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Andhra hugs a graduate

Faculty Long Service Awards

Teachers have the unique opportunity to shape the next generation of innovators and change-makers. They are the behind-the-scenes guides on the creative journey every design student embarks on at Wilson School of Design. They push students out of their comfort zone and ask the tough questions that shape students and their work into their best iterations. We are proud to congratulate four of our faculty on receiving a Long Service Award for their many years of cultivating crazy ideas into functioning projects. All of them share several common characteristics, including their love of students and their desire to never stop learning.

Paola Gavilanez

10 Years of Service, Interior Design

Paola Gavilanez Headshot

Paola’s favourite part of teaching is her relationship with her students and helping them grow as designers and discover their own skill set and design process. In her words, she’s just “along for the journey.” She also enjoys the unique opportunity teaching gives her to get invested in such a vast variety of projects at the same time. She describes the mindset shift necessary to being a good teacher, which is counter to our individualistic and proud society. “As a design instructor, you can’t be jealous of your own knowledge… At the bottom of your heart you must want your students to be better than you are.” Paola’s success relies on her students’ success. “It’s kind of like mothering sometimes.” One aspect of Paola’s teaching that shines through is her empathy and flexibility. “If you are kind and tolerant and flexible, your students will give you the best they have.”


Andhra Goundrey

15 Years of Service, Fashion Design + Technology

Andhra Goundrey Headshot

Andhra started as a student in the Fashion Design + Technology program and came back to teach at KPU for a total of 15 years, with a gap in the middle to work in the industry. This gap allowed her to share deeper insights and industry stories with students, including allowing them to learn from her own mistakes. She loves being able to give back from everything she gained along the way as a student and help students reach their own goals. Over the years Andhra has learned to embrace the new things life brings her way and to take the time to really listen to others. “There’s so much you can learn from the others around you if you’re open to that.” She has also learned that school is about so much more than the credential. Graduating, she says, “is just the beginning of opening up to new experiences.”

Andhra’s commitment to KPU, students and the Wilson School of Design as a whole is further evidenced by her appointment as Dean of the Wilson School of Design in 2019.


Brenda Snaith

15 Years of Service, Interior Design

Brenda Snaith Headshot

Brenda’s favourite part of teaching is, without hesitation, the people. “The students that come into the program are wonderful. I live for the students. We really work together as a team.” She deeply appreciates the students for what they’ve taught her over the years. “Everyone comes to the table with different personal experiences and different biases… and having the opportunity to discuss things and hearing from people who have a different life experience than I do is very, very enriching.” This continual learning, she says, is what has kept her on her toes, mentally, throughout the years.


Mary Androsiuk

20 Years of Service, Fashion Design + Technology

Mary Androsiuk Headshot

The pandemic has reinforced Mary’s favourite part of teaching at the Wilson School of Design: interacting with students. The drastic change and overall decrease in teacher/student interaction has made her realize how much she misses the casual banter and class atmosphere that’s so difficult to replicate in a fully online setting. Even so, she, like Brenda, stresses how much she has learned from her students while they learned from her. Their unique life experiences teach her something new about the human experience every day. “Everyone has a story, everyone’s gone through something that’s changed them.”


Hats off to these instructors for the years of passion they bring to our school, care they show towards student success, and ability to come up with unique solutions to the challenges of teaching design. It isn’t easy, so to you we say: thank you, we love you, we couldn’t have done it without you.