The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning is excited to welcome Jessica Gemella to a two-year (August 1, 2023 – July 31, 2025) term as a Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist. Jessica is a Vancouver Island University (VIU) faculty member in Trades and Applied Technology, where she has been an Instructor and Chair in the Horticulture program, a Provost Teaching Award Winner, and has also served in a pedagogy support role focused specifically on Trades. She’ll be taking a leave from this work to join the Centre in supporting teaching and learning across the institution.
This is the third time the Centre has hired into this position, which is geared specifically for VIU faculty to learn new skills and knowledge, while contributing their own expertise in teaching and learning with colleagues. Jessica is the first faculty member from BCGEU to hold this position.
Jessica came to VIU in 2014 after many years as an award-winning professional landscape architect, arborist, and business owner working across Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. Alongside her discipline-specific education, she is registered with the BC Society of Landscape Architects, which is itself an intensive educational process. She is currently completing her Master of Arts in Learning Technology. In addition to this experience, Jessica brings first-hand knowledge of the Trades and Applied Technology Education Enhancement project, in which she worked closely with Centre staff to develop and reimagine teaching and learning practices in the Horticulture program, and more broadly across the Faculty.
As a Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist (CTLS), Jessica will work collaboratively with other Centre staff members and also independently as a consultant, facilitator, designer, and project coordinator. The Centre will benefit from her insights, experience, and perspectives in the classroom, and she will return to her role in Trades with the benefit of new perspectives on the learning and teaching process, and on her own practice.
Jessica joins Tine Reimers, Anwen Burk, Elodie Button, and Kathleen Bortolin as the five Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialists supporting faculty from across VIU with teaching, learning and technology questions and support programs.