Master of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE)

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The Master of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE) Program is an innovative and accessible graduate degree program that offers English teachers in the elementary, secondary, or college system within the province of British Columbia the opportunity to pursue advanced studies in English literature. The MATE program is not taking applications in 2023. 

MATE Alumni

MATE Cohort 2018–2020: Virtual Symposium on Shakespeare & Indigenous Literatures

Congratulations to the graduating students from the 2018 Cohort for the Masters of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE)!  To celebrate their amazing accomplishments, hard work, and outstanding dedication, the Graduate Program in the English department has created a virtual space to share their capstone papers. The “capstone” is a research paper that the students have been working on intensively over several months, sharing drafts and making revisions in consultation with their supervisors and second readers. These papers aspire to a standard that would be acceptable for submission to a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. In this space, you will find the abstracts of the capstone papers and a brief biographical note for each student.

The MATE Program has a specialization in Indigenous literatures. With guidance from professors in Indigenous literary studies, including Cree-Metis scholar Deanna Reder and settler scholar Sophie McCall, as well as class visits and lectures with Indigenous scholars and writers, the MATE students have read widely in the field and have acquainted themselves with the vibrant debates in Indigenous literary studies. In addition to the Capstone papers, the students have written position papers focused on the question: “How should we teach and learn from Indigenous literatures?” The students, who are also teachers in BC public or private schools, expressed the strong desire to make these position papers widely available in order to provide teachers with practical, yet theoretically nuanced advice. Check out their position papers below and a short video excerpt of their roundtable discussion!

Capstone Papers on Indigenous Literatures

1. Till All Are One: Silap Inua and Modern Representation in Inuit Graphic Novels 

Lorne Scott was born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia. He is a lifelong comic book fan, and his favourite series of all time is Vertigo’s Preacher. Lorne spent close to a decade teaching abroad in Japan, Mexico, and China. He currently teaches English and is an Indigenous Graduation Advocate at a high school in Surrey. He dreams one day of having a couple of furry dogs.

2. Shedding the Colonizer’s Shame Through Re-Membered Kinships

Jessica Shin is a high school teacher at an independent school in East Vancouver where she teaches English Language Arts, social studies, and Christian education. Jessica is a bibliophile, coffee aficionado, and dog lover. She lives in Coquitlam with her adopted miniature poodle. In her past life, Jessica has been an ELL instructor, a crisis line phone worker, and a dedicated yogi. Jessica is a “lifer” at Simon Fraser University. She obtained her BA in 2008 (English, psychology, and counselling), her BEd in 2012 (Professional Development Program), and will complete her MA in spring 2020. Her MATE capstone research investigates colonial trauma in literature by female Indigenous authors. 

3. Indigenous Futurism – A Stepping Stone to BC’s New Curriculum

Matt Brandt is a resident of Port Coquitlam and a high school teacher in Surrey, BC. He teaches both English and social studies, and has taught students from grades 8 to 12. He has a passion for social justice and tries to bring these discussions into all of his classes in some way, shape, or form to hopefully inspire students to make the world a better place. He is also a self-proclaimed nerd and brings this lens into both his classroom and personal studies.

4. English First Peoples 12: An Introduction to Indigenous Literatures

Alexandra Glinsbockel: Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Arts in theology and culture (2017) with a triple concentration in English, history, and theology at St. Marks College, a Bachelor of Education (2018) from the University of British Columbia and is currently finishing her Master of Arts for Teachers of English (2020) at Simon Fraser University, which expands her repertoire of Indigenous socio-cultural sources and merges this awareness with her professional passion: literary education. An English and Career Life Connections teacher at a private secondary school in Vancouver, Alexandra believes that doors open through literacy—not only to other worlds, but also to our visceral, genuine past and present world, which is her goal as an educator. 

Capstone Papers on Shakespeare

1. The Public and Private in Shakespeare’s The Tempest 

Scott Lowrie: I am a proud father and husband who lives and teaches in Mission B.C. I have been a teacher since 2004 and currently teach AP English, honours English and creative writing. I love being a teacher and am passionate about instilling an enthusiasm for literature and a compassion for others in my students. I would like to thank my instructors Mary Ann Gillies, Deanna Reder, Sophie McCall, Ronda Arab, and David Chariandy for challenging me and providing excellent instruction. I am excited to complete my graduate studies and am grateful for the opportunity to learn so much in the MATE program.

2. Proof in the Pas de Deux: The Wordless Shakespeare of Ballet 


Naomi Stewart is a dual British-Canadian citizen with an undergraduate honours degree from the University of Cambridge in education and English literature. She is a secondary school teacher, specializing in English Language Arts. She currently teaches core French and bible at Abbotsford Christian Secondary School. In her research, she is particularly interested in the areas of Renaissance literature, Shakespeare studies, and the role of movement in interpreting literature. In her free time, she can be found dancing, singing, blogging, and reading young adult fantasy novels. In the future, she hopes to pursue a PhD in literary studies in the U.K.

3. A Fair Warrior and a Fiend-like Queen

Robyn Roukema: To Robyn, life is a series of stories: from the stories read to her as a young child and the historical fiction she devoured as a teenager, to the writing, reading, and acting she did in undergrad where she dedicated herself to the communication of slices of life through story on the page and stage, to the intriguing and relevant stories she now shares every day with her students. She is a teacher and learner who was raised a Christian child of immigrants from the Netherlands. She is a writer, actor, feminist, liberal, comic, explorer, and basketball coach. She is a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

Capstone Paper on Twentieth Century Modern Genre Fiction

Variant Fiction: Laurie King’s The Game in Defining a New Genre of Fiction 

Hussan Riasat is an English teacher at a secondary school in Surrey, British Columbia. Hussan spent most of his academic career at Simon Fraser University, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and the Professional Development Program. He is currently working on his Master of Arts degree through the MATE program at SFU. With a small background in film production, Hussan’s interests in media arts and literature often intersects, and many of his academic projects focus on adaptations in different media formats. Hussan is currently working on classifying derivative works that do not fit neatly within frameworks of adaptation theory. 

Video: How Should We Teach and Learn from Indigenous Literatures? 

With English 870 Students and Professors Sophie McCall and Deanna Reder

[Videography and editing by Justine Crawford (]

Position papers by teachers, students, and life-long learners.