Honour Roll Fall 2021

Congratulations to the following Education faculty members, staff and students who have achieved distinction and have recently been acknowledged for their impactful work, both within and beyond the academic community.

U of A Faculty of Education maintains its spot in the Top 3 Faculties of Education in Canada

The University of Alberta delivers the top nursing education in Canada and has the third best education program, according to the Maclean’s 2022 Canadian University Rankings.

Always in the rankings mix, the Faculty of Education, according to dean Jennifer Tupper, benefits from both a long history — which dates back to 1942, when the U of A opened Canada's first education faculty — and research excellence.

“Our faculty members, as a collective, are engaged in important, meaningful, socially innovative research that has local, national and international reach,” said Tupper.

Read more

Congratulations to Educational Policy Studies lecturer and alumna Norma Dunning, who won the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language fiction for her latest collection of short stories, Tainna: The Unseen Ones!

​​Dr. Dunning's previous book, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, was awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the 2018 INDIEFAB Book of the Year (short stories), and the 2018 Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story.

Congratulations to Educational Psychology professor Sophie Yohani on being awarded a 2021 Killam Professorship!

Up to eight Killam Annual Professorships are awarded each year to outstanding academics at the University of Alberta in recognition of their distinguished scholarship. The award is based on scholarly activities including teaching, research, publications, creative activities, presented papers, supervision of graduate students, courses taught, and contribution to the community beyond the University in activities normally directly linked to the applicant's University responsibilities.

Congratulations to Educational Policy Studies professor Dia Da Costa on receiving the Intersections of Gender Research Development Award.

The award is intended to encourage the development of collaborative projects led by University of Alberta faculty in Tri-Council research fields interested in developing intersectional research design and constructing a diverse, interdisciplinary research team. This includes, but is not limited to, using intersectional, feminist, anti-racist, anti-colonial/decolonial, queer, and/or critical disability methodologies. This program is specially designed to enhance innovative interdisciplinary research methodologies and teams.

Congratulations to Educational Psychology professor Melissa Tremblay on receiving the 2021 Distinguished Academic Early Career Award from the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA)!

The award recognizes an academic staff member at an early stage of his or her career, who through his or her research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activity has made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university. CAFA represents the academic staff associations at the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, Mount Royal University, Grant MacEwan University, and Athabasca University.

Congratulations to Colleen Starchuk, learning consultant and co-director, Technologies in Education, who has been selected for the IT Ambassador Award as part of the University of Alberta's 2021 Information Technology Awards!

The IT Ambassador Award recognizes one support staff or academic member for outstanding technology leadership and contributions. The successful nominee will have demonstrated exceptional leadership to their department, faculty or unit and made notable IT contributions to the University community.

Congratulations to Amber Frick, currently in her final year of a combined Elementary Education and Native Studies degree, whose essay, Pasqua First Nation Economic Entitlements Final Report, has been awarded the 2021 History and Classics Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Indigenous Essay Prize for the best undergraduate paper about Indigenous histories in Canada.

Congratulations to Educational Psychology PhD student Kirsty Keys, who has been awarded a 2021 Congress Graduate Merit Award for her research on pre-service teachers and social-emotional education.

Read a brief interview about her research on the Congress 2021 blog!

Congratulations to Secondary Education doctoral student Feisal Kirumira, whose paper Desecrating Domesticated Blackness in Euro-German (Con)texts Through African Folklore and Proverbs was awarded Best Graduate Paper by the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG) at the 2021 Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Congratulations to Michelle Lavoie, who received her PhD in Educational Policy Studies on Thursday, June 25 at the University of Alberta’s virtual convocation ceremony, where she was also awarded the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for highest academic achievement at the graduate level.

Staffing news

Library and Information Studies professor Ali Shiri has accepted the position of Vice-Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR), starting July 1, 2021. Dr. Shiri has been an FGSR Associate Dean since January 2020 and made significant contributions to his portfolio focusing on data and digital initiatives, and to the programs he works. He also led the revamping and approval of the FGSR Ethics and Academic Citizenship requirement, gaining experience in the consultation and approval processes that are essential to our academic and research mission at the university. Further, this experience has built important partnerships across our campus with FGSR in support of key strategic priorities and in the spirit of enhancing the graduate student experience.

The Faculty of Education welcomes Kwesi Yaro, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Secondary Education!

Dr. Yaro has PhD in Curriculum studies specializing in Mathematics Education from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. He also has a Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics Education from UBC and a B.Ed. (Mathematics focus) from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Prior to joining the University of Alberta, Dr. Yaro taught both elementary and secondary mathematics methodology courses as well as supervised teacher candidates on teaching practice within UBC’s Teacher Education Program. Dr. Yaro’s experience is enriched by an extensive background experience as a mathematics teacher in the Ghanaian public education system, and community engagement through mathematics and science outreach activities with various schools and key stakeholder institutions in the Canadian context. Dr. Yaro is a certified professional teacher in Ghana as well as in British Columbia (BC) and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Dr. Yaro's work is inspired by principles of cultural sustainability, social justice and inclusion, and grounded in humanitarianism in practice, a core tenet of the Afrocentric paradigm guided by the Ubuntu philosophy (I am because you are: You are because I am) and manifests in the deployment of the “utu” — that of human which is caring and uplifting of every other being. Dr. Yaro uses this lens to investigate and understand the role continental and diasporic African parents play in their children’s mathematics learning. Through this broad research program, Dr. Yaro hopes to contribute to knowledge and insights that can guide teachers and other educators towards a more culturally responsive mathematics curriculum and pedagogy. His most recent publication, “Situated perspectives on creating mathematics tasks for peace and sustainability” in the Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (CJSMTE), is an exemplar of Dr. Yaro's research interest.

Feature image: Educational Policy Studies lecturer and alumna Norma Dunning