Celebrating Achievement: Dr. Natalie Frandsen Recognized with Dean's Convocation Medal

June 08, 2023

Dr. Natalie Frandsen’s Educational Technology and Learning Design doctoral research brought her vast experience in public health, mental health, and post-secondary teaching all together. Frandsen focused her research on accessible and inclusive education for post-secondary students with mental-health-related disabilities who are undertaking their studies online.

Using data gathered from students and university instructors and support staff, Frandsen developed a rich and multi-faceted understanding of how the increasing number of students living with mental health disorders are served by Canadian postsecondary institutions, particularly as more teaching and learning are mediated digitally.

Frandsen’s doctoral work was generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Joseph-Armand Bombardier scholarship as well as British Columbia Graduate (PhD) Entrance Scholarship. And she made numerous presentations at academic conferences and published a chapter during her three and a half years of doctoral study.

Dr. Kevin O'Neill, Frandsen’s supervisor had this to say about her time at SFU. Says O’Neill, “In some respects, Dr. Frandsen was a typical Faculty of Education doctoral student. Throughout her studies she worked full time, teaching. She is also a mother of two children. In her dedication and accomplishments however, Dr. Frandsen is truly exceptional and a model for all those who follow after her.”

Natalie is grateful for the support she received from her supervisor, Dr. Kevin O’Neill and her committee members, Dr. Sheri Fabian and Dr. Robert Williamson. Says Frandsen, “Their diverse experience and expertise were an asset to my development as a researcher. I am humbled and grateful to receive this Convocation Medal and be recognized alongside such incredible scholars.”

Natalie is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. She plans to continue to develop her program of research to contribute to the development of inclusive, accessible, and mental health promoting communities of learning.