In Fall 2017 I am teaching both sections of LIS 9001: Perspectives on Library and Information Science. During Winter 2018 I will be on my regularly scheduled research term.
My teaching at FIMS has spanned a wide variety of formats, from large undergraduate lectures (200 students), LIS core courses (around 40 students), LIS electives (15-20 students), and small theory-centric graduate seminars. My teaching efforts have been awarded with a FIMS Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, an honor that I am very proud of (http://www.fims.uwo.ca/about/news/news_items/12-11-15/Of_Interest_-_Faculty_News.aspx). In July 2014, I was also placed on the FIMS Dean's Honour Roll for Excellence in Teaching.
A major theme in my research agenda over the last few years has been information equity. Namely, I have been concerned with power imbalances and dynamics in the “information society.” This concern has led me to do research and publish on topics such as open source software, open access publishing, international library development, immigrant information behavior, and critical social theory’s intersection with the field of information studies.
A major highlight of this research agenda was a multi-year grant-supported research project on the roles of community libraries in India’s development agenda. In addition, I developed the first international service-learning program in Western’s MLIS program. This program sent six MLIS students to Bangalore, India for a semester-long internship focused on children’s literacy issues in marginalized urban and rural areas.
Currently, I am becoming more interested in the field of contemplative education/pedagogy. As a certified yoga and meditation teacher myself, I am interested in the role of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness-centered practices in the academy. In the past I have given free yoga and meditation classes to the FIMS and wider Western community. Since Fall 2016, I have been teaching an 8-week course at Western's Wellness Education Centre, entitled Yoga for Stress Relief. These classes form part of my vision of a university education that focuses on the “head, hearts, and hands” of students, addressing their needs as “whole persons” rather than merely as “heads on bodies” that need to be filled with information/knowledge. In honor of this work, I was named one of the inaugural recipients of the Western Wellness Award of Recognition in October 2017.