TAGSA Executive


Committee Chair

Cynthia Korpan, M.A.

Manager of LTC Professional Development Programs and TA Training

PhD Candidate, Interdisciplinary
University of Victoria

My work and research focus on understanding how to best support graduate students as they work as a TA and/or pursue an academic career. I have been on the executive committee since TAGSA formed: as the chair of TAGSA for the past two years and previous to that, the vice-chair for two years. During the past four years, I have worked hard to foster a community devoted to TAs and graduate student professional development by working with colleagues to produce reports, research initiatives, development of the TAGSA award, and the establishment of the TAGSA pre-conference stream at STLHE’s annual conference, being offered for the first time this year at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

As chair for TAGSA for another two year term, I will build the SIG’s sub-committees, develop initiatives that will provide incentives for more graduate student involvement in STLHE, encourage more regional TAGSA events, increase recognition of the significant work that education developers do in this segment of the field, continue to contribute to reports and research, and to the development of TA Competencies for Canada, an initiative that the executive committee has been working on for the past two years. I will continue to work with colleagues across the country to ensure that graduate students have the support they require to be successful in their work and professional development.

At the University of Victoria (UVic), I am responsible for ensuring that our graduate students have access to programs that will enhance their graduate student experience as an instructor at UVic and for their future academic careers. I am crucial in the ongoing development and delivery of the graduate certificate program, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE). LATHE is a two-year, six-unit program that prepares graduate students for an academic career. Additionally, I run the Teaching Assistant Consultant (TAC) program—a peer mentorship program at UVic. It positions a lead TA in a department or Faculty to provide training and mentorship for all TAs. Furthermore, I am responsible for twice yearly TA Conferences, including one specifically for our international TAs, monthly workshops, and several events, such as the annual professional development event for all instructors (faculty, sessional, and more), titled Let’s Talk about Teaching.

Concurrently, I am pursuing a doctoral degree that is looking at the learning processes that TAs undergo as they begin their teaching role in higher education. I will begin conducting my research this year (fall 2014).



Lianne Fisher


Lianne Fisher, M. A.
Educational Developer
Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI)
Brock University

In my role as an Educational Developer I work with graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants through the CPI’s Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Certificates, Teaching Assistant (TA) Practicum, and Instructional Skills Workshops. It really is a pleasure to work with TAs who are so interested and committed to the teaching and learning endeavor.  I would bring to the TAGSA Executive, college, university, and community teaching and learning experience.


Being a member of the TAGSA Executive affords many avenues to further support and develop TAs’ valuable and significant contribution to student learning.  My own interest and subsequent career choices emerged through my own involvement in TA development initiatives 




Secretary /Treasurer

Lorraine Godden, M.Ed., PGCE, BA(Hons), FHEA.
PhD Candidate, 
Program Leader for GSMP and EGSS President
Faculty of Education
Queen’s University

I am currently completing my PhD in Policy and Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. I hold a Master of Education degree in Policy and Curriculum from Queen’s University, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education degree from the University of East Anglia (UK), and I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Business and Marketing from Anglia Ruskin University (UK). I am the program leader for the Graduate Student Mentoring Program and I currently serve on the Educational Research Ethics Board (EREB). Previously I served on the Faculty Strategic Planning Committee, Renewal, Tenure, and Promotion committee, and the Graduate Studies and Research committee. I am currently the project manager working with Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba on a SSHRC funded research project “Understanding teacher retention and attrition: The role of new teacher induction and mentorship programs.” This three-year study seeks to explore the differential impact of teacher induction and mentorship programs on the early-career teachers’ retention, as perceived across the provinces and territories. My research interests are primarily centered in exploring the role of documentation within policy implementation of career education and guidance. I also am interested in the broader fields of workplace learning, educational and professional development for teachers, mentoring, and educational leadership. My teaching interests include teacher professional development, educational leadership and management, and vocational education (including career and cooperative education). I have worked in business and marketing for a number of years prior to working as a teacher, manager, and researcher in education. For more information visit http://www.educ.queensu.ca/students/profiles/godden



Aisha Haque, MA
Language and Communication Instructor
Western University

As the Language and Communication Instructor at Western University, I design and deliver face-to-face and online programs to help facilitate the academic and professional success of Western’s graduate students.  I am particularly committed to helping international graduate students make a successful transition to Canadian academia.  This summer, I launched the Western Certificate in Academic and Professional Communication to help ITAs improve their research and teaching skills, and I am currently co-authoring a Western Purple Guide on teaching international students.  This past year I also coordinated and helped develop Western’s pilot Lead TA Program – a peer mentorship model of TA development that positions experienced TAs in faculties across campus where they develop discipline-specific TA training materials.  Prior to joining the Teaching Support Centre at Western, I taught Writing, Business Communication, and Bollywood Cinema at Fanshawe College for 3 years



Kim West, Ph.D.
University of Saskatchewan

I am an Educational Development Specialist with The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness and Professional Affiliate with the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan.  I completed a PhD in Earth Sciences from Carleton University and received my B.Sc. Honours from the University of Saskatchewan.

Since 2001, I have been designing and teaching courses in education and earth sciences while simultaneously working in the field of educational development. My primary focus has been on the philosophy and practice of teaching for graduate student teachers, most notably with a focus on helping teachers engage in a reflective teaching practice.  I am also interested in other aspects of graduate student development including graduate perspectives on the role of trust in the university, transformative teaching and learning approaches in training graduate students to teach and arts-based approaches in writing teaching philosophy statements.




Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Ph.D.
Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching(CLT)

Dalhousie University

I have been deeply committed to graduate student teaching development since the mid-1990s and have continued my interest in this work to the present day.   The support educational developers provide to graduate students enables them to move into their first teaching position with the skills, mindset, and confidence to be successful educators.  I will continue to support TAGSA’s mandate to “raise the profile” and “highlight initiatives” in TA and graduate student advancement, promoting the importance of this aspect of educational development work and assisting in bringing together educational developers to share their ideas, successes, and research. I am particularly interested in continuing the work on TA Competencies I have begun with other TAGSA members, and supporting the new TAGASA pre-conference, as well as continuing to contribute to the TAGASA initiatives as they unfold. 


I have been an educational developer at Dalhousie University’s Centre for Learning and Teaching since 2002.  My portfolio of responsibilities is broad, but a substantial amount of my time is dedicated to graduate student teaching development.  I assisted in creating, and now administer, our Certificate in University Teaching and Learning. I create workshop opportunities for graduate students and faculty, work one-on-one with graduate students to enhance their teaching and prepare teaching dossiers, and I teach the  ‘Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’  course component of our Certificate program.  I also engage in teaching and learning research.  I am currently involved in a longitudinal study researching the impact of our Certificate program.  I have also completed projects on the importance of creating professional development workshops for women graduate students and on the teaching experience and documentation required for entry-level academic positions in the global academic market.  The later project was conducted to determine how to best support graduate students teaching development for the broader job market beyond North America.  I am currently in the midst of a project to study the impact of integrating an online learning experience into a face-to-face teaching and learning course for graduate students in partnership with the Centre’s Graduate Teaching Associate.



Verwoord, Roselyn_2014resizedWestern

Roselynn Verwoord , M.A.
Learning Design & Curriculum Consultant
Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology
University of British Columbia

PhD Student, Department of Educational Studies
University of British Columbia

I am interested in supporting issues of teaching and learning that particularly impact graduate students. I am also interested in educational development and the creation of programs and services that assist the university teaching community (including graduate students) to develop and enhance their instructional skills. I see the TAGSA SIG as an opportunity to contribute to projects and initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities 

for teaching assistants to develop their abilities to support teaching and learning. As the Western Region Member at Large, I aim to be a liaison between the TAGSA SIG executive and the SIG members as well as between the board of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and TAGSA.


I am currently completing my PhD in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia (UBC). I hold a Master of Arts degree in Society Culture and Politics in Education from UBC, a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Victoria (UVic), and I am a licensed practicing teacher with the BC Ministry of Education. I have several years of experience as an educator, facilitator, and curriculum developer and I am an Instructional Skills Workshop Facilitator and Facilitator Development Workshop Trainer. I have worked both locally and internationally in formal and informal educational settings. Currently, I work as the Learning Design & Curriculum Consultant, Strategic Curriculum Services for the UBC Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology where I am responsible for working with departments and units to identify curriculum needs, consult on how to address these needs, and oversee related curriculum projects through implementation and evaluation.  Outside of UBC, I am the Chair, Student Advocacy on the board of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), and I also serve as the Founding Advisor, Student Engagement with the SoTL Canada SIG of STLHE.



Betsy KeatingresizedStudent

Betsy Keating
Doctoral Candidate
Faculty of Education and Academic Development
University of Windsor

I am a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at the University of Windsor, specializing in cognition and learning. My research involves TAs’ developing conceptions of teaching.

As the University’s GA/TA Network Coordinator, I work with a team from the Faculty of Education and Academic Development to offer training, support, resources, and learning community opportunities for graduate students and TAs. I also have a Master’s degree in English and occasionally instruct with the department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing.

I welcome this opportunity to serve as a liaison and advocate for both the student members and the broader membership of TAGSA.



Christina SkorobohaczStudent 

Christina Skorobohacz

Doctoral Candidate, Educational Studies
Brock University

I am a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at Brock University. My dissertation research explicates the textual organization of university graduate assistantships and graduate students’ actual work through Institutional Ethnography. I have taught courses in the areas of Reflective Practice, Contemporary Issues in Higher Education, Position Paper Writing, and Diversity Issues in Schooling. My research and writing interests connect closely to TAGSA’s mandate and goals. In my work, I take up issues related to graduate student employment, teaching and research assistant development, identity and role negotiations in academe, professors’ and students’ commitments to service, and co-mentorship. I am a Distinguished Reviewer for the Journal of Research Practice. I also belong to an international collaborative writing group investigating The Experience of Following Academic Leaders of Teaching and Learning. I am interested in continuing to serve as a Student Member‒At‒Large because I am committed to (a) liaising between the TAGSA Executive and the general Membership, (b) voicing students’ and teaching assistants’ concerns, and (c) advocating on behalf of the TAGSA community.


RielA_2015Secrétaire française

Annie Riel

PhD Student, French
Queen’s University

Annie Riel is a PhD student in the French Studies program at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on the intersections between literature, music and cinema. She is also a member of the Ellis Hall Active Learning Classrooms Research Group, which studies the impact of space on teaching and learning. Previously, Annie has completed a Graduate certificate in Higher Education and a master’s degree in Creative Writing at l’UQAM. She is pleased to be a part of the TAGSA executive committee, where one of her roles is to facilitate communications between French and English members.


Shaya ReflectionWebmaster

Shaya Golparian, Ph.D.
Educational Developer
TA Development Program Coordinator
Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
University of British Columbia

Shaya is an Educational Developer at the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. She currently develops and coordinates the TA Development Program. This includes consulting with departments to plan, design, and deliver department-specific TA teaching skills development, developing and delivering capacity-building workshops for department TA training programs, and coordinating the TA training community of Practice. Shaya is also an Instructional Skills Workshop facilitator. In her previous roles at CTLT, Shaya has coordinated the Formative CTLT Peer Review of Teaching Program. She has designed and implemented professional development initiatives and built online resources to support members of the campus-wide Formative Peer Review team. Shaya holds a PhD in Curriculum and Pedagogy.