*A message from Brook Taylor, Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost
Dear MSVU faculty, staff and students,
I’m pleased to extend a warm welcome to the nine new faculty and one lab instructor joining us this year in departments spanning all three of our Faculties. They bring with them a diversity of experience and expertise to enrich our University.
I encourage you to read the brief biographies (PDF) and get to know our new colleagues. I also encourage you to connect with them directly.
Please join me in welcoming these new members of the MSVU community.
Brook Taylor, PhD
Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost
New Faculty 2021
Alyssa Doué, Laboratory Instructor, Chemistry and Physics
Alyssa is happy to be back on the MSVU campus as a laboratory instructor at her alma mater. She obtained her Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Master of Education degrees from MSVU, and her Master of Applied Science degree from Saint Mary’s University. She has worked as a lab instructor both at MSVU and SMU, and gained invaluable experience as a Chemistry Technician supporting academic labs and research. Her research was in the field of organic chemistry, but she is excited to be teaching inorganic and biochemistry in addition to organic chemistry labs. She looks forward to helping students gain important technical skills in the lab, while still having fun and getting excited about the experiments.
Dr. Arron Fraser, Assistant Professor, Business and Tourism
Arron received his PhD in Management from Case Western Reserve University, and an MBA from the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Arron is a chartered accountant, a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the United Kingdom, and a member of CPA Ontario. Additionally, he is a PROSCI Certified Change Manager. Prior to joining MSVU, he accumulated 20 years of C-Suite experience serving as a CEO and head of finance and accounting in the energy sector. He was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Guyana lecturing in finance and accounting. Arron’s research interest resides in prosocial behaviours in organizational management, business models in emerging economies, and the effect of technology on finance and accounting. He is President of the Rotary Club of Garden City (Georgetown) and sits on the Boards of a mutual and a pharmaceutical company. His life’s motto is “To aim is not enough, you must hit.”
Prof. El Jones, Assistant Professor, Political and Canadian Studies
El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and community advocate living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was the 5th Poet Laureate of Halifax and a 2015 resident of the International Writing Program at University of Iowa. El was the poet in residence at U of T Scarborough in 2021. She won 2 Atlantic Journalism Gold awards in 2018 and 2019. In 2016, El was a recipient of the Burnley “Rocky” Jones human rights award. She was the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. El has recently successfully defended her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University and is an assistant professor in the Department of Political and Canadian Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Dr. Karyn McLellan, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Karyn has been a part-time instructor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at MSVU since 2015. She received her PhD in Mathematics from Dalhousie University in 2012, and subsequently held two limited-term positions at St. Francis Xavier University. Her research is focused on number theory and combinatorics; her dissertation was about the growth of random sequences and their connection to binary trees. Other areas of research interest include the intersection of combinatorics and art, and mathematics education. Karyn has been active in mathematics outreach at the high school level, co-organizing CMS Math Camps, and serving as co-director of the Dalhousie-based outreach program Math Circles (2012-2013). Originally from Cape Breton, she completed her Master of Science degree at Dalhousie University and her Bachelor of Science at Cape Breton University, both in Mathematics. She knows 100 digits of pi!
Prof. Martin Morrison, Assistant Professor, Education
Martin is a member of the African Nova Scotian communities of Danvers and Southville and is the proud father of six children and one grandchild. Martin is a two-time MSVU graduate who holds a Master of Education in Lifelong Learning with a focus on Africentricity and a Bachelor of Education. As a current PhD candidate at MSVU, Martin’s dissertation explores the themes and characteristics of teachers who have been identified as being culturally responsive to the needs of African Nova Scotian learners by representatives of the community. He is also the recipient of an Inter-University Research Network Grant to support his research. Martin has 16 years of experience in education. He has worked as a program support assistant’ secondary classroom teacher; principal; Regional Coordinator of Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding, and Human Rights; Regional Coordinator of African Nova Scotian Education; African Nova Scotian Corporate Strategist; and African Nova Scotian Regional Education Officer for the province. In addition, he was also an instructor of the Foundations of Inclusive Education at Acadia University. He has served on many boards and education committees in response to the systemic inequities experienced by members of the African Nova Scotian community, including the Black Educators Association, Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute, and local community education committees.
Dr. Maki Motapanyane, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies
Maki holds a PhD in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies from York University (2009). She teaches in subject areas that include feminist theory, postcolonial theory, feminism in Africa, global gender studies, colonial / postcolonial and women’s social movements / political upheaval / social change, ecofeminism and liberation ecology, Hip-Hop culture, and motherhood. Her research projects and publications examine various feminist traditions in Africa, Black feminist epistemology, maternal theory and motherhood, childcare policy and the political economy of care, Hip-Hop culture, stand-up comedy, and equity and inclusion in organizational practice.
Community involvement and collective social justice efforts beyond the academy are an important part of Maki’s intellectual life. She has served on the programming committee of the North York Women’s Centre (Toronto), with the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program in Saint Louis (Missouri), and has several years of experience as a mentor and counsellor to African Nova Scotian youth in Halifax and surrounding region. Maki is accredited in conflict resolution and mediation, having served as a mediator for the Calgary Provincial Courts Civil Claims Mediation Program, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. She has also served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF), an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, sat on the advisory board of Calgary’s Future, an organization dedicated to recruiting, supporting and electing community leaders to municipal government, and served as Diversity and Equity Officer of the Mount Royal Faculty Association. She is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the academic journal Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, and Social Justice, and serves as Co-President of the Black Canadian Studies Association.
Dr. Bernadette Russo, Assistant Professor, English
Bernadette V. Russo, PhD is an unregistered, urban-raised Kanien’kehá:ka and Sicilian crossblood in the Department of English at Mount Saint Vincent University. Prior to joining the Mount, Dr. Russo taught at several universities and colleges throughout the United States and Qatar. Attaining her doctorate from Texas Tech University, Bernadette’s research focuses on Indigenous literatures and film of North America, and she has presented at numerous conferences. Her publications include “Deconstructing the Master’s House with His Own Tools: Code Switching and Double-Voiced Discourse as Agency in Gerald Vizenor’s The Heirs of Columbus,” appearing in Studies in American Indian Literatures (2017: 29.4), and “Shackles of a Distant Self and the Damning Complicit,” appearing in Madness, Women and the Power of Art and Forgiveness (2013).
Dr. Eddia Solas, Assistant Professor, Education
Eddia holds a PhD in Chemistry and an MEd in Science Education from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and a Master of Teaching from the University of Toronto. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), and a fellow of the Advanced HE (FHEA), which is a designation for education professionals who have met certain conditions of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. Eddia has taught Chemistry and Science in the Caribbean, United Arab Emirates and Canada, preparing pre-service teachers, science majors and non-majors for their future careers. Her research interests are in Science Education, specifically unveiling the challenges students face in learning science. She is interested in methodologies that facilitate learning, and the identification and dismantling of student misconceptions.
Dr. Gerald Tembrevilla, Assistant Professor, Education
Gerald obtained his PhD in science (physics) education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. Gerald’s research has focused on information and communication technology (ICT) integration to improve hands-on science, empathy, scientific argumentation and systems thinking skills, pedagogical content knowledge, etc. among STEM K-12 pre-service and practicing teachers in developing countries like the Philippines and in the UBC Teacher Education Program. During his PhD program, he completed several research fellowships in STEM education and technology design as a UBC Public Scholar Initiative and Mitacs-Canada Globalink Research Awardee, and UBC Go Global Scholar. These research fellowships were completed at UCLA in the United States, the University of Cambridge in England, and ETH-Zurich in Switzerland.
Dr. Stefon van Noordt, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Stefon received his PhD in Psychology (Cognitive & Behavioural Neuroscience) from Brock University in 2016 and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Child Study Center, Yale University, and the Montreal Neurological-Hospital, McGill University. His research integrates behavioural and imaging techniques, targeted experimental paradigms, and computational tools to study how the medial frontal cortex mediates attention control and incorporates feedback in the pursuit of optimal outcomes and how these processes change across development and vary across individuals. Stefon’s research program also contributes to large-scale human neuroscience initiatives to harmonize multi-site EEG data with the goal of advancing the discovery of robust brain markers of typical and atypical development.