Faculty Teaching Fellows

The Faculty Teaching Fellows program started in 2020 as an initiative to support pedagogical innovation and research among ECU’s faculty. To build a strong teaching and learning community, we need to create spaces and opportunities for instructors to reflect on and analyze their current teaching practices, research and/or develop new practices or approaches, and share their learning with colleagues in both formal and informal ways. The projects developed by our Faculty Teaching Fellows enrich learning for the whole Emily Carr community—faculty, staff and students.

Reyhan Yazdani 007 ECU 2021 11 01

Reyhan Yazdani

Faculty Teaching Fellow


Project Description
O Brien Headshot

Joe O’Brien

Faculty Teaching Fellow


Joe O’Brien’s practice sits at the crossroads of visual art and critical writing, theory and research, community and teaching. Their work spans these varied fields, encompassing installations, conversations, research, writing, interactions, and events. For O’Brien, central to his work across these various modalities and disciplines are questions about the relationships between hope, uncertainty, (im)possibility and action. What does it look like to understand and embrace uncertainty as necessary for hope? How can a more critical understanding of impossibility open up new space for action?

O’Brien received his MFA in 2016 from Emily Carr University of Art + Design after completing a BFA with a concentration in philosophy at Illinois Wesleyan University in 2014. They have exhibited, published, and organized events nationally and internationally. He currently lives on the unceded land of the the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ(Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in so-called Vancouver, where he is an instructor at Emily Carr.

Project Description:

What We Need To Be Here: Access Needs, Students, and Faculty in Seminar-Style Classes

What We Need to Be Here looks at how the talents, skills, and needs of everyone in a class can be understood as the place from which teaching and learning begins. This project is rooted in building relationships and trust, and understands that access needs are universal in the sense that everyone has them - but specific in that everyone’s are different. Rather than fitting people into pre-determined structures, What We Need To Be Here seeks to research, imagine, and collectively create approaches to classrooms as spaces where the talents, skills, and needs of the people in them can be the premise from which frameworks and practices are drawn.