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Teaching and Learning Team

"I want to create a community that will empower all instructors to teach using evidence-based and inclusive strategies and provide students with exceptional learning opportunities and improved experiences and satisfaction."

Tamara Kelly, Pedagogical Innovation Chair in Science Education

Hovig Kouyoumdjian

Hovig Kouyoumdjian

Associate Dean, Curriculum and Pedagogy
Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry

sciadcp@yorku.ca


Professor Hovig Kouyoumdjian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, and he is also the Associate Dean of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Science. Prof. Kouyoumdjian has taught several introductory courses like general chemistry and organic chemistry and also upper-year industrial and green chemistry courses. After completing his PhD in Nano-Organic Chemistry, he pursued his postdoctoral research fellowship in Chemical Education at Michigan State University working on Discipline Based Education Research (DBER). There, he focused on developing evidence-based tools for the enhancement of chemistry teaching and learning.

At York University, Prof. Kouyoumdjian has worked on developing effective instructional strategies to enhance students’ conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. He also served and headed several departmental and faculty level committees like the Committee on Teaching and Learning (CoTL), Committee on Evaluations and Academic Standards (CEAS) and the Faculty of Science Curriculum Committee. . He has published in various scientific journals and has acquired experience in leadership roles at York and other institutions.

Tamara Kelly

Professor Tamara Kelly

Pedagogical Innovation Chair in Science Education

tljkelly@yorku.ca


Professor Tamara Kelly teaches first-year biology (ecology and evolution), second-year genetics, and a fourth-year reproduction course, and developed the first-year Integrated Science program with Peter Cribb. Her postdoctoral fellowship with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at UBC sparked a keen interest in using evidence-based inclusive pedagogy to improve her teaching, as well as investigating alternative assessments (e.g., two-stage exams and weekly Deep Questions), collaborative learning and community in the classroom, and improving the writing of undergraduate science students from first to fourth year. She has worked to promote evidence-based pedagogy through her work on the Faculty's Committee for Teaching and Learning, development of a science-education seminar series and a monthly science-education journal club, and work with the Open Consortium of Undergraduate Biology Educators (ocube.ca), and now as the Pedagogical Innovation Chair, Science Education.

Please contact her if you have questions or ideas about:

  • Evidence-based teaching methods
  • Research in science education or scholarship of teaching/learning
  • Training/development programs for teaching and learning
Robin Marushia

Assistant Professor Robin Marushia

Chair, Committee of Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Science

marushia@yorku.ca


Assistant Professor Robin Marushia earned her Master’s degree and PhD as a researcher in plant ecology and plant invasions at the University of California, Riverside, before completing a postdoc in ecology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. It was her love for teaching and outreach, however, that brought her to York as an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Stream in 2019.

To date, Marushia has taught Plant Life, Human Life (NATS 1565), Evolution (NATS 1690) and Biodiversity & Conservation (NATS 1940). Her approach in teaching Natural Science courses is to provide students a foundational understanding of science as a way of thinking, while modeling science as a passion, a worldview, and a tool to solve problems. Her courses are designed to be challenging within a safe environment, where all students have multiple opportunities to build on their successes while correcting their mistakes. She also incorporates aspects of experiential learning into her courses, employing personal, hands-on experience to build knowledge.

Marushia's goal is to leave students with an informed curiosity for the natural world, an ability to critically evaluate popular science media, and a dedication to action to improve the environment.

Ashley Nahornick

Ashley Nahornick

Educational Development Specialist, Faculty of Science

ashleynk@yorku.ca


Ashley Nahornick is the educational development specialist for the Faculty of Science at York University, where she provided leadership for curriculum changes, innovations to pedagogy, and support for teaching and learning for instructors.

She holds a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Columbia University with a focus on adult learning, curriculum development and mathematics.

Contact her if you have questions, ideas or want group or 1:1 support about:

  • new program development
  • new professional development
  • new curricular initiatives
  • learning outcomes
  • curriculum mapping
  • degree comparisons
  • cyclical reviews
  • best practices for e-class, classroom teaching or online teaching
Katharina Pabst

Katharina Pabst

Educational Developer, Teaching Commons
Educational Developer Liaison, Faculty of Science

kpabst@yorku.ca


Katharina Pabst (she/her) is an Educational Developer at the Teaching Commons and the liaison developer for the Faculty of Science. Her role is to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of learning experiences at the faculty and course level. You can contact her with any questions related to teaching and learning. She is also happy to meet with you one-on-one.

Katharina holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics and has a background in teaching English as an Additional Language. Her professional interests include eLearning, internationalization, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

She can provide help with all questions related to pedagogical strategies. For example, she can provide advice on teaching large classes, help you brainstorm ideas for alternative assessments, or suggest ways to foster academic integrity in your course. She is also happy to tell you more about upcoming events at the Teaching Commons.

Do you have an idea for a professional development session? Katharina and Ashley are always looking for suggestions and are happy to develop workshops that address your needs.

If you need immediate assistance with a pedagogical question, Katharina and her colleagues at the Teaching Commons regularly hold virtual drop-in hours. To learn more, check out the bottom of the Teaching Commons website, which lists the current dates and times for the virtual drop-in hours as well as the Zoom link.