The ICON Team

The ICON team includes Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs (Department of Integrative Biology), Dr. Daniel Gillis (School of Computer Science), and Dr. Evan Fraser (Department of Geography).


Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs, ICON Co-creator, Instructor (they/them/their)

B821646642Z.1_20140704182802_000_GDK194ENP.3_GalleryDr. Jacobs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and a member of the Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice and Biology Research Hub in the College of Biological Sciences. A co-founder of Ideas Congress (ICON), Dr. Jacobs is passionate about weaving the learning of society’s most valued skills into traditional post-secondary programs. These include knowledge translation and transfer, methods for social innovation, and critical thinking for the purposes of problem-solving. A recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015, and honoured in 2018 as a Guelph Women of Distinction, she takes an evidence-based approach to student-centered learning that is founded upon the cannon of educational research including her own contributions.

Dr. Daniel Gillis, ICON Co-creator, Instructor (he/him/his)

14052786_1721218368128228_1008344298_n.jpgDr. Gillis is an Associate Professor and Statistician in the School of Computer Science in the College of Engineering & Physical Science at the University of Guelph. He is co-founder of Farm To Fork: a project which aims to improve the quality and quantity of food donated to food banks and pantries by connecting donors with the real-time needs of emergency food providers, co-founder of GuelphHacks and The Improve Life Challenge: interdisciplinary hackathons that bring students together to solve broad social challenges, co-creator of the Gryphons Care Initiative, and co-creator of the Ideas Congress (ICON) Transdisciplinary Classroom. In 2015, Dr. Gillis was named one of Guelph’s 40 Under 40 and was awarded the University of Guelph Faculty Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching. More recently he was awarded the Gordon Nixon Leadership Award and the Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Award.

Dr. Evan Fraser, Feeding 9 Billion Founder, Instructor (he/him/his)

Evan-FraserDr. Evan Fraser is a Professor in the Department of Geography, and Director of the Arrell Food Institute. Dr. Fraser founded the Feeding 9 Billion Challenge in 2014 to challenge interdisciplinary teams of students to develop solutions to feed the world’s growing population. Dr. Fraser is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security, Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geography Society, and Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars.