Theresa is the Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Selkirk College and a PhD student at Fielding University’s School of Organizational Development and Change. Her focus of study at Fielding University is on the contributions of the growing number of BC residents, 55 and older, to their communities. At the College she leads projects on indigenization, internationalization and student-centred learning.  Living in Nelson, BC with her husband and supporting her three amazing children is her first love and joy.  From that foundation she has become an avid road cyclist and yoga practitioner. One day she will attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and cycle across Canada with Tour du Canada.


Theresa was born in Burnaby, BC to mother Merle Kathleen Bent and Father William Charles Lowe (Gerrard). Both grandparents were new immigrants to Canada – on her mother’s side from the Ireland, Scotland and Britain and on her Father’s side additionally from the Ukraine.  She grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia with her three siblings attending fourteen schools since her mother had to move a lot after her parents divorced.  She moved to Nelson, BC  in 1980 to attend the Writing Program at David Thompson University.  Meeting Vietnam War resistors, Doukhobors and Quakers led her to visit China in 1982 to see communism for her self.  Back in Nelson, she studied science another two years and then was off again – this time to live in the spiritual community of Findhorn, Scotland. Returning to Nelson and the owner of a war-time house she enrolled in the Fine Woodworking program to gain some basic home maintenance skills. In 1987 she married and moved to Vancouver where her husband could finish a building design program and she could complete a degree in Communications at SFU.  When her first son arrived the new family moved back to the house in Nelson where they continued to run Southam Consulting Inc. a small company that provided environmental communications services. Between working on salmon education, wetland conservations and coordinating the building of twelve nature and culture centres two more children were born.  For the first fifteen years the children were home educated. In 1998 Theresa began working full-time for Selkirk College,  obtained her Masters in Intercultural Communications which involved returning to China for a residency with two of her children and eventually forming and running Selkirk College’s Teaching and Learning Institute. 

Theresa (far left) in front of her Terrace home.

Theresa (far left) in front of her Terrace home.

Professional Goals

I am fully immersed in the field of teaching learning. I’ve been running the Teaching and Learning Institute at Selkirk College for six years and I’m currently Co-Chair of the BC Teaching and Learning Council and Treasurer of the Educational Developers’ Caucas of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. I was just published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  

As part of my long-term career strategy I am currently a PhD student at Fielding University in Organizational Development and Change. My dissertation topic will be related to the contributions to society of older adults.  I am attending the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics conference in San Francisco in July, 2017.  I ran a company in environmental communications for 25 years where I contributed to the conservation of wetlands and salmon. I’d like to continue to give back to society, especially after I retire.

For the next five years I am interested in continuing in the field of education, teaching and learning while pursuing more scholarship and teaching.  I will be presenting at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in October, 2017 in Calgary and I am the Co-Chair of the Program Committee for Symposium on Scholarly Teaching in Vancouver.  I’d also like to start building some relationships with non-profits for which I could volunteer.  I have been reaching out to the Learning in Retirement groups, Canadian Association for Retired Persons, and will meet BC’s Seniors Advocate in August. 

After I retire I’d like to work part-time or as a consultant in these fields.


1420 Falls Street, Nelson, BC V1L 1J4      tsouth@netidea.com


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