About CSELP

The Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy (CSELP) engages the education community in the production and dissemination of research, in order to strengthen policy and practice.

CSELP Steering Committee

The work of the Centre is guided by its Steering Committee in consultation with an advisory board. CSELP's Advisory Board consists of individuals who have shown a demonstrated commitment to the development of educational leadership and policy. CSELP’s research agenda is specifically realized through the work of the Steering Committee and affiliated scholars, with the help of affiliated graduate students.

Michelle PidgeonDirector | Michelle Nilson, Associate Director | Rebecca D. Cox | Dan LaitschGillian Judson

Advisory Board

The work of the Centre is guided by its Steering Committee in consultation with an advisory board. CSELP's Advisory Board consists of individuals who have shown a demonstrated commitment to the development of educational leadership and policy. CSELP’s research agenda is specifically realized through the work of the Steering Committee and affiliated scholars, with the help of affilated graduate students.


Meaghan Dougherty

Meaghan Dougherty teaches in the Child, Family, and Community Studies faculty at Douglas College. After working in social services, Dr. Dougherty began teaching in post-secondary and completed her Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership at SFU. Dr. Dougherty’s dissertation focused on social service workers navigating the transition from post-secondary education to their professional role. Her research interests include the complex relationship between education and the labour market, the transition from post-secondary education to work, relational practice, criticality, and teaching and learning encounters. Dr. Dougherty has a particular interest in relational and performative ontologies and methodologies that explore more-than-human entanglements.

Dr. Bruce Beairsto


Dr. Bruce Beairsto is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University. He came to SFU from the Richmond School District where he worked first as a science teacher, then as Curriculum Coordinator, and ultimately as District Superintendent. Dr. Beairsto has been a keynote speaker at conferences across the world: Finland, New Zealand and China, as well as across Canada. In recent years he has served on the boards of Science World, The Critical Thinking Consortium, and the Canadian Education Association, as well as the on the editorial board of Education Canada. Dr. Beairsto’s work at CSELP is currently focussed on a symposium series designed to help district-based or school-based teams build capacity for constructive deliberation and informed decision-making around contentious issues.

Hugh Finlayson


Hugh J. Finlayson is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and a faculty member in the School of Business, Human Resources Management Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Before joining BCIT Hugh held senior leadership positions in the K-12 public education sector at the school district level starting as Director of Human Resources then Secretary Treasurer and ultimately at the provincial level as the Chief Executive Officer of the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). In addition to his responsibilities with BCPSEA, Hugh led two other multi-employer associations – the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (PSEA) and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) – through governance and organizational changes as interim CEO.

An active contributor to advancing the human resource profession, Hugh was president of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia & Yukon and served as chair of the BCIT Human Resources Management Program Advisory Committee.

In 2014, Hugh was made an Honorary Life Member of the CPHR BC & Yukon in recognition of his contribution to the field of human resources and in 2018 he was designated a Fellow CPHR, a title that recognizes the most exceptional CPHR holders in BC and the Yukon.

Cynthia Lewis


Dr. Cynthia Lewis is an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from Simon Fraser University. During her distinguished career, Dr. Lewis has worked as a Core French & French Immersion teacher, a school principal, a director of instruction, and an assistant superintendent. She has worked with schools involved in programs of choice and diversity, as well as serving at Simon Fraser University in pre-service, in-service and postgraduate education. Dr. Lewis's research interests include additional language and international language teaching and learning, communities of collaborative inquiry, and student success for all in schools with diverse populations.

Dr. Lewis has recently been involved in Second Language Program Evaluations in collaboration with school districts. 

Amy Metcalfe 

Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on higher education in Canada and the North American region, including critical approaches to internationalization, academic labour and mobility, and critical policy studies in education. Dr. Metcalfe has a particular interest in visual research methods in education, with an emphasis on photographic methodologies and visual analysis.



Deb Bartlette

Deb Bartlette is an educator with experience in academic leadership (dept head, dean, vice-president academic) and student services leadership. She has significant background in smaller and rural/remote post-secondary institutions. Her most recent work includes leading a small northern college through a successful process to gain degree-granting status and recognition as a trail-blazer in indigenization. Under her leadership as Vice-President, Academic and Student Services, Yukon College won College and Institute Canada’s inaugural gold medal for indigenization and received praise from the Campus Alberta Quality Council for their institutional submission for degree granting and their first degree proposal.

A passionate advocate for access to education and quality teaching, Deb has also assisted institutions with supporting teaching and learning, distance learning and open educational resources. With a long background in strategic enrolment management and student success, she is known for frequently asking ‘How will this affect students?’. Deb’s combination of experience as an academic leader, in leading and working in student services and in post-secondary teaching bring a comprehensive approach to her work which benefits her clients.

Doug McCall

Doug McCall has been a key part of the school health movement in Canada since 1987. He has been instrumental in establishing much of the infrastructure in Canadian school health promotion, including the Canadian Association for School Health, the School Health Research Network, the Canadian NGO School Health Network, the Joint Consortium for School Health, and the Health & Learning Knowledge Centre of the Canadian Council on Learning.  Mr. McCall has written and published over 100 monographs, guides, booklets and other publications on school health promotion. That includes the drafting and facilitation of the Canadian Consensus Statement on Comprehensive School Health that has been endorsed by over 30 Canadian organizations from health, medicine, education and other sectors. Mr. McCall has worked with others from around the world to establish the International School Health Network.  

Charlie Naylor

Charlie Naylor was the Senior Researcher in the BCTF until his retirement in May, 2016.

He completed his undergraduate degree and teaching diploma in the UK, after which he taught in a public secondary school in Sheffield, Yorkshire.  He later taught in Melbourne, Australia, and participated in the development of Action Research projects with other teachers across the state of Victoria, in conjunction with Deakin University Education faculty.

His Master's degree at SFU examined the issue of high school dropouts in School District #36, Surrey, and his doctorate at UBC explored teacher inquiry as professional development. Much of his work with the BCTF focused on teacher inquiry, professional development, teacher leadership and Inclusion in multiple school districts.  He has also partnered in international research projects with academics and teacher union researchers on the professional focus of teacher unions and has written extensively on the role of teacher unions in supporting teachers’ professional learning.

Currently he works in collaboration with other SFU Affiliated Scholars, teaching in a Master’s program, and in the development of public Symposia aimed at improving dialogue in public education. He also continues his own research, writing, and consultancy.

Dr. David Oborne


Dr. David Oborne joined Simon Fraser University as an adjunct professor after completing a career as an educational administrator in three provinces. He holds a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Toronto. He has been a senior educational officer for some twenty years, completing his career as Acting Superintendent with Coquitlam School District. Dr. Oborne's accomplishments have included co-chairing the Task Force on Race Relations in Winnipeg School Division; acting Program Director for the Youth Entry Program – reintegrating refugee gang member youth into their community; and chairing of the Youth Justice Education Partnership – a national committee founded under the auspices of Justice Canada dedicated to progressive measures in dealing with young offenders.  Dr. Oborne has been a researcher in French Immersion programming; a member of the Canadian School Boards Association national committee on Poverty Education and chair of a district implementation committee on diversity in the workplace and in schools.  He has been a consultant to the Hong Kong Departments of Education and Social Work in their implementation of a risk assessment protocol for adolescents in Hong Kong. As well, he has been a facilitator with a number of Chinese academics on the introduction of English immersion schools in China; and a lecturer at the Shaanxi Normal University in X’ian. He assumed district level responsibility for the Understanding the Early Years research program, a study into the preschool experiences shared by young children in the Tri-Cities area; and has been a member of the Canadian Association for Young Children. Recently, he has facilitated a community wide discussion concerning the programs and services needed in the lower mainland of British Columbia for children ages 6 to 12.   

Dr. Oborne continues to be vitally interested in issues affecting young people. He consults various educational organizations on a variety of program issues. He has maintained an active interest in difficulties associated with immigration and has authored an important study on school adjustment and emotional health for school aged children. 

Lane Trotter


Dr. Lane Trotter is currently the Senior Vice President Academic at Fanshawe College in London Ontario. His research expertise and interest includes governance and accountability in higher education. Prior to his appointment at Fanshawe College, he was the Dean of the School of Transportation at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, a post he held for over 10 years.  As Lane has progressed into more senior leadership positions, the issue of governance and accountability has become more important from a day-to-day perspective. This perspective has led him to focus on the relationship between governance structures with externally appointed governors and the accountability expectations and mechanisms with funders. Dr. Trotter completed his doctorate at Simon Fraser University. 

Fred Renihan


Dr. Fred Renihan is currently research associate and adjunct professor in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Simon Fraser University. He was, until 2005, Superintendent of Schools in Surrey British Columbia. Dr. Renihan has been a dean of Education, a teacher, principal, director of Education, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant Deputy Minister of Education with the Government of Saskatchewan.

In the past two decades, Dr. Renihan has been widely published in the educational community and has been frequently featured as keynote speaker at educational conferences in Canada, Europe, Australasia and the United States on such topics such as educational change, effective teaching, effective schools, teacher supervision, learning communities and, school leadership.  In 2004 Dr. Renihan also received the distinguished service award for his leadership contributions to education in British Columbia. In 1985, Dr. Renihan’s doctoral dissertation won the Canadian Association for Studies in Educational Administration Award for the outstanding doctoral dissertation in educational administration in Canada.  

Deanna Rexe


Dr. Deanna Rexe is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University. Her current research explores social, political, and economic factors influencing public policy in post-secondary education in Canada. Previous research projects in the British Columbia college system examined questions of student access and success in the college and institute sectors; including factors in apprenticeship completion, equity in apprenticeship, retention in engineering, vocational and trades training programs, strategic enrolment management in ESL programs, immigrant and minority student access and student services interventions, program and student services evaluations, and labour market and educational outcomes of community college and technical institute graduates.

As a practitioner, Dr. Rexe is interested in educational leadership and governance, having worked as a senior leader in the community college system, as well as a consultant to government, post-secondary institutions, and interest groups. An SFU alumna, Dr. Rexe received the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal and a national award for the best dissertation on the topic of higher education in Canada, as well as the George L. Geis Dissertation Award, from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in 2015.  

Christine Younghusband


Christine Younghusband is a recent graduate of the Doctor of Education program in Educational Leadership at SFU. Dr. Younghusband’s dissertation focussed on the professional learning experiences of non-mathematics subject specialists in BC schools and what professional learning activities these teachers participated in to gain subject matter content knowledge in mathematics to teach secondary mathematics. Dr. Younghusband also worked with Dr. Daniel Laitsch as a graduate research assistant and CSELP Affiliated Graduate Student on a replication-extension study that examined the information sources BC school trustees used for policy discussions and decision-making. Dr. Younghusband’s research interests include professional learning, mentorship, mathematics education, policy and practice, and subject-matter acquisition.

Dr. Younghusband remains active in BC Education as a school trustee, independent educational consultant, #BCEdChat co-moderator on Twitter, and member of the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers Executive Committee. Dr. Younghusband taught in BC public schools for 16-years as a secondary mathematics teacher, served on the BC School Trustees Association Board of Directors for 3-years, and was elected as school trustee on the School District No.46 (Sunshine Coast) Board of Education in 2011.

Twitter: @ChristineYH

Paul Shaker


Dr. Paul Shaker is a career educator who has served as teacher, teacher educator and dean in the United States, Asia, and in Canada at Simon Fraser University, where he is professor emeritus and immediate past dean. Dr. Shaker was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Kuwait and worked in educational research and development in Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Dr. Shaker's scholarly and professional interests focus on the development and implementation of education policy with an emphasis on the politics of education.  


Anisha Arora is a graduate student in the Doctor of Education program in Educational Leadership at SFU. Working with CSELP’s Dr. Michelle Pidgeon, Ms. Arora’s research focuses on the experiences of first generation Punjabi students at Simon Fraser University.

Ms. Arora has worked in higher education for 15 years as an academic advisor and first year experience instructor. Currently she is the assistant registrar at SFU Surrey.