Nominations & Elections
Follow the above link to the WLUFA Advocate blog to discuss the elections.
Anne-Marie Allison, Ph.D. – Contract Faculty – Mathematics
Contract Faculty Rep. Department-in-Council and Science Divisional Council
WLUFA Executive Committee
WLUFA Communications Committee
WLUFA Contract Faculty Negotiating Team 2016
Anne-Marie Allison, Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics) started teaching at WLU in the Department of Mathematics in 2004, bringing experience primarily from the software industry (managerial level) and research for Health Canada.
A dedicated instructor, Anne-Marie strives to foster essential skills like critical thinking and problem solving to help her students from various disciplines thrive in the real world after graduation. She experiments with different classroom approaches and technology to engage students as active learners. She is part of a WLU discussion group on active learning hosted by the Teaching and Learning Center.
Amidst waning collegial governance and pummeling budgetary cuts to departments and faculties, Anne-Marie seeks to preserve the integrity of academic programs and to improve the situation for Members. Faculty—especially the ever-growing force of Contract Faculty—face many issues and obstacles in their efforts to bring a high level of excellence to their teaching and research portfolios. As a member of the Contract Faculty Negotiating Team, Anne-Marie made a solid commitment to improve students’ learning conditions and the working conditions of Contract Faculty in the recent round of collective bargaining. Further service includes: WLUFA Executive Committee (2016–present); WLUFA Communications Committee (2015–present); WLUFA Strategy Committee, Contract Faculty Negotiations (2013); and Contract Faculty Representative for the Department of Mathematics’ Department-in-Council and for the Science Divisional Council for much of her time at WLU.
Collaborative and communicative in her working style, Anne-Marie holds herself and others to a high level of accountability and integrity. She is not afraid to ask questions in order to best serve her colleagues and WLU students. Her experience on the Contract Faculty Negotiating Team and on the Executive Committee this past year was rewarding work, enabling her to see the numerous ways that WLUFA can help its Members. It provided deeper insight into how the Administration’s decisions impact students, faculty, librarians, and staff. It also reinforced how vital it is for all faculty and librarians to work together in the current climate of challenges. She would welcome the opportunity to be re-elected as a member of the WLUFA Executive Committee.
Kari Brozowski – Full-time (Faculty of Human and Social Science)
I have been a member of the WLUFA Executive committee and the WLUFA Communications Committee from 2013 to present, as the Brantford Liason Officer. Throughout these terms I have worked hard for the working conditions and rights of WLUFA members. My knowledge of the Wilfrid Laurier University Act and WLUFA Collective Agreements has provided me with the tools to defend the rights of WLUFA members. In addition to these duties over the past year, I have also been serving as the chair of the Nominations Committee for the Senate and as a member of the Honorary Doctorate Committee.
Kimberly Ellis-Hale – Contract Faculty – Sociology
I have been teaching at Laurier since 1998. My direct involvement with WLUFA began with my election to the Executive in 2013 and since that time I have worked on behalf of all members while fulfilling the role as CF Liaison. In addition to regular Executive responsibilities, I have continued to be involved in committee work. This past year I have been most involved with the Communications (Director) and CF Strike Action Committees (Chair).
Azim Essaji – Associate Professor – LSBE
Azim Essaji is Associate Professor of Economics. He received his BASc and MA from McMaster University, and a JD (LLB) and PhD from the University of Toronto. His primary research interests are in international trade and development, with a particular focus on the role of institutions in shaping developing country trade patterns. Azim has served on the School of Graduate Studies Awards Committee, the University Librarians’ Continuing Appointment and Promotion Committee and chaired an OGS Doctoral Awards Committee. Moreover, he was a member of the WLUFA Bargaining Committee for the last round of Full-time negotiation, and the WLUFA representative on the committee to incorporate vice-deans into the Collective Agreement. Currently, he serves as the WLUFA Vice-President, and is co-chair of the WLUFA Bargaining Committee. In his free time, he is the director of the Master of Arts in Business Economics program. Prior to joining Laurier in 2004, Azim was a steward at CUPE 3902, the unit representing teaching assistants and part-time faculty at the University of Toronto.
After joining Laurier in the fall of 2006, I became involved with WLUFA during contract negotiations for contract faculty in 2007-2008. I was a member of the Strategy Committee and, during the ensuing strike, worked full time in the strike office. Since that time I have served on the Contract Faculty negotiating teams for the last two collective agreements and was the Chief Negotiator for the latest round of bargaining.
I was first elected to the WLUFA Executive Committee in 2011 and since then have served as association Treasurer. As Treasurer I have endeavoured to provide fiscal responsibility with full transparency to the membership. The demands on the resources of WLUFA have been increasing steadily while revenues have not kept pace, due primarily to Administration budget cuts and early retirements. If re-elected, I will work to ensure that the services provided by WLUFA are not eroded and do so while maintaining a balanced budget.
I believe it is imperative that we form strong alliances with our colleagues in Ontario and across Canada. I am currently a member of the OCUFA Ad Hoc Committee on Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement that organized the “We Teach Ontario” campaign and the recent conference on “Confronting Precarious Academic Work”. In 2015 I was elected to serve on the CAUT Executive as Chair of the Contract Academic Staff Committee. In this position I am working with my colleagues on the committee to improve working conditions for contract faculty across Canada. We must continue these partnerships to ensure our voices are heard. I also believe that WLUFA must form bonds with other labour groups at the national, provincial and local levels. If re-elected, I will work to strengthen WLUFA’s ties with existing groups and to forge new alliances.
I remain firmly committed to improving working conditions, especially job security and benefits, for Contract Faculty at Laurier. I believe this can only be accomplished by a united Laurier faculty, one that fights for the rights of both regular and contract members. If re-elected, I will continue working to represent ALL members of WLUFA and to ensure ALL voices are heard.
Houman Mortazavi – Contract Faculty – LSBE
I started teaching in 1998 and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Math/Stat and Project Management for years. I joined several universities as a part-time instructor including Ryerson University, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. I have been teaching Economics, Finance/Accounting (CGA) and Math/Stat in the past few years at both undergraduate and graduate level.
In 2012, I started teaching at the University of Waterloo, and joined the Economics Department at Laurier in 2013. I have been CAS representative of the Economics Department, and served as a member of WLUFA’s Negotiating Team for contract faculty this past round, from January 2016 to January 2017. Also, I have been serving in WLUFA’s Communications Committee since May 2016.
In October 2015, I received CAS Teaching Excellence Award at LSBE (Lazaridis School of Business and Economics) in recognition of continuing teaching excellence and achievement in student instruction, and having been judged to be “outstanding” and not just “very good”.
I completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1990s and worked as a Professional Engineer for several years, and was involved in several major projects as project manager.
Considering my involvement as a project manager in several feasibility studies and cost-benefit analysis, I became interested in Economics and Finance which made me go back to school and complete my B.A. and M.A. in Economics followed by completing first year PhD at Queen’s University. In 2010, I went back to school to do MBA while teaching, and completed my degree in 2011 in Finance and Real Estate Development, and started working towards CFA.
I graduated with highest distinction throughout my studies, and received several awards, scholarships and fellowships (both engineering and economics), followed by receiving teaching excellence awards. I also received research grant from TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) during my MBA studies.
It is also notable that starting early 2000s, I worked for several companies and institutions as a senior consultant and think-tank member, and for a couple of years, managed portfolios of over 20 million dollars as the chief investment advisor.
Marcia Oliver – Assistant Professor – Law & Society – Liberal Arts – Brantford
I am an Assistant Professor in the Law & Society program and a Research Fellow at the Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa at Laurier Brantford (to be promoted to Associate in July 2017). Since joining Laurier in 2011, I have taught socio-legal courses in the areas of global justice, gender and sexuality, and feminist socio-legal theory and conducted research on the effects of neoliberal funding mechanisms on civil society, students’ experiences of rape culture on Laurier Brantford’s campus, and international development and humanitarian responses to refugees in Uganda and Namibia. I have also served on various program-related committees in Law & Society (PCC, PTAC, curriculum, LSSA faculty advisor), as the Program Coordinator for the M.A. program in Social Justice and Community Engagement, and as a member of Laurier’s Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures Working Group. I am excited to broaden my service to the University by joining WLUFA’s Executive Committee to contribute to existing conversations and efforts to improve FTF and CF members’ academic integrity and working conditions at Laurier.
Dr. Herbert Pimlott – Associate Professor – Communication Studies – Faculty of Arts
I have been working full-time at Laurier since I was hired as an Assistant Professor on a Limited Term Appointment when the Department of Communication Studies was formed in 2001. The following year I was successful in applying for a tenure-track position and began serving as the Department’s representative on Senate that same year. In addition to serving on Senate and the Senate Executive committee, I have also been a graduate programme coordinator and served on every single Department committee for many years. Drawing upon my professional media experience and training, and my scholarly research into communication and media issues (MA, PhD, Goldsmiths College, University of London), I first got engaged working with WLUFA on communication issues in 2002 and have worked as part of a team in support of contract and full-time faculty negotiations. I have pushed for a greater focus on communications since we are a diverse group of scholars with different areas of expertise and interest, who need to engage in dialogue to better understand how we are affected by different changes taking place in governance, faculty workload and administrative support, collective agreements and so on. I believe it is important that we do not remain within our own ‘silos’. This is why I have been active with the Communications Committee in the past, where I helped to establish the WLUFA Advocate and edit it (for its first two years) and where I have served as a team member and as Chair and Communications Director; about three years, I also served for one year on the WLUFA Executive.
Jason Sager – Contract Faculty – History
Jason Sager has been a Contract Faculty member at Laurier since 2008 and teaches in the Departments of History and Medieval Studies. He has been involved in the last two rounds of contract negotiations by sitting on the Strategic, Communications, and Strike Preparedness Committees.
Having worked with WLUFA during contract negotiations and being a long time member of the Laurier community, Jason is seeking a position on the WLUFA Executive to contribute to the Association in order to continue to work for the improvement of working conditions for all Contract Faculty at Laurier.
Robin Slawson – Associate Professor – Biology
R. Slawson received her PhD in Environmental Microbiology from the University of Guelph in 1993 and M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo in 1989. Graduate research focused on heavy metal toxicity and metal resistance in environmental/aquatic microorganisms.
Prior to joining Laurier, she was a Research Assistant Professor with the NSERC Chair in Water Treatment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Research focused on microbiological aspects of drinking water treatment.
Within the discipline of applied environmental microbiology, the current Laurier research laboratory focuses primarily on aspects of microbial water quality with specific attention to the environmental persistence of antibiotic resistant pathogens. Ongoing projects include constructed wetland treatment of wastewater including the role of microbial community structure in bioremediation potential, biofilm formation by selected waterborne pathogens and the relationship to antibiotic resistance, and bacterial-mycorrhizal interactions in wetland plant root systems. The Laurier Environmental Microbiology Laboratory also represents the Pathogen Resilience Platform for the Southern Ontario Watershed Consortium.
Extensive undergraduate and graduate supervision has taken place over the past 23 years resulting in over 50 HQP. Courses taught include introductory undergraduate, senior undergraduate as well as graduate courses in microbiology and engineering.
Michael Suits – Assistant Professor – Chemistry & Biochemistry
I received my PhD in 2007 from Queen’s University and did postdoctoral work at the University of York, UK and the University of Victoria, BC. My research is focused on figuring out what proteins look like and how their molecular structures relate to biological function. I have successfully obtained various sources of external funding including NSERC, CFI, Glyconet, and Banting Research Foundation support.
I joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Laurier in 2013. Right from the get go, I have been impressed with how collegial and supportive the Laurier faculty have been and the community in general. Laurier is a special place, and we as the faculty are in a great position to preserve and enhance this environment. I have enjoyed taking a passive role in WLUFA activities to this point but want to take a more active role in contributing to our community anyway I can.
Zilin Wang – Associate Professor – Mathematics
I graduated in 1996 from University of Guelph with a double-major BSc degree in Mathematics and Chemistry. I obtained two Master of Arts degrees in Economics from University of Guelph in 1998 and the University of Western Ontario in 1999. In 2004, I received my PhD in Statistics from the University of Western Ontario.
I joined the Department of Mathematics at Laurier in 2004 as an assistant professor.
I have served on several department and university committees. In particular, I have been on the Department Part-time Appointment Committee (PTAC) since 2012.
My WLUFA experience started in 2005 as the Department of Mathematics Full-time Bargaining Liaison. Since 2015, I have been one of the WLUFA Representatives on the Bilateral Committee for Full-time Faculty Salary Anomalies and Pay Equity.
Given my experience serving on PTAC and working for our full-time Faculty members and Librarians as part of the Salary Anomalies and Pay Equity Bilateral Committee, I would like to continue with my efforts to promote employment equity and equal pay for equal work at Laurier.
Byron Williston – Associate Professor – Philosophy
Byron did his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and has taught previously at the University of Toronto and the University of South Florida. His main areas of research are early modern philosophy and environmental ethics (especially the ethics of climate change). His most recent publication is The Anthropocene Project: Virtue in the Age of Climate Change (Oxford, 2015). Until recently, he was Chair the Ethics Committee of the Green Party of Canada.