Higher Education

Dr. Alan Sears, PhD '96

Renowned professor and researcher, Alan Sears has shaped the landscape of citizenship education at home and abroad and is known for his intelligence and compassion.

Sears earned his PhD in Educational Studies from UBC in 1996. As an educator, he taught in New Brunswick and Kenya before becoming an associate dean and acting dean at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). He is currently professor of social studies education at UNB. As a well-known advocate for democracy, human rights, and the law, he has presented at national and international conferences in the United States, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Australia, Finland, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Through his research, he has impacted curriculum documents and policy recommendations. He was contracted by both the Department of Canadian Heritage and the New Brunswick Department of Post-secondary Education on projects for civic engagement and education, was awarded over $330,000 in grant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and served as team member on a $1.2 million project of the former Canadian International Development Agency entitled The Spirit of Democracy.

In the world of academic publication, his stature carries weight as an editor and reviewer. He is the editor of Citizenship Teaching and Learning, and has been the guest editor for special editions of McGill Journal of Education and Canadian and International Education. He co-authored eight books, contributed to chapters in over thirty, and authored over thirty-four refereed journal articles.

Sears has earned the UNB Faculty Merit Award in 2003 and 2010. He is the co-winner of the Jackson Award from the Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association for the best English-language article published in the Canadian Journal of Education in the 2006-2007 academic year.

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Dr. Avraham Cohen, BA '67, PhD '06

Educator, counsellor and mentor, Avraham Cohen has made significant contributions to the fields of counselling psychology and education over the last 45 years.

After earning his Bachelor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia in 1967, Cohen served as treatment supervisor at Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre in Burnaby for 11 years. He later became the executive director at Loma Residence Association, a non-profit organization that provided services to young adult psychiatric patients. Since 1987, Cohen has managed his own private practice in Vancouver, with a focus on long-term individual work and couples therapy. He served as the developer and leader of the Whole Person Meditation Training Group.

Cohen earned his Doctorate of Education from UBC in 2006, and was recognized with the Graduate Student Mentorship Award and the Dean of Education Scholarship. He is currently professor of counselling and program coordinator at City University of Seattle in Vancouver. Cohen published widely in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at over fifty national and international conferences. He wrote and co-edited several books, the most recent being Becoming Fully Human within Educational Environments.

An array of awards recognize Cohen’s contributions to his field. He received the President's Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Discipline of Counselling from the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors in 2007. In 2008, he received the Professional Article Award from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Cohen was awarded the Ted T. Aoki Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in Curriculum Studies and a fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Dr. Celia Haig-Brown, BA '68, MA '86, PhD '91

Leader in scholarship on curriculum development, Celia Haig-Brown has forged new pathways in Indigenous education, gender studies, social and ecological justice, research methodology, and teacher education. Her work in these areas influenced educators, academics, and policy makers.

From 1976 to 1986, Haig-Brown worked as a Coordinator of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program in the Kamloops Centre.

In 1986, Haig-Brown received her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education. In 1988, her master's thesis was adapted into a book and published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Entitled Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School, it was among the first publications to consider and discuss the impact of residential schools. Resistance and Renewal won the 1989 Roderick Haig-Brown BC Book Prize (named after her father, an acclaimed writer) and is now in its ninth printing.

Haig-Brown received her PhD from UBC in the Social Foundations of Educational Policy in 1991. Her dissertation Taking Control: Power and Contradiction in First Nations Education focused on the ways in which people in First Nations adult education seek and take control of knowledge. Building on her early career as a high school teacher in Campbell River and her graduate research at UBC, her current research focuses on education in Aboriginal contexts and Indigenous thought. As a full professor, Haig-Brown teaches courses to pre-service teachers in de-colonizing research methods and pedagogy of the land.

Haig-Brown is the former president of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, and as of 2015 was appointed Associate Vice-President of Research at York University. In recognition of her contributions to the field, Haig-Brown received the 2009 Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service in Canadian Curriculum Studies.

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Dr. Colin McCaffrey, MEd '63

Veteran, educator and ethnographer, Colin McCaffrey earned a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia in 1963. His passion for learning, education and rural community development took him across the globe over the course of his life.

McCaffrey served in the Second World War and certified as a teacher in Brittan shortly afterwards. He came to Canada in the 1950’s and taught in communities including Lake Cowichan, Yellowknife, Kugluktuk (previously known as Coppermine) and Fort Nelson. McCaffrey responded to a lack of engagement by youth in education by teaching prospect skills to engage them in learning that applied to their lives. He was able to build the love of learning in these communities and increased student involvement.

Social and cultural change in the area brought challenges with traditional knowledge and economic systems. Youth were displaced in cities with hunting skills that weren’t translating into their changing environment. McCaffrey launched prospecting classes our on the tundra and youth found new ways to use their traveling and survival skills to gain employment and still validate traditional culture.

He went on to doctoral research, in 1967, with the Kekchi Maya in Belize, then known as British Honduras. He studied in a remote village focusing on ethnographic research and perspectives in community development. His engagement with the local villagers bloomed an opportunity to facilitate their securement of government funds to finish the last 10 miles of main a road in their city. The lasting impact of this road has enabled transportation and communication over decades. His dissertation, Potentialities for community development in a Kekchi Indian Village in British Honduras, was published and cited in later research. He returned to Belize annually after his PhD was complete to continue his ethnography and community development efforts as long as he was physically able.

McCaffery is known for his passion of education, library of over 40,000 books and Spartan lifestyle that enables him to inspire the love of learning everywhere he goes. Recently, UBC honoured McCaffrey as a longstanding student award donor at Bachelor of Education Student Awards Night.

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Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, BEd '72

Indigenous scholar, author, and pioneer in the advancement of Indigenous education, Jo-ann Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem) is the former associate dean for Indigenous Education and director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), and is professor of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. She completed her Bachelor of Education at UBC in 1972 and continued on to earn both a master and doctorate in education.

Member of the Stol:lo Nation, Archibald is described as a visionary and an agent of change, and is nationally recognized for creating culturally relevant teacher education and graduate programs for Aboriginal students. During her career of more than 40 years, her work transformed the learning landscape through curriculum and program development, policy, teaching and research.

As a member of the board of directors of the First Nations House of Learning at UBC, Archibald worked with the Faculty of Arts, Agricultural Sciences, Law and many others to develop and implement Indigenous projects on campus.

At the national level, Archibald co-led the Accord on Indigenous Education in 2010, a groundbreaking collaboration to improve Indigenous education in Canada. At the international level, she helped establish a formal relationship between UBC and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where she served as director for the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education.

Archibald is the author of Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit published by UBC Press in 2008. She also served as editor of the Canadian Journal of Native Education.

In 2000, Archibald won a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education and an AERA (American Education Research Association) Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award in 2013.

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Dr. John Dennison, BPE '59, MPE '60

Educator and researcher, John Dennison is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the University of British Columbia who has extensively consulted on issues relating to postsecondary education across the globe.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education in 1959 and Masters in Physical Education in 1960. In 1967, Dennison earned his Doctorate in Education and immediately joined the UBC Department of Higher Education, where he served as an educator and researcher for over thirty years.

While at UBC, Dennison spent more than twenty years on the University Senate, authored and co-authored four books on community colleges in Canada, and published over 100 articles. He was crucial to increasing access to postsecondary education in British Columbia and expanding the system of community colleges. He later spent seven years as co-chair of the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer, the body governing the mobility of students between postsecondary institutions, and consulted for the Auditor General’s review of Advanced Education in BC.

In 2000, Dennison was named Millennium Professor of Higher Education by the American Association of Professors of Community College Education. He has received the UBC President’s Award for Excellence, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Distinguished Educator Award, and the Distinguished Member Award of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education.

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Dr. Judy Halbert, MEd '90

Educator and leader, Judy Halbert is dedicated to social change, and has made great strides in educational innovation, leadership, and aboriginal enhancement programs in BC.

She serves as co-director of the Centre for Innovative Educational Leadership at Vancouver Island University, co-leader of Networks of Inquiry and Innovation, and co-leader of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network in British Columbia. Halbert is the Canadian representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development international research program on Innovative Learning Environments. She worked intensively with school leadership groups in Canada, Wales, England, and Australia, and is an active member of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement.

Halbert received her Masters of Education at the University of British Columbia in 1990 before moving on to earn her Doctor of Education in 1997. For both degrees, she specialized in educational leadership and administration. She has had a strong influence within the BC Ministry of Education over the course of her career, she served as a teacher, principal, district leader, and senior policy advisor to the province. In addition to her leadership initiatives, Halbert co-authored three very successful books: Spirals of Inquiry, Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools, and Leading Professional Inquiry (in press).

Her contributions were recognized in 2005 with the Distinguished Service Award from the BC School Superintendents’ Association, for outstanding contributions to public education.

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Dr. Kit Grauer, BEd '74, MA '78

Award-winning academic at the forefront of Canadian art education, Kit Grauer is a prolific researcher and educator in the areas of new media, art and museum education.

Grauer’s academic path began at the University of British Columbia, where she received her Bachelor of Education in 1974 and Master of Education in 1978. She retired from UBC in 2013 and is currently Professor Emerita of Art Education. Grauer remains involved in art education organizations at local, national, and international levels with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She currently serves as Principal Investigator on research into community-based new media education.

Her unrelenting passion for arts-based research has driven her contributions in art curriculum and instruction, and international issues in art, instructor and museum education. Among her many professional engagements over the last ten years, she has developed and instructed summer teacher institutes for the Vancouver Art Gallery and UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Grauer has left a lasting impact in her field and has been recognized with many awards. She won multiple educator of the year awards from the BC Art Teachers’ Association, Canadian Society for Education through Art, National Art Education Association, and United States Society for Education through Art; she been awarded the UBC Killam Teaching Excellence Award and Sam Black Award for Education and Development in the Arts; and her research has been recognized with the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation Award for Excellence in Research. Most recently, she has been made an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Society for Education through Art, alongside honorary lifetime membership to the International Society for Education through Art.

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Dr. Linda Kaser, MEd '75

Educator, administrator, and senior policy advisor, Linda Kaser is a champion of innovation in public education.

Kaser earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Supervision from the University of British Columbia in 1975. From there, she held posts in the Vancouver, Richmond, and Mission school districts: as curriculum consultant, teacher, vice principal, and ultimately principal of elementary and secondary schools in Mission. In 1996, she completed a doctorate in educational leadership with a dissertation on caring school communities.

Kaser advanced to become Mission’s director of K-12 instruction and provincial coordinator for early school success and district improvement. In 2003, she was appointed lead director of achievement, school, and district improvement for the BC Ministry of Education. This gave her a province-wide mandate to create effective, innovative learning environments. She became co-director of the Network of Performance-Based Schools in BC, the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network, and the Centre for Innovative Educational Leadership at Vancouver Island University.

Expanding her leadership internationally, Kaser assumed a post with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as a member of the International Team for Innovative Learning Environments. She served as board member and co-chair of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, and travelled to develop leadership programs at schools abroad.

The reach of Kaser’s contributions extend to published works. Her co-authored book Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools is used extensively as a guide for educational leadership, while Spirals of Inquiry assists educators in strategies to shift their thinking and practice. First published in 2013, Spirals is in its eighth printing just two years later.

In 2006, Kaser received a Distinguished Leadership Service Award from the BC School Superintendents’ Association for her outstanding contributions to public education.

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Dr. Penney Clark, PhD '96

Author and professor, Penney Clark’s passion for and expertise in Canadian history have made her a pre-eminent educator in the field.

Clark received a PhD on the social foundations of educational policy from the University of British Columbia in 1996 and is now a tenured professor. She has received over $2.4 million in grant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to support her research in the history of textbook publishing and the teaching and learning of history. She has also published on the portrayal of First Nations people over time in Canadian social studies textbooks. She teaches several courses at the university, and has supervised numerous doctoral candidates as well as masters and undergraduate students.

In addition to educating, Clark co-authored three award-winning textbooks used in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. She has co-edited textbooks used in teacher education programs across Canada and authored teacher resources. She regularly contributed to Canadian Social Studies as a columnist. Clark has been a constant presence in her field, presenting at conferences, chairing committees and publishing research. She is also the director of the History Education Network, which promotes Canadian history education inside and outside the classroom. Considered one of the premier coordinating agencies for history educators at the K-12 and post-secondary levels, the network boasts nearly 40 partner agencies across Canada, from universities to museums to local historical associations.

Clark received publication awards from the Canadian History of Education Association in 2012 and the Canadian Association for Foundations in Education in 2013. For excellence in educating, she received UBC’s Killam Teaching Prize in 2006 and the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association Innovator of the Year Award in 2008.

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Dr. Steve Cardwell, BSc '79, MA '88

Innovative educator, senior leader and educational researcher, Steve Cardwell is known for his valuing of ethical leadership and responsibility, building and fostering strong working relationships, and leading with technology. He is well recognized for his recent service as Superintendent/CEO of the Vancouver School Board.

Since 1980, Cardwell has supported teaching and learning when he began his career teaching secondary biology in Kitimat. Over nine years in this Northern British Columbia community, Cardwell served in various leadership capacities, including President and Bargaining Chair for his local teachers’ association and as a representative on the BCTF Provincial Bargaining Committee. He served as President of the BC Science Teachers’ Association (BCSTA) and coordinated many conferences. During this time, he was pedagogical consultant and an author of Science Probe 7 (1ed), a textbook used throughout BC.

Cardwell was a school administrator in Richmond before joining the Delta School District, where he supported staff and students through several district roles starting as Science Coordinator in 1991 and concluding in 2009 as Superintendent. He combined his roles in Delta with secondments as a Faculty Associate and various sessional appointments for higher educational institutions in the province.

He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in 1979 and a research-based Master of Arts in 1988. Later on, he completed a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on student engagement in urban secondary schools and spoke on behalf of his graduating class at their 2012 convocation. He has presented many times on student engagement, including giving key sessions for the BC School Superintendents' Association, CUPE BC, BCSTA, and UBC.

A recent Past President of the BC School Superintendents' Association (BCSSA), Cardwell served as President, Vice President and for three years as professional development chairperson. He also served as PD chairperson for the Metro Vancouver Chapter. In his role as President of the BCSSA, Cardwell was a partner group advisor to the Teacher Regulation Board, the Education Advisory Council , and recently served on the Exempt Staff Compensation Working Group with the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

Cardwell currently serves on the Science World Board, the Technology Education and Careers Council, the BCIT Technology Teacher Education Advisory Committee and has just been appointed to the Council of the Canadian Education Association. He recently completed terms serving on the Provincial Service Delivery Review Project Steering Committee, the UBC Faculty of Education External Advisory Committee, and the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer.

He served on the BC Council for International Education and maintains a strong interest in building multi-cultural connections and awareness on a global level and has travelled in Europe, South Korea and China. He was recently appointed as a Provincial Inspector of BC Offshore Schools. In 2015, he was appointed as Professor of Teaching and Director of the Transformative Educational Leadership Program with the Faculty of Education at UBC.

Cardwell was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013 for his outstanding service to public education and in April 2015 received the BCSSA Distinguished Service award for his contributions to the profession.

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Dr. Wendy Carr, MEd '97

Leader in French education, Wendy Carr is the current associate dean of Teacher Education at the University of British Columbia and a recognized champion of second language education. Since beginning her career as an educator in the public school system, she has gone on to develop new education programs, conduct groundbreaking research on language learning methodology, and prepare educators to inspire French learning in British Columbia’s classrooms.

In 1995, partway through her 30-year public teaching career, Carr began lecturing at UBC’s Faculty of Education on French language learning while embarking on a Master of Education in 1997 from the University of British Columbia. Carr continued her research efforts during her doctoral work and published several articles and chapters, delivered over 60 teacher workshops and scholarly presentations, and authored six French second language texts used in classrooms across Canada.

While producing an extensive body of academic work, Carr remained an educator and is currently a tenured faculty member in the Department of Language and Literacy Education. She has been repeatedly recognized as a talented instructor and dedicated mentor. In 2008 she received the Faculty of Education Excellence in Teaching Award, and more recently was conferred the Murray Elliot Outstanding Contribution to the Teacher Education Program Award.

In addition to her roles as instructor, researcher, and administrator at UBC, she assumed significant responsibilities within the broader educator community. Since 2007, Carr has volunteered with the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers, where she is currently the acting president and serves as Canadian expert representative for language associations at the European Centre of Modern Languages. She previously served as president of the BC Association of Teachers of Modern Languages and member of the BC Ministry of Education French Curriculum Writing Committee.

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