Latest Faculty of Information News

New Faculty Announcement

Submitted on Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Faculty of Information is thrilled to announce seven new faculty members. Welcome to:

  1. Tao Wang, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Contractually Limited Term Appointment – Information Systems

Start date: July 1, 2023

Tao Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Information Systems at Simon Fraser University. He holds an M.Sc. in Business Analytics from York University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Nanjing University. His research interests include online communities, knowledge exchange, emotions, and the application of artificial intelligence in online communication. Tao has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

  1. Maggie Hutcheson, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Museum Studies

Start date: July 1, 2023

Maggie Hutcheson is a Toronto-based museum professional, artist, curator, educator and consultant. She has worked with a range of arts and culture organizations including the CBC, Jumblies Theatre, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, MABELLEarts, Arts Etobicoke and the Toronto Ward Museum. Dr. Hutcheson co-founded the longstanding community-engaged collective ‘Department of Public Memory’ and authored the Ontario Arts Council’s handbook on best practices in community-engaged art. She holds a PhD from York University, where her doctoral research focused on place-based civic engagement through the arts. She was the Lead Curator and Program Director of the Toronto Ward Museum’s Block by Block program from 2018-2022, for which the museum recently received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation.

  1. Maher Elshakankiri,Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Information Systems

Start Date: July 1, 2023

Maher Elshakankiri (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor Teaching Stream (CLTA) in the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, and is currently serving as the Information Systems and Design (ISD) concentration liaison. He holds Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering.

Elshakankiri’s research interests include Active Learning Classrooms, the Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor Networks and Cybersecurity. He is the author of the book, Introduction to Wireless Sensor Networks, and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. He is currently working on pedagogical research related to using technology and gaming in the classroom. Elshakankiri is a member of the Standard Council Canada (SCC) committee of the Internet of Things and Digital Twins. He is also a reviewer at several journals and conferences. He has varied industrial experience designing and implementing information systems.

  1. Velian Pandeliev, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – User Experience Design 

Start date: July 1, 2023

Velian Pandeliev is a User Experience Design (UXD) educator with a background in cognitive science and computer programming, and an M.Sc. in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He started teaching undergraduate computer science and HCI courses at the University of Toronto in 2011 and has been a full-time lecturer at the Faculty of Information since 2019. He is currently the UXD concentration liaison for the MI program while teaching core UXD courses, and a course on the UX of video games.

He has conducted applied UX research for HP Inc., VMWare and Ubisoft, bringing a practical industry perspective to his teaching. His pedagogical approach favours a cross-disciplinary framing of design, practical studio activities, formative feedback from peers and experts, collaboration, and student self-reflection. Velian’s domain interests include serious games for learning, design ethics, justice and accessibility, and technology-enhanced active learning methods.

  1. Nada Almasri, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream – Contractually Limited Term Appointment – Information Systems

Start date: August 1, 2023

Nada Almasri likes to describe herself as a “Global” citizen in a global world. She has lived in six countries on four continents, namely Syria, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, France, Canada and Kuwait, and speaks three languages. She obtained her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from INSA de Lyon, France, in Information Systems and Computer Science, respectively, and her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UAE University. With over 20 years of teaching experience, she has taught various courses in different study programs, including Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering and Telecommunications. While teaching is her primary passion, she is also active in research and aims to diversify her research to support the breadth and depth of her teaching. Her current research interests include Software Engineering and IT for Education in Emergencies.

  1. Vera Khovanskaya, Assistant Professor – User Experience Design/Human-Computer Interaction

Start date: January 1, 2024

Vera Khovanskaya is a Computing Innovations Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Diego, where she is a member of the Just Transitions Initiative and the Design Lab. Her research examines the impacts of data collection in the workplace, the opportunities and challenges of data-driven approaches to worker advocacy, and the barriers to worker-centered and community-driven technology design. Her work has earned awards in venues including ACM CSCW, CHI, and DIS. She completed her PhD in Information Science at Cornell University, where she was a member of the Culturally Embedded Computing Group (CEmCom) and a member of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing. She has worked in design and research at Google, Yahoo and Intel Labs.

  1. Silvia Vong, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Library and Information Science

Start date: July 1, 2024

Silvia Vong (she/her) is the former Associate University Librarian for Scholarly, Research, and Creative Activities at Toronto Metropolitan University where she oversaw the Collections and ITS departments as well as the Research team. She has worked for 14 years in various roles ranging from e-learning librarian, and liaison librarian, to head of public services at different academic libraries in Ontario. Silvia holds an MLIS (Western), M.Ed. (York) and is currently a Ph.D. candidate researching the impact of neoliberal conventions on equity and anti-racism work in Canadian universities.  

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