SciLIFT Team

Anna Rissanen

Anna Rissanen

Director Teaching & Learning
CCIS 5-181
(780) 492-1414

Anna Rissanen’s background includes MSc in Zoology, PhD in Neuroscience, and MEd in Post-secondary education. She has worked as a teaching consultant, university lecturer, neuroscientist, entrepreneur and supervisor in higher education and research both in universities and industry.

Her goals as the Director of Teaching and Learning include forming and supporting teaching and learning community that engages in evidence-based teaching practices and innovation, and promoting evidence-based curriculum reform. Anna’s educational leadership statement is “Support faculty in teaching and learning innovation, and provide guidance in Scholarship of Teaching & Learning so that students have excellent learning experiences at the Faculty of Science.”

Mauricio Rivera-Quijano

Educational Developer

CCIS 5-217
(780) 492-6486

Mauricio Rivera-Quijano is a seasoned education professional with more than 25 years of experience in education, communication, project manager and Instructional Designer as well. Previously, he worked as Senior Professional Development Specialist at CTL and IST. His first appointment at University was at Campus Saint-Jean in 1989, as Distance Education Coordinator in 1989. He has completed his Master Degree in Educational Technology and his Bachelor Degree in Public Communication at Université Laval in Quebec City.

His personal area of interest is to learn more about indigenous cultures and how the cultural values of minorities can be embedded in the design and development processes in the area of educational technology.

Gavin Bradley

Gavin Bradley

Science MOOC Coordinator

Gavin Bradley completed his BSc in Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast, before travelling to the University of Alberta to complete his MSc in Systematics and Evolution under Dr. Philip Currie. An award-winning instructor at the University of Alberta, Gavin has a deep passion for teaching and outreach in science. He helped create the Faculty’s three latest palaeontology MOOCs: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds, Ancient Marine Reptiles and Early Vertebrate Evolution, which he facilitates alongside the University’s flagship MOOC: Dino 101. He also provides support for a number of for-credit science courses and new MOOC development teams.

John G. Hoang
Education Research Analyst

John’s educational background includes an MSc in Psychology from the University of Alberta and a BSc in Developmental Biology from the University of Alberta. He was awarded the U of A Faculty of Science’s Graduate Teaching Award during his time at the U of A. He is currently the Education Evaluation Analyst with the SciLIFT team at the Faculty of Science. John hopes to make a positive difference and his work reflects the values that enables him to enhance the lives of others. His hobbies include: fantasy novels, pottery, podcasting, and photography.

Melanie Greene

Science Educational Developer

Melanie comes to the Faculty of Science’s teaching and learning team from Memorial University, where she worked as a teaching consultant in the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and sessional instructor in the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences and Business Administration. She completed her Ph.D. in Education (Post-Secondary Studies) at Memorial, and her thesis focused on the role of support services in graduate student persistence and degree completion. She holds a B.A. (honours) in sociology from Memorial and M.A. in sociology from McMaster University.

Stephen Lane

Stephen Lane

Science MOOC Facilitator

Astro 101 (Black Holes)

Stephen Lane has a PhD in Physics from the University of Alberta, studying optical resonances and engineering fluorescent molecules. He thrives on teaching and outreach, from elementary to adult learners. He is also interested in physics education research and has run training sessions for incoming teaching assistants. Outside the lab, he enjoys kickboxing, tango, and violin.

Cecilia Xiang

Science MOOC Facilitator

Specializations: Software Product Management & Software Design Architecture


Cecilia Xiang is the facilitator for UAlberta professional development specializations: Software Product Management and Software Design and Architecture. She received her BSc. in Computing Science from the University of Alberta and worked as a Full Stack Software Developer before joining the SciLIFT team. She loves building side projects, playing video games, and watching lots of Netflix. When she isn’t glued to a screen, she spends time reading books, playing LEGOs, and trying very hard not to be the worst player at Squash. She is a huge fan of online learning and believes education happens everywhere, not just in the classroom.

Julienne Belardo
Science MOOC FacilitatorPVG (Problem solving & Video Games)

Julienne Belardo is the course facilitator for Problem Solving, Programming, and Video Games. She received her BSc with Specialization in Computing Science at the University of Alberta and believes in making the field of Computing Science more approachable for beginners. Giving people from different backgrounds the opportunity to learn programming is important to her, as she believes that it is a skill that anybody can learn. In her spare time, Julienne enjoys playing video games, listening to music, doodling, and learning Japanese!


Ilan Domnich
Science MOOC Facilitator

Bugs 101 (Insect-Human Interactions)

Ilan Domnich recently completed his B.Sc. in Animal Biology, with a specialisation in Invertebrate Zoology. A passionate, young entomologist, Ilan’s enthusiasm for insects is unparalleled. He has volunteered as an invertebrate specialist at the Royal Alberta Museum for the past six years, caring for live animals in the collection and contributing to outreach events. Ilan also has a degree in Finance from the University of Alberta, with a minor in Accounting. In his free time, Ilan works on his art and enjoys exploring the outdoors.