SAIT Academic Faculty Association
James McWilliams, SAFA President 2014 – 2018
you have any questions or concerns please contact:
James McWilliams (SAFA
Al Brown (SAFA Labour Relations Officer)
through the SAFA Office
– N201 Senator Burns Building (403) 284-8321.
The ACIFA Conference
The ACIFA (Alberta
Colleges Instructional Faculty Association) held its annual Conference this
year, May 15-18, 2107 in the pristine Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper Park Alberta.
The Conference was hosted by Bow Valley College; and the theme for this year
was “Pioneering Alberta’s Learning Frontier”. In keeping with the
theme the Keynote Speaker was renowned naturalist and anthropologist Brian
Keating. Keating hosted a weekly column for the CBC and has been featured on
Discovery Channel. He is an assistant professor of anthropology at the
University of Calgary. Keating’s presentation was energetic and humorous, with
a superbly unique overview of Alberta’s mountain and glacier park lands. Quite
impressive for those of us that have never really taken advantage of Alberta’s
The Conference offered a
melee of educational sessions, facilitated by faculty members from various
colleges in Alberta. Most importantly, there were a number of SAIT Faculty
members that presented some very enlightening sessions.
April 28, 2016 - Photo with Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt
Left to right: Al Brown, Amir Fard, Tracy Fawcett, Honourable Marlin Schmidt, Candace Van Apeldoorn, James McWilliams
Scroll down for photo of Minister of Advanced Education with some of the SAFA Executive members...
Our thanks and
Teela Kowalchuk, Instructor in the School of Health & Public Safety who
presented the “The Locked Classroom” keeping students engaged with hands on –
relevant – comprehensive and fun through modified learning.
Ian Cowley, Jen
Marran, Alan MacLean, from Faculty Development Services presented,
“From SME to Shining – SME”. A superb overview of best practices, supporting,
mentoring and teaching Excellence provided by these facilitators, emphasizing
the journey from a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to SMEs as- practicing -
practitioner of research –based instructional best practices.
Sherryl Melnyk, Instructor conducted a workshop on, “The Art of Storytelling to
Engage Post-Secondary Students”. A fun filled class promoting the art of
Storytelling as an interactive form of expression. The workshop highlights the
opportunity for the use of stories as a means of deepening students’
engagement, understanding, and retention of course materials.
Yoni Porat, Academic Services… would have us explore the “Prisoners Dilemma”.
Our colleague with his unique mathematical mind had the participants try and
rationalize “Dilemma”. The question the Dilemma forces participants to confront
is: do we all have a rational reason to cooperate with others and abandon our
short-term preferences?? No one succumbed to abuse or injury during the
Al Brown, SAFAs official Labour Relations Officer gave an extensive overview
on “The Duty to Accommodate in The workplace”. Emphasis on the duty of
Employers in Canada (Specifically within Post-Secondary) to make every
reasonable effort, short of undue hardship to accommodate an employee who falls
under protected ground of discrimination within human right legislation. Insightful
tips into, pitfalls to avoid, factors to look for to help you understand your
I would also like to
send out a personal ‘Thank You’ to two of our SAIT Colleagues that participated
in a Discussion panel on:- Academic Integrity: The Current Impact for
Instructors and Students and Future Professional Implications. Mary Marier and Jane
Dieghan from the School of Business.
Their input was both valued and appreciated.
The Jasper Park Lodge
staff were responsive to the needs of the Conference participants, Monday
evening we enjoyed a well prepared buffet and some lively “Dueling Pianos”
entertainment. The evening gave all in attendance an opportunity to
mingle, converse and catch up with old friends. Bow Valley College were
attentive hosts and made everyone feel welcome.
The highlights of these
Conferences for me are: having the pleasure of meeting SAIT Faculty that
I do not always have the chance to dialogue with through the year. Most
importantly though, it is having the opportunity and the privilege to showcase
SAIT’s faculty presenters.
The 2017 Conference will
be held in Canmore; the host will be Olds College and their theme will be
President, SAFA Academic