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Ryerson Faculty Conference, May 19, 2016

"The Ryerson Way": Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Classroom
Thursday May 19, 2016

"EDI is in our DNA"
Dr. Mohamed Lachemi
Ryerson University President

Ryerson University’s Academic Plan - Our Time to Lead – embraces our explicit commitment to several fundamental values –

  1. Community
  2. Inclusion
  3. Equity
  4. Diversity
  5. Respect for Aboriginal Perspectives
  6. Access

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) serve as pillars to support Ryerson’s continuous commitment to creating a safe environment for all learners.

The 2016 Faculty Conference –

  1. explores teaching strategies promoting EDI in the classroom.
  2. complements and furthers continuous initiatives toward university-wide communications strategies valuing EDI
  3. builds a more visible Ryerson presence across communities.


Fill out our survey on the 2016 Faculty Conference



8:15am Registration & Refreshments Outside of ENG 103
8:45-10:15am Opening Greetings and Keynote Address ENG 103
10:30-11:20am Concurrent Session A ENG, KH-, POD, RCC
11:30-12:20pm Concurrent Session B ENG, KH-, POD, RCC
12:35-1:35pm Lunch Upper Gym, Kerr Hall
1:50-2:40pm Concurrent Session C ENG, KH-, POD, RCC
2:55-3:45pm Concurrent Session D ENG, KH-, POD, RCC
4:00-5:00pm Special Session LIB 72
5:00-6:30pm Poster Session & Cocktail Reception Upper Gym, Kerr Hall


Download the complete conference program [pdf]

Download the program-at-a-glance [pdf]


Session updates:

CANCELLED - D10. Empower Yourself- Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities.
Ann Whiteside, Human Rights Service.


Keynote Address: "Canada's Residential Schools: The Story We All Must Know"

Justice Murray Sinclair

We are honored to welcome The Honorable Murray Sinclair, Senator, to deliver our 2016 Keynote Address. Senator Sinclair was a Canadian judge, First Nations lawyer, and the past chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He was the first Aboriginal judge appointed in Manitoba, and has served as co-commissioner of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and legal counsel for the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. In 2013 , Justice Sinclair received an Honorary Doctorate from Ryerson University. On April 2, 2016 he was appointed to The Senate.

Image: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada





Special Session: "Transforming the 21st Century Classroom: Making Inclusive Teaching and Learning a Priority at Ryerson"

In navigating our ever-changing classrooms, the use of an inclusive pedagogy requires us to develop curriculum strategies that reflect the diversity of backgrounds and knowledges of our students. Faculty are discovering the need to seek out teaching and learning resources, which include perspectives that encourage interaction from students of different backgrounds. Developing an inclusive pedagogy is an ongoing process, such that even seasoned faculty may need to adjust their classroom practices. In this session, our panel will discuss the following:

  • Inclusive Pedagogy and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning
  • Barriers faculty confront when integrating equity, diversity and inclusion into their curriculum and classroom management strategies
  • Inclusive teaching strategies to increase opportunities for equity, diversity and inclusion as learning outcomes in all disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences?

Panelist Biographies

Panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Denise O'Neil Green, Assistant Vice-President/Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Dr. Denise O’Neil Green

Headshot of Denise O'Neil Green

Dr. Denise O’Neil Green is the inaugural Assistant Vice-President/ Vice-Provost Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at Ryerson University. Her mandate is to provide senior leadership, spearhead EDI education initiatives and address systemic barriers among the academic and administrative functions of Ryerson, as well as create a visible presence for EDI. Her portfolio includes Aboriginal Initiatives, Access Ryerson, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services, Education and Awareness, and Special Projects, including Employment Equity. For over 20 years, Denise has championed systemic change in higher education. Denise joined Ryerson from Central Michigan University where she was the Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity for five years. She advanced diversity courses, spearheaded strategic diversity initiatives, secured grant funding to serve first generation college students, and worked with community groups, including the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, on local equity initiatives. Prior to Central, she was an assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, and program director for the University of Michigan's Pathways to Student Success and Excellence Program. Denise has authored or co-authored over 65 journal articles, book chapters, reports, papers, and lectures on equity and diversity. She is a 2015 Women Worth Watching Award winner in the Profiles in Diversity Journal and is the Executive Editor of She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in higher education and public policy. 

A.T. Miller

Headshot of A.T Miller

A.T. Miller, Associate Vice Provost, Academic Diversity Initiatives at Cornell University, is responsible for the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the new Cornell Intergroup Dialogue Project, the Learning Strategies Center, and the office of Internal Transfer. He also is part of a team of five executives who manage Cornell’s overall approach to diversity and inclusion through the University Diversity Council.  A.T. Miller joined the Cornell Faculty as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Associate Vice Provost for Academic Diversity in the summer of 2011.  He served as Faculty Director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study and Coordinator of Multicultural Teaching and Learning at the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2011, and Director of Africana Studies at Union College from 1992 to 2000.  His most recent publications are chapters in the edited volume Teaching Inclusively, "The Multicultural Lab: Diversity Issues in STEM* Classes" (*Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and "Interactive Theatre as a Multicultural Change Agent in Faculty Development" with Jeffrey Steiger and Diana Kardia, and he wrote one chapter and co-edited the volume "The Scholarship of Multicultural Teaching and Learning" from New Directions in Teaching and Learning in September 2007.  "Intercultural Experiential Learning for the Engaged Global Citizen" appeared in 2008  in Diversity and Democracy from the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Janet Smylie

Headshot of Janet Smylie

Dr. Janet Smylie is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto and a Research Scientist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital (SMH) where she holds a CIHR Applied Public Health Research Chair in Indigenous Health Knowledge and Information and directs the Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Wellbeing. She is also a staff physician at Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital and consulting family physician at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto. Dr. Smylie has focused her career to date on identifying and addressing deficits in population level Aboriginal health information systems with a particular focus on Indigenous maternal, infant and child health assessment and response; Indigenous health service and program interventions and evaluation, again with a focus on maternal, infant, and child health; Indigenous knowledge translation; and the provision of primary health care in Indigenous communities. She has a strong track record of working with Indigenous health researchers, practitioners and policymakers in Canada and internationally to positively impact Indigenous health policies, services, and programs. She has authored dozens of publications in the areas of Indigenous health assessment and response; Indigenous knowledge translation; and guidelines for health professionals and health researchers working with Indigenous communities. She has acquired nine peer reviewed CIHR grants as principal investigator over the past 5 years in partnership with over a dozen First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations.   She has recruited a cadre of over a dozen Indigenous health researchers, seconded health practitioners, students and staff to SMH where she has led the development of an Indigenous specific health research unit – The Well Living House. In 2012, her Indigenous health research accomplishments were recognized with the prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Dr. Smylie is also a recipient of the 2015 Top 20 Pioneers of Family Medicine Research from the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Jeewan Chanicka

Jeewan Chanicka is a public school principal currently on secondment to the Inclusive Education Branch, Ministry of Education. He has a BA in Individualized Studies focused on Restorative Practices and (culturally appropriate forms of) Mediation and his Masters Degree in Education. He has lived, worked and travelled in over 20 countries around the world. Jeewan has been a passionate and committed Social Justice educator and has worked collaboratively with staff to develop a whole school approach using a social justice based inquiry framework for teaching and learning. He has worked throughout his career to engage students and communities through curriculum and design. He has written articles, editorials and book chapters to build understanding to build capacity in these areas. Jeewan has consulted with the United Nations University of Peace to develop a curriculum framework based on Peace Education implemented in parts of South Asia, North and Central America. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee award for his work in Education and Community Service.   In 2015, he was invited to share this work at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In 2014, as principal of Aldergrove PS, he received the Premier's award for Safe and Accepting Schools. Jeewan was a torchbearer for the 2015 PanAm games.  He received an award from the Character Education Partnership based in Washington DC for Promising Practices based on curricular design and implementation using a participatory democracy model. He is a father of three children in Kindergarten, High School and College. When he is not climbing mountains or volcanoes at night or accidentally swimming with sharks, you can find him lost in his garden or doing community work.






Past Faculty Conferences

See our archived page for the 2015 conference.


The Faculty Conference theme - “The Ryerson Way – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom” - encompasses many ideas surrounding innovative teaching and learning practices – including but not limited to -

  1. Adapting to or managing changing environments
  2. Community engagement
  3. E-learning, fully online, and blended teaching
  4. Experiential practices
  5. Interdisciplinary strategies
  6. Learning outcomes
  7. Scholarship promoting engagement
  8. Accessible teaching practices and universal design
  9. Adult learning and intergenerational classrooms
  10. Embracing cultural diversity and inclusion
  11. Challenges and experiences of marginalized groups on campus
  12. Gender identity and expression at Ryerson
  13. Exploring issues of power and privilege

Individuals are invited to submit proposals -

Presentation (50 minutes)
An individual or group led discussion or interactive demonstration on a topic related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, or a learning project related to the conference themes.

A poster describing a topic, innovation or research related to the conference themes.


  1. Submissions are peer reviewed by faculty reviewers.
  2. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.
  3. The criteria for submission review and selection include -
    • Clarity and coherence of submission
    • Clarity of objectives and learning outcomes
    • Contribution to scholarship and/or innovative educational practice
    • Presentation approach and the level of participant engagement
    • Relevance and usefulness to the intended audience
    • Relevance to the conference theme
  4. All proposals must be submitted by March 28th, 2016 April 8th, 2016
  5. Please direct questions to John Paul Foxe, Manager, Learning and Teaching at

Submit Your Proposal

Please review the information and guidelines for presenters before submitting your proposal

Call for proposals for 2016 Faculty Conference is now closed.

Author Guidelines

All abstracts must be submitted electronically to the Learning and Teaching Office via the online submission form. Please follow all submission guidelines.

Contact Information

The first author/presenter will be considered the contact for all further communications. It is up to this author to inform co-presenters of abstract submission outcomes. The first author must provide their full name, institutional position, institution, department, email address (required) and telephone number. This author must also indicate the number of co-presenters who are going to present or are listed as authors on the session. For each co-presenter, their name and department must be provided. You may provide information for up to 10 co-presenters.

Session Description

Indicate whether you are submitting a poster, or presentation. You will be required to place your abstract in the space provided. The maximum number of words for this abstract is 250.

  • For the poster session, abstracts should indicate the purpose of the session, methods to be used in the session, expected outcomes of the session and what the participants should learn from the session.
  • For the concurrent sessions, abstracts should indicate the purpose of the poster, methods used in developing concepts or research, outcomes and conclusions.



Available technology is the standard presentation technology found in the classroom. We regret that we cannot take personal AV orders beyond the technology in the PTEC classrooms. Please be sure to bring your presentation on a memory stick, for easy access to the technology. Presentation technology will not be provided for the poster session.


Your submission will be peer reviewed by two independent reviewers. Outcomes of this review will be emailed to the first author/presenter. We regret that we can only email the first presenter and thus the first presenter should inform all co-presenters of the outcomes.

Concurrent Sessions

  1. All rooms are equipped with full PT podiums. If you are using a Mac laptop and would like to connect it to the podium, please bring your own adapter.
  2. Please bring your markers with you, we will have markers on site if needed.
  3. Volunteer moderators (graduate students) will be available for your session - they will do the introductions of those who are presenting also will act as a time keeper.
  4. If you wish to have your session evaluated by those attending, please bring your own evaluation forms with you.
  5. The concurrent sessions are 50 minutes only, please manage the timing of your presentation.

Poster Session

The Ryerson Faculty Conference Committee warmly invites all in attendance to the Poster Presentations and Cocktail Reception.

This session will give everyone attending the conference the opportunity to meet you and see your posters. Here's the basic information you need to plan your poster.

Display tables will be rectangular and have enough space to display two Posters Tables will generally be shared by two presenters. We will provide 36" x 48" presentation boards, which fold into three panel sections.  

For guidance in preparing your poster, download our handout on Creating an Academic Poster [pdf].

For more information, check out Creating Effective Poster Presentations.

Be innovative. Look for a different approach to the poster presentation while staying within the spirit of the conference theme. Use text sparingly and consider more graphic and visual forms of communication. If you wish to provide a more detailed text, consider a handout, electronic mailing list, or other forms of extension.

Be interactive. Explore ways beyond the traditional 'conversation at the table' to involve participants in active learning and promote interaction with your poster. Identify learning outcomes and plan interactions that will foster the achievement of those outcomes. Some possibilities from recent conferences include interactive "draw-on" posters, encouraging additions by sticky-note, including puzzles or participant challenges to your poster.

All posters presented at the conference will be considered for The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Poster Competition and will be eligible to receive The G. Raymond Chang Trophy.