Elisa Vandenborn

Project Manager – MODAL Research Group

  • PhD Candidate – Educational Psychology – Simon Fraser University

Email: mev1@sfu.ca

Elisa Vanderborn


Elisa Vandenborn is the Project Manager of MODAL Research (Multimedia Opportunities, Diversity and Artistic Learning) and Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYME) in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University where she manages multiple local, pan-university, international, and SSHRC-funded projects and supervises MODAL’s Work-Study research assistance team.

Elisa is also a PhD student in the Educational Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University. With a BA in Psychology and an MA in Educational Psychology, her research interests involve mainly social and child welfare policy, child protection systems, and sociocultural and historical constituents of self, identity, and personhood in Western societies. This research comprises issues of ontology, epistemology, methodology, and axiology of social sciences; historical and cross-cultural critiques of Western disciplinary psychology; and social welfare practices and policies. Her Master’s thesis addressed the social implications of individualistic conceptions of selfhood in child protection systems in North America, particularly among socially disadvantaged groups. Her PhD extends on this research, considering more communal—relational, familial, community, and societal—approaches to child protection, as well as their social, cultural, and political implications for children and families involved with the child protection system. This research hopes to provide child protection stakeholders with a psychosocial perspective on the outcomes associated with the provision of social welfare services and practices, in an effort to help guide social expenditure and legislation towards optimal outcomes for children and families in British Columbia and North America.

Prior to research in psychology, Elisa developed an extensive career in English Language Testing, Instruction, and Curriculum Development, in Canada and Brazil.


Date Degree Program University
In Progress Ph.D Ph.D. Educational Psychology Simon Fraser University
2014 M.A. M.A. Educational Psychology Simon Fraser University
2005 B.A. Psychology and Education Simon Fraser University

Awards And Fellowships

  • Graduate Fellowship Award (2014)
  • Douglas College 10th Annual Awards Tea (2007)
  • University Transfer Program Award (2006)
  • Erm Fiorillo- Hal Davis CKNW Award (2006)
  • Rotary Club of New Westminster Award (2006)
  • Rotary Club of New Westminster Award (2005)

Scholarly Contributions

  • Vandenborn, E. (2014). The Social Implications of the Individualistic Self for the Child Protection System in British Columbia. Unpublished master’s thesis for master’s degree. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.
Academic Presentations & Reports
  • O’Neill, O., Vandenborn, E., Leddy, S., Widdows, S., Gomes, R., Stervinou, A., Toledo, M. Unity Through Music: Engaging Learners in Intercultural and Multimodal Sense Making. 2nd International Conference of Music Education. Sobral, Ceara, Brazil. July 23, 2015.
  • Vandenborn, E. Self in Relation and Indigenous Methodologies.Learning Together Conference- Indigenizing Academia.  Simon Fraser University- Surrey, BC. May 23, 2015.
  • Vandenborn, E. The Problem of the Individualistic Self in the Over-representation of Aboriginal Children in the Child Protection System in British Columbia. Lecture Series on Aboriginal Issues. Indigenous Research Institute, Simon Fraser University. February 3, 2015.
  • Le Mare, L., Beatch, M., & Vandenborn, E. A qualitative study of teachers’ perspectives on full day kindergarten. Hawaii International Conference on Education.  Honolulu, HI, January 5-8, 2015
  • Nesbit, J., Vandenborn, E., & Salimi, F. (2013). Instructional Design in High-Enrollment Classes. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.
  • Vandenborn, E. (2012). Reconceptualizing the “Self”: Implications for the Foster Care System. Think Again Graduate Student Society Conference, November 14, 2012. Simon Fraser University, Burnanby, BC.
  • Vandenborn, E., LeMare, L. and Neufeld, P. (2011). Fit4School: Attentional processes and physical fitness as predictors of students’ academic achievement and classroom behaviour. Quality Daily Physical Education Conference, October 20-22, 2011. Douglas College, New Westminster, BC.
  • Vandenborn, E., Menzies, M., Lepine, H. and Fines, J. (2011, May). Fit4school: The impact of an aerobic exercise intervention on executive functioning in elementary school children. Poster presented at the SFU Health Research Day, Burnaby, BC.
  • Multiple Intelligences in the ESL Classroom, LSI, Vancouver, BC. June 2005
  • Psychology in the ESL, EFL Classroom, Cultura Inglesa International Conference, Brasilia, DF, Brazil. November 2004
Related Academic Activities
  • Member of Indigenous Research Institute: Office for Aboriginal Peoples- Simon Fraser University.
  • Dr. Jeff Sugarman’s Theoretical Psychology Reading Group