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. More schedules to be added soon.

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
    • Dr. Pam Kalas
      Sci One, CMS, ISCI, BIOL 121/140/234
    • Dr. Steve Wolfman
      CPSC 103
  • Tuesday
    • Dr. Pam Kalas
      Prof Walks & Chat (biweekly)
  • Wednesday
    • Dr. Anthony Estey
      CPSC 110, CPSC 213
    • Dr. Katja Thieme
      WRDS 150, ENGL 110
    • Dr. Neil Armitage
      SOCI 102, SOCI 200
  • Thursday
    • Dr. Neil Armitage
      Knit & Knatter (biweekly)
  • Friday
    • Dr. Pam Kalas
      Sci One, CMS, ISCI, BIOL 121/140/234

Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication | 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
    • Dr. Jonathan Otto
      WRDS 150
    • Dr. Mi-Young Kim
      WRDS 150
  • Tuesday
    • Dr. Laila Ferreira
      WRDS 150
  • Wednesday
    • Dr. Sue Blake
      WRDS 150
    • Dr. Mi-Young Kim
      WRDS 150
  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Dr. Mike Borkent
      WRDS 150
    • Dr. Sue Blake
      WRDS 150

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. Susan Blake

Dr. Susan J. Blake

Susan is new to the Prof-in-Commons this year, and will hold her office hours for WRDS 150: Linguistic Landscapes and WRDS 350: Knowledge-Making in the Disciplines in the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (IKBLC, 3rd Floor). She is trained as a theoretical linguist/fieldworker, and came to Arts Studies in Research and Writing (ASRW) in 2013 after spending five years teaching at a private innovative women’s university in Saudi Arabia. She is passionate about issues regarding global language endangerment and language revitalization, and welcomes opportunities to talk to students about their own research and writing practices.

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. Paul Carter

Dr. Paul Carter

This is Paul’s first year as a Prof-in-Commons and he will be holding office hours for CPSC 103 and APSC 160. He is keenly interested in student learning, especially when it comes to Computer Science! He also enjoys photography and travel.

Dr. Anthony Estey

Dr. Anthony Estey

Anthony is the Professor in Residence for Place Vanier and a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. He graduated from the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island in 2017. His research focuses primarily on first-year computer science education. Although Anthony is holding office hours for CPSC 110 and CPSC 213 in this space, he is more than happy to chat with anyone that wants to drop by and learn about what computer science is all about.

Dr. Laila Ferreira

Dr. Laila Ferreira

Dr. Laila Ferreira has taught in ASRW (WRDS 150 and WRDS 350) for over 9 years and continues to be inspired by her students as they work towards their research and writing goals. She received her M.A. from SFU and Ph.D. from UBC (both in English Literature) and has been at UBC ever since. Laila has experience in teaching research and writing across the disciplines but most particularly in the Arts and Humanities. Her current teaching and research interests have to do with Universal Design for Learning and how to develop a university community and classroom that is inclusive of all students. Laila also enjoys yoga and is currently learning American Sign Language.

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!”

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. Amy Scott Metcalfe

Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe

Amy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on higher education in Canada and the North American region, including critical approaches to internationalization, academic labour and mobility, and critical policy studies in education. She is an active landscape photographer. See her photos on Instagram @100views and her full bio on her website.

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. Katja Thieme

Dr. Katja Thieme

Most of Katja’s day-to-day work with students is teaching them how to build a research project and how to write in research genres. As a genre theorist, she see genres everywhere. In her research she’s particularly interested in how written genres are mobilized in the service of political movements–from petitions, open letters, requests for meetings, to parodies, performances, and hunger strikes. She’s also very interested in how different academic disciplines use research writing (like grant proposals, journal articles, blog posts) differently depending on their different disciplinary or political motivations. Right now, she’s intensely studying how scholarship in the field of trans studies is asserting itself. Whatever it is you study, she always likes to hear about your experiences of how learning and teaching works in that discipline!

Dr. Steve Wolfman

Dr. Steve Wolfman

Steve is new to the Prof-in-Commons team but excited to continue his recent trend toward larger and larger spaces to replace the ‘office’ in ‘office hours’. He’ll be teaching CPSC 103 and CPSC 311 this term. Along with having taught a dozen or so different computing courses, Steve also studies computing education, raises one pre-school and one pre-teen girl, plays board games, cooks, bikes, and wears many T-shirts with wolves on them.

#ProfWalks