The Elevator Pitch
I am an eLearning & Curriculum Specialist with the Teaching Support Centre at Western University, and slowly adjusting to life-after-PhD. After a Masters in Anatomical Sciences and a job as Prosector for McMaster’s Education Program in Anatomy, I turned to my doctorate at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s to explore authentic inquiry learning in anatomy education.
During my studies, I got to know the folks at the Centre for Teaching and Learning and my career as an Educational Developer began. Initially, I focused mainly on curriculum theory and design, while dabbling in technologies for teaching and learning. As an eLearning and Curriculum Specialist, I now work to promote thoughtful integration of technology into teaching and quality pedagogy through constructive alignment.
As a seasoned fourth-year undergraduate, I sat in a crowd of a thousand and watched in admiration as a graduate student gave a guest lecture in my anatomy course. I thought to myself – that’s what I want to do. Setting in motion, a career trajectory centred upon my excitement for teaching and learning, particularly anatomy education.
Graduate studies took me to Kingston, Ontario and Queen’s University where the Pattern II Master’s of Anatomical Sciences program heightened my focus on pedagogy, curriculum design, and student-centred learning. The program emphasizes teaching and curricular design for anatomy education while also developing three pillars of competency: content, pedagogy, and inquiry. My Master’s research focused on the role of the Queen’s University Anatomy Museum in teaching and learning. I was supported through this research by two great mentors – Dr. Ron Easteal (Anatomy) and Dr. Andy Leger (Centre for Teaching and Learning). Through Andy’s guidance, I got to know the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) better and my understanding of university teaching and learning flourished. My first project with the CTL was to research and author content for their website.
During my Master’s Studies, I was keenly motivated by teaching and learning but was equally fascinated by the human body. When I finished the program, and was offered a job at the McMaster University Education Program in Anatomy as a Prosector, and quickly jumped on the opportunity to further develop my laboratory and dissection skills. While at McMaster, my main responsibilities were lab and cadaver management. One of my favourite accomplishments during this time was team-teaching with an inter-professional dissection lab course with an interdisciplinary team of students. At McMaster, Inquiry-based Learning permeates daily activity. As a result, my slowly curiosity for how students experienced learning anatomy through discovery and inquiry approaches developed. I couldn’t help but return to a long-held desire to complete a PhD.
I began my doctoral studies in 2011 at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Education. I was supervised by Dr. Ann Marie Hill, who specializes in Technological Education, the Theory of Authentic Learning, and Disabilities Studies. Early in the program, my coursework focused on Curriculum Theory and I worked as a Research Assistant (RA) in Dr. Hill’s lab where we investigated the experiences of students with learning disabilities in technology education. Later in the program, my attention shifted to my own doctoral research of students’ experiences in an Inquiry-based anatomy curriculum. During my doctoral studies, I returned to working at the CTL as an Educational Development Associate. This is really when I started developing a sense of myself as an Educational Developer. I worked mainly on the Curriculum Profile under the leadership of Dr. Sue Fostaty Young, facilitating programs such as the annual Teaching Development Day, Teaching Development Workshop Series, and the Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning. During that time I also worked on Educational Design projects for course and module development, including the re-design of an online Infection Prevention and Control course and the development of modules for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Six months ahead of defending and completing my PhD, I began work at the Teaching Support Centre at Western University in London, Ontario as an eLearning and Curriculum Specialist. In my role here at Western, I work on the eLearning and Curriculum teams to support various activities across campus including: the integration of technology into diverse teaching and learning contexts (face-to-face, blended, and online), support institutional curriculum review processes, as well as course and program design initiatives.
My little family of three has recently moved to the country. Alongside my farm-oriented partner, we have big dreams of making ecological farming and seasonal eating more of a reality for us on our small swath of land. In my down-time I enjoy reading a good novel,baking & cooking, trying my hand at creative writing, or attempting to sew.