Faculty Perspectives on Personalized Learning & Accessibility in Chemistry Education

Date: January 23, 2024 12:00 pm (ET)


  • Dr. Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu
    University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Dipesh Prema
    Thompson Rivers University
  • Dr. Kris Kim
    University of Toronto Scarborough
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Our faculty panel will share their perspectives on creating a supportive and accessible learning environment and discuss their practice, strategies, challenges, and successes while answering round table questions posed by the moderator and the audience. Our faculty panelists have all been recognized by students for their supportive classroom and ability to create an accessible learning environment in their courses. We hope you can join us for this interactive session. The session will also be recorded for those who cannot attend live.



Dr. Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu,
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

Bio: Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu is a chemistry educator dedicated to creating inclusive, engaging classroom environments where all students are given the opportunity to succeed. Her scholarly activities primarily focus on the advancement of teaching and learning in chemistry and the development of accessible resources for students and educators. Recent examples include the creation of “Gen Chem for Gee-Gees”, a bilingual, open-source textbook for use in first-year chemistry courses, as well as laboratory experiments and classroom activities that promote cooperative learning.

Dr. Dipesh Prema
, Department of Chemistry, Thompson Rivers University

Bio: Dr. Dipesh Prema is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Sciences – Chemistry at Thompson Rivers University. Dr. Prema’s research interests include organometallic chemistry, catalysis, NMR, food chemistry, science and law and equity, diversity, and inclusion in chemistry education. He has obtained collaborative research funding from multiple agencies including NSERC, SSHRC and the Law Foundation of BC. Dr. Prema is currently working with the TRU Faculty of Law on several multidisciplinary EDI-related research projects. Some recent work includes Prema and Dhand, Inclusion and Accessibility in STEM Education Navigating the Duty to Accommodate and Disability Rights. Can. J. Dis. Studies. 2019, 8(3), 121- 142. Dr. Prema is also an active member of the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s Working for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee (CSC WIDE).

Dr. Prema completed his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Kansas State University in 2007, and later held three Postdoctoral and teaching positions at Oklahoma State University (industrial collaboration with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company), University of Waterloo and Thompson Rivers University. At TRU, Dr. Prema currently teaches first year and upper-level inorganic chemistry.

Dr. Kris Kim,
Department of Physical & Environmental Science, University of Toronto Scarborough

Bio: Kris Kim is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus (UTSC). He joined the department in 2019 and has been involved in teaching general, analytical, and green chemistry courses. He works closely with a large first-year teaching team that recently focuses on building opportunities for students in a large class to scaffold and strengthen an array of transferrable skills, including writing, laboratory, and more broadly, metacognitive skills. His recent analytical curricular initiatives involve co-designing community-engaged learning experiences with students and community partners, creating opportunities for students to reflect upon and apply their learning beyond the classroom. He was recently a Community-Engaged Learning Faculty Fellow at the Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto. He was also the recipient of the 2023 UTSC Teaching Award (Assistant Professor category) and 2023-2023 University of Toronto (tri-campus) Early Career Teaching Award.