Research Statement

Agency and identity development are central tenets of my scholarship throughout my graduate and early academic career and play a key role in how I shape and understand my own identity – as a woman, an academic, and person with a disability. Living with heart failure for 15 years (diagnosed in 2005) and as a two-time heart transplant recipient (2014, 2018), both my lived experience of medical disability and scholarship in agency and learning technology reveals a significant relevance to translational research (TR) across education, science, health, and medicine. Along with a series of empirical approaches in my work, I use narrative inquiry, including autoethnography, to enable me to bridge my experience and expertise across seemingly disparate domains. The overall aim of my program of research is to advance interdisciplinary scholarship by engaging in fundamental questions about the nature of scientific inquiry across disciplines and elicit its impact on the democratization of knowledge and promotion of human agency.

In 2010, I was recruited to the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a postdoctoral fellow following the completion of my doctoral work in agency, self-regulation, and learning technology at Simon Fraser University. I conducted interdisciplinary research, developing extensive experience in educational measurement and evaluation using item response approaches and learning analytics to assess student performance in immersive virtual environments for science inquiry. In 2011, I joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria as an assistant professor and over the next 6 years, I advanced an innovative research program that linked technology as a tool for enabling learner agency through improving self-efficacy and self-regulation. I gained critical insight into how environmental structures can function to both enhance and inhibit learner agency. This work resulted in my early promotion to associate professor with tenure prior to my recruitment to the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in 2017.

My contribution to the field of TR and learning technology is evidenced by my scholarly productivity. I have published 15 peer-reviewed journal articles, 18 refereed proceedings, 10 book chapters – including 3 chapter reprints – 23 conference abstracts and presentations. Further, I have 17 keynote addresses and 11 invited presentations many on the topic of TR at such prestigious venues as the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Heart Failure Society of America, and the Cardiovascular Clinical Trialist Forum. I have also published my work in high-impact journals such as the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure. To date, my publications have been cited more than 700 times (Google Scholar). I am also a three-time recipient of an Outstanding Paper Award from the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (2011, 2013, 2016), and in 2019 I received the prestigious Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society in recognition of a significant contribution to the promotion of the cardiovascular health of Canadians.

I have an exceptional track record in obtaining funding support, including SSHRC and CIHR grants, totaling $1,237,000 – $800,000 of which I have received since arriving at UBC. I received a highly competitive SSHRC Insight Development Grant to support my Assessment for Learning in Immersive and Virtual Environments (ALIVE) project, an investigation of assessment for learning in STEM education using virtual game-based technology. I was also successful on a 2020 CIHR Project grant on which I am Co-Investigator: Virtual Clinics to Improve Quality of Care and Outcomes in Heart Failure: A Multi-Centre Randomized Controlled Trial.

I actively mentor graduate students and collaborate with experts at UBC as a member of the Women’s Health Research Cluster, and the Designing for People Research Cluster. Further, I will continue to collaborate with partners (i.e. University of Toronto, University of Alberta, McMaster University) to tackle pioneering and cross-disciplinary questions to advance our understanding of translational research using innovative learning technologies.