About TA Programs at the CTL


Meet The Team

Welcome to TA Programs with the Western Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL)! We are here to support the quality of teaching by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at Western and to prepare you for your TAship and future faculty or professional career. The pedagogical skills gained while completing our programming during your studies will not only benefit you now, but beyond Western as you pursue your future career in academia or other non-academic fields. We offer a range of face-to-face, blended, and online programs to gain valuable insight into teaching and career-strategies. We are committed to providing an equitable, inclusive, and accessible environment.

We hope to meet you soon at our TA Programs!

Learn More About Each TA Programs Team Member:

Lisa Aikman, Eduational Developer (TA Programs)

Lisa Aikman

Lisa Aikman (she/her) is a full-time educational developer, occasional theatre/audience researcher and frequent murder-mystery reader who loves working with early career educators. Her role at the center is focused on supporting graduate students and postdocs to thrive as teaching assistants and course instructors in diverse classrooms while empowering them to pursue transformative teaching post-graduation. She strongly believes that “good teaching” requires inclusive pedagogy and, as such, is especially keen to talk about Universal Design for Learning and authentic and alternative assessments. You can contact Lisa to consult on teaching dossiers, student-centered syllabus design, and classroom management strategies.

Kate Barnes, Educational Developer (International TA Programs)

Kate Barnes

Kate Barnes (they/them) is an Educational Developer with a focus on supporting international and new resident graduate students. Kate has worked with the CTL many times since arriving at Western for their undergraduate studies in 2009, including working as a Research Assistant, TATP Instructor, safeTALK facilitator, and Program Assistant. Kate's work is built upon the pillars of cultural humility, anti-oppressive practice, strengths-based approaches, and trauma-informed care. They also bring their previous experience as a counsellor and Registered Social Worker to higher education. Kate enjoys building meaningful relationships with students, staff, and Faculty, and is excited to support you in your teaching journey at Western. When they are not in the office, Kate can be found running long distances for fun or talking about books to their rabbit, Mickey. If you are an international or new resident graduate student and would like to connect, please set up an appointment with Kate!

Karen Simmavong, Program Coordinator (TA Programs)

Karen Simmavong

Karen Simmavong's role at the CTL is focused on supporting our Teaching Assistant programs with expertise in our certificates programs, social media, website, and everything in between. She is no stranger to Western, having completed both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Kinesiology and held many positions throughout campus supporting student success spanning from being a Summer Academic Orientation Leader and Soph (Orientation Leader) with Student Experience, Peer Guide with the International Exchange Student Centre, and even experience teaching an undergraduate course at Western (sports for marks). If you have general questions, or specific questions about the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, Karen is a good place to start!

Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) Instructors (2023-2024)

TATP Instructors 2023-24

Meet your TATP Instructors for 2023-2024!
Lucas Riboli Besen (Health Information Science)
Asad Choudhary (Education)
Glen D’Souza (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering)
Mark Haarman (English)
Madelyn Hertz (Anthropology)
Keren Kankam (Health & Rehab Sciences)
Arameh Khadjevand (Hispanic Studies)
Hannah Litchfield (Health & Rehab Sciences)
Gabriela Martinez Loyola (Hispanic Studies)


From left to right: Arameh Khadjevand, Gabriela Martinez Loyola, Asad Choudhary, Kate Barnes, Mark Haarman, Hannah Litchfield, Lisa Aikman, Lucas Riboli Besen, Glen D’Souza, Keren Kankam, Madelyn Hertz

Located in Weldon Library, Room 122 - Our team is here to support you on your teaching journey at Western! Innovate. Shape. Inspire.