I am a postdoctoral research associate with the Learning Research & Development Center (LRDC) and the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE) at the University of Pittsburgh. I conduct research at the intersection of educational technology, learning analytics/learner modelling, and language learning.
My PhD (computer science) was in the area of mobile assisted language learning and was conducted under the guidance of Professor Ronald M. Baecker. I did this work as a member of TAGlab, which is part of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Like my PhD, my MSc focused on the use of technology to support language learning. This work was performed under the guidance of Dr. Gordon I. McCalla while I was a member of the Advanced Research in Intelligent Educational Systems (ARIES) laboratory in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan. ARIES is the place where I started my career in educational technology and it served as my home during my MSc and the later parts of my BSc (computer science and Russian).
I started my language-learning career in a French immersion primary school and have since studied Russian. This has helped me to understand some of the challenges faced by language learners. I further developed this understanding as an Official Language Monitor in Quebec, where I taught conversational English as a Foreign Language. Since then, I have spent over 10 years designing, implementing, and evaluating tutoring technologies, that have helped students learn vocabulary, communicate with others using an additional language, and improve their pronunciation of a foreign language.
In addition to this work, I have come to love just how much I can help people. Be it through education or through product development and research. I spent a year using hands on activities to teach computer science to primary school children on a reserve, where I sparked their interest in using computers and technology for more than just watching videos on the Internet. I have also taught at the university level, where I helped students overcome language and confidence barriers so that they could experience professional success. Some of the projects that I have worked on (iHelp and Recollect) have helped make post-secondary education more accessible to students and have in some cases (ProTutor and VocabNomad) helped improve the student's learning processes and outcomes.
Outside of my academic career, I have committed myself to the sport of synchronized swimming where I have coached athletes of almost every age (5-90+) and ability (Special Olympics and beginner-national team). Until recently, I volunteered as a coach with my university's beginner team because I enjoy working with newcomers and seeing them realize their potential.