The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies mourns the loss of Dr. Aisha Ravindran, who died from cancer early in the morning of March 8, 2023.
A researcher and teacher of composition, rhetoric, intercultural communication, and literature, Aisha joined our community in 2017. Her first PhD, from Mahatma Gandhi University, 2003, was on the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser. Before her death she was poised to defend a second PhD, through Simon Fraser University, in the area of communication and rhetoric with a particular focus on the needs of International Students.
Before joining UBCO, Aisha held an appointment at George Mason University’s campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she achieved the rank of Associate Professor and served as Chair of the Department of General Education (2009-2012). After George Mason’s UAE campus transitioned to become the University of Ras Al Khaimah, she served as Chair of the Department of English (2012-2014). In 2014, she emigrated to Canada, and undertook a new academic focus in her study of educational leadership and professional communication at Simon Fraser University.
Aisha joined the FCCS community as a sessional lecturer in 2017, and spent two years teaching first year English courses for us. In 2019, she applied for an FCCS tenure-track position in the Educational Leadership Stream with the Department of English and Cultural Studies. When the department recommended her for appointment, the Dean and Provost made the decision to appoint her immediately at the rank of Associate Professor of Teaching.
With her characteristic drive, sharp intellect, and generous humor, Aisha went to work with gusto and flare. In the far, far, too brief time we had with her, Aisha worked with her colleagues to create an entirely new academic learning space—even a new program code! – for students across the campus, with an emphasis on supporting international students. She showed us all how to get things done, winning significant grants to support her educational leadership and program development, teaching new courses, helping to craft the new certification in Professional Writing, and very recently submitting a new proposal to establish a Minor in professional writing through the Communication and Rhetoric Program (CORH). She was only getting started and was taken too soon.
FCCS extends its condolences to Aisha’s students, past and present, to the Department of English and Cultural Studies, her home unit; and, especially, to her surviving partner, Dr. Brendan D’Souza, who teaches biology at UBCO. We walk with Brendan on our shared path of grief.
Celebration of Life Event
We are hosting a Celebration of Life for our dear friend and colleague, Aisha Ravindran.
Join us and light a candle as we remember her time amongst us, her strong and generous spirit, her love for her work, for her students, and for her friends.
Date: Wednesday, March 15
Time: 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.
Location: ADM 026 (University Theatre stage)
Light refreshments will be served.
Donations in memory of Aisha can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation, specifically directed to pancreatic cancer research.