RSJ welcomes four new instructors
The Ryerson School of Journalism has added four new contract lecturers to the faculty for the Winter 2021 semester.
These contract lecturers bring a breadth of experience to the RSJ. All four have said they are happy to be teaching at the RSJ, and two of them are returning to their alma mater.
Jacky Habib, a contract lecturer at the RSJ, will be teaching one of the labs for multimedia news reporting.
“Ryerson is hands down the best journalism school in Canada,” said Habib. “I know that first hand because I’m a graduate, and it’s an honour to come back and to teach students so that they can learn from my experiences.”
Habib graduated from the RSJ in 2011. She hopes she can share the wealth of knowledge she has gained with her students from her career.
Habib is the founder of New Lens Travel, an organization that arranges group trips where people learn about storytelling from local creatives, and she works as a freelance journalist. She said these experiences have prepared her for the RSJ because they have allowed her to work in many newsrooms and countries, enabling her to have a different perspective.
Habib said it is amazing to be teaching at her alma mater. She is looking forward to shaping the next generation of journalists.
She claimed her career and trajectory have been unconventional, but it has been worth it.
“I’ve carved my own path in journalism, and I’m really excited to share that with students,” she said. “I hope to show them they too can be unconventional in many ways.”
Ivan Semeniuk, a contract lecturer at the RSJ, will be teaching health and science journalism.
“I love teaching,” said Semeniuk. “I find that it makes me a better journalist when I have to think about how to talk about what I do and think through best practices.”
Semeniuk said he believes it has become easier to explain why science journalism matters because of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be emphasis placed on covering COVID-19 in his course.
Semeniuk works as a science reporter at the Globe and Mail. He said it will be helpful for RSJ students to have him as their instructor because he has a broad perspective on science journalism and understands how to carry principles across different formats.
He has enjoyed teaching at the RSJ so far. His students have been keen and engaged.
He said science is the tool guiding the world out of the problems it is going through.
“It’s a very appropriate time to be talking about this,” he said. “It certainly puts science reporting in a spotlight like it has never been before.”
Rudy Lee, another new contract lecturer at the RSJ, will be teaching exactly so: the challenge of precision.
“Fact-checking isn't just about finding mistakes,” said Lee. “It often involves becoming, however ephemerally, an expert in a topic you may or may not know anything about.”
Lee graduated from the RSJ in 2012. He will be co-teaching exactly so with Carly Lewis, another contract lecturer at the RSJ who as a student was on the same masthead of the Ryerson Review of Journalism as him.
He works as a fact checker at the New York Times. His students will be learning methods of verification from a person who has fact checked for a variety of magazines during his career.
Lee said it is an honour to be teaching at his alma mater. He owes much of his career to his education, and he said it is a privilege for him to pay it forward by giving back to the institution and the next generation of students it educates.
He said fact checking is what he does best, and he hopes to pass on the lessons he has learned over the years.
“Having teachers who were also working journalists was something I found invaluable when I was a student,” he said. “It means the people teaching you are reacting not just to a moment, which all good journalism does, but to the fluctuations within the media industry.”
Anita Li, a contract lecturer at the RSJ, will be teaching journalism innovation.
“Ryerson University in my opinion has one of the best journalism programs in the country,” said Li. “I knew I would be able to make a lot of impact, especially as an instructor for journalism innovation because Ryerson is in the city centre.”
Li said she was thrilled when she received a position as a contract lecturer. She has planned out the curriculum for journalism innovation.
Her course will focus on editorial, business, and tech innovations. One of the tech innovations she plans on highlighting is meme-based journalism.
She runs the Other Wave, a company that provides consulting, training, and services to editorial- and business-focused media projects. The Other Wave prepared her for the RSJ by putting her at the cutting edge of journalism innovation.
Li said she is grateful to be teaching at the RSJ because it is an incredible opportunity.
“It really helps when students can get a teacher who can give them fresh information or fresh developments that are happening in real time in the industry as opposed to teaching stuff that’s happened decades or years before,” she said. “Journalism students really need folks who are in the field working to be their teachers.”