Current Research Assistants

Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander is a PhD student in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. He is from Nova Scotia and has taught in China and South Korea for twelve years. Upon returning to Canada, Ian completed an MA at the University of Victoria with a thesis based on a multiple case study exploring the perspectives and experiences of first-year Chinese international students who had studied a Canadian high school curriculum and graduated from British Columbia offshore schools in China. He is continuing with this research interest to investigate how Canadian teachers depict and Chinese students perceive social studies and humanities courses taught in British Columbia offshore schools.

Rafael Capó García

Rafael Capó García is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. He is from San Juan, Puerto Rico where he worked as a public-school History teacher for over 6 years and completed an M.A. in History at the Centre for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. His research interests include history education, critical pedagogy, coloniality, decolonizing pedagogy, and participatory action research. Rafael is also an activist who has worked with various organizations throughout the years with the aim of promoting Puerto Rico’s political independence. His doctoral work is focused on decolonizing the curriculum from its Eurocentric framework and searching for endemicity amidst the chaos of Caribbean identities.

Sarah Clifford

Sarah is an MSc student in Political Science at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Her main research interests centre on international relations and gender, with a main focus on gender theory, identity politics, and education policies. Prior to relocating to Copenhagen, Sarah studied Political Science at the University of Alberta (Canada).

Mallory Davies

Mallory Davies is a PhD student at the University of Waterloo in the Tri-University History Program. Her doctoral research examines the history of education for teen mothers. She is interested in the long-term effects of the integration of teen mothers into public education in the 1970s. Mallory recently completed her master’s thesis in Educational Studies at UBC which examined the educational objectives of teen mothers’ education in Vancouver from 1959 to 2019. 

Alim Fakirani

Alim Fakirani is a PhD student and 4YF fellow in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. His experience working with refugee, immigrant, and [visible] minority students coupled with his schooling in Canada as a first-generation Canadian inspired his desire to examine the representation of these students’ histories in Canadian curriculum. Alim is convinced that such inclusion could lead to a more robust Canadian democracy. His work with Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future serves as an extension of his desire to research Canadian curriculum.

Shannon Fitzsimmons

Shannon Fitzsimmons (she/her) is a white settler, anti-oppressive educator in adult education. She completed her B. Ed. and M. Ed at the University of Saskatchewan, and is the recipient of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship Award, and the Irene Polzer Award. Her thesis is a Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Anti-oppressive Educators in Secondary Education, supervised by Dr. Marie Battiste. She has also completed a performing arts diploma from the Randolph Academy of Performing Arts in Toronto, ON. Currently she is an instructor at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and working on a Ph.D. in Education at the University of Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. Carla Peck.

Lucy Fowler

Lucy Fowler p wanbdi to wiyan d-ishinikaashon, Winnipeg d-oschin. I am a Métis Two-Spirit woman from Winnipeg, Manitoba and a PhD candidate at the University of Saskatchewan, exploring the experiences of urban Métis youth who engage in hip hop cultures. I’m an academic, an educator, and a community organizer, and most of my community work centres on amplifying the voices of Indigenous youth.


Lisa HowellLisa Howell

Lisa Howell lives and works on the unceded lands of the Anishinabe people in Ottawa. She is a passionate teacher and a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa in the Faculty of Education. Under the supervision of Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Lisa’s SSHRC funded doctoral work takes up the possibilities of ethical relationality and unlearning colonialism in teacher education. Lisa is honoured to be the recipient of a “Partner in Indigenous Education” Award from Indspire, as well as a Governor General’s Award for Excellence in teaching Canadian History. She is committed to learning, living, working, and teaching towards good relations with students, colleagues, communities, and schools.

Sara Karn

Sara Karn is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, under the supervision of Dr. Heather McGregor. Her SSHRC funded research explores the place and potential of historical empathy in Canadian history education. She has K-12 teaching experience in Ontario, led experiential learning programs on the First and Second World War battlefields in Europe, and designed a course about Kingston’s history to engage students in learning about local history.

Rudy Kisler
Rudy Kisler is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Rudy is interested in the intersection between history education and political ideology. His doctoral research explores how history is presented and taught in heritage contexts in Israel. Rudy has been teaching history in various schools in Canada and his home country, Israel. Through his research, he aspires to inform strategies for designing inclusive programs and policies for history and heritage education.

Carol LeeCarol Lee

Carol Lee is a University of Ottawa PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education. Her SSHRC and OGS funded doctoral research investigates collaborative story-making with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth as a way of supporting the TRC’s Call to Action 63.3. Carol is an Assistant Editor with JCACS, mother of four, and a practicing poet.

Jacquelyn Mcclure

Jacquelyn grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. She moved to Victoria, BC to attend the University of Victoria and completed her undergraduate honours degree in history with a minor in Anthropology in April 2020. She has worked as a historical interpreter for the Canadian Ministry of Veterans Affairs and for Parks Canada. Her interests include museum studies, gender history, and the history of race and ethnicity in Canada. She is now working on a Master’s in Public History from the University of Victoria.

Madelaine McCracken

Madelaine McCracken

Madelaine McCracken is Métis and holds ancestral ties to the Red River Settlement. She is a M.Ed. student at the University of Ottawa and is completing her Major Research Paper under Dr. Ng-A-Fook’s guidance. She is conducting Indigenous educational research for the Faculty of Education and for the Caring Society as a part of an additional SSHRC work where she is understanding how Indigenous rights, values, and how Truth and Reconciliation are represented in Teacher Education across Canada.

James Miles James Miles

James Miles is a PhD Candidate and sessional instructor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He was previously a social studies and history teacher in Vancouver British Columbia. His SSHRC funded dissertation research examines the teaching and learning of historical injustices in classrooms, museums, and historic sites. He is also an assistant editor at Curriculum Inquiry. His research has been published in Theory and Research in Social Education, Historical Studies in Education and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Fernando Sanchez Morales is a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta in the Department of Educational Policy Studies. His main research interest focuses on adult learning in a democracy and how knowledge is formed during an electoral process. Fernando completed his LLM in Stockholm University, Sweden. Upon returning to Mexico he actively participated in arbitration procedures and teaching law.



HembraHembadoon I. Oguanobi

Hembadoon (Hemba) holds a doctorate in Law from Durham University in England, and an MA in Education from the University of Ottawa. She is working on her second doctorate within the field of curriculum studies under the supervision of Prof. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook at the University of Ottawa. Hemba is the recipient of the 2019 CACS Cynthia Chambers award, and teaches at the Department of Law and Legal Studies at the University of Carleton in Ottawa. Her research interests are multidisciplinary and include curriculum studies, life history research, policy, post-colonialism, intellectual property rights, health literacies, access to medicines, human rights, refugee and newcomer education. Hemba has published in the Journal of World Intellectual Property and Education Journal- Revue de l’education.

Laurie Pageau

Laurie Pageau is a PhD candidate at Laval University (Québec) under the supervision of Prof. Jean- François Cardin (U.Laval) and Prof. Catherine Duquette (UQAC). She has previously taught history at High School level for 6 years. Her doctoral research aims at understanding the influence students’ epistemological comprehension of history on their potential success on the provincial examination. Her Master dissertation focused on the causes to which students, who have failed at the ministerial history examination, attributed their failure.

Patrick Phillips

is currently a PhD student in uOttawa’s Curriculum, Leadership, and Policy Studies program. His research foci include developing and applying under-theorized arts-based practices, including visualization and critique, towards research-creation that fosters better interconnectedness in teaching and learning without erasing difficult questions, or encounters between differing or alienated knowledge systems.


Nathalie Popa 

Nathalie Popa holds a doctorate in Educational Studies from McGill University in Canada, which she completed under the supervision of Dr. Paul Zanazanian. Guided by an interest in meaningful learning, she developed an instructional model that outlines the process by which history students can develop historical consciousness and identifies the means for teachers to guide and support such learning. Her doctoral work was supported by scholarships from the Faculty of Education at McGill and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture. Her previous publications include a co-written article on a pedagogical framework that aims to help students develop personal histories of belonging, published in LEARNing Landscapes in 2018, and a literature review article on the concept of historical consciousness in Canadian history didactics, published in the Canadian Journal of Education in 2017.

James RowinskiJames Rowinski

Although originally from Nova Scotia, James Rowinski currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick where he and his wife have been raising their three children. He has been a social studies teacher and curriculum developer in New Brunswick for the past decade. Currently in his fourth year of his PhD at the University of New Brunswick, James’ work challenges deficit discourses that operate to undermine young learners’ capacity for historical thinking. Through his research, he hopes to expand opportunities for young people to speak back to experiences with history pedagogy in school. In 2017, the middle school students he works with were recipients of the Fredericton Heritage Trust Award for their research drawing attention to post-First World War commemoration practices in the Fredericton community. James is supported by a 4-year Doctoral SSHRC and NBIF scholarships at UNB.

Aaron Sardinha-DrakeAaron Sardinha-Drake

Aaron Sardinha-Drake, an MA.Ed student in Curriculum Studies at The University of Ottawa, is seeking to better understand how arts education can feature in today’s curriculum. Aaron is working on a national partnership grant project called Thinking Historically where he is analyzing the ways in which indigenous knowledges, and the Truth and Reconciliation are featuring in Teacher Education programs across Canada.

Aurra Startup
Aurra (she/her) is a Palestinian treaty person located on the Haldimand Tract. She is in her last term at the University of Waterloo pursuing a major in Social Development Studies, a minor in Legal Studies, and specializations in Education and Equity and Diversity. In the Fall of 2021, she will begin her Master’s in Social Justice and Community Engagement at WLU. Aurra’s research interests include restorative justice in schools, anti-discriminatory pedagogies and the promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion.