Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence


All Professional Development instructors are highly qualified. Their knowledge and skills are backed by hands-on experience.


Kathy Absolon-King, MSW, PhD
(Indigenous Peoples: Addiction and Recovery)

In Anishinaabe, Kathy, is also known as Minogiizhigokwe (Shining Day Woman). Kathy is Anishinaabe kwe from Flying Post First Nation in Ontario. She is Marten Clan and also Second Degree Midewiwin of the Three Fires Society Midewiwin Lodge. Her work in Indigenous knowledge is rooted in her experiences of growing up close to the land. Her passion for wellness among her people has been one of the driving forces in her 20 years of work as a social worker and helper, educator and knowledge searcher. Kathy was Program Coordinator for B’saanibamaadsiwin Native Mental Health Program from 1996-2003 when she left to pursue doctoral studies. In 2008 Kathy received her PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is the author of Kaandossiwin: How we come to know, as well as articles and chapters on Native mental health, Indigenous research, Indigenous social work practice, community healing and wellness and Indigenous knowledge.

Kathy is an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the MSW Aboriginal Field of Study, using holistic approaches to teaching and learning.   


Stephanie Baker, PhD(c), RSW
(Concurrent Disorders)

Stephanie is a registered social worker who has been practising in the field for the past 17 years. Her experience spans a range of areas including acquired brain injury, addictions, intimate partner violence, mental health, concurrent disorders and trauma. She has provided individual, marital, family and group counselling throughout the duration of her practice in both community and institutional settings.

Stephanie is currently a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University and negotiates several additional responsibilities in conjunction with full-time studies. Clinically, she is a social worker with the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Program at the Niagara Health System, facilitates domestic violence groups with the Family Counselling Centre (Niagara) and offers consultation and training for various community organizations. In the academic realm, she is an instructor for McMaster University in the Addiction Education Program and is both an instructor and research assistant at Laurier.

Cathy Brothers, MSW
(Resource Management and Development)

In February 2010, Cathy became the first Executive Director in Residence of Capacity Waterloo Region.

After undergraduate degree from University of Toronto, Cathy received a Master of Social Work degree at Wilfrid Laurier University. For over 40 years, Cathy has held senior management roles in health and social services, most recently as the Executive Director at Mosaic Counselling & Family Services. Cathy taught social policy courses for 20 years in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Guelph.
Presently, Cathy is a member of the Barnraisers Council in Waterloo Region and WLU President’s Council of Advisors. In addition to being a founding member for several social service organizations, Cathy's community service has included board membership with St. Jerome’s University, the Rotary Club of Kitchener-Westmount, Family Service Ontario, Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services, St. Mary's General Hospital and St. Joseph's Health Care System. Cathy is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and an Honorary Senior Fellow at Renison College, University of Waterloo. In 2011, as part of Laurier's Centennial Celebrations, Cathy was selected as a member of Laurier's 100 Alumni of Distinction.

Jaime Brown, PhD
(Program Evaluation)

Jaime earned a PhD in applied social psychology at the University of Guelph. Her keen interest in intervention theory, design and evaluation has continued to grow through her 10 years of work as an applied research and evaluation consultant with community-based research organizations, provincial and federal government and health and social service agencies. Jaime has research and evaluation experience in a variety of content areas, but is particularly passionate about health and mental health services. Jaime’s main interests include social determinants, effects and strategies for preventing and managing chronic illness, health policy, citizen/public participation and social justice issues in health services. Jaime’s interests also include child development and family relations. She was involved on the design team of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth and in a pan-Canadian community-based research project examining the meaning and impact of father involvement on fathers, child development and family relationships. Jaime has experience facilitating professional training and development sessions about evidence-informed decision-making and knowledge translation and exchange, and teaching university psychology, statistics and program evaluation. Before joining Taylor Newberry Consulting, Inc., Jaime coordinated a national project to support knowledge translation in public health practice and policy for the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health at McMaster University. 


Theresa Casteels, EdD, CPsych
(Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy)

Theresa is a psychologist in private practice. She has run regular mindfulness groups in her practice since attending the first international training opportunity in MBCT in 2002, led by the founders of this approach (Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Jon Kabat-Zinn). In 2008-2009 she ran the MBCT groups for Dr. Zindel Segal at CAMH for his most recent research into the comparative effects of MBCT and anti-depressant medication in preventing depression relapse.

In her practice, Theresa also does individual counselling for individuals learning to cope with anxiety, stress, depression and eating disorders, among other issues. Previously, she worked for 16 years at the University of Waterloo Counselling Services, where she did individual counselling and functioned as coordinator of the internship program. She also taught Group Counselling, Theories and Techniques of Individual Counselling, Clinical Interventions and courses in developmental, adolescent and educational psychology at St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo Psychology Department.

Scot Cooper
(Brief Single Session Therapy)
(Advanced Single Session Therapy)
(Introduction to Narrative Therapy)

Alongside 16 years of therapeutic practice, Scot has been teaching single session therapy for more than a decade. As founder of the Brief Narrative Practices Project and Supervisor of the Haldimand Norfolk REACH Walk-in Counselling Clinic he continues to further his exploration of competency-based single session therapy. Scot’s therapeutic work and teaching spans a range of contexts, including consulting with mental health clinics, child protection services, residential service providers and school personnel. His most recent publications include the co-editing of the book, Masters of Narrative and Collaborative Therapies: The voices of Andersen, Anderson, and White (2011 Routledge Publishing), and the articles, Narrative Community Practice: Neighbouring Communities Re-visited (2011, Journal of Systemic Therapies). His high energy and engaging style makes for an interactive, lively learning experience.

Rick Csiernik, BSc, BSW, MSW, PhD, RSW

Professor, School of Social Work, King's University College at Western University, Rick has written and edited eight books, including Substance Use and Abuse: Everything Matters, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction and Wellness and Work: EAP in Canada, authored 140 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has been an invited presenter to over 200 national and international conferences, workshops and seminars. He has been part of research teams that have received over $3 million in funding and has been on the King's University College honour role of teaching 14 consecutive times. Rick was the co-developer of the McMaster University Addiction Studies Program where he has taught for over 25 years and was the inaugural recipient of the McMaster University Instructor Appreciation award.


Annette Dekker, MSW, RSW, RMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor
(Clinical Supervision)

Annette is currently in private practice and also a part-time assistant professor with the Department of Family Medicine of McMaster University.

Annette has over 30 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings across the province and has been teaching and supervising in the field of family therapy and social work since 1995. Most recently she worked for seven years with the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team. Annette enjoys mentoring the next generation of social workers and family therapists because this brings diversity to her professional life and challenges her to remain current in the field. Annette practices therapy from a collaborative stance of curiosity and continues to be amazed by the resilience and strengths that people have.

Lorral Deline, MA, ICADC
(Counselling Techniques in Addiction Practice)

Lorral has an MA in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and a post-graduate diploma in Addictions Treatment and Prevention from Georgian College. Throughout her 13 year career, she has worked across the continuum of care in various capacities and has designed and delivered training workshops for healthcare professionals in the field. Her frontline experience includes working in residential and outpatient settings treating diverse client populations including clients with concurrent disorders, mandated clients, women and children, cross-cultural populations, couples and family members.  A career highlight includes her employment in the Cayman Islands to develop and implement residential treatment protocols for government funded programs. Presently, Lorral is employed with William Osler Health System in the Mental Health and Addictions Program providing outpatient addiction counselling services. She also enjoys a part-time private practice with Pace Consulting Group providing specialization in the area of substance abuse problems for Employee Assistance Programs. She has been a member of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation since 1999 and holds the International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor designation. 


Marshall Fine, EdD
(Ethics in Social Work)

Marshall is a professor in the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University. He has been involved in the teaching of professional ethics in couple and family therapy and social work over the last few decades. His current research, writing and presentations centre on ethics in social work practice. He was a member of the ethics committee for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and has acted as a consultant and reviewer on ethical related matters related to social work practice.


Sue Gallagher, MSW, RSW
(Core Counselling)
(Foundations of Trauma)

Sue is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University. In over 29 years of clinical practice, Sue has focused on work in the field of crisis and trauma. Sue is currently a member of the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre where she responds to acute cases of sexual and domestic violence through the emergency departments of two local hospitals. She also provides ongoing counselling to those men, women and children who have experienced sexual and/or domestic violence. As well, Sue offers counselling through Cardinal Counselling and Mediation in Waterloo.

Sue currently teaches in the Social Work programs at York University and Wilfrid Laurier, as well as in the Social Services program at Conestoga College. Sue teaches a course on Trauma and Trauma Healing at Conrad Grebel University College and, along with Sandy Jardine, provides a variety of workshops with consistently positive feedback from participants!

Karma Guindon, MSW, RSW
(Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)

Karma is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a registered social worker and registered Marriage & Family Therapist. Karma has been a practicing therapist since 1994, beginning her career as a group therapist for child, adolescent and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and supervising group therapy interns. She has also worked in the areas of adolescent eating disorders and adult mental health. Karma practiced for 10 years at a child and adolescent therapy program at a York Region teaching hospital. Currently, she works in private practice providing couple and family therapy, and individual therapy to children, adolescents and adults. She is an adjunct faculty member with the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and teaches courses to MSW students at Laurier. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate and provides supervision to students and therapy trainees and consultation to mental health professionals.

Karma co-authored a DBT workbook for teens, which was published in 2009. She uses a systems-based and integrative approach to practice, informed by DBT, narrative therapy, CBT and psychodynamic models.


Sandy Jardine, MSW, RSW
(Core Counselling)
(Foundations of Trauma)

Sandy is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to her social work career, Sandy taught school in P.E.I. and B.C.

In her 15 years as a clinical social worker, Sandy has worked in various settings. For the past seven years she has worked with the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre where she responds to acute cases of sexual and domestic violence. Sandy is an associate faculty and coordinator of the Applied Counselling post-degree, post-diploma program at Conestoga College.

In her private counselling practice, located in Cambridge, Sandy works with individuals, couples and families. She is a clinical investigator with the Office of the Children's Lawyer and recently became certified as a Field Trauma Specialist, Compassion Fatigue Specialist and she continues her coursework to be certified as a Clinical Traumatologist through the Traumatology Institute of Canada.

In partnership with Sue Gallagher, Sandy develops and delivers workshops to various agencies, professionals and community groups.  


Hilton King, BSW, MSW
(Indigenous Peoples: Addiction and Recovery)

Hilton is Anishinaabe from Wasauksing First Nation. His Anishinaabe name is Wahmahtig (Leaning Tree). He is First Degree Mediwiwin of the Three Fires Society Mediwiwin Lodge. Hilton has a background in Native mental health, addictions, justice and child welfare. He received his BSW from Ryerson University in 2010 and is currently working on his Masters in Social Work at Laurier, with an emphasis in wholistic healing knowledge. Hilton is also a talented drum maker and has facilitated many cultural-based workshops on the drum, shakers and teachings of the Anishinaabe peoples. His social work practice is rooted in his cultural identity as an Anishinaabe man. Hilton is a respected community helper and held a political position for four years within his community, which contributed to his knowledge of mental health, justice and child welfare.


Brenda Kinnear, CMC, BSW
(Human Resource Management)

Brenda is the president and founder of Kinnear & Associates Consulting. She is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) holding the designation of CMC and currently sits on the board of the Southwest Chapter of the association. Brenda is a graduate of the University of Windsor's Faculty of Social Work. She has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a certificate in Negotiation and Mediation, both from the University of Toronto. Brenda is a member of the Human Resource Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO), a director on the Bayfield and Area (BACC) Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Huron County Optimist Club. Prior to founding Kinnear & Associates, Brenda was co-founder and partner of the Toronto-based general management consulting firms of Barnes, Kinnear Associates and the Barnes Management Group.

Brenda's early social work career began at the Essex County Children's Aid Society as a Family Service Worker, followed by a position as Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator at Toronto Catholic CAS. Until establishing Kinnear & Associates Consulting in 2003, Brenda held senior HR portfolios within the healthcare and social services sectors.

Annette Kussin, MSW, RSW
(Adult Attachment)
(Attachment in Adolescence)

Annette is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and advanced Attachment Focused Therapist. She is the owner/director of the Leaside Therapy Centre, a multi-discipline clinic in Toronto, where she specializes in attachment issues and trauma for children and adults. She has worked in children’s mental health as a therapist, supervisor, manager and clinical director.

Annette has received advanced training in Attachment Focused Therapy from Daniel Hughes and is a member of an advanced consultation group in this model of therapy. She offers consultation to agencies and individual professionals and regularly provides training to organizations throughout Ontario including Safeguards Children’s Services Training, TAPE, Hincks-Dellcrest Institute and children's mental health services and child welfare agencies in the area of attachment, trauma and brain development.


Lisa Pont, MSW,RSW
(Behavioural Addictions)

Lisa has a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University and a Master of Social Work from York University. She started at the Problem Gambling Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as the Older Adult Specialist in 2007. Prior to that, she coordinated the Telephone Support Line at CAMH since its inception in 2003. In all of her professional roles, she has been a strong advocate for people living with mental health and/or addiction issues. Lisa's experience in counseling, outreach, community work and training led her to the position of  Trainer/Therapist with the Problem Gambling Project and Problem Gambling Service at CAMH. She is currently involved in training and counseling in the area of gaming, gambling and Internet overuse.


Colin McVicker, BA, MA
(Group Counselling in Addictions)

Colin has worked in the addictions field for 15 years. He has had the opportunity to work in the U.S. and Ontario healthcare systems treating individuals and their families for concerns around problematic substance use and gambling. He is currently working in the addictions field in a clinical capacity.

Colin has experience working with clients at a variety of levels in the healing process of addiction treatment and has worked with individuals ranging from ages 13 to 89. He is an experienced presenter and has had the opportunity to present at international conferences about new treatment approaches used in the clinical field. 

Colin has had the privilege of treating clients in both individual and group counselling approaches and he looks forward to supporting students in cultivating a deeper understanding of the importance of group counselling in the treatment process of addictions.

Colin has recently completed his Masters of Health Leadership at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. He focused his major research project on developing collaborative treatment practices for concurrently diagnosed patients/clients. Colin has helped facilitate organizational learning sessions on mentorship, team building and conflict resolution and has a keen interest in how teams work together to achieve common goals.

Helen Mullen-Stark, MSW
(Program Development and Project Management)

Helen has been the president of HMS Inc. Human Resource Solutions since 1995. As an independent consultant Helen has engaged in numerous successful consulting ventures within both the private and public sector. Helen has undertaken a number of project management assignments for Children’s Aid Societies, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Society, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and children’s mental health organizations and has also provided facilitation services to a variety of social service providers for organizational restructuring and program development. She has over 30 years experience in the child welfare sector with several Children’s Aid Societies throughout Ontario. Helen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of organizational systems, interagency and intergovernmental linkages.

Lawrence Murphy, MA
(Counselling in a Digital World)

Lawrence is the co-founder of Worldwide Therapy Online Incorporated, the world’s first online clinical practice, established in 1994. In collaboration with the National Board for Certified Counselors, he and co-founder Dan Mitchell authored the first ethical code for online counselling. More recently Lawrence co-authored the online counselling standards for Family Service Ontario’s Clinical Practice Guidelines. Through Therapy Online’s Research Institute Lawrence and his colleagues publish regularly in the academic literature, including their seminal 1998 work When Writing Helps To Heal: Email as Therapy, which has been cited more than 200 times. In collaboration with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, Therapy Online delivers two levels of training in cybercounselling. To date they have trained more than 500 clinicians worldwide. Therapy Online also licenses software to individuals and agencies keen to deliver services online. The multi-lingual PrivacEmail system provides a complete online clinical practice including email-style, chat and video counselling options as well as registration, screening and survey and questionnaire components.

Lawrence holds an adjunct appointment and teaches a graduate course in cybercounselling in the faculty at U of T. Most recently he has delivered workshops in cybercounselling at Victoria University in Melbourne, the Counselling Centre in Thunder Bay and Tulane University in New Orleans. Lawrence holds an MA in Counselling Psychology from UBC.


Michelle Nogueira, RSSW, CAC II, CPGC
(Introduction to Relapse Prevention)

For the past 25 years, Michelle has worked through the continuum of care in the addiction field. She has achieved certifications in gambling, addictions, and is a registered social service worker. Michelle is currently working at Homewood Community Addictions Services as a Problem Gambling Counsellor.

She has been intrigued by problem gambling since 1989 and for the past 10 years has provided outpatient counselling (individual, group) to problem gamblers and their significant others. She has initiated, developed, implemented and facilitated a wide range of programs and services for problem gamblers and their significant others. She has also developed relapse prevention programs for both problem gamblers and substance abusers.

Michelle has had the pleasure to work in all areas of the gambling field and has developed partnerships with key stakeholders in all facets of the gambling industry: treatment, prevention, gambling venues and most recently research. Michelle was a co-investigator on a research project titled A Comprehensive Review of Problem Gambling Self-Assessment Tools for Use on an Internet Platform and was honoured to present the findings in at the International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking in Las Vegas.  

Michelle has been a source for the media and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications (National Post, Financial Post, Globe and Mail, Guelph Mercury, The Record, Orangeville Banner). She has collaborated with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to develop a video that promotes treatment and self-exclusion (

Michelle has also had the opportunity to present on gambling, gaming and substance use at a variety of forums throughout her career. One of her special interests is working with individuals who have internet/technology addictions.

Margaret Notar, MSW, RSW

(Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
(Boosting Creativity in Clinical Practice)

Margaret is a clinical social worker with over 25 years experience working in the mental health field with individuals, families and groups. She is a staff member in Adolescent Outpatient Mental Health Services at Grand River Hospital where cognitive behaviour therapy is one of several therapeutic techniques practiced. Since 1999 Marg has been a part-time faculty member with Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, teaching in the Individual, Families and Groups stream. Marg has a small private practice and has contributed to the development of eating disorders services in the Waterloo region. She was a co-founder of the Eating Disorders Awareness Coalition, a non-profit charity that was subsumed under the auspices of the Canadian Mental Health Association.


Keith O’Meara, MEd, RSW, CSFT
(Solution-Focused Therapy)

Keith is a social worker with Family Services Durham. He has over 35 years' experience in the field, with an extensive background working with youth and adolescents, mental health and families, couples and individuals from all walks of life requiring counselling. He is a seasoned manager, educator, therapist and workplace mediator. He is frequently requested to provide consultation or training in the areas of solution-focused counselling, crisis intervention and workplace mediation. 


Gail Palmer, MSW, RMFT
(Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy)

Gail is one of the founding members of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute and co-director of the International Centre of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and is chair of the education committee. For over 20 years Gail has trained and supervised therapists and students in Emotionally Focused Therapy and has conducted externships, core skills advanced trainings and workshops on a number of EFT topics across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Working with families is a particular interest to Gail and she has developed the application of the model to families with both presenting and writing on EFFT. She is co-author of Becoming an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist: The Workbook.

Gail has her Masters in Social Work, is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist in Canada and an Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a couple and family therapy lecturer at the School of Social Work at Carleton University, St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

David Pell, MSc,
(Managing Organizational Change)
(The Challenge of Marketing for Human Service and Nonprofit Organizations)

David has worked as a manager and volunteer within the human services sector for 35 years. During this period he has learned as much from his success as the mistakes he has made along the way. David’s work has taken him to most parts of Canada, Europe and several developing countries. David has worked as a leader of several organization change projects with the goal of improving the lives of marginalised groups within society. Projects have involved government, the voluntary sector and private business.

David’s experiences include the planning of the first community-based human services centre in rural Ontario, the development of one of the first community education departments for a community college, a business and employment development centre in Toronto, youth and immigrant service organizations including the Newcomers Enterprise Centre and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, as well as a community economic development program for the Government of Saskatchewan. As a member of a private consulting firm, David worked with municipalities, local development corporations and provincial governments on numerous organization change and community service projects in the health, education and economic development and environment sectors.

David has taught courses for several universities in Canada including the University of Waterloo and St. Francis Xavier University. He has written and contributed to numerous publications on topics related to community economic development, social enterprise, partnerships between private and voluntary sector organizations as well as effective training for 'front-line' youth workers.

Managing organizations during times of rapid growth or organization difficulties has been the focus of David’s work during the past 10 years. David recently resigned from his position as the Chief Executive Officer of Street Kids International to pursue consulting work with organizations that are experiencing strategic challenges. David is particularly interested in how human services organizations can achieve optimal performance and become self-sustaining organizations. His ideas are drawn from his experience with social enterprise and integrated development practices which effectively link individual aspirations with organization success and systematic change. David believes partnerships that unite local service organizations with senior levels of government and, in some instances the private sector, provide the basis for effective organization management and development. Effective managers are able to see the big picture, be proactive with planning and use leadership skills to motivate their colleagues and the decision makers they need to influence.


Angela Rolleman MSW, RSW
(Introduction to Motivational Interviewing for Helping Professionals)
(Fundamentals of Addiction)
(Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment)

Angela is a graduate of Laurier's Faculty of Social Work. She currently works as a Social Worker/Counsellor at the Thames Valley Family Health Team in Woodstock and also has her own business providing personal development seminars for individuals and training for professionals about addiction and related topics. Angela has additional training and expertise in addiction counselling and has worked in both outpatient and residential (short-term and long-term) addiction treatment settings as well as implementing the Ontario Works Addiction Services Initiative in Guelph. Other prior employment has included working in child welfare and employment counselling. Angela has designed and delivered several training events and workshops for professionals about substance abuse and addiction. She has presented at conferences for the Association for Municipal Employment Services, the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, the Thames Valley Family Health Team and the Family Health Team Mental Health Networking & Education Day. Angela was also instrumental in starting the Wellington-Guelph Drug Strategy committee in 2006.


Sylvie Smith, BA, ICADC
(Addiction and the Family)

In over 15 years in the addictions field, Sylvie has worked in several areas in the continuum, including withdrawal management, harm reduction, methadone maintenance and short- and long-term residential treatment. In her current role, she provides individual and group counselling to people struggling with substance use/abuse and problem gamblers and their families including students at local high schools. Sylvie also presents education sessions to clients, the community and other health professionals. She is active in in various committees in her community including harm reduction, domestic violence and sexual assault. Recently, as a co-investigator, Sylvie presented findings of her research, A Review of Problem Gambling Self-Assessment Tools for Use on Internet Gambling Platform, at the International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking, in Las Vegas.

 In her various roles, Sylvie has always had a special interest in supporting families who live with addiction find supports and healthier means to cope. She has helped develop programs and sessions on supporting teens who have parents who abuse substances and for teens who abuse substances themselves.

Sylvie has a diploma in Social Service Work and Drug and Alcohol Counselling, as well as a BA in Social Development Studies. She is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor with the Canadian Addiction Counsellor Certification Federation.


Andrew Taylor, PhD
(Program Evaluation)

Andrew is a program evaluation consultant with more than 20 years experience. He has worked with a wide range of government departments, social service agencies, grassroots groups and foundations on program evaluation projects. He is also an experienced trainer and has run workshops on topics related to program evaluation across Canada. Andrew's approach to program evaluation employs a participatory, developmental approach and focuses on generating practical, useful information that can inform action.

Andrew is author of the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) Evaluation Handbook and a resource guide called Building Sustainable Non-Profits. He has a PhD in social and developmental psychology and co-runs Taylor Newberry Consulting Incorporated in Guelph, Ontario.


Jan Varner, MBA, CTDP,
(Fundamentals of Management)

Jan is currently the CEO of United Way Kitchener Waterloo & Area. Prior to this role, Jan was a faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University for 10 years. She was also the Director of the Laurier Institute, the management and development arm of the School of Business and Economics. She joined the faculty after serving 15 years in the private and public sector. Jan and her husband Dave own Innersee Initiatives Inc., an experiential training and development business that includes their own team building challenge course. Jan has been teaching with the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development department for four years.