. In addition to serving as vice-provost, teaching and learning, I hold a faculty position in Laurier's Faculty of Education.
My research and practice interests include educational development, postsecondary education policy, curriculum theory and practice, the history of postsecondary education, and postsecondary student learning experiences. I have served on numerous boards, committees and professional associations and taught courses in Adult and Higher Education for the Faculties of Education at Brock University and OISE/UT.
Assistant Vice-President: Experiential Learning and Career Development
I am directly responsible for the development, management and support of experiential learning at Laurier, and for ensuring career development is an integral part of the student experience. My portfolio includes the Career Development Centre, Co-operative Education and Community and Workplace Partnerships, where I focus on the development and delivery of comprehensive programs and services. These programs and services enable students to enhance their learning, and identify and realize their educational and career goals. I am committed to building strong relationships and partnerships both within the institution and externally with employers and community.
I am a Laurier alumna, having completed my Bachelor of Arts at this institution. I also hold a Master of Education degree in Higher Education from the University of Toronto. I am the recipient of the Laurier President’s Award for Individual Achievement and the Laurier Alumni Association Schaus Award for Staff. As a nationally-recognized leader in the field of post-secondary career development and experiential learning, I have held a number of leadership roles in related professional associations and networks.
Director: Teaching, Learning and Development
I am responsible for the management and direction of educational development, online learning, educational technologies and learning skills and development at Laurier. I support numerous faculty, chairs and deans in the development of courses, programs and curriculum, including strategies around innovative teaching practices and the creation of outcomes alignment and assurance of learning processes. I am involved in national and regional research projects focused on the development of productive teaching cultures within institutions and faculties. I have been involved in curriculum development, educational development and projects focused on the enhancement of teaching and learning throughout my career in higher education. My interests surround assurance of learning, connecting curricular and co-curricular learning, building institutional supports around teaching and learning, and graduate student development.
I joined Laurier in 2014 as the Associate Director: Academic Development. I also served as Acting Director: Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence from 2016 to 2018. Prior to joining Laurier, I was at the University of Auckland Business School for thirteen years as a tenured academic and chair of undergraduate with the Department of Management and International Business. I hold a MCom (Hons.) from the University of Auckland and various higher education certificates. I received the University of Auckland Business School Teaching Excellence Award in 2007.
Director: Teaching, Learning and Retention
Working closely with institutional research, deans, associate deans and senior administrators, I lead student success and retention initiatives that support and enhance a positive student experience. I’m accountable for developing and creating a collaborative culture of student retention that is data driven and based on best practices informed by the student development theory. I oversee a team of professional staff and student leaders who are responsible for designing and delivering student academic support programs and services (Laurier 101, Learning and Transition Services, Math and Stats Learning Supports, Writing Services) that leverage partnerships with faculties and departments to maximize support for students, engagement and ultimately foster student success and retention.
I began my career in 1986 and had the wonderful opportunity to work in many student service departments throughout my tenure at Laurier. I was the coordinator of the MBA program for seven years during a time of tremendous growth. In 1996, I began a nine-year journey leading the transition from paper to online processing in admissions, policy changes to reflect increased diversity of Laurier applicants and strategies to accommodate the massive growth during the double-cohort. In 2006, I launched the Department of Learning Services, and more recently I am developing retention reports that help the university to create a culture of student success and retention. I graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography. I'm the recipient of Student Union's Manager of Excellence Award and the Laurier Alumni Schaus Award for Staff.
As a first–generation high school, college and university graduate, access to postsecondary education is important to me. Jumpstart to Higher Education is a program that targets communities with a higher number of families who are socially and economically disadvantaged and helps grade seven and eight students learn about the pathways to postsecondary education.
Manager, Education Advising
I strive to create a culture of advising at Laurier, serving as a collaborative leader to professional teams of faculty and staff who provide academic advising to undergraduate students. I act as a resource to academic advisors embedded in Laurier’s faculties, overseeing Academic Advising for the Faculty Liberal of Arts, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, the Honours Bachelor of Social Work Program and the Bachelor of Business Technology Management Program. I am also a member of the National Academic Advising Association’s Canadian Advising Steering Committee.
I completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts at Laurier and mu Master of Education at Nipissing, with a research focus in Leadership, Pedagogy and Student Support.
Director, Accessible Learning
I ensure effective management of Accessible Learning services, while developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure students with disabilities have fair and equitable access to their required academic accommodations as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. I provide leadership and guidance to the university community with respect to navigating complexities and interpreting internal policy and provincial legislation.
I enjoy working with Accessible Learning staff and the Laurier community to create a collaborative and inclusive environment. I strive to nurture partnerships that support academic success for students with disabilities at all campus site locations. I look for creative, efficient and effective use of operating grants and donor funds along with the preparation of annual accountability reports to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
I have been in my role with Accessible Learning since 2006 and held variety of roles in the Waterloo community for 20 years prior to coming Laurier. This included community development and planning, case management for those with severe and persistent mental health issues and management of the Centres for Mental Health with the Canadian Mental Health Association. I began working as a frontline staff on the newly funded mobile crisis team in 1997 and led its expansion when it became region-wide in 2000. I interfaced with Waterloo Region Police and Hospital systems to ensure seamless delivery of community based crisis services. I was a certified Suicide ASIST trainer, providing this vital training to a variety of community-based groups and individuals. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Psychology ('85) and my Master's in Community Psychology ('88) here at Laurier. I am the proud recipient of Laurier's Multi-Campus Champion Award in 2013.
Teaching and Learning at Laurier
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