Student speaking in class.


Photo of Dr. Heather Kirk.Dr. Heather Kirk

2019-2020 Faculty Scholar

Dr. Kirk’s Faculty Scholar project is the creation of Scholaris: an open-access, trans-disciplinary journal dedicated to small-campus/small-class teaching and learning. This journal aims to fill a lacuna in the scholarship of teaching and learning, addressing pedagogical issues and interests unique to small universities and colleges. The goal of Dr. Kirk’s project is to empower small-campus scholars to discover and celebrate their pedagogical strengths. “As a novice to SoTL research, I have found it daunting to find my place in this growing field. By providing an invaluable forum for scholars in unique contexts and environments, perhaps this journal will inspire local, national, and international discussions on the value of small-campus and small-classroom teaching and learning.”

Scholaris – meaning relating to schools or to scholars – will be peer-reviewed, accepting entries in either English or French and hosted through Scholarship@Western and Open Journal Systems. Dr. Kirk is planning the release of the first issue for 2020.

Scholars interested in joining the editorial committee or the advisory board are encouraged to contact Dr. Kirk at


Colleen SharenPhoto of Colleen Sharen.

2018-2019 Faculty Scholar

Colleen plans to explore the extent to which gender enters into the organizational culture of institutions of higher education, thus shaping institutional assumptions about who is fit to lead; and, how those assumptions manifest in female students’ leadership identities. Her teaching innovation project intends to look at the teaching and learning methods (both curricular and extracurricular) that support students’ leadership development, specifically through a comparison of the MOS programs at Brescia and King’s University Colleges. “While leadership is not an explicit Brescia institutional learning competency, it is an explicit promise in our marketing materials… [This project] will provide our community with a baseline understanding of the effectiveness of teaching and learning innovations in leadership development.” Given Brescia’s mission statement and current Strategic Plan, Colleen plans to explore whether “Brescia better develops female students’ leadership identities as compared to a coeducational institution… The methods identified in this study could then be implemented and assessed in other academic and extracurricular programs at Brescia.”