Jacqueline  Pizzuti Ashby

PhD (Edu),  2013

Meet Jacqueline Ashby—an SFU Faculty of Education alumna who effortlessly juggles the role of researcher, designer, educator, and outdoor enthusiast. Jacqueline began her doctoral journey by joining the Educational Leadership (Post-Secondary) EdD program in 2006. Her thesis research investigated the relationship campus space had on student learning outcomes and later utilized her findings to plan and design non-formal learning spaces. Her dedication to environmental design and innovation led her to publish her graduate dissertation, "Designing for the future: A post-occupancy evaluation of the Peter Jones Learning Centre” in 2013.

In September 2015, Jacqueline was awarded an EDRA CORE Award for her contributions to the field of innovation and environmental design. Selected from an international pool of candidates, the CORE Award is administered by the Environmental Design Research Association (ERDRA) and recognizes “rigorous, valuable, and impactful practice-based research to spark innovation and promote best practice in environmental design.”

When asked to discuss her dissertation and winning CORE submission, Jacqueline mentioned that she deployed an interdisciplinary approach into the planning and physical design of a learning commons. “The purpose of the study was to understand administrators’ perceptions and observations of student learning in non-formal learning space in addition to examining the facility’s performance and student usage patterns.”

As one of five recipients of the prestigious award, she calls it “an honor to receive the 2015 Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE Award) and to be recognized by the Environmental Design Research Association.” Further thanking EDRA for the acknowledgement and “its diverse group of academic researcher, practice-based researchers, designers, and industry thought leaders.” She would also like to extend her gratitude to SFU for continuing to promote academic research in environmental design.

So what is next for the award winning outdoorswoman? "My current research in learning environments includes investigating the built environment’s role in nurturing creativity and exploring the methods used to help inform the design of makerspaces."

To learn more about Jacqueline’s current research, please visit her blog: https://jacquelineashby.wordpress.com/

-Written by Faculty of Education

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