Rebecca Gagan

Founder and Director

Since 2004, Rebecca has been teaching in the Department of English at UVic, where she has the privilege of primarily teaching first-year classes in literature and academic writing. She regularly teaches ENGL 146 (The Literature of Our Era) and ENGL 147 (Literary Traditions). In 2014, she was honoured with the University of Victoria’s Gilian Sherwin Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. Since 2014, she has been working to develop UVic Bounce as part of a larger effort to support the mental health and wellness of students in our community and beyond. In 2015, Rebecca received a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant from UVic’s Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) to undertake a study in her first-year writing classes that sought to understand if and how the sharing of our collective stories of challenge and difficulty might support a student’s journey through challenging times. This study led to the creation of a Faculty of Humanities web and video initiative called “UVic Bounce.” Bounce is modeled on Stanford’s Resilience Project, and it seeks to de-stigmatize crisis (and even failure) as part of the undergraduate experience by sharing stories of difficulty and challenge from professors, alumni, students, and other members of the UVic community. UVic Bounce launched in 2019 with a pilot of eight Bounce videos. In 2021, she created and launched Waving, Not Drowning, a thirty-episode podcast featuring conversations with faculty and alumni about their experiences as students.


Rebecca shares her life with her husband, two boys, two cats, and Audrey—her beloved dog. When she’s not making podcasts or teaching, she loves to explore the beautiful West Coast and especially the North Island.

Izzy Almasi

Associate Producer and Sound Editor

Izzy Almasi graduated from UVic in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Film Studies. Before UVic Bounce’s Waving, Not Drowning, Izzy worked on podcasts as an audio production volunteer and interviewer for the campus radio station CFUV. Through her co-op with Perpetual Motion Productions, she continued to hone her audio skills as an Associate Producer on the podcasts Skaana and Orca Bites. In the last two years of her undergrad, Izzy also wrote for the student blog MyUVic Life. Izzy hopes to continue to pursue her passion for learning and education. She hopes to develop a career where she can combine her love of storytelling and creativity, with activism and social justice.

Madison James

Communications Specialist

Madison is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria with a BA (2021) in English and Professional Communication. Madison has spent the last few months working with team Bounce where she has been using her passion for design and storytelling to bring UVic Bounce to the next level. When she’s not working, you can find her getting in a run along the coasts of North Vancouver or enjoying time with her family and friends.

Adaezejeso Ezeaku

Bounce Student Ambassador

Adaezejeso Ezeaku is a recent graduate from UVic with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She is currently the UVic Bounce Student Ambassador, a role that came to be after her experience with overt anti-black racism on campus. After this incident, she joined the UVic Reflection and Challenge Committee (RCC) to help create action-oriented plans to tackle issues of racism, inclusion, and diversity on campus. Her experiences with racism and her passion for healthcare and its systemic role in the broader community led her to a path in the legal profession. In the future, she hopes to obtain a legal education and pursue a career in medical and animal law where she can advocate and create policies that are fair, humane, and just.

Deborah Ogilvie

Communications and Research Assistant

Deborah Ogilvie earned a BA (2013) and MA (2021) in English from the University of Victoria, and an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons University in Boston (2016.) To Deborah’s surprise, life didn’t pause during her studies, and instead threw some unexpected events her way. She spends most of her time these days having conversations about dinosaurs with her very favourite plot twist, who is about to turn six.

Alex Shahbazfar

Communications Assistant

Alex is a fourth year Biology and Psychology student at the University of Victoria. He has been in charge of transcribing the UVic Bounce podcast episodes. Alex has a passion for all kinds of writing, especially poetry, and has authored his own self-published poetry book called bloodmoon. 

A Special Thank You to

Grace Guiney

A huge thank you to Grace Guiney for providing UVic Bounce with amazing West Coast photography. Grace has been a part of the Bounce family since the beginning. She continues to inspire others with her stunning photographs,  and we are so grateful to have her in our community.