Our Instructors

David Laverty, PhD, has a BA in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Toronto, with an MA and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Laverty specializes in the history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, logic, philosophy of language, and critical thinking. He’s been teaching critical thinking for over 10 years. In 2010, he founded the Grove Critical Thinking Group, providing critical thinking training and consulting to businesses and professional organizations.

Meredith Lordan, PhD, received her doctorate from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation and subsequent research considers access to education in the context of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Meredith has also taught at the Toronto District School Board, OISE/UT, HSBC Steps to University Program at the University of Toronto, and United Nations University. Meredith is pleased to join the Ryerson University Now Program as a Sociology instructor. She has published work on anti-colonialism, equity issues, change and the political process, and international politics.

Curtis Maloley is an Educational Developer in the Learning & Teaching Office and a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University. He is the recipient of a 2016 Deans’ Teaching Award and a 2015 Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award for his work teaching in the Spanning the Gaps – Access to Post-Secondary Education Program. His publications and current research are focused in the areas of popular culture studies and experiential learning and teaching strategies.

Jane Lee Saber, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and the Chair of the Marketing Department. She holds a BComm (University of Alberta), LLB (Queen’s University), LLM (University of Alberta), and a PhD in Marketing (University of Alberta). Jane was a practicing lawyer for a number of years. Her research focuses on information processing, communication, and judgment decision making, specifically including marketing pedagogy and teaching innovations, electronic information and disintermediation, and verbal and nonverbal communication in a variety of contexts. She has published in Issues in Information Systems, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Journal of Marketing Education, ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, Women and International Human Rights Law, and Marketing Education Review, and has a variety of conference presentations and papers in these areas. She was awarded Best Paper for the Marketing Education and Teaching Innovation Track at the American Marketing Association 2009 Summer Conference, and has a number of other awards, grants, and recognitions. She is keenly interested in developing pedagogical techniques to optimize the learning and retention of materials for students in the university classroom.

Jenny Sampirisi teaches the Nature of Narrative I course in the Spanning the Gaps program. She has been teaching at Ryerson for five years and has been part of Spanning the Gaps since the beginning. In 2011, she was nominated for the Dean’s Teaching Award for her work in the program. Her courses focus on open dialogue, interpretive strategies, and integration of theoretical concepts. She is the author of two books: is/was, a novel (Insomniac Press, 2008) and Croak, a collection of poetry (Coach House Books, 2011). She won the 2011 K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature. She is also the fiction editor for BookThug, the co-founder of the Toronto New School of Writing, and was the associate director of the Scream Literary Festival. Her work has been featured on the CBC, PEN America, the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront, and in national and international journals.

Chris Cachia is a teacher, workshop facilitator, and learning counsellor focused on anti-oppressive and experiential approaches to education. He has taught a range of sociology courses, and aims to honour students’ identities and lived experiences by engaging in collaborative processes of inquiry. He is especially interested in the intersections of self, identity, and Hip Hop culture. Besides teaching with Spanning the Gaps – Access to Post-Secondary Education, Chris also works at Ryerson as a learning strategist. He holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Communication and Culture from Ryerson and York University, a Bachelor of Education (BEd) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English and Religion & Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jack Koenka is Ryerson’s Math Support Coordinator. He does all the math assessments for Spanning the Gaps students. Jack taught high school mathematics for many years, being honoured with a Descartes Medal in 2004. He has been at Ryerson for seven years, with the main goal of supporting and improving student success with the transition from high school to university math and math-related courses. Jack designs tutorial programs with this goal in mind. He created the Math Skills for Business Proficiency Test and proposed a Math Centre at Ryerson (now called the Math Hub in the new Student Learning Centre). He also has a math website called jackmathsolutions.com in order to provide materials to high school teachers and students.