The GCAC Team

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

Dr. Jane Freeman ​​​​​Dr. J​​ane Freeman: Jane is the founding Director of the School of Graduate Studies’ the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC), formerly the Office of English Language and Writing Support. She established ’s modular curricula of non-credit courses, work​shops, and a writing centre, and designed several of the courses and workshops currently offered by GCAC. She describes the development of GCAC in a chapter in Supporting Graduate Student Writers: Research, Curriculum & Program Design (2016).  Jane completed a BA and a BEd at Queen’s University, an MA 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. She is a member of Massey College's Corporation, the Stratford Festival’s Senate, and the Consortium of Graduate Communication's Board. 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 GCAC. 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 Graduate Cen​tre for Academic Communica​​tion, wher​e 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.
​​Dr. Daniel Aureliano Newman: Daniel is an Assistant Professor (teaching stream) at the GCAC. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Toronto, where he also completed an MSc in Zoology (now Ecology & Evolutionary Biology). Daniel teaches various writing courses and workshops, mostly for students in the physical and life sciences.  He has published essays in literary studies and ecology, as well as poetry, fiction, and book reviews; his academic book Modernist Life Histories: Biological Theory and the Experimental Bildungsroman is forthcoming in 2019. One of his current projects examines how scientists embed narratives in their writing and diagrams; a better understanding of these narratives, he proposes, could help develop new strategies for improving scientific communication--between specialists as well as between specialists and general audiences.


Part-Time Instructors

​​ Andrea Day: ​Andrea works in the Writing Centre and is a Teaching Assistant for the Writing SSHRC Proposals course. Andrea is a PhD student in the Department of Engl​​ish. Her research inter​ests are Victorian and children's literature, but she ​enjoys working with students from a broad range of disciplines. She also works at the Writing Centre at University College.​​​​
​Ashley Williamson: Ashley is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Her primary research focus is on living history museums in Canada, heritage performances, and Canadian drama and literature.  She has been a TA for Traditions of Drama and Theatre at UTM’s Department of English and Drama since 2013. Ashley has also worked as an actor and director for the stage. This fall she will be teaching "Oral Presentation Skills" for GCAC.

​​ ​Clare Nippard: Clare is currently completing her M. Ed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the Language and Literacies Education Program. Previously, she studied English and Psychology in the U.K. and working in advertising and marketing communications in London. Prior to settling permanently in Toronto, Clare lived and worked in cities across the U.S. and Canada, developing a career focus supporting international students and newcomers. Since 2014, she has been teaching writing and speaking at post-secondary institutions across Toronto. At GCAC, Clare teaches "Academic Conversation Skills" and works in the Writing Centre.
Cristina D’Amico: Cristina is a PhD candidate in the English department, where she researches how nineteenth-century U.S. writers understood the complexity of ownership, property, and civic life. She is excited about opportunities to share her research with diverse, non-specialist audiences. She won the University of Toronto’s Three-Minute Thesis™ competition in 2016 and gave a TEDx presentation in 2017. This fall she will be teaching Oral Presentation Skills (for Native Speakers and Professional MA Students) and Academic Conversation Skills at GCAC. At GCAC, Cristina teaches "Oral Presentation Skills" and "Academic Conversation Skills." 
​​ 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.​  At GCAC, Ivan teaches "Introduction to Science Journalism" and last year he was the recipient of the Sanford Fleming Medal for outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science​.
​Jordana Lobo-Pires: Jordana is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, and a recipient of the SSHRC doctoral scholarship. Her research focuses on the political assumptions underlying the forms of classical argument taught in the early modern period. Jordana has conducted workshops for both graduates and undergraduates across the discipline during four years of work at the Writing Centre at Ryerson University. Prior to undertaking doctoral studies, Jordana worked in editorial and marketing roles in the Canadian publishing industry. She is thrilled to be joining the GCAC at the University of Toronto this year. At GCAC, Jordana works in the Writing Centre and teaches and "Oral Presentation Skills."
Julie Prior: Julie is a senior PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on representations of marriage and women’s agency in dramatic adaptations of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Julie’s interests extend beyond the Shakespearean stage; TESL Ontario certified, her experience as an English and ESL instructor in Canada and abroad informs her current teaching. Julie has taught courses in ESL, literature, and communications at two universities in Saudi Arabia, as well as at home in Canada at Centennial College and the University of Toronto. At GCAC, Julie teaches "Academic Conversation Skills."
​​ ​Katherine Shwetz: Katherine is a senior PhD candidate in the Department of English, where she researches representations of contagious disease in Canadian literature. The interdisciplinary focus of her dissertation research has been a major influence on her writing. She is the past recipient of both OGS and SSHRC awards, and has taught writing-intensive courses at the undergraduate level. Katherine has substantial experience teaching students in both the humanities and the sciences, which has prepared her to help students from many different disciplinary backgrounds succeed in their writing. She believes in helping students cultivate their own individual writing style within academia. At GCAC, Katherine works with students in the "Writing SSHRC Proposals" course.
Dr. Katie Fry: Katie is a senior PhD Candidate at the Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature in English, German and French. She has taught courses in academic writing at the Department of Arts, Culture and Media (U of T Scarborough), the Writing and Rhetoric Program (Innis College), and English language academies in Toronto and Madrid. At GCAC, Katie teaches "Academic Writing 1: Focus on Essentials" and "Academic Conversation Skills."
​Lina Balsamo: Lina is an MA candidate in Language and Literacies Education at OISE. Prior to joining GCAC, Lina spent several years overseeing a writing and tutoring centre at a private university college. With a research focus on promoting the writing skills and confidence of postsecondary language learners, Lina is excited to be teaching Academic Writing Part 1 at GCAC this fall. She also looks forward to working one-to-one in writing centre consultations, helping students discover how to communicate their ideas effectively and to become more proficient writers. At GCAC, Lina works in the Writing Centre and teaches and "Academic Writing 1: Focus on Essentials."
​​ 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.  With lived experience of migration, he is committed to supporting success for international students and newcomers.  At GCAC, Paulie teaches "Academic Conversation Skills" and "Oral Presentation Skills."
​Dr. Trevor Cook: Trevor began teaching in the Writing Centre in 2005, and has taught multiple sections of "Oral Presentation Skills" and "Becoming a Better Editor of Your Own Work", as well as consulted for GCAC’s proposal writing courses. Previously, Trevor was an instructor at the Queen’s University Writing Centre and a Research Assistant at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he assisted in the preparation of a digital writing guide for military personal.  He is a past recipient of OGS and SSHRC scholarships and has taught full-time in the departments of English at both Trent University and York University.

​​Dr. Pejman Habibie: Pejman is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Western University where he completed a Ph.D. in Education. He teaches graduate courses in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. He also has taught in under/graduate programs in Latin America and Asia. His research interests and scholarly publications focus on English for Academic Purposes (EAP), writing for scholarly publication, and academic discourse. He is the Founding editor of Journal of English for Research Publication Purposes (JERPP) (John Benjamins). Recently, he co-edited Novice writer and scholarly publication: Author, mentor, gatekeepers with Ken Hyland. He is a recipient of Mitacs Globalink Research Award and John Dearness Memorial Award. At GCAC, Pejman teaches "Academic Writing 1: Focus on Essentials" and "Academic Conversation Skills."
​​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.  At GCAC, Peter teaches 'Writing CIHR Proposals" for students in the physical and life sciences.  ​
​​ Scott Jamieson: Scott joined GCAC in September 2009 and since then has primarily taught "Academic Writing 1: Focus on Essentials", Academic Writing 2: Focus on Grammar" and "Academic Conversation Skills."  He completed his M.Ed. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the Language and Literacies Education Program, and his professional interests include investigating the impact of context on teaching and learning as well as on second language writing. Scott is a second language learner as well. He studied Continental Philosophy in French-language universities in Canada (at Université Laval and at the Université de Montréal), and so he fully appreciates the trials and tribulations of communicating in an additional language in academic settings. 

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