Organizers and Facilitators 2017

The Summer Institute will be organized by Beth Marquis, Mick Healey, Christine Black, and Rachel Guitman from the MacPherson Institute, McMaster University

The facilitators will include:

  • Sophia Abbot (Trinity University, US)
  • Cathy Bovill (University of Glasgow, UK)
  • Peter Felten (Elon University, US)
  • Mick Healey (Healey HE Consultants, UK)
  • Sabrina Kirby (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Kris Knorr, Beth Marquis, Rafaella Shammas, and Cherie Woolmer (McMaster University, Canada)
  • Lucy Mercer-Mapstone (University of Queensland, Australia)


Sophia Abbot
Sophia AbbotSophia Abbot is a Fellow for Collaborative Programs at Trinity University’s Collaborative for Learning and Teaching.  As an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College, she worked as a student pedagogical consultant in partnership with professors for three years, which launched her into this field. Her current position at Trinity involves researching and supporting different opportunities for student-faculty collaboration on campus, as well as leading a program for intensive student-faculty pedagogical partnership and event series on teaching and mentoring. She is also organizing a conference on partnership for the Pennsylvania Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States, and has consulted for several institutions looking to launch their own partnership initiatives. She has published previously on student voice in the context of privilege and identity, translation as a metaphor for partnership, and on mapping classroom interactions.


Christine Black
Christine Black
Christine is a Student Scholar in the MacPherson Institute at McMaster University. She is in her fourth year in the Honours Arts & Science Program, combining in Linguistics. She is interested in “Students as Partners” especially in regards to subject based research and inquiry. To pursue her interest in Linguistics, she has volunteered with Speech Language Pathologists helping create therapy tools for clients. In addition, she has volunteered as an ESL teacher for young adults, helping them improve their English skills.



Cathy Bovill
Cathy Bovill Image
Cathy Bovill is a Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement in the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on active student participation, students as partners and curriculum co-creation in higher education and has given many related keynotes and invited presentations. In 2014, she co-authored Engaging students as partners in learning and teaching: a guide for faculty (Jossey Bass) with Alison Cook-Sather and Peter Felten, which offers guidance to academic staff who wish to initiate and sustain partnerships with students in learning and teaching. Prior to working at the University of Edinburgh, Cathy established the Active Student Participation in Education Network (ASPEN) at the University of Glasgow, which attracted international interest. She also designed the Student Engagement Course on the University of Glasgow PGCAP programme, which involves academic staff in co-creating elements of their own course. Cathy is an Associate and Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association. In 2014-15 she co-led the HEA ‘Students as Partners in the curriculum’ change programme involving eight UK universities. Cathy is an Editorial Board member for Teaching in Higher Education and a member of the International Advisory Group for the International Journal for Students as Partners.


Peter Felten
Peter FeltenPeter Felten is Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and Professor of History at Elon University, in North Carolina (US). His recent publications include the co-authored books The Undergraduate Experience (Jossey-Bass, 2016), Intersectionality in Action (Stylus, 2016), Transforming Students (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) and Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014). He is President of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development.


Mick Healey
Mick Healey imageMick Healey is an HE Consultant and Researcher and Emeritus Professor at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. Until 2010 he was Director of the Centre for Active Learning, a nationally funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Gloucestershire. He is also a Visiting Professor at University College London, UK; The Humboldt Distinguished Scholar in Research-Based Learning at McMaster University, Canada; a Visiting Fellow at University of Queensland; and an International Teaching Fellow at University College Cork, Ireland. He was one of the first people in the UK to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) and to be made a Principal Fellow of the HE Academy. In 2015 he received the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Distinguished Service Award.

Mick is an experienced presenter. Since 1995 he has given over 500 educational workshops, seminars and conference presentations in 25 different countries. He has written and edited approximately 200 papers, chapters, books and guides on various aspects of teaching and learning in HE. He is often asked to act as an advisor to projects, universities and national governments on aspects of teaching and learning in HE. He has published extensively about students as co-researchers, as co-inquirers into the scholarship of teaching and learning, and as change agents. He is the lead author of Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education (2014) and is the inaugural Senior Editor for the International Journal for Students as Partners.


Sabrina Kirby

Sabrina is a graduate student in Information Science at the University of Toronto. She completed her bachelor’s degree at McMaster, where she studied in the Honours Arts and Science Program. During her time at McMaster, she worked as a Student Scholar for the MacPherson Institute (then the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning). She was a co-presenter alongside faculty and student partners at the December 2015 “Cultivating Communities” Conference, where she presented ongoing pedagogical research at McMaster University related to collaborative assessment techniques. She now conducts research investigating how academic libraries can best support the needs of university researchers. 


Kris Knorr
Kris Knorr

Kris Knorr has been an Educational Developer at the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation, and Excellence in Teaching (formerly MIIETL) for the past nine years. During this time, his focus has shifted among educational technologies, faculty development, and research on teaching and learning.  His own research focuses on supports and barriers to participation in educational development, peer mentoring in science, and of course, students as partners in teaching and learning.


Beth Marquis

Beth Marquis imageBeth Marquis is an Assistant Professor in the Arts & Science Program at McMaster University and Associate Director (Research) at the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation, and Excellence in Teaching. She is currently co-President-elect (with Katarina Mårtensson) of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL), Senior Editor of the Canadian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning/La revue canadienne sur l’avancement des connaissances en enseignement et en apprentissage, and inaugural co-editor of the International Journal for Students as Partners. Beth regularly partners with undergraduate students on teaching and learning research, and currently oversees McMaster’s unique Student Partners Program.


Lucy Mercer-Mapstone
Lucy Mercer-MapstoneLucy has a Bachelor of Science (Ecology; Honours: Class I), a Bachelor of Journalism and Communications, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (Sustainable Minerals Institute) at the University of Queensland, Australia. Lucy’s interest in ‘students as partners’ initiatives is based on a firm belief in the value and importance of motivating and empowering students to be fully engaged in their own education. She has been involved in research on students as partners initiatives as part of a National Teaching Fellowship, as well as focussing on other areas of higher education research and development – such as the development of generic skills for employability – in the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at UQ. Lucy has taught science communication in a range of undergraduate science courses across biology, ecology, chemistry, and physics, and carried out action research through the evaluation of her teaching, relying on the core tenets of the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is also a member of an International Collaborative Writing Group focussing on research exploring the Scholarship of Assessment in the Digital Age – an ISSoTL initiative. Lucy has experience in undergraduate teaching and learning, facilitating conference sessions, panel discussions, and workshops for both university students and teaching academics, has numerous papers published in top-tier higher education journals, and is the recipient of three PhD scholarships.


Rafaella Shammas
Rafaella ShammasRafaella is pursuing Honours Arts and Science & Biochemistry at McMaster University. Having been part of the MacPherson Institute student scholar initiative since its launch, Rafaella thinks that student partnerships have the potential to transform educational experiences and empower students to become further engaged in their learning. She has previously collaborated with staff on various initiatives related to accessibility, leadership, and equity in quality enhancement & assurance. She is currently partnering with MacPherson Institute staff in planning for and implementing a new Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship Program. Rafaella has research interests in leadership in education, scientific communication and knowledge translation in medicine.


Cherie Woolmer
Cherie WoolmerCherie Woolmer is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at the MacPherson Institute at McMaster University. Her research focuses on faculty-student partnerships and she works closely with colleagues to support the Student Partnership Programme at McMaster. She is also Editorial Manager for the International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP).

She has a background in educational development and management of strategic initiatives in UK higher education. Prior to joining McMaster, she worked at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In this role her interests focussed on developing curricula that enabled students, mainly at undergraduate level, to engage in co-enquiry with staff in interdisciplinary research teams.

Cherie completed her PhD, which focussed on faculty and students co-creating curricula in UK higher education, at the University of Glasgow in 2016. She received a scholarship from the Higher Education Academy’s Mike Baker Doctoral Programme to support her study.

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