About

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I am Associate Professor of History at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in British Columbia, Canada.  Formerly, I was Executive Director of the Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation at TRU, Associate Professor in the Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies and History departments (St. Jerome’s University) and Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Waterloo.  My research explores the medical discourse on gender and sexuality in Canada and the United States in the twentieth century.  I have published articles on masculinity and the feminine ideal in Canada and on developing historical thinking in learners.  I continue to conduct historical research on the ways the medical profession in North America constructs gender and sexuality and the convergence or divergence of those constructions with other discourses (for instance, popular culture and the media).   I seek to empower learners to ask critical questions about the world around them, and to use research from multiple disciplines to understand the world.

Teaching is definitely a passion for me and is the place I most often engage learners in asking critical questions about the world.  I teach courses on things like the History of Sexuality, Gender and Health in History and Sex, Gender and History in Film as well as courses on different aspects of the history of Canada and the US.  Before arriving at Thompson Rivers University, I followed an unconventional academic path by working in the areas of faculty development and instructional technologies prior to taking up a “traditional” academic role as a Professor.  I served as Instructional Project Manager for the Associate Vice-President, Learning Resources and Innovation at the University of Waterloo where I managed strategic learning projects on the UW campus.  I also served as Acting Associate Director of the Teaching Resources Office (now the Centre for Teaching Excellence) and helped manage organizational change at UW.   These jobs led to my interest in ePortfolios as a pedagogical approach to learner engagement and transformation.  I first began using ePortfolios in my classrooms in 2004 and also began to work with other faculty interested in transforming learning using this approach around the same time.  My ongoing educational research focuses on ePortfolio implementation and the ability for reflection in ePortfolios to transform the learner experience. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues internationally on the use of ePortfolios and have coauthored with Helen L. Chen the monograph, Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Learning, published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2010, and Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors with Helen L. Chen and John Ittelson in 2011 (http://documentinglearning.com).  I enjoy working with other institutions and faculty and staff colleagues who are using or wanting to use ePortfolios and regularly give workshops and consult with campuses on ePortfolio implementation. I am also Chair of the Board of directors for the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) http://AAEEBL.org