Despite the fact that I’ve been on sabbatical since September, I have continued to work as the Director of the Physical Science & Engineering Education Research Centre (PSEER) at the University of Guelph (albeit with a much lighter workload and schedule). I’ve also continued to be a member of the SEED Community Food Project steering committee, a role that I have had for the past 4 or so years. 

My time as Director of PSEER has been an incredible learning experience and one that allowed me to dive more deeply into educational research. It has also given me the opportunity to better understand the fantastic pedagogical work that is happening in the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences and across campus – in particular, with COESP in the College of Biological Sciences and the new Hub in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. It speaks to the care and commitment that my colleagues have for ensuring that undergraduate and graduate students have the best possible educational experience and outcomes, not just in a curricular setting, but also co-curricular and extra-curricular ones.

Working with the SEED has been equally rewarding. The steering committee opened their arms to me many years ago, and taught me so much – about community, about inclusivity, and about innovative approaches to broad social challenges. They have never failed to amaze me with how they constantly develop new ways to bring more people to the table. I am extremely privileged to have been connected to this band of individuals who have done so much for so many people in our community who struggle to put food on the table. It has been an honour to work alongside them. 

However, given the growth and placement of the SEED Community Food Project within the Guelph Community Health Centre, the steering committee has agreed to restructure its governance, particularly to open the table to new voices. I completely agree with this move, as the SEED is about the many voices that make up our community. As such, I will be stepping down from my role as a member of the SEED steering committee to allow new voices to come forward. This doesn’t mean that I won’t still be connected with the SEED – they have been and continue to be incredible partners in my CIS3750 and ICON classrooms. 

Similarly, my two-year appointment as the Director of PSEER comes to an end at the end of December. A call for a new Director has been sent out, and I will work with the new Director as they transition into the role over the winter semester. Plus, I am still working to continue bringing the 2018-2019 PSEER Seminar Series Inclusivity in STEM to a close (with five speakers lined up for the winter semester). 

Both of these groups have been and continue to be incredible, doing work that is extremely important. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with both, and I look forward to seeing where they go.  

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