Brian Hotson, MTS

Director, Academic Learning Services

Brian has been an education professional for more than 20 years, working in universities, educational publishing, and educational television. He is active nationally and internationally, as board member of the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA), Past-President of the Canadian Writing Centres Association (CWCA/ACCR), and founding member of the Atlantic Canadian Writing Centres Association (ACWCA). He is also the editor of the international blog, Connecting Writing Centers Across Borders (CWCAB), and a member of the editorial board for Inkshed Publications.

Brian worked for Pearson Education as a writer, as well as for Nelson Education as a multi-media producer, developmental editor, project manager, editor, and writer. He also spent ten years working at TVOntario, Ontario’s educational broadcaster and digital learning partner, as a director, producer, and writer. Brian worked as a writer and project manager with the Independent Learning Centre (ILC), Ontario Ministry of Education’s designated partner in distance education and Ontario’s largest online high school. He has a BA in History from Lakehead University and a Master’s of Theological Studies from Queen’s University, Kingston.

Brian is a former board member of the Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning (CASLL), member Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (CASDW), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the National Communication Association (NCA).



  • Invited speaker: SouthWestern Ontario Writing Centre Symposium (Toronto, 2018)

  • Keynote: TESL NS Conference, Halifax (2018)

  • Conference organizer, Presenter: Canadian Writing Centres Association (Regina, 2018)

  • Conference SIG organizer: International Writing Centres Association (Chicago, 2018)

  • Conference Steering Committee; Chair, Communications Committee: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference (Halifax, 2017)

  • Conference Chair: Academic Writing and English Language Learners Conference (2016, Halifax)

  • Presenter: National Conference for Peer Tutors in Writing (2016, Tacoma)

  • Conference organizer: Presenter: Canadian Writing Centres Association Conference (2016, Ottawa)

  • Conference Chair: Academic Writing and English Language Learners Conference (2014, Halifax)

  • Conference Co-Chair: Presenter: Canadian Writing Centres Association Conference (2014, St. Catharines), Presenter

  • Conference Co-Chair: Presenter: Canadian Writing Centres Association Conference (2013, Victoria)

  • Conference SIG Organizer: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference (2012, Montreal)


Muhammad Elhabibi

Academic Learning Specialist: English for International Students

Elhabibi M. is an Academic Learning Specialist who facilitates the language learning process for International Students with the focus on linguistic and academic challenges they may encounter. Elhabibi's 35-year teaching experience in five different contexts is supplemented with an MEd/TESL, Cambridge CELTA, International House of London Language Awareness Certificate, two Educational Diplomas and two undergraduate degrees. Residing in Halifax since 2011 with his family, wife and three daughters, Elhabibi has worked for three different universities, Mount Saint Vincent (2011-2013), Lakehead University, ON (2013-2014) and Saint Mary’s University (2014-Present). 

Elhabibi's experience and ongoing research into learners’ styles, strategies, cultural influence, and prior education of students brought him vital extra insights into their needs and challenges to find solutions that help in self learning. 

Elhabibi's third year of one-to-one teaching mode requires him to research into this type of teaching and learning; it also enables him to go through a huge variety of different genres of writings and readings. The most significant comment from a Chinese student Elhabibi received: "You did not give me a fish; you taught me how to fish."


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Raegan Boucher

Secretary, Writing Centre


Writing Tutors

Steve Cloutier

BA English (Honours); MA (English); PhD (English) 

Steve has been a part of the Saint Mary’s community since 1985 when he began his undergraduate degree. He did his Masters at the University of Windsor (Ontario). Following that, he moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he taught at Memorial University for 5 years until he had the opportunity to do his PhD in the United Kingdom (University of Leicester). His research focused on the work of Dan Billany, an English Marxist novelist who died in the Second World War. His research interests include Marxism, war literature (especially of the two world wars), detective fiction, and the popular culture of the 1980s. He co-hosts a podcast on the 1970s tv series In Search Of (hosted by Leonard Nimoy) and is developing two more podcasts (one about the culture of World War Two and one on Lower Sackville in the 1980s).

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Angela Dong

BA (Linguistics) Honours (in progress) 

Languages: Mandarin Chinese, French, English

Angela is a fourth-year student at Saint Mary’s completing her Honours in Linguistics and Minors in Asian Studies and French. During her time at SMU, she has participated in programs at University of Seoul, United International College (Zhuhai), and University of Western Ontario. She is particularly interested in the field of Second Language Acquisition, and received her TEFL certification in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages, dancing, and travelling.

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Debby George

BSc (Environmental Studies); BA History (Honours); MA (ACS) (in progress) 

Debby has been part of the Saint Mary’s community for many years. She completed her first undergraduate degree in 2007, a Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geography. After graduation and a few years in the workforce, primarily in the field of healthcare administration, she decided to return to SMU and completed a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in History (Honours) and a minor in Classics. Her undergraduate work then led her to the interdisciplinary Atlantic Canada Studies Master of Arts program, where she is currently completing her thesis, a historical piece that focuses on medical history in Newfoundland during the first half of the twentieth century.

Outside of her academic pursuits, Debby has been part of the team at the Patrick Power Library for the past several years, and can often be found behind the Circulation desk or upstairs in the stacks.

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Anne Haley

MSc (Environmental Science) 

Languages: English, French 

Anne is a recent graduate of Saint Mary’s University, where she completed her M.Sc. research on the breeding behaviour and colouration of fish. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, she is bilingual in English and French. Anne is passionate about music as well as marine life; she enjoys playing violin in community orchestra and is always looking forward to her next scuba diving adventure. Anne loves to teach music to students of all ages; and she has assisted students in the laboratory as a teaching assistant. Now, in the position of science tutor, she is excited to work with SMU students in academic writing.

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Isalean Harris

BA, Political Science (Honours); BA, International Development Studies (Honours); MA, Women and Gender Studies (in progress)

Isalean is an emergent scholar. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. (honors) in Political Science and International Development Studies, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Women & Gender Studies at Saint Mary’s University. She studies intersecting social power relations with particular focus on race, gender, and class inequality. Her research focuses on the politics of representation, institutions and comparative social policy analysis. Isalean has over three years of research and teaching experience in both academic and business environments; she has worked in government relations leading policy research, advocacy and lobbying and currently works as a graduate teaching assistant. She won two writing awards for Best Undergraduate Social Science Paper and was the 2016 recipient of the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association Larry Collins Prize for Best Undergraduate Political Science Essay. In her spare time she enjoys Netflix, hiking and cycling.

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Navya Kesevan

BSc (Chemistry) Honours; BSc (Psychology) Honours

Languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, Urdu and Bengali 

Navya has been at Saint Mary’s University for four and a half years. Since joining SMU as an international student, she has had the opportunity to hone her language and writing skills through writing various scientific and scholastic articles. Her academic interests lie in the fields of environmental chemistry and neuropsychology, and her extracurricular interests include reading, kickboxing, and yoga.


Adrian Knapp

PhD, English Literature (University of Leeds)

Languages: English, German

Adrian has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Leeds and has published articles on eighteenth-century and contemporary literature as well as co-edited the essay collection (Re)figuring Human Enslavement: Images of Power, Violence and Resistance (2009). Before coming to Saint Mary’s, where he is now an adjunct professor in the English Department and a part-time instructor in Atlantic Canada Studies and the Faculty of Education, he taught in the English Department and the Language Centre at the University of Innsbruck. Adrian regularly works with graduate students in the Writing Centre.

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Jennaecia Lewis

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours 

Languages: English 

Jennaecia is a third-year undergraduate student at Saint Mary’s University. She has a Teaching Certificate in Secondary Science Education as well as experience in teaching and tutoring persons in the sciences. Currently, her focus is on Counseling and Psychological Research. As an educator and an advocate for continuous learning, she indulges in discourse centered around her professional interests.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading from a vast number of genres including YA fiction and fantasy. She is also currently President of the SMU Psychology Society, which focuses on the academic and professional success of Psychology students.

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Martin McLaren

BA (Linguistics); BA (Philosophy) (McGill University); BSc (Mathematics and Computer) (in progress)

Languages: English, Macedonian 

Martin’s research interests include syntax, semantics, and the syntax-semantics interface, as well as computational approaches to linguistic problems (specifically anaphora resolution). He’s also interested in logic and formal methods in linguistics. He hopes to continue his education with a Master's degree in linguistics or computer science after graduation. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and film.

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Maeve Mulroy

BA (Psychology) Honours

Maeve recently graduated from Saint Mary’s upon completing her Bachelor of Arts with honours in Psychology, and a minor in Philosophy. Her research interests are diverse, and include intimate relationships, human sexuality, brain tumour treatment, ethics, and mental health. Maeve has experience with writing for a diverse range of contexts and is always open to tackling new challenges. She hopes to pursue graduate studies and a career in the field of psychology.

In her spare time, Maeve loves to read, watch movies and TV, and downhill ski throughout the winter. She loves theatre and music, and she is also a former president of the SMU Drama Society.

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Anupam Pandey

Languages: English, Hindi 

Dr. Anupam Pandey is adjunct faculty at SMU, and has been teaching at SMU and Dalhousie Universities since 2008. Her areas of interest are International Relations, Political Science, International Development Studies, Feminist Studies and Method (of Research) in Social Sciences. She is fluently bilingual in English and Hindi and also understands and speaks a smattering of South Asian languages like Urdu, Punjabi and Malyalam. Her interaction with her students – international as well as Canadian - propelled her to take up the position of a writing tutor at the SMU Writing Centre in order to further their best interests in academics.


Fiona Ryan

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts (Composition))

Fiona studied music at the University of Toronto, Newcastle University, and Dalhousie University, and she completed an Advanced University Teaching Preparation program at the University of Toronto. Fiona’s Doctoral studies in music composition included writing operas and researching the experiences of women composing music in Canada. In her current research and creative work, Fiona is particularly interested in relationships between text and music. Fiona has worked as a music instructor, part-time academic, composer, songwriter, and performer. Whether she is working with words or with music, Fiona enjoys helping people communicate their ideas. 

Mia Samardzic

BA (International Development Studies)

Mia recently completed her studies at Saint Mary’s with a major in International Development Studies and a minor in Criminology. Despite that her time as a student coming to an end, she remains dedicated to learning. She believes that some of the best discoveries can be made from one’s exposure to new experiences, conversations, places and people. Apart from learning, Mia’s interests include traveling, hiking, cooking and photography. 

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Amanda Saoud

WHO Coordinator

Bachelor of Science (Biology), Master of Science (Science Communication) 

Languages: English, Arabic

Amanda holds a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and a Master’s degree in Science Communication from Laurentian University. She is currently a part-time professor with the Engineering Department, as well as the WHO coordinator with the Writing Centre. Amanda enjoys traveling to warm places, yoga, and binge-watching Masterchef.