The Institute will be organized by Beth Marquis, Mick Healey, and students from the MacPherson Institute, McMaster University

The facilitators will include:

  • Anita Acai, Kris Knorr, and Cherie Woolmer (McMaster University, Canada)
  • Alexander Dwyer, Eimear Enright, Kelly Matthews, and Stuart Russell (University of Queensland, Australia)
  • Ruth Healey (University of Chester, UK)
  • Mick Healey (Healey HE Consultants, UK)
  • Anita Ntem (Bryn Mawr College, US)


Anita Acai
Anita AcaiAnita Acai is a PhD student studying cognitive science and medical education at McMaster University. Her dissertation involves investigating the decision-making processes of competence committees, which assess residents’ progression through competency-based medical training programs. She is also a Student Partner at the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation, and Excellence in Teaching, where she is involved in national and international projects evaluating the impact of large-scale teaching and learning programs and exploring the role of students as partners in higher education. Anita’s research and commentary on higher education have been featured in several peer-reviewed publications and at both national and international conferences on teaching and learning. She has also contributed pieces to the MacPherson Institute’s “Education Disrupted” blog, Academica Group’s Rethinking Higher Education Forum, and The Globe and Mail. 

As a 2013 3M National Student Fellow, Anita believes very strongly in the idea of empowering students to be partners and strives to be a role model in this regard. She was recently a member of a national collaborative writing group on the topic of students and SoTL and has participated in many SoTL and higher education-related initiatives as a student


Alexander Dwyer
alex dwyerAlex is a final year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in anthropology at the University of Queensland (UQ) and has previously completed a Bachelor of Psychology at the Queensland University of Technology. He believes social science and anthropology have an essential role to play in guiding effective policy, practice and innovation. Alex’s areas of academic interest include social anthropology and the use of ethnography in community, end user and industry engagement. Alex currently works for the Queensland Government as a researcher with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and has previously worked as a volunteer researcher for the UQ Anthropology Museum, the Museum of Queensland and the CSIRO Land and Water unit.

At UQ, Alex has worked on funded ‘students as partners’ projects in the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) and in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science (HASS) focused on how academic leaders relate to models of partnership, and how students navigate their undergraduate experience. He was given talks on his partnership work and co-authored scholarly works. In 2017, he was an invited Student Keynote at the 3rd Annual Australian Students as Partners Roundtable.


Eimear Enright
Dr. Eimear Enright is Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education and a Fellow of the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation, at the University of Queensland. A qualified teacher, Eimear was awarded her PhD in 2010, from the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her PhD, a participatory action research project undertaken with teenage girls, focused on creating knowledge and action with young people in response to their self-identified barriers to education. Since completing her PhD, Eimear has developed a unique line of inquiry on student voice and health and physical education. She has written extensively about the possibilities and the challenges associated with listening to student voice and advocated for students’ positioning as partners in curriculum reform. More recently her work has focused on the democratisation of teacher education and on the joys, frustrations and practicalities of living the Students as Partners rhetoric in higher education.


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 The Humboldt Distinguished Scholar in Research-Based Learning at McMaster University, Canada 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 over 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.


Ruth Healey
Ruth HealeyDr Ruth Healey is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, UK.  In 2016, she also joined Healey HE Consultants.  She began working in student-staff partnerships as a student in 2004, before beginning researching the area as an academic in 2014.  In 2012 she chaired the International Collaborative Writing Group (ICWG) on practising the scholarship of teaching and learning in an ethical manner at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) at McMaster University.  She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and in 2017 was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF).  She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Geography in Higher Education (JGHE) and is one of the inaugural editors of the International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP). 


Kris Knorr
Kris KnorrKris 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 (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.


Kelly Matthews
Kelly Matthews
Kelly Matthews is a Associate Professor in Higher Education at The University of Queensland. Her research explores students’ experiences of learning and student-staff partnerships in higher education. She co-develops, and teaches into, learning and teaching preparation programs for new tutors and academics. Kelly has collaborated on 23 funded teaching and learning projects worth over $2 million, received five awards (four for teaching; one for research), and published extensively. In 2015 she was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship focused on Students as Partners to explore how students and staff working together can transform university education. She is currently an elected Vice-President for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, co-editing a special issue on student success for Higher Education Research and Development, and an inaugural co-editor for the International Journal for Students as Partners. Mutual engagement and shared responsibility for learning and teaching amongst students and staff to shape higher education keeps her motivated!


Anita Ntem
Anita NtemAnita Ntem is a Bryn Mawr College scholar, class of 2018, who majors in psychology and has a minor in educational studies.  She has been a part of the Teaching Learning Institute program, directed by Alison Cook-Sather, at Bryn Mawr College for three years where she is partnered with a member of faculty and discusses pedagogical pursuits in making sure the classroom is an inclusive and engaging experience for all. She has just embarked on her fourth partnership.  Anita is also a student co-editor, partnered with Alison Cook-Sather, for theInternational Journal for Students as Partners. With her degree in psychology and knowledge in education Anita seeks to continue to find ways to  integrate all aspects of disciplines in establishing and sustaining a platform that empowers student agency and mobility in education.


Stuart Russell
Stuart Russell
Stuart is a final year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in anthropology with a philosophy minor and will complete his honours year in 2018 at the University of Queensland (UQ). Stuart is particularly interested in Indigenous epistemologies and cosmologies and their transmission as well as applications of alternative forms of democratic decision-making. These overlapping interests have produced increasing engagement and collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in an array of settings, including education and consultancy within the Indigenous Corporate landscape. He has completed an internship at the Kimberley Land Council assisting anthropologists and lawyers in the Native Title Setting.

At UQ, Stuart has collaborated on two funded projects working in partnership with students and staff to evaluate the effectiveness of 11 students as partners pilot projects, and analyse institutional leaders’ understanding of student-staff partnerships. He was given talks and co-authored scholarly works on students as partners. In 2017, he was an invited Student Keynote at the 3rd Annual Australian Students as Partners Roundtable. Stuart will evoke the ethos of students as partners as a tutor in the UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies unit, working 1-on-1 with Indigenous identifying students in 2018.


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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