Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Imaging
Associate Professor, Department of Women's Studies & Feminist Research
Centre Researcher, Centre for Education Research & Innovation
PhD, University of Western Ontario, Education
“Remember, it’s about people” — Sir Ernest Shackleton
Born a Shackleton herself, and growing up with her parent’s rural home full to the brim with international exchange students, Kathy learned the exploratory joys of observing and experiencing difference in others from a young age. Her fascination with difference flowed into her work as a teacher where she recognized the many different styles and mediums that her students and the teachers she trained used to communicate and to learn.
Today, those foundational experiences have led her to become an expert in Multiliteracies: the practice of empowering people to recognize the plethora of communication tools (such as image, video, body language, and digital communication) which are available to them. To that end, part of her work is observational. She watches, listens, reads, and records the ways medical professionals and patients interact with the world of information around them. Kathy has recognized an important evolution in thought and communication when a patient participates in an online social community for persons with the same condition or when a medical student chooses to watch their podcasted lectures over and over again rather than relying solely on their notes. Her research monitors the various adaptations to our constantly evolving world of communication and knowledge translation. She works to help the medical education system adapt to the needs, habits, and skills of its consumers; thankfully, in medicine, learning is understood to be a lifelong process and healthcare professionals specifically are eternal students.
Previous to Multilteracies the traditional strategy for measuring ‘quality of knowledge’ has been standardization of assessment and teaching. Research that understands how to effectively tailor information delivery methods to suit the learners of a new generation has found its niche. Kathy’s hope is that improvements to can be made to rote and didactic methods of teaching to extend beyond the scope of standardization. Ultimately, Kathy’s goal is nothing less than establishing a Centre for Multiliteracies Research in the Professions and establishing Western as centre for collaborative, technologically savvy, and interactive curriculum research and development.