edmonton. alberta. canada
email: irfan@ualberta.ca

This portfolio describes the development of my teaching and research interests.
It reflects 
my overall philosophy on learning as a product of continual reflection and evaluation.

Feel free to connect with me on Linked In or Twitter


Current Project - Racist Tweets in Canada

"Not so Black and White: Discussions of Race on Twitter in the aftermath of #Ferguson and the shooting death of Mike Brown".  In Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, 1-9. (available online)  

#Hashtagging hate: Using Twitter to track racism online.  In First Monday, Volume 20 Number 2 - 2 February 2015.

#Hasthtags for Change: Can Twitter Promote Social Progress in Saudi Arabia? In International Journal of Communication 8, 943-961. (available online)

Experiences and Perceptions of Discrimination in Edmonton. City of Edmonton.  Available online: www.racismfreeedmonton.ca

Islam in Canadian Prisons - Accommodations and Implications in a post 9/11 Climate (unpublished MA research project).


#Hasthtags for Change: Can Twitter Promote Social Progress in Saudi Arabia?  Presentation at the "Unfinished Project of the Arab Spring: Why Middle Eas Exceptionalism is Still Wrong" International Conference. September 27, 2015 (Edmonon, AB)

"Leaning on the Community": Lessons Learned from Community Councils in Edmonton.  Presentation at the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).  February 6th, 2015 (Seattle, WA).

Leveraging Diversity to Drive Healthy Solutions.
Invited "Thought Leader" for the 2014 IPAC Conference. June 3rd, 2014 (Edmonton, AB).

#Hashtagging Hate: Using Twitter to Track Racism Online.
Poster Presentation at the 24th annual WE Kalbach Conference.  March 7th, 2014 (Edmonton, AB).

Hospitality in the "City of Champions": Is Edmonton a Welcoming Place for Newcomers? Presentation at the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association 4th Annual Joint Conference. October 25th, 2013 (Edmonton, AB).
Alienation, Radicalization, and Canadian Muslim Youth.  Invited presentation for the Federal Government of Canada.  May and June, 2011 (Edmonton and Calgary).


My teaching philosophy is very simple.  I treat all my classes as a conversation.  Rather than teaching being a one way street, I like to engage my students with dialogue, and open up a sense of community and engagement in the classroom.  I imagine the classroom as an empty bowl, where collectively, the student and the instructor fill the bowl with knowledge, experience, and fun throughout the term.

I also like to challenge my students to think outside of their comfort level.  To do this, I often use images, video clips, or real life examples to highlight the reality of the human condition.  Crime, for example, is something that impacts us all, and I often will show students local and international case studies to highlight this point.

                      TEACHING GOALS

If a student comments that they now view things in a different light as a result of taking one of my courses, I have reached my goal of guiding students to think outside of the box.  Most students will not remember specific theories, definitions, or influential thinkers.  What they will remember, however, is how an image, a video, or a class discussion changed their view and shaped them as a person. 

It is this personal transformation through the process of learning that I strive to reach in all my courses.

Since 2009, I have been responsible for the following courses at both the college and university levels:

CRIMINOLOGY (SOC 225) - MacEwan University
SOCIOLOGY 100 - MacEwan University
SOCIOLOGY 1000 (Distance) - NorQuest College

In 2013, I was a participant of the National Great Teachers Seminar.  This intensive four day long workshop provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your teaching successes and challenges, as well as learn from like minded peers who are all committed to becoming great teachers.

Additionally, I regularly attend in house faculty development workshops.  Topics I have attended include:
2014: Faculty and the Media
2014: Teaching Through Discussion
2013: Student Engagement Workshop
2013: Using Technology in the Classroom (Facilitator)
2013: Classroom Evaluation and Assessment Strategies
2012: How to Generate Effective Student Engagement
2012: The First Class - How to Make it First Class
2012: University of Alberta Teaching Symposium


#BreakingStereotypes Student Photo Campaign - MacEwan University (2014)

Undergraduate Student Mentor - Department of Sociology, University of Alberta (2014)

United Way Campaign volunteer, Population Research Lab, University of Alberta (2013)

Teaching Wiki contributor - Department of Sociology, University of Alberta (2013)

Open House Volunteer - MacEwan University (2012; 2013)

Editor/Contributor - "The Take" sociology graduate student magazine, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta (2006-2007)

Human Rights Campaigner - Office of Human Rights, University of Alberta (2002-2004)

Campus Security Auxiliary Officer, University of Alberta (2002-2004)