Kristopher Wells

Kris Wells

Kristopher Wells

Assistant Professor, Director of Programs & Services, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, Co-Director, Camp fYrefly

Educational Policy Studies
5-190 Education North
780-492-2024 (fax)

Research Interests

  • The Public Understanding of Sex, Sexual, and Gender Differences in Education and Culture
  • Diversity, Equity, and Human Rights in Education
  • Vulnerable Youth Populations
  • Bullying, School Violence, and Youth Resiliency
  • Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
  • Hate Crimes and Human Rights
  • Social Justice and Community Development
  • Arts-Informed Education and Research


Kristopher Wells is an Assistant Professor and Director of Programs & Services, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. His doctoral research, which focused on sex, sexual, and gender differences in K-12 education, received several national and provincial awards including a Killam Doctoral Fellowship, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarship, Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize for Research, Alberta Teachers’ Association Doctoral Fellowship, and the Alberta Award for the Study of Canadian Human Rights and Multiculturalism. Dr. Wells’research and community service work has also been recognized with more than 60 awards, including an Alberta Centennial Medal. - See more at: Twitter: @KristopherWells and


  • Major Scholarly Grant, Member, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), “Family Functioning in Everyday Life: The Experiences of Families with Young Children and Diverse Compositions and Ethno-Cultural Origins,” led by Dr. Deanna Williamson, University of Alberta.

  • Major Scholarly Grant, Co-Investigator, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), “Reducing Stigma, Promoting Resilience: Population Health Interventions for LGBTQ Youth,” led by Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, University of British Columbia.

  • Affiliate Researcher, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), “Sexual & Gender Diversity: Vulnerability and Resilience,” Université du Québec à Montréal.

  • Roger S. Smith Undergraduate Student Research Award (Mentor), Office of the Vice-President – Research, University of Alberta, From Pain to Pride: Researching and Reclaiming the History of Edmonton’s Queer Communities.

  • was launched by iSMSS in September 2012. The site posts live tweets with homophobic words, sometimes used casually but ultimately reinforcing prejudices against sexual minorities. has struck a nerve and received worldwide attention because it shows the real world of homophobia rather than simply being a commentary. has been featured in over 50 international publications, including the Economist, Atlantic, Guardian, Independent, Globe & Mail, and on CBS and BBC News. NoHomophobes was created for iSMSS by Calder Bateman Communications of Edmonton, along with development partner, Burnkit of Vancouver.

  • is the second phase of the NoHomophobes project. This phase uses crowd sourcing and machine learning techniques to examine the use of casual homophobia online. Please visit our website and participate in this ongoing research.

  • Accepting Gay Youth with Straight Facts is part of the University of Alberta's "What's Next" national campaign. The University of Alberta is filled with people of vision—faculty, students and staff. Not only are they visionary, but they also act on that vision. And their action makes a difference. They are always on to the next great discovery. The pause is short, and then it’s “What’s Next.” Learn more about iSMSS' contribution to this campaign by visiting:

Community Service

  • Co-Chair, Edmonton Police Chief’s Community Advisory Council
  • Co-Director, Camp fYrefly (
  • Co-Founder, Inside/OUT Speakers’ Series, University of Alberta
  • Chair, Edmonton Police Service Sexual Minorities Liaison Committee
  • Founding Board Member, Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities
  • Book Review Editor, International Journal of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (Taylor & Francis, United States)
  • Member, Alberta Hate Crimes Committee
  • Member, Edmonton Public Schools Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Superintendent’s Advisory Committee 

    Courses Taught

    EDPS 410 – Ethics & Law in Teaching
    EDPS 544 – Critical and Feminist Pedagogical Research
    EDPS 590 – Perspectives on Canadian Issues

    Recent Publications

    Wells, K., Roberts, G., & Allan, C. (2012). Supporting transgender and transsexual students in K-12 schools: A guide for educators. Ottawa: ON: Canadian Teachers’ Federation. ISBN 978-0-88989-389-4 (Also available in French)

    Grace, A. P., & Wells, K. (2012). The Marc Hall prom predicament: Queer individual rights v. institutional church rights in Canadian public education. In D. Naugler (Ed.), Canadian perspectives in sexualities studies: Identities, experiences, and the contexts of change (pp. 179-192). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. [Chapter Reprint]

    Wells, K. (2013, August). Why we should boycott the Sochi Games [Featured Opinion Editorial]. Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, AB. Retrieved from (Reprinted in Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen, The Province, & Montreal Gazette)

    Wells, K. (2012, November). Homophobic bullying [Fact Sheet]. Edmonton, AB: Government of Alberta.

    Wells, K. (2012, November). Edmonton Public Schools: Sexual orientation and gender identity administrative regulations. Retrieved from

    Wells, K. (2012, Spring). Generation queer: Sexual and gender minority youth and Canadian schools. ATA Magazine. Retrieved from [Revised Reprint]

    Hillyard, A., & Wells, K. (2012, Spring). Sexual and gender minority curricular outcomes, K-3. Edmonton, AB: Government of Alberta.

    Wells, K. (2011, November). Edmonton Public Schools: Sexual orientation and gender identity policy. Retrieved from

    Wells, K., & Moore MacDonald, B. (2011, July). Sexual and gender minority: Moving beyond words for safe and inclusive schools. Perspectives, pp.19-20. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

    Wells, K., Pratch, L., & Bewick, K. (2011, June). Sexual orientation and gender identity: Recommended fiction and nonfiction resources for K-12 schools. Invited publication for Edmonton Public Schools & Edmonton Public Library.