Kina Cavicchioli

Phone: 604.323.5385
Office: A202c

Kina Cavicchioli came to Canada as a graduate student from the UK looking for adventure, fell in love with BC, and stayed. She has taught at Langara since 2007 and is passionate about showing students how empowering and pleasurable literature and language awareness can be.

She has a BA in English and French Literature from the University of Oxford, an MA in American Studies from the University of East Anglia, and a hauntingly unfinished PhD on Victorian Women's Ghost Stories from UBC.

 Kina teaches first-year courses like Communications 1118, English 1127,1129 and 1130, as well as the two-part History of Theatre course (English 1181-1191). She has also taught second-year courses on Pandemic Narratives and the Literature of Madness.

Kina is currently the coordinator of the English Forum, a free monthly gathering hosted by Langara English instructors and guests in which to explore and discuss fiction, film, television, and culture of all kinds. Past Forum topics have included Game of Thrones, the Literature of Happiness, Jane Austen's novels, and Bioshock.

When she isn't teaching, Kina writes poetry, fantasizes about becoming a stand-up comedian, and runs away to Tofino as often as possible.

Marc Acherman

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2514
Office: A301

I most enjoy teaching popular culture, media, literary/cultural theory, prose fiction (especially dystopian fiction) and composition. Before coming to Langara, I taught literature and composition courses at SFU. My courses have included topics such as the centrality of terrorism to twentieth-century American literature, and literature that examines how definitions of the “human” have been transformed by technology. Otherwise, I’ve assisted in literature courses on utopias, violence, the gothic and numerous other topics. 

At UBC, I initially drifted between courses in fine art, classical studies and American history, but eventually majored in English, a subject which best combines my interests. I went on to earn my M.A. and PhD in English literature from SFU, where I pursued my enthusiasm for books, films, theory and pop-culture, and developed as a writer and teacher in the process. (I do still draw and remain a pretty good person to tour Roman ruins with though.)

Inspired by the current events of the time, I specialized in contemporary American literature and culture related to terrorism, surveillance and national security. My dissertation examined the relatively recent genre of 9/11 fiction, which consists of stories that explore the historical precedents for and socio-political consequences of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. During my career, I have presented my work at a wide range of academic conferences including the Modern Language Association, American Comparative Literary Association and Marxist Literary Group.  I’m currently preparing articles on topics such as surveillance and racial profiling in Martin Amis’s “The Last Days of Muhammad Atta,” subversion of pre-emptive doctrine in the film Minority Report, and the significance of the pre- and post-9/11 work of David Foster Wallace to how scholars of 9/11 literature define literary periods.

I’m probably equally as comfortable with high and low culture. Lately, I’ve been reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, Junot Diaz and William Gibson, as well as almost anything intelligent about American politics, but also have been watching lots of Netflix and Marvel movies. Outside of the classroom (for now), my interests include Japan, hipster music, Beatles lore, Lego engineering, drawing, comic books, archaeology, bad movies and satirical news.

Peter Babiak

Phone: 604.323.5761
Office: A303h

I quit high school and took a job in a factory because I didn’t like school. After a couple of years I decided to go back as a mature student. I studied Economics at the University of Waterloo but after second year jumped into English. After graduating UW I went on to McMaster University and York University. While completing my degrees I had some intriguing jobs. I taught history and literature at a jail for young offenders and I taught contract law, critical thinking and economics at colleges in Toronto. During and between these jobs I worked as a house framer, landscaper, and an auto assembly-line worker, not only to earn a living but to gain experience of the world outside school.

About twenty years ago I came to Vancouver to work in the English Department at UBC, where I taught essay writing, Canadian literature and Eighteenth-Century literature from 1996 until 2003. I also taught courses on the poet/engraver William Blake and on the landscape paintings of the Group of Seven for UBC Continuing Studies. From 2002 to 2006 I was Academic Director of UBC’s Humanities 101 Community Programmes, a pioneering outreach programme—the first of its kind in Canada—in the liberal arts and social sciences for students in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who encounter economic and social barriers to education. For a year I was also Coordinator at the Humanities Storefront, an educational facility in the DES, at Cordova and Abbott, which brought free lectures and classes to the neighborhood before it was gentrified.

I’ve published essays and articles—on subjects ranging from Post-Colonial Literature to the use of metaphor in advertising and international finance—in Alphabet CityCanadian Dimension, Canadian Literature, English Studies in Canada, Jouvert, Left History, Vancouver Review and West Coast Line—and I regularly write creative nonfiction and commentary essays for subTerrain Magazine, where I’m also Features Editor. A few of my essays have been nominated for national and provincial magazine-writing awards, but none have won. In 2016 I published a book of these essays called Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction, which was a Montaigne Medal Finalist. One of my essays, ‘’No Reading Aloud’’, was selected for publication in Best Canadian Essays 2017; another of my essays, "The Future is the Period a the End of the Sentence," was selected for publication in the Best Canadian Essays 2018.

I’ve been teaching at Langara since 2002. It’s a great place; I like it here. Besides standard first-year courses like English 1100, 1127 and 1130, which I love to teach, I’ve taught second-year courses on Banned Books, Graphic Lit, and Children’s/YA Literature, and more recently I’ve taught English 1125, Contemporary Linguistics, and 2100, Traditional Grammar. I’m here to teach students how to be stronger readers and more persuasive writers by showing them that “Literature” is not an irrelevant or mysteriously subjective field where anything goes but is a discipline built on the application of certain properties of language. When you think about it, so much of your life happens in language—whether on paper, out loud, or on screen—and an English class is an opportunity to figure out how it all works. 


Mark Baker

Phone: 604.323.5483
Office: A201d

BA, PhD (Columbia). I teach college writing and literature. Students learn how to write better, especially how to write better college essays. Perhaps they can have deeper thoughts as well. Then they can have some of these deep thoughts, expressed in newly acquired powerful writing, about the literature I teach: stories, novels, plays, movies, and poetry (especially poetry).

 All this teaching and enlightenment comes packaged in first-year writing and literature courses (1100, 1129, 1130) and 2nd-year literature courses (Survey of English literature, American literature). I tell students what to read, we discuss what everyone has read, and the discussion helps me explain it all to everyone. Everyone's imagination blossoms into new figurations of bloom. Everyone attains a higher level of being. (Also, everyone spells better.)

Deborah Blacklock

Phone: 604.323.5545
Office: A201c

B.A. Psychology (McGill), M.A. English (S.F.U.)

Academic Biography: I started my BA at UBC, but completed it as a Psychology major at McGill University in Montreal. The city was so much fun that I stayed another nine years before deciding to return to BC. My thesis for my Master's degree (SFU) focuses on the reception history of two nineteenth-century Canadian novels, and while a teaching assistant at SFU, I discovered the challenge and satisfaction of teaching, and decided to pursue it as a career.  I’ve been an instructor at Langara College since August 1994. I am retiring in December 2022.

Course Taught: In my years at Langara, I’ve enjoyed teaching ENGL 1121, 1127, 1128, 1129, 1130, 1140, 2224, 2225, and 2237 (Science Fiction as Social Commentary).  I’ve also had the pleasure of teaching CMNS 1115, 1118, and 2228.

Academic Interests: I am passionate about exploring the subtleties of words and the meanings that those words create whether in poetry, drama, prose fiction, or prose non-fiction.

Fun: Science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and history books keep me occupied during my spare time.  I also enjoy writing, fencing, and playing with clay.

Ruth Bornau

Phone: 604.323.5230
Office: A303a

Ruth has a BA (English Language major and German minor) from UBC, Vancouver BC, 1993, and an MA (Applied Linguistics & Cross- Cultural Communication) from Concordia University, Montreal PQ,1999.

Before coming to Langara, Ruth taught advanced English as a Second Language and College Preparatory Courses (including reading, writing, listening and speaking) at the Vancouver Community College. She has been teaching English as a Second Language at all levels from beginner to advanced, as well as all age groups from children to adults since 1993. She has taught English or the teaching of English in Japan, Germany, Montreal, Vancouver, and Africa.

Ruth has developed a special interest in cross-cultural communication, through her travels (for at least one or more years) in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and Africa. Teaching English 1107 and 1108 at Langara College involves not only teaching advanced grammar and writing skills, but also requires an understanding of the rhetorical differences across cultures. She feels privileged to receive perspectives from around the globe in her classroom and hopes to reciprocate by sharing a sense of Canadian academic culture for, as Katheryn Freston states, “Magic takes place when we really absorb the knowledge that we are all in this [world] together.”

Mono Brown

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2455
Office: A204

I’ve been an instructor in English at snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College since 2015, and before that worked in the English department at UBC. At Langara, I teach courses in literature, communications, English-as-an-Additional Language, and academic writing and research. I have English degrees from University of Waterloo (BA, Rhetoric and Professional Writing) and the University of British Columbia (MA, PhD).

My research explores the formation of “publics,” and how public institutions such as health authorities or postsecondary institutions recruit individuals and communities into their service. My doctoral research, for example, examined the rhetoric of personal responsibility in public health messaging such as vaccination and hand hygiene promotion. To learn about this rhetoric, check out my article about handwashing campaigns in a 2019 issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities.

I have worked on several collaborative, tri-council-funded research projects, including a CIHR-funded study of vaccination history in Canada. Funded by the Scholarly Activities Steering Committee, my current research project explores the ways that universal or all-gender washrooms on campus support accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.

In addition to teaching and research, I receive disclosures as a Sexual Respect Ambassador and support the training subcommittee of the Mental Health Working Group. In 2021, I joined the newly formed Curriculum Review Committee, as the Faculty of Arts representative. I serve on the programming committee for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and am a registered death doula. I identify as white, queer, educated, able-bodied, and non-binary and use the pronouns “they” and “them.” In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, cycling, bouldering, and hanging out in hammocks.

Karen Budra

Phone: 604.323.5694
Office: A201b

Karen Budra is both an English instructor and Educational Technology Advisor.  She believes, as MP Follett says in Creative Experience (1930), that “Concepts can never be presented to me merely, they must be knitted into the structure of my being, and this can only be done through my own activity.”  To that end, in 2016, she returned to university in Cambridge, UK, to complete a second graduate degree, this one an MA in Film & Television Production.  Stories in all their incarnations-literature, film, conversation-have always fascinated her, and she loves sharing that fascination with students and audiences.  She believes in the primacy of narrative and is happy to help students understand others’ stories as well as express their own.  When she’s not teaching, she’s traveling, dancing, or making short documentary films.

Aaron Bushkowsky

Phone: 604.323.5308
Office: A167L

A prolific writer, Aaron Bushkowsky is a Vancouver-based playwright, film-writer, poet, novelist, and educator. His plays have been produced across Canada, the US, and Europe, and have received 9 Jessie Richardson Theatre nominations, more than any other Canadian playwright, winning two for Outstanding Original Play. Aaron has written over 20 plays and received almost as many professional productions across Canada, the US, and Europe including Farewell, My Lovely produced by Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre. Aaron is a graduate of the prestigious Canadian Film Centre in film-writing. His film-scripts have received many options.  Aaron’s short film The Alley was nominated for five Leo awards and won the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize.

Aaron teaches writing at Vancouver’s highly regarded theatre school Studio 58, and at Kwantlen University, Langara College, and Vancouver Film School. He has several published works, including two books of poetry Mars is for Poems (Oolichan Books) and ed and mabel go to the moon (Oolichan Books) which was nominated for a BC Book Award for Poetry.  His published drama includes Strangers Among Us, The Waterhead and other playsand My Chernobyl all published by Playwrights Canada Press.  His first book of fiction was a collection of short stories The Vanishing Man published by Cormorant in 2005. Curtains for Roy, his first novel, was published in August 2014. It's a dark comedy about the Vancouver theatre world which garnered rave reviews from critics and made two Top Ten Book (2014) lists for Vancouver novels and subsequently nominated for the Stephen Leacock Award – Canada’s oldest literary award and only award for humour writing. Aaron is a grad of UBC (Masters, Creative Writing) and U of A (BA, English; B. Ed.)

Aaron also heads Solo Collective Theatre, a professional Vancouver theatre company and has been an influential dramaturge, mentor, and teacher to hundreds of new West Coast writers and students. Aaron is represented in theatre by Marquis Entertainment, Toronto. For more information:

Simon Casey

Phone: 604.323.5507
Office: A201e

Simon Casey started his post-secondary education at Langara and then went on to receive a BA, BEd and MA from UBC and a PhD from the University of Toronto. He has been teaching at Langara since 1999. His publications include the book Naked Liberty and the World of Desire (Routledge, 2003), which is an analysis of the political ideas of D.H. Lawrence. He is currently working on a study of how Northrop Frye’s background in music informed his ideas about literature and the teaching of literature.

Other areas of academic interest: Romanticism, Modernism, British culture and history (1789-1930), with a special focus on the First World War and its aftermath.

Courses taught: English 1123, 1129, 2224 and Communications 1115.

Livia Chan

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2223
Office: A204

Livia Chan is very sorry that she does not yet have a bio.

Toby Chernoff

Phone: 604.323.5372
Office: A303c

Toby Chernoff came to Langara as a first-year student when he was 30, after working as a cook, a waiter, a tree planter, a house painter, a scheduler and machine operator in a nail-making factory, and a professional swing dancer. He liked his time here so much that after finishing two degrees at UBC, he came back to teach.

Some of Toby’s recent interests are feminism and gender studies, Star Wars, Geoffrey Chaucer, comic books, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and the best ways to make effective, convincing arguments, both in and out of the classroom. He looks forward to lively, active debates with students who value thinking and participation, and who want to discover connections between the things we talk about in class, and the things that happen in the rest of their lives.

To that end, much of his classwork revolves around how advertising reinforces cultural values and convinces us of stuff, and how reading and writing essays and visual media can make us better students in every field of study, and make us better citizens outside of the classroom.

Joanna Clarke

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2560
Office: A201e

Noel Currie

Phone: 604.323.5470
Office: A202b

Noel Currie (she/her) joined the English department at Langara College in 2002. Before that, she taught at UBC and SFU (mostly in English departments, but also in Women's Studies and Educational Studies at UBC), and in the first cohort of a Canadian Studies program at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. Before that, she earned degrees from UBC (a BA and PhD in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education) and Carleton University (an MA in Canadian Studies). She teaches a wide range of courses at Langara, and encourages students to grapple with the real issues of writing: what do I want to say? who is my audience and what is my purpose in saying it? how can I express my ideas as clearly and effectively as possible for that context? When she's not working, she enjoys baking, knitting, and -- of course -- reading.


Glenn Deefholts

Office: A324a

Glenn Deefholts completed his degrees at SFU: a Bachelors in English with a Minor in Humanities (1994), a Masters in English (1998), and a Masters in Humanities (2015). His graduate work explored connections between philosophy and literature in the U.K., France, and Germany in the early twentieth century. His first thesis looked at ways that language can be experienced as ritual and as technology.  His second thesis was about Virginia Woolf and memoir, examining Woolf's assertion that in Europe in 1910, human character changed. 

Glenn has a TESOL certificate and, before coming to Langara, taught English for sixteen years to students from over thirty countries.  

In 2005, Glenn co-edited and contributed to The Way We Were: Anglo-Indian Chronicles, a collection of memoirs written by Anglo-Indians, describing their unique culture in India. 

At Langara, Glenn teaches a variety of courses, including English 1107, 1108, 1120, 1121, 1123, and 1129.  He likes the cultural diversity and small class sizes.  In his free time, he plays music and writes.  He loves  having students find a poem or novel that inspires them.

Susan Font

Phone: 604.323.5191
Office: A303j

Susan Font has been an English instructor at Langara College since 2010 and relishes working and learning with her students. Previously, she was an instructor at UBC’s English Language Institute for two years.

She has a BA (Hons) in English Studies (Manchester Metropolitan University); a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Concordia University); an MA in Literature and Medicine (King’s College London); a Post-Graduate Diploma in TESOL (University College London); and a CELTA EAL/ESL certificate.

Susan was a reporter and research fellow in Southeast Asia, and a financial reporter on Fleet Street, London. Also in London, Susan instructed international students at a private English school, teaching general English, Cambridge Certificate courses, Business English, and IELTS/TOEIC preparation courses. She taught English language in various professional sectors in Montreal, and she is a published poet.

English has always been Susan’s passion and she relishes teaching and exploring the transmutable qualities of this language and its usage through varying intersecting spheres, whether the English of literature (ENGL 1127, 1129, 1100); business and technical communications (CMNS 1118, 2228); or grammar precision and linguistics (ENGL 1107/8, 1121).

Her research and writing instincts are multifarious: poetics; literature and the body/mind; socio/psycholinguistics; emerging identities in second and further language acquisition; global development; the history of medicine; and cobbling together her rudimentary French.

Sandra Friesen

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2559
Office: A201c

Sandra Friesen travelled from small town Ontario to coastal BC in 2008, and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  After finishing a PhD and spending several stimulating years as a private tutor and entrepreneur, she was delighted to join Langara’s English department in 2017.  Sandra’s Mennonite background, years of international travel, and eclectic work history have shaped her passion for teaching English in a variety of forms, including language acquisition, professional communication, and literary analysis.

Sandra obtained her BA in English and French and MA in English from the University of Western Ontario, and earned her PhD at the University of Victoria.  Her dissertation on late 17th century political humour and satire was (mostly) a delight to write - ask her how!

While at UVic, Sandra taught a range of first, second, and third year literature and composition courses, and especially enjoyed teaching poetry and historical literature.  Given the chance, she enjoys showing students that poetry and historical literature aren’t nearly as stuffy, dull, and incomprehensible as they might think.  Another of her goals – by far the most important – is to help students articulate their thoughts more clearly, purposefully, and effectively.  So far at Langara, Sandra has taught a wide variety of courses, including CMNS 1115, 1118, and 2228, ENGL 1107, 1121, 1127, and 1098/99, KINS 1101, and WMDD 4860.  She looks forward to teaching many more.

Outside of the classroom, Sandra can usually be found enjoying a coffee along the seawall, watching Netflix or a favourite sports team, or cooking up a delicious feast. 

Jill Goldberg

Office: A302b

BA, Honours English, McGill University; MA, Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama, University of Toronto; MFA, Creative Writing, UBC

Kurt Vonnegut said it best.  You must practice art in order to make your soul grow.  That is the only real reason to take English or Creative Writing classes. High grades and credentials are splendid, but twenty years from now, when you are doing whatever it is that you will do with most of the days of your life, what you will long for is the sound of your soul stirring, whispering to you the truth of what’s inside of you. Writing, reading, discussing and analyzing – as we do in English class - will make you a more sensitive thinker, and a better judge of what matters, and what is good in the universe.  It will make you less barbaric, and will turn your attention away from Kim Kardashian breaking the internet, to the flutter that is your heart beating.  It will make your soul grow. 


Jill Goldberg teaches English 1127, 1100, 1191 (Theatre History), and Creative Writing.


Jill's website is

Alexander Grammatikos

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2561
Office: A308b

Alexander Grammatikos completed his B.A. Honours at Simon Fraser University (2008); M.A. at The University of York, U.K. (2010); and Ph.D. at Carleton University (2017).

Alex is passionate about teaching a variety of classes, including English 1107, which helps students to better understand the foundations of grammar and college writing, and English 1127, which encourages students to further develop their writing and research skills through an appreciation of short stories and other prose. He likes that the small class sizes at Langara allow for many opportunities for class participation and dialogue. Alex enjoys motivating students to become better writers and discussing various textual ideas and themes with them. Alex also expects to constantly learn from his students and is a firm believer in the idea that students thrive in nurturing settings wherein they are encouraged to pursue their personal interests.

Alex's research specialties include British Romanticism and nineteenth-century Greek literary culture. In his book, British Romantic Literature and the Emerging Modern Greek Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Alex investigates the ways in which late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British writers constructed Modern Greece and its people, and how these literary engagements with Greece produced and complicated Britain’s relationship with the then emerging Greek nation. Alex has also published articles on women’s involvement in the early nineteenth-century literary print market and British theatre and Greek independence.

Alex's other interests include tennis, hiking, reading, and good food. Alex was a recipient of the 2020 Langara College Golden Apple Award.

Sean Gray


Stefan Haag

Phone: 604.323.5040
Office: A302e

Edel sei der Mensch, hilfreich und gut. (Johann Wolfgang Goethe) 

["Humans should strive to be refined, helpful and good."]


Ph.D. (UBC) M.A. (UBC) TESL-certificate (UBC) Zwischenprüfung (Albertus Magnus Universität, Köln, Germany)

Publications – on the music of the north, Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Lowry, and James Joyce etc.

Interests – in literature: high modernism; some postmodernism; Japanese literature; European literature

Courses Taught – fiction, poetry, drama; academic writing; survey courses, the novella, cyberpunk; ESL

Caroline Harvey

Phone: 604.323.5678
Office: A302c

B.A. English (SFU), M.A. English (SFU): Modernism: Joyce, Lawrence, Pound


Main Courses: English 1121, 1100, 1123, 1129

Creative Writing Courses: Poetry, Short Fiction, Creative Non-fiction

Special Interest Courses: Canadian Literature: The Experimental Novel; Terribly Funny: The Serious Art of Laughter; The Beats: American Counterculture Literature of the 1950s and 1960s


Caroline Harvey's days revolve around reading and analyzing literature with students, saluting the powers of writers, and repeating the word “revise” with conviction. She favours satirical works that are full of brutal irony and spilled blood, but she also relishes writing that flows with revolutionary stances and visionary mantras.


Since she still actually believes that writers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world--and that they can only thrive with support and recognition--she also teaches various genres of creative writing, helps to judge Langara's magazine of student writing, W49, and runs Langara's Postcard Story Contest.


As a literary journalist, Caroline has interviewed authors and written over fifty book reviews, namely for The Vancouver Sun, and she was the poetry editor for the Vancouver Review for six years. Her own creative writing (personal essays about the alienating moments of urban life) has been published by local newspapers and Vancouver Review.


During her twenty-five plus years as an instructor, she has not once lost her passion for exploring the ways that good writing–and reading–transforms lives and societies. Revise!

Gregory Holditch

Phone: 604.323.5030
Office: A308b

Greg Holditch has been part of the Langara English Department since 2010. He teaches literary criticism, composition and business communication. His academic interests include print culture, trauma narrative, graphic novels and video games. Greg is the co-author of Bare Essentials: 10th ed (2021) and WRITE2: Canadian Edition (2016).

Greg firmly believes that Langara offers a unique learning environment (e.g. small class size, instructor availably) that has a fundamental impact on a student’s success. This learning environment informs his own teaching philosophy: his goal as an educator is to make students active participants in their own learning. To this end, he uses interactive group activities, classroom discussion, humour and popular culture to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable expressing themselves and their ideas.

In his free time, Greg nurtures his video game obsession, bikes at great speeds around Vancouver, and dreams about Scuba diving.

Joanne Horwood

Phone: 604.323.5634
Office: A302

Joanne Horwood has a BA Honours (University of Calgary), an MA and PhD (University of Alberta) in English. After focusing on semiotics and modern drama in her PhD dissertation, she has expanded her interests to Theatre History, including Women’s Theatre History. 

She found her way to the West Coast in 1990 while still completing her graduate work and, after teaching at UBC and a couple of other colleges, began her tenure at Langara College in 2000. During these 20 years, she has taught many first-year courses, English 1100, 1127, 1128, 1129, 1181 and 1191, as well as second-year courses English 2233, 2234 and 2237, and Communications 1118, Business Writing.  She has worked in the private sector providing business and technical writing services, though her first love has always been literature.  Often her first-year classes have a thematic focus that reflects her interest in World Literature: “Out of Africa,” “New York, New York,” and “’The Empire Writes Back’: Caribbean Literature.”  This year in English 1129, she will turn to literature of migration, focussing on Space, Place, Displacement, and Exile.  In English 1100, she introduces students to literary theory using A Visit from the Goon Squad.  Please note that this novel includes strong language and mature themes associated with sex, drugs and punk rock.

For the adventurous, Joanne has offered various Field School programs: Theatre History in London (once) and New York (five times), 2009-2014, and with Katrina Erdos from Geography for two programs in Italy and London in 2017 and 2018.  For more information, see Field Schools under Programs and Courses on the Langara Homepage.

Stephanie Hummel

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2510
Office: A301

Stephanie is an experienced English as a Second Language instructor who has spent more than 15 years teaching in colleges and academies throughout North America and around the world. Stephanie holds a BA from UBC, a TESOL Diploma and a Master’s in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Greensboro College in North Carolina.

Stephanie’s areas of focus are academic writing, the fundamentals of English grammar and communication skills for international professionals.

Prior to coming to Langara, Stephanie taught college preparatory classes for English language learners at Vancouver Community College. In her adventurous days, she taught business English in Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as English for newcomers in Durham, North Carolina. She spent a year as the only English speaker in a small rural village in Japan, so she understands how crucial cross-cultural communication skills are.

Stephanie specializes in working with 1106 and 1107 students to improve their writing skills and meet their entrance requirements. She also works with international professionals in specialized programs at Langara to boost their communication skills and achieve their academic and employment goals.

When Stephanie is not teaching, she enjoys exploring hiking trails, traveling and reading.

Tiffany Johnstone

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2371
Office: A202b

Dr. Tiffany Johnstone earned a BA from the University of Toronto (2004), an MA from Memorial University of Newfoundland (2005), and a PhD from the University of British Columbia (2012).  In the fall of 2016, she began teaching in the Department of English at Langara College and has been thrilled to be here ever since.  In addition to teaching at Langara, she taught Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland (2006-2007).  She also taught at the University of British Columbia (2007-2017) in the Department of English, the Arts Studies in Research and Writing program, the Coordinated Arts Program, and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.  She has spoken at multiple international conferences and  published articles relating to northern travel literature, autobiography, women's literature, Canadian literature, and Indigenous literature.  She also co-edited Bearing Witness: Perspectives on War and Peace in the Arts and Humanities with Sherrill Grace and Patrick Imbert (McGill-Queens University Press).  Most recently, she published an article on children’s picture books by  Michael Kusugak in The Arctic in Literature for Children and Young Adults (Routledge).  She is a Sexual Respect Ambassador at Langara College.  She was also recently inspired by participating in the 2019 TCDC-organized Reconciliation Silversmithing workshop with coast Salish artist and instructor, Aaron Nelson Moody, and she recognizes that the college is on unceded Musqueum territory.  Tiffany believes strongly that a research and teaching community is only as great as its grassroots efforts to respect and nurture the intellectual and lived experiences of all students and instructors.  She is proud to be part of such a committed and diverse community of people here at Langara College snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ (House of teachings).

Estella Kuchta

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2652

Estella Carolye Kuchta has taught composition, literature, and research writing classes for over a decade in Canada, Japan, and China. She is the author of the novel Finding the Daydreamer (publication: September 2020) and is coauthoring a nonfiction book on ecologizing education. She has worked as a writer and researcher for international management consultants in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Additionally, she worked as a research assistant to author Dr. Gabor Mate, an editor for humanitarian organization Susila Dharma International, and an intern at CBC Radio. Her creative writing and journalism projects have been published, aired, and broadcast in newspapers and literary magazines, and on radio and TV in Canada and the United States.

Ciara Lawlor

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2224
Office: A303k

Tanya Lewis

Phone: 604.323.5910
Office: A202a

Tanya earned her M.A. from UBC in 2000 as a specialist in Canadian Literature, and has been published in Essays on Canadian Writing and Studies in Canadian Literature.  Since her graduation, however, she has expanded her scholarly interests to include film studies, non-fiction, Victorian fiction, and food in literature. Indeed, she developed an English 2233 course, “Consuming Fiction: Examining the Link between Food and Story,” in order to share her enthusiasm for this burgeoning academic field.

What Tanya is most enthusiastic about, though, is teaching, She therefore considers herself lucky to have landed at Langara where she is surrounded by creative colleagues and (mostly) dedicated students.  Tanya has been teaching a wide variety of ESL, first-, and second-year courses at Langara since she was hired in 2002, and she looks forward to continuing to do so until her retirement—in about 2034.   

Tess MacMillan

Phone: 604.323.5391
Office: B245d

Tess MacMillan has been an instructor at Langara College since September 2002. Before arriving at Langara, she taught at UBC's Writing Centre and at Douglas College.

A native Vancouverite, she earned a BA (Hons.) in English from UBC before heading to London, Ontario where she received an MA in English from the University of Western Ontario.

Tess's areas of academic interest include First Nations literature (particularly the works of Thomas King), multicultural literature (especially Canadian and Caribbean), short fiction, and English grammar. Her non-academic interests include popular culture, yoga, and fashion as an artistic medium.

Tess teaches a wide range of first year courses including English 1107, 1110, 1127, and 1129. She enjoys teaching students grammar, writing skills, and literature and believes that everyone can find a poem to love.

Erin MacWilliam

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2361
Office: A324d

Erin MacWilliam has been teaching post-secondary English literature and business and technical communication since 2004, and loves teaching the vibrant and intelligent students at Langara. Erin hopes that all students taking her classes find texts that spark joy and critical thought, and gain the tools to express themselves more effectively in writing. She aims to teach diverse works and promote an inclusive and participatory classroom.

A native Vancouverite, Erin has a B.A. (hons.) in English Literature and Geography from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of British Columbia. Her doctoral research focused on the ways in which British cookbooks published between 1660 and 1760, along with the periodicals, literature, and philosophy of the time, shaped conceptions of physical and aesthetic taste. Erin’s current research interests include writing and literary pedagogy, eighteenth-century literature and didactic writing, print culture, taste and aesthetics, domesticity, and the public sphere. She is a beer-league softball player and chorister, and lets her cat Nubs boss her around. 

Paisley Mann

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2454
Office: A206

Paisley Mann has been teaching at Langara since 2014. She has a BA (English and French Literature) and an MA (English Literature) from the University of Victoria and a PhD (English Literature) from the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation and current scholarship focus on representations of the nineteenth-century city, specifically London and Paris, in British fiction and travel guides; she looks at how class, gender, and cultural values shape one’s understanding and experience of the urban environment. She has also published articles on film adaptations of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and on nineteenth-century illustrated serial fiction.

She teaches a variety of courses, including English 1100, 1121, 1127, 1130, and 2224. In particular, she enjoys teaching film studies, introducing students to Victorian literature, and helping students to improve aspects of their writing. She appreciates how Langara’s small class sizes allow for class dialogue and participation, and she strives to create a classroom environment that is both intellectually challenging and supportive. She aims to help students to become good readers of the culture around them and to see that fiction is not a retreat from but an entrance into contemporary debates and social critique.

Ameena Mayer

Phone: 604.323.5511
Office: A324c

Ameena Mayer has a Masters in English Literature from the University of Victoria. She has been teaching in Langara's English department for fifteen years. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, writing, and volunteering with seniors. She recently wrote a science fiction novel called Love from an Alien Sun, which will be published in spring of 2023 by Running Wild Press.

Sean McAlister

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2581

Shannon Meek

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2453
Office: A206

Rachel Mines

Phone: 604.323.5003
Office: A201f

Rachel Mines has been a member of the English Department since 2001. She retired in 2020. As well as teaching a variety of first-and second-year courses, Rachel created, coordinated, and taught the innovative “Writing Lives: The Holocaust Survivor Memoir Project.” This was a second-year, two-semester course that teamed Langara students with local Holocaust survivors to help them create written memoirs of their wartime experiences. The program has since been extended to First Nations survivors of residential schools.


As well as teaching at Langara, Rachel translates Yiddish short fiction. Her first collection,‘The Rivals’ and Other Stories, was published by Syracuse University Press in the spring of 2020.  The stories, which explore issues such as culture clash, women’s rights, child abuse, and the search for love in a rapidly changing world, were immensely popular when they first appeared during the first decades of the 20th century and are still highly relevant today. The book is available at Amazon, Chapters, and the publisher’s website. You can view a short trailer here.


Rachel is presently translating some early, so far untranslated stories of I. B. Singer, to be included in the volume In the World of Chaos: Early Writings, forthcoming from Academic Studies Press.

Anne Moriarty

Phone: 604.323.5212
Office: A303m

Jonathan Newell

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2562
Office: A324b

Trevor Newland

Phone: 604.323.5407
Office: A303d

Currently, I teach English 1123, 1129, 1130, all interesting and practical first-year courses. I also teach 2236 (second-year creative writing: prose fiction) on a regular basis in addition to other second-year courses dealing with the relationship between pictures and words in literature, freak culture, and survivor types. 

I’m the author/illustrator of The Scallywag Solution, Race to Pisa!, Mighty Melvin the Magnificent Mouse!, and The Atheneum, all graphic novels for young readers that have been published and distributed throughout North America and Europe. Currently, I’m a signed writer with the CookeMcDermid Agency (Toronto). I’ve also taught at BCIT and VCC. Before that, I spent my academic career at SFU (with a focus on conspiracy theory and the works of Umberto Eco) and UBC (with a focus on contemporary American literature and, in particular, the works of Cormac McCarthy). Before that, I was a professional musician and songwriter working at various production houses in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Kathleen Oliver

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2114
Office: A302d

Prior to coming to Langara in the summer of 2012, Kathleen taught English and Creative Writing at Emily Carr University. She is also a playwright and theatre critic for The Georgia Straight, where she has been writing about theatre since 1997. She enjoys sneaking opportunities to introduce students to Vancouver’s vibrant performing arts scene into as many courses as possible.

Kathleen’s first play, Swollen Tongues, is a comedy of love and manners written entirely in rhyming couplets. First produced in 1998 at the Women in View Festival, it has had productions throughout Canada; in London, England, where it earned a Critics’ Choice from Time Out; and a three-month run in Paris  (in a French translation by Marie Paule Ramo). Kathleen’s other full-length plays are Carol’s Christmas and The Family Way, which both premiered in Vancouver. She has also written or co-written several shorter plays in English (Beautiful on a Budget) and in French (Snow Queen, Rendez-Vous).

A recurring theme in Kathleen’s plays is that a unique and beautiful power comes from finding one’s voice. In her teaching, she tries to help students find this power within themselves through their writing, whether it takes the form of a job application, a journal, or a research essay. Kathleen believes that any form of writing is an opportunity for playful and meaningful expression.  

Daniel Poirier

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2512
Office: A203

BA in World Literature, History Extended Minor from Simon Fraser University (British Columbia)

MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College (New York)

Daniel is a teacher and a writer. When not teaching, he’s usually reading literature. If he’s not reading literature, he’s writing it. If he’s not reading or writing it, he’s thinking about reading or writing it. Or he’s watching really good TV. Or poor TV, but rarely awful TV. He tries to squeeze in time for video games. He walks his dog regularly. He’s in denial about his grey hairs. He understands the importance of exercise but has little patience for it. His interests are wide ranging, but usually cycle back to analysis of the human condition and alternating narrative points-of-view.

I have a penchant for Japanese writers but am interested in all far-flung literature. I like to look at which writers may have influenced others across space and time. I like to examine why some works translate and travel while others remain fixed. I stress cross-cultural reading and interdisciplinary study because this makes for a more well-rounded citizen of the world and a more attractive potential employee. 

I aim to make my classes fun and engaging, but not at the expense of hard work. Learning is hard work; becoming a better writer is hard work. Almost anything worth doing is hard work. And so we’ll work hard, and strive, and grow.

Thor Polukoshko

Phone: 604.323.5675

Thor Polukoshko has a B.A. and M.A. in English from Simon Fraser University, and has worked in the Langara English department since 2011.

His academic interests include postcolonial studies, critical disability studies, hip hop, authorship, graphic narrative, and contemporary BC poetry/poetics. His master’s thesis on Indigenous rap music, “Playing the Role of the Tribe: The Aesthetics of Appropriation in Canadian Aboriginal Hip Hop,” was published in a collection of essays entitled Selves and Subjectivities: Reflections of Canadian Arts and Culture (2012) by Athabasca University Press. Other publications include poetry, essays, and comics/illustrations in West Coast Line, The Incongruous Quarterly, and Memewar.

When he’s not marking huge stacks of papers, Thor enjoys writing, drawing, playing video games, and cleaning up after his dog. Thor was one of the founding editors of the literary/interdisciplinary magazine Memewar. Thor was a recipient of the 2020 Langara College Golden Apple Award.

Aubyn Rader

Office: A203

Sarah Richards


Sarah Richards, BA (McGill), MFA (UBC), has been a copywriter and developmental editor for nearly two decades in the fields of career management and business research. She believes professional writing is a skill set, not an innate talent, and everyone — with hard work and dedication — can improve. Her favourite classes at Langara are Written Communications (CMNS 1118) and Advanced Communications (CMNS 2228).


In 2020, Sarah will launch a series of Vancouver-set crime novels with Audible, starting with CHINA WHITE, which was also a finalist in the 2018 HarperCollins Best New Fiction Prize. Her memoir piece “Curating Home” was a runner-up in the 2018 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, and her other stories and reviews have appeared in carte blancheprism internationalThe PuritanRusty ToqueRoom MagazineThe Cardiff Review, The Danforth ReviewEclectica, Fox Adoption, and UNBUILD walls. She has also published travel essays with and written guidebook chapters for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Fodor’s Travel.


Erin Robb

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2117
Office: A303l

Simon Rolston

Office: A303f

My area of expertise is twentieth-century American literature, with a focus on life writing, crime, and the American prison system. I have experience teaching in Canada, the US, and the UK. My work has been published in American Studies, Critical Survey, MELUS, and Canadian Literature, and I am currently working on a book project, The Defiant Ones: Masculinity, Race, and the Ex-Convict in Twentieth-Century American Literature

Jordan Rudek


Roger Semmens

Phone: 604.323.5802
Office: A359a

B.A, M.A. (UBC)

Roger Semmens teaches first year composition & literature and he specializes in teaching Creative Writing at the second year level. He is one of the editors of W49 Magazine, Langara's journal of Creative Writing, and he rarely writes about himself in the first person singular. 

Mr. Semmens firmly believes in the following principles:

  • reading and writing are intimately connected; the more we engage in the first enterprise, the better equipped we are to undertake the second.

  • reading a lot is a way of understanding & embracing the human landscape in which we wander; writing is a way of blazing a few new trails through it.

  • writing is essentially a subversive activity; it encourages us to question the fiction of our selves and certainly equips us to challenge the authoritarian & institutional fictions that surround us.

  • studying theory is helpful, but we really learn by doing ; if we want to produce good writing, we need to practice.

This instructor warmly welcomes to his classes any soul who thinks that reading & writing are more important than fast cars and designer clothes. He wishes happiness to those who do not, but hopes that they take classes from someone else.

Leah Sharzer

Phone: 604.323.5511 ext. 2238

Sandra Slade

Phone: 604.323.5471
Office: A303g

As an undergraduate in England, Sandra Slade studied Law before switching to English Literature, Language and French. She came to Vancouver via Los Angeles where she acquired Masters’ degrees in both Art History and English Literature.  In Vancouver, she learned how to teach English as an additional language, and since 2001, has been teaching a range of developmental and first year courses.

Her scholarly interests include material culture and Latinix fiction.  Off campus, she enjoys choral singing, fibre arts and vegetarian cuisine. 

Lauren Vedal


Jacqueline Weal

Phone: 604.323.5943
Office: A302a

After studying Fine Arts and Design, I embarked on a decade-long career in the fashion industry: buying, merchandising and traveling. In 1998, I returned to school, earning a Diploma in Classical Studies at Langara, before taking a BA in English Literature at SFU.  I was awarded a University Graduate Fellowship to study at UBC, where I earned a Masters degree, concentrating, in particular, on Film adaptations.

I’ve been an instructor at Langara since 2004, where I’ve taught first year courses such as English 1127 & English 1130 (a favourite of mine), in addition to the second year Surveys and specialty courses on Shape-shifters, Biographies, and Romantic Comedies. In 2013, I was co-instructor on Karen Budra’s inaugural UK Gothic Field School, traveling with students through London, Whitby, Edinburgh & Manchester, while focusing on all aspects of the Gothic, from fashion and music to literature and film.

In my view, Langara College offers students exceptional educational opportunities, with a wide array of specialty courses, unique field schools, small classes, & helpful teachers. My advice? Work hard – and enjoy yourself.

Guy Wilkinson

Phone: 604.323.5339
Office: A303b

My Awful life (A Resume)

I was seventeen when my parents separated. At first I lived with my mother, but we couldn't get along, so I moved in with my father. He took it as a personal victory. On my eighteenth birthday, we got drunk. That evening he said to me, “Son, there's something about your mother we never told you.”

So I quit College and spent six months backpacking in Europe. In Luxemburg I met a girl. Her name was Berenice, and she said she believed in God. She seemed afraid for me that I didn't, she said “Something terrible could happen.” She took me by the hand and guided me past ravines and tunnelled walls, sat with me on cafe terraces, in her yellow miniskirt, her skin like caramel. When the time came for me to leave, she pressed her cheek to mine. “You'll forget me,” she said, “but I won't forget. Not the holes in your shoes, or the way you pronounce my name. Not the things you said, when you thought you were only talking.”

Back home I got work slinging beer. Late nights, afterhours, cycling home as the sun rose. Day by day passed, the same; I felt I was living in a fish bowl. Then one night a regular locked himself in a toilet stall and opened his veins with a broken bottle.

I went back to school. My friends were getting married, taking on mortgages, having kids. My sister married an artist who sold Crystal Meth to pay the bills. At the wedding he was so euphoric he couldn't remember his lines. My mother cried and cried.

I entered university on a four-year B.A. course with Psychology as my major. After the first year I switched to Languages, Italian and French, dropped them after the first semester, and took up Philosophy and Far Eastern Studies. Finally I quit university altogether and joined a band. We hit the road, toured the redneck bars of northern Ontario. In Thunder Bay, a jealous boyfriend kicked our drummer down a set of cement steps; he went into a coma for three days and then died. We packed our equipment and drove home.

Here I am now, in my rainy city. I have no job, I'm on welfare. In this town everyone is rich, or poor, or thinks they're poor. I wait on Granville Street, wait for a plan, wait for direction. The other day I asked someone for spare change and he glared and I saw it was my brother-in-law. As it turns out, he and my sister have been separated for some time. He brushed me off with vague excuses. But as he was leaving, he said to me, "I heard about your mom."


Guy Wilkinson was born in Liverpool, England, the fifth of eight children. At the age of four he moved with his family to Saskatchewan, where there was space enough for such a large family to grow. After graduating from high school, he lived and worked abroad, in Poland and England before returning to Canada to earn an MA at the University of British Columbia. He now resides with his wife and three children in Port Coquitlam. He is the author of a monograph, At Work and Play: Philosophy and Parody in the novels of Witold Gombrowicz (Lambert Academic Publishing), a children’s book co-written with his daughter, The Bluzeziad (Paraguas Books), and a collection of short stories, Home Invasion & Other Stories (Booksmart).