University of Windsor Faculty of Engineering Building


Welcome to the annual CUPA conference, hosted virtually by the University of Windsor

Day 1: June 20, 2023

Dr. Rob GordonDr. Robert Gordon President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Windsor
Meet the President | Office of the President

Gillian HeiszGillian Heisz, HBA, CPA, CA was appointed Vice-President, Finance & Operations at the University of Windsor in 2022 after serving in various Finance roles on campus since 2015.  Gillian has led several transformational changes on campus including technological advancement, budget models, ancillary and alternative revenue generation, and debt restructuring.  Gillian was awarded with the CPA Ontario Emerging Leader Award in 2021, recognizing her outstanding business and social contributions.


Kimberley McCauslandKimberley McCausland serves as Interim Executive Director of the University Planning Office (UPO) at Toronto Metropolitan University. She leads the UPO's work in support of the university's budget strategy, including annual budget development, enrolment planning activities and academic costing initiatives. She also leads work on measurement and data analysis, student surveys, new program approvals and curriculum changes, and activities related to the university's academic plan. Kimberley has enjoyed working in PSE for more than 20 years and also has experience in the K-12 education sector. She holds an MA in Sociology from Western University.


Blair JacksonBlair Jackson  is Senior Director, Institutional Research and Planning at uOttawa, as well as,  the Vice-Chair of COU CUPA, and the Past Chair of the Data Exchange for the U15 Group of Research Universities. He holds a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies, with a concentration in Work, Organizations & Leadership. He has twenty years of experience in applied social research with specific concentrations in performance measurement, program evaluation, institutional research, and strategic planning. Blair has been the uOttawa lead on several provincial and national committees for knowledge exchange with other institutional research groups in Canada. He has particular interest contributing to the enhancement of financial viability tools, methods, and approaches for the higher education sector. Blair has shared some of this work through conference presentations including a presentation on the uOttawa approach to financial viability analysis to the European Higher Education Society Annual Conference in Leiden, Netherlands in 2019.



Sarah CantrellSarah Cantrell is the Associate Vice-President Planning and Strategic Analysis at Ontario Tech University. She has over 25 years of higher education experience in integrated resource planning, data systems integration, institutional and faculty budget planning, organizational restructuring, enrollment planning, capital planning, academic program development and strategic planning. Throughout her career, she has managed large, complex projects with multiple stakeholders and has been a driver of institutional and faculty-level program innovations and change initiatives. She led the implementation of an integrated resource planning framework, project managed the creation a new budget model, and restructured planning and institutional research functions to build a stronger culture of performance and accountability through evidence-based decision making in complex environments.

She is recognized as a leader in integrated planning in the higher education sector, having served as the first Canadian Chair of the Board of Directors of the Society for College and University Planners in 2019-20 where she led the implementation of SCUP’s strategic plan, and enjoyed working with higher education and corporate leaders to build planning networks, learning opportunities, and develop leading practices that support institutions in achieving their strategic goals.

Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in gerontology from the University of Guelph and her master’s in education in higher education theory and policy studies from the University of Toronto, and is passionate about life-long learning and continuous improvement

Kelly ShieldsKelly Shields has been Assistant Deputy Minister of the Postsecondary Education Division since September 2019. In this role, she is responsible for a range of files and issues, including postsecondary policy, program approvals, as well as implementation of funding programs for colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes.

Previously, she served as Director of the Postsecondary Finance and Information Management Branch (September 2015 to September 2019). In this position, Kelly was responsible for managing the operating and capital funding framework for Ontario’s colleges and universities.

Prior to joining the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Kelly served in a number of other ministries, including Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

She holds an M.A. and B.A. in Economics from McMaster University.

Rachel SimeonRachel Simeon is the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Data, Research and Innovation Division at the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) for the Province of Ontario, Canada where she oversees the province’s research funding programs and initiatives, intellectual property strategy, the MCU Data Strategy and the Strategic Mandate Agreements.

In her previous role as the ADM of Research, Science and Commercialization Division at the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Rachel led initiatives supporting Ontario’s research and commercialization continuum.

She has a background in complex policy and program management, transfer payment accountability and transformational leadership. She has a strong understanding of the province’s research and innovation ecosystem and the needs of start-up and scaling firms.

Rachel has held several Director-level positions in ministries across the Ontario Public Service. At the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Rachel served as Director of the Market Housing Branch, leading the development of the province’s Housing Supply Action Plan. Prior to that, she held a number of roles at the Ministry of Research Innovation and Science/Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MRI/MEDG) - Director of the Strategic Program Development and Delivery Office; Director of the Commercialization Branch and Director of the Entrepreneurship Branch.  From 2010 to 2014, Rachel was the Director of Strategic Policy and Aboriginal Partnerships Branch at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS). Rachel’s early career also included stints as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister, MCYS and Policy Advisor at Cabinet Office.

Rachel holds an Honours B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Public Policy from University College London.

Day 2: June 21, 2023

Beverley HamiltonBeverley Hamilton was appointed Chief of Staff in the Office of the President in November 2020. Bev serves as a key advisor and support person to the president while also leading strategic projects and key institutional initiatives. In 2022-23, she led the process to develop the University’s Strategic Plan, Aspire: Together for Tomorrow. Prior to her current position, Bev was the Academic Initiatives Officer in the Provost’s Office, where she undertook research, projects, and policy development to enhance academic practice and the student experience.

Panel - Queen's University

Dr. Jake KauppDr. Jake Kaupp is the Assistant Director of Institutional Research for Queen's University where he leads a dynamic team of six in serving and solving data-related problems for the Queen's community.  He has 12 years of experience working in Higher Education across diverse fields such as engineering education, learning outcomes, assessment, data analytics & visualization, quality assurance & accreditation.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie University as well as a Masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University.


Panel - York University

Dr. Margaret KieryloDr. Margaret Kierylo's career spans over 14 years in higher education. Currently serving as the Assistant Vice-President, Institutional Planning and Chief Data Officer at York University, Margaret leads the Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis. The Office leads and supports York’s Data and Analytics Strategy, Data Governance, Integrated Resource Planning, Institutional Research and Analysis, Strategic Enrolment Management, and Academic Resource Planning.

Margaret brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the field. Since joining York University in 2022, she has devoted her efforts to developing the institution's inaugural Data and Analytics Strategy while simultaneously enhancing all aspects of her portfolio.

Margaret holds a BA and MA from the University of Waterloo, a PhD in history from Queen’s University, and a Certificate in College and University Administration from the University of Manitoba.

Patrick CerneaPatrick Cernea serves as the Director of Data Strategy and Governance at York University. Patrick holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University, and is a PMP-certified professional.

In late 2020, he launched York University’s Data Governance Program. His visionary leadership has led to the development of a scalable data governance framework, paving the way for the definition of key terminologies and advancements in data quality.

More recently, Patrick has been collaborating closely with Margaret Kierylo, York’s Chief Data Officer, on developing and implementing York’s Data and Analytics Strategy, a crucial step in leveraging data for informed decision-making at the university.

Beyond his professional life, Patrick has a keen interest in hiking and photography, and experiencing the great outdoors.
York University


Panel - University of Toronto

Kiren HandaKiren Handa is the Executive Director of the Institutional Research and Data Governance office at the University of Toronto. In this role, Kiren is responsible for overseeing the delivery of institutional data and analytics services, while also implementing an institution-wide data governance program. To guide this work, she leads the Institutional Data Strategy to support the University in strategically harnessing data to achieve institutional goals, while incrementally maturing the institution’s data and analytics capabilities.

Kiren holds an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University.

Jeffrey WaldmanJeffrey Waldman is the Manager, Institutional Data Governance at the University of Toronto.  In this role, Jeff is responsible for the institution-wide data governance program.  To guide his work, Jeff leads initiatives in the areas of data management, metadata, data quality and access prioritized in the Institutional Data Strategy.  Prior to data governance, Jeff has over fifteen years experience in analytics and holds an MBA from McGill University.


Moderator - University of Waterloo

Jennifer KiefferJennifer Kieffer is the Interim Associate Provost, Integrated Planning & Budgeting at the University of Waterloo. Jennifer has served as an active member of the Council on University Planning and Analysis (CUPA) for many years, currently serving as the Chair of the Economic Analysis committee, and previously leading the CUPA Professional Development committee for many years.

In the Associate Provost role, Jennifer leads a dispersed team tasked with rebuilding the institutional budget model, and the institution’s adoption of integrated planning.

In previous roles Jennifer has provided leadership to enrolment planning, revenue sharing models and incentives, and ensured compliance with Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) policy as pertains to government funding and tuition. Jennifer has also played a lead role in helping to negotiate each of the Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMAs) Waterloo has signed with the provincial government in recent years.

Overview of HEQCO’s Consortium on International Education

Alexandra MacFarlaneAlexandra MacFarlane manages internal and external projects with a focus on quality in the postsecondary education system. Her research focuses on skills assessment, learning outcomes, work-integrated learning, and numeracy. Building on her experience teaching at the primary, secondary and college level, Alexandra is interested in evidence-based research that improves the student experience. Prior to working at HEQCO, Alexandra taught, developed courses, and conducted research at two Ontario colleges. She holds a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University as well as a honours bachelor of science in biology and geography from Trent University.


Hagar EffahHagar Effah worked as a research assistant at the University of Manitoba, where she managed multiple databases and contributed to a sectoral report investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market within the Canadian creative industry. She brings an interest in public policy as well as strong quantitative research and communication skills. Hagar holds a BA in economics from McMaster University and a research analyst graduate certificate from Humber College.


Mental Health Supports in Ontario: Challenges and Opportunities

Ken ChatoorKen Chatoor works on research projects in the areas of equity of access and social mobility. Ken holds an MSc from McGill University, where he conducted research to develop new therapies for brain cancer. He previously participated in research on quality of life for individuals with complex disabilities. Prior to joining HEQCO he worked in biomedical engineering researching spine regeneration at Mount Sinai Hospital, while also assisting facilitation of a course on the impact of technological change on society, government, and policy at the University of Toronto. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in Life Sciences, focusing on biology and geography.


Lena BalataLena Balata worked as a data specialist and project lead at the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT). She has a strong understanding of postsecondary research, program evaluation and knowledge mobilization and is passionate about supporting equity of access in postsecondary education for underrepresented groups. Lena has worked closely with colleges and universities to develop policies and procedures that support student transfer pathways and success. She holds a MA in higher education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto where she studied Canadian and Mexican Indigenous educational policies aimed at improving access to and success in postsecondary education.


Pathways to PSE: Student Supports for Destreamed Secondary Math

Natalie PillaNatalie Pilla has conducted academic and community-based research focused on education, mental health, and housing. She is particularly interested in the intersections of these three issues, especially as they relate to equity in education and student well-being. She brings strong data management and knowledge mobilization skills and has supported research at organizations such as the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and Regent Park Community Health Centre. Natalie holds a bilingual (English/French) Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from York University’s Glendon College, and a research analyst graduate certificate from Humber College.


Ryan TishcoffRyan Tishcoff has worked on a variety of research projects aimed at promoting accessible, high-quality, and accountable postsecondary education in Ontario. He joined HEQCO after two years as a research and policy analyst with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), where he worked closely with sector stakeholders on issues such as affordability, access to education and mental health supports. He was also the editor of Educated Solutions, an annual publication focused on key postsecondary issues. Ryan holds a JD from the University of Ottawa and an honours BA in philosophy from the University of Toronto.


Dr. Erika KustraDr. Erika Kustra joined the University of Windsor as the Director of Teaching and Learning Development, Centre for Teaching and Learning in 2008. She is the Past-Chair of the Canadian Educational Developers Caucus (EDC), on the Board for the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education's (STLHE), and has been in educational development for over 20 years, beginning part-time in 1997, full-time in 1999.

Erika completed her post-doctoral work in physiological psychology at McMaster University, and was an educational developer in the Centre for Leadership in Learning there for ten years. She has taught university-level small and large classes with undergraduates, graduates and faculty using a variety of active learning methods including discussions, inquiry and problem-based learning, labs, and demonstrations.

She co-authored guides on Leading Effective Discussions, Learning Outcomes Assessment and Educational Developer’s Portfolio; and publishes on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, educational development, and teaching culture. She is leading a multi-institutional SSHRC grant exploring teaching culture.

Erika was part of a collaborative team that won the Alan Blizzard Teaching Award, and has received the Leadership Award at the University of Windsor.