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Higher Education in Canada

Symposium Panelists


S Andrey PictureSam Andrey is the Manager of the Student Financial Assistance Program Unit with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Prior to joining the Ministry, Sam worked at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada on the student financial assistance file. Sam previously was the Executive Director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. He completed his studies at the University of Waterloo, where he served on the institution's Senate and Board of Governors.



Liwana Bringelson PhotoLiwana Bringelson has been working on strategic policy in the Ministry of Training Colleges and University since July of 2011. Before that, Dr. Bringelson spent over 27  years in postsecondary education as a student, faculty member and administrator at institutions in Canada and the United States.  Her academic training and interests in psychology and human systems engineering, along with experience on curriculum and budget and finance committees, advising and supervising student projects, teaching undergraduate and graduate students and supporting faculty members exploring the innovative use of technology frame her interest in quality of the postsecondary education experience. 


J Da Silva PhotoJennifer Da Silva is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Student Financial Assistance Program Unit with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Her work within the Ontario Public Service has involved student financial assistance files as well as health-related files such as the underservice area program, rural medical education and medical school expansion. Prior to joining the OPS, Jennifer worked as an Analyst at the Council of Ontario Universities. She holds an MPA from Queen’s University.



Dianne Fisher PhotoDeanne Fisher is Associate Vice-President, Students at OCAD University (formerly Ontario College of Art & Design) in Toronto, Canada where she holds responsibility for advancing the University's commitment to student engagement and success. Prior to joining OCAD U in 2011, Deanne held several positions over 10 years at the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus, culminating in the role of Director of Student Life. At U of T she led institutional strategies in the areas student communications, leadership development, assessment of learning outcomes and campus-wide efforts to enhance the student experience. Deanne holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and an MA from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.



BFrank PhotoBrian Frank is an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen's University, where he has taught courses in electronics and wireless systems. He is the DuPont Canada Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development, and the Director of Program Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science where he works on engineering curriculum development, program assessment, and using educational technology.


  Glen Jones Photo
Glen A. Jones is the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement and Professor of Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.  Glen’s research focuses on higher education policy, governance, academic work, and administration. He is a prolific contributor to the Canadian and international literature on higher education and a frequent public speaker and commentator on higher education issues. He was Chair of the Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education at OISE from 1998-2001 and Associate Dean of OISE from 2003-2011. He received the Research Award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in 2001, and their Distinguished Member Award in 2011.


DLang PhotoDaniel W. Lang is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies at the University of Toronto. Previously he was Senior Policy Advisor to the President, Vice Provost, Planning and Budget, and Vice-President, Computing and Communications. His principal areas of interest are institutional planning and management, finance, accountability, and quality assurance. He has been a member of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies Appraisals Committee, and the Task Force on Quality Assurance.  His current research asks how, when, and why community college students decide to transfer to university, investigates the effects of performance incentive budgeting, and considers the role of informal knowledge in the formation of human capital.



MC Lennon PhotoMary Catharine Lennon is a Senior Research Analyst at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), an arms-length research agency of the Ontario government, where she is currently leading projects on establishing and measuring learning outcomes.




  Sharon Li PhotoSharon Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education Program at OISE, under the supervision of Dr. Glen Jones. Her research interest is university governance at the system and institutional level. Her doctoral dissertation studies the role of board of trustees in public universities in China. Sharon received her B.A. and M.A. in English language and literature from Shanghai International Studies University (China). She also earned a Master of Education degree in educational leadership studies from University of Victoria (Canada).


Kirsten Madsen PictureKirsten Madsen is in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at the Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning.





Chris Monahan PictureChris Monahan is the Director of the Research and Planning Branch at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.  He has worked at the Ministry since 2005, and previously held positions at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade as Director of the Business Cluster Policy Secretariat and in the Fiscal Planning Branch at the Ministry of Finance.  Originally from Nova Scotia, Chris is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Yale University.



Lucia PictureLucia Padure is currently the Research Coordinator at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) with the Research and Planning Branch, Strategic Policy and Programs Division. Previously she acted as a Senior Policy Advisor in the same division in the Strategic Program Initiatives Branch. She received her PhD from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at University of Toronto (2009) and her Master of Public Administration from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2003). Lucia’s research interests include higher education policy, differentiation, quality assurance and comparative education.


Pierre PhotoPierre Piché is currently the Controller and Director of Financial Services at the University of Toronto.  He is a Chartered Accountant.  He holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University and a Master’s of Education in Higher Education from the University of Toronto where he is also a Doctoral Candidate.  He is an active member of the Council of Finance Officers – Universities of Ontario where he chaired a number of committees including the Financial Reporting Committee and the Working Group on Financial Health Indicators.


Kevin Ramdas PhotoKevin Ramdas completed his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University (2001), M.A.Sc. in Electronics Engineering from Carleton University (2004), M.A. in Higher Education from Central Michigan University (2007). Currently, Kevin has been a professor in the Wireless Telecommunications program at Humber College for the last 7 years; 3 of those years he acted as the program head. He has also taught courses at the University of Guelph-Humber. Under the supervision of Dr. Glen Jones at OISE, Kevin is completing his Ph.D. thesis exploring institutional change in the Ontario College system. His research interests are in higher-education institutional governance, college systems, and student learning.



Picture of Michael SkolnikMichael Skolnik is a Professor Emeritus in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, where previously he held the William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership and started the PhD Program in Community College Leadership. He was the first recipient of the Higher Education Research Award of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, and his article about the founding of Ontario’s colleges received the Edward F. Sheffield Award for the best article of the year 2010 in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. He has published several works on institutional differentiation and system design in postsecondary education, including a 1986 article in the European Review of Higher Education entitled “Diversity in Higher Education: The Canadian Case”. 


Richard Wiggers PhotoRichard Wiggers, PhD (Georgetown) is the executive director of research and programs at HEQCO.  In addition to past positions with the federal government, he has worked for two private sector education organizations.  Before arriving at HEQCO in 2009, he worked with the New Brunswick government in the Post-Secondary Affairs Branch and as the Manager of Innovative Learning and Professional Development with the Department of Education.  In his role at HEQCO, Richard is responsible for managing more than 60 research projects dealing with Student Services, Teaching and Learning and Learning Outcomes, and he oversees all research projects and policies at HEQCO. He is leading a major research project on Work Integrated Learning that involves 14 Ontario colleges and universities, and he also serves on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Apprenticeship Journal, as an External Associate with the University of Waterloo’s Centre for the Advancement of Co-Operative Education, and as a Faculty Advisor with Humber College’s new Research Analyst Post-Graduate Program.


Stacey Young Head PhotoStacey J. Young is currently the Research Director at the Ontario Council on Transfer and Articulation (ONCAT). She came to ONCAT from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities where she held responsibility for a number of files over a ten-year civil service career including: the Strategic Mandate Agreements, Multi-Year Accountability Agreements (MYAAs), access initiatives such as the First Generation and Students with Disabilities strategies as well as other system-design related files. During a two-year leave of absence, Stacey was Director of Research and Program Evaluation at Pathways to Education Canada, a national charity designed to assist students in at-risk communities finish high school and go on to college or university. Prior to coming to government, Stacey was Special Assistant to the President at the University of Toronto and is associate faculty in the graduate school of education at U of T. She holds a PhD in higher education policy with a specialization in system design from U of T.


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