Meet Gail Benick, Professor (Communication and Literary Studies)

Gail Benick is a writer and a professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sheridan. She earned a M. Phil. from the City University of New York and a M.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

(Photo: Gail Benick)

(Photo: Gail Benick)

During her tenure at Sheridan, Benick has served as the coordinator of several innovative programs, including the Japan Exchange Program with Osaka Electro Communications University and the Joint Program in Communication, Culture and Information Technology with the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

Benick was an early proponent of inclusivity and equity in postsecondary education in Ontario. She developed and coordinated Sheridan’s Post Diploma Program in Intercultural Communication and consulted widely on the development of anti-racism policies in Ontario’s colleges and universities.

At Sheridan, she has integrated an awareness of the massive demographic shifts transforming postsecondary classrooms into all of her course development. Benick designed a range of courses focusing on migration and transnationalism, intercultural communication and human rights. In her fully online course on immigrant writers in Canada, Benick has introduced scores of students, many new Canadians themselves, to writers with similar experiences.

Benick’s creative work draws on her experience as an educator and researcher in the area of global migration and diaspora. Her debut novel, The Girl Who Was Born That Way, will be published by Inanna Publications and Education in 2015.  Benick’s recent publications include “The Pickle Cellar” (fiction, in Parchment: Contemporary Canadian Jewish Writing 16 [2014]), “Hawkeye” (fiction, on Jewish [Dec. 2012]), “Digital Storytelling and Diasporic Identities in Higher Education” (nonfiction, in Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching V [2012]), and “Digital Storytelling and the Pedagogy of Human Rights” (nonfiction, in Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education 29 [2011]).

Gail Benick answers Alchemy’s Proust Questionnaire:

Favourite virtue: Kindness.

My favourite qualities in a student:  Curiosity and perseverance.

My favourite qualities in a teacher: Respect for learners and fair-mindedness.

My idea of perfect happiness: Writing a good story.

My favourite quotation, motto, or phrase: “To every thing there is a season….” (Ecclesiastes)

Language I’d love to be able to speak: Japanese.

On my bucket list: To run a marathon.

My favourite historical, literary, or cinematic character(s): Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

My favourite painter/artist: American Impressionist painter and printmaker Mary Cassatt.