Profs-in-Commons

Profs-in-Commons is part of the Profs-in-Spaces network, a UBC wide project that seeks to increase meaningful engagement between students and professors outside of the classroom. Since fall 2016, the Chapman Learning Commons has been part of the Prof in Spaces community, embedding professors’ office hours in the pavilion spaces (the Learning Lounge and the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication) on level 3 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The office hours take place alongside other academic support programs–Science Peer Academic Coaching, Kinesiology Peer Academic Coaching and the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication. The intention is that multiple academic supports delivered by a combination of professors, TAs, and student leaders, will lead to innovation in holistic approaches, learning support, and interdisciplinary dialogue. Regardless of the classes they are teaching, our Profs-in-Commons welcome students from any discipline to stop by.

Office Hours

Learning Lounge | Level 3 | IKBLC

  • 09:00
  • 09:30
  • 10:00
  • 10:30
  • 11:00
  • 11:30
  • 12:00
  • 12:30
  • 13:00
  • 13:30
  • 14:00
  • 14:30
  • 15:00
  • 15:30
  • 16:00
  • 16:30
  • 17:00
  • 17:30
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Dr. Robyn Pitman FMST 210 & 314
  • Wednesday
    • Dr. Neil Armitage SOCI 240 & 361
    • Dr. Pam Kalas BIOL 121, 234 & 335
  • Thursday
    • Dr. Robyn Pitman FMST 210 & 314
    • Dr. Ana Vivaldi SOCI 201 & 371
    • Dr. Pam Kalas BIOL 121, 234 & 335
  • Friday

Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication | Level 3 | IKBLC

Term I: May 6 – June 20

  • 09:00
  • 09:30
  • 10:00
  • 10:30
  • 11:00
  • 11:30
  • 12:00
  • 12:30
  • 13:00
  • 13:30
  • 14:00
  • 14:30
  • 15:00
  • 15:30
  • 16:00
  • 16:30
  • 17:00
  • 17:30
  • Monday
    • Dr. Mi-Young Kim WRDS 150
  • Tuesday
    • Dr. Jonathan Otto WRDS 150
  • Wednesday
    • Dr. Mike Borkent WRDS 150
    • Dr. Mi-Young Kim WRDS 150
  • Thursday
  • Friday

Our Profs-in-Commons

Dr. Neil Armitage

Dr. Neil Armitage

Neil did all his studies in Europe, attaining a Bachelors and Masters degree from Uppsala University, and a PhD from Manchester University in the field of cultural cosmopolitanism. Neil is a Lecturer in Sociology at UBC, and this will be his third year as a Prof-in-Commons. In the space, along with TAs, he holds his office hours for SOCI 102 and SOCI 200. When the weather permits, Neil can be found wandering campus with students and fellow profs on a #profwalk, and when not, instructing students how to knit a waterproof toque during ‘Knit n Knatter’. He enjoys going for runs, swimming, and walking his puppy, Polly.
Dr. Mike Borkent

Dr. Mike Borkent

Mike teaches academic writing and comics studies in the Arts Studies in Research and Writing program. With a background in literature, cognitive studies, and biology, Mike builds interdisciplinarity into his courses, to showcase how knowledge developments and genres vary by discipline, even while sharing interests in works like comics and graphic novels. His research focuses on developing analytical frameworks for multimodal literature (especially comics) through insights from cognitive studies of image and language comprehension, while drawing on a range of other literary and cultural interests.
Dr. Mi-Young Kim

Dr. Mi-Young Kim

Mi-Young is trying out the Learning Commons this year in hopes that this centrally located space will encourage her students in WRDS 150 to come and discuss their writing and research interests more (and early on!). Her research and teaching interests include, but not limited to, academic socialization, sociolinguistics, identity and ideology of language learners, critical pedagogy, academic writing, translation, Teaching English as a Second Language, English for Academic Purposes, among many others. She welcomes inspiring ideas and engaging conversations especially regarding the current topic of her WRDS 150 sections: “Fad, Fashion, and Fit”.
Dr. Jonathan Otto

Dr. Jonathan Otto

Jonathan is a Lecturer in Arts Studies in Research and Writing within the Faculty of Arts.   As a geographer, Jonathan studies the politics of sustainable development initiatives in southern Mexico.  Specifically, he is interested in how dominant development and environmental discourses interact with local conceptualizations of climate change, sustainability and well-being.  Jonathan’s research inspires his work in his WRDS 150 classes where he collaborates with his students to analyze how knowledge is produced and shared within and across academic disciplines.  He also supports his students as they begin to participate in scholarly practices of knowledge production and communication by completing semester-long research and writing assignments.
Dr. Ana Vivaldi

Dr. Ana Vivaldi

I see teaching, research, collaboration, and writing as a continuum. My interests in studying the politics of indigeneity and race in urban spaces (and in particular the way mobility among marginalized populations challenge subordination) informs my teaching on Sociological Theories, Ethnographic Methodologies, Political and Media Anthropology. Conversely, my experience as a popular educator working within rural and indigenous teachers, at Ethnographic Museum of Buenos Aires has shaped the academic interests that motivated to become a researcher. I have a background in ethnographic and digital methodologies, social theories, political anthropology, indigenous studies and media, and I also enjoy walking, biking, swimming as another way of engaging with people and the world.
Dr. Robyn Pitman

Dr. Robyn Pitman

Robyn is new to the Prof-in-Commons this year. Robyn is a Lecturer in Sociology at UBC who primarily teaches in the Family Studies minor. She has been teaching at the undergraduate level for 8 years at various institutions. Outside of her teaching experiences, Robyn is also a mental health clinician and has experience working in community counseling agencies, family health teams, and a private psychotherapy clinic prior to joining UBC in July 2018. She regularly draws upon her clinical experiences in her courses to highlight concepts in “action”. In her free time, Robyn enjoys hiking, scuba driving, crossfit, and eating good food.
Dr. Pam Kalas

Dr. Pam Kalas

Pam is originally from the South of Switzerland and studied biology at the University of Geneva, about five hours West of her hometown. Although for her Master’s she would have really loved to do research on the genetics of dogs, she settled for fruit flies. In 2000, she moved to Vancouver to do her PhD (where she also used the fruit fly as a model organism), and after graduating just never left. Pam has taught a number of courses in the Biology and Science One Programs since 2009, including BIOL121, BIOL140, BIOL234 and 334, BIOL 335, BIOL 337, BIOL463, and the biology component of Science One. She is also an Integrated Sciences mentor and, since last summer, the director of the Combined Major in Science Program. What Pam likes the most about her job is the interaction with students. In Pam’s words “I find that I learn from them as much as they may learn from me!”

#ProfWalks