Please join us in welcoming Dr. Frances Garrett as Director of Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health for a five-year term.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Michel Ferrari for his work as interim director this year. Dr. Ferrari made critical contributions in supporting students and instructors in a pandemic year, as the program undertook its first Quality Assurance Review.

Dr. Frances Garrett is Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department for the Study of Religion. She was Inaugural Director of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies at U of T from 2016-2021, and Associate Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion from 2010-2017. 

In her research Frances has collaborated with students, scholars, and community experts to explore the intersections between tantric practice, ritual/occult knowledge, and medical history and theory in Tibet. She’s also worked with Tibetan scholars and students in Eastern Tibet to study the Tibetan King Gesar epic, and most recently has been working with communities in Sikkim around Mt Khangchendzonga. 

Her teaching has developed through interactions with undergraduate and graduate students and other communities with whom she’s partnered in Tibetan Studies and other areas of research around the world. In her  classroom work, she’s been informed by research on student engagement through experiential learning, outdoor education, and student flourishing. Language instruction methodologies have also been a special interest for over two decades.

In 2021, she developed a new course JNR 301:  Histories of Buddhist Meditation and Race in North America. One of the course assignments, co-authored with undergraduate Sophie Chase, was published in Religions 12, as “Deep Listening” in Buddhist Studies: Teaching and Learning during a Pandemic.

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