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Science Summer Transition Program: Our Instructors

The York Science Summer Transition Program is designed to help you feel more confident in your transition from high school into first year university. Our instructors are experts in different fields but are committed to the same thing: ­­your successful start at York University.


Biology - Robert Lakin, PhD

Robert Lakin received his PhD in Exercise Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is currently a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biology where his research focuses on the mechanisms underlying remodeling of the heart that lead to problems with the rate or rhythm of heartbeats. His interest in education dates to his PhD, where he worked with graduate students and Faculty to design assignments and teaching strategies to help transition students to university, with a focus on writing and learning skill development. He currently teaches a 4th year course in the Department of Biology looking at the cellular and molecular basis of muscle physiology. In his spare time, he is an avid reader, movie watcher, and sports fan, and is excited to share his love of Biology with the incoming undergraduate class.


Chemistry - Tihana Mirkovic, PhD

Tihana Mirkovic joined the Department of Chemistry in July 2019 as an assistant professor. She received a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Toronto, where her interdisciplinary research encompassed the development of nanomaterials and studies of photophysical and dynamical aspects of nanoscale systems. Her interest in education spans beyond the classroom, as she has been involved in a number of outreach programs, most notably as a senior mentor for the Canadian Chemistry Olympiad and as a volunteer for Pueblo Science, a non-profit organization aiming to increase science literacy in developing countries.


Andrew Skelton

Math - Andrew Skelton, PhD

Andrew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is a former high school math teacher and worked at two other Ontario universities before arriving at York University in 2018. He is the coordinator of the undergraduate Mathematics for Education program and the Academic Program Director at Bethune College where he oversees a team of over 150 peer mentors, tutors and advisors. His primary research interests are the transition to university, the first-year experience and the training and coaching of peer leaders. In his spare time, he is an avid curler, tennis and soccer fan, board game aficionado, cat lover and he played his first video game just five years ago.


Banafsheh Hashemi Pour

Physics & Astronomy - Banafsheh Hashemi Pour, PhD

Banafsheh Hashemi Pour obtained her PhD in physics and astronomy at York University. Her research was multi-scale modeling of molecules and continuum mechanics using bridging scale method for characterizing innovative nanoscale materials with application in aerospace and space engineering. She is now teaching in physics and astronomy department as well as Natural Science division with the focus on fundamental physics courses such as Phys 1411: Physics fundamental 1, Phys 1421: Physics with life science application, Phys 1800: Engineering mechanics, Phys 1801: Electricity, Magnetism and optics for engineers and Phys 1510: Introduction to physics.


Vera Pavri

University Experience - Vera Pavri, PhD

Vera Pavri received her PhD in the History of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. She is the Chair of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Department and an Associate Professor (Teaching Stream) in Natural Science (NATS). She currently teaches a variety of NATS courses including Technology and CivilizationComputers, Information and Society and Understanding Cyberspace.  Dr. Pavri’s research interests include studying how socio-cultural values shape our digital environments (including AI), and how these systems have helped transform the way we work, play, communicate, think and process information. Some of her articles have been published in journals such as Technology and CultureVaccineJournal of Computer Mediated Communication; and Journal of the American Medical Association


Stephanie Domenikos

University Experience - Stephanie Domenikos, PhD

Stephanie Domenikos obtained her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Toronto and subsequently competed a Chemistry Education focused post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is now a teaching faculty in the Natural Science division and is passionate about delivering a Chemistry and Science education that is accessible, inspiring and motivating. Currently, Stephanie teaches a variety of Chemistry-focused NATS courses (including NATS1830: Mysteries of Everyday Materials and NATS1515: Atmospheric Pollution) as well as first year Chemistry courses (CHEM1000/1001: Chemical Structure/Dynamics).