Distinguished Alumni

Celebrating our Outstanding Alumni

In honour of the valued work and contributions of the UBC Faculty of Education Alumni, biographies and interviews with eight of some of our illustrious alumni will be released between September 5th to December 19th.

Martina Seo, BEd ’09, MET ’17

Martina Seo is a Home Economics teacher at West Vancouver Secondary School. She graduated from UBC Bachelor of Home Economics in 2000. Her passion is volunteering and helping those in need. For 3 years, she worked with homeless people in Australia, orphans and HIV patients in South Africa, senior citizens in Hawaii, and women prisoners and poverty-stricken children in Fiji. After volunteering with poor children who were unable to afford to attend school, she came back to Canada and completed her Bachelor of Education in Elementary Teacher Fine Arts and Media Education (FAME) in 2009. During her Education Program at UBC, she started an initiative for 2 years where she led up to 100 volunteers to create and distribute 1,500 sandwiches to the homeless twice a month in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. With the growing international student population in Vancouver, she decided to complete her Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Coursework Certificate during a summer at UBC. On top of that, she finished her Master of Education Technology at UBC in 2017 because she believes by incorporating technology in the classroom can enhance the student educational experience. Most recently, she was chosen to be a racer on The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition with her brother Phil Seo. Her lifelong dream is to open and manage an orphanage in a developing country to help children have a better life through education, housing, and adoption.

Read more about Martina here!


Pauline Sameshima, BEd (Elem) ’88, Dip (Ed) ’91, PhD ’06

Pauline Sameshima is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, ON. She is an artist, poet, and writer. Working across disciplines, Pauline’s creative research methods seek to respond to pressing calls for Canada to nurture and develop creativity and innovation capacity by leveraging broad interdisciplinary approaches.

When she graduated from UBC with a PhD in curriculum and pedagogy, Pauline was the recipient of the Gordon and Marion Smith Prize in Art Education for most promising artist and educator. She went on to win the UBC Ted T. Aoki Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in Curriculum Studies and three national, and international awards across educational disciplinary fields for her dissertation, written in the form of a novel. Seeing Red was published in 2007. Pauline has received numerous awards for research, teaching, and civic engagement.

Pauline was a Vancouver Churchill High School graduate. She worked as a classroom and head-teacher in the Burnaby School District for 17 years, was hired into a tenure track job in mathematics at Washington State University (WSU), then returned to Canada to take up the CRC at Lakehead. While at WSU, she spearheaded the arts integrated pre-service teacher program and was very involved in the research through the arts communities in the US and in Canada. Her collaborative research model framework, Parallaxic Praxis, has been taken up in research projects ranging from HIV research, interpersonal violence, mental health care, dementia studies, technology and inclusive education, knowledge generation, literacy, and more. Her latest award-winning book is Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place, co-edited by Alexandra Fidyk, University of Alberta, and Kedrick James and Carl Leggo, both of UBC.

Pauline is certified in SomaYoga instruction (RYT 500) and Level 1 Yoga Therapy (International SomaYoga Institute); She is curator of Lakehead Education Research Galleries; and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies.

Read more about Pauline here!


Jessica La Rochelle, BA ’06, MEd ’18

Jessica La RochelleJessica La Rochelle is the granddaughter of Siyamtelot and Swelimeltxw (Shirley and Rudy Leon). She shares her traditional name, Lhkwemiya, with her mother. Her great-grandfather gave her mother the name and it was passed on to Jessica by her maternal grandparents. There is a set of mountains known as the three sisters near her home territory; her name refers to the third sister. Jessica is Stó:lō, Okanagan, and also has Trinidadian ancestry on her father’s side. Jessica is very proud to be the Assistant Director of NITEP, the Indigenous Teacher Education Program, and the Manager for Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education. Her grandmother is a graduate of NITEP. Jessica is an alumna of University of British Columbia (UBC), completing her Bachelor of Arts degree there in 2006 and her MEd in Educational Administration and Leadership with a focus on Leadership in Indigenous Education in May 2018. At NITEP, Jessica continues to be motivated by the future teachers and leaders in the program to provide an engaging and positive learning experience and evoke change in Indigenous education.

I am so grateful to work in an environment that fuels my passion for Indigenous education and feeds my spirit. My roles allow me to travel to Indigenous communities to engage with potential students and educational leaders to recruit them to our programs, work with an amazing team of educators and strong advocates, engage with leaders in Indigenous education to promote and facilitate reconciliation and resurgence, and connect with colleagues within the Faculty of Education and across campus to support and empower Indigenous students. As a Wellness Liaison, the lead for the NITEP Mental Health and Wellness program and member (former chair) of the Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellness Working Group, I am passionate about creating and maintaining safe spaces for students to have meaningful discussions about mental health and also what it means to be an Indigenous student at a mainstream university.

Read more about Jessica here!


Pamela Rose Toulouse, PhD ’01

Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education (Concurrent English Language) at Laurentian University. She has taught Primary/Junior Methods, Junior/Intermediate Methods, Indigenous Studies as a Teachable, English as a Teachable, Primary/Junior Literacy, Junior/Intermediate Literacy, Introduction to Social Work & Native Social Welfare, Indigenous Ways of Learning, Indigenous Relations in Community Contexts (Masters Level) and Independent Studies/Field Courses (PhD Level). Her areas of specialty are inclusive education, classroom management, lesson planning, learning cycles, assessment/evaluation, technology, differentiated instruction, Indigenous Education and social justice collaborations. She is a National 3M Teaching Excellence Award Fellow and has also been cited in previous editions of Maclean’s magazine as one of LU’s favourite professors.

Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse is originally from the community of Sagamok First Nation. She is a proud Ojibwe/Odawa woman that comes from a long line of educators. Dr. Toulouse celebrates many years of activity (entering her 25th year) in the formal educational setting, beginning as an elementary school teacher and then finding herself in the role of colleague within the university system. She is well known for her contributions in Indigenous Education. Dr. Toulouse has published well over 50 resources which include books, chapters in books, curriculum pieces, articles, videos and other key selections.

Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse is fondly known for her dynamic teaching, commitment to equity and passion for education. She chairs various committees, works with a variety of school boards, presents regularly and is active in her areas of research. Dr. Toulouse continues her life journey in the field of education by representing her Nation and profession in a respectful and meaningful way.

Read more about Pamela here!


Faculty of Education Alumni

Alumni to be announced on November 7th, 2018


Faculty of Education Alumni

Alumni to be announced on November 21st, 2018


Faculty of Education Alumni

Alumni to be announced on December 5th, 2018


Faculty of Education Alumni

Alumni to be announced on December 19th, 2018