Elizabeth Vergis

Dr. Elizabeth Vergis

Assistant Professor, Education

Phone: (403) 254-3733
Email: elizabeth.vergis@stmu.ca
Office: M106
PhD Education, University of Alberta
MEd Education, University of Alberta
BEd, University of Alberta
MSc, Biochemistry, University of London, England, UK

Specialization/research interests:
The role of Procedural Knowledge (especially Concepts of Evidence) in science teaching and in indigenous science; the use of Adapted Primary Literature; mixed methods research; Pan-Canadian learning outcomes in Chemistry; approaches to evidence in watershed management; the transition of students from high school to first-year undergraduate studies; and the philosophy of science.

Elizabeth Vergis is an Assistant Professor at St. Mary’s University, Calgary. Elizabeth came to Canada with an MSc in Biochemistry from the University of London, England. In Canada, she completed her PhD in Science Education at the University of Alberta in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the Faculty of Education. She is very concerned about equity issues including, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status as they affect education. Dr. Vergis is a member of the Science Education Research Group (SERG) and has presented regularly at the CSSE and CSSHE annual conferences. Her interests outside of the academia include singing, stamp-collecting, cooking and travelling especially to interesting parts of the world. Before coming to Canada, she taught science at the school and post-secondary levels in Zambia, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa, having travelled widely in all these places.

Courses taught at St. Mary’s

EDCM 301 – Introduction to Curricular Design
EDCM 405 – Curriculum and Instruction Elementary Science Education
EDCM 411 – The Education Profession in the Province
EDCM 357 – Disciplinary Methods in Secondary Science 1
EDPR 331 – Practicum 1: Observation
EDPR 337 – Practicum 2: Orientation

Dr. Elizabeth Vergis’ research interests lie in the areas of student understanding of evidence and scientific concepts, the use of Adapted Primary Literature in the teaching of science, the science curriculum, and the public understanding of science. She is also interested in interdisciplinary studies such as the use of evidence in watershed management, the philosophy of science and the transition of students from high school to first-year undergraduate studies. She is very concerned about equity issues including, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status as they affect education.
Verghis, E. & Selvaratnam, M. (1994). Coherent, concise and concept-based organization of the topic ‘Atoms, Molecules, Ions and their Properties’. Paper presented at the South Africa Association for Research into Math and Science Education (SAARMSE), Durban, South Africa.

Vergis, E. (2005). CRYSTAL (Centre for Research in Youth, Science, Teaching and Learning), Alberta. Poster presented at the Educational Policy Studies Department’s Annual Research Day, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Norris, S. (2006). Representation of evidence in high school chemistry textbooks. Poster presented at the Educational Policy Studies Department’s Annual Research Day, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Norris, S. (2006). Representation of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry textbooks. Paper presented at CRYSTAL’s National Conference, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Norris, S. (2006). Representation of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry textbooks. Poster presented at CRYSTAL’s National Conference, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Norris, S. (2007). Concepts of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry textbooks. Poster presented at the Educational Policy Studies Department’s Annual Research Day, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Norris, S. (2007). The representation of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry textbooks. Paper presented at the Friday Forum of the Educational Policy Studies Department, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E. (2007, May). Concepts of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E. (2008). Community Service Learning – Autism Society of Edmonton Area Project. Done as course requirement for EDPS 585. Poster presented at the Educational Policy Studies Department’s Annual Research Day, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E. (2008, June). Evidence representation in first year university chemistry. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE). Vancouver, British Columbia.

Vergis, E. (2009, May). How evidence is represented in chemistry textbooks used in high schools across Canada. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Ottawa, Ontario: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Reid, G., Howe, E., Vergis, E., Riveros, A., Burns D., & Yacoubian, H. (2009, May). Diverse perspectives on Evidence in Science Education. Panel Presentation. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta’s Department of Educational Policy Studies.

Howe, E., Vergis, E., Reid, G., Burns, D., Riveros, A., & Yacoubian, H. (2009, May). Diverse perspectives on Evidence in Science Education. Panel Presentation conducted at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Ottawa, Ontario: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E. (2009, May). Concepts of evidence in undergraduate and high school chemistry. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. Ottawa, Ontario: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E., & Jeong, M. (2009, May). Role of distance education in the internationalization of higher education: Reflections on the Indian experience. In G. Scoppio (Chair), Comparison of Internationalization of higher education in two countries. Panel Presentation conducted at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

Vergis, E. (2010, May). Concepts of Evidence in Undergraduate Chemistry. Paper Presentation for Brown Bag session. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta’s Department of Educational Policy Studies.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2011). The Understanding of Concepts of Evidence Held by First Year Undergraduate Students Taking Science Courses. Poster presented at the Educational Policy Studies Department’s Annual Research Day, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2013, April). The Understanding of Concepts of Evidence Held by First Year Undergraduate Students. Paper presented at Research Day Presentations, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2013, June 4th). The Understanding of Concepts of Evidence Held by First Year Undergraduate Students doing Science Courses. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). Victoria, British Columbia: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2013, June 5th). The Understanding of Concepts of Evidence Held by First Year Undergraduate Students and Their Instructors. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE). Victoria, British Columbia: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2013, October 19th). Coming Full Circle in Tracing the Role of Concepts of Evidence in the Teaching of Science. Paper presented at the ATEP (Aboriginal Teacher Education Program) National Conference, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2013, November 6th). Scientific Literacy: A tool for Decolonizing science education. Paper presented at the CGCER International Conference, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2015, April 23, Research Day). Pedagogy does make a difference. Paper was accepted for Research Day Presentations, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, but not presented.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2015, June 2). Pedagogy makes a difference in first-year undergraduate students’ learning. Paper was accepted by the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE), Ottawa, Ontario (Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences), but not presented.

Vergis, E., & Wimmer, R. (2016, May 30). The testing of undergraduate students’ understanding of Concepts of Evidence using Adapted Primary Literature: A language perspective. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education (CCGSE). Calgary, Alberta: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Vergis, E. (2020). Using Adapted Primary Literature to Test the Understanding of Concepts of Evidence in Chemistry held by First Year University Undergraduate Students. Poster accepted for presentation at the Science Education Research Group (SERG) at Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Conference. London, Ontario: Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students have, for generations, chosen university Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) programs for themselves with little or no information about what they may get out of those programs, except as implicitly communicated within the culture and curriculum. However, in Canada, B.Sc. programs typically must explicitly state their program outcomes, at least in their initial submission to their respective provincial ministries of post-secondary education. We undertook a survey of all Canadian institutions’ B.Sc. programs in chemistry to provide a national snapshot of the values and priorities encompassed in institutional delivery of these programs. Our results show a definite preference for knowledge over other learning domains, particularly in translational skills, chemistry, science, and the laboratory. Alignment with provincial degree-level expectations, mostly standardized across Canada, is discussed as well.

Graphical Representation

Vergis Featured Article

  • E. Verghis and P. Nicholls (1984) “Generation of pH gradients by proteoliposomal cytochrome c oxidase” Federation Proceedings p. 1875, Abstract # 2675 (St. Louis, June 1984).
  • P. Nicholls, E. Verghis, and A.P. Singh (1984) “Internal pH changes and ion movements in cytochrome c oxidase-containing proteo-liposomes.” Third European Bioenergetics Conference, Hanover. EBEC Reports, 3A, 251-252.
  • Verghis, E. & Selvaratnam, M. (1994). Coherent, concise and concept-based organization of the topic ‘Atoms, Molecules, Ions and their Properties’. Paper presented at the South Africa Association for Research into Math and Science Education (SAARMSE), Durban, South Africa.
  • Vergis, E. (2007). The Representation of Evidence in University Undergraduate and High School Chemistry Textbooks (Master’s Thesis). University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Kachur, J., Vergis, E. et al. (2008). The decline of the myopic American imperial project, the ‘Great Experiment’ for education, and a conversation beyond the boundaries. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 6(4), 367-408.
  • Vergis, E., & Hoekstra, A. (2010). Skill Centre Survey Study. Edmonton, AB: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) & Edmonton Public Schools.
  • Vergis, E. (2011). The representation of evidence in high school chemistry textbooks. Alberta Science Education Journal, 41(1), January 2011, 38 – 50.
  • Vergis, E. (2014). Chapter 7. The Challenges facing Higher Education in India. In M.T. Kariwo, T. Gounko and M. Nungu (Eds.), A Comparative Analysis of Higher Education Systems: Issues, Challenges and Dilemmas. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Vergis, E., Wimmer, R., & Shanahan, M-C. (2014). The Role of Concepts of Evidence in the Teaching of Science. Alberta Science Education Journal, 43(2), 36-41.
  • Martineau, C., Steinhauer, E., Wimmer, R., Vergis, E. & Wolfe, A. (2015). Alberta’s Teacher Education Program: A little garden where students blossom. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 38(1), 121-148.
  • Vergis, E. (2017). Using Adapted Primary Literature to Test the Understanding of Concepts of Evidence in Chemistry held by First Year University Undergraduate Students (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.7939/R3SQ8QX5G
  • Loppnow, G., Kamau, P., & Vergis, E. (2020). Pan-Canadian Learning Outcomes in Chemistry: A National Snapshot. Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 24 November, 2020, 1-8, retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.7939/R3SQ8QX5G
  • Hill, S. L., Johnson. S., Seitz, P., Vergis, E., & Twomey, S. (In Progress) Teacher leaders in the making: A response to COIVD 19 in practicum. In P. Danyluk, A. Burns, S. L. Hill, & K. Crawford (Eds.), In Crisis and opportunity: How Canadian Bachelor of Education Programs responded to the pandemic. CATE.