Dr. Ted Gervan

"I was looking for a program that would provide me with the leadership skills necessary to successfully run my program department and grow my career in educational leadership."

Educational Leadership, Post-Secondary EdD

I'm a father, optimist, educator and creative economy enthusiast.  In 2012 I joined the Vancouver Film School, one of the most progressive global leaders in arts and media training.  Currently, I am the Vice President of Education--I oversee our educational programs, the student experience including student services, resources, alumni outreach, and regulatory affairs.

How did you discover the program?

I discovered the program as soon as it was offered and I was a part of the first Vancouver cohort.  I recall that the program fulfilled an important need for an advanced/practical doctorate in educational leadership.  I was considering career advancement at the time.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.

When I started at SFU, I was a couple of years into my first senior management role in post-secondary education. I was looking for a program that would provide me with the leadership skills necessary to successfully run my program department and grow my career in educational leadership. Most of the classes were offered just a short walk from my workplace, which was also incredibly practical.   As a full-time working professional the program delivery model was very flexible and made it possible to study and work at the same time.

Who is a faculty member that you enjoyed working with at SFU and why?

During my study at SFU, I have collaborated closely with Professor Dr. Steve Marshall to write an article, Sense of Belonging and First-Year Academic Literacy, which was published in the CJHE in 2013. Working with Dr. Marshall has been a great experience. He prepared me to write my dissertation in the same topic area, students' sense of belonging. Steve was an incredibly strong and supportive thesis supervisor.  The collaboration was a natural fit.  I also enjoyed working with Dr. Michelle Nilson, particularly her self-directed studies class. Michelle has a great balance of standards, care, and concern for students. Being relatively new to academic writing, I was intimidated by the language, codes, and conventions of this unique style of writing. Working with Dr. Nilson was precisely what I needed to conquer those fears and be successful.

What do you miss most about your graduate studies in the Faculty of Education?

I miss the stimulating dialogues around practices in higher education.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school at SFU?

I give the EdD program my highest possible recommendation. There were so many outstanding faculty. Coming from the private sector, it was also incredibly beneficial to meet colleagues across sectors. I have made many lifelong friends in the program. Furthermore, the program helped me develop the leadership and analytical skills to take on many challenging projects (i.e., accreditation, new degrees, etc) that I would not have otherwise had the confidence or skills to tackle.