Advisory Committee

DR. SAMSON NASHON | DEPUTY HEAD & EDUCATOR Dr. Samson Nashon is the current David F. Robitaille Professor of Mathematics and Science Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Dr. Nashon is a science educator. His research focuses on ways of teaching and learning. His area of specialization focuses on students’ alternative understandings that have roots in cultural backgrounds and curricula, and are accommodative of students with varying degrees of abilities. His research is dominantly qualitative, borrowing primarily from contemporary theories of constructivism. His most recent research projects include the ongoing Metacognition and Reflective Inquiry (MRI), East African Students’ Ways of Knowing (EASWOK), The Status of Physics 12 in BC, The Nature of Analogies Kenyan Physics Teachers Use, and Students’ Access To Senior Science and Mathematics Courses in Rural BC. Previous studies include, The Role of Practical Work in Science, and The Kind of Science in Kenyan “Harambee Schools. Dr. Nashon is excited to work with TWSB and provide the necessary guidance to meaningfully impact curricula. 

DR. SAMSON NASHON | DEPUTY HEAD & EDUCATOR

Dr. Samson Nashon is the current David F. Robitaille Professor of Mathematics and Science Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Dr. Nashon is a science educator. His research focuses on ways of teaching and learning. His area of specialization focuses on students’ alternative understandings that have roots in cultural backgrounds and curricula, and are accommodative of students with varying degrees of abilities. His research is dominantly qualitative, borrowing primarily from contemporary theories of constructivism. His most recent research projects include the ongoing Metacognition and Reflective Inquiry (MRI), East African Students’ Ways of Knowing (EASWOK), The Status of Physics 12 in BC, The Nature of Analogies Kenyan Physics Teachers Use, and Students’ Access To Senior Science and Mathematics Courses in Rural BC. Previous studies include, The Role of Practical Work in Science, and The Kind of Science in Kenyan “Harambee Schools. Dr. Nashon is excited to work with TWSB and provide the necessary guidance to meaningfully impact curricula. 

WADE DAVIS | PROFESSOR, ETHNOBOTANIST, ANTHROPOLOGIST Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Author of 20 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, he is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer's imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing -- 50 percent of the world's 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.   Wade is excited to join The Walking School Bus (TWSB) and understands that his experiences and work with rural and culturally diverse groups will enhance TWSB's ability to ensure positive impact as they scale operations.

WADE DAVIS | PROFESSOR, ETHNOBOTANIST, ANTHROPOLOGIST

Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Author of 20 books, including One RiverThe Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, he is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer's imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing -- 50 percent of the world's 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.  

Wade is excited to join The Walking School Bus (TWSB) and understands that his experiences and work with rural and culturally diverse groups will enhance TWSB's ability to ensure positive impact as they scale operations.

SARA PARKS, MCGILL LECTURER | INTERFAITH ADVISOR Lecturer Sara Parks is the Director of the McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL) since 2013. She had previously been a student volunteer and intern at this multi-faith chaplaincy in various capacities since 2003, including editing their student spirituality magazine, the "Radix," and facilitating monthly "My Neighbour's Faith" visits to Montreal's sacred sites. As Director, Sara has transformed the space into a relaxation space for stressed-out students, including free tea and apples, an interfaith/wellness library, stations for meditative colouring and light therapy, and mats for prayer and meditation. Sara received her Master's in Religion (with a focus on New Testament and Christian Origins) in the McGill Faculty of Religious Studies in 2005, and is now nearing the end of her PhD in Early Judaism, with a focus on the history of women in Jewish and Christian antiquity, and the relationships between Judaism, Christianity, and other Greco-Roman religions in the Second-Temple Period. Sara is also trained in Mental Health First Aid and Non-Judgemental Compassionate listening..

SARA PARKS, MCGILL LECTURER | INTERFAITH ADVISOR

Lecturer Sara Parks is the Director of the McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL) since 2013. She had previously been a student volunteer and intern at this multi-faith chaplaincy in various capacities since 2003, including editing their student spirituality magazine, the "Radix," and facilitating monthly "My Neighbour's Faith" visits to Montreal's sacred sites. As Director, Sara has transformed the space into a relaxation space for stressed-out students, including free tea and apples, an interfaith/wellness library, stations for meditative colouring and light therapy, and mats for prayer and meditation.

Sara received her Master's in Religion (with a focus on New Testament and Christian Origins) in the McGill Faculty of Religious Studies in 2005, and is now nearing the end of her PhD in Early Judaism, with a focus on the history of women in Jewish and Christian antiquity, and the relationships between Judaism, Christianity, and other Greco-Roman religions in the Second-Temple Period. Sara is also trained in Mental Health First Aid and Non-Judgemental Compassionate listening..

 
RICK BARICHELLO | PROFESSOR & ECONOMIST Rick Barichello is a Professor within the Food and Resource Economics Group at the University of British Columbia and has worked at UBC since his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1979.  He was Head of the UBC Department of Agricultural Economics from 1988 to 1994, and from 2007 to 2014 was the Director of the Center for Southeast Asia Research within UBC’s Institute of Asian Research. He has been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and a visiting professor at Yale, Stanford, Harvard, UCalifornia-Davis, Leuven in Belgium, and ISEAS in Singapore. He worked for the Harvard Institute for International Development in Jakarta, from 1986 to 1988, and has subsequently researched and taught courses in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Korea, Poland, and Ethiopia. He was President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in 1999 and awarded the designation of Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, its highest honour, in 2008. In 2015 he was named to the Executive Committee of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium, committed to be Chair of that organization in 2016. His research has been on the economic analysis of public policy, particularly trade and agricultural policies and institutions, Canadian dairy and poultry quota markets, and on a variety of agricultural development issues, mostly applied to Southeast Asia. His work in development has focused mostly on trade policy, world food markets, Southeast Asia rural labour markets, and cost-benefit analysis.

RICK BARICHELLO | PROFESSOR & ECONOMIST

Rick Barichello is a Professor within the Food and Resource Economics Group at the University of British Columbia and has worked at UBC since his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1979.  He was Head of the UBC Department of Agricultural Economics from 1988 to 1994, and from 2007 to 2014 was the Director of the Center for Southeast Asia Research within UBC’s Institute of Asian Research. He has been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and a visiting professor at Yale, Stanford, Harvard, UCalifornia-Davis, Leuven in Belgium, and ISEAS in Singapore.

He worked for the Harvard Institute for International Development in Jakarta, from 1986 to 1988, and has subsequently researched and taught courses in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Korea, Poland, and Ethiopia. He was President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in 1999 and awarded the designation of Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, its highest honour, in 2008. In 2015 he was named to the Executive Committee of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium, committed to be Chair of that organization in 2016.

His research has been on the economic analysis of public policy, particularly trade and agricultural policies and institutions, Canadian dairy and poultry quota markets, and on a variety of agricultural development issues, mostly applied to Southeast Asia. His work in development has focused mostly on trade policy, world food markets, Southeast Asia rural labour markets, and cost-benefit analysis.

ARON ROSENBERG | EDUCATOR, CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY Aron Rosenberg is an educator, artist, and activist from Edmonton. He moved to Vancouver in 2007 and has found a home, absorbed in Vancouver's Jewish community, as well as in various creative and social justice groups in the city, ever since. Aron's day-job is as an English, Theatre, Creative Writing, and Social Justice teacher at King David High School but he keeps busy volunteering with various other groups like the Vancouver New Orchestra Workshop Society and the New Israel Fund of Canada. Aron plays the fiddle, writes creatively, and enjoys spending time at Vancouver's various parks and beaches. He is excited to join this board and work towards connecting Vancouver's Jewish community with developing communities in Africa.

ARON ROSENBERG | EDUCATOR, CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY

Aron Rosenberg is an educator, artist, and activist from Edmonton. He moved to Vancouver in 2007 and has found a home, absorbed in Vancouver's Jewish community, as well as in various creative and social justice groups in the city, ever since. Aron's day-job is as an English, Theatre, Creative Writing, and Social Justice teacher at King David High School but he keeps busy volunteering with various other groups like the Vancouver New Orchestra Workshop Society and the New Israel Fund of Canada. Aron plays the fiddle, writes creatively, and enjoys spending time at Vancouver's various parks and beaches. He is excited to join this board and work towards connecting Vancouver's Jewish community with developing communities in Africa.

DR. ABERA B. DEMEKE | DEVELOPMENT & AGRICULTURAL POLICY ADVISOR Dr. Abera B. Demeke has over ten years of experience in economic and business research, as well as teaching at post-secondary level. Before joining University Canada West, Dr Demeke was a research fellow at the University of Hohenheim and a research officer at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Addis Ababa.  He is also an adjunct faculty with Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  Dr. Demeke has published various articles in reputable scholarly journals and presented papers in conferences such as the International Panel Data Conference at the University of Amsterdam, and Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists at the University of Hohenheim. He received an MsC in development economics from the University of Göttingen and a PhD (magna cum laude) from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. Abera is excited to contribute to TWSB mission by providing policy advise and research. 

DR. ABERA B. DEMEKE | DEVELOPMENT & AGRICULTURAL POLICY ADVISOR

Dr. Abera B. Demeke has over ten years of experience in economic and business research, as well as teaching at post-secondary level. Before joining University Canada West, Dr Demeke was a research fellow at the University of Hohenheim and a research officer at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Addis Ababa.  He is also an adjunct faculty with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 

Dr. Demeke has published various articles in reputable scholarly journals and presented papers in conferences such as the International Panel Data Conference at the University of Amsterdam, and Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists at the University of Hohenheim.

He received an MsC in development economics from the University of Göttingen and a PhD (magna cum laude) from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. Abera is excited to contribute to TWSB mission by providing policy advise and research. 

DR. CHRIS BENNET | POLICY ANALYST, MONITORING AND EVALUATION Drawing on 25 years work experience with bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector and Non-Government Organizations, primarily in Indonesia, as well as Ethiopia, Tanzania, China, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam. Chris Bennett teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at UBC in International Resource Economics and Institutions as well as Project Monitoring and Evaluation for Timely Responses (METR) to enhance aid effectiveness.   For the past ten years, Chris Bennett has been an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and a Faculty Associate of Centre for South East Asia Research.  His present research and development focus is on decentralized natural resource governance that is both efficient and equitable.

DR. CHRIS BENNET | POLICY ANALYST, MONITORING AND EVALUATION

Drawing on 25 years work experience with bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector and Non-Government Organizations, primarily in Indonesia, as well as Ethiopia, Tanzania, China, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam. Chris Bennett teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at UBC in International Resource Economics and Institutions as well as Project Monitoring and Evaluation for Timely Responses (METR) to enhance aid effectiveness.  

For the past ten years, Chris Bennett has been an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and a Faculty Associate of Centre for South East Asia Research.  His present research and development focus is on decentralized natural resource governance that is both efficient and equitable.