Learning is fun! However, I know that post-secondary education can be extremely stressful. In this high-stress environment, I strive to create a learning space that is safe and enjoyable. My teaching aligns with the ARCS model of motivation developed by John Keller, focusing on: (1) gaining and maintaining attention through real life examples, humour, asking questions, and encouraging active participation; (2) making the lecture relevant by connecting the content directly to students’ lives by drawing on past experiences, immediate relevance, and future applications; (3) building confidence by clearly outlining expectations, providing comprehensive constructive feedback, and provide opportunities for student-directed learning; and (4) maximizing satisfaction by making learning fun, providing positive reinforcement, and maintaining consistency of expectations to maximize success and transparency.

I also try to incorporate mindfulness minutes and exercise breaks into my lectures to increase attention and learning while reducing stress.

I have a diverse set of teaching experiences in multiple departments and institutions including: instruction at both undergraduate and graduate levels, course instruction online and in person, guest lectures online and in person, and undergraduate thesis supervision.

I am available for guest or public lectures on health research methods, mental health, and/or substance use. Please feel free to reach out.

Teaching Experience


Sessional Instructor, Nursing Research
2017 – Present (in person and online)
McMaster University School of Nursing

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Theory and Practice of Measurement
2020-present (in-person and online)
Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University

Instructor, Praxis Pathways “Exercise for Mental Health”
2022 (online)
McMaster University Bachelor of Health Sciences Program

Undergraduate Research Co-Supervision (McMaster University):

Marina Boutros Salama, Health Sciences
2021-2022 Academic Year
Thesis: Understanding the Wellbeing of Residents and Partners (UnWRaP) Project

Sadanee Pathiranawasam, Psychology and Behavioural Neurosciences
2021-2022 Academic Year
Thesis: Co-development and Evaluation of a Mental Health Literacy Program for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Rachel Woock, BS Health and Aging (honors)
2018-2019 Academic Year
Thesis: Professor Hippo-on-Campus: a pilot study for a student mental health education program for educators and navigators

Research Co-op Supervision:

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
Summer 2021
Student Project #1: The impact that COVID19 has had on the opioid crisis in Canada: A rapid review
Student Project #2: How social media and social standards affect youth mental health: A rapid review

Guest Lectures & Interviews:

Addiction Psychology Fundamentals: Pleasant Activities and Social Support” Clinical Psychology Students and Young Adult Substance Use Program Clinicians at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research (May 2021)

Mind your body: Exercise to improve your physical health, mental health, and focus” Coping with COVID and Stress at McMaster University (May 2020)

Cannabis and Mental Health” McMaster Medical Student Radio: Infectious Dialogue Podcast. Co-interviewed with Catharine Munn (Radio Interview, April 2020) Click to Hear Part 1, Click to Hear Part 2

Cannabis and Mental Health ” McMaster Lager Lecture for McMaster University Alumni Association (March 2020) Found here: Watch Here

The buzz kill on current high expectations of cannabis” Health Policy at Laurier University (October 2019)

Expert Conversations: Youth Mental Health and Cannabis Use for The Science of Cannabis” Collaboration between the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, and McMaster Continuing Education (podcast interview, May 2019) found here: Listen Here

Teaching Testimonials

  • Health Sciences Student
    "Throughout all of my interactions with Jillian, she has been understanding, approachable, and knowledgeable in many areas of the clinical sciences and research methodologies. Many of the research skills I have obtained were very new to me and I remember being initially quite nervous. However, my fears were settled when I realized that Jillian was available to support me. She was friendly and non-judgemental in her teaching and provided personalized feedback that exponentially increased my learning."
    Health Sciences Student
    McMaster University (mentorship)
  • Dr. Ahmad Firas Khalid

    "She is enjoyable to work with: Jillian is a caring individual and this reflects in her teaching style. She exhibits great enthusiasm for teaching and takes pride in what she has to offer."

    Dr. Ahmad Firas Khalid
    MD, PhD, MMgmt, MEd
  • Health Policy Student
    “Awesome at speaking candidly and intelligently about a topic, the slides were only an accessory to her presentation. I really enjoyed listening."
    Health Policy Student
    Laurier University (guest lecture)
  • Nursing Student
    “You did such an amazing job at explaining and simplifying each concept. I have a much better understanding of the different research methods, when to use the independent and paired t test, and I now understand what quasi-experimental means. Thank you!!” 
    Nursing Student
    McMaster University (in-person instructor)
  • Nursing Student
    “I'm honestly really liking the way you structure the classes. I think the way you are using all of the various tools on zoom (polls, breakout rooms, screen sharing) is all super helpful and keeps me engaged in class! Thank you! " 
    Nursing Student
    McMaster University (online instructor)