Shauna Brail MA 1994

Current Work:  Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto Urban Studies Program                                                                                  

I graduated from SCARP with an M.A. (Planning) in 1994. Since 2005, I have been with the University of Toronto Urban Studies Program where I am currently Sr. Lecturer and Director of Experiential Learning.  Prior to joining UT, I worked at a planning / development consultancy in Vancouver, completed a PhD in Geography at the University of Toronto, spent two years at the Boston Consulting Group, and also worked as a Sr. Policy Advisor with the Ontario government. 

At UT, I teach undergraduate Urban Studies students and also have a cross-appointment in the Department of Geography.  Within Urban Studies, I run an internship course where fourth year students attend weekly seminars and are placed at urban-focused, non-profit offices. Additionally, I have developed a service learning initiative in our second year Urban Studies course. 

My research focuses on urban economic change and creative industries, most recently with an emphasis on firms in fashion and advertising, grappling with the challenges of globalization, innovation and digital change.  This is an area I began studying at SCARP – my Master’s thesis focused on creative services firms in Yaletown and Victory Square – and the skills and interests I developed extended through my PhD research on emerging digital media firms in Toronto.  I also research service learning as a pedagogy, and how it affects discipline-based learning in the urban realm.  

As an academic who primarily teaches undergraduate students, I frequently advise students on graduate program applications and am proud to have recommended many students for admission to SCARP.  The two years I spent at SCARP were formative in my approach to understanding cities, planning challenges and urban form, and I have fond memories of faculty and peers which continue to influence my approach to teaching, research and curiosity.