After teaching in Libya and Swaziland, she worked at Parkdale Project Read, a community-based, social-justice oriented adult literacy program. In 2001, she joined the University of Toronto as a Senior Research Officer, first in the Social Justice Education Department and then the Adult Education and Community Development program at OISE/UT,. She coordinated the Festival of Literacies which drew together the often siloed worlds of practice, research, and policy. She worked with literacy practitioners from Indigenous, Deaf, Francophone, and Anglophone programs, bringing together this diverse range of educators in conversation and research projects.
In this work she became passionate about reflective practice, research in practice, and the power of small-scale inquiry and research. Her research has also included work on the effects of trauma on learning and how to move this research into practice. She is deeply interested in qualitative research, anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to research, arts-based/arts-informed research, and disability studies. Her PhD is from the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education at OISE/UT.
Sheila teaches at the New College Writing Centre, University of Toronto, where she has served as Acting Director, Writing Room Coordinator, and Caribbean, African, Equity, and Solidarity Studies Writing Group Co-coordinator. She loves working one-on-one and facilitating workshops on all aspects of the writing and revision process. Previously, she taught in Women and Gender Studies, Community-Engaged Learning, and Equity and Solidarity Studies.
Author of two poetry collections, The Shape of a Throat and A Hat to Stop a Train, Sheila has been writing and publishing poetry since the early 1990s. She co-edited the anthology, The Art of Poetic Inquiry. Sheila’s writing has been recognized by such awards as the gritLIT Contest, the Pottersfield Portfolio Short Poem Contest, the Dan Sullivan Memorial Prize, and the Scarborough Arts Council Windows on Words Award. Her work has been published in The Antigonish Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Descant, Grain, Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, New Quarterly, Room, Tessera, Toronto Quarterly, other journals and many anthologies in Canada, Ireland, and the United States.