There are two inter-connected disciplines a post-secondary teacher brings: Knowledge and competency in teaching pedagogy and currency and connection to industry. I am committed to continuous learning in both. Both provide me different sources of energy in the classroom.
When I am not teaching, I continue to advise organizations on communication management and write and research on business, energy, culture and social policy.
At DC, my classes focus on fundamentals of content development including writing, research, interview, design and digital media techniques to create compelling stories whether for news or PR. I also supervise second-year public relations students in the production of Reflections, Durham College’s alumni magazine with a 27,000+ circulation.
s-on work in
When I joined DC I had been in management positions for over a decade. This meant, in order to teach hands-on skills to students starting their careers, I needed to update my knowledge and skill using current software for layout, design, photo management and video editing. I invested in the time to do this and I make a conscious effort to use the tools I am now teaching in my consulting practice. I am internalizing them through real-world applications to better understand their relevance to my students.
One external project where I apply these skills is production of a quarterly magazine, COGNIZANT (click HERE for recent issue) for the CANDU Owners Group, a member association for CANDU nuclear plant operators worldwide.
Furthering the profession of public relations
In addition to my professional work, I am continuing on the journey I began when I completed my Master of Communications Management in a joint degree program at McMaster and the Newhouse School of Communication at Syracuse University.
This summer I will teach a course on Reputation and Brand Management in the program. Aside from the added valuable experience I will gain from teaching at the Master’s level, I will also benefit from interaction with the students, who are accomplished professionals working in the field.
As vice president at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) from 2010 – 2014, I reported to the company president and led the Ontario-wide team responsible for corporate communications and its relationships with communities, First Nation and Métis peoples, government, media, academic and industry partners, as well as OPG’s valued employees. Accountabilities also included oversight of OPG’s corporate citizenship, digital media, advertising and internal communication programs.
Prior to my promotion to vice president, I held a number of progressively senior roles beginning when I was hired at OPG as a stakeholder and media relations manager in 2003.
A career highlight was a decade (1994-2003) spent as a community newspaper reporter and editor for Metroland’s Durham Media Group covering politics, energy, environment and the people who make Durham Region an incredible place to live, play and work. While at the paper, my work was recognized with 16 international, national and regional awards. I had the opportunity to visit and cover stories in places as far-flung as Russia, France and Spain in addition to those in the Durham community. The first four years I worked with Metroland, I did so as a freelancer, working with other media outlets and organizations including writing for Lakeridge Health Oshawa.
Prior to 2004, I worked in publication management (production manager / art director), as a typesetter, a writer and in an entry level role at a Toronto radio station, CJCL (now Fan 590) where I got my start. There I wrote public service announcements, represented the station in promotional activities, managed the listener members club and answered the phones.
BOARDS AND OTHER VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
In 2008, Metroland Durham Region Media Group nominated me for the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award. Although I did not win, I was honoured to have my former colleagues recognize my community service.
Over the years I have taken much joy from community service in everything from grassroots minor league softball coaching to serving as a director on many boards including the Council of the Great Lakes Region, the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and especially my role as chair of the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance. In my time as chair, our executive team had the pleasure of driving through the application for an innovation incubator in Durham Region, once housed in Durham College and now known as the Spark Centre based in downtown Oshawa. Here is a recent article written about the history of the Spark Centre.