"Kathleen was able to create a safe environment of learning and exploration that was creative and empowering. But I think the trait that was most important to me was her passion for the learning process and her ability to impart this to our group."

- Faculty member, Vancouver Island University

"I was drawn to Kathleen not only because she is articulate and knowledgable, but also because she seemed genuine about wanting me to succeed and achieve my goals."


-Student, Vancouver Island University

Photo Credit: Cayla Neil

I am an educational developer currently working at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL).  Working in academic development at a teaching-focused university, I collaborate with faculty, staff and students to uncover problems, seek solutions, and create new and innovative paths to teaching and learning.  As part of my position, I also work alongside learning technology support specialists to merge principles of effective teaching with online environments. 


I have a PhD in Education from the University of Victoria.  Broadly, my doctoral research looked at how course design changes when courses move from traditional classroom settings to community-based experiences.  I investigated what happens when students, instructors and institutions acknowledge community expertise and invite community members into the curriculum as co-educators.  For this reason, I am interested in community-based teaching, learning and research and in looking more closely at the intersections of community engagement and teaching.


Like many, I didn’t set out to be an educational developer, but came to this place somewhat unexpectedly through my experiences in higher education teaching and research.  When I reflect on how I came to be here, however, it all makes sense.  Educational development brings together so much of what I value as an educator and a researcher: teaching, collaboration, interdisciplinarity, relationships, trust, transformation.  Educational developers occupy a unique space on the higher education landscape, and within this space lies so much potential for innovation and transformation. I never know exactly where educational development will take me.  And that’s why I love it.


I am the mother of three.   I like to be outside, preferably in a canoe.  I can read and write.  When I'm not exhausted, I run early in the morning.  Sometimes I paint, but most people think my paintings were done by my kids.  I'm not afraid of gluten. Or sugar.  I'm currently obsessed with all things Iceland.