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Meet Our Instructors!

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Dr. Kim Dej


Dr. Kim Dej is the Vice Provost. Teaching and Learning for McMaster University. Dr. Dej has been at McMaster since 2004 and holds a PhD in biology from John Hopkins University. She is a renowned educator having won the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning, a McMaster Student Teaching Award and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Education and Mentorship. Dr. Dej has previously taught in the Life Science programs and has taught courses in Genetics, Cell Biology and Community Engagement. She is passionate about teaching and learning pedagogical research, curriculum development and peer-mentorship.

Currently Dr. Dej leads the INSPIRE Office of Flexible Learning initative.

Erin Aspenleider


Erin Aspenlieder is an Associate Director at the MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching where she leads work in digital pedagogies, curriculum and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She coordinated the institutional task force on generative AI in teaching and learning, designed and led workshops on AI literacies for broad audiences and is contributing to generative AI projects across the institution. She holds a PhD in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University and writes for

Sean Beaudette


Sean Beaudette (he/him) is the Associate Director, Outreach, Transition and Academic Success with the Student Success Centre (SSC). A passionate educator, Sean works with a team that emphasizes and supports the holistic student experience at McMaster. Sean has completed a thesis-based Master of Education from Queen’s University where he focused on student experience, pedagogy and community engagement. He is also a certified Project Management Professional. Sean lives just outside of Hamilton with his partner and two kiddos, Eva (6) and Laurel (3). He loves canoeing and camping, barbeque and smoking meat, and baseball, and can happily chat at length about any of these things.

Maddie Brockbank


Maddie Brockbank (she/her) is a PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar in the School of Social Work at McMaster University. Her research is in anti-carceral gender-based violence prevention with men. Additionally, she has research experience in the areas of social systems, andragogy, and equity. Maddie has been recognized as a recipient of the Young Woman of Distinction Award (YWCA Hamilton), a Wilson Leadership Scholar Award (McMaster University), the President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership (McMaster University), a Hamilton Hero award (Hamilton Ticats), a Women Who Rock award (EMPOWER), and a Mary Keyes Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership (McMaster University).

Dr. Michael Clemens


Dr. Michael Clemens is a historian whose work focuses on the relationship between nature and culture. He holds a PhD from McMaster University, where his research looked at the ways in which non-fiction cinema figures into our understanding of the natural world, and conversely, how filmic representations of nature shape the way people attend to it. Michael balances his time working as an instructional designer and teaching history at McMaster University. In this dual role, he imparts that the stories we tell about the past matter and that they have a direct bearing on our future survival. Driven by a passion for sharing stories of resistance and unconventional accounts about our sense of place, Michael challenges dominant attitudes towards nature.


Maggie Cockburn


Maggie Cockburn (She/ Her) is a Project Coordinator in the Faculty of Science, working on advancing strategic initiatives related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Maggie graduated from McMaster with an Hon. BSc degree in Biology, completed her Bachelor of Education at Brock University and a master’s degree in Professional Education at Western University. She has worked in various roles at the University, in Student Wellness Education and Human Resources Organizational Development, as well as in the Athletics and Recreation Department, in the Pulse Fitness Centre, David Braley Sport Medicine Clinic, as Sport Fitness School Camp Director and most recently as the (interim) Camps and Clubs Coordinator.

Stacy Creech

ABLD 3CD3, LATAM 2A03, 3A03

Stacy A. Creech de Castro is an Afro-Dominican PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Specializing in Transatlantic literature in the long eighteenth century and beyond, her current research examines British, Caribbean, and American Gothic literatures and Black Feminist Theory. Stacy is co-founder of the Latin American Network at McMaster University (LANMU), and her background is in medicine, pedagogy, linguistics, English, and Comparative Literature. Areas of research: Caribbean Studies, Latin American & Latinx Studies, Black Diaspora Literature and Theory, Black Feminist Theory, Transatlantic Studies.

Kojo Damptey


Kojo Damptey is an interdisciplinary scholar-practitioner, musician and decolonial advocate. His work revolves around communication, music, African culture, African politics, International Development and social movements. Born in Ghana, he moved to Hamilton in 2001 to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. He is working towards a Master of Arts at McMaster University in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, studying African Political Thought for the 21st Century and beyond. He has also received an Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Royal Roads University.

Katie George


Katie has been working in higher education for over 16 years, teaching everything psychology has to offer. Equipped with a background in psychological concepts and over a decade of experience in the field of brain injury rehabilitation, Katie offers a new lens with which to view education and learning. Currently she is the Program Manager for the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching and Leadership Program at McMaster University. A program that has been developed by Dr. Joe Kim to train the next generation of superstar postdocs to teach and lead, both in academia and beyond.

Renata Hall


Renata lives all things social justice! With an educational background in Psychology and Biology from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor and a Masters Degree in Social Work from McMaster University, and now a PhD Candidate in the School of Social Work, Renata looks to shake the room through her love of building community connections, challenging the status quo, and amplifying the voices of the margins. Professionally, Renata is a registered social worker and equity has always been at the forefront of her professional pursuits. Currently, Renata is situated at McMaster University as the Manager of Inclusion and Anti-Racism Education Programs within the Equity and Inclusion Office.

Dr. Sheena Jary


Dr. Sheena Jary is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning. Originally from Vancouver, Sheena relocated to Ontario to complete her Master’s program at the University of Western Ontario, followed by her PhD at McMaster in the Department of English and Cultural Studies. She is now working on a new project that builds bridges between science, social science, and humanities. Sheena teaches courses in the Humanities Leadership program, Integrated Business and Humanities, and the Faculty of Humanities. Sheena’s current research focuses on how a “pay it forward” leadership and teaching model can encourage students to engage meaningfully with the communities of which they are a part.

Dr. Joe Kim


Joe Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University, where he has three major roles: Director of the Education and Cognition Lab; Factulty Director of McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching and Leadership Program; and principla instructor for the innovative McMaster introductory psychology program. A common link across his numerous roles and career is a desire to implement evidence-based practices that promote life-long learning. As an Applied Cognitive Psychologist, He is interested in understanding how the mind works. How do processes like attention and memory help us to make decisions form judements, and build a network of associations that allow us to learn and interact with the world?

Helen Kula


Helen Kula is the Associate University Librarian, Teaching and Learning with the MacMaster University Library.  Helen has spent her career in academic libraries in roles that support information literacy and research skill development.  Helen represented the Library in the institutional task force on generative AI in teaching and learning and has been involved in a number of initiatives to support students in the use of these tools.  Helen holds a MISt and an MA in English Literature.

Dr. Rodrigo Narro Perez


Rodrigo Narro Pérez is an interdisciplinary scholar that has a foundation in earth and environmental sciences. His PhD research looked at using glacial sedimentology and geomorphology to understand glacial hazards and the impacts of climate change in the Peruvian Andes. He is one of the Co-Conveners for McMaster’s Race, Racialization and Racism (R3) Working Group, and is a member of the inaugural Board of Directors for the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre (HARRC). He focuses his interdisciplinary teaching on anti-racist and decolonial pedagogies where he attempts to combine his scientific training as a geoscientist with his anti-racism community work.

Monica Palkowski


Monica Palkowski (she/her) is passionate about supporting students as they navigate their personal leadership journeys. As a Living Learning Coordinator with Residence Life, Monica supports student leaders through coaching and mentoring, and through the development and delivery of engaging experiential learning opportunities. Since completing an Honours BA (English) at McMaster, Monica’s own leadership journey has taken her through a variety of fields and experiences, from publishing to health promotion and community engagement.