Board of Directors
The Learning Specialists Association of Canada is governed by a Board of Directors elected from its professional members by its professional members. The Board is composed of:
Donna Walker has served in higher education for over 8 years and has a professional background in faculty development, instructional design, teaching, learning strategies and directorship.
Carrie Hanson (she/her) works as a Student Development Manager at McGill University’s Teaching and Learning Services. She supports student learning and academic skills development through creating and facilitating workshops and asynchronous materials. She graduated with a BA in French and Francophone Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, MN and went on to complete a Masters at McGill’s School of Information Studies. Outside of work, Carrie loves to bake, craft, read, and go on long walks in Montreal’s Botanical Garden.
As Secretary of the LSAC Board and a seasoned Learning Advisor and Program Coordinator with over 10 years at U of A, I am interested in harnessing our collective expertise to enhance our community’s growth.
Krystal Valentine is currently the Manager, Student Learning and Academic Engagement in Student Life and Learning Support at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), formerly Ryerson University. In her role, she leads a group of incredibly committed and exceptionally compassionate professional staff to holistically support the academic needs of TMU’s diverse student population. Together, the Learning Support team offers over 30 writing and language, math and study skills support to 40 000+ undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. Krystal has a deep love for social justice, wellbeing, food, and transformative educational experiences.
Pacific Region Chair
Sandra J. Smith (she/her), MEd, BA (Hons), is the Coordinator of the Academic Success Centre at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC. She is in her second term as Pacific Region Chair on the LSAC Board of Directors. Sandra came to the Learning Specialist profession in 2015 after 30 years of working as an ESL/EFL instructor and curriculum designer for post-secondary students in Canada and Japan. In addition to providing academic tutoring services for a diverse student population, her work at UFV includes programming and resource development to support students in matters of academic integrity. Sandra co-founded the national Procrastination Awareness Week, which pools resources and connects students and staff from post-secondary academic support programs across Canada. Outside of work, Sandra is active in triathlon and happiest when she is in, on, or around the water.
Western Region Chair
Regina’s passion for education yielded multiple degrees in Linguistics and a degree in Education. She has worked in the field of education in both K-12 and post-secondary institutions. She worked at Carleton University, Stanford University and is now Success Advisor at Bow Valley College. Regina is very passionate about helping students achieve their best throughout their academic journey.
Eastern Region Co-Chair
Johanna has a broad background in higher education and has worked as an instructor, project administrator, and writing consultant. Currently, she supports undergraduate and graduate students in the development of learning strategies and academic English skills at Queen’s University. Johanna has a particular interest in linguistic justice and anti-racist writing instruction and was one of three recipients of the LSAC Team Award in 2023 for her work supporting students with English as an additional language.
Eastern Region Co-Chair
Nicole currently works as a Learning Skills Specialist at York University. She has broad experience across different areas of student affairs and services; supporting holistic student success.
International Relations Dir.
Heather has supported post-secondary students for more than 20 years. She is currently a Learning Specialist in Learning & Curriculum Support at the University of Guelph. In addition to her M.A. in Education (Denmark) and Máster Universitario (Spain), she has a Certificate in Learning Disabilities (Learning Strategy Stream, Cambrian College) and is a long-time member of LSAC. As LSAC’s International Relations Director, Heather’s vision is to support the promotion of the professional status of Learning Specialists in Canada and build community with our international ICALLD members and other global learning organizations.