New tenure-track faculty span a range of disciplines

Commitment to teaching and learning top of mind

Support for teaching and learning

New and continuing instructional staff at Mount Royal have access to the resources of the Academic Development Centre, which supports the University in maintaining its high standard of excellence in student instruction.

This year 16 new tenure-track professors will to continue to stack Mount Royal's roster of distinguished academics and star educators.

Provost and vice-president, Academic Lesley Brown, PhD, welcomed the new cohort of assistant professors to the faculty ranks, adding she plans to meet with each over a cup of coffee to hear more about their future ambitions.

"It's such an honour to bring these talented individuals to Mount Royal and offer them a pathway to grow their career at the University," Brown says. "We are proud they chose Mount Royal as the place they wanted to teach undergraduate students, advance their research programs and provide service in support of the academic mission.

"It's an exciting time to be joining Mount Royal University and I look forward to the energy, enthusiasm and fresh perspectives they are bringing to an already outstanding faculty complement."

Brown noted that half of the new tenure-track hires previously taught at Mount Royal and she emphasized the importance of providing an open, competitive search process for contract faculty seeking opportunities.

Mount Royal recruits academics from across Canada and beyond. And, given the high demand for tenure-track positions, Brown takes pride in the fact that many of the successful candidates were found close to home.

"It confirms what we know to be true - and that's the high calibre of our instructional pool," said Brown. "I look forward to their continued excellence in their new roles and their work in building an ever brighter future for Mount Royal University."

Support for teaching and learning

New and continuing instructional staff at Mount Royal have access to the resources of the Academic Development Centre (ADC), which supports the University in maintaining its high standard of excellence in student instruction.

"We have a wide range of programming from teaching to curricular support, professional development, media production for academic purposes, and assistance with educational technologies," says Miriam Carey, PhD and interim academic director of the ADC.

That means that faculty can get assistance with everything from developing curriculum to designing customized online courseware. There are also regular workshops, book studies, professional development opportunities and drop-in services available. Professors can also work on forming their own personal teaching style, discuss classroom management tactics and how to assess the success of both students and themselves.

Jennifer Boman, PhD, associate professor and faculty development consultant for the ADC, says that all new full-time faculty participate in a three half-day orientation where they are introduced to the resources of the ADC as well as those that may help students achieve in their academic endeavours, such as the Early Support program and Wellness Services. The most critical part of the orientation, however, is ensuring faculty feel as though they are part of a welcoming community, she says. Twenty-five faculty members, including tenure-track, laboratory instructors and limited-term appointees, attended the 2018 New Faculty Support Program.

"The ADC provides significant support to new faculty and plays an essential role in helping new faculty to feel part of the teaching and learning community at MRU. ADC is a key support for faculty developing their teaching and also offers faculty a place to connect and learn from one another."

Each new faculty member may join a Professional Learning Community (PLC), which continues work started at orientation. There they will find a community among their cohort where they may take part in collaborative professional learning, Boman says.

Pre-tenure faculty who have completed their first year at MRU may also take advantage of the Mentorship Program where they will be partnered with a tenured faculty member outside of their department and faculty, but who has identified similar interests.

"Topics of conversation vary widely, but a few examples are sharing teaching approaches and strategies, problem-solving challenges in the classroom, scholarship and grant writing, navigating service, balancing the workload of the faculty role, setting goals, navigating the tenure process, and so on," Boman says.

Achieving tenure

The process for achieving tenure is outlined in the Tenure and Promotion Handbook, as well as the Collective Agreement between the Board of Governors and Mount Royal Faculty Association. As described in the Collective Agreement tenure "represents a major commitment between the institution and the employee" and it recognizes an academic's distinguished career.

Excellence in teaching

With a dedication and commitment to teaching and learning forming one of the brand pillars bolstering the institution, Mount Royal students report an unusually high perception of their professors. The 2017 Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) reported 98 per cent saying that instructors seem knowledgeable in their fields, 87 per cent saying they are intellectually stimulating in their teaching and 95 per cent saying they treat students as individuals, not just numbers.

New assistant professors in 2018/19


Faculty of Business and Communication Studies


Osama El-Temtamy, PhD
Accounting and Finance

Tashfeen Hussain
Accounting and Finance

Ran Ju, PhD
Public Relations

Rachael Pettigrew, PhD
General Management and Human Resources

Meg Wilcox
Broadcasting and Journalism



Faculty of Science and Technology


Yasaman Amannejad, PhD
Mathematics and Computing

Felix Nwaishi, PhD
Earth and Environmental Sciences



Faculty of Arts


Michael Ata
Economics, Justice and Policy Studies

Lavinia Moldovan
Economics, Justice and Policy Studies



Faculty of Health, Community and Education


Carolyn Bjartveit, PhD
Child Studies and Social Work

Audra Foggin
Child Studies and Social Work

Megan Lalonde
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Theresa Wiart
Child Studies and Social Work



Office of Teaching and Learning


Andrea Phillipson, PhD
Faculty Development Consultant,
Academic Development Centre





The Teaching Strides podcast features MRU professors sharing some of their finest teaching practices.



Sept. 4, 2018 ― Michelle Bodnar

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