The ELWS Team

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Full-Time Faculty

Dr. Jane Freeman Dr. Jane Freeman: Jane is the founding Director of the School of Graduate Studies’ Office of English Language and Writing Support (ELWS). She established ELWS’s modular curricula of non-credit courses, workshops, and a writing centre, and designed several of the courses and workshops currently offered by ELWS. She completed a BA and a BEd at Queen’s University, a master’s degree at the University of Warwick, and a PhD at the University of Toronto. Her areas of expertise are Shakespeare, classical rhetoric, and oral and written communication. Jane is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and a member of the Stratford Festival’s Senate. She recently completed a book in collaboration with Prof. Ursula Franklin, entitled Ursula Franklin Speaks: Thoughts and Afterthoughts, 1986–2012. She is currently writing a book on writing effective research proposals.
Dr. Peter Grav Dr. Peter Grav: Peter is an Associate Professor (teaching stream) and full-time faculty member at ELWS. He teaches a wide range of courses and workshops on both writing and speaking. His current research into academi​c writing practices examines how published authors cite their primary and secondary sources, a topic upon which he has spoken at national and international conferences. He is the author of Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative and articles published in Comparative Drama, The Literary Encyclopedia, and Shakespeare. Peter received his honours bachelor's degrees in English and in Second Language Teaching from the University of Ottawa and, in 2005, was awarded his doctorate at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Rachael Cayley Dr. Rachael Cayley: Rachael is an Associate Professor (teaching stream) in the Office of English Language and Writing Support, where she teaches both academic writing and speaking. Before joining the University of Toronto, she worked as an editor at Oxford University Press in Toronto. She has a PhD in philosophy from the New School for Social Research and a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia. Rachael has a blog, Explorations of Style, and tweets about academic writing. Her blog and activity on Twitter both reflect an ongoing interest in social media as a site for professional development for academic writers. Her current research concerns the way that thesis supervisors approach their role in assisting novice academic writers tackle major writing projects.


Part-Time Instructors

​​​Art Babayants ​​Art Babayants:​ Art is a PhD candidate​ at the Centre​​​ for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies​ at the University of Toronto and the artistic director of The Toronto Laboratory Theatre. Art has also been teaching English as a second language for more than 20 years and has developed a number ESL/drama projects with his students. For his doctoral dissertation, he is working on a practice-based qualitative study called “In Unknown Languages: Investigating the Phenomenon of the Multilingual Actor." 
Conttia Lai ​Conttia Lai: Conttia is a doctoral candidate in the Language and Literacies Education program in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for studies in Education (OISE). Her interests in academic literacy, self-regulated learning and learner motivation have stemmed from her observation of the student's learning experiences in the classroom where various levels of motivation and self-regulation could contribute to different levels of academic literacy. She has taught academic and professional writing to undergraduate and graduate students in Asia prior to joining ELWS. 
​​​Dr. Daniel Newman ​Dr. Daniel Newman: Daniel is a Visiting Scholar at Massey College. He holds a PhD in English (20th-century British and Irish literature) from the University of Toronto, where he also completed an MSc in Zoology. He has published essays in literary studies and ecology, as well as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in non-academic journals. Daniel has been at ELWS since 2007, working in the writing centre and teaching "Becoming a Better Editor of Your Own Work" for students in the life and physical sciences, humanities and social sciences, and the Institute of Medical Science. He is especially interested in how to use a sentence’s structure in order to emphasize or clarify its content.
Elissa G.jpgElissa Gurman:  ​Elissa is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research focuses on representations of women in love and problems of consent in nineteenth-century British and American novels. Elissa is passionate about teaching and has taught literature, writing, and oral presentation skills at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.   
​​ Ivan Semeniuk​Ivan Semeniuk:​​ As a science journalist and broadcaster, Ivan covers the science beat for The Globe and Mail. His reporting has taken him from mountaintop observatories and underground labs to the east room of the White House. His previous roles include US news editor for Nature, the world's leading scientific journal, bureau chief for New Scientist magazine, and producer and columnist with the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet. He is a former Knight Fellow in science journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in his spare time he is the writer and host of the popular astronomy series Cosmic Vistas on the Oasis channel.​
​​ Katherine Vitale Lopez​​Katherine Vitale Lopez: Katherine is a Juris Doctor who is licensed to practice law in Washington, DC and Virg​inia. As an associate in an international law firm, Katherine specialized in federal and business litigation and served as pro bono counsel for a Guantanamo detainee. Katherine also worked as an editor and writer for several publications, including the Notre Dame Law Review. She has published an article on US law and foreign cultural property. Katherine is interested in the writing process and crafting effective presentations.​
​Kathleen Ogden: Kathleen completed a BSc in biology and an MA in English literature from Concordia University (Montreal). She is currently completing a PhD in English at the University of Toronto. Her academic work focuses on medieval manuscript culture and the way that texts change as they are transferred into different media. Her dissertation explores broad questions of literacy across massive technological divides, for example the print revolution of the 15th century and the current “digital revolution.” Kathleen is an experienced teacher of advanced writing, both in one-on-one and classroom settings.
Matt Jones ​​Matt Jones: Matt is a doctoral student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, where his research focuses on contemporary experimental and political theatre and performance practices. He has been teaching courses in English language and writing since 2005. His writing has appeared in the Canadian Theatre Review, The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Mirror, This Magazine, and Canadian Dimension. Matt's plays have been staged in Toronto, Montreal, and New York City. 
​​ Dr. Paulie McDermid​​Dr. Paulie McDermid: ​Paulie has taught graduates and undergraduates at universities in Canada, Ireland and the UK for over ten years. His teaching and research interests include second-language acquisition, cross-cultural communication, performance studies, Spanish cultural studies, and gender and queer studies. He completed a Ph.D. in Spanish literature at Trinity College Dublin and published a monograph on the theatre of Federico García Lorca. Paulie is also an established performance artist and sits on the board of directors of Aluna Theatre. With lived experience of migration, he is committed to supporting success for international students and newcomers.
​​Dr. Peter Sabatini ​Dr. Peter Sabatini: Peter specializes in clinical molecular diagnostics that aims to establish genetic causes for a variety of inherited diseases. He obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto studying mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. As an industrial postdoctoral fellow at Luminex, he helped design and validate genetic tests for both inherited and infectious diseases. Peter also has extensive experience advising graduate and undergraduate students in preparing biomedical research proposals, peer-reviewed publications, and poster presentations.
Shakina.jpgShakina Rajendram:  Shakina is a doctoral candidate in the Language and Literacies Education/Comparative, International, Development Education collaborative program at OISE. She is also a research fellow in a SSHRC-funded project exploring oral language and writing development in northern rural communities in Canada. She has taught ESL in Canada and Malaysia and conducted workshops on using technology in language instruction.
​​​ Dr. Trevor Cook​​Dr. Trevor Cook​​: ​Trevor Cook is a Fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies and a graduate of the doctoral program in English at the University of Toronto. Trevor’s primary area of research expertise is the history of proprietary authorship, with special emphasis on the earliest recorded accusations of plagiarism in English. He has also published on topics as diverse as Shakespeare’s collaborative plays, the influence of the King James Bible on the Book of Mormon, Harold Bloom’s debt to Northrop Frye’s critical theory, and the role of memory in the Sherlock Holmes stories. In addition to working in the Writing Centre at ELWS, Trevor has taught sections of Oral Presentation Skills and Becoming a Better Editor of Your Own Work, as well as consulted for the SSHRC and NSERC proposal writing courses. He is a past recipient of SSHRC and OGS scholarships and has taught full-time in the departments of English at Trent and York University. ​

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