Graduate Students

 Current PhD Students


Marta Cotrim

Marta Cotrim is a second year PhD candidate at the DISE – Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her doctoral research focuses on Posthuman Pedagogies and Drama/Theatre Education, re-thinking Teacher- Student relationship. After being trained as an actor and contemporary dancer and having worked internationally for many years, Marta has dedicated the last 15 years to Drama and Theatre secondary teaching and teacher’s training. She holds MA in Dance Anthropology from the University of Surrey, and diplomas in Theatre Studies from Paris 8 and Performance and Choreography from the Art School of Amsterdam.

Alisan Funk

Alisan Funk is the head of the Bachelor in Circus at Stockholm’s University of Dance and Circus (DOCH). She is a circus coach, performer, and creator, pursuing a PhD in Education at McGill University. She researches circus education, including the technical and creative aspects of contemporary and classical circus performance.

Working with many circus arts organizations, she writes for the online industry magazine Circus Talk and her most recent article Gender Asymmetry and Circus Education (2018) can be found online.

E-mail: alisanfunk [at]

Traci Klein

Traci Klein is a dance researcher, educator, performer, and choreographer. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Previously she was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas A&M International University, a master teacher in Spain and Mexico, and a community dance program administrator at New York University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Southern Methodist University. Throughout her career she has worked to collaborate with artists and perform internationally, directing and coordinating dance programs and events in several major cities. Her creative work has been presented in France, Spain, Mexico and the USA. While in New York City she co-directed a dance company and performed extensively, including as a soloist in the Martha Graham Ensemble.

Traci is an Editorial Board member for Teaching Artist Journal, a Taylor & Francis publication that serves as a voice for teaching artists and individuals working at the intersections of arts and learning. She is a published author and an active member of the National Dance Education Organization. Her research focuses on dance education and somatic practice, commonly known as body therapy, and on developing innovative pedagogies that fosters physical and mental well-being in dancers. Her research seeks to develop new pedagogical tools that will enable educators new approaches to teaching while lowering the risk of debilitating injuries to learners.

Email: traci.klein [at]

Hala Mreiwed

Hala Mreiwed, completed her PhD in Educational Studies in 2021. The title of her dissertation is Child Rights: A critical historical context (2021). She is a Children’s Rights Education (CRE) Advisor and the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC). She is the recipient of several awards including the P. Lantz Fellowship for Excellence in Education and the Arts, the FRQSC Doctoral research scholarship, the Grad Excellence Award in Integrated Studies in Education, and the Outstanding Leadership & Service Graduate Award. Her interests in children’s rights and CRE, equity in education, curriculum development and pedagogy, critical discourse analysis, children’s media, and creative drama come from her personal, academic, and professional experiences in Canada and abroad. Her most recent publication is the co-edited book Art as an Agent for Social Change (2021) with Dr. Mindy R. Carter and Dr. Claudia Mitchell.

E-mail: hala.mreiwed [at]

Layal Shuman

Layal Shuman is a researcher interested in design-based teaching and learning, and the ways design and art education can help shape the classroom of the future. She teaches courses on creativity and human-centered design at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design and is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. Her doctorate dissertation examines how non-design students learn in/through design, and how design methods and mindsets support their personal and professional growth.

E-mail: layal.shuman [at]

Current MA Students


Felicity Burns

Felicity Burns is a part-time elementary school teacher and a MA student the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Her research interests include curriculum studies, teacher beliefs and practices, teacher education, and sexuality education. In particular, her MA thesis explores the lived experiences of elementary school teachers following their first year of teaching the newly mandated sexuality curriculum in Quebec. Her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($17,500) and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Société et Culture ($17,500).

E-mail: felicity.burns [at]



Brett Fischer

Brett Fischer. Under the supervision of Dr. Mindy Carter, Brett completed a doctorate on sustained creativity in college teachers. He then went on to obtain a one-year grant from Entente Canada-Québec to study language teaching outside of the classroom, and, following this, a three-year grant from the Programme d’aide à la recherche sur l’enseignement to study short-term language study abroad.

E-mail: brett.fischer [at]

Sara Hashem

Sara Hashem is a museum specialist with more than 14 years of international experience in museum development and management. Professionally, she serves as board VP of the Montreal Children’s Museum and is a course lecturer at McGill University. In 2019, Hashem completed her PhD in Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her research focuses on understanding museum experiences with the aim of increasing public access to museums and galleries.

E-mail: sara.hashem [at]

Natalie Pepiot

Natalie Pepiot completed her MA in 2019. The title of her dissertation is Gender, sexuality, and the influence of heteronormativity in elementary school classrooms: An investigation of the subjective experiences of pre-service and recent graduates from the McGill Bachelor of Education (kindergarten/elementary). Natalie is a primary education teacher; she is interested in the inclusion of gender diversity and the exploration of different sexualities in the elementary school curriculum. Her research interests include gender and sexuality, equity and diversity, and the effects of teacher education programs on teacher practices.

E-mail: natalie.pepiot [at]

Simone Tissenbaum

Simone Tissenbaum completed her MA in 2019 in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. She brings together her dance practice and teaching background in her research, which involves running dance workshops for youth to explore the topic of safe and healthy sexual and romantic relationships. Simone is interested in comprehensive sex education for young people in order to create more opportunities for pleasure and safety, and decrease sexual/dating violence, as they explore their relationships to others and themselves.

E-mail: simone.tissenbaum [at]


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