Author: Editor Ed News

Fall 2021 BEAD Convocation Prize | Thor Stewart YNTEP

Thor Stewart graduated from the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP) with Great Distinction and was the recipient of the Fall 2021 Bachelor of Education After Degree (BEAD) Convocation Prize. The Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP) offers a University of Regina B.Ed. (elementary education) in cooperation with Yukon College in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

While a student, Thor was also a recipient of the Academic Silver Scholarship (2020 Fall). Early in his adult life, Thor began working with youth and building community through skateboarding and this turned into working with diverse groups of youth at summer camps and guiding outdoor pursuits. In 2012, Thor completed the University of Manitoba’s Inuit and Environmental Science field course in Pangnirtung, Nunavut and in 2019, Thor returned to Nunavut with some high school friends and climbed Mount Thor, an experience documented in the film “Ocean to Asgard.” (Source: Thor Conquers Thor). One of the goals of this expedition involved engaging with the community in Pangnirtung and taking some local youth on a day of rock climbing on the cliffs that overlook the town.

While studying at Yukon University, Thor worked as a substitute teacher, giving him opportunities to apply the skills he learned in the classroom. Thor provided constant academic support to his classmates in the YNTEP program and would go out of his way to ensure his peers would thrive in the classroom. Thor has fond memories of teaching the program supervisor how to ‘ollie’ for a special skateboarding Phys-Ed class!

Following his graduation, Thor is continuing to substitute teach in Yukon and BC, acquiring experience in all kinds of classrooms.


Alumni Spotlight | Bushra Kainat

Bushra Kainat graduated with Distinction with her Baccalauréat en éducation secondaire and was the Fall 2021 recipient of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Award.

In today’s spotlight, we’re recognizing the student achievements of a new member of our alumni family, Bushra Kainat, who graduated in Fall 2021 with distinction with her Baccalauréat en éducation secondaire.
Over the course of Bushra’s program, she was the recipient of the Centennial Merit Plus Scholarship (2017 Fall), an Academic Silver Scholarship (2020 Fall), and an Academic Silver Prize (2021 Spring/Summer), and finally the 2021 Fall Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation award recipient.
Bushra wanted to become a teacher because she says, “During my schooling, I met many educators that inspired me, and I wanted to be that inspiration to others. I have a passion for the French language and I wanted to share that passion with the next generation. I highly value education and learning, and wanted to encourage the same passion in the next generations.”
Among her University experiences, Bushra says, for her what was most memorable, was her second year in the Bac program, “which I spent at Universite Laval, where I got to experience the French language and the French culture first-hand.”
In terms of on campus experiences, Bushra especially enjoyed “having the opportunity to have some amazing professors!” Three of her professors were especially influential: “I really enjoyed Laurie Carlson Berg’s courses, as well as Stephen Davis’ courses. These two professor’s showed me the impact the educator has on the content being taught. They were very involved with their students’ progress and learning. Lucie Anderson was also an amazing educator. She gave us some of the best teaching advice I have received.”
From her experiences as a student, Bushra offers the following advice to current and future students: “My number one advice would be to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Join the club, apply for the award, participate in conferences, volunteer with an organization, etc. It will go a long ways! Not only will it help you gain experience, but you will develop many skills on the way.”
Bushra says, “The most significant aspect of earning her degree with the Faculty of Education was that “through this degree, I was able to gain a variety of experiences that helped shape me into the educator that I am becoming. From the variety of in-classroom experiences to the exposure to various learning and teaching environments, it all helped me build my skills as a teacher.”
Bushra began teaching with Saskatoon Public following her graduation, and she looks forward to returning to University of Regina for her master’s in education in the near future.

Vanier Scholarship Candidate | Jessica Madiratta

This week we are shining light on Jessica Madiratta, currently in her second year of a Doctor of Philosophy in Education program with the University of Regina. Jessica recently received the good news that she has been selected as a University of Regina candidate for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships–Doctoral Awards 2021-2022 competition. She will find out in spring if she has been successful in the national competition. For her dissertation, Jessica’s proposed research is a critical participatory action research project which she hopes will improve teaching practices through professional development in culturally responsive pedagogy. “This project challenges educators to build deeper relationships with their students, to bring in authentic learning experiences for students, and to explore social issues happening around student lives,” says Jessica.
Living up to her maiden name “Wesaquate,” which means “sharp as a whistle,” Jessica’s been a non-stop student on campus since 2006, earning her BEd from SUNTEP Regina in 2010, her MEd (C&I) in the Faculty of Education in 2015, followed by a BA in Indigenous Studies from FNUC in 2019. Jessica’s been working as a teacher with Regina Public Schools since 2010. Beginning in 2018, she took on the role of Indigenous Advocate Teacher at Kitchener Community School in Regina.
Jessica’s fondest memories come from her favourite MEd course, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, which she took with Dr. Angelina Weenie (FNUC): “This class showed me the importance of decolonizing and indigenizing my classroom practices and shared the power of culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies. It had a huge influence on my PhD research topic. Someone should take this class if they are looking for ways to engage their diverse student population,” she says.
In Dr. Weenie’s class, Jessica had the opportunity to attend culture camp: “It was completely dedicated to Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being. I had the chance to learn from many elders, participate in a sweat, and to be on the land,” says Jessica.
Jessica, who grew up in Regina, and has roots with Piapot First Nation, considers the most significant aspect about earning her degree from the Faculty of Education, “is the opportunity to learn in my traditional territory with learnings connected to the Regina area.”
As advice to students, Jessica says, “Connect with other students. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of those that have already started their schooling journey.”

Congratulations Class of 2021 (Fall)

Congratulations to the #UREDu Class of 2021! We are proud of you and your accomplishment! We wish you all future successes.

We also recognize our Faculty award recipients:

Thor Stewart, graduating with Great Distinction, and recipient of the Bachelor of Education After Degree convocation prize.

Bushra Kainat, graduating with Distinction with her Baccalauréat en éducation secondaire, and recipient of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Award

Join the celebration! Watch the Fall 2021 Convocation via Facebook livestream on today at 2 p.m

Alumni Spotlight – Joanna Sanders

Our spotlight today is shining on award-winning alumna Joanna Sanders (BEd’05), Director of Professional Learning for Let’s Talk Science, “a national, charitable organization that has been providing educational experiences to educators and their students at no cost to them for over 25 years.” In her role as director, Joanna leads a national team, that, “provides professional learning opportunities in STEM education to thousands of Canadian educators every year.”
In her career, Joanna has also served as the Consultant of Digital Fluency at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education and as a French Immersion Teacher with Regina Public Schools. She is a Google Certified Innovator, a YouTube Star Teacher and an Apple Teacher with Swift Playgrounds recognition. She is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2011), and a Saskatchewan Ministry of Education recipient of the “Excellence in Education Award for Student First/Citizen-Centred” (2017). She was recognized in 2016 as a CBC Saskatchewan “Future 40.”
Looking back on her time as a student in the Baccalauréat en Éducation program in the Faculty of Education, Joanna feels she was well-prepared to teach, lead, and learn in the variety of educational roles she has served in: “The Bac program gave me the skills, confidence and knowledge to be a leader in my field in two languages. I learned how to be an innovator in my classroom so that I could support the best learning environment possible for my students. This has led to opportunities to become an educational leader at local, provincial and national levels.”
The most memorable experience for Joanna was her internship: “I got to put everything together that I had learned during my studies and put it into practice over many months in a real-life situation. After completing my internship I had much more confidence in my skills and abilities as an educator and I felt equipped to take on my first class as a new teacher the following year.”
Joanna recommends the Bac program, which she considers unique in that it is “led by a small team of professors who supported our growth in different classes. …Being known and supported by this team allowed me to customize my educational experience to fit my unique needs and goals as a student, while still following a core program of courses in my second language.”
As advice to new and future students, Joanna recommends our Education program: “This program is special. Having four years to learn, practice, reflect, and grow as an educator provided a solid foundation to be able to start a new career with confidence. It also instilled an appreciation for life-long learning as an education. Being a good learner is essential to being a good educator.”
What is most important to Joanna about earning her B.Ed with us is that, “The Faculty of Education at the University of Regina has a strong commitment to social justice. The learning experiences offered through this Faculty helped me grow my own worldview and perspectives and further solidified my life-long commitment as an advocate for equity and inclusion for all.”

Alumni Spotlight | Claudia Castellanos

It’s a pleasure to shine our spotlight on alumna Claudia Castellanos (MEd’14). Claudia is the founder and CEO of Connected World Translation (CWT), an award winning company of translators and interpreters based in Saskatchewan.

“CWT is the only translation agency operated in Saskatchewan that actively offers 45 languages including Cree and lnuktitut,” says Claudia.

When Claudia looks back to her studies with the Faculty of Education, she says what was most memorable for her was “unlearning the concepts I had when I started my studies.”

During her M.Ed. studies, Claudia’s favourite professors were Dr. and Dr. . “Dr. Carol Schick was my favourite professor because she challenged our thoughts and beliefs in order for us to question and confront the status quo. She was always fearless to teach us the truth about systemic issues that are certainly part of our everyday life. Her robust knowledge about anti-oppressive education was inspiring!! Dr. Andrea Sterzuk was one my favourite professors because she pushed us to reach our maximum potential. Her knowledge regarding applied linguistics is incredible and I felt honoured to be her student.”

Claudia says that what was most important about earning her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the Faculty of Education was “to have had the opportunity to learn from a faculty whose passion for social change is relentless. Teaching us to view the world in the eyes of the oppressed is something that makes one challenge the status quo. THANK YOU!!”

Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Cristyne Hébert

Faculty Spotlight! We’re shining the spotlight on faculty members this fall so you can get to know some of the faces around the Faculty of Education.

Meet Dr. Cristyne Hébert, Associate Professor in the areas of assessment, education research, and digital literacies since July 2018.

Dr. Hébert is passionate about stress-free, learning-focused and equitable assessment. She says, “I am a strong believer that assessment practices should not be punitive. I do not deduct late marks, and students are given the opportunity in all of my classes to revise and resubmit assignments. My hope is that this approach both reduces stress and creates a more learning-focused and equitable classroom for my students, and that they carry some of these practices into their future classrooms.”

Why should students consider taking courses in assessment? Because, “it’s important that new teachers think critically about their assessment practices, moving away from some of those traditional approaches that we know don’t support all learners. Teacher education gives future teachers the space to really practice and try on something new,” says Dr. Hébert.

Digital literacies are another area of study that Dr. Hébert considers important for students: “We live in such a digitally mediated world. As educators, we need to know more than just what to do with technological tools. Developing a deep understanding of how media shapes lived experiences, and how power operates (often covertly) within systems to limit access and participation is of fundamental importance.”

Dr. Hébert’s current research involves both assessment and digital literacies. She recently (2020) received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her study on multimodal learning and assessment practices in the province. As part of a larger SEED grant-funded project, Dr. Hébert says, “I am currently analyzing provincial school divisions’ assessment policies, focusing on modernizing provincial assessment.”  Dr. Hébert has a few other research projects underway, “working with both in-service and preservice teachers to look at how maker education might be enacted in the classroom.”

As advice for Education students, Dr. Hébert says, “Visit your professors during office hours. We set aside this time to meet with students to answer questions or talk through any course content or assignments, and are happy to see you there.”

If you are interested in taking a course with Dr. Hébert, she regularly teaches ECS401 (online): “This course takes a backward-design approach to assessment, narrowing in on curricular outcomes. Students gain experience with formative assessment, assessment tools, peer and self assessment, triangulation, and differentiation. My two favourite elements of the course are the assessment videos we watch, created by practicing teachers in the province, and the Rick Rant assignment, where students produce a three minute argumentative ‘paper.'” And she teaches EC&I 832 (online): “This course takes a critical look at digital citizenship and media literacies, focusing on how we might empower (rather than protect) young media users. Some themes we address include algorithms, technology and surveillance, memes and visual literacies, propaganda and fake news, and policing on line spaces. My favourite element of this course is the weekly collaborative work students produce, via Google Docs, applying their learning to analyze media.”

Arts Education student’s project becomes community building exercise

If anything, this pandemic has highlighted how valuable teachers are. They contribute so much to society and make a world of difference. This news story from April 2021, tells how Amy Brandt’s undergrad arts ed project became a community building exercise.

“What started as a university art education project has grown into a community building exercise in Cochrane. Amy Brandt is studying to be an art teacher. Her instructor at the University of Regina challenged the class to create an art project that brought people together in a COVID safe manner.”

Read the story at

Funding for research

Congratulations to #UREdu Dr. Valerie Triggs (Co-investigator) on SSHRC/CRSH-funded research: Retracing, Reimaging, and Reconciling our Roots.
Led by artists, arts-educators, and social work educators in collaboration with elders, and knowledge keepers, this project explores the arts as a space to retrace Indigenous-settler relations, reimagine conceptions of land and culture and engage in everyday processes of reconciliation. By implementing arts based methods of inquiry alongside Indigenous methodologies, teachings and worldviews, this project will artistically and pedagogically explore what it might mean for educators and social workers to walk in three provinces, on traditional, treaty, and unceded territories, grounded by the 4 R’s of Indigenous learning: respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 2001).
This current study builds on ongoing research from the successful 2018 SSHRC PDG Project Mapping A/r/tography which focused on the international pedagogic implication of movement with/in physical contexts to create and examine human-land relationship as a collective expression grounded in movement of thought (theory) and body (practice), responsibility and reciprocity.


Orange Shirt Day / National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2021, Orange Shirt Day, will be the inaugural National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, “a time for reflection”, as Lori Campbell, Associate Vice-President,
Indigenous Engagement, has written.

The University of Regina is closing offices and courses so that the campus community can take time to reflect.

Read more of Phyllis Webstad’s story

Purchase an official 2021 Orange Shirt Day shirt at

#Orangeshirtday2021 #everychildmatters