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Seminar: Weaving Culture into Chemistry for Transformative Education

April 17 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Join us for the April BE-STEMM seminar featuring:

Dr. Rispah Janet Ochola
Title: Weaving Culture into Chemistry for Transformative Education
  • 4pm ET
  • Wednesday April 17, 2024

Dr. Ochola is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Douglas College for over 5 years. Her focus is on developing student-centered learning activities that are transformative, engaging and inclusive of learners from diverse backgrounds.


Dr. Ochola has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Acadia University, and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. Her PhD thesis focused on further understanding properties of photocatalysts that impact the rate of product formation. Photocatalysts drive reactions using light as an energy source, and they have recently become a mainstay of the pharmaceutical industry.


Dr. Ochola works with colleagues at Douglas College on initiatives that foster diversity and higher order learning of chemistry and other science-based fields. She is currently working on projects that intertwine her favourite interests: chemistry, culture and food.



How can we interlace knowledge gained by experiences outside the formal learning space with that learnt in the classroom? This talk will discuss examples of initiatives that blend conventional course content with the personal experiences of educators and learners outside of the classroom. The focus will be on learning activities in Organic Chemistry courses, the Chemistry of Cooking course, and research at the undergraduate level. This approach to learning activities creates an engaging and diverse learning environment where learners apply higher-order thinking skills in projects that have scientific, environmental, and social aspects. As a result, student engagement and retention of knowledge are enhanced as they are encouraged to build the link between course content and personal experiences by evaluating real world issues using scientific criteria. Course design that weaves cultural experiences into coursework creates scientists who can better analyze and solve problems in diverse communities.

Watch this space for seminar speaker announcements!

Seminar topics: Watch this space for updates!

The CBSN/RCSN gratefully acknowledges the University of Toronto Scarborough and its support as the Network Host Institution, and the Academic Program Committee of the Network for the BE-STEMM Seminar Series.


April 17
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
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