Meet the team: Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Georgian College

About the Centre for Teaching and Learning

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a team of faculty developers, instructional designers, instructional design technologists, a multimedia specialist, immersive technology specialists and our digital learning and learning management system (LMS) support team.

Who we are

Our dedicated CTL team represent a broad range of experience and expertise in the areas of assessment, course design and development, multimedia and educational technology, and teaching in traditional, hybrid, online, dual sync, and hyflex environments.

The CTL team strives to meet our faculty where they are, while also inviting our colleagues to collaborate and engage in learning and development that promotes growth, expansion and fluidity in our teaching practice. We offer a variety of professional development opportunities, including asynchronous learning, and synchronous workshops, intensive courses, and one-to-one consultations. We also support the development of inclusive and anti-racist practices, Indigenization and equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging strategies and support connection to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through changemaking and social innovation.

Our vision

To inspire excellence by igniting curiosity, connecting communities and supporting bravery at the leading edge of teaching and learning.

Our priorities

At the CTL, our priorities are to:

  • encourage and facilitate discussion about professional teaching practice at the postsecondary level through workshops, mentoring, online learning, and open dialogue materials for faculty on topics related to assessment, teaching strategies and teaching with technology;
  • create instructional resources for teaching and learning;
  • implement a model for new faculty orientation and development;
  • develop skills in academic areas for making and implementing informed curriculum delivery choices;
  • provide support and facilitate continuous improvement in college curriculum;
  • facilitate skill development for the effective use of technology for teaching and learning; and
  • provide and support technological resources to enhance teaching and learning (e.g., student response systems, development software, digital camera, web links) and print resources (e.g., books, journals) to enhance teaching and learning.

In the spotlight

Photo of Mark Ihnat with his family

Mark Ihnat

“In this role, I have the pleasure of leading an incredible group of individuals as we support faculty development and professional learning across the college.”

What interesting projects have you worked on?
Over my career, at Georgian and beyond, I’ve had the pleasure to work on several exciting projects, including multiple learning management system migrations, extended reality (XR) experiences, adaptive platforms, the development and building of dozens upon dozens of online and hybrid course experiences, scholarships of teaching and learning research focusing on student feedback and class engagement, and much more!

To be honest, working side-by-side with a great team as we help and support faculty, getting them to where they need to be, has been one of the overall highlights of my career to date.

Read Mark’s full story in the employee portal!

Meet the team

Jump to: Mark Ihnat | Melanie Doyle | Amy Goruk | Emma Greenfield | Steven Kooy |Tracy Mitchell-Ashley | Ashley Priest | Kim Reid | Iain Robertson | Samantha Sullivan Sauer | Victor Skierski | Bert Slessor | Liam Squires | Colleen terHaar | Rob Theriault | Anthony Tilotta | Faith Visentin | Ryan Wood

profile photo of Mark Ihnat, Dean, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Mark Ihnat

Dean, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Currently the dean of the CTL at Georgian College, Mark Ihnat is a former full-time Liberal Arts and Sciences professor and program co-ordinator for humanities and sociology, with close to 20 years of experience in higher education.

In his current role, with the help of a tremendous team, Mark advances resources, opportunities and support related to faculty development and professional learning. That includes supporting our faculty when it comes to learning technologies and our LMS, promoting the development and review of our pathways focusing on building out courses in multiple modalities (e.g., hybrid, flex, dual synchronous), promoting a host of full-time and part-time faculty professional development opportunities, and being an avid cheerleader for our ground-breaking virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects.

The goal of our CTL is to inspire excellence by igniting curiosity, connecting communities, and supporting bravery at the leading edge of teaching and learning. Mark is very pleased to be leading a great team as we work towards this goal!

Learn more about Mark in his Spotlight

Mark’s LinkedIn | Mark’s Twitter

profile photo of Melanie Doyle, Faculty Developer: Trauma-Informed pedagogy/UDL

Melanie Doyle

Faculty Developer: Trauma-informed pedagogy/UDL

Melanie Doyle is a full-time faculty member, proud Georgian alumni, and excited to be seconded to the CTL as a faculty developer. Some of her interests as a faculty developer include mental health and well-being for students and faculty, trauma-informed pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and all things that support faculty in their role. When Melanie is not working in the CTL she is a faculty member, and course lead in the Dental Hygiene program at the Barrie Campus, where she’s been teaching for over 21 years. Melanie holds two masters degrees; one in education (for postsecondary studies), and she most recently graduated with a Masters in Counselling Psychology. Her passion is helping others, and doing it in a non-judgmental, empathic way that encourages others to see their own strengths and abilities in the work they do.

Melanie is part of the Teaching@Georgian team, co-lead for the Keys to Post-Secondary Teaching and Learning series, and is working on resources and workshops for trauma-informed practice in the classroom. She offers several workshops and faculty learning communities (FLC) related to well-being and mental health and partners with the mental health and well-being team on several campus wide initiatives.

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Amy Goruk

Instructional Designer

Amy Goruk joined the CTL in August of 2010. Prior to that, she worked at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden as an eLearning developer and then as an instructional designer.

Amy works with faculty who are moving their courses from traditional face-to-face learning to online, hybrid or GC Flex learning. Currently, Amy is working with the Pathways teams co-facilitating OCDP, FlexCDP, HybridLink and OnlineLink.

Amy is also a proud Georgian graduate with a diploma in web design and production.

 Learn more about Amy in her Spotlight

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Emma Greenfield

Faculty Developer: Indigenous Teaching Guide

Emma Greenfield is a social justice and decolonial educator. As a faculty developer within the CTL, Emma’s work focuses on Indigenization, decolonial pedagogies, and reconciliation education at Georgian. Sessions such as the weekly Decolonization Cafes and the upcoming Skoden: Teaching, Talking, and Sharing About and For Reconciliation encourage faculty to articulate their personal and professional responsibilities to reconciliation.

She centres social justice, equity and love in faculty development opportunities, where she invites colleagues on a personal journey to embrace their reinvigorated responsibilities to themselves, to the earth, and to each other.

She graduated from the Honours Bachelor of Child Development program at Seneca College and received her master’s degree in social justice education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

Learn more about Emma in her Spotlight

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Steven Kooy

Digital Learning & LMS Technologist

Steven Kooy joined the CTL in March of 2023, coming from the Georgian College Library and Simcoe County School Board. He started out as an instructional design technologist before joining the Blackboard LMS team.

Steven has a knack for leveraging technology to enhance learning outcomes. With a background in public education and a deep understanding of LMS from his many years in school, Steven has been instrumental in helping faculty utilize the educational technology at Georgian.

With his background in geography from studying at Carleton, international business at Georgian, and education studies at Lakehead, Steven brings a unique and diverse perspective of digital learning solutions. He has a keen eye for detail and a talent for transforming complex concepts into user-friendly and appealing learning styles.

Steven will also be starting as a Communications Essentials faculty member in fall 2023.

profile photo of Tracy Mitchell-Ashley, Faculty Developer: Special Projects

Tracy Mitchell-Ashley

Faculty Developer: Competency Framework; Changemaking pedagogy

Tracy Mitchell-Ashley is a changemaking faculty member whose passion for teaching has led to her role as a faculty developer in the CTL. A postsecondary faculty member since 1997, and since 2009 at Georgian, Tracy has excitedly connected with peers to create meaningful learning experiences for students. An avid collaborator, she is thrilled to work with faculty peers on their teaching journey and represents CTL on many teams across the college.

She has been a change leader at Georgian since 2016. Her areas of interest include changemaking pedagogy, humanizing the classroom, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), engagement and active learning, experiential learning, digital storytelling, authenticity in design of all things teaching and learning, and mental health and well-being.

She is a member of the Teaching @ Georgian (T@G) Orientation team; a leader of Communities of Practice and Faculty Learning Communities related to important teaching topics; a co-facilitator of the Keys to Teaching and Learning series; a member of the Conversations in Mental Health team; and a member of the Innovative Georgian Faculty Competency Framework development team. She is also co-researcher on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)-funded Community College Social Innovation Fund research project, Growing a Region of Changemakers.

She is committed to the notion that we can graduate amazing community members who have flourished on their educational journey and that faculty can thrive while achieving this amazing goal. 

Learn more about Tracy in her Spotlight

Tracy’s Twitter

profile photo of Ashley Priest, Instructional Design Technologist

Ashley Priest

Instructional Design Technologist

Ashley joined the CTL team in 2021, after starting at the college in 2010. She enjoys discovering how educational technology can support faculty (and ultimately their students!) with their teaching and learning goals. Ashley is especially interested in course design, accessibility, and universal design for learning. Ashley received her master’s degree in Learning and Technology from Royal Roads University.

profile photo of Kim Reid, Instructional Designer

Kim Reid

Instructional Designer

Kim Reid began her Georgian career as a faculty member of the Liberal Arts department in 2011, teaching communication and general education courses to students from across the Georgian portfolio. Her connection to Georgian began many years before, when she attended plays in the Georgian theatre as a child, and basketball and volleyball camps, clinics, and tournaments in the Georgian Grizzlies‘ gym as a young adult.

After falling in love with teaching adults as a part of the Georgian faculty team, Kim became interested in the work that the CTL was doing to enhance the teaching and learning experience for faculty and students, and wanted to a be a part of supporting, and working collaboratively with faculty and staff in creating courses and learning experiences that students would truly benefit from (and maybe even enjoy!).

As an instructional designer here at Georgian, Kim works to connect faculty to the information, resources, and skills that they need to feel confident in and excited about their teaching practice. She also creates space for faculty to self-reflect and consider the role of metacognition in the work they do, and the fulfilment and joy they find within it. Whether it’s designing professional development opportunities, facilitating sessions, or meeting with faculty one on one, she strives to create a culture and climate for learning and collegiality that creates space for everyone involved to feel seen, heard, appreciated, included, valued, and welcome.

Currently, Kim’s work is primarily in the co-development and facilitation of the Pathways programs and professional development.

Learn more about Kim in her Spotlight

profile photo of Ian Robertson, Faculty Developer: Faculty Competencies/UDL

Iain Robertson

Faculty Developer: Faculty Competencies/UDL

Iain Robertson is very happy to be joining the CTL on a two-year secondment. He began at Georgian in 2005 as a faculty member in the Massage Therapy program. His interests include using educational technology, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) practices.

Outside of the college, Iain has taken on leadership roles with the Registered Massage Therapist Association of Ontario (RMTO) and the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA). Iain holds graduate degrees in education and rehabilitation science from Athabasca and the University of British Columbia, respectively. In addition, he has attained post-graduate certificates in clinical and interprofessional education.

As a faculty developer Iain is working on a competency-based framework that is all about teaching. He is part of the Teaching@Georgian team and offers several workshops and faculty learning communities (FLC) on topics of inclusion and pedagogy. Iain is also the co-lead for the Focus on Teaching Conference.

Learn more about Iain in his Spotlight

Profile photo of Samantha Sullivan Sauer, Faculty Developer: Academic Integrity, Program Coordinator Support/STEM

Samantha Sullivan Sauer

Faculty Developer: Academic Integrity, Program Coordinator Support/STEM

Samantha Sullivan Sauer brings more than 15 years of experience in the Engineering and Environmental Technologies department that included co-ordinating, teaching, curriculum design and development. Samantha really lights up when working with students or mentoring others.

As a faculty developer, Samantha continues her passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pedagogy, with a focus on assessment techniques, to support faculty as they move beyond traditional lectures and exams. She also works with faculty to incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies into their teaching practice.

Samantha is the lead for the Coordinators Forum, part of the Teaching@Georgian team and delivers the new Keys to Post-Secondary Teaching and Learning series. Samantha is also the co-lead for the Focus on Teaching Conference.

Learn more about Samantha in her Spotlight

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Victor Skierski

XR Support and Developmental Specialist

Victor Skierski is our go-to, boots-on-the-ground extended reality (XR) support technician. A key member of the XR team, Victor oversees the setup and management of our XR equipment, helps configure our VR and AR headsets, co-ordinates service repairs, and provides exceptional XR/VR/AR student and faculty orientations, training and demonstrations.

Victor’s LinkedIn

profile photo of Bert Slessor, Instructional Design Technologist

Bert Slessor

Instructional Design Technologist

For well over a decade, Bert Slessor has been on an incredible journey on extending his personal and professional development in education.

From working as a communications professor in Liberal Arts and a Writing Centre technologist, then joining the faculty developer’s team during the pandemic, and now an instructional design technologist in the CTL, Bert has gained invaluable experiences that have shaped his pedagogical outlook over the years.

Bert enjoys supporting Georgian’s faculty pathways, instructors’ educational technology needs, and ongoing communities of practice.

profile photo of Liam Squires, Instructional Design Technologist

Liam Squires

Instructional Design Technologist

In his role with the CTL, Liam Squires supports faculty in their pursuit of teaching and learning excellence through the thoughtful application of educational technology. A proud Georgian grad, Liam has also been part of team Georgian since 2014 and struggles to write about himself in third-person. With a degree in sociology from Laurentian@Georgian, and education from Wilfred Laurier University, his professional background includes public education, public speaking, and communication, and has been teaching and training adults for over eight years.

But you probably just know him as “that Blackboard guy”. That’s fair, because, for more than a year now, Liam has been heavily involved in the planning, development, and delivery of faculty training as part of the Blackboard Ultra transition.

Liam strives to make learning technology accessible. As an instructional design technologist, his aim is to help faculty discover, understand and employ ed-tech tools in ways that build supports and remove barriers for student learning success. Passionate about thoughtful course design and how students learn, it makes sense that logistics and organization are some of his biggest areas of interest. That’s probably why you’ll see him on his proverbial soapbox, singing praises for tools that make the teaching and learning experiences smoother, richer and easier to navigate and maintain.

Learn more about Liam in his Spotlight

profile photo of Colleen terHaar, Digital Learning and LMS Administrator

Colleen terHaar

Digital Learning and LMS Administrator

Colleen terHaar joined the CTL team in August of 2022 after working in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and data management for seven years in the non-profit sector.

Colleen is the primary point of contact for the system administration, functionality and services of the LMS. She provides support to the CTL team and faculty with respect to course creation and enrolment, resolution of LMS bugs, course fixes and permission issues as well as LMS system improvements related to the faculty and course experience.

Learn more about Colleen in her Spotlight

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Rob Theriault

Immersive Technology Manager

Prior to taking his current role, Rob Theriault was a 35-year veteran paramedic and former critical care flight paramedic. Rob also taught paramedics for over 20 years. After introducing VR into the Paramedic program at Georgian and helping to create a VR hub in the Barrie library, Rob was asked to lead the exploration and integration of VR for Georgian’s seven campuses.

In just over two years, with over 300 VR headsets, Georgian has launched approximately 16 VR pilots for Indigenous Studies programs, Veterinary Technician, Biotechnology – Health, Paramedic, Practical Nursing, Power Engineering Technology, Event Management, Skilled Trades and many other program areas. Georgian is now regarded as one of the world leaders in the exploration and integration of VR as a learning medium.

profile photo of Anthony Tilotta, Curriculum Developer

Anthony Tilotta

Curriculum Developer

Anthony Tilotta began his career at Georgian in 2011 as a faculty in Liberal Arts. During this time, he taught Communications courses and gained valuable experiences working with and supporting students while delivering courses across multiple modalities.

Anthony first joined the CTL in 2017 as a faculty peer mentor, where he provided support for faculty developing online courses that met quality matters (QM) standards, as well as providing support with a variety of educational technologies.

In 2022, he moved into an instructional designer role. He continues these supports for faculty across the college and works closely with the pathways team to co-facilitate the OCDP and FlexCDP programs as well as providing support for other CTL pathways and professional development opportunities.

profile of Faith Visentin

Faith Visentin

Digital Learning and LMS Technologist

As a digital learning and LMS technologist, Faith’s role involves providing comprehensive support to faculty in leveraging Blackboard for effective teaching and learning. She specialize in overseeing the educational and pedagogical aspects of Blackboard, ensuring faculty have the necessary tools and knowledge to create engaging learning experiences.

Faith strives to deliver captivating demonstrations and training sessions that empower faculty members to make the most of Blackboard’s features. Additionally, her passion for accessibility and student experience motivates her to offer technical support to faculty in integrating inclusive pedagogical approaches seamlessly within the Blackboard platform.

Whether it’s online, virtual, or in-class delivery, Faith is dedicated to assisting faculty in finding innovative solutions that enhance the learning environment and optimize student outcomes.

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Ryan Wood

Multimedia Specialist

Ryan Wood brings 12 years of experience working in the public and educational sector in a multimedia capacity. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Toronto Metropolitan University, where he studied New Media as part of the Image Arts program.

Ryan provides multimedia support for the CTL team and faculty, assisting in the planning and production of creative projects for digital content such as video, audio, photo, design, web, social media and XR elements.