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Announcement of Reappointment of ISTLD Director Dr. Sheri Fabian

September 16, 2020

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Sheri Fabian has been re-appointed as the Director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2023.

“Sheri Fabian is a stellar instructor and a deep thinker about best practices in the post-secondary classroom,” says Dr. Elizabeth Elle, Vice Provost & Associate Vice President, Learning & Teaching. “We are incredibly lucky to have her leadership and strong mentoring philosophy at the helm of ISTLD for three more years especially now when she is leading her team in the support of faculty as they pivot to remote instruction. I’m thrilled to be able to keep working with Sheri; all of SFU will benefit!"

Dr. Fabian is a University Lecturer in the School of Criminology. Her exceptional contributions to teaching earned her a 2019 3M National Teaching Fellowship and an invitation to join its prestigious cohort devoted to the art of teaching. The fellowship is awarded by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The award recognition gives Fabian a national platform to facilitate discussion, encourage growth, and learn from others about transformative issues facing post-secondary institutions.

These issues include Canada’s obligation to decolonize curricula, and to incorporate Indigenous knowledges in classrooms and institutions. Fabian embraces this obligation, using her 15 years of research on behalf of residential school survivors to help others appreciate the real and immediate need for action.

With the recent pivot to remote teaching, Dr. Fabian has championed a new grant stream to study the impact on faculty and students: “New Ways of Teaching, New Ways of Learning.” This project will help guide faculty inquiry into teaching and learning during these unique times, with an emphasis on student learning experience.

“Sheri amazes me with her energy, passion for teaching and her thoughtful approach to mentoring instructors at SFU. She models educational leadership in all aspects of her teaching and her work with ISTLD,” says Dr. Nanda Dimitrov, Senior Director for CEE. “During the recent pivot to remote teaching, she helped mentor other instructors in intensive remote teaching workshops, led an academic integrity talking circle for faculty and helped colleagues redesigning exams for remote delivery. She shared teaching advice and strategies for promoting student engagement with new teaching assistants as part of CEE’s Introduction to Remote Teaching workshops for TAs both in May and September. I continue to marvel at her ability to turn challenging teaching moments into learning opportunities for her students and for our colleagues at CEE. We are very fortunate to have such an inspiring teaching scholar at helm of ISTLD.”

During her time at Simon Fraser University, Dr. Fabian has led or co-led six Teaching and Learning Development Grants. These investigations have spanned the examination of the influence of iClickers on learning outcomes to student-led community-based action research exploring the perspectives and experiences of Indigenous students and their recommendations decolonizing teaching and learning at SFU. Dr. Fabian is committed to promoting teaching and learning research as an important form of professional development for faculty.

“I am thrilled and honoured to be reappointed as director of the ISTLD for another three years,” says Dr. Fabian. “During my second term, I look forward to continuing to work with faculty and staff to help drive our mission to inspire, support and enhance teaching and learning inquiry.”

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.

Dr. Fabian’s research and teaching focus in the areas of criminal harassment, minorities and criminal justice, residential schools, intimate partner violence, qualitative research methods, policy analysis, and academic integrity.