The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) welcomes three new faculty members: Lisa Myers, assistant lecturer with a specialization in environmental justice and the arts; Luisa Sotomayor, assistant lecturer with a specialization in equity planning; and Traci Warkentin, assistant lecturer and environmental/sustainability education coordinator who specializes in environmental education.
“We are very excited to have such dedicated teachers and scholars of pedagogy to grow our strengths in equity planning, environmental justice and the arts, and Environmental education. Our emphasis on engaged, experiential education will be greatly enhanced,” said FES Dean Noël Sturgeon.
Lisa Myers – As a scholar, artist and curator, Myers is inspired by more than a decade of working as a cook and chef for Aboriginal organizations, as well as facilitating cooking workshops. In her curatorial practice she investigates cultural agency and the encoding of food as a material in contemporary Indigenous art. She examines food’s function as a material in artworks revealing complex power relations and issues such as: state power over food supply and rations; shifts in relationship to place through the displacement from ‘traditional’ food sources; and physical food related health issues, including diabetes.
Her artwork and participatory performance has been included in venues such as Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa) Peterborough Art Gallery (Peterborough) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Recent curatorial projects include two touring exhibitions. “Recast” features artworks by Bev Koski and Christian Chapman that reconfigure images and objects, recasting them into different roles that confront issues of (mis)representation. “Reading the Talk”, co-curated with Rachelle Dickenson, features Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee artists responding to treaties, land, and relationships of value through first considering the Dish with One Spoon Treaty.
Myers earned her AOCA, BFA and MFA from OCAD University.
Luisa Sotomayor – Sotomayor’s research and teaching focus is on urban inequalities, governance, urban politics and planning. Specifically, she is interested in how regimes of socio-spatial inequality consolidate in contemporary cities, and the potential of grass-roots activism, land-use planning tools, and urban policy experimentation to address the urban divide. She has a special interest in planning and development in Latin American cities and is excited about the opportunities for collaboration in the Latin American region emerging from York’s new Eco-Campus in Costa Rica.
Her areas of academic interest include: equity planning and community development; global urbanization; urban politics; and regional governance, to list a few. This year, she will be teaching courses on Global Cities, Regional Governance, Community Planning and Housing, and Planning Theory.
Sotomayer earned her BA in sociology at National University of Colombia, her MSc in planning from the University of Toronto and a PhD in planning from the University of Toronto.
Traci Warkentin – Through her work, Warkentin examines the intersections of experiential learning, place/context, environmental ethics, and human-animal relationships. Starting from a feminist epistemological standpoint that understands environmental education as necessarily intertwined with social justice, her teaching practice and pedagogical research bring together content with form by investigating the influence of material and social contexts on how and what people learn about the environment and animals, as well as by developing methods for ethical ways of making knowledge.
Warkentin is currently developing two experiential learning tools which she plans to implement into her teaching practice: creative environmental activism and citizen science/amateur naturalism. Both tools help students to connect theoretical concepts with real-world practices and tangible situations they can directly relate to and learn from first-hand.
Outside of the classroom, she engages in public environmental awareness by transforming her broader work to reach non-academic audiences by employing tools of creative advocacy and popular technologies.
She earned her BSc Hons. in biology and marine ecology from the University of British Columbia, a PBD in environmental sciences from Capilano University, an MA in values and the environment from Lancaster University and a PhD in environmental studies from York University.