Meet our team

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, woman, LGBTQ+, partner, friend

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

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.

Tressa can be reached at Tressa.moore@dal.ca.

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: Woman, daughter, sister, Aunty, friend, Canadian, dog mama

Fun facts: My dog has its own social media. I don’t. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s awesome or weird. 

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. 

Maria can be reached at Maria.mcneil@dal.ca.

Lori Gagnon

Accommodated Testing Coordinator

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.

Lori can be reached at Lori.gagnon@dal.ca.

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

Rebecca can be reached at Rebecca.koeller@dal.ca.

Alyson Young

Student Access Advisor

she/her/hers

I am a prairie-transport to and am originally from Cochrane, Alberta. My mom’s side of the family is from Prince Edward Island and most of my family now live on both coasts (Vancouver Island, PEI, and Newfoundland). I studied Psychology in my undergraduate degree and completed an undergraduate certificate in Children and Youth Human Rights. I later completed a Master’s in Social Justice and Community Engagement at Wilfried Laurier University where I studied the role of lived experience in disability justice. I have worked in a variety of advocacy and support roles including as a youth outreach worker, a sexual assault crisis counsellor, and a complex case manager. I came to Dalhousie University from the University of Calgary where I also worked as an Access Advisor. I am very passionate about increasing access to post-secondary for students with disabilities and I enjoy this role immensely.

Fun Facts: I love all animals but especially dogs!

How I identify: Woman, daughter, sister, dog-mom, person with invisible disabilities

Alyson can be reached at Alyson.young@dal.ca

Tina Craigg

Administrative Coordinator

She/Her/Hers

I was born and raised in the Philippines. I have been living in the Caribbean for a few years before moving to Canada in 2013. I studied  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in the Philippines and Office Administration from Nova Scotia Community College.

I used to work on a cruise ship, which gave me a chance to see different places around the world, and the most enjoyable part was working and gaining friends from different countries.

I pride myself on being part of the Student Accessibility Centre, and I am so happy to support the team in helping students meet their accommodation needs. It’s important that they feel that they are in a healthy learning environment.

Interests: Online entrepreneurship and finance, food and nutrition, travel, health and wellness, music, and comedy shows. I am a big-city person.

Fun fact: Some moons ago, during my cruise ship days, I had visited the Halifax port a lot of times. Who knew that I would settle and be living in this beautiful Atlantic province one day.

Tina can be reached at tina.craigg@dal.ca.

Abby Smith

Student Access Advisor

she/her/hers

I grew up in Ontario and although I have only been able to call Nova Scotia home recently, I am happy to say that I am settled where my heart and my family are. I completed a BAH in Psychology at Queen’s University and immediately began working for the public sector, assisting individuals with disabilities for over 6 years. My passion is advocating with and on behalf of individuals in order to remove barriers to achieving their goals. I am thrilled to join the Accessibility Centre team here at Dalhousie and look forward to promoting equitable and inclusive access to learning for all students.

How I identify: cis-gender female, daughter, sister, aunt and dog mom

Hobbies: reading, hiking, camping, music (listening only for the sake of others), true crime podcasts and comedy shows

Abby can be reached at Abigail.Smith@dal.ca