FACULTY 2022-07-21T10:33:05-07:00


Melanie Baerg
Lecturer, Education

Melanie Baerg is based at the South-Central Campus in Quesnel. She completed her MEd in School and Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary, is certified by the BC Association of School Psychologists, and currently provides school psychology service in School District 28 (Quesnel), in addition to her UNBC School of Education work. Over the past decade, Melanie has worked as a School Psychologist in School District 50 (Haida Gwaii), School District 82 (Coast Mountains) and School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin). 

Melanie also holds a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Special Education from the University of British Columbia, and is a BC Certified Teacher She completed the Professional Development Program and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, with a Minor in Psychology, at Simon Fraser University. Prior to becoming a School Psychologist, Melanie was a Humanities and Inclusive Education teacher for thirteen years in the Lower Mainland and on Haida Gwaii.

Melanie’s practice and research interests are focused on bringing trauma-informed and science-informed educational practices into BC schools to promote inclusion, diversity and equity.

Hart Banack
Assistant Professor, Education

I am very excited to be joining the School of Education at UNBC as an Assistant Professor. I wish to acknowledge the privilege to live in the unceded territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.  I have been working the past 7 years as a Lecturer with the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at UBC.  I taught undergraduate courses in Outdoor Education, Physical and Health Education, and Science Education.  I was the coordinator for the Outdoor Environmental Education Diploma and I was a founding member of the HOPE (Health, Outdoors, Physical and Experiential) Education M.Ed. program.  My research broadly considers “where learning occurs”, with a particular emphasis on outdoor learning and time spent outdoors for learning.  Other research interests include: outdoor ECE, Teacher Education, collaboration, special education and practical wisdom (phronesis).  Looking forward to meeting colleagues and exploring synergistic intersectionalities.

Mauricio Dziedzic
Professor, Engineering

Professor at Universidade Ceuma, Brazil, in the Graduate Program in Environmental Science between 2016 and 2021. Conducted the implementation of the undergraduate program in Civil Engineering, which he chaired for 6 years, and the Graduate Program in Environmental Management at Universidade Positivo, which he chaired for 15.5 years. Has experience in water quality modeling, hydraulic engineering, fluid mechanics, greenhouse gas inventory, air quality modeling, circular economy, life cycle analysis, design of hydraulic laboratory equipment, dam break analysis, environmental indicators, and faculty development. Currently engaged in research on environmental impacts of dam breaks, hydrodynamic and water quality modeling in reservoirs, water loss in distribution networks, optimization in water distribution networks, hydraulic micro generation, urban drainage and flood control, environmental impact assessment, and environmental indicators. Has conducted program and institutional assessments for the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Is one of the founding members of the International Material Flow Management (IMAT) Network.

Sara Farhan
Assistant Professor, History

I am a social and cultural historian of the modern Middle East with a focus on medicine, science, and technology. I am especially interested in the ways in which class and gender shaped professionalization processes and networks. I’m also interested in the politics of archives. I’ve instructed at several universities in Canada and the Middle East. 

Oliver Iorhemen
Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering

Dr. Oliver Terna Iorhemen joined UNBC as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in August 2021. Prior to joining UNBC, Dr. Iorhemen was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. He completed his PhD in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering specialization) at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Iorhemen’s research interests lie in the field of Environmental Engineering with specific focus on biological wastewater treatment, wastewater reclamation and reuse, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) removal, removal of contaminants of emerging concern from wastewater, rural water supply and sanitation, and resource recovery. His current research focuses on the application of aerobic granular sludge (AGS) for various industrial wastewater streams, phosphorus recovery, and the optimization of the biosynthesis of high-value products – xanthan, curdlan, tyrosine and phenylalanine – in AGS bioreactors while maintaining the wastewater treatment capability of AGS as well as the development of their suitable extraction and recovery protocols from AGS biosolids.

Fiona MacDonald
Assistant Professor, Political Science

Dr. Fiona MacDonald (PhD UBC) is an Assistant Professor specializing in Gender Politics. Dr. MacDonald co-edited the Finding Feminisms special issue of the Canadian Journal of Political Science (June 2017) which includes her article, “Knocking Down Walls in Political Science: In Defense of an Expansionist Feminist Agenda.” Her other publications can be found in the journals Hypatia, Citizenship Studies, Constellations, and Canadian Public Administration. Her article “Indigenous Peoples and Neoliberal ‘Privatization’ in Canada: Opportunities, Cautions and Constraints” won the 2012 John McMenemy Prize for the best article published in volume 44 of the Canadian Journal of Political Science. Her co-edited book, Turbulent Times, Transformational Opportunities? Gender and Politics Today and Tomorrow, was published with University of Toronto Press, Spring 2020. She is currently working on research related to the impact(s) of apology following medical error or mistreatment and a co-edited book titled, Feministing in Political Science: A Manifesta for Change.

Ramla Qureshi
Assistant Professor, Engineering

Dr. Ramla Qureshi is an Assistant Professor at School of Engineering at UNBC. Dr. Qureshi received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The State University of New York, University at Buffalo, USA. Her research focus lies in structural resilience against extreme hazards; such as earthquakes, fires, and blasts, and includes implementation of advanced computational and experimental mechanics for evaluating structures under these severe loading conditions. She has worked on risk assessment and uncertainty quantification in material behavior, algorithm development and programming, large scale simulations of structural behavior, and finite element modeling of deformations under the above-mentioned loads.

Dr. Qureshi is a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, the American Association for University Women Doctoral Fellowship, and the MDRF Research Grant. Dr. Qureshi also founded Women Engineers Pakistan (WEP) in 2013; a grass-roots organization catalyzing participation and enabling retention of women in STEM fields. For her work in advancing STEM education through WEP, she was chosen as a Global Finalist for “Science Engagement Breakthrough of the Year Award” at the 2020 Falling Walls Conference, Berlin.

Jean-Sébastien Bernier
Assistant Professor, Physics

Jean-Sébastien Bernier is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics. He obtained his B.Eng. (Physics) from École Polytechnique de Montréal, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining UNBC in November 2020, he was a research fellow at the University of Bonn in Germany. His research deals with the computational and theoretical aspects underpinning the non-equilibrium dynamics of quantum many-body systems. Jean-Sébastien is interested in understanding how the properties of advanced quantum materials can be tailored via time-dependent perturbations, and how to apply these to the development of novel quantum devices.

Fei Tong
Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Dr. Fei Tong has been an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering since August 2021. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Toronto, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tsinghua University, both in structural engineering. Fei’s research interests focus on achieving disaster resilience of complex building structures and critical infrastructure by developing innovative structural concepts, systems, and design strategies. His current research aims at next-generation seismic resilient systems for high-rise buildings and their extended applications to tall timber structures. Fei’s expertise also lies in concrete, steel, and composite structures, rocking structures, kinematic seismic isolation, supplemental damping technologies, advanced numerical simulation, and seismic design of high-rise buildings and complex structures.

Fei has seven years of experience in industry, working with world-leading engineering consulting firms including Ove Arup & Partners and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers. Working with these firms in their offices in Beijing, Tokyo, and Dubai, he made substantial contributions to a wide variety of world-renowned skyscraper and bridge projects that are located in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Fei was a winner of the prestigious Donald Jamieson Fellowship awarded by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for his academic excellence and professional achievements. Relying on these strengths, Fei expects to make meaningful contributions to the UNBC, particularly the growing civil engineering programs.


Welcome to a new beginning! This handbook provided by the CAUT will be useful in answering many of your potential questions before making the decision to become a faculty member.

Congratulations on your job offer! But before you sign…

Like many candidates for university positions, you may feel lucky to get a job offer. The salary offered may seem very appealing compared with your income as a graduate student, and the prospects for renewing your position or for obtaining tenure may look impressive.

You may feel reluctant to ask future colleagues about their salaries and other details of their individual appointments. You might assume that those colleagues who do provide information are able to represent fully what is possible in your own situation. Meanwhile, the administration representative with whom you’re dealing may be helpful and supportive. Although you might expect that misunderstandings can be corrected after accepting the offer, in many cases this may well not be true.

Perhaps you’re worried that negotiating astutely for your future will cast you as a ‘troublemaker;’ perhaps you doubt that there is scope for any negotiation at all. You may even feel embarrassed to ask that verbal agreements be put in writing, especially if you have been assured that the issues addressed are dealt with routinely for all employees. And the deadline for signing may be approaching rapidly.

For any or all of these reasons, you might sign a contract that will put you at a disadvantage for the rest of your career. Your future faculty association or union can help you obtain more complete information about the implications of an offer and the ins and outs of negotiating a fair and reasonable appointment. If you call before you sign, here are 10 important questions you should ask.

CAUT Handbook for New Faculty – http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=428&lang=1

Handbook can be found here: New Faculty Handbook


More information on employee benefits at UNBC can be found through the Human Resources Department website at:  www.unbc.ca/hr

Medical Services Travel Fund

A medical services travel fund is available to members of the UNBC-FA to supplement the existing extended health employee benefits.  See Article 50.11 of the UNBC Faculty Agreement to find out about the medical service travel fund, which expenses are covered, and how to submit a claim for reimbursement.  The fund reimburses costs for members and their dependents who have been referred for out-of-town treatment by a physician or dentist where treatments are not available in Prince George.

Members can claim up to $5,000 annually and the deadline to submit applications is the last Friday in January after New Year’s Day for expenses that have been incurred in the previous calendar year. Expense claim forms and original receipts are to be submitted directly to the Human Resources Department by the deadline.

All claims are reviewed by a panel of one UNBC-FA executive member and one HR administrator to determine eligibility. Reimbursements are considered a taxable benefit by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the University will withhold taxes and report the amounts on a T4A in the applicable year.


For information on the UNBC pension plan for employees, visit:


Post Retirement Benefits

Members of the UNBC-FA who have retired are eligible for post-retirement medical/dental benefits. See Article 19 of the UNBC Faculty Agreement to find out about the post-retirement medical/dental fund, which expenses are covered, maximum claim per calendar year, and how to submit a claim for reimbursement.

The maximum yearly benefit is $1,000 and the deadline to submit applications is the last Friday in January after New Year’s Day for expenses that have been incurred in the previous calendar year. Expense claim forms and original receipts are to be submitted directly to the Human Resources Department by the deadline.

All claims are reviewed by a panel of one UNBC-FA executive member and one HR administrator to determine eligibility. Reimbursements are considered a taxable benefit by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the University will withhold taxes and report the amounts on a T4A in the applicable year.

Sunlife Medical/Dental Benefits

Sunlife Benefits FAQ

Sun Life Faculty Association Employee Benefits

Sun Life Faculty Association Benefits for Employees working beyond the traditional retirement date

Coordination of Benefits and Transitional Coverage