National Council on Education 2014-2015
Heather Pullen APR, MCM
Manager, Public Relations and Communications
Hamilton Health Sciences
Heather Pullen is Manager of the Public Relations & Communications Department at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). In that capacity, she plays a key role in developing and executing multi-faceted communication programs related to activities and services at six hospitals and a cancer centre, all located in Hamilton, Ontario. Heather joined HHS in 2002 after working for 10 years as a public relations consultant specializing in health care communications. Prior to that she was a member of the public relations department at The Toronto Hospital (Toronto General and Toronto Western) and, before that, a producer, editor and reporter at CBC Radio (Ottawa and Toronto).
Heather has a degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and recently completed the Master of Communications Management program in the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Over the years Heather has won numerous awards from public relations associations. In 2009, she was the grand prize winner of an international case study competition sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations (the first Canadian to earn this honour.) She also placed first in the 2011 Public Relations Society of America/Institute for Public Relations Health Academy Paper Competition.
Heather teaches crisis communications in the post graduate public relations diploma/certificate program at McMaster University. She has also mentored public relations students and new PR practitioners for many years and received the 2009 Mentorship Award presented by the Hamilton Chapter of CPRS.
Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® Exam Committee, Chief Grader
Colin Babiuk MA, APR, FCPRS
Curriculum Coordinator / Instructor
Colin Babiuk MA, APR, FCPRS is the Curriculum Coordinator and an instructor for the Public Diploma Program at MacEwan University. Colin has over 25 years of experience as a public relations practitioner in the private and public sectors. His experience includes issues management, stakeholder relations, strategic communication planning, media relations and marketing.
Colin holds a diploma in Advertising and Public Relations, MacEwan University, Edmonton (1989). He earned a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management (2004) and completed the Master of Arts in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University, Victoria (2007). Colin has been a CPRS member since 2001 and has served in various roles on the CPRS Edmonton Board since 2004. His roles include Programming Chair, Accreditation Chair, and most recently Mentorship and Education Chair. Colin attained the APR designation in 2004 and was admitted to the College of Fellows in 2012. Additionally, Colin provided input into CPRS National initiatives such as the Pathways to the Profession and the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam and participates as a member of various CPRS National Subcommittees and initiatives: Educators' Roundtable; Accreditation for Educators; and the newly formed National Professional Development Committee.
Co-Deputy Presiding Officer Academic
Fran Gregory APR, MSc
Professor and Co-ordinator, Public Relations Programs
Fran Gregory has accumulated more than 30 years of global professional experience in the practice of public relations and communications working in the manufacturing, financial and service sectors. She is also a communications consultant to organizations as diverse as General Motors, the United Way, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club.
Fran is now putting her passion for communication to work at Conestoga College where she is co-ordinator and professor of both the Public Relations diploma program and the first Bachelor of Public Relations program in Ontario. She continues her professional development by working on various committees: co-author of CPRS Pathways to the Profession (a primer and benchmark for Canadian PR education); a regular contributor to the Accreditation Exam; and co-author of the Canadian definition of PR adopted by the CPRS in 2008. Fran holds her M.Sc. degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University, and earned her APR (accreditation) from CPRS in 2007.
Co-Deputy Presiding Officer Academic
Kathleen Garrett APR
Senior Communications Officer
Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
Kathleen Garrett is an accredited public relations professional with 10 years of experience spanning the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. She is currently the Senior Communications Officer for the Education Quality and Accountability Office, where she has leadership for the agency's inaugural stakeholder engagement strategy for parents, as well as for research communications. She plays a fundamental role in strategic communications planning, issues management and day-to-day operations. Prior to joining EQAO, Kathleen was the Senior Communications Officer for Toronto Rehab, where she managed communications strategies to support corporate milestones and advances in patient care and education and to address issues and crises. In this role, Kathleen developed a corporate communications plan that helped the hospital secure full accreditation, a feat less than 10 per cent of hospitals achieve. Kathleen has a Master of Arts degree in strategic communication from the University of Central Lancashire and a post-graduate certificate in corporate communications from Seneca College.
Patrice Leroux, M.A., ARP
Director, Certificate Applied Communications
and Certificate Public Relations
Université de Montréal
Patrice Leroux is currently the director of two undergraduate programs at Université de Montréal : the Certificate in Applied Communications and the Certificate in Public Relations. Prior to teaching, Patrice worked in public relations for 12 years. In 1999, he created and taught an undergraduate course called Internet and Public Relations, one of the first courses of this kind in Canada. This course has evolved over the years in order to integrate the evolution of the Internet, social media and its impacts on public relations. Since 2011, he has been an associate researcher at the Observatoire des médias sociaux en relations publiques at Université Laval in Québec City.
Patrice also teaches a Web Writing Workshop for Technologia, a private training company with offices in Montreal and Quebec City. He has given this workshop for numerous public and private organizations such as the Canadian Space Agency, Desjardins Group, Hydro-Québec and Canam Group. Patrice has a B.A. in French Studies from Université de Montréal and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from Concordia University. He is an accredited member of the Canadian Public Relations Society since 1996 and a regional grader since 2010.
Chair - Public Relations
Mount Royal University
Jane Stoneman McNichol is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Faculty of Communication Studies at Mount Royal University. Her professional background as a speaker, author and communication strategist spans a career in journalism and consulting in the corporate and government sectors. As an educator, her academic interests include research in scholarship of teaching and learning; transformational change; and issues and ethics in academic leadership. Jane received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, an MBA specializing in Public Relations & Communication Management from Royal Roads University and is currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.
Adjunct Professor,Corporate Communications
Blair began his career as an advertising copywriter then moved into media and public relations for a major trade association in Toronto. He joined Toronto Hydro as its first professional communicator responsible for all internal and external communications. He was at Toronto Hydro for more than 32 years and was member of the senior executive management team there for 15 years, as Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs.
In this role he led the corporate communications, public affairs, public relations, digital communications, employee communications, marketing, media relations and government relations functions at the company. His team created a multi-award-winning corporate communications function that is recognized as being one of the best communications shops in Canada. Most recently they managed Toronto Hydro’s crisis communications response through the December 2013 ice storm.
Blair decided to retire from Toronto Hydro earlier this year to teach in the post-graduate Corporate Communications and Government Relations Programs at Seneca College. He has also joined Weber Shandwick Public Relations as an Associate – Corporate Practice.
Derricke Pieters APR, FCPRS LM
Director of Communications
Department of Justice Canada
Derrick Pieters, APR, FCPRS LM, is Director of Communications, Department of Justice Canada, Prairie Region, based in Edmonton, Alberta and past President of CPRS during two terms, in 2007 and 2009 as well as current Presiding Officer and Chair of the CPRS College of Fellows. He has almost 50 years of extensive experience as a strategic communications planner, team leader, media relations strategist, editor, government information administrator, and public relations consultant.
He is an accredited, award-winning member of the CPRS, having received his APR in 1982 and an Award of Excellence for the use of Social Media in 2008. Derrick is the former vice-president of the CPRS National Education Committee as well as past Presiding Officer of the CPRS National Council on Accreditation on which he served for approximately 15 years. Under his leadership, the Council, in cooperation with the Accreditation Task Force, successfully implemented several important improvements to the accreditation process.
He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan College and Mount Royal College (now both universities). In 2000, Derrick received the Alberta Premier’s Award of Excellence for his contribution to Capital Health’s Y2K communications. In 2008, he received a Team Achievement Award from the Deputy Minister of Justice Canada for his communications contribution to a high impact litigation case. He also has considerable training in business and association management.
Associate Professor & Program Director
Master of Communications Management
Honours Bachelor of Professional Communication
Alex Sévigny is Director of the Master of Communications Management and Honours Bachelor of Professional Communication program, and an associate professor of communication studies and communication management at McMaster University. He co-founded the communication studies program in 2001. He is co-founder and executive director of the COMM-LAB: McMaster Communication Metrics Lab. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Professional Communication, and the co-founder of the international graduate journal, The McMaster Journal of Communication, of which he has been faculty editor for eight years. His specialties are media and communication measurement, social media strategy and management, community building & fundraising, communications management and political communication. He maintains an active consulting practice outside the university alongside his academic work and is an experienced and frequent public speaker.
Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® Exam Subcommittee
PRK Exam Development Lead
Christine Smith, B.ED
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
Educator and communicator, Christine Smith has been an active member of CPRS Toronto for more than 25 years. A former CPRS Toronto board member and editor of PR Perspective, she recently retired after 21 years as a professor of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Centennial College. She has a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education from Brock University and a Diploma of Journalism from Centennial College. She is currently heads up the CPRS Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) exam development team. Prior to teaching, Christine headed up communications for the Scarborough Board of Education, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. She’s also worked as a communicator with Union Gas, RBC and Canadian Tire. Today, as a PR sole practitioner, she specializes in writing for clients in the educational sector.
Chair, National Conference Educator Stream Subcommittee
Amy Thurlow APR, PhD
Chair, Department of Communication Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University
Amy Thurlow is Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University where she has taught for the past eight years. Before joining the Mount's faculty in 2005, she taught communications at the Fred C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University. Prior to that, she was the program co-ordinator for the Advanced Diploma in Public Relations at the Nova Scotia Community College where she was responsible for program delivery and development.
Amy has a PhD in management. Her research is in the area of organizational communication and change. She holds an MA in International Development Studies from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, and a Bachelor of Public Relations degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. She is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) and a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society.
Claudine Wilson, APR
Joan Yates APR, M.Ed
Dean, School of Business
Elizabeth Jane Hirst, ARP, FSCRP LM
Area Coordinator, Public Relations and Marketing Programs