Megan Sumeracki

Megan Sumeracki

Megan Sumeracki (formerly Smith) is an Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College. She received her Master’s in Experimental Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Purdue University. Megan studies human learning and memory, specifically applying the science of learning in educational contexts. Her research focuses on retrieval-based learning strategies, and the way retrieval can improve meaningful learning. Megan’s work has been published in journals such as Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, and Applied Cognitive Psychology. Megan has given talks at regional and national conferences in the US, and abroad such as a lecture at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study and delivering the Keynote at ResearchED in Rugby, England. Megan is also passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice in education. In an effort to promote more conversations between researchers and practitioners, she co-founded The Learning Scientists ( 

Talk Title - Applying the science of learning from the laboratory to the classroom

Co-leading workshop - Strategies for effective learning: The learning scientists workshop 



Bruce Wainman

Bruce Wainman, PhD, is the Director of the Education Program in Anatomy and the Surgical Skills Laboratory at McMaster University, a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, an Associate Member of the Department of Ob/Gyn and the Coordinator of Biological Sciences for the Ontario Midwifery Consortium.

Bruce’s research is on various aspects of anatomy education and the effects of environmental contaminants on fertility and the menstrual cycle. Recent eBooks produced by Dr Wainman include “Pharmacology Revealed” and “Physical Assessment of the Well Woman and Newborn.”

Dr Wainman lectures at McMaster mainly on anatomy, pharmacology and reproductive physiology to the MD, undergrad Health Sciences and Midwifery programs. For his teaching activities he has received the McMaster Student Union Award numerous times, the President’s Award for Education, the Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit Award for 2015, Osler Lecture Award and a 3M National Teaching Fellowship. 

Talk Title - X reality and the concorde fallacy in education

Veronica Yan

Veronica Yan

Dr. Veronica Yan (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles) is an assistant professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Bridging cognitive, social, and educational perspectives, Dr. Yan's research explores how we can empower people to become motivated and effectively self-regulated learners. Dr. Yan is presently focused on examining the mechanisms underlying 'desirably difficult' strategies and the motivational mindsets that encourage learners to not just study harder, but to study smarter. Her own educational background has spanned three continents: She studied at an international school in Hong Kong, before heading to the University of Cambridge for undergraduate studies in England, and completed her doctoral studies and postdoctoral training in California in the US.

Talk Title - A toolkit for building better learners 

yana head

Yana Weinstein

Yana Weinstein became an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2013, having received her PhD in Psychology from University College London and 4 years’ postdoctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis. Yana's research interests lie in improving student’s test preparation strategies and performance, as well as the judgments students make about their learning. Yana poses questions with direct applied relevance: How can we help students choose optimal study strategies? Why are test scores sometimes surprising to students? And how does retrieval practice help students learn?

Co-leading workshop - Strategies for effective learning: The learning scientists workshop

Shoshanah Jacobs

Shoshana Jacobs

Dr. Jacobs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and a member of the steering committee for the CBS Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice. She has taught over 8,000 students in both large and small courses across all undergraduate and graduate levels and has employed a variety of active and experiential teaching techniques. Dr. Jacobs takes a student-centered approach to teaching and works as a learning facilitator specialising in active learning in large classes and supports a research program in multi-level system approaches to experiential learning. She is a winner of the University’s distinguished professor award for excellence in teaching (2015).

Workshop - Ideas congress (ICON): A transdisciplinary learning environment for experiential learning

Amy Pachai

Amy Pachai

Amy Pachai is currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University. Her research uses both classroom and laboratory studies to understand the causes and consequences of mind wandering during lectures. Her program of research has explored ways to reduce mind wandering, including through the use of effective multimedia design and in-lecture quizzing. For the past 5 years, she has also been involved in McMaster University’s Introductory Psychology courses. Her role has evolved from multiple choice question writing and quiz bank analysis to her current role as final editor for all incoming multiple choice questions.

Workshop - Writing multiple choice questions to create effective tests

Irina Ghilic

Irina Ghilic

Irina Ghilic is currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University. She is interested in researching two factors that affect student learning during lectures: note taking and beat gestures. Throughout her program of study, Irina hopes to explore what elements drive note taking differences in student learning, and apply this research to develop workshops and information sessions for students and instructors, to optimize their use of note taking in the classroom. Since gestures can be used to emphasize a speaker’s main points, aid with transitions between topics, and disambiguate complex information, Irina is also interested in evaluating the role of gestures in the academic lecture. Her hope is to work on bridging the gap between applied cognition in education research, learning strategies, and teaching practices.

Workshop - Note taking: How research can better inform practice

Laura Cole

Laura Cole

Laura Cole is a sought-after keynote speaker known for her engaging, unscripted speaking style that enables her to quickly build rapport with any audience. She has spent the last 15 years perfecting her presentation craft which she now passionately shares with other professionals who are looking to master the art of presentations and public speaking. Laura’s models are inspired by experience and proven by research. Laura is the co-founder of Your Latitude and a business professor with McKeil School of Business, Mohawk College. You can connect with Laura at

Workshop - Think before you speak

Joe Kim

Joe Kim

Joe Kim is an Associate Professor in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and is actively involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning. He co-ordinates the innovative McMaster Introductory Psychology ( program which combines traditional lectures with interactive on-line resources and small group tutorials. The program has been prominently featured in Maclean’s, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and numerous education media outlets.

He directs the Education & Cognition Lab which aims to understand how cognitive principles such as attention, memory and learning can be applied to develop evidence-based interventions in education and training. He also organizes the annual McMaster Symposium on Education & Cognition ( which brings together cognitive scientists, educators and policy makers to explore how cognitive science can be applied to educational policy and instructional design.

Workshop - Focusing on what really matters: A reset for workplace productivity