Spotlight on Alumni Careers: Educational Studies alumni who forged their own career paths

Date: Thursday, March 25th | 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PST

Where: Virtually

The Diverse Career Paths of Educational Studies Alumni study and initiative is launching its first panel entitled Spotlight on Alumni Careers: Educational Studies alumni who forged their own career paths.

The Spotlight on Alumni Careers panel series aims to support Education graduate students in broadening their career avenues by showcasing the career stories and experiences of Educational Studies (EDST) Alumni. Each panel highlights alumni from a different sector. EDST Alumni will share their personal journeys and discuss how their current work is informed by their graduate studies. The panelists will inspire students and alumni who are looking for new, creative, and meaningful ways to contribute to society.

From vegan cooking education to graphic facilitation, from career coaching to supporting children facing homelessness, Educational Studies (EDST) alumni have gone on to seemingly every walk of life. In this panel, we will hear stories from EDST alumni who courageously ventured on to less beaten tracks by founding their own businesses, foundations, non-profits, and initiatives.


Mary Kostandy: Co-investigator and Study Coordinator: PhD Candidate, EDST, Faculty of Education, UBC

Michael Murphy: Co-investigator: Manager, Alumni Engagement, Faculty of Education, UBC


Brigitte Gemme, PhD’09

Chief Meal Planner and Founder, Vegan Family Kitchen

Brigitte Gemme trained and worked for over 15 years in the fields of sociology of science and higher education. During that period, she alternated between policy activism, project management, and research. She completed her PhD in Educational Studies in 2009. She was employed by academic and government organizations including UBC, UQAM, and NRC. After the birth of her second child, she grew impatient about both environmental destruction and rampant chronic diseases. She quit academia and founded a tiny online business called Vegan Family Kitchen. She finds meaning in making it easier for more people to eat more plants while decreasing their consumption of animal products, for their personal benefit and the greater good. She lives in Vancouver and loves to cycle everywhere with her husband and two fast-growing kids.


Erica Mohan, MEd’03, PhD’10

Founder and Executive Director at Community Education Partnerships

Erica Mohan is the Founder and Executive Director of Community Education Partnerships (CEP), a non-profit that provides educational support to Pre-K – 12th grade students facing homelessness and housing insecurity in the San Francisco Bay Area. For three years prior to founding CEP, Erica was a volunteer, and later the Learning Center Coordinator, for School on Wheels, an organization that has been tutoring children facing homelessness in the Greater Los Angeles Area since 1993. Understanding the critical need to academically support children experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity and realizing that the San Francisco Bay Area lacked an organization specifically dedicated to providing such support, in 2010 Erica founded Community Education Partnerships. Erica holds an MEd and a PhD in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia. When not working, Erica enjoys spending time with her partner and three kids, hiking, and growing the stack of books she looks forward to reading…eventually.


Isabeau Iqbal, BSc’93, MA’04, PhD’12

Career & Life Coach

Isabeau Iqbal, PhD, is a career and life coach who helps ambitious perfectionists in higher education discover, appreciate, and apply their strengths so they can experience more joy in their professional and personal lives. She also offers workshops to organizations committed to supporting the professional growth of their members.
While Isabeau didn’t set out to do a PhD in order to become a solopreneur (!), nor was it her intention to pursue a traditional academic career. The entrepreneurial route found her and she’s delighted it did. Isabeau enjoys the challenge of entrepreneurship alongside her (stable) part-time role within academia.
Isabeau is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and is certified with the International Coaching Federation. She has a PhD from EDST.


Sam Bradd, MEd’15

Graphic Facilitator, Drawing Change

Sam Bradd (he/him) is a graphic facilitator, meeting facilitator, and the founder of Drawing Change. He combines 20 years’ facilitation experience with visual tools to help groups engage, solve problems and lead. He has an MEd in Educational Studies (UBC), is certified in Human Systems Dynamics and Integral Facilitation, and is a Dialogue Associate with the SFU Centre for Dialogue. Sam’s facilitation is strengths-based, creative, works with complexity, participatory, and uses an intersectional and anti-racism lens. Throughout his career, Sam has worked with decision-makers in 11 countries, with the World Health Organization, Indigenous communities, and groups working to change the world. He is the co-editor of two books including Drawn Together through Visual Practice (2016) and is a co-founder of the award-winning Graphic History Collective. He’s a white settler of Italian and Scottish background and lives on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.


Suzanne ScottSuzanne Scott, PhD’11

Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Engagement, Faculty of Education, UBC

Suzanne Scott is the Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Engagement at the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia.

In this role, she oversees the fundraising priorities for the Faculty including the School of Kinesiology. She directs a team of fundraising and alumni engagement professionals who engage more than 55,000 alumni living in over 100 countries.

Suzanne holds a PhD from the Department of Educational Studies where she examined the impact of private philanthropy in Canadian higher education. Her co-supervisors were Drs. Don Fisher and Amy Scott Metcalfe. For her MA research at OISE at The University of Toronto, she worked on an innovative educational project for child labourers in Bangladesh.