Associate Professor

Individual Research Interests

university rankings, knowledge translation, ableism, photovoice, journal impact factors

Research Supervision Interests

cooperatives and postsecondary education

university rankings

equity and education

media and educational policy

knowledge translation

media and educational leadership

educational policy and politics


 Michelle Stack (PI). Ph.D., is an associate professor and in the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia. Her research is focused on educational equity, interdisciplinary knowledge translation and university rankings.  She is the author of Global University Ranking and the Mediatization of Higher Education,  and co-editor of a book with Dr. André Mazawi, Course Syllabi in Faculties of Education Bodies of Knowledge and their Discontents, International and Comparative Perspectives. She recently received a grant from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies to develop a working group focusing on the possibilities of cooperatives for building resilience in higher learning in the face of epidemics and climate change.   

A recentvideo created for first-year students



Anthropology – University of Alberta, BA, Hons
Canadian Studies – Carleton University, MA
Applied Language Studies – Carleton University, MA
OISE/University of Toronto , PhD


Expanding public conversations on matters of equity (especially race and ableism) and engaging with educational policy through knowledge translation (KT), particularly via media, are central to my teaching practice and philosophy. These commitments are evident in my development of new courses, including a hybrid course called “Scholars Go Public” (in partnership with CIHR and the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation [MSHRF]), which increased KT capacities of graduate students from diverse fields who produced commentaries for major media outlets. This led to further partnerships with the MSHRF and other units on campus concerned with KT. I co-created with Dr. Heidi Janz (University of Alberta) an online course on disability, ableism, equity and educational technology (May-August 2020). The course is unique in content and detailed attention to accessible design.  Graduate supervision is a key area of my teaching practice, and I have been on students’ graduate committees in Education, Journalism and Rehabilitation Sciences. I was awarded the 2017 Killam Teaching Prize.




Killam Teaching Award
Peter Wall Scholar
ZeMki Research Centre Research Fellow

Research Projects

COVID19 Response: Building Higher Learning Resilience in the Face of Epidemics Current

André Mazawi (UBC)
Deirdre Kelly (UBC)
Bathseba Opini (UBC)
Cilla Ross (Cooperative College, UK)
Shirley Lew (Student and VCC)
Ben Hyman (VIU)
Elvy Del Bianco (Vancity)

Funded by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

The impact of university and journal rankings Completed
International Research Collaboration on Rankings

Co-investigator André Mazawi (UBC)

Funded by the Faculty of Education, UBC

The Belonging Project: A Photovoice Project With High School Students Completed

Co-Investigators Fei Wang (UBC)
Post-Doc: Genevieve Creighton
GRA: Sameena Jamal

Funded by the Jacqueline Farquhar Award, Faculty of Education, UBC

Newcomer mothers learn about Canadian schools and expand conversations about what a good education is and could be Completed

Co-Investigator -Bathseba Opini (UBC)
GRAs: Sonia Medel and Sameena Jamal

Funded by the John and Doris Andrews Research and Development Award, Faculty of Education, UBC

What Do Rankings Tell Us About Higher Education? International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Completed

André Mazawi, Mary Lynn Young, (UBC) Mayumi Ishikawa (Osaka University)

GRA: Sonia Medel

Funded by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

Knowledge Mobilization: Expanding Cross-Cultural Conversations about Mental Health and Illness Completed

Anuradha Sovani (SNDT University)
Post-Doc: Genevieve Creighton
GRA: Sonia Medel

Funded by Shastri Indo- Canadian Fund

Boundary Setters Completed

GRA: Yu Guo

Funded: HSS UBC

Bridging the Divide between Academe and Journalism: Design Research into Student Journalists’ Engagement with Academic Sources Completed

Deirdre Kelly, Mary Lynn Young (UBC)
GRA: Shayna Plaut

Selected Publications



Stack, M. (Ed). (in press, 2021). University rankings and the politics of knowledge. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


          Chapters (Peer Reviewed)

Janz, H. & Stack, M. (2020). Our thirty-five year journey through ableism and the education of teachers. In A. Mazawi & M. Stack (Eds.), Bodies of knowledge: Teacher education in diverse contexts: Bloomsbury Academic Publishers.



Mazawi, A., & Stack, M. (Eds.)  (2020). Course Syllabi in Faculties of Education: Bodies of Knowledge and their Discontents, International and Comparative Perspectives. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic Publishers.  (Contribution: 50%)


Stack, M. (2015). Global University Rankings and the Mediatization of Higher Education. Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education.




 Stack, M. (2019). Academic stars and university rankings in higher educational: Impacts on policy and practice, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/23322969.2019.1667859


Stack, M. & Wang, F. (2018). Students perceptions of belonging: A photovoice participatory action research project. Canadian Journal of Action Research,19 (1) 48-66. file:///Users/michellestack/Downloads/375-Article%20Text-768-1-10-20180911%20(1).pdf


 Stack, M (2013) The Times Higher Education ranking product: visualising excellence through media, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 11:4, 560-582, DOI: 10.1080/14767724.2013.856701


 Kelly, Deirdre and Michelle Stack (2011). ‘Bridging journalistic-academic divides to promote democratic dialogue and debate’. Knowledge Mobilization and Educational Research: Politics, Languages and Responsibilities. Routledge Books.


Stack, (2010). ‘Spin as symbolic capital: The fields of journalism and education policy- making: A Bourdieuan reading’. International Journal of Leadership in Education. 13.2: 107 – 119.


Stack, M. (2010). “In movies, someone always has to play the bad guy”: Mediatized subjectivities and youth media production’. Nordic Journal of English Studies. 9.3 : 197 – 217.


Stack, Michelle. (2009). ‘Video production and youth-adult collaboration: Openings and dilemmas’. McGill Journal of Education. 44.2: 299 – 318.


 Stack, Michelle and Andre Mazawi. (2009). ‘New administrative frontiers” as “technologies of governance: The discursive construction of educational leadership in British Columbia’. Management in Education. 23.4: 71 – 77.


Stack, Michelle. (2007). ‘Representing school success and failure: Media coverage of international tests’. Policy Futures in Education. 5.1: 100 – 110.


Stack, M. (2007). ‘Constructing “common-sense” policies for schools: The role of journalists in the construction of “mainstream” stories about education’. International Journal of Leadership in Education. 10.3: 247 – 264.


Stack, M & Kelly,D. (2006). ‘Popular media, education, and resistance’. Canadian Journal of Education. 29.1: 5 – 26.



Educational Leadership in British Columbia; Co- investigators: Michelle Stack (Co-Principal Investigator), D. Coulter (Co-Principal Investigator),G. Grosjean (Co- Principal Investigator), G. Smith (Co-Principal Investigator), (Co-Principal Investigator), A. Mazawi (Co-Principal Investigator).


   Ways of Knowing Episode 1: Michelle Stack. (2019, October 25). Retrieved November 4, 2019, from Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies website:



Stack, M. (Sept 13, 2019). Ignore university rankings, but make higher education an election issue. The Conversation. Retrieved from


Stack, M. (Oct 5, 2018). Why I’m not surprised Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland isn’t a full professor. The Conversation. Retrieved donna-strickland-isnt-a-full-professor-104459


Stack, M. (2017, Sept 5) Let’s focus on education not university Rankings. The Globe and Mail.


Janz, H. L., & Stack, M. (April 27, 2017). Think disability is a tragedy? We pity you. The Conversation Canada. Retrieved from



Stack, M. (2014).”Vomitorium of Venom”: Framing culpable youth, bewildered adults, and the death, Debates for the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of our Online World. ABCCLIO/Greenwood.


Students Supervised

Shirley Lew (Ed.D)

Henry Lee (Ed.D)

Kealin McCabe (Ed.D)

Sameena Jamal (Ph.D candidate)


Daljit Gill-Badesha  (Ed.D co-supervision with Dr. Mazawi)


Dr. Virgina Rego (Ed.D)

Dr. Amea Wilbur (Ed.D)

Dr. Chris Gratham (Ed.D)

Dr. Todd Ormiston (Ed.D co-supervised with senior supervisor Dr. Archibald)

Dr, John Vellacott (Ed.D)

Jingwun Liang (MA)

Béene Savage (MA)

Beth Pinney (MA)

Yu Guo (MA)

Joanna Da- Sylva (MA)

Sarah Ann Mills (MA)

Vivian Luk (MA)

Jacqueline Ronson (MA)



Courses Taught

EDST 401: Education, Schools and Social Institutions

EDST 602: Doctoral Seminar

EDST 565: Special Topics, 1) Media, Education Policy and Leadership, 2) Collaborative Media Production with Youth

EDST 577: The Social Context of Educational Policy

EADM 554: Education Leadership and Policy

EADM 501: Research Traditions in Educational Administration

EADM 553: Educational Leadership Group Inquiry (Capstone)

EDST 508:  Research Methods

EDST 565: Knowledge, Media and Educational Leadership (An animated course description)

EDST 503A: Ethnography and Education

Community Work

I have given a number of workshops on media education to youth and adults. I welcome opportunities to speak with media, small or large groups about educational policy,  media education and university rankings.