Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Sarah Elaine Eaton

Associate Professor

Werklund School of Education, Specialization, Leadership

Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity

Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Media contacts

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist

Email: clmacgil@ucalgary.ca
Twitter: @UCalgaryEduc

Phone number

Office: 403.220.6378


Office: EDT916


Educational Background

Doctor of Philosophy Leadership, Policy and Governance, University of Calgary, 2009

M.A. Hispanic Literature, University of Calgary, 1997

B.A. English Lang & Or Literature, Saint Mary's University, 1992


Dr. Eaton earned her B.A. (Hons.) from Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, Canada) and both her M.A. (Spanish) and Ph.D (Educational Leadership) from the University of Calgary (Calgary, Canada). Eaton began teaching at the University of Calgary in 1994 as a part-time sessional instructor. She is currently an Associate Professor, specializing in Educational Leadership, Policy and Governance.

She has presented her work and conducted teacher training and faculty development and seminars in person across Canada, as well as in the UK, the US, Mexico, Honduras, and Cuba. She has presented virtually in dozens of countries around the world.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Canadian Association for the Study of Education (CSSE)
  • Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE)
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE)
  • International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI)
  • European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI)
  • International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)
  • Society for the Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)

In addition, Dr. Eaton offers expertise to a variety of government and non-profit organizations. From 2012 to 2017 she supported the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs with her knowledge in the areas of program development, evaluation and strategic planning for educational organizations. Her work has contributed to the ongoing development and improvement of public diplomacy programs enacted through the teaching of American English that operate in more than 100 countries worldwide.


Areas of Research

Scholarly Activity

Dr. Eaton’s research program focuses on academic ethics, specializing in academic integrity including plagiarism, contract cheating, and academic misconduct policy.

Funded Research:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: The Ethics of Teaching and Learning with Algorithmic Writing Technologies. University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grant 2022-2025. Sarah Elaine Eaton (P.I.), Robert Brennan (Co-Investigator), Jason Wiens (Co-Investigator), and Brenda McDermott (Co-Investigator). $40,000 CAD

  • Academic Integrity Online: Developing Support Mechanisms for Online Graduate Students to Understand Plagiarism. University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grant. Sarah Elaine Eaton (P.I.), Jennifer Lock (Co-Investigator) and Meadow Schroeder (Co-Investigator) $35,206.00 CAD
  • Research Development Grant, Werklund School of Education. Sarah Elaine Eaton (P.I.) $1,500 CAD
  • Pre-service teachers at risk: Intervention strategies for and by teachers. Alberta Advisory Committee for Educational Studies (AACES) Grant). Amy Burns, PI; Sarah Elaine Eaton (Co-Investigator), Diane Gereluk and Katherine Mueller (Co-Investigators) $5,984 CAD
  • Investigating academic integrity in the Werklund School of Education: Process, policy and perceptions. Werklund School of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant.  Sarah Elaine Eaton (P.I.) $10,000 CAD.
  • Student Learning in Synchronous Online Classes. Werklund School of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant.  Barbara Brown, (P.I.), Sarah Elaine Eaton (Co-investigator) and Meadow Schroeder (Co-investigator) $10,000 CAD.
  • Developing a Community-Based Bachelor of Education Program, Dr. Dianne Gereluk (P.I.), Dr. Roswita Dressler (Co-investigator) and Dr. S. Eaton (Co-investigator), SSHRC Insight Development Enhancement Grant, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. $2500 CAD
  • Building a Robust Online Teacher Education Program - Dr. Dianne Gereluk (P.I.), Dr. Roswita Dressler (Co-investigator) and Dr. S. Eaton (Co-investigator), Werklund School of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant. $10,000 CAD.
  • Higher education administration and leadership
  • Ethics
  • Academic integrity
  • Plagiarism
  • Contract cheating
  • Research ethics
  • Research integrity
  • Fraud and corruption in higher education
  • Admissions fraud
  • Action research
  • Educational administration and leadership
  • Educational leadership

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
EDER 602 LEC 02 02 Program & Practice Evaluation 2020
EDER 70308 LEC 03 03 Directed Study 2021
EDER 705 LEC 01 01 Doc Seminar in Educ Leadership 2020


  • Award for Exemplary Research, European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI). 2022
  • Research and Scholarship Award, Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE). 2020
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 2015


  • A Canadian online rural education teacher preparation program: Course design, student support and engagement. Dianne T Gereluk; Roswita Dressler Dr.; Sarah Elaine Eaton. Werklund School of Education Research & Publications. 1-15. (2019)
  • Using agent-based modelling for EER experimental design: Preliminary validation based on student cheating behaviours. Laird Gayle; Robyn M Paul; Sarah Elaine Eaton; Robert W Brennan; Nelson Nancy. Canadian Engineering Education Association. 1-8. (2020)
  • Engineering Integrity: Using text-matching software in a graduate levelengineering course. Robin Yates; Laleh Behjat; R Paul; Milana Trifkovic; K Crossman; Sarah Eaton; Elise Fear. Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity. (2019)
  • Plagiarism: Moving from punitive to pro-active approaches. Benedict Kojo Otoo; Sarah Elaine Eaton; Melanie Guglielmin. Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 28-36. (2018)
  • Signature pedagogies in online classes. Barbara Anna Brown; Meadow Schroeder; Sarah Elaine Eaton. Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 66-74. (2017)
  • Designing Synchronous Online Interactions and Discussions. Barbara Anna Brown; Meadow Schroeder; Sarah Elaine Eaton. Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 51-60. (2016)
  • Designing Synchronous Online Interactions and Discussions. Barbara Anna Brown; Sarah Elaine Eaton; Meadow Schroeder. Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 51-60. (2016)
  • Signature pedagogies in online classes. Barbara Anna Brown; Meadow Schroeder; Sarah Elaine Eaton. Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 66-74. (2017)

More Information

Press and Media

Featured Story:

Canadians can't bribe their way into university. Following the US College scandal, Jonathon Muma finds out if Canadians bribe their way in. pic.twitter.com/4V3HG8NiVr

— Breakfast Television & CityNews Calgary (@BTCityNewsCGY) March 14, 2019

Dr. Eaton is an experienced media guest. She has been featured by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); CTV; Global, City TV, as well as various print / web outlets and podcasts. 


Eaton, S. E. (2020, July 5) Academic Misconduct during the Pandemic. Television interview with Jennifer Burke for CTV News Channel, Canada.

Eaton, S. E. (2020, March 3) Cheating scheme leaves 40 U of A students facing 'significant sanctions'/Interviewer: Television interview with Jason Halbauer. CTV News Edmonton & Calgary.

Eaton, S. E. (2019, October 11) Young Kids Targeted for Contract Cheating /Interviewer: J. Rocher. Bridge City News, Lethbridge, AB. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/8focCRkImLc.

Eaton, S. E. Muma, J. (Reporter). (2019, March 13). Canadian parents can't bribe universities to accept kids. Television interview with Jon Muma for CityTV News. Canada: Rogers Media Inc. Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/BTCityNewsCGY/status/1106015349596577793


Eaton, S. E. (2020, March 3) Cheating allegations at the U of A -- among computing science student/Interviewer: M. Cummings. CBC News, Edmonton AM. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-17-edmonton-am/clip/15764006-cheating-at-the-u-of-a

Eaton, S. E. (2020, February 7) Exam cheating in Newfoundland/Interviewer: B. Hillier. CBC Newfoundland Morning. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-210-cbc-newfoundland-morning

Eaton, S. E. (2019, September 9) Academic Integrity: The Cheating Epidemic/Interviewer: M. Smyth. Lynda Steele Show, Global News Radio: 980 CKNW, Vancouver.

Calgary Eyeopener: CBC Radio.  (2017, October 18). The problem of contract cheating. http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/calgary-eyeopener/segment/14438512 (Interviewed by host, David Gray.)

Eaton, S.E. (2012, May 18). Language learning for lifelong fulfillment and joy. Your Life, Unlimited, CJOB 68, Winnipeg, MB: Interviewed by Stephanie Staples, host.

Print / web media

Lai, L. (2020, April 17). Explore academic integrity and combat virtual cheating in online courses. UCalgary News. S. Eaton, interviewed.  Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/news/explore-academic-integrity-and-combat-virtual-cheating-online-courses 

Antoneshyn, A. (2020, March 4). Cheating scheme leaves 40 U of A students facing 'significant sanctions'. CTV News (Edmonton). (Eaton, S.E., interviewed.) https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/cheating-scheme-leaves-40-u-of-a-students-facing-significant-sanctions-1.4836954

Slark, C. (2020, February 5). Students had exam questions before writing it: BUSU president. Brandon Sun. Retrieved from https://www.brandonsun.com/local/Students-had-exam-questions-before-writing-it-BUSU-president-567576241.html (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Snow, J. (2019, October 9). Commercial contract cheating: How common is it? U Calgary News. Retrieved from https://news.ucalgary.ca/news/commercial-contract-cheating-how-common-it (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Student and Enrollment Services Staff. (2019, February 27). What is “pay to pass”?: Understand the issues around paying for academic support. UToday. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2019-02-27/what-pay-pass (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Werklund School of Education Staff. (2018, August 3). Quotation marks, crib notes, and contract cheating: How a new online tutorial is building awareness among online students at the Werklund School. UToday. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2018-08-03/quotation-marks-crib-notes-and-contract-cheating (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Sowa, J. (2018, March 16). Campus scholars warned about increasing problem posed by predatory journals and conferences. UToday. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2018-03-16/campus-scholars-warned-about-increasing-problem-posed-predatory-journals-and.

Ruddock, K. (2018, January 2). Digital repository improvements expand accessibility of research by UCalgary scholars. UToday. Retrieved from http://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2018-01-02/digital-repository-improvements-expand-accessibility-research-ucalgary-scholars (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Schellenberg, J. (2017, Nov. 8). University of Calgary looks to combat emerging academic black markets. Gauntlet. Retrieved from http://www.thegauntlet.ca/university-of-calgary-looks-to-combat-emerging-academic-black-markets/ (Eaton, S.E., interviewed).

Hunt, S. (2017, October 18). (Eaton, S.E., Interviewed.) Contract cheaters auction off homework to dark web ghostwriters. CBC News Calgary. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/contract-cheating-international-day-of-action-contract-cheating-1.4360193

Rice, B. (2017, January 17). (Eaton, S.E., Interviewed.) When The White House Calls…. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2017-01-17/when-white-house-calls


C. Hunt (Producer). (2020, July 5). Episode: The Human Risk Podcast: Dr Sarah Eaton on Ethics In Academia.S. Eaton, interviewed. https://kite.link/sarah

S. Lawrence (Producer). (2020, April 30). Episode 141: Academic integrity: Do the right thing. S. Eaton, interviewed.  https://www.theedpodcast.com/episodes/conversation-141-do-the-right-thing