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OURA AGM, Awards and Professional Development Day

Includes expert sessions on strategic enrolment management, international enrolment, generation Z and internationalization.

A free event for Registrars (or a voting designate), 2019 OURA award recipients and up to 8 OURA members from each institution.

Registration will open in December.


Professor Maydianne Andrade
Professor Maydianne AndradeKeynote Speaker

Professor Andrade earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University and is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UT St. George. A Canada Research Chair in Integrative Behavioural Ecology from 2007 through 2018, Professor Andrade’s fundamental research has a primary focus on the evolution of behaviour and species diversity. Since 2010, she has also been engaged in knowledge translation with respect to the effects of Unconscious Bias on fair assessment and career progression in academia. As inaugural Chair and co-founder of TIDE (Toronto Initiative for Diversity and Excellence), she has educated a group of faculty who now provide education about Unconscious Bias to academic & staff leaders, and search committees across the tri-campus, with the endorsement of the Provost. She was awarded the 2019 Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize by the University of Toronto’s Alumni Association in recognition of the impact of her work. As Acting Vice Principal Academic & Dean of UTSC (July through December 2019) and in her ongoing role as Vice-Dean Faculty Affairs and Equity (UTSC) since January 2017, Prof. Andrade works to promote the hiring, retention and success of a diverse and inclusive faculty at UTSC.

Unconscious bias and challenges to fair assessment

Assessment of achievement is a fundamental feature of many processes in academia, where it affects admissions, awards, hiring, compensation, resource availability, promotion, and opportunities for further progress. Here I outline research that demonstrates systematic biases in assessment of the competence and achievements of women and racialized persons. These studies, many experimental, demonstrate that the magnitude of these effects can be surprisingly large. Overt biases are addressed in many institutions through adherence to policies and procedures. Other forms of bias are more subtle however, may involve unconscious tendencies that are challenging to identify and address, and are often expressed regardless of self-identification of the actor. I discuss institutional and personal approaches that can mitigate these effects.

Sarah Mines
Sarah MinesConcurrent Session
Sarah has spent her entire career in international education leadership. She has a keen understanding of international student recruitment and retention and has presented at over 30 different conferences on topics ranging from marketing to millennials to global student mobility projections. She has an extensive background in all aspects of internationalisation, specialising in developing and maintaining international partnerships for institutions. Sarah also has in-depth knowledge of global education trends for the language, K-12, and post-secondary sectors.

Dr. Lori Livingston
Dr. Lori LivingstonSpeaker
Dr. Lori Livingston began her term as Provost and Vice-President, Academic at Ontario Tech University on June 1, 2019. Prior to this, Dr. Livingston served as the university’s Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences since 2015.

Dr. Livingston is a noted university administrator and scholar, whose research has spanned a broad range of topics including computer-based learning, the human-computer interface, clinical biomechanics, and most recently her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded research program in the area of sport officiating.

Prior to joining the university she served as the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario) from 2009 to 2015. Her administrative appointments have also included a stint as the Director of the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) from 2000 to 2007. She was also the Chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) where she began her academic career in 1991.

She received her PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Calgary. She also earned her Master of Science in Biomechanics and a concurrent Bachelor of Arts (Biology)/Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (with distinction) from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario).

She has held a number of leadership positions, including terms as the President of the Canadian Association of Health Sciences Deans (CAHSD) and the Canadian Council of University Physical Education and Kinesiology Administrators (CCUPEKA). She also served as a member of numerous boards of directors, including the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the NorWest Community Health Centres (Thunder Bay).

In addition to her academic successes, Dr. Livingston is a former national team coach and leader in women’s field lacrosse, and a former university varsity athlete in the sports of ice hockey and field hockey. Involvement in sport and physical activity has always been one of her passions, and she continues to contribute back to sport through her research endeavours.

Seána Curley
Seána CurleySpeaker, Content Marketing Specialist, WLU
Seána Curley is new to higher education and Canada. Coming from Ireland, she has already made an impact with her vast international marketing experience and constant advocacy for the audience and their needs and behaviours. As a recent addition to the industry, she challenges the status quo and strives to use analytics to deliver results and learnings. Collaboration is key for Seána – she works to develop and maintain relationships, both cross-functionally within the organization and institution, and externally with agencies and other key stakeholders. A creative and results-driven marketing professional, her expertise is in digital strategy and activation across all channels. Seána thrives in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of marketing by leading digital strategy and aligning to brand strategy, resulting in best-in-class execution across all marketing activities.

Courageously adapting for Generation Z

No matter what your role is, students are at the heart of everything. But the student of today is a lot different than the millennial of just a few years ago. Be immersed in the habits, values and perceptions of Gen Z (born 1995-2010) to gain a deeper understanding of this generation. Hear actionable takeaways on how to best communicate with and engage Gen Z as well as tips on how to create experiences and services that are tailored to their needs. You’ll leave inspired to think outside the box and to have the courage to change what you’re doing for Gen. Z and how you’re doing it.

Alex Usher
Alex UsherSpeaker, President Higher Education Strategy Associates
Alex Usher is the President of Higher Education Strategy Associates, a role he has held for over a decade. He is an internationally recognized consultant and expert in post-secondary strategic planning and counselling. He is regularly engaged by Canadian and international clients for projects on student financial aid and access to post-secondary education; rankings, benchmarking and quality measurement in higher education, and development of strategic plans in higher education at the national, provincial, and institutional levels.

Prior to founding Higher Education Strategy Associates, Mr. Usher served as the Director of Educational Policy Institute Canada and as the Director of Research and Program Development at the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Usher served as a researcher and lobbyist for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and before that was the first national director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. He holds degrees from McGill University and Carleton University.

Mr. Usher is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise, making appearances and providing editorials to a range of publications including The Globe and Mail¸ Macleans, CBC, Radio–Canada, Inside Higher Education and others. He has also authored several scholarly publications, including pieces with Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, and McGill-Queen’s University Press. He is a frequently requested conference speaker, and has presented at conferences in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and elsewhere. His internationally read (and free) daily intelligence e-mail, One Thought to Start Your Day, has 10,000 subscribers. He also regularly engages with fans and critics alike on Twitter (@alexusherhesa).

When Alex is not thinking about post-secondary systems and outcomes, he can be found raiding used bookstores for their most eccentric titles, ardently cheering for Toronto FC, or obsessing about the latest developments in sumo.

Transit and Parking

The University of Toronto Scarborough is easily accessible from a variety of public transit.

Arriving by taxi or Uber? Ask to be dropped off in Scarborough Circle and then walk to Highland Hall.

Parking is available in Lot G, which can be entered at Military Trail and Pan Am Drive. Upon entry to the parking lot, take a ticket. You will be provided with a complementary exit ticket at the registration desk. The walk from the parking lot to Highland Hall is approximately 10 minutes.