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Welcome to the OISE Alumni and Friends website

Writers’ Roost: An OISE Alumni Conversation Series

Join us for Writers' Roost, a new web series featuring Jeff Myers talking to his fellow OISE alumni — change makers, world class thinkers, movers and shakers — about the books they’ve written.

Expect thought-provoking conversation, deep dives into critical questions, new ideas in education, and explorations of new ways of looking at the world.

Host: Jeff Myers, Former President, OISE Alumni Association
Introductions: Sim Kapoor, Director of Advancement, Communications and External Relations

Next episode

Everyone but Fajza by John P. Portelli

November 18, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Zoom
Register to watch live

Professor Emeritus John Portelli's latest novel Everyone but Fajza begins with a bang: media reports erupt when Fajza is discovered with gunshot wounds, unconscious and abandoned next to one of Toronto’s most violent high schools. As Fajza, the daughter of Maltese-Turkish immigrants, lays in a hospital bed, those closest to her must grapple with the hand each of them played in her uncertain future.

Through their narratives, Portelli explores into the tensions between traditional and progressive beliefs, and the complexities of life within a multicultural society.  

In this episode of Writers' Roost, Jeff will speak to Professor Portelli about the inspiration behind this page-turning mystery, and the complexities of the migrant experience in Canada. 

Grab the book before the episode 


Register for this virtual event

"The thriller-like, piecemeal revelation of the plot makes this an enjoyable page turner. The ways in which the novel presents aspects of national and cultural origins, immigrant liminality and the challenges of globalisation and multiculturalism, also raise questions about the nature and permeability of identity." — Professor Joe Grixti, Massey University, New Zealand



John P. Portelli is an award-winning Maltese-Canadian author, and a professor emeritus of social justice education at OISE. His areas of research include: narratives of migration and exile; continuous professional development and quality assurance; student engagement and students ‘at risk’; teaching controversial issues; intercultural education and dialogue; equity and ethical issues in  policy and leadership. 

He has published 23 books including seven collections of poetry, two collections of short stories, and over 100 articles and chapters in books. Two of his books won the American Educational Studies Association Critic Award, and another of his books won the Canadian Association for the Foundations of Education Book Award. Visit Dr. Portelli's website.


Jeff Myers is a proud OISE graduate and past president of the OISE Graduate Students Association and the OISE Alumni Association. Today, Jeff serves as the Director of Community Partnerships & Projects in the Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development at Dalhousie University in Halifax.


Watch past episodes

Episode 4

Leading From the Inside Out: Hard-Earned Lessons from Education, Government and ... Baseball

By Charles Pascal


Episode 3

From My Mother’s Back: A Journey From Kenya to Canada

By Njoki Wane


Episode 1

International Education as Public Policy in Canada

By Merli Tamtik, Roopa Desai Trilokekar & Glen A. Jones