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Caring for our community: When will wellbeing be a priority?

—With Klodiana Kolomitro & Natasha Kenny

Educational developers now more than ever have faced rapid and profound changes. In order to meet these new challenges and pressures, we need to reimagine how we demonstrate care by prioritizing our own and others’ wellbeing. Many models of wellbeing are simplistic focusing almost solely on individual action. We recognize that a deep systemic and integrated approach is needed to support educational developers’ wellbeing in a post-secondary context. We ourselves are challenged as to why wellbeing initiatives often feel as an ‘add on’ rather than meaningful, valued practices. Through this interactive keynote, we will explore how we move forward as a community to prioritize wellbeing.

Klodiana Kolomitro, PhD, is the Director of Education Development, with the Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and cross-appointed to the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Canada. Her scholarly interests focus on wellbeing in higher education, curriculum development, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and anatomical education. Klodiana is the recipient of the 2019 Educational Developers Leadership Award from the Educational Developers Caucus in Canada. She is a volunteer with Academics Without Borders, and Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 

Natasha Kenny, Natasha Kenny holds a PhD in Land Resource Science and is Senior Director of the University of Calgary’s Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (TI). In her role, Natasha leads and collaborates with colleagues across the TI and university to strengthen teaching and learning practices, cultures and communities. In 2018, she was awarded the Educational Developers Caucus of Canada Distinguished Educational Development Career Award for helping to advance the field of educational development locally and nationally. Her research interests relate to educational leadership, well-being in higher education, the scholarship and practice of educational development, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).  She is committed to giving back to the community, as a leader in UCalgary’s United Way Campaign and a past member of the Educational Developers Caucus of Canada’s Executive.  In her spare time, Natasha can be found exploring nature, and running/cycling trails within and around Calgary.