New Teaching Faculty

Becky Wei Lin 

Becky Wei Lin is a passionate educator with expertise in data science and statistics. Committed to empowering students, she creates engaging learning environments that inspire them to achieve their full potential. Guided by the motto "Full Contact at Full Speed", her teaching approach is dynamic and interactive. Primarily instructing large introductory statistics and data science courses, Becky strives to enhance statistics education. Currently, she collaborates with her students to design and create the Fun Apps of Statistical Tools (FAST) collection using R Shiny. Through simulations and visualizations, students gain a deeper understanding of fundamental concepts and methodologies, elevating their learning experience.  

Carla Pretorius

Dr Pretorius joined SFU in 2022 and teaches both lecture and lab-based courses in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry. Originally from South Africa, she has taught for well over a decade in Higher Education and in 2021 received a Distinguished Teaching Award. Her passion for teaching and chemical education led her to recently complete a Master’s degree in Educational Technology and she has been involved in research projects investigating the design of a virtual game to be used in science tutor training, incorporating virtual reality in teaching STEM and the re-design of first year laboratories. Outside of the lecture hall and teaching laboratory, Carla enjoys reading, hiking and baking in her spare time. 

Cherie Ng

As the first actuarial science lecturer at SFU, Cherie Ng brings over ten years of industry experience in finance and actuarial practice. Recently, the Actuarial Foundation of Canada awarded Cherie the 2022-23 Maple Leaf Research Award for her paper titled "Controlling the effects of adverse selection in flexible benefit plans: A pricing based approach", which was co-authored with SFU professors Barbara Sanders and Dr. Jean-François Bégin. Cherie is passionate about teaching and inspiring students, and is excited to help enhance SFU's actuarial science programs. 

Carmen Bott 

Carmen has evolved into an International Educator. She is sought after for her methodology & coaching tactics in preparing Combative & Repeat-Sprint Team Sport Athletes as well as Active Rehab strategies post ACLR. Her interests lie in teaching applied kinesiology. As a Physical Performance Coach, Carmen has 20+ years of hands-on experience from the learn-to-train level to the High Performance level.  Give her a puzzle and watch the problem-solving unfold.  She has returned many athletes to sport after injury. Carmen is forever curious about the potential of the human form and mind and has boundless energy to help athletes and students achieve their goals.  

Daria Ahrensmeier 

Daria started started specializing in physics education and educational development while doing postdoctoral work in non-equilibrium quanutum field theory and adiabatic quantum computing. She co-created and taught lecture courses, labs, studio physics materials and labratorials for students in physics, engineering, mathematics and other programs at universities in Canada and Germany. As collaborator or co-PI on several Teaching and learning Development Grants, she has studied the effectiveness of those instructional designs and shared the findings in publications at conferences. As an educational developer, Daria worked with over a hundred faculty members across SFU on curriculum review, program development, and teaching best practices, and collaborated on institution-wide teaching and learning initiatives.  

Reid Staples

Reid Staples teaches a variety of undergraduate courses in the Department of Earth Sciences, including Dynamic Earth (EASC 101), Geohazards – Earth in Turmoil (EASC 104), Introduction to Mineralogy (EASC 202), Field Geology I (EASC 206), Introduction to Geochemistry (EASC 208), Field Geology II (EASC 306), and Metamorphic Petrology (EASC 311). Reid was a Limited Term Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at SFU from 2014 to 2017. From 2017 to 2022, Reid was a Faculty Instructor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Douglas College, and in 2023 returned to the Department of Earth Sciences at SFU. Reid’s prior research and interest is in metamorphic petrology, geochronology, and tectonics of accretionary orogens, with a focus in the Canadian Cordilleran orogen.

Joanna Niezen 

Dr. Niezen earned her doctorate in Discrete Mathematics from the University of Victoria. She joined SFU in Fall 2021 and was awarded a Faculty Teaching Fellowship for 2022 - 2024, focusing on upgrading the math study centres to better support the students they serve. Through the study centres, Joanna works closely with many of the math teaching assistants and enjoys supporting graduate students in their professional development as teachers. Joanna's goal is to help students achieve their mathematical goals, whatever they may be. She makes a conscious effort to pique the curiosity of her students and build excitement around course material. Joanna is also passionate about equity and diversity in mathematics and works hard to be inclusive to all students. She is the faculty sponsor for the Association for Women in Math Student Chapter at SFU as well as the math faculty sponsor for the Science Peer Tutoring program.

Sabrina Lee

Dr. Lee received her BSc in Physiology from McGill University. She received her MSc and PhD in Kinesiology (Biomechanics) from The Pennsylvania State University. She completed a joint post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University and Simon Fraser University focusing on neuromuscular mechanics. She continued to a post-doctoral/research associate position at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago investigating muscular properties in clinical populations.  Dr. Lee held the position of assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Northwestern University in the Feinberg School of Medicine and was the director of the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory.  

Sonja Isberg

Sonja teaches a variety of statistics courses, from first year to graduate-level. Each course has provided her with an exciting experience and a unique perspective on student learning. Sonja’s current research focus is on flipped classroom experiences in first-year courses. In a new initiative, she has created labs for a partially flipped STAT 100 course format. She also had the opportunity of supervising a USRA student; together, they developed “StatsApps,” a website containing a library of applets for teaching introductory and intermediate statistics courses.  

Patty Somers

Dr. Somers teaches undergraduate organic chemistry lecture and laboratory courses. She  endeavors to adapt and apply evidence-based teaching techniques and strives to create an equitable learning environment. As a chemist, she experiences the joy of hands on, one-on-one teaching in the laboratory. She tries to share her enthusiasm for organic chemistry and to illustrate the connection between organic molecules and life. Outside of the laboratory she enjoys cycling and has done many epic rides, including Mount Blue Sky (highest paved road in North America), the Passo dello Stelvio in the Alps, and the Whistler Gran Fondo in BC.