Teaching Fellows

Western’s Teaching Fellows are outstanding educators who, in partnership with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, provide educational leadership to the university community, perform research on teaching and learning, and disseminate the outcomes of their work locally, nationally and internationally.

Faculty-Specific Initiatives

The Faculty-specific Teaching Fellows carry-out educational leadership and innovation projects in areas such as eLearning, experiential learning, Indigenization and decolonization, and sustainability and climate change education, among others. They are partially seconded to the CTL for a three-year term and receive funding to develop, implement, and conduct research on the impacts of their innovations. They also support educational excellence within their own Faculties by mentoring colleagues, coordinating workshops, facilitating learning communities, and providing other instructional development opportunities.

2022-2025 Teaching Fellows Cohort

Lauren Briens

Lauren Briens


  • Associate Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
  • x88849
  • lbriens@uwo.ca

Project Description

Lauren’s project, Impact of Active Learning on Student Enrolment, Engagement and Career Pathways in Chemical Engineering, involves a complete redesign of a core course in Chemical Engineering to:

  1. reflect current, varied career applications of the discipline, and
  2. integrate active pedagogies to support student engagement, learning, and career preparation.

Specifically, the course focus will shift from the traditional application of course principles to the oil and gas industry and modernize it to the varied career applications more accurately reflected in the current industry landscape (e.g., health care, the food industry). The course also will move from the traditional lecture format to a case-based pedagogy, with a focus on the application of core concepts to varied industries and the development of teamwork skills fundamental to those industries.

To achieve these outcomes, Lauren will work with alumni and industry partners to design realistic cases and demonstrations reflecting the varied industries in which program graduates eventually find employment. Lauren will also establish a research program to assess the impact of the course redesign on student engagement, skill development, knowledge acquisition and application, and career pathways. Finally, Lauren will build capacity for employing case studies, teamwork, and other active learning strategies within Engineering through professional development opportunities for faculty colleagues such as consultations, workshops, and training resources.

Aaron Hodgson

Aaron Hodgson


Project Description

Aaron’s project, Rethinking Applied Music Instruction, will create novel, discipline-specific opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange, investigation of teaching practices, and professional development for colleagues teaching the course Applied Music Instruction. This course focuses on the study of solo performance on a musical instrument and, primarily, is taught one-on-one, with over 50 instructors teaching hundreds of students. To build community around, and capacity in, teaching and learning, Aaron will investigate the innovative teaching practices already being employed within the department and broader field, as well as the relevant research literature, and share those practices back with instructors through retreats, workshops, the Music Pedagogy Speaker Series, classroom observations, and consultations. Aaron will also develop a new, graduate-level experiential learning course, Pedagogy Internship, where students will teach applied music on an ongoing basis, reflect on their teaching and, within small groups, offer one another feedback and study relevant research. Students in this course will also develop a portfolio of professional materials.

Charys Martin 

Charys Martin

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

Project Description

Charys’ project, Open Access Library of Inclusive Anatomical Science Learning Resources, will incorporate equity, diversity, inclusivity, and decolonization (EDI-D) principles in developing inclusive medical terminology and anatomical resources. The resources will support educators and students in learning about inclusive terminology and why the existing terminology, which is gender-binary and consists of numerous eponyms (anatomical structures named after European men who claimed to discover these structures first), is outdated and inappropriate. The focus will be to develop resources that (1) ensures the language used is gender-inclusive by focusing on anatomy-based language, which emphasizes structures independent from a person’s sex or gender, and (2) eliminates eponym use and refocuses on the Latin descriptive anatomical terms, decolonizing the terminology. The resources, including an open access library of training modules and exemplar anatomy learning materials, also will be designed with accessibility and racial diversity in mind. To ensure voices of underrepresented groups and individuals with lived experiences are heard, the project will be developed in collaboration with student consultants. Ultimately, learners, educators, and community members locally, nationally, and internationally will all benefit from these modern teaching and learning resources. Charys will also establish a research program to examine the impact of the innovation over time on clinical faculty’s eponym usage and students’ perception of their confidence in using gender-inclusive terminology during patient interactions.

  David Sandomierski

David Sandomierski


Project Description

David’s project, Co-Teaching in Law Schools, involves developing three distinct approaches to collaborative teaching in law, each prioritizing a key thematic objective of legal education. In the first approach, David will collaborate with practitioners to reinforce the integration of theory and practice in the law classroom. This form of co-teaching will convey how the real-world experience of a practitioner can illustrate and bring to life the abstract principles of the law, and, conversely, how theory and scholarly inquiry can provide explanatory meaning, critical perspective, and recommendations for change to the world of legal practice. With the second approach, David will collaborate with a series of co-instructors to expose students to diverse models of legal professionalism, deploying exercises that encourage students to integrate their professional identity with their backgrounds, lived experiences, values, and goals. The third approach will bring David together with an instructor from a different discipline to collaboratively design and teach all aspects of a course, as an exercise in robust interdisciplinarity within the law curriculum. During his Fellowship, David will also offer a variety of professional development opportunities for colleagues in the Faculty of Law, including a Legal Education Seminar Series that will focus on pressing issues in teaching and learning in law, workshops and resources on collaborative teaching, and pedagogical consultations with faculty colleagues.

2021-2024 Teaching Fellows Cohort


Paul Mensink


  • Assistant Professor, Biology & Centre for Environment and Sustainability
  • x87563
  • paul.mensink@uwo.ca

Project Description

Paul’s project, Engagement through Immersion: Immersive Education in Science, will focus on the impact of immersive technologies (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive video) on student motivation, engagement, and scientific literacy in undergraduate and graduate courses at Western. Paul’s work will have a particular focus on interdisciplinary environmental courses and engaging students with STEM subject matter related to sustainability and climate change education. Students will examine real-size 3D models of biological species, virtually explore sites of ecological significance, and role-play as scientists in realistic simulations. Paul will establish a research program dedicated to identifying the key benefits of immersive education by testing the efficacy of immersive technologies in properly controlled studies. Finally, he will build capacity for employing immersive technologies at Western by overseeing the development of a virtual library of digital learning objects and creating evidence-based training resources such as online video tutorials and guides.


Katrina Moser

Social Science

Project Description

Katrina’s project, Integrating Ways of Knowing to Enrich Climate Change Education, will integrate western science and Indigenous ways of knowing to effectively teach, and empower students to take action on, climate change through the development of an innovative blended module-based experiential learning course, Connecting for Climate Change Action. In partnership with Sara Mai Chitty (Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor, Office of Indigenous Initiatives) and Dr. Beth Hundey (eLearning & Curriculum Specialist, Centre for Teaching and Learning), the course will be developed as a series of online learning modules that will require a shift in the traditional teaching approach, from understanding with our minds to a deeper awareness that comes from Indigenous ways of knowing that engage the mind, body, emotion, and spirit. The course will be the cornerstone for the new Climate Change and Society Major, the first of such programs offered in Canada. However, the impact of the modules is intended to reach far beyond the one course as they will be made available to other courses at Western and at other post-secondary institutions, as well as to interested community groups, governmental agencies, and businesses, with the goal of transforming climate change education! Katrina will investigate the course’s impact on students’ understanding of, and values concerning, climate change, as well as their skills to address the urgent challenges climate change poses through a mixed-method research program.


Kim Solga

Arts and Humanities

Project Description

Kim’s project, Innovations in Interdisciplinary Pedagogy, Within and Beyond Arts and Humanities, involves developing and evaluating two different models of collaborative interdisciplinary pedagogy. The first involves a collaboration between Theatre Studies and Psychology, refining an existing community engaged learning partnership across two courses and including City Studio London. The students in Psychology will perform qualitative research into the lived experiences of newcomers to London and develop recommendations for City staff, while their counterparts in Theatre Studies will explore different models of performance for social change and community-engaged theatre, creating performance actions to animate the data and help raise awareness about newcomer experience among London’s residents. The second model involves a partnership between colleagues in Theatre Studies and Philosophy who will create a course on the work of 17th Century philosopher and playwright Margaret Cavendish. The course will use a mix of performance- and philosophy-based pedagogies to help students explore Cavendish’s non-dramatic writing in embodied ways and examine her playtexts as embodied philosophy. Kim will also engage in a mixed research program with her partners on the course projects, exploring instructor experiences of designing and implementing the two models of collaborative interdisciplinary pedagogy through an auto-ethnographical methodology, as well as determining the impact of those courses on students using survey and interviews. Meanwhile, Kim plans to engage her colleagues across Arts and Humanities in discussions about interdisciplinary teaching and learning by creating a community of practice within the faculty, and developing a workshop series with colleagues.

University-wide Initiatives

Mike Atkinson

Mike Atkinson

  • Associate Professor, Psychology
  • x84644
  • Contact about: Active Learning, Large Class Teaching, Assessment


Mike is an expert on large class instruction and the use of multimedia in the classroom. He is a recipient of the University Students' Council Teaching Award of Excellence (1996), the 3M National Teaching Fellowship (1998), and a multi-year recipient of the Western Psychology Association Psychology Professor of the Year Award.

Mike Atkinson

Candace Brunette-Debassige

  • Assistant Professor, Education
  • Teaching Fellow, Indigenous Learning
  • x87271


As part of her new university-wide teaching fellowship, and building on the curriculum change initiatives she led during earlier work in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Candace is now leading two interrelated Indigenous curriculum projects. These projects focus on developing unique online teaching opportunities to assist Western instructors in ethically including Indigenous ways of knowing into their teaching and learning practices.

The primary project—Maatoo-Kiiying Gaa-Miinigoo-Wiziying (Sharing Our Gifts): Indigenous Online Learning Bundles—places Indigenous scholars and Indigenous epistemologies at the forefront in the creation of curriculum Learning Bundles. (A Learning Bundle is a collection of teaching resources focused on a broad theme that has interdisciplinary application.) Over the course of three years, Candace will facilitate collaborative spaces that nurtures the creation of at least 28 Bundles which will form a digital repository of resources to be made available to Western instructors across disciplines. The Learning Bundles initiative is inspired by a similar project conceived by Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller at Carleton University, an award-winning initiative that engages her campus community in learning with and from Indigenous Peoples and ways of knowing.

Beyond the Bundles project, Candace will work closely with Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Centre for Teaching and Learning to foster professional learning communities to support use of the Bundles. She will also play a key role in collaboratively developing and piloting an Indigenous Teaching and Learning Series (with Sara Mai Chitty, Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Advisor) geared towards Western instructors who are committed to advancing critical, Indigenous, and decolonial approaches to teaching. This series of online modules will guide Western instructors in thinking through and applying critical, decolonizing principles to their classroom pedagogies. This project has been partially funded and supported through a Peace and Reconciliation grant awarded to Candace in March 2021 by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In the news:

Previous Teaching Fellows

Dan Belliveau (Health Sciences)

Associate Professor, School of Health Studies

Dan's Teaching Fellowship focused on the development of a MOOC (massive open online course) to facilitate the transition into the discipline of Health Science for first-year students admitted to Western.

Angela Borchert (Arts & Humanities)

Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures

Angela developed an e-portfolio-based curriculum in intercultural communication in the context of a community of practice in Modern Languages and Literatures. With e-portfolio templates, Arts & Humanities students created individual learning plans, demonstrate learning outcomes and showcase creative critical thinking.

Ralph Buchal (Engineering)

Ralph Buchal

Associate Professor, Engineering

Ralph's project involved developing tools to engage students in computer-supported collaborative knowledge building in face-to-face, blended and online courses, using a design-based research methodology.

Michael Buzzelli (Social Science)

Associate Professor, Geography

Mike provided new work-integrated and professional experiences for senior undergraduate students. Adopting a ‘tech transfer for the social sciences’ spirit, he integrated campus and community using pedagogical approaches that include: (1) term-length student group projects that are research-driven and experientially-based, (2) the professor as an embedded project member, and (3) community partners as project mentors. Through these features, learning outcomes are built upon a classroom-based, collaborative, and research-driven foundation; together with unique interactions with the professor and community-based experts in the field.

Nicole Campbell (Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry)

Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences and Physiology and Pharmacology

Nicole’s project involved effectively communicating learning outcomes to students and assessing and recognizing student achievement of Western’s core competencies. She developed an interactive visual syllabus that linked program and course outcomes to teaching activities and assessments, design self-assessment rubrics for students to measure their proficiency levels on Western’s core competencies, and incorporate ePortfolios and online badging to support these initiatives. She researched the impact of these initiatives by exploring how improved transparency of outcomes allows students to engage in deeper learning as well as examining the impact of student self-assessment to determine the most effective ways to promote student reflection on and integration of knowledge

Peter Ferguson (Social Science)

Assistant Professor, Political Science Department

Peter worked collaboratively with librarians to design online modules that support the development of information literacy skills among undergraduate students.

George Gadanidis (Mathematics Education)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Using documentaries of this work (www.researchideas.ca), George developed a freely accessible online Math-for-Teachers textbook for the 2-year BEd program. The textbook includes classroom videos, animations, simulations, and interactive explorations.

Tom Haffie and Lindi Wahl (Science)

Tom: Lecturer, Biology & Lindi: Professor, Applied Mathematics

For Tom and Lindi’s joint project, they embedded undergraduate and graduate students into Science education as active and essential partners. To achieve this goal, they developed the Student Fellowship in Science Education, designed and taught a new for-credit multidisciplinary course on the theory and practice of science education, and developed a graduate-undergraduate student mentoring program.</

Sarah Mclean (Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry)

Assistant Professor, Bachelor of Medical Sciences Program BMSUE Educator/eLearning Coordinator

Sarah is an Educator and eLearning coordinator for Basic Medical Sciences Undergraduate Education at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her research interests include assessing students' interactions with online learning materials as well as their perception of the instructor in blended courses. Sarah focused on creating online rat dissection and 'choose your own adventure' experimental simulations that help students gain 'hands-on' anatomy experience in virtual laboratory environments.

Immaculate Namukasa (Education)

Associate Professor, Curriculum Studies and Studies in Applied Linguistics

Immaculate developed and facilitated interactive modules, coordinated workshops, and established a community of practice, all centred around maker activities (i.e., technology supported do-it-yourself activities in which participants created physical, sensory, and/or digital objects).

Quazi Rahman (Engineering)

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Quazi created an online hub designed to engage Engineering students in learning and practicing programming in a variety of programming languages. The interactive online modules created as part of the project introduced programming languages commonly used in industry, research, and high performance computing to students from all disciplines. The modules included playful resources and hands on activities that offer students the option to engage with the modules at their own pace even before joining Western. Ultimately, this project provided students with an enhanced online computer-programming experience that helped them develop skills that are necessary for career opportunities in programming related fields.</

Sophie Roland (Don Wright Faculty of Music)

Associate Professor, Music Performance

Sophie enhanced the way in which experiential learning is delivered in the International Summer Operatic Program, Accademia Europea dell’Opera, in order to match 21st century professional qualifications demands. To achieve this goal, she (1) expanded the current program with pre-departure, re-entry, and professional development modules to support experiential learning in the program and (2) designed and conducted an assessment of the impact of the program on participants’ learning and professional skills development.</

Sandra Smeltzer (Information and Media Studies)

Associate Professor, Information and Media Studies

Sandra created a community of practice for faculty members interested in enriching current international service learning and research. She developed a new theory/praxis seminar course for FIMS that critically examined concepts and case studies of service learning and how they intersect with the field of media studies and communications.

Thomas Telfer (Law)

Professor, Law

Thomas integrated mental health and mindfulness education into Western’s Law program. He raised awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and build student resiliency through the development and implementation of a new mental health education program. He also revised and extended an existing first-year non-credit mindfulness course in Law, creating an optional upper-year for-credit Law course that supported students’ personal, academic, and professional well-being through its focus on mindfulness, emotional intelligence and professionalism. Further, he conducted research on the impact of these mental health and mindfulness initiatives.

David Walton (Health Sciences)

Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy

David designed the curriculum for a new one-year course-based Master’s degree in Interprofessional Pain Management. This unique program was the first collaborative team integrated competency-based (CTIC) graduate program in Pain Management in the world.

Bethany White (Science Education)

Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences

Bethany's research interests relate to the impact of structured technology-enabled activities and course formats on students' learning and attitudes. Her Teaching Fellow project involved the development and evaluation of adaptive online learning modules that target challenging foundational statistical concepts.