Dr. Geraldine Balzer is an Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. Her experiences teaching Inuit students led to her interest in decolonizing pedagogies and transformative education. Her teaching focuses on ways of disrupting the hegemony of standard English and embracing the diversity of Englishes within our world, incorporating Aboriginal and postcolonial literature into secondary classrooms, and preparing teachers to be advocates of social justice. Her research focuses on decolonization and social justice. She works with teachers to explore the use of diverse literary texts and literary theory in order to engage students in critical thinking about societal issues. She also studies International Experiential Education/Service Learning and its impact on Canadian participants and host communities in Central America. A central focus of this research is to ensure that Indigenous host communities in the Global South have voice in the development and implementation of these programs. Reciprocity is central to developing research that is not an extractive industry but is co-owned by the researchers and the communities.
Courtney Charles is a certified geriatric pharmacist with experience in community pharmacy, long-term care, and end-of-life care. She teaches pharmacology to pharmacy and nursing students at the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, with special interests in labour relations and anti-racism. Within the USFA, Courtney prioritizes instructor and lecturer representation, building community, and de-centering whiteness in the Collective Agreement through collaborative work on the Joint Committee for Management of the Agreement, the Collective Negotiating Committee, and the Committee on Women’s Issues.
Dr. Julita Vassileva is a Professor in the Department Computer Science. She is a leading researcher in user modelling, personalization and social computing, as well as AI in education. She has authored over 300 research papers and given 15 keynote presentations at international conferences. In 2021 Dr. Vassileva received the U of S Distinguished Researcher Award. She has advised over 50 graduate students (15 PhD) and has received the two main U of S awards for graduate supervision: the University’s Distinguished Graduate Supervisor Award (2014), and the Advising Excellence Award by the Graduate Student Association (2013). Dr. Vassileva is a member of the editorial boards of several reputed journals, including UMUAI, IEEE TLT, ACM TSC, IJAIED, and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers in AI Supporting Human Learning and Behaviour Change. Dr. Vassileva held the NSERC/Cameco Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Prairies region (2005 – 2011) and started a science outreach program for aboriginal youth in the North, called “Science Ambassadors”, which has now completed 13 years of impactful activity in over 25 communities and has engaged over 25,000 indigenous youth in science. For her leadership and mentorship, she got the Saskatoon’s YWCA “Women of Distinction Award (Science and Research)” in 2015.
Doug Chivers is an accomplished behavioural and evolutionary ecologist in the Department of Biology. His research focusses on how anthropogenic disturbance alters predation dynamics and prey cognition. Doug is a University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Professor. His research has been cited more than 20,000 times. He is a Fellow of the Animal Behaviour Society and the Royal Society of Canada. Doug has served as the USFA Chair and Vice Chair several times and has been involved in Collective Bargaining for much of his career at the University of Saskatchewan.
Susan Fowler-Kerry is a Full Professor in the College of Nursing. During her tenure on faculty she has developed a successfully funded international program of research in the area of pediatric pain and palliative care. As a result she has served as a consultant with several International organizations including the World Health Organization, George Soros Foundation, and the Middle East Cancer Consortium. Recently, she was invited to participate with the Bill Clinton Foundation targeting pain resulting from HIV/AIDs in children in Africa. She has recently published her second book, Pediatric Palliative Care: Global Perspectives. She has served on the executive for 3 terms assuming the roles of Chair of Personnel, Committee on Women’s Issues, Constitution and 2 terms as Treasurer. Dr. Fowler-Kerry currently holds one of two Equity Officer positions on the Executive Committee.
Professor Allison Muri has been a faculty member in the Department of English since 2004. Her research focuses on Digital Humanities applications to the study of Eighteenth-century literature, history, and culture. First elected a member of the USFA Executive in 2016, she has been active with the USFA since 2009 as a member of the Joint Committee for the Management of the Agreement (JCMA), JCMA Caucus, and the USFA Negotiating Committee and Caucus. She has served as USFA Chair, USFA Vice-Chair, Co-Chair of JCMA, Chair of the USFA Communications Committee and is the Association’s Chief Negotiator.
Dr. Li Xing is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts & Science. Her research interests are Analysis of Big Omics Data, Bioinformatics, Machine Learning, Bayesian Methods, Longitudinal Data Problem, and Biostatistics.
Paula MacDowell, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies. Her research focuses on immersive learning and technologies for environment and sustainability education (ESE). Since being elected as a member of the USFA Executive in 2022, Paula has contributed as a member of the Joint Committee for the Management of the Agreement (JCMA), JCMA Caucus, and Chair of the Personnel Committee. Her professional interests include working collaboratively towards greater equity and transparency and improving the overall quality of our academic lives at USask.
I am Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies. My teaching and research contribute to the field of international relations, and the critical analysis of violence, war, and security. I am author of The Freedom of Security: Governing Canada in the Age of Counterterrorism (UBC Press), co-editor of War, Police and Assemblages of Intervention (Routledge) and editor of the journal Critical Studies on Security. I have served on the Association Grievance Committee since 2017, and as senior grievance officer since 2021. I am dedicated to protecting the labour rights and academic freedom of faculty member as I believe that our work environment is directly connected to our both our own academic performance and the learning conditions of our students. @ColleenDBell
Helen Vandenberg is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing. Her research interests relate to the social history of hospitals, health systems, and nursing in Western Canada during the early twentieth century. She is past president of the Canadian Association of the History of Nursing and an avid supporter of health history research and education in Canada. Dr. Vandenberg’s interest in USFA stems from her experience in College of Nursing where restructuring and cost-savings measures have significantly hampered faculty’s ability to provide quality nursing education. In collaboration with the USFA executive, Dr. Vandenberg strives to challenge the ideologies of cost-savings, administrative empire building, and efficiency that disrupt the fundamental purposes of post-secondary institutions. Advocacy is needed to support post-secondary environments that foster truth-seeking, character development, curiosity, and knowledge-based improvement in society. Dr. Vandenberg is serving her first term on USFA. She is currently co-chair of the USFA communications committee and chair of the committee on committees.
I joined the university in 2016 and am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies. My research broadly focuses on African politics and Global Indigenous politics. I have served on a wide range of committees at the university. At the departmental level, I have been chair of the undergraduate committee, chair of the outreach committee, a member of the graduate studies committee, coordinator of the speaker series, and served for numerous years as the faculty association representative to USFA. At the college level, I have been chair of the International Studies program, and a member of the college review, bylaws, and Indigenous recruitment committees. While I am new to serving on the USFA executive committee, I have extensive union experience from my previous academic position at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. This included serving as a member of the executive, as secretary of the faculty union, and as one of two university-wide faculty members on the joint committee which held monthly meetings with senior administration to discuss key governance issues. I hope to bring a strong voice to the union and commit to representing the diverse interests of my colleagues. I am dedicated to being an advocate for the promotion of real collegial governance, a vocal supporter of EDI-related initiatives, and a staunch defender of the collective agreement.
Sina Adl is a Professor in the Department of Soil Sciences. A microbiologist specialized in protistology, he has worked on diverse ecosystems around the globe. His publications range from soil food web studies, to sustainable agriculture, and soil community structure. He is best known for his synthesis work in protist classification and modernizing the systematics of eukaryotes, and his research has been cited more than 12,000 times. He is a past-President of the International Society of Protistologists and has been active on numerous professional society executives. He was on the USFA Grievance Committee in various roles for eight years, and has served on the Communications committee. He was Associate Dean (academic), Department Head, on Council and its Academic Programming committee, amongst other university committees.
Janet Okoko is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Administration, College of Education. She is a black woman who has served as a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee in a national professional association. Part of her research explores ways in which educational leaders can be equipped to support culturally diverse immigrants and minoritized groups. Her experience as a black member of faculty, and a woman, enables her to provide valuable, unique and diverse perspectives as an ally and a champion of equity for members.