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The Commons team has embraced a blended approach to work, but our offices (located in Arbutus 2400, Surrey) are open during regular business hours.
Leeann Waddington, EdD, MSN, BSN | Pro Tem Associate Vice President, Teaching & Learning
Leeann is responsible for the strategy and leadership of the Teaching & Learning Commons. This includes overseeing the development of resources, training, and other supports for faculty professional development, the enhancement and ongoing maintenance of KPU’s suite of learning technologies, and, currently, supporting the continuity of teaching and learning activities through the COVID-19 pandemic. She also oversees KPU's open education initiatives, including the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, the zero textbook cost (ZTC) program, and support for open pedagogy and open education research. Her portfolio also includes the development and execution of a new strategy for Continuing & Professional Studies and oversight of a Ministry-funded project designed to provide supports for experienced learners and working adults.
Previously an experienced faculty member, Leeann holds a Post Masters Certificate in Curriculum Design and Doctorate in Education from Athabasca University. Leeann is an advocate for the culture of folio thinking pedagogy and its potential to revolutionize KPU's learning landscape. She is also an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator and Trainer.
Leeann loves to garden, quilt and relax at her island home and is always up for a culinary challenge as a self-taught chef.
The Magician: Gives the illusion that juggling numerous tasks is as simple as Abracadabra, and has the ability to see the possibilities and strengths in people and systems.
Nishan Perera, Ph.D., M.Ed., M.B.A | Pro Tem Director of Learning Technology & Ed. Development
Nishan is responsible for leading a team of Teaching and Learning Strategists and Educational Developers to support faculty in their pursuit of teaching excellence through the development of resources, delivery of training and provision of individual faculty consultation on all topics related to course design and delivery. He partners to support learning technology infrastructure and participates in University wide communities to provide teaching and learning expertise.
Nishan holds a doctorate in educational technology and learning design from SFU and brings experience in teaching, curriculum development, academic administration, training, entrepreneurial and marketing management. He loves to use technology for teaching and has a deep appreciation in integrating technology with pedagogy to enhance teaching and learning.
Nishan loves to mountain bike, garden, hike and binge watch movies, documentaries.
The Organizer: Loves to organize, strategize, support tasks and projects to make tasks simple.
Marcelina Piotrowski | Director, Flexible Learning and Academic Integrity
Marcelina has a tripartite portfolio. She is responsible for academic integrity strategy university-wide, directs Continuing and Professional Studies at KPU, and provides leadership on prior-learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) initiatives.
Marcelina holds a doctorate in cross-faculty inquiry in Education from UBC and has taught courses in Media and Communication Studies, Adult and Higher Education, and Teacher Education. She loves to research, write, mountain bike, and ski.
The Astronomer: Examines objects in motion and surges in energy that produce new events and can also lead to black holes.
Adminstrative Support Staff
Kim Wdowiak | Administrative Assistant
Kim is the first friendly face you will see when you enter Arbutus 2400. In addition to being a warm welcome to our space, some of Kim’s responsibilities include calendaring, assisting in the day to day operations of the TL Commons office, supporting the TL Commons email inbox, coordinating departmental meetings and supporting funding applications and grants for the Teaching & Learning Innovation Fund program.
Kim is a strong advocate for cat rescue centers and often volunteers by fostering abandoned female cats and their kittens until they are healthy and ready for adoption.
The Greeter: Kim strives to be friendly, personable, and will always welcome you with a friendly hello and warm smile.
Andrea Votto | Communications & Events Specialist
Andrea assists in the daily marketing, communications, promotion, and event planning strategies for the Teaching & Learning department. In addition to managing our newsletter, Andrea also contributes to the coordination of our blog, Pedagogy + Practice, and helps develop and maintain the department's website and social media channels.
Andrea considers herself a lifelong learner. She is an avid reader and enjoys watching various documentaries at home with her three cats, Oliver, Frankie and Maisie.
The Shape-Shifter: The ability to smoothly adapt to and learn new tasks.
Tina Ly | Communications & Events Specialist
Alongside Andrea, Tina also assists in the daily marketing, communications, promotion, and event planning strategies for the Teaching & Learning department. In addition to managing our newsletter, Tina also contributes to the coordination of our blog, Pedagogy + Practice, and helps develop and maintain the department's website and social media channels.
As the daughter of first-generation refugees, Tina is passionate about personal and community histories and the power of storytelling. At home, you can find her wading through strange baking recipes and writing stories about love.
The Storyteller: Connecting with people within spaces of creativity and compassion to empower our stories and experiences to be heard.
The Learning Technology Team supports our educators with adopting and using KPU tools and technologies for teaching. They provide one-on-one and small group consultations, as well as support and training. Though the team can assist with "how" to use tools and technologies, they can also assist you with the "why" (pedagogy).
Lisa Gedak, MA | Teaching & Learning Strategist
Lisa aims to inspire faculty to innovate their teaching practices by using modernized strategies that support their chosen pedagogical approaches and create technology implementation opportunities. Lisa assists the faculty in re-imagining their course and program design.
Lisa supports faculty through various methods, including workshops, webinars, and individual and group consultations. Lisa is passionate about instructional design, the intersection of pedagogy and technology, and philosophical approaches supporting learner-centred education.
Additionally, Lisa loves impromptu sing-alongs and is a self-proclaimed comedian.
The optimist: Spinning a positive twist on otherwise challenging solutions.
Christopher Ryan, M.Ed. | Teaching & Learning Strategist
Chris works to help instructors clarify their learning outcomes and the best path(s) to these outcomes. He works by applying time-proven instructional design theory to articulate a variety of solutions to effectively mix KPU technology with instructor experience.
He helps by providing one-to-one consultations, workshops and any other useful methods to help maintain and improve KPU’s academic excellence. Chris loves to learn and deepen his knowledge of real-world and online education to not just transfer curriculum through pedagogical principles, but enliven it with creative applications of the ever-growing suite of learning tools.
He is the second funniest team member next to Lisa and loves to play music, get outdoors to hike or snowboard and loves meeting new people from all walks of life.
The Talker: Engages in meaningful conversation with humans and animals, powered by the Blarney Stone of his ancestors’ homeland.
Craig Wright | Teaching & Learning Strategist
Craig’s role at KPU is to support instructors with defining and delivering meaningful learning opportunities for their students. He works with instructors to clarify instructional goals and intention and effectively apply, as needed, theory, practice, and technology, to deliberately meet specific instructional goals.
Craig endeavors to meet people where they are. The support he provides and tactics he uses are tailored to the instructor’s context and need from holistic program development and revision to assignment support.
The Stuntman: Craig’s innovative thinking has no bounds, and he fearlessly leaps into new challenges and requests.
Robin Leung, BBA | Educational Media Strategist
Robin brings both technical and creative experience to his interactions supporting faculty in creating and implementing educational media content, activities and assessment strategies in various teaching and learning contexts, which faculty can use to support student engagement, digital skill development, and facilitate learner-created content.
Robin oversees KPU's educational media platform and KPU's content management system software. Always abreast of current educational media trends, Robin provides practical approaches for faculty to incorporate media-based assessments, engaging content and blog-based assignments.
Outside of work, Robin is a foodie, a content creator, and loves exploring new places.
The contemplator: Quietly listens, gathers information, deeply reflects and provides practical solutions.
Olivia Jeon | Educational Media Strategist
Oliva brings both technical and creative experience to her interactions supporting faculty in creating and implementing educational media content, activities and assessment strategies in various teaching and learning contexts, which faculty can use to support student engagement, digital skill development, and facilitate learner-created content.
Olivia oversees KPU's educational media platform and KPU's content management system software. Always abreast of current educational media trends, Olivia provides practical approaches for faculty to incorporate media-based assessments, engaging content and blog-based assignments.
Olivia is a flutist, a gaming enthusiast, and loves cooking and baking in her free time.
The Chameleon: Has the ability to change her skills to fit any changed circumstances.
Mustafa Mohammed, BTech | Learning Technologies Senior Systems Analyst
Mustafa manages the backend and integration of KPU's EdTech systems. He supports technical staff in logging, analyzing and resolving system problems. Mustafa also provides technical guidance to faculty with the learning management system, conferencing tools, e-portfolio tools and other integrated tools and platforms.
Mustafa strives to improve KPU systems, processes, and technologies through his extensive knowledge and passion for data analytics.
Mustafa is a sports and auto enthusiast and is always on the hunt for new tech innovations.
The fixer: The ability to troubleshoot problems in original and inventive ways.
Omar Jakir | Learning Technologies Senior Systems Analyst
Omar manages the backend and integration of KPU's EdTech systems. He supports technical staff in logging, analyzing and resolving system problems. Omar also provides technical guidance to faculty with the learning management system, conferencing tools, e-portfolio tools and other integrated tools and platforms.
Omar strives to improve KPU systems, processes, and technologies through his extensive knowledge and passion for data analytics.
Outside of KPU, Omar is a passionate volunteer at a local cat rescue organization and is an avid sports fan.
The keen eye: Observes his surroundings and absorbs the details to enhance his understanding of people and situations.
David Balandy | Learning Technologies Junior Analyst
David administers day to day operations of LMS and other learning tools used at KPU. He provides instructional and technical support to faculty users of KPU's Learning Management System (LMS) by investigating and troubleshooting and creates documentation resolutions to support educational technologies.
David loves live music, friends, and a good cup of coffee.
The Learner: Life long learner who loves to increase and broaden his skillset to get the job done.
Ridhima Suri | Learning Technologies Junior Analyst
Ridhima administers day to day operations of LMS and other learning tools used at KPU. She provides instructional and technical support to faculty users of KPU's Learning Management System (LMS) by investigating and troubleshooting and creates documentation resolutions to support educational technologies.
Ridhima loves travelling to new places and is very fond of dancing.
The Versatile: Excels doing diverse and numerous tasks and activities.
Urooj Nizami, MISt, MA | Open Education Strategist
Urooj supports and facilitates open education initiatives by providing expertise through consultations and technical training. She oversees the management of the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Program, the Open Education Research Institute, and provides support to Open Educational Resources (OER) grantees, Open Pedagogy Fellows, and Open Education Research Fellows. Urooj also co-facilitates the use of our Open Publishing Suite (OPUS).
Urooj has a master's degree from McGill University’s School of Information Studies as well as a master’s degree in Religion from Temple University.
Outside of work, Urooj spends her time in the garden sometimes with her fruits and vegetables, but mostly with her roses. She’s also skilled at roping her spouse into very colourful home projects.
The Can-doer: Believes and is determined to make the biggest dreams of others a reality by harnessing the right support.
Amanda Grey | Open Education Strategist
Amanda supports and facilitates open education initiatives by providing expertise through consultations and technical training. She oversees the management of the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Program, the Open Education Research Institute, and provides support to Open Educational Resources (OER) grantees, Open Pedagogy Fellows, and Open Education Research Fellows. Amanda also co-facilitates the use of our Open Publishing Suite (OPUS).
Amanda is a KPU Alumna who went on to get a Master of Library and Information Studies degree.
Amanda has (by her own estimation) too many hobbies, many of which revolve around creating and making things through crocheting, sewing, cross-stitching, baking, and bullet journaling. She enjoys consuming stories of all kinds via books, movies, podcasts, TV, and video games.
The Weaver: Collecting and connecting knowledges learned from disparate sources and bringing them into alignment.
Anna Rucker | Academic Integrity Strategist
Anna supports KPU’s academic integrity initiatives through the development of resources and strategic approaches that promote a culture of academic integrity. This includes creating workshops for faculty, establishing university-wide systems and processes, and developing prevention-focused resources for students. Anna also acts as a liaison and subject matter advisor to university leadership and student support services regarding academic integrity policy and processes, prevention, and emerging challenges.
Anna has a diverse educational and professional background, with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, and she is currently working on her M.Ed. in Educational Studies in Higher Education. When she is not working or studying, Anna loves paddleboarding, boxing, sewing, and going to drag bingo.
The Bridge-Builder: Builds connections with others and approaches challenges with transparency, empathy, and curiosity.
Educational Consultants support KPU educators to further advance their teaching and scholarship practices, as well as the activities and efforts of the Teaching and Learning Commons. They are available for one-on-one or small group consultations and work with programs/departments to develop and facilitate tailored professional development (e.g. workshops, reading circles, etc.) or resources.
Jennifer Anaquod | Educational Consultant, Indigenization (50%)
Jennifer is Nehiyaw and Anishnaabe from Muscowpetung First Nation located in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan but has grown up and lives as a guest on Coast Salish territory. Jennifer’s background is in Indigenous education with a specialization in curriculum development. Jennifer currently teaches INDG1100 and Cree 1100.
Jennifer draws on the 4 R’s of respect, reciprocity, relevance and responsibility to create safe spaces of discussion to unpack the complex topic of Indigenization.
Catherine Chow | Educational Consultant, Teaching Excellence in Science & Horticulture (25%)
Catherine draws on her experience teaching students in chemistry lectures and labs to relate to challenges experienced by STEM faculty, and to help them explore different approaches to teaching. She looks forward to collaborating with the other members of the Teaching and Learning Commons to support faculty and teaching staff in the Faculty of Science and Horticulture. She’s always happy to connect to discuss topics such as alternative assessments or technology in learning.
Farhad Dastur, PhD | Educational Consultant, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (50%)
Farhad wants to encourage a culture of scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning at KPU. Farhad has served KPU for 21 years in many roles and, in 2021, he was awarded Senate's Distinguished Service Award. Farhad believes that good scholarship is driven by curiosity and balances imagination with critical thinking. Teaching becomes a scholarly activity when we systematically inquire into student learning and then share those insights--all in the service of improving our teaching practices. If you are interested in moving your teaching beyond practice to scholarly-informed practice, then book a consultation with Farhad. His preference is for relaxed, face-to-face meetings over good coffee.
Jennifer Hardwick, PhD | Educational Consultant, Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Jen is passionate about ensuring access and supports for learners who face barriers. She has spent the last 15 years teaching diverse students in large lecture halls, small seminars, academic bridging programs, Writing/Learning Centres, online environments, and co-curricular and community programs She loves to problem solve and work collaboratively, and is keen to provide resources and supports to faculty as they adopt and practice Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She also welcomes conversations and consultations about intersecting fields such critical, digital, open, and decolonial pedagogies.
Christina Page, MA | Educational Consultant, Intercultural Teaching Competency (50%)
Christina supports faculty in their journey of understanding and enriching learning for culturally diverse students, while aiming to facilitate a more joyful intercultural teaching experience. In addition to her work in the Teaching and Learning Commons, her KPU Learning Strategist role allows her to see the learning process from the student side and to integrate her understanding of both faculty and student perspectives. Her educational background includes applied linguistics and educational studies, and her roles have included ESL instructor, literacy consultant, researcher, and adult educator in both Canadian and international contexts. Christina facilitates workshops, connects faculty with relevant resources, and is available for individual consultations.
Gillian Sudlow, BA, BEd, MET | Educational Consultant, Course Design