Sheri Fabian

Director, September 2017 - August 2020


Sheri's Bio: Dr. Sheri Fabian is a University Lecturer in the School of Criminology. She is actively involved in ongoing discussions with her FASS colleagues regarding the scholarship of teaching and learning and is particularly interested in the pedagogy surrounding experiential learning in the classroom, and the creation of safe and inclusive classroom spaces. Sheri was awarded the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award (2016) and the SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Cormack Excellence in Teaching Award (2014). Sheri is also a faculty mentor for the graduate student Certificate Program for University Teaching and Learning as well as for new faculty in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She has served as an Academic Integrity Advisor since 2008. Sheri has received five Teaching and Learning Development grants including her current grant that focuses on pedagogical to decolonizing and Indigenizing our classes.

Tara McFarlane

Administrative Coordinator

Phone: 778-782-3122

Tara's Bio: As ISTLD's administrative coordinator, Tara looks after all administrative, financial, personnel and operational needs for the team, as well as facilitate the funding and logistics for all ISTLD programs and initiatives.

Laura D'Amico

Research Associate, August 2015 - Current


Laura's Bio: Laura is particularly interested in the development and study of systems for supporting and implementing educational improvement and reform, including: assessment infrastructures; learning technologies; professional development systems for teachers, principals, and university faculty; and relationships between researchers and practioners. In the last 20+ years, Laura's research methods have ranged from design-based research to literature and policy reviews to basic research involving mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, such as interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and activity logs. Laura holds a B.S. Education-Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. For more about Laura's current and past projects see her SFU webpage.

Birgit Schwarz

Post Doctoral Fellow, April 2017 - Current


Birgit's Bio: Prior to joining the ISTLD in April 2017, Birgit completed a PhD in Biology and taught several block courses at Quest University (Squamish, BC). As a research assistant, Birgit worked on two Teaching and Learning Development Grant projects that investigated the effectiveness of reflective exercises and a flipped classroom design, respectively. Birgit's research interests revolve around the implementation and improvement of flipped classrooms or flipped elements in traditional classrooms, specifically in STEM disciplines. In this context, Birgit is interested in investigating the effect of different approaches and strategies on learning outcomes and student engagement, as well as instructor experiences.

Adjua Akinwumi

Research Assistant, September 2018 - Current

Adjua's Bio: Adjua is an MA candidate in the School of Communications. As an aspiring academic invested in knowledge sharing for community development, Adjua is excited to be part of the ISTLD team. She joined with a strong desire to better understand the evolving conversations on the best teaching and learning practices. Adjua's research interest centers political subjectivities, modernity and development - at its core is a desire to understand and unpack the influence of power on knowledge and reality-making.

Vanessa Milost Gonzalez

Research Assistant, September 2018 - Current

Vanessa's Bio: Vanessa is pursuing a Master of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America at Simon Fraser University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Studies from Bryn Mawr College, an all-women's liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, U.S., in 2014. Since then, she has worked in the software industry as well as co-founded a college admissions consultancy catering to high school students in her home country, Brazil. Vanessa's research interests concern educational upward mobility and how the demands of a globalized market have reshaped higher education institutions in Latin America. She is excited to be part of the ISTLD team and to work with members of the SFU community who are committed to creating a space of excellence in teaching and learning within our multicultural academic environment.

Steven Hall

Research Assistant, Decolonizing Teaching Seminar Series and Grant Program, February 2018 - Current

Steven's Bio: Steven is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and currently has an AA in Psychology from Langara College. Steven's aspiration after university is to work in the urban Aboriginal/LGBTQ2+ community to support youth through counseling. Steven applied for this position simply because he wanted to be part of shaping student learning at Simon Fraser University regarding Indigenous peoples. Being an urban Heiltsuk student, Steven finds the concept of decolonizing teachings a necessary process in order to create a safer space for Aboriginal students in the classroom. Another reason for Steven's interest in being a research assistant for ISTLD is to strengthen his facilitation skills as well as develop some research skills.

Walas giaxsixa (thank you in Haíɫzaqvḷa) for allowing me to be part of this!

Rebecca Lennox

Research Assistant, September 2018 - Current

Rebecca's Bio: Rebecca Lennox is a graduate student in the department of Sociology at Simon Fraser University. She became interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning after taking part in a course that included practise-based learning. In addition to working as a research assistant with the ISTLD, Rebecca currently assists on a faculty project funded by the ISTLD that explores the ways undergraduate students engage with primary literature.

Rebecca’s MA research examines women’s exclusion in public space and employs a discourse analytic approach to explore the varied cognitive and embodied practices that women employ as they strive to feel safe and visible in their communities.

Ilana Ram

Research Assistant, September 2018 - Current

Ilana's Bio: Ilana is a PhD candidate in the Educational Technology and Learning Design program in the Faculty of Education. Prior to her SFU studies, she completed a Master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Haifa, Israel. Her research interests include learning processes, using technology to support learning, research methods (qualitative and quantitative) and breastfeeding. In her PhD dissertation, Ilana is exploring the personal experience of breastfeeding women and focuses on possible conflicts and affordances embedded in the experience. She is very excited to be a part of the ISTLD, to explore and support learning processes at an institutional level here at SFU.


Ki Wight

Research Assistant, September 2018 - Current

Ki's Bio: Ki is a PhD student in the Equity stream of the Educational Theory and Practice program in the Faculty of Education, and a full time instructor at Capilano University in the departments of Communications, Motion Picture Arts, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Ki is an active and enthusiastic participant in the teaching and learning communities at SFU and Capilano, and Ki's areas of focus are anti-oppressive practices in education and media practice, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and media, queer, and gender studies.

Past Team Members

How to find us

We are located in the Applied Science Building, room 10929 in the Big Data Hub (formerly IRMACS). Our office is accessible only with an access card. Please let us know you are coming so we can meet you in reception.

Contact us

Tel: 778.782.3122