2018 Chairholder in University Teaching

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New Chair in University Teaching Seeks to Map Internationalization Across the uOttawa Campus

The Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) is proud to announce Professor Rebecca Tiessen as the Chair in University Teaching (2018-2021) with Professors Nadia Abu-Zahra and Emily Wills as co-applicants.

The Project – Internationalizing the uOttawa Campus: A Mapping and Mobilization Exercise

As part of the 3-year Chairship appointment, Professors Tiessen, Abu-Zahra, and Wills of the Faculty of Social Sciences will collaborate on this project with the support of the International Office, the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement, and a host of student groups. The project will focus on improving faculty engagement in internationalization and intensify efforts to internationalize curriculum which will help to make uOttawa a world-class university dedicated to excellence in intercultural learning.

The objectives of this Chairship project are: 

  1. To assess and map existing internationalization strategies among uOttawa faculty and staff and to share information across faculties about effective practices for globally-engaged learning;
  2. To examine existing internationalization learning opportunities in relation to the uOGlobal learning outcomes to evaluate successes and gaps;
  3. To develop a plan for enhancing these international educational experiences, develop and design new models of learning, and mobilize increased faculty adoption of transformative and globally-engaged curriculum and learning for students; and
  1. To share knowledge in a 'training of trainers' initiatives to facilitate improved international education curriculum development.

This Year’s Chairholder and Co-Applicants:


Picture of Professor Rebecca Tiessen with Professors Nadia Abu-Zahra and Emily Wills as co-applicants.


Rebecca Tiessen (in the centre) is Full Professor and Associate Director of the School of International Development and Global Studies. Her research interests include global citizenship education and internationalization of higher education institutions; international volunteering; career paths of International Development Studies graduates and gender and development. She is an active member of the uOGlobal team at uOttawa to promote international and intercultural learning opportunities undertaken by students. One of her most recent publications is an edited Special Issue with Voluntaris: Journal of Volunteer Services on “Insights on International Volunteering: Perspectives from the Global South” (2018).

Nadia Abu-Zahra (on the right) is Associate Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies, and a member of uOttawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre and Refugee Hub. Her research engages with barriers to freedom, including to education, and how to overcome those barriers. She is interested in working collectively toward decolonization with a focus on higher education, and in promoting and encouraging transformative learning.

Emily Regan Wills (on the left) is an assistant professor in the School of Political Studies, where she teaches research methods and US and comparative politics.  Her research focuses on civil society and social movements in the transnational spaces between the Arab world and North America.  As a teacher, her emphasis is on using technology, media, and real world experience to prompt students to reflect, think critically, and turn ideas into action

The Chair in University Teaching Initiative

As part of the Destination 2020 strategic plan, the University of Ottawa's Chairs in University Teaching underscore the University's commitment to instructional excellence by:

  • Promoting innovative teaching and learning practices that will benefit the wider University community as grounded in a scholarly framework/model;
  • Recognizing the value of educational leadership and excellence in University Teaching; and
  • Supporting professors committed to the scholarly investigation of teaching and learning, translating to University wide transformation of instructional practices.

For more information about the Chair in University Teaching initiative or to read about the projects led by current and former Chairs, please visit the TLSS website at: www.tlss.uOttawa.ca/site/Chairs.