Without a negative vote, all the people running for SWCC board positions for the term 2018-2020 have been approved. And now onward to Vancouver and what looks like a great annual conference.

Stephen Strauss

Past President, Chair of Election Committee



Douglas Keddy 

Douglas Keddy has served as Western University’s Research Communications Manager since 2004, where he helps coordinate communications, storytelling and marketing activities that position the university’s research activities locally, nationally and internationally.

He also founded Research Communicators Canada, which seeks to share best practices, expand networks and facilitate development of the research communications profession to advance institution specific, collective and personal goals, while supporting efforts to increase awareness of Canadian research activities at home and abroad. 

A passionate storyteller who believes strongly in increasing scientific literacy, Douglas is particularly interested in joining the SWCC’s board to bring the perspective of university science communicators, and to attempt to bridge challenges and opportunities facing science journalists and institutional communications professionals.


Michael Dwyer

 In running for the post of Vice President, I want to help the SWCC to discover and realize its potential as an organization that works for its full spectrum of members: journalists, freelance science writers and artists, and communicators working for various science-oriented organizations. 

In recent years I have worked as a public affairs officer at both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Many of you know me from the CIHR Journalism Awards, a program I developed and ran from 2008 to 2013. In my role as a government science communicator, I have participated in the SWCC since 2006. 

Before joining government I worked as a contractor in the high tech sector, for Cognos Inc. (a major Ottawa software firm) and Bell-Northern Research, the research arm of Nortel Networks, Canada’s greatest (and most tragic ) high tech story. 

My career started off with degrees in Biophysics and Journalism, which led to jobs at the Stratford Beacon Herald (cub reporter) and Computing Canada (assistant editor). 

I would be honoured to work for the SWCC as Vice President, and I ask you to please support my candidacy. 

Michael Dwyer 


Jennifer Gagne

Jennifer Gagne is a science communicator who loves creating events for people to discover the wonder of the planet through science. Her favourite tasks involve pulling together programs on shoe-string budgets with a bunch of eager volunteers to create moments of wonder and discovery. She is with Parks Canada in Banff National Park as their in-resort visitor experience officer.

Past science communications adventures include being the Interim Executive Director for the CSWA where she was the lead organizer for the 2015 conference in Saskatoon and being part of TRIUMF's communication team in Vancouver. She has been part of the SWCC for more than a decade and is excited about the future of this growing organization. 

She loves the way science communication sparks curiosity and appreciation for our planet, and opens one's mind to ponder our weird, and as of yet, unexplained existence.


Patchen Barss


I’m interested helping the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada lead at a time of accelerating change. 

That means building a community that actively welcomes a rich diversity of science writers. It means offering training, mentorship, and career building. And it means fostering and communicating values that support ethical, honest practices. I’m currently a Board Member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I’ve worked as a journalist—National Post, Discovery Channel, Scientific American, Nautilus—and as a communicator—Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Council of Ontario Universities. I’ve also done a lot of work that fits neither category—books, videos, websites, museum exhibits, and more. 

I don’t know what comes next. But I do know that success relies on leading change rather than chasing it. I hope to help the SWCC and its members to be leaders in our field.


Carolyn Fell

Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Compute Ontario 

As Director, Stakeholder Relations and Communications at Compute Ontario, I create opportunities to bring together stakeholders, government, and media to support Advanced Research Computing. I have 15 years experience in communications, public affairs, and stakeholder outreach.

Prior to joining Compute Ontario, I was with Canadian Beverage Association (CBA). There I was responsible for directing all communications for the association and acted as spokesperson on behalf of the association’s diverse member communities.

I wish to join the Board of Science Writers and Communicators of Canada as I believe in excellence across all fields of communications, and recognise the unique challenges in knowledge translation from scientific concepts into common understanding. As the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, exchanging best practices and championing this work is exceptionally important.

I bring four years of Board experience to SWCC, including two years as treasurer.

SWCC 2017/2018 Committees

2018 Conference Committee:

Central Committee: Chapin Korosec, Alexandra Kasper, Shelley McIvor, Michelle Riedlinger, Janice Benthin, Tim Lougheed

For SFU: Claire Cupples, Susanne Stockdill, Eileen van der Flier-Keller, Rachel Jones

For STAN: Sandra Corbeil, Pauline Finn

For Science World: Pauline Finn, Elizabeth Hand, Jo-Ann Coggan, Sandra Corbeil

The Team:

                        Terry Lavender

                        Sara Boon

                        Mika McKinnon

                        Kylie Williams

                        Marg Sheridan

                        Eve Rickert

                        Theresa Liao

                        Josh Silberg

                        Anne Steino

                        Megan Helmer

                        Lauren Borja

                        Kristina Campbell

                        Alan Shapiro

                        Eric Jandciu


Awards Committee:

Kate Allen chair, Miriam Shuchman, Andy Visser deVries, Brian Owens, Eva Everything, Ivan Semeniuk, Emily Chung, Genna Buck.


Ethics Committee:

Ivan Semeniuk, chair

ED Job Description Committee:

Tim Lougheed chair, Stephen Strauss, Jennifer Gagne, Andy Visser deVries

Membership Committee:

Jay Whetter, chair

Nomination/Election Committee:

Stephen Strauss, chair, Michelle Riedlinger, Terry Lavender

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