- CEE Home
- About CEE
- Events for TAs, TMs and ITAs
- Inclusion in the Classroom Week
- Remote Teaching Forum 2021
- Instructional Skills Workshop
- CEE Anti-Racist Pedagogies Program: HRJ
- Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning
- Symposium on Teaching and Learning
- Special Events
- Rethinking Course Design
- TA Day
- Decolonization and Indigenization
- Teaching Matters Seminar Series
- Tea and Teachings
- SFU university lecturer, associate dean, Sarah D. Johnson awarded 3M National Teaching Fellowship
- SFU's TA Hub is proving to be a valuable resource for teaching assistants
- CEE instructor needs survey
- Linguistically Responsive Classrooms Instructors Series (LRCIS) returns for a second year
- Blended learning: spotlight on SFU’s newest course designation
- A one-stop teaching resource for TAs now launched: introducing the TA Hub
- Healing from Racism Journey's first year comes to a close
- Inviting TAs to share their teaching strategies
- 32nd National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Teaching and learning with chat tools
- Learning from remote instruction
- Lecture recording and AV support for in-person instruction
- 813,000 Zoom meetings: How IT Services handled the move to remote instruction
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Reflections on Inclusion in the Classroom Week
- Welcome to your new Zoom classroom
- Kevin Lam: “Students appreciate every little thing we do that shows that we care”
- Sheri Fabian: “I embraced a flexible approach”
- Sarah Johnson: “The biggest change I made was to switch to asynchronous delivery”
- Nicky Didicher: “I’m finding my job less exhilarating”
- Mark Lechner: “You have to be OK with things going sideways”
- Nienke van Houten: “They really valued my clear and upfront approach”
- How can we support remote instruction at SFU?
- Crowdmark: A more efficient way to grade student assessments
- The unexpected benefits of a shorter syllabus
- Photo gallery: Talking shop at Teaching Matters
- Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
- Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
- Meet the Centre for Educational Excellence leadership team
- A biology instructor rethought her students’ role—and her own
- Photo gallery: SFU’s 24th Annual Spring TA/TM Day
- Photo gallery: SFU's 9th Annual Winter Warm-up
- If you build it, will they come?
- “My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series
- An upgraded Canvas Gradebook is coming in January
- Share your thoughts on the furniture in SFU classrooms
- DEMOfest presenter slides
- Photo gallery: 5th Annual DEMOfest
- Teamwork needs to be taught
- TA/TM Stories: Three new podcasts explore the teaching experiences of grad students
- Can it be done? A math instructor attempts to indigenize her course
- Answers to your questions about SFU's new approach to online education
- Photo gallery: The CEE Open House
- Do you know your faculty teaching fellow?
- Instructor-led online courses: How one faculty member prepared for the new model
- Photo gallery: SFU's 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day draws a crowd
- Connecting people and crossing artificial divides: An interview with Elizabeth Elle
- Don't say this to your class—a student shares his experience
- How one lecturer is using podcasts to make course concepts more real in her online course
- Photo gallery: Rain, burgers and smiles at the 2019 President's Employee BBQ
- Five questions and answers about the creation of CEE
- A redesign made this course more engaging for students—and the instructor
- CPUTL: A graduate student describes her experience
- CEE Staff Login
Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
By Centre for Educational Excellence staff
Nanda Dimitrov is the inaugural senior director of the Centre for Educational Excellence.
Nanda Dimitrov, former director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Western University in London, Ontario, took up her new role as senior director of SFU’s Centre for Educational Excellence on January 6, 2020. She shared her experiences and perspectives on learning and teaching in a conversation with CEE’s Learning & Teaching News blog.
CEE: You had an active and successful career at Western University. What convinced you to make the move to British Columbia and SFU?
Nanda Dimitrov: Building a new Centre for Educational Excellence at SFU is really an exciting opportunity to create new programs to support faculty. What makes working at SFU particularly interesting for me is that in B.C. there’s a strong community of colleagues who work on international education and intercultural learning, and I have been collaborating with them for many years. British Columbia is beautiful, and my family and I love mountains.
CEE: Now that you have been here for a whole week, what are your first impressions of the SFU learning and teaching community?
ND: I have met some wonderful teaching champions and colleagues who are really passionate about teaching and learning. During my first week I attended the opening of the [SFU Library’s] Makerspace and saw how different groups collaborated on bringing students together to learn in very interesting ways.
CEE: You are an educational developer and intercultural communication scholar. How will that background shape the approach you take in your role as senior director of CEE?
ND: As senior director of CEE, it’s my job to support all of the areas under CEE, including our colleagues whose work focuses on teaching and technology, faculty and TA development, assessment, research on teaching, multilingual learners and many others. But of course intercultural learning is my passion, so I hope that we can collaborate across campus to support faculty members as they prepare to teach in diverse classrooms, explore internationalizing the curriculum, and work to include Indigenous perspectives in their teaching.
CEE: What are the larger trends and directions you see when you look at the learning and teaching community across Canada, and how closely do they align with the concerns and priorities you see at SFU?
ND: One of the trends across Canada is that both faculty and educational developers are working with students as partners in teaching and learning. This means involving students in the process of course design or in the design of new experiential learning activities. Students can also bring unique insight as collaborators in research on teaching projects and in mentoring programs for new faculty and TAs. Considering ways to integrate the student perspective would align well with SFU’s priority goal of improving the student experience.
CEE: The Centre for Educational Excellence was formed from the merger of several previously separate teaching support units. What opportunities do you see arising from this more unified approach to teaching support?
ND: I think we have an opportunity to collaborate and create a seamless support experience for instructors. The types of questions innovative faculty members bring to us are often very complex, so we may draw on research from curriculum design, active learning and emerging trends in blended learning at the same time to come up with possible approaches they can consider.
Given the unique strengths of our team, instructors now have a team of experts collaborating to provide resources and advice. I think the new centre also gives us an opportunity to know and learn more about each other’s work, which enriches the team’s own practice in curriculum development, faculty mentoring and instructional design.
CEE: What one thing would you like the SFU academic community to know about CEE?
ND: One thing I’d love for colleagues to know is that our job is to help innovative, creative instructors take their teaching to the next level. In a sense, our job is to kind of be a booster rocket for their teaching. And then our second role is to build bridges across disciplines, departments and communities and bring colleagues together in dialogue about teaching innovation, student engagement in the classroom and support them in creating a strong teaching culture across the university.
CEE: What is your dream for SFU’s learning and teaching community?
ND: My dream for teaching and learning at any Canadian university is that we create a community that really celebrates teaching and teaching excellence and values teaching, not just in words but in actions, and where our outstanding teachers feel valued and rewarded for their work in teaching as much as they are rewarded for their work in research and service.
CEE: We know you love your work, but we hope you won’t spend all your time at the office. When you aren't working, how do you like to spend your time?
ND: When I’m not working, my kids and my husband and I love spending time in nature, and we’re really looking forward to exploring BC, hiking, skiing … And we’re really excited about all the great cuisine and diverse food options in Vancouver.