Rob (he/him/his) has been involved with Shad since 2008, as Faculty at the Waterloo (2008-2013) and Queen’s (2015) programs, and Program Director for Waterloo from 2016-2021. Shad has been a transformative experience for Rob, and one he very much looks forward to building and sharing with the staff and Shads each year in July.
Rob holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and taught courses in Professionalism, Technical Writing, Robotics, Embedded Microcontrollers, and Technology Art in Waterloo’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, from 2000-2010. In 2010, he had the opportunity to move to a new interdisciplinary honours program at Waterloo built on the principles of Shad, the Department of Knowledge Integration. In KI, Rob teaches group dynamics, collaboration, and museum exhibit design.
Rob’s research has included advanced materials for the automotive industry, interdisciplinary collaborative learning, and next-generation architecture. He has also collaborated with architects, artists and designers to help them integrate technology into their creative works. He is a principal at Gorbet Design, and his award-winning interactive works have been exhibited around the world.
Rob has three adult kids who grew up with Shad, and two of them are now Shad Alumni. He is passionate about relationships, words, interfaces, design, art, learning, and so many other things. He looks forward to sharing his passions and inspirations with the Shad Waterloo staff and Shads, and learning from theirs!
Senior Math, Science, & Technology Educator at Villanova College
Elissa (she/her) is a Shad alumni herself, having attended Shad Carleton in 1998. Her love for all things Shad never wavered, as she quickly became an advocate for her classmates after that summer, which led to her starting a local mentoring program for students during the first year of her teaching career. Now Elissa is a Shad Teacher Champion since 2015, and was Faculty at Shad Waterloo from 2016-2017. The amazing community of learners keeps her coming back, and she is thrilled to be this year’s Program Director at Shad Waterloo.
Elissa holds a BSc in Biology, with minors in Women’s Studies, Math, and English, from Mount Allison University, and a BEd conjoint with a Technology Education Diploma from Memorial University. Elissa has been a secondary school educator for over a decade, with most of her experience in advanced/STEM Mathematics, Computer Science, and Technological Design. She is dedicated to promoting a growth mindset in students and teachers alike. Coupled with the desire to instil meaningful understanding through unique and engaging opportunities, Elissa considers herself a future-forward, design-thinking educator who is always searching for a new perspective. She finds these kinds of opportunities to be plentiful in her life, especially through her involvement with Cohort21, a professional development organization for independent educators, and of course the Shad program!
Elissa is passionate about education, but also greatly enjoys getting out of the classroom to engage with nature through hiking, skiing or open water swimming. She cannot wait to connect with this year’s group of Shads, to find out what they are passionate about, academically and beyond!