Sheila Grieve, Chair

Certificate (Aboriginal Childcare) Red River College; BA (Physical Education), University of Manitoba; BA (Child Psychology) University of Manitoba; MA (Integrated Studies), Athabasca UniversitySheila Grieve

  • Nanaimo Campus, Building: 180 Room: 530
  • Phone: 250-740-6635 | Fax: 250-740-6466
  • Email: Sheila.Grieve@viu.ca

Sheila Grieve enjoyed working as a front-line educator, floor supervisor and centre director for almost twenty years (1987-2006).  In that time she gained experience in a wide variety of ECEC settings including multi-age care, nursery, school age care, head start and at a “paivakoti” in Finland. She has been able to apply that experience as a post secondary instructor since 2006. Sheila’s research, informed by her Metis, Cree and Scottish ancestry, involves a combination of child development and ethnobotany. She has partnered with early childhood care and education settings adding culturally relevant plants to the outdoor classroom of each setting.  Sheila is passionate about working with students and community members to enrich the field of Early Childhood Education and Care, with a particular focus on nature interactions.

Danielle Alphonse, Professor, BC Regional Innovation
Chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood DevelopmentDanielle Alphonse

Diploma (Early Childhood Education & Care) Vancouver Island University; BA (Child and Youth Care) University of Victoria; MA (Educational Leadership), Vancouver Island University 

Danielle has worked for many years in Aboriginal Education in early childhood/child care settings (infants and toddlers), First Nations Education (FNED) in Victoria working with children in kindergarten as well as high school level students regarding cultural awareness.  As an Aboriginal Supported Child Development Consultant (ASCD) at a Victoria agency she worked on providing services to urban Aboriginal families. Danielle is in her sixth year as the BC Regional Innovation Chair for Aboriginal Early Childhood Development (AECD) and is working on a number of exciting community-based initiatives.

Antje Bitterberg, Professor

Diploma (Early Childhood Education), Langara College; BA (Early Childhood Education), Capilano University; MA (Early Childhood Education and Care) Oslo & Akershus University College, University of Malta and Institute of Technology.

Antje Bitterberg

Antje began her career as an Infant/Toddler Educator in Vancouver and deepened her practice by enrolling in British Columbia's first degree program in ECCE offered at Capilano University.  Antje went on to complete an International Master's Degree in ECEC in the countries of Norway, Malta and Ireland where her final project was entitled "Feeling a sense of belonging in the Early Childhood Institution: An Exploration into a Community of Practice".  Antje's dedication to children, families and community was recognized in 2011 when she was the recipient of Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. 

Cheryl Cameron, Practicum Coordinator

Ocean Kneeland, Professor

Certificate (Early Childhood Education), North Island College; BA (Child and Youth Care), University of Victoria; MEd (Early Childhood Education), University of British Columbia

Over the past twenty-five years, Ocean has worked in a variety of roles within early childhood, school-based and community support programs, including: early childhood educator, child care consultant, StrongStart facilitator, education assistant, home and community support worker, administrator of a large campus-based centre, and executive director for a young parent program. Her research interests include nature-based play and learning, social media, indigenous and multicultural ways of knowing, and school-home relationships. She is fluent in three languages (English, French and Spanish), and enjoys finding opportunities for cross-cultural learning. Ocean has been an Instructor since 2011 and is delighted to be teaching in the Early Childhood Education and Care program at VIU. She is also a parent of three amazing children (ages 10 to 20), all of whom contribute to her ongoing interest and passion for building inclusive communities for living and learning.

Summer Lin, Instructor

Diploma (Early Childhood Education and Care), VIU; BA (English Language and Literature), Soochow University – Taiwan; Summer is currently working towards completing her MEd in Educational Leadership at Vancouver Island University

Summer has been actively learning and working in the field in the field of early childhood education (ECE) on Vancouver Island since 2010.  After graduating from VIU, she worked as both a frontline ECE and facility manager at a local childcare centre.  Summer has operated her own licensed childcare facility here in Nanaimo since 2016.  This experience has helped her to better understand the roles played by the various institutions (MCFD, VIHA, ECEBC, PacificCare, VIU, etc.), which regulate and support childcare across BC.  She places great value on the personal relationships she has developed over this time.  She is a strong advocate for ECEs in her community, as she has been a board member of the ECEBC Nanaimo Branch since 2015.  Summer is committed to life-long learning, as she is currently pursuing her master’s degree, where she will focus on improving the recruitment and retention of ECEs across the province.       

Lorna McCrae, Professor

Lorna McCrae

BA (Early Childhood Education), Guelph University; PDAD (Elementary Education), University of Alberta; MEd (Curriculum and Instruction), University of British Columbia

Lorna has enjoyed working in direct care and education for over 30 years in a variety of settings including kindergarten, preschool, daycare and lab schools in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon Territory. She has also instructed in Post-Secondary Early Childhood Education Programs in Langley, Castlegar and Nanaimo. She has been teaching at VIU since 2004. Lorna served as Director of Conference for the provincial professional association (ECEBC) (2004, 2005) and remains active in her local ECEBC Branch. Lorna expresses strong interest and commitment to professional development and practice, curriculum planning and development. She especially enjoys teaching these subject areas. Lorna has had opportunities to be involved in internationalizing ECEC courses through her work with visiting Japanese students in Nelson, BC and through course development at Widya Mandala University in Surabaya, Indonesia. Recently she was fortunate to visit and research teaching approaches in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Rupi Rajwan, Instructor

Rupi brings a broad range of experience working with children, youth, adults and families. Her educational background entails a Master's of Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education; Bachelors of Arts in Child and Youth Care, specializing in Child Protection; and Diploma in Early Childhood, specializing in Special Needs.  She looks forward to finding innovative ways to teach students to learn, strive and succeed.

Jocelyn Byfield & Rossanne Sutherland, Program Assistants

  • Nanaimo Campus, Building: 180 Room 436
  • Phone: 250-740-6251| Fax: 250-740-6466
  • Email: ecec@viu.ca


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