Executive Members


Laurel Hart is a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Department of Integrated Studies in Education under Dr. Claudia Mitchell. She holds a Doctorate in Art Education at Concordia University, and BA and BEd degrees from UBC. She’s a BC certified teacher, having taught in public schools, community, post-secondary, and international settings, (recently Kyoto and Tokyo).

Hart’s work explores urban community development through the arts (notably participatory and collaborative art forms), social media, and community and arts-based research. Her interests include: place making, educational technologies, informal education, new media arts and photography, and interdisciplinary research. Hart’s doctoral research involved the creation of the women’s mobile photography community, Her Mind's Eye. Through social media and in-person meetings, the group explored women’s experiences of urban life, highlighting women’s voices through local exhibitions and online presence. Details about laurel’s art and background can be found at www.laurelhart.net; documentation of her participatory artworks are at: www.participatorycreation.com.


Ashwani Kumar is an Associate Professor of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University. His teaching and research focus upon meditative inquiry which is a self-reflective and aesthetic approach to teaching, learning, and living. He has conceptualized several key curricular and pedagogical concepts, namely, curriculum as meditative inquiry, teaching as meditative inquiry, and music as meditative inquiry. He has also developed a contemplative research methodology called dialogical meditative inquiry to conduct subjective and inter-subjective qualitative research. He plays the harmonium and sings and composes Indian classical music. His current project focuses on researching the theory and practice of Indian classical music and their implications for the field of education. He is the author of two scholarly books: Curriculum As Meditative Inquiry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and Curriculum in International Contexts: Understanding Colonial, Ideological, and Neoliberal Influences (Palgrave Macmillan, in press).


Hala Mreiwed is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Education at McGill University and a child rights education advocate and consultant. She is the recipient of several awards including: the P. Lantz Fellowship for Excellence in Education and the Arts, Grad Excellence Award in Integrated Studies in Education, the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC) Bourse de doctorat en recherche, and the Dissertation Proposal Award. Her FRQSC-funded research is on child rights education, and the transformation of the UN CRC from a symbolic text to a living document in classrooms. Her research interests in human and child rights education, equity in education, impact of war-trauma on education, teacher education and training, community-building within classrooms, children’s media and creative drama come from her personal, academic and professional experiences in Canada and abroad.


Dr. Lisa Mitchell was born in Truro, NS, raised in Victoria, BC, and has spent the last 10 years living and working in Ontario. She is pleased to return to the Maritimes as an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at St. Thomas University, starting in July, 2019. Lisa has an extensive background as a classroom teacher, having taught Music and Arts in K-12 schools in both Canada and abroad, and as a university instructor in Education most recently for six years at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Lisa holds a PhD in Education (Queen’s, 2014), a Master of Education (UVIC, 2009), a Bachelor of Education (UBC, 2004), and a Bachelor of Music (Capilano, 2003). In addition, she is a certified teacher (BC) and a trained music conductor in both classical and jazz traditions. Lisa plays the flute and piano, is a photographer, loves to sing, has a passion for incorporating elements of the natural environment into her teaching, has a deep respect for the infusion of Indigenous perspectives in the classroom, and is a strong advocate for Arts-based integrated teaching and learning practices. Lisa’s current teaching and research interests are in the areas of: curriculum and pedagogy; integrated and intercontextual approaches to teaching and teacher education; international schools, students, and contexts; ethical responsibility and inclusive practices in diverse classrooms; narrative research methodology; collaborative teaching practices; and Music and Arts-based education and research.


Bonnie Nish is Executive Director of Pandora’s Collective Outreach Society, a literary charitable organization in Vancouver, BC, and was Artistic Director of The Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival for ten years. Bonnie has a Masters in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Language and Literacy Education at UBC. Her area of research is returning to an academic like after recovering from Trauma, specifically MTBI , using  poetic inquiry and life writing. Bonnie has been widely published worldwide. Her first book of poetry, Love and Bones, was released by Karma Press in 2013. Her next book, Concussion and Mild TBI: Not Just Another Headline, an anthology of concussion-related stories, was published by Lash and Associates in August 2016. Ekstasis Editions will release her next book of poetry, Cantata in Two Voices, co-written with Jude Neale, this fall.


Adrian Downey is a Mi’kmaw PhD candidate at The University of New Brunswick. He holds undergraduate degrees in music and education from Bishop’s University and a Master’s of Arts focused in curriculum studies from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). His master’s thesis, “Speaking in Circles: Indigenous Identity and White Privilege,” is an arts-informed and Indigenous autobiographical examination of the intersection between white privilege and Indigenous identity and won both the MSVU Master’s Thesis Award and the CACS Cynthia Chambers Master’s Thesis Award. His more recent scholarly publications have been focused on the concept of meditative Inquiry and the role of spiritual thought, Indigenous knowledge, music, and poetry is changing the way we do and think about curriculum.


Mindy R. Carter, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. She specializes in curriculum theory, teacher education and arts based educational research and is currently the PI on a SSHRC IDG:Mapping Drama and Theatre Strategies and the Impact of Play Building with In-service Teachers Exploring Aboriginal Issues and on an FRQSC: Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs et qui s’intitule Monologues d’enseignants: étudier les expériences d’enseignants en formation initiale du Québec envers des problématiques vécues par les autochtones/The pre-service teacher monologues: Exploring the experiences of pre-service teachers learning about Indigenous issues in Québec through drama education.  She can be reached at mindy.carter@mcgill.ca.

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