Debra DawsonDebra Dawson, Director

BA, MA, PhD (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111, ext. 84621

Debra Dawson is the Director of the Teaching Support Centre, the Director of the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is an adjunct research professor in the Faculty of Education. Debra is an award winning teacher whose primary interests include issues related to enhancing student engagement both inside and outside the classroom, graduate student professional development, and competencies of educational developers. She has given numerous conference presentations both nationally and internationally on facilitating teaching and learning in post-secondary education. She is the co-author of the award winning Canadian edition of “Becoming a Master Student” (Fifth edition). She is currently the Chair of the Educational Directors Caucus, sits on the board of STLHE and the selection committee for the 3M Teaching Fellowship (Canada’s national teaching awards).


Nanda DimitrovNanda Dimitrov, Associate Director

BA, ELTE (Hungary)
MA, PhD (Minnesota)

Phone: (519) 661-2111, ext. 84624

Nanda Dimitrov is the Associate Director of the Teaching Support Centre at Western University and adjunct research scholar in the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Her work as an Educational Developer focuses on graduate education, the preparation of future faculty, and mentorship across cultures. Her most recent publications have explored the development of disciplinary communication competence among graduate students, the impact of International TA training programs, and the development of intercultural teaching competence. As an intercultural trainer she has facilitated the cross-cultural transitions of students from over 50 countries and helped faculty prepare for teaching in a culturally diverse classroom.

Gavan Watson, Associate Director eLearning Photo of Gavan Watson

M.E.S. Environmental Studies (York University)
Ph.D. Environmental Education (York University)

Phone: (519) 661-2111, ext. 84612

As Associate Director, eLearning, Gavan Watson possesses a keen professional interest in supporting the continuous improvement of academic practices at Western while supporting the growth of eLearning at the institution. Gavan sees himself, above all, as an educator whose responsive approach aims to build relevance for the individuals and groups he works with. Gavan has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in University Teaching, Environmental Education, and Natural History in both face-to-face and online learning environments. A trained outdoor educator, Gavan draws on over fifteen years of team-building and facilitation experience in the development and delivery of workshops and facilitating classroom experiences. Gavan has published and presented widely on topics such as: the role of technology in non-formal environmental learning; teaching critical reflection to graduate students; and using social media in the university classroom. He is active in the educational developer professional community, serving on the executive of the Council of Ontario Educational Developers (2013-2015).

To read more about Gavan’s philosophy of educational development and his approaches to teaching, view his academic homepage: He is also active on Twitter @gavatron


Judy PurvesJudy Purves, Program Coordinator

BA (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111, ext. 84622

Judy is the primary coordinator for all Teaching Support Centre activities including Fall and Spring Perspectives, the Summer Course on Teaching at the University Level, and New Faculty Orientation. Judy is responsible for the operational management of the office and for the design and editing of our publications, including the Reflections newsletter.

Beth Hundey, eLearning and Curriculum SpecialistPhoto of Beth Hundey

BA (Western)
Ph.D. (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111, ext. 81218

Beth has joined the Teaching Support Centre as an elearning and Curriculum Specialist after completing her Ph.D. in Geography (Environment and Sustainability) and researching environmental change. She looks forward to putting her interests in creative, cutting edge, and effective teaching methods to good use in her new role as she works towards continuous improvement of student learning and of teaching experiences at Western. Beth has had a range of teaching experiences, including first and upper-year undergraduate courses in physical geography and environmental change, undergraduate and international graduate field courses in geography and biology, the Teaching Assistant Training Program at the TSC, and development of online learning modules and face-to-face workshops. Beth uses Twitter, @bhundey, as a platform to share teaching ideas and as a tool to increase student engagement.

Lauren AnsteyLauren Anstey, eLearning and Curriculum Specialist

B.H.Sc. (Western)
M.Sc., Anatomical Sciences (Queen’s)
Ph.D. Candidate, Curriculum Theory (Queen’s)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 81218

As an eLearning and Curriculum Specialist, Lauren works with the eLearning and Curriculum teams to support continuous improvement of learning and teaching across campus. Lauren’s research interests relate to authentic inquiry learning in higher education, students’ learning experiences, and anatomical sciences education. As a result, she is particularly passionate about alignment in curricular design and the meaningful integration of technologies for student-centred learning. Lauren has worked on a variety of face-to-face, online, and blended learning course development initiatives in the past; she looks forward to facilitating continued conversation and action for improved educational experiences across campus.

To learn more about Lauren’s teaching and educational development philosophy, publications, and experiences, visit her professional development blog at

Karyn Olsen image

Karyn Olsen, Educational Developer

BSc (Guelph), MA, PhD (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 84651

Karyn Olsen joined the Teaching Support Centre as an Educational Developer in January 2013, however, she has been working with the team since 2010 as an instructor and coordinator of the Teaching Assistant Training Program. Karyn's background is in Anthropology and Biomedical Sciences. She is passionate about teaching and recognizes the professional development needs of today's graduate students. Currently she organizes and facilitates a variety of TSC programs for graduate students and post-doctoral scholars seeking teaching skills and experience.


Image Ken MeadowsKen Meadows, Educational Researcher

PhD (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 81301

In his role as educational researcher, Ken provides program evaluation for Teaching and Learning Services. Ken coordinates the Teaching Support Centre's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiatives and supports librarian research initiatives through the Librarian and Archivist Research Support Network as well as the Research on Teaching Learning Community. Ken is available to meet with and support faculty members from all disciplines who are interested in doing research on their teaching.


Gayle McIntyreGayle McIntyre, Research Coordinator

Hon. BA (University of Toronto)

As the research coordinator, Gayle helps design, manage, and conduct research for various Teaching Support Centre projects. She has experience in qualitative and quantitative methods, including survey development, focus groups, and program assessment.  She also manages content for the TSC website and social media accounts, and compiles resources on various topics including effective teaching, eLearning, and graduate student professional development.



Image of Aisha HaqueAisha Haque, Language and Communication Instructor

Hon. BA, B.Ed (UBC)
MA (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 80231

Aisha designs and delivers programs related to Teaching Assistant and International Teaching Assistant development and offers workshops on language instruction, communication skills, and best practices in university teaching and learning.  Drawing on her background in postcolonial studies, language education, and communication training, Aisha helps facilitate the academic and professional success of Western’s graduate students by helping them to improve their research and teaching skills.

Chris SmithChris Smith, Program Assistant

BA, MLIS (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 80346

Chris recently joined the Teaching Support Centre as Program Assistant.  In this role he assists in the planning and organization of all workshops, programs, classes and events.  Chris is the first person of contact for faculty and graduate students at the TSC.  Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in both Media, Info & Technoculture and Political Science along with a Masters of Library & Information Science all from Western.  His MLIS focused on information technology management and academic librarianship. Chris first started at Western with the Allyn & Betty Taylor Library in 2008, and worked for two years with The Student Success Centre as Resource Coordinator.  Chris can be found on Twitter under @chrsmith

Kim McPhee

Kim McPhee, Teaching and Learning Librarian

BA, BEd, MLIS (Western)

Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext. 87096

As Teaching & Learning Librarian, Kim works with both the Teaching Support Centre and Western Libraries to integrate information literacy into the curriculum. She is passionate about teaching and uses active learning techniques to help students explore information concepts. Kim is available to meet with Faculty and Graduate Students to discuss recent changes to how information literacy is taught in the classroom.