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OSSC Advisor Bios

Daniel Abramson

Daniel is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program at OISE, in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. Daniel has extensive experience in arts-based and environmental education in both classroom and informal learning environments. As an experienced classroom teacher, Daniel has worked collaboratively with teachers in the development of lesson and unit plans rooted in experiential learning. Daniel also applies his background as an artist to develop creative and reflective classroom practices that facilitate the sharing of diverse student and teacher narratives in the class. Daniel speaks Engilsh, French and Hebrew and is excited to support students in the development of reflective and creative approaches to writing in academic settings.


Harriet Akanmori

Harriet is currently a doctoral candidate at OISE, in the Department of Social Justice Education (SJE) and the Comparative International and Development Education (CIDE) collaborative program. With post-graduate experience in a number of disciplines, she has a wide, multidisciplinary knowledge of graduate-level writing and a strong background in qualitative research methodology. Harriet is OCT certified, and has had 23 years of international teaching experience, teaching ESL to ELLs at the secondary level as well as to a wide variety of adult learners. She speaks a number of second languages herself, including Japanese, and her areas of strength with the OSSC will be supporting second language students in particular with academic writing, and assisting all students in general with the organization and editing of proposal writing, course, and research papers, as well as reviewing the various stages of thesis writing.


Yaseen Ali

Yaseen supports international graduate students in their transition to living in Toronto and navigating the St. George campus. Students can meet with him if they have questions about health care, working in Canada, learning more about U of T resources for grad students, or any other questions related to culture and/or transition. Yaseen also has his TESOL certificate and was an instructor with the English Language Program at the School of Continuing Studies for several years. Enhancing academic register in writing and building strategies for improving spoken fluency are his favourite areas to explore with learners. He recently completed his M.A. in the Social Justice Education program at OISE in 2014 with a thesis component on anorexia and hunger practices that incorporated qualitative research methodology. Feel free to connect with Yaseen by email (yaseen.ali@utoronto.ca) or by phone (416 708 1208).


Gabrielle Breton-Carbonneau

Gabrielle is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education also affiliated with the Centre de Recherches en Education Franco-Ontarienne (CREFO) at OISE/UT. She is a past recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Fonds Québécois de Recherches sur la Société et la Culture du Québec (FQRSC) doctoral fellowship. Rooted in the fields of sociolinguistics and the anthropology of education, her ethnographic research focuses on francophone mobilities, and specifically looks at the making of Québécois citizens and “emergent francophones” in Quebec’s classe d’accueil program for new immigrant students to the province who do not yet speak French. With experience as an ESL and FSL elementary school teacher, she is fully bilingual and can advise students who require support in both English and French.  Gabrielle also has a strong qualitative research background and can support graduate students with grant writing preparation, resume and cover letter editing, thesis writing, conference presentations, manuscript preparation, the French-language proficiency exam preparation, as well as with general graduate-level academic writing.


Katherine (Katie) Brubacher

Katie is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning department at OISE. With fifteen years of teaching experience including twelve years of teaching in the Peel District School Board in middle schools, two years in a secondary school in England and two years of ESL adult education internationally in the Czech Republic and in Ontario, Katie brings a wide breadth of teaching experiences and knowledge to her position. She is the recipient of SSHRC graduate scholarship as well as the ETFO doctoral scholarship, women’s program. Katie’s research interests and skills include language learning and translanguaging, literacy and teacher development. Katie has also published an article based on her Masters research and would happily provide feedback for any students hoping to publish. Her skills are best suited for supporting students with lesson and unit planning, SSHRC applications, course papers, research publications and oral presentations.


Jennifer Calix

Jennifer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development at the University of Toronto. In addition to coordinating and supervising teaching teams, Jennifer has over 20 years of Grades K-12 international teaching experience in various subject areas such as High School Business Studies, Computer Studies, English and Writing, Art and Visual Arts, Grades 4-6 Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education.

Her doctoral research interests in curriculum studies are focused on teachers’ professional practice and development in Mathematics education. Currently, Jennifer’s major emphasis is how Grades K-8 teachers are learning to integrate various tools and technology into their mathematics sessions – teaching, learning, teacher/student interactions, discourse, and instructional strategies in the classroom.

She conducts and facilitates Mathematics Concepts Development workshops primarily for Grades K-8 teacher candidates, while providing individualized mathematics advising and support sessions for them. Jennifer also supports teacher candidates as an Academic Advisor and relevant career counseling as they transition into their careers in education.

Jennifer's workshops assist teacher candidates to increase their confidence levels, as they gain a better understanding of foundational Mathematics concepts and strategies, which are essential to the teaching and learning of Mathematics to meet the diverse needs of their learners in K-8 classrooms.


Shawna Carroll

Shawna is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department at OISE. Shawna’s research interests and skills include: post-structural theories, anticolonial theories (including postcolonial and decolonial), queer theories, postmodern literacy studies, post-qualitative and qualitative methodologies, and anti-oppressive education (with a focus on literacy). With experience as an Assistant Editor with Curriculum Inquiry, Shawna can help assist with manuscript writing for publication. Shawna’s experiences also allow for assistance with course assignments, comprehensive examinations, thesis proposals, ethics applications, and conference presentations (both writing and presentation skills). Shawna is OCT certified and is employed as a course instructor and faculty advisor at Trent University, working with pre-service teachers. This means that Shawna has experience and knowledge within education and can help support MT students and others working on lesson plans, unit plans, assessments from K-12, resumes, cover letters, etc.


Jeanette Cepin

Jeanette is a doctoral candidate in the Social Justice Education department. Her research examines how families select kindergarten schooling for / with the involvement of preschool children. Jeanette has over 7 years experience as a TA and has been a course instructor with the Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP) facilitating the course on Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the subjects: family studies, social sciences general and philosophy. She holds a BEd in geography and family studies for intermediate/senior division and is certified with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). In the past, she has been awarded SSHRC (during her MA) and OGS research grants (during her PhD). She is able to assist and support students working on course assignments, scholarship proposals, publishing, and in the preparation of resumes and cover letters.


Velta Douglas

Velta is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include: Environmental Education, critical literacy, Indigenous content and epistemologies at the high school level, social justice education, and practitioner inquiry. She is OCT certified and taught English, Social Studies and Science in high schools in New Brunswick and Nunavik. She also has experience teaching ESL to elementary students in South Korea and Paraguay. As well, she has extensive experience coaching and supporting writers develop planning and accountability measure to overcome resistance and emotional barriers. With expertise as an assistant journal editor and reviewer, she can support students with journal articles, conference proposals, comprehensive exams and research proposals. Additionally, she can offer support to students on resume/cover letters and, as a former holder of OGS, on scholarship applications.


Lucy El-Sherif

Lucy is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning and has completed the Collaborative Graduate Program in Ethnic and Pluralism Studies during her PhD, as well as the Comparative, International and Development Education during her MA. An Arab Muslim immigrant to Canada, Lucy’s research looks at themes of citizenship, (un)belonging, and spatial subjectivity, research for which she holds an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). Her work is interdisciplinary and sits at the intersection of curriculum studies, anthropology, and cultural studies. She has wide experience coaching writing, having coached writing in the graduate class Writing: From Idea to Reality with Prof. Indigo Esmonde for a year, as well as working with English language learners within the Arabic-speaking community for many years. Her skills are best suited for support with OGS and SSHRC applications, course papers, research publications, comprehensive exams, habits of productive academic writing and oral presentation preparation & practice. Lucy speaks fluent Arabic.


Natalie Geiger 

Natalie is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Higher Education of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE) at OISE. She completed an M.Ed. in the same program in 2014 after an undergraduate education in Business and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. An avid runner with the University of Toronto Track and Field Club and a former intercollegiate student-athlete, Natalie’s broad background in sport and education complement her research investigating the identity development, career planning, and post-university transitions of intercollegiate student-athletes and non-varsity athlete students. She currently holds an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) in support of this work. Previously, Natalie worked as a Learning Strategist for student-athletes at Ryerson University, where she focused on the development of academic and writing skills and facilitated one-on-one and small-group support sessions. Natalie can support students with planning, organizing, and revising many forms of academic writing, including course and research papers, qualitative research processes, and grant and scholarship applications. She is also happy to assist students with their academic and career planning, including resume and cover letter preparation.


Michael Koslowski

Michael is a 2nd year PhD student at OISE in the Languages & Literacies Education (LLE) program. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics, and his research focuses on plurilingualism, the connections between languages, and the benefits of multilingual classrooms. With around 14 years of experience teaching English language learners in Canada, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and the Czech Republic, Michael can assist international students with their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Having also taught English for Academic Purposes (EAP) for a number of years at York University, Michael has a lot of experience helping students with researching, planning, outlining, drafting, editing, and formatting academic writing. Other areas of expertise include coaching students in oral presentations, interviews, and how to adjust to new educational cultures. Michael's extensive teaching experience means he can also be a helpful resource for teacher trainees as they prepare to enter the classroom.


Ximena Martinez Trabucco

Ximena is a doctoral candidate in the department of Social Justice Education and in the Environmental Collaborative Specialization. Ximena has extensively worked in intercultural and multicultural spaces, with minoritized and marginalized population. Her research addresses the coloniality of environmentalism and the representation of indigenous peoples within it. Part of her work in the area of education relate to play, learning and emotions. Her scholarship is informed by anti-racism values and holds a decolonial approach. Ximena has a strong background in qualitative research methodologies with emphasis on ethnographic techniques. As an experienced classroom teacher, Ximena is great helping to shape and organize ideas for assignments and research purposes. Ximena is an international graduate student. She speaks English and Spanish and is also happy to respond questions related to health care, childcare, university resources, OISE graduate students administrative matters and doubts about living in Toronto.


Samantha Samuels

Samantha is in her final year of the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy program at OISE and is the student representative for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association at the University of Toronto. She possesses an undergraduate degree in Psychology from York University and a career development postgraduate certificate from Conestoga College. Having worked as a career advisor in educational and not for profit settings, she is able to assist students with their resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, professional and graduate school personal statements, career transitions and career exploration.


Samantha Walsh

Samantha is a scholar, and activist. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Toronto-OISE in the Department of Social Justice Education (SJE). Her doctoral research is in interpretive sociology with a focus on disability and social inclusion. She holds a Master’s degree in Critical Disability Studies from York University. Samantha has several years experience working in the non profit sector as well as hiring. Samantha is able to provide students with strong resume critiques as well as interview strategies.  Further to this, she has strong knowledge of undergraduate and graduate level writing.