This award, named in honour of Dr. Meridith Marks, recognizes individuals in the first
full time phase of their educational professional career who have made a significant
contribution to medical education.
As an education scientist and health professions educator, Stella is committed to education as praxis – a thoughtful integration of critical theory and practice directed toward improving society (see Ng & Wright, 2017). Originally a pediatric educational audiologist, Stella began her scientific career studying reflective practice as what health professionals do in value-conflicted, uncertain zones of practice, e.g. school-based healthcare, homecare, or chronic pain management. Through this research, she identified that critical reflection enabled health professionals to engage in effective, person-centered care in response to systemic constraints and complex challenges. Extending from this theory-building work, Stella now tests ways to authentically teach and assess critical reflection, asserting that critical reflection is necessary for health professionals to be effective in social aspects of healthcare, like advocacy, systems-based practice, collaboration and communication. Her funding from ministry, tri-council, and foundation sources enables Stella to work with talented graduate students and collaborators on this research program.
True to praxis, Stella connects her research to everyday education. She co- develops and leads internationally-reaching education programs on transformative and reflexive approaches to education and education research, and teaches across the health professions education spectrum – from an undergraduate service-learning course to faculty and continuing professional development. Currently Stella is the Director of Research, Centre for Faculty Development and Arrell Family Chair in Health Professions Teaching, Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital; Scientist, The Wilson Centre and Centre for Ambulatory Care Education, and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Speech-Language Pathology.