Meet our team

Quenta Adams 

Director, Student Academic Success

she/her/hers

Quenta Adams is the Director, Student Academic Success. Student Academic Success is a portfolio of Student Affairs areas comprised of:

I have a long history with Dalhousie having completed a BA, English (I’m an alum!) and working in various departments at Dalhousie since 2001. I also have a Master's in Education from MSVU. My work at Dal started in Careers; I was then tapped to cover a leave with the Black Student Advising Centre, then I took my talents to what was then known as Technical Co-op (“took my talents” is a reference to LeBron James), returning to Student Affairs in 2006 first as an academic advisor progressing to my current role as Director.

I’m drawn to the work I do because I believe education is transformative and should be accessible to all. My institutional membership includes co-chair roles of the Accessibility Steering Committee and the African Nova Scotian Strategy.

Fun facts: the LeBron James reference should give it away. My family is heavily into sports: football, baseball, and basketball primarily. Although I’ve played and coached basketball competitively, you can now find me in the stands cheering (loudly) for my favourite teams and players. An avid fan – I’ve been known to cheer for the home team as well as an outstanding player on the opposing side. Of the 30 NBA (National Basketball Association) teams, I have watched 13 teams play live which means I’ve been to multiple arenas from Los Angeles to Orlando and points in-between.

I identify as an African Nova Scotian woman, mother, partner, daughter, sister, niece. 

Quenta can be reached at quenta.adams@dal.ca

Jen Davis

Manager, Student Accessibility Centre

she/her/hers

Although I was born and raised in Winnipeg, and proud to be from the Prairies (we know how to survive winter!), I have lived in Halifax for the past 20 years and consider this my home. Similarly, Dalhousie University has been a part of my life almost since I moved to Halifax. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2006 and in May of 2020, I graduated with a Masters in Science in Occupational Therapy (Post-Professional).

After working in several occupational therapy positions in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, I returned to Dalhousie in 2012, as the first occupational therapist working in the Student Accessibility Centre as a Student Access Advisor. Recently, I became the Manager of the Student Accessibility Centre.

I really enjoy working with students, meeting them where they are in their university journey, and supporting them.

Fun Facts: I have a Masters of French Literature from a time when I thought I was going to become a professor. I enjoy travelling, and spending time with my partner and our dogs and friends.

How I identify: cisgender female, able-bodied, partner, friend, daughter. 

Jen can be reached at jen.davis@dal.ca

Carla Britten

Student Access Advisor and Exam Coordinator

she/her/hers

Note from Carla:

As we have all learned over the past two years, life is always changing, and we adapt and move with those changes. Some changes are harder than others.

November 5 will be my final day at the Student Accessibility Centre as I take on a new role as Ombudsperson. I leave with a heavy heart, and I am so grateful to my colleagues, the exam team, and the students who work with me for allowing me to be part of their experiences. It has been an honour and a privilege. While I am sad to be leaving, I bring with me new experiences and knowledge. I am truly thankful to you all for allowing me to be part of your lives and allowing me to learn and grow.

Kindly,

Carla

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

Tressa Moore

Student Access Advisor

she/her/hers

I was born and raised in Nova Scotia. Although I’ve had the opportunity to travel, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be!

I received my Master of Education, Studies in Lifelong Learning, from Mount Saint Vincent in 2013.  Some of the work I’ve been engaged in since then includes helpline support, one-on-one tutoring, developing and implementing programming for adult learners, supporting students with learning differences, and supporting students and families within the public-school system. I have been privileged enough to work with learners of all ages, abilities, and walks of life. It is an honour I can now apply my experience to working with Dalhousie students.

As an Access Advisor, it is my goal to build relationships, listen, learn, and lead with empathy. I believe we all require different tools and supports to be successful and strive to approach every situation using an equitable lens.

Favourite Quote: Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

How I identify: cisgender, female, able-bodied, aunt, sister, partner.

Fun facts: I love the ocean, reading thrillers, working out (most days), drinking coffee (I’ve limited myself to 3 cups per day), live music, and stand-up comedy.

Gillian MacDonald

Student Access Advisor

she/her/hers

I grew up in Nova Scotia but have travelled the globe and lived in many special places. It took leaving to explore the world to help me to realize just how truly special Nova Scotia is. I’m happy to be living here after many years away. In my 14-year career at Dalhousie, I have had the pleasure of working in recruitment, admissions, and varying advising roles within the Dalhousie International Centre. I became an Advisor because I want to support students in achieving their highest potential academically and personally by focusing on their strengths, interests and emerging talents.

How I identify: Wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, traveller, Canadian.

Gillian can be reached at Gillian.MacDonald@dal.ca.

Maria McNeil

Technology Advisor

she/her/hers

I was born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and found my way to Halifax for school in 2010. I was uncertain about what I wanted to do, but knew technology was the way of the future and studying it would provide me with job opportunities. I quickly realized spending all my days sitting behind a computer would not be satisfying for me, and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to help people. During my studies I was diagnosed with ADHD, so cue the introduction of Assistive Technology along with all the barriers it could remove. It was at that time I knew I wanted to help others, similar to myself, break through barriers in their learning experience. I then started to share my knowledge with my peers in an extracurricular group, and upon graduation immediately started working with Assistive Technology.

I came to my position as the Technology and Resource Advisor with Dalhousie in 2014. I provide multiple levels of technical support to students, staff, and faculty – including support with Assistive Technology.

Hobbies: In my spare time I enjoy multiple hobbies, from gardening (in and outdoor), to woodworking, to sewing and everything in between. I love to continuously learn new ways to express creativity.

How I identify: cis-gender female, mother, spouse, daughter, sister, aunt, a person with ADHD. 

Lori Gagnon

Administrative Clerk – Operations

she/her/hers

I was born and raised in Montreal Quebec.  I spent a few years in Ontario where I earned my certificate as an Addiction Treatment and Prevention Worker before moving to Halifax in 2000. I am proud to now call Halifax home.

I joined the Student Accessibility Center in November of 2019.  I provide administrative support to the staff along with overseeing the Note Taking accommodation services for the students, and I also work alongside with the Exam Coordinator helping to book and arrange exams.

When you come to the Mark A. Hill Centre, you will see me at the front desk as soon as you walk in the front doors.

Fun fact about me: I love to travel but I am terrified when I fly.

How I identify: Mother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend.

Strengths: Friendly, Positive, Outgoing, Kind.

Hobbies: Reading, knitting, baking, cooking, and hiking the easy trails.

Rebecca Koeller

Student Access Advisor

she/her/hers

I grew up in Nova Scotia and am happy to again call it home after living, working, and studying in variety of wonderful cities across Canada and internationally. I completed a BA in Anthropology from McGill and a Master’s in Planning from UBC. This background lead me to work in human rights education, social justice research, and community development before finding my place in the rewarding career of post-secondary student services. In my 12 years at Dalhousie I have had the opportunity to advise students in a variety of contexts, including international admissions, financial aid, and now accessibility.

I am passionate about working with students, staff and faculty to broaden access to and advocate for equity in education. I love supporting students as they build on strengths, tackle challenges, identify goals, and shape their futures. My approach to advising is rooted in relationships and empathy. Key to that is listening, towards better understanding each student’s unique lived experiences, strengths, and passions and connecting them with helpful tools, resources, and relationships. I really enjoy my work and feel very privileged to learn from students each and every day.

Fun facts: I love outdoor adventures no matter the weather, including hiking, biking and camping. If I could live another life it would be as an ocean creature of some kind, but for now I’m delighted to settle for regular visits and happily dunk in the Atlantic any month of the year.

How I identify: White, cisgender, woman, LGBTQ+, person with a mental health disability, able-bodied