Faculty EDI Lead Members
Get to know the faculty EDI Leads
Dr. Aylin Atilla
Dr. Aylin Atilla is an associate professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She was born in Montreal to immigrant parents but grew up around the world – Morocco, India, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire) until her family moved back to Canada and came to Medicine Hat in Alberta. She pursued her undergraduate degree (BS - Cornell University) and graduate degrees (VMD - University of Pennsylvania, MS - Auburn University) as well as specialization in small animal veterinary surgery in the United States. She worked in private practice before coming to the University of Calgary. She teaches in all years of the veterinary curriculum and see clinical cases in our DVLC partner clinics as well as engages in clinical and educational research. She is a member of the Indigenous priority group and is a co-chair of the Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Task Force at the UCVM.
Dr. Pamela Chu
Dr. Pamela Chu, MD, has been the associate dean of Professionalism, Equity and Diversity at the Cumming School of Medicine since 2019. Dr. Chu is a Gynecologic Oncologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a cross-appointment in the Department of Oncology.
Dr. Chu has spearheaded many EDI initiatives within the Cumming School of Medicine, including educational sessions, policy development, curriculum review, and a faculty EDI award.
Dr. Añiela dela Cruz
Dr. Añiela dela Cruz holds a PhD in Nursing and an MSc in Health Promotion Studies (University of Alberta). She has over 20 years of professional experience in community and public health, health policy development, and health and program evaluation research. In her career, Añiela has worked with Alberta communities, provincial and federal government stakeholders, and non-government organizations focusing on areas of public health such as HIV/AIDS, chronic disease prevention, pre-natal nutrition, and child and youth health promotion and illness prevention. She has worked extensively with diverse in Alberta and across Canada including women, children, people living with HIV, marginalized immigrants, First Nations communities, urban Indigenous communities, and urban and rural populations. Currently, Añiela chairs the Newcomer, HIV, Immigration, treatment Engagement and Stigma in Canada (NewHITES) Community Based Research Team. The team comprises community leaders, people living with HIV, government, AIDS Service Organizations (ASO), community-based and academic-based researchers working together towards health and social equities within the intersections of HIV, stigma, migration and settlement.
Catherine Hamel’s interests are in the role of the designed environment as an instrument of change. Critical of exploitation, her focus is on the potential of productive modification. Her work focuses on forced displacement and the role of the build environment in mitigating adaptation. Themes investigated to date include identity and estrangement in the context of post-war reconstruction and exile; architecture and justice; memory in the scarred body and the voicing of political experiences in public space. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, a city of hope and despair, she grew up in in a space where both the built and natural environment were never a neutral by stander. The outcome is a comfort in being poured back and forth between different cultures, projected sides, and languages. An adjustment of perspective is never received as one of disregard. It is an adaptation and a necessary resilience. This fluctuation trains one’s attitude to focus and select what each context offers rather than reject that which falls outside the habitual framework to stay in the prescribed and familiar.
Colleen Kawalilak, PhD, full professor and associate dean (international) in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, provides leadership in establishing sustained and reciprocal, international partnerships and advancing internationalization at home (IaH) and in curricula (IoC). Colleen’s research, teaching, and graduate supervision spans formal and informal adult learning in culturally diverse, work and learning contexts; the power of dialogue; global engagement; advancing intercultural capacity to foster inclusive and diverse work and learning communities; lifelong learning; and relational epistemologies to inform teaching and learning.
Professor Jennifer Koshan
Jennifer Koshan is a professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary. Her research and teaching focus on equality, human rights, and legal responses to interpersonal violence. She is Principal Investigator on a cross-Canada research project on domestic violence and access to justice funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund. This project has resulted in several publications, most recently an eBook on domestic violence laws across Canada, which is available on Can LII. She is also Chair of the Law Faculty’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Dr. Donna-Marie McCafferty
Dr. McCafferty is responsible for awards and scholarships made available to graduate students through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. These include the Killam and Vanier awards, and Tri-Council scholarships offered through the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Graduate Awards Competition. Dr. McCafferty is the FGS representative on the Associate Deans Research Committee and serves as the liaison with the Vice President Research office and co-chairs the FGS EDI committee with Jaya Dixit (Graduate Academic and Intl. Specialist).
Virginia Tumasz, Teaching Professor in the Department of Classics and Religion, is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Chair of the Faculty of Arts Equity and Diversity Committee. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Temple University (Philadelphia) and has been with the University of Calgary since 1989. Before her current role, she served as Department Head of Religious Studies (2004-2014) and Faculty of Arts Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Student Affairs (2014-2020).
Dr. Fouzia Usman
Dr. Fouzia Usman, PhD, has spent the last 10 years immersed in EDI within an educational context as a researcher, educator and consultant. Her educational development experience spans across the K-12 and postsecondary context. Identifying as an "Anti-Oppression" educator herself, Fouzia has taught several courses in the Werklund School of Education focusing on topics such as diversity for learning and learning theories. Fouzia’s doctoral research focused on inclusion within Dubai’s educational system, whereby she provided guidance to reshape administrators’ and policymakers’ perceptions of inclusion practices for students with specific learning needs. She brings important international experience to the TI, working for the Higher Education Department for the Government of Dubai, supporting large-scale projects related to student engagement and satisfaction, and quality-assurance processes across Dubai’s entire postsecondary sector. Within the community, Fouzia currently serves as a member on the Calgary Police Services Anti-Racism Action committee.
As an educational development consultant at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, Fouzia works to advance EDI initiatives across the university’s teaching and learning communities. She works with individuals and groups on incorporating EDI values and principles, including anti-racism practices, in postsecondary teaching and learning contexts. She also provides support as an academic staff member by facilitating programs related to the Taylor Institute’s Certificates in University Teaching and Learning. Fouzia is one of the primary contacts for inquiries related to EDI in teaching and learning, and is excited to collaborate with members of the campus community to take this work forward. Fouzia has an interest in promoting anti-oppression pedagogical practices at the postsecondary level and her research interests include decolonization of curriculum, anti-oppression pedagogy, equity and inclusivity in teaching and learning, and intercultural competency among faculty members.
Sherry is a senior instructor and associate dean (undergraduate) at the Haskayne School of Business. She has been a faculty member in the Operations and Supply Chain Management area since 1999. She participated in doctoral studies at the Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering (CRHE), University of Toronto. She has her CPIM designation as well as degrees in Business and Education. Prior to joining Haskayne, Sherry worked in government services, energy, transportation, education and the healthcare industries. Sherry taught for the Calgary Board of Education and University of Toronto Schools before joining Haskayne.
Sherry has been in various administrative roles at Haskayne for over the past decade as Assistant Dean Student Leadership and Associate Dean Teaching & Learning prior to her current role. Sherry serves as a chair co-chair for a variety of committees across campus, including: GFC Calendar and Curriculum Subcommittee, HSB Undergraduate Review Committee and the HSB EDI Committee.
Dr. Hieu Ngo
Hieu Van Ngo, PhD is associate dean (teaching and learning) and associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work. As a person with intersecting identities, he has lived with and confronted many inequities facing immigrants, racialized people and GLBTQ+ members. Hieu has been involved in anti-racist and equity work since 1997. To date, he has led over 15 collaborative initiatives that address systemic discrimination in education, health, and justice.
Dr. Svetlana Yanushkevich
Svetlana Yanushkevich, PhD, is the associate dean (equity, diversity and inclusion, and research) at the Schulich School of Engineering. She is also Professor in the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering and holds a Dr. Habilitated in Tech. Sci. from the Technical University of Warsaw (1999). She has joined the University of Calgary in 2001. Svetlana has founded (2003) and directs the Biometric Technologies Laboratory at the University of Calgary, where she and her team conducts research in the area of machine learning and probabilistic reasoning, biometric data processing and biometric-enabled decision support systems, for security and healthcare applications. She is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and co-chairs the Biometric Taskforce in the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society.
Dr. William Bridel
Dr. William Bridel specializes in sociocultural aspects of the sport, physical activity, and the body. Current projects include investigations of LGBTQI2S+ inclusion in sport, as well as inclusion and safe sport policy. He is also interested in sport-related pain and injury, with a recent focus on athletes’ experiences of sport-related concussions.