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Faculty

Jennifer Barbour

Jennifer Barbour

Jennifer is a professor in Seneca’s School of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Jennifer has diverse experiences working with children from birth through adolescence and firmly believes in the value that international work experiences offer individuals. Jennifer has assisted government organizations and local schools to open childcare centres founded on the principles of play-based new practices in Singapore and has presented at numerous conferences including an international conference in China, in 2017.

During her time as a kindergarten teacher in Toronto, Jennifer implemented project-based curriculums focused on creative thinking and problem-solving that were inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia. Jennifer’s research interest is focused on supporting mathematics development in early childhood. 

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Jo Blay

Jo is a professor of Seneca’s ECE Diploma and Honours Bachelor of Child Development (BCD) program. Jo obtained her M.Sc. and PhD in Psychology of Education, an Honours BA in Social Sciences and teaching certification and has published several papers, reports and conference proceedings.

Jo has extensive teaching and research experience in the field of early childhood education and has worked in the U.K., U.S., Caribbean, Africa and Canada. Jo has also acted as a government inspector of early childhood programs and schools in the U.K.

Darcey Dachyshyn

Darcey Dachyshyn

Darcey is a professor in Seneca’s School of ECE, teaching a variety of professional practice courses. She strongly believes that bringing the voices of the margins to the centre will enrich everyone’s life. Her passion and focus are rooted in transformative learning, and how critical thinking of the self and others can lead to a fair, equitable and compassionate society. Darcey centres her teaching around the role and impact of sociocultural-historical context in shaping people, notions of interculturalism, decolonization and Indigenous ways of knowing.

Darcey’s experiences offer a broad perspective on children and childhood stemming from teaching at local and international postsecondary institutions. She also has experience working and conducting research with newcomers to Canada.

Nish Damji

Nish Damji

Nish is a professor in Seneca’s School of ECE and she teaches courses related to curriculum, art and working with families. Nish utilizes her experiences from working with a variety of curricula including Reggio Emilia, High Scope, International Baccalaureate and Montessori to engage students in best practices.

Nish has experience training educators and non-educators in areas of the world where early childhood education is limited. Her training includes the Play and Inquiry approach to learning, using anti-bias concepts. She has experience working with children, their families and educators in Kenya, Canada, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Russia, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Julie Gerrits

Julie Gerrits

Julie is a professor of Child Development, ECE and infant mental health programs. She has a Masters in Counselling Psychology and is a registered psychotherapist in Ontario. During her 12 years of experience as a child and family therapist, Julie supported children and families from diverse backgrounds. She has experience in providing holistic and therapeutic services to military families, adolescent female recipients of therapeutic care, families involved with child welfare and children impacted by maltreatment, trauma and loss.

Before pursuing her role at Seneca, Julie built capacity in the York Region’s child welfare sector through her deliverance of comprehensive consultation and assessment services to professionals. She also delivered children’s mental health training to foster parents. Julie offers knowledge in mental health interventions, emotional well-being, family dynamics, child maltreatment, interpersonal relationships and understanding behaviour through the lenses of attachment, trauma and childhood development.

Laurie Georgopoulos

Laurie Georgopoulos

Laurie is a Field Liaison ECE, and she teaches courses related to pre-school and school-age curriculum. She has taught at Seneca’s School of ECE since 2013 and is admired by her students for her sense of humour and genuine love of teaching. When Laurie is not working, she enjoys shopping, eating and spending time with family.

Farveh Ghafouri

Farveh Ghafouri

Farveh is a professor of ECE and BCD programs at Seneca. Farveh joined Seneca in 2015 and possesses more than 20 years of experience in teaching levels from pre-kindergarten to adults at various institutions. Farveh’s teaching encompasses pedagogy and curriculum development focused on nature in urban school settings, the Reggio Emilia approach, research methods and digital technologies in early childhood.

Farveh is a regional co-ordinator at the Centre of Excellence in the Ontario Ministry of Education. She obtained her doctorate in education from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
Farveh regularly presents at various conferences including the American Educational Research Association conference (2015), and the Canadian Society for Studies in Education (2015). Her research interests include climate change, digital technologies and childhood, nature and children, play and literacy, self-study and community of practice.

Minodora Grigorescu

Minodora Grigorescu

Minodora is a professor in the School of ECE, with more than 25 years of experience as an early childhood educator, professor, consultant, workshop presenter and trainer. She pioneered training in Ontario’s Ministry of Education initiatives such Early Learning for Every Child Today and How Does Learning Happen?
By infusing her teaching with field requirements, Minodora helps her students gain practical knowledge. Her expertise lies in child development and curriculum, with a narrowed interest in preschool and school-age children.

As an active member in the Romanian community, Minodora teaches grade one Romanian class and has developed curriculum published by the Toronto District School Board – International Language Elementary. Minodora’s work in the Romanian community was acknowledged by the Romanian President in August 2018 with a high distinction.

Jo Ann Iantosca

Jo Ann Iantosca

Jo Ann is a professor of the ECE and BCD programs at Seneca and teaches topics such as educational philosophy, childhood assessment and research methods.

Jo Ann is a doctoral student n Applied Psychology at the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. For her doctorate thesis, Jo Ann has been working with a panel of experts from interRAI to construct a single comprehensive assessment of early childhood development and health for children under four years old. Jo Ann has a Master of Educational Administration, B.Ed., Honours Specialization in Developmental Psychology and an ECE Diploma.

Her research continues to be published in numerous conference proceedings, research and in various peer-reviewed journals. Jo Ann participates as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Early Intervention, the Journal of Early Childhood Research, the Canadian Society for Studies in Education and the Journal of Teaching and Learning.

Louise Jupp

Louise Jupp

Louise Jupp is a professor in the BCD Honours Bachelor program and ECE diploma program at Seneca. Louise holds M.Ed in Teaching and Learning and a BA in ECE. She is a Forest and Nature School Practitioner, the Pedagogist for KOLTS Forest School and a Shanker Self-Reg Learning Facilitator.

Louise has facilitated many workshops and conferences with early childhood practitioners, elementary school teachers, and early years leaders and has engaged in on-site consultation to early learning communities in Canada and abroad.

Alain Koo

Alain Koo

Alain is a professor of ECE with more than 20 years of experience. Alain taught as an elementary school teacher, athletic director and faculty member in the School of ECE at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Alain is passionate about promoting physical literacy, and has worked to create a Physical Literacy Handbook for all childcare centres in the York Region.

Alain has experience working with non-profit organizations such as The Canadian Chinese Youth Athletic Association and Girls Addicted to Basketball, where he facilitated programs and curriculums that promote physical literacy for children in early childhood.

Kathrina Lalog

Kathrina Lalog

Kathrina is a professor and the field placement co-ordinator in the School of ECE. With more than 30 years of experience, she has worked as an educator, a centre supervisor, home childcare co-ordinator and adult educator. Kathrina offers diverse experiences that benefit the classroom teaching curriculum, development and professional practice courses and field placement coordination.

Dr. Shawna Lee

 Shawna Lee

Shawna is a professor of the ECE and BCD programs at the School of ECE. She has a MA (Master of Arts) in Early Childhood studies and PhD in Educational Psychology. Her expertise and passion are rooted in the field of Children’s Mental Health, Inclusion of Family Support. Shawna is passionate about understanding children’s mental health in educational settings and how mental health professionals can support them.

Shawna actively collaborates with Triple P International and the University of Queensland on various initiatives, including research projects related to the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. She has experience leading various research projects and cross-sectoral community partnership initiatives.

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer is a professor with more than 20 years of experience in the field of ECE. Jennifer has worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children in various environments, including homes and childcare centres. Jennifer has worked for different school boards as a teacher and an early childhood educator in kindergarten.

Sarah Liddell

Sarah Liddell

Sarah is a professor of the ECE diploma and BCD degree programs and clinician in the field of children’s mental health. She focuses on the areas of attachment, family violence, settlement adjustment and risk. Sarah teaches about assessment, theory and infant mental health in both the BCD and Infant and Early Child Mental Health programs.

Sarah obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and has led presentations regarding addiction, homelessness and school readiness at various conferences.

Dale Long

Dale Long

Dale is a professor in the School of ECE. Previously, she held positions at Seneca as the Program Co-ordinator and Chair. Dale completed her ECE degree at Ryerson University, and her M.Ed. at OISE, with a focus on curriculum development. She presented at several national and international conferences and had served on several conference and workshop program committees. Dale continues to serve on several school councils in her community.

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Karen Nolan

Karen has been a professor in the School of ECE since 1998 and has worked in various early childhood settings by supporting children with special needs and their families. She was a teacher at Bloorview McMillan Children’s Centre (now called Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital).

Karen is the co-author of the Seventh Canadian Edition of Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs, Children with Exceptionalities. Karen has an ECE Diploma from Seneca, B.A.A in ECE from Ryerson University, B.Ed. from York University and M.Ed. from Brock University.

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Barbara Pytka

Barbara is a professor in the School of ECE with more than 20 years of experience. She leads educational endeavours related to early childhood education pedagogy, scholarship, advocacy, policy and international networking. In her former roles, she was as a daycare supervisor and curriculum adviser and contributed to educating and developing educators.

Barabara’s research interests include the relationship between professional development and mentoring practices in early childhood education, with a specific focus on mentoring practices that contribute to strengthening professional skills and increasing quality in childcare programs.

Dr. Sharon Quan-McGimpsey

Dr. Sharon Quan-McGimpsey

Sharon has been a professor at Seneca since 1988 and has experience teaching communication, child development, curriculum, theory and practicum courses. Her areas of interest are in mental health and family relations. She teaches Attachment Across the Life Span, Parent and Child Relationships: Theoretical Foundations, The Effects of Stress, Trauma and Violence on Children’s Learning and Interpersonal Communications courses.

Sharon has a BA in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, B.Ed. from the University of Western Ontario, M.Sc. and PhD in Family Relations and Human Development from the University of Guelph.

Sharon has experience as a lecturer and director of the laboratory preschool at the University of Waterloo and the Dean of the Early Childhood Institute for the ruling party for the government in Singapore. She has published scholarly articles about relational closeness in teacher-child relationships and has supervised Seneca degree students for their co-op experiences in research publication and teaching assisting opportunities.

Sharon is also a designer and educational consultant in curriculum and programming for the multigenerational clubhouse in Singapore.

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Pat Resnick

Pat is a professor of the ECE program, and she teaches Child Development. Following her graduation from Seneca’s ECE program, Pat was invited to teach at Seneca. Simultaneously, Pat began working with preschool and children with special needs. For the past 25 years, Pat has been active in the field of special education and continues to work with infants and preschool children with special needs.

Pat has been a guest lecturer for the Faculty of ECE at Kyambogo University in Uganda and North East Normal University in China.

Jennifer Sabatini

Jennifer Sabatini

Jennifer is a professor in the School of ECE with more than 30 years of experience. Jennifer joined Seneca in 2007 and has taught curriculum and development courses since. Jennifer utilizes teaching methods that allow learners to construct their own knowledge through the practical application of their learning. She sees her teaching role as having a critical influence in enhancing learnings to engage in critical thinking, self-reflection and continuous professional development.

Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer is a professor in the discipline of Child Development. Before joining Seneca in 2014, she was the Director of the Dr. Mary J. Wright University Laboratory School at the University of Western Ontario, Assistant Professor Psychology at St. Francis Xavier University and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo.

Jennifer has an ECE diploma from St. Clair College, a BA in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Waterloo. Jennifer’s research focuses on the development of vocabulary knowledge in young children and teaching methods for children learning their first or second language. She teaches courses in human development, music curriculum, language development, methods of assessment and statistics at Seneca.