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Get Your Mind in Motion with Sara Wills and Jeff Burrow

In our latest episode, Student Identity Considerations in Research, Bill Heinrich, our Director of Mindset, leads guest speakers Sara Wills and Jeff Burrow in a discussion on the kinds of data we collect about our students (and the kinds we don’t), how we analyze it, and the stories we tell about our students to help inform decisions.

Tune in to learn about using data to build narratives that connect with students or graduates and represent their many identities and ways of knowing.

But first…a little more on our (amazing) guest speakers!

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Meet Sara Wills, Consultant for curriculum development and assessment, strengths-based pedagogy and it’s connection to student well-being and career discovery

Sara’s work and research explores the intersections of curricular framework design, well-being and career purpose, and strengths-based teaching, learning and assessment. Throughout her career, Sara has directed the development and assessment of student learning at the program-, departmental- and divisional level. In her most recent role as Manager, Integrated Learning and Assessment at Western University, Sara led assessment planning, curriculum mapping, training and capacity building, and program review. She also has experience directing assessment efforts for staff hiring and training, career exploration, student and community development, behaviour intervention, and accommodations at various institutions. Within CACUSS, Sara has served as a faculty member for the Assessment Institute and virtual Strengths in Higher Education Institute, as well as in a co-chair role for the ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute. Sara earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts at Lakehead University and her Master of Education in post-secondary studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Sara is sharing her stories and reflections from the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and the Leni-Lunaape Peoples.


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Meet Jeff Burrow, Special Projects Officer, Innovations in Undergraduate Education

Jeff’s interests are broadly focused on structures and systems that support or inhibit undergraduate student success, a phrase he borrows from his doctoral supervisor Dr Tricia Seifert. He is especially interested in methods used to conduct research and assessment about student success, large-scale surveys like NSSE, SERU, CCWS and MSL and strategies for effective data visualization. In his current role as Special Projects Officer, Jeff helps to manage an institution-wide project to better understand retention, progression and graduation for undergraduate students at UofT. Prior to that he was Manager: Assessment & Analysis for Student Life supporting staff and departments in developing assessment strategies and capacity, and also playing a lead role on the analysis and presentation of many large scale surveys. Jeff has served as co-chair for the ACPA (2019) and CACUSS (2018). Jeff completed his Business degree at Laurier, a Master’s of Education at Queen’s and in 2019 a PhD at OISE (with a focus on meta-analysis of study abroad outcomes)

Jeff works on, and is sharing his stories from, the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

We hope you enjoy this iteration of our MIM series, greatly appreciate any feedback you may have, and invite this community to join us in future conversations.

A huge thank you to Sara and Jeff for sharing your experience and insights with us!

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