New Members

Catherine Whalen

Assistant Professor, Education

Dr. Catherine Whalen received her Doctor of Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership (K-12 system) from the University of Calgary, Alberta in 2010. Catherine has spent 24 years as an educator in the K-12 public school system and a couple of years as a UNBC sessional instructor before accepting a full-time faculty position with the School of Education in May 2014. Catherine teaches Inclusive Education and Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Bachelor of Education program and Inclusive Education, Policy and Politics in Education, Instructional Leadership and Leading for Change in the Master of Education (Multidisciplinary Leadership) program.

Catherine’s current research interests include administrative leadership, organizational leadership, teacher education, teacher mentorship, cultural diversity in education, inclusive education and mental health and wellness for K-12 students regarding a comprehensive school health approach.

Benjamin Bryce

Assistant Professor, History

Dr. Benjamin Bryce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at UNBC, and obtained his PhD at York University. His research focuses on migration, education, health, and religion in the Americas. At UNBC, he teaches courses on the Americas and global history.

Benjamin is completing a social history of immigration and citizenship in Argentina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing on dozens of private and public archives in Buenos Aires and Germany, the book examines the activities, fantasies, and frustrations of the German speakers who sought to create a lasting community in Buenos Aires and the people who challenged that project. He focuses in particular on social welfare, education, and religion; and he analyzes the efforts of German-speaking immigrants to carve out a place for themselves in the broader landscape of an extremely culturally plural society. The broad group of institutions that German-speaking and other immigrants created in Buenos Aires had a significant impact on how other social actors such as the Argentine state, the Catholic Church, and Spanish-speaking philanthropists involved themselves with citizens and residents of the city. The approach offers new perspectives on broader topics of liberalism, nationalism, and language in the Americas.

Dr. Bryce has published an article about migration and social welfare in Argentina in the Journal of Social History and another one about philanthropy and gender at the German hospital of Buenos Aires in Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos. He has also published his research about bilingual education in Ontario in the Canadian Historical Review and about German-language religious networks in the Great Lakes region in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association. He is the co-editor of Entangling Migration History: Borderlands and Transnationalism in the United States and Canada (University Press of Florida, 2015). The book explores how people, ideas, and policies transcended the political boundaries of the United States and Canada. It brings to light the value of situating the history of migration to the United States and Canada in broader comparative, borderland, and transnational contexts.

Reza Chowhury

Assistant Professor, Business

Dr. Reza H. Chowdhury joined the School of Business at UNBC as an Assistant Professor in Finance in 2014. Prior to joining at UNBC, he was an Assistant Professor in Finance at the University of Dubai from 2009 to 2014. He was also the Head of the Department of Finance and Banking during his tenure at the University of Dubai. He completed his Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Alberta in 2009. He also earned MA in Economics from the University of Alberta in 2005, and MA in Economics and Finance from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1997. He taught as a sessional instructor at the University of Lethbridge (Edmonton campus) and Grant MacEwan University. He also worked for American Express both as a Relationship Manager and as a Financial Analyst from 1998 to 2002.

Dr. Chowdhury does empirical research that examines critical corporate challenges pertaining to emerging financial markets. His applied research covers the areas of corporate finance and governance, banks and financial institutions, and small business finance. His scholarly works are also typical instances of his deep interest in interdisciplinary areas. Dr. Chowdhury published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals in economics and finance, and presented his works in several international academic conferences in home and abroad.

Mark Groulx

Assistant Professor, Environmental Planning

Dr. Mark Groulx’s research focuses broadly on sustainable and resilient communities; and specifically on the importance of community engagement and place-making in effective collaborative planning. Through a place-based lens he explores strategies and processes for knowledge co-creation that build resilience by acknowledging and reinforcing local value systems. He is currently working on projects examining the influence of nature-based citizen science on transformative environmental learning, and the use of computer-generated environmental visualizations in collaborative climate change adaptation planning.

Research Interests

Landscape perception and environmental visualization, Place and place-making, Community engagement for resilient communities, Citizen science, Transformative learning

Agnes Pawlowska-Mainville

Assistant Professor, First Nations Studies

Dr. Agnes Pawlowska-Mainville completed her Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in the Native Studies Department, where she also did her M.A.; she earned her B.A. from McGill University.  Her decade-long work with the Asatiwisipe Anishinaabeg examined cultural and natural resource stewardship as a form of community self-determination on the First Nation-led UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination called Pimachiowin Aki, “the land that gives life” in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway language).  Agnes has been engaged with activism mainly through her work against diverse non-renewable resource development projects in northern Manitoba, in Grassy Narrows and Couchiching in Ontario, as well as in Tulita, NWT.

As part of her grassroots work with the Makeso Sakahican Inninuwak (Fox Lake Cree), Agnes helped lead a group of Elders, resource-users and academics to present evidence at the Clean Environment Commission hearings against the Keeyask and Conawapa dams in Manitoba.  Her testimony on intangible cultural heritage included a critique of the current Environmental Impacts Assessments and environmental regulatory processes and their dealings with the severity of impacts on the heritage of local harvesters and knowledge-holders.  Her publications include a UNESCO case study on the Poplar River Indigenous Community Conserved Area (ICCA), on the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site Nomination and well as numerous articles in the Canadian Dimension Magazine.  A non-Aboriginal woman with knowledge of conversational Anishinaabemowin her research interests include issues in [post]colonial and contemporary theory; identity; UNESCO policies and heritage discourse; food sovereignty and sustainable community planning; Indigenous land and resource stewardship practices; acknowledging carriers of traditional knowledge; recognizing cultural landscapes; the inclusion of cultural and natural heritages in environmental assessment processes and; impacts of resource-extraction and co-management projects Aboriginal rights, practices and stewardship systems.

Guido Wimmers

Associate Professor & Program Chair, Integrated Engineering

Dr. Guido Wimmers is an Associate Professor and the program chair. Guido grew up in the home town of Mies Van der Rohe and was already in his childhood exposed to fundamental questions of energy efficiency. Decades later his children have become tired of building and moving into innovative wooden structures, but now Guido is looking forward to hopefully inspiring his new students to design and build the next generation of wooden buildings.

Dr. Guido Wimmers holds a master degree in architecture and a PhD in building science from the University of Innsbruck. Prior to moving to Canada in 2007 he was leading the building physics department of Energie Tirol and worked on Passive House Projects in Austria, Germany, and Italy including large nonresidential buildings and was involved in various research projects in the field of massive timber construction, extreme energy efficient buildings and prefabricated building envelopes.

Guido is one of the initiators of the Austria House in Whistler, Canada’s first Passive House and first CLT application and has worked on truly sustainable projects all across Canada. Since in Canada, Guido has given numerous seminars and talks about the next leap in building technology at forums and international conventions including the GLOBE convention, several Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) summits, the International Conference on Building Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Technologies (ICBEST), British Columbia Building Envelope Council convention BCBEC, the World Conference on Timber engineering (WCTE) and several Canadian Wood Council fairs. As a founding Director of the Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) he was teaching an intensive building science course focusing on high performance buildings across Canada and is also co-author of the Passive Design Tool Kit of the City of Vancouver. Guido is also involved in several research projects in the field of Passive House and high performing envelope components.