Catherine L. Aherne has been involved in the areas of clear communication, project and people management for over a decade in both the private and public sector, first as a writer and trainer, then in the roles of Director of Information Development and Training, and Chief Knowledge Officer for various software organizations.
Catherine has been engaged in issues around literacy and plain language through her work with Clear Language and Design (CLAD), the public education program of the Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development since its inception. As a Senior Associate with CLAD, Catherine has worked with many organizations to improve the clarity and readability of both print and online publications, and to provide hands on plain language training. In 2004, Catherine expanded her portfolio to include teaching at the college level – first at Centennial College and now at Humber College in the English department.
Catherine holds an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree from Acadia University. Most recently, she completed TESL certification through Humber College and is a member of TESL Ontario.
Laura Berg is the president and founder of My Smart Hands Inc., one of North America’s leading Baby Signing companies. Her YouTube channel is one of Canada’s top ranked channels with over 30 million views. Because of her ranking, she was invited to join Maker Studio, North America’s largest YouTube network.
Laura started her business out of her home and has seen it blossom into an international company with over 200 instructors worldwide. Utilizing social media, specifically YouTube, she grew her brand internationally, becoming a recognized expert in the field of baby signing. In 2011, Laura secured a book deal with Avery Books, a division of Penguin Group (USA). Her definitive guide, The Baby Signing Bible was published in September 2012.
Laura has won many awards and been recognized in the media all over the world. She appeared on Canada’s Dragons’ Den television show where she secured a business deal from two of the investors. Laura was also named a top 10 Chatelaine Entrepreneur of the Year and a finalist in the TBOT Business of the Year award. She has appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star, been showcased in the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business Magazine, MacLean’s Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. Visit the media page for a complete list.
Laura’s extensive background in entrepreneurship, business and branding has lead her to become an international speaker sharing her experiences and teaching others the ins and outs of business and branding
Suzanne (Sue) Bowness (www.suzannebowness.com) is a writer/editor with over 18 years of experience writing everything from feature articles to brochures to web profiles. She helped to develop Humber’s Professional Writing and Communications graduate certificate.
Suzanne writes regularly for the Globe and Mail, University Affairs, and other publications, and is a strong generalist with specialties in higher education, business, technology, and books. Through her copywriting business CodeWord Communications (www.codeword.ca) she provides editorial services from copywriting to editing to proofreading for a variety of corporate clients.
Suzanne holds a PhD in English from the University of Ottawa and has been teaching in the English and Media Studies departments at Humber College since 2013. Prior to that she taught courses at York University and the University of Ottawa. She is a longstanding member and volunteer with the Professional Writers Association of Canada and has published a book of poetry called The Days You've Spent (2010).
Trudy Goldenberg is a communications and business strategy consultant, advising a variety of organizations on how to align and integrate marketing activities to achieve business goals. Her experience includes more than 13 years of overseeing the corporate communications and marketing activities of two of Canada’s leading law firms. She also has significant international communications and cross-cultural consulting experience.
Trudy hosts a monthly radio program on legal ethics, practice management and professionalism, and speaks regularly at conferences on reputation management, thought leadership and marketing communications.
Brendan Kennedy is an investigative reporter at the Toronto Star, where he has worked since 2009. Prior to joining the investigative team Brendan worked as a sports writer — mainly writing about baseball and the Blue Jays — from 2012 through 2016. He has also covered all manner of daily calamity as a general assignment news reporter for the Star, the Ottawa Citizen and the Kingston Whig-Standard. But his first paid newspaper gig was as a music writer. He studied English Literature and Global Development Studies at Queen's University in Kingston.
Dave (D.D.) Miller has published articles and stories in a number of journals and anthologies and is the author of a collection of short fiction, David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories (W&W: A Buckrider Book, 2014), and a book of sports social history, Eight-Wheeled Freedom (Wolsak & Wynn 2016).
A professor in Humber’s English Department, Miller also serves on the editorial board (fiction) of The Humber Literary Review. He received undergraduate degrees in English literature and creative writing at Mount Allison University and the University of Victoria before completing his MFA at the University of Guelph.
Meaghan Strimas began teaching at Humber College in 2012 in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the School of Media Studies and Information Technology. She has been a full-time professor in Humber’s Department of English since the fall of 2015, where she also serves as the editor of The Humber Literary Review. In the fall of 2017, Strimas began teaching in the Professional Writing & Communications postgraduate program; she is now the coordinator of the program.
Before coming to Humber, Strimas worked for the University of Guelph for several years, serving as the administrator for the Creative Writing MFA program (which she helped develop) and as the coordinator for the continuing education program, Creative Writing at Guelph. Additionally, she has worked as a freelance proofreader, copy editor, and project manager, and as the marketing manager for Quill & Quiremagazine.
Strimas is the author of three collections of poetry and the editor of The Selected Gwendolyn MacEwen. Her most recent collection, Yes or Nope, was the winner of the 2017 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Strimas is at work on a novel and a new collection, and she is co-editor, with author and York University professor Priscila Uppal, of Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, which will be published in the fall of 2018.
Strimas holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from Concordia University.
Nathan Whitlock is the author of two novels: A Week of This (ECW Press, 2008) and Congratulations On Everything (ECW Press, 2016).
His fiction, reviews, essays, and journalism have appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Fashion, Flare, Maisonneuve, Best Canadian Essays and elsewhere. He serves on the advisory board for the Humber Literary Review, and is the editor of Humber Press.
He studied English Literature and History at Concordia University, and is currently completing a Master’s Fine Arts in Creative Writing Degree through the University of British Columbia. He lives in Toronto with his family.