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Award Recipients to be Acknowledged at 2023 Conference


Congratulations will be formally extended to ACIFA’s most recent award recipients at the 2023 Conference at the Chateau Lake Louise in May.

Dana Wight (NorQuest College) won the Distinguished Instructor Award and Gillian Comchi (Lethbridge College) won the Innovation in Teaching Award. Heather Setka was last year's recipient of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (there were no applications for this year). However, Heather is presenting at this year's conference now that she's finished her research project and is ready to present her findings.

Dana Wight

Dana Wight is an English instructor and Chair of the Arts & Sciences Program at NorQuest College. She completed her PhD in English at the University of Alberta, specializing in 18th-century literature and feminist psychoanalytic theory. Dana has published a chapter in philosopher Luce Irigaray’s book Building a New World (2015), presented conference papers at a number of Canadian universities as well as internationally at the National College for Teaching and Leadership (UK), University College London (UK), and Université de Bretagne Occidentale (France), and published an article in George Orwell Studies (2019). She was recently honoured to receive the 2021 Jaye Fredrickson Excellence in Teaching Award at NorQuest College in recognition of her commitment to teaching and learning, and she was the 2018 recipient of NorQuest’s Quest for Excellence Research Award. Dana also hosts a community radio program called Ex Libris featuring music inspired by literature. 

Gillian Comchi

Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Gillian Comchi is a proud alumnus of the University of

Lethbridge, where she obtained her Bachelor of Nursing degree. After working as an RN within

Southern Alberta, Gillian began pursuing her teaching career at Lethbridge College in 2012. During her graduate studies, Gillian engaged in a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research study

examining students’ experiences of a capstone high-fidelity simulation experience for health care aide

(HCA) students. It was designed to enhance students’ ability and conceptual understanding of dementia and end-of-life care.


Gillian has continued to engage in research and scholarly activities at Lethbridge College related to simulation, specifically the use by unregulated healthcare professionals. Additional scholarly promoting activities surround student engagement and SoTL mentorship and development among faculty.


Heather Setka

Heather Setka is a member of the Communications and Liberal Arts Studies faculty at SAIT, teaching both Communication Studies and Sociology to many programs across the institute. Since 2015, she has been studying the experience of women teaching classrooms often comprised mostly of men. Her Master’s capstone project is titled "The Only Woman in the Room is at the Front." Prior to her career as an instructor, she worked as a publications editor, published writer, and broadcast journalist.


Heather will be presenting at the conference: Women Teaching Men. This presentation will share findings from ongoing research which addresses the unique experiences of women teaching classrooms populated primarily by men. She will share experiences in this classroom environment as determined through the collective knowledge drawn from qualitative interviews with both women instructors and best practices for their academic leaders.

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