Director, Development and Stakeholder Relations
Director of Education
Director of Research
Media Education Specialist
Diane van Rens
Marketing and Communications Manager
A former English Language Arts teacher, Jane first joined MediaSmarts in 1995. As Director of Education, Jane developed many of its award-winning media education resources and programs and has promoted media education extensively through national and international speaking engagements. In 2005, Jane left MediaSmarts to work for Ontario’s Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO. She returned to MediaSmarts with a wealth of knowledge of the child and youth health and mental health sectors, expertise in youth engagement and experience working in a knowledge exchange environment.
Cathy has worked with the MediaSmarts since its inception in 1995. As a senior staff member she has been responsible for overseeing the ongoing national research project Young Canadians in a Wired World. As an expert in the area of children’s use of the Internet, Cathy has presented extensively at international conferences, facilitated Internet literacy workshops across Canada, and participated in task forces on issues related to the Internet. With a background in film studies, Cathy’s previous career was in the film and television industry as a news and current affairs producer. She was also the founder and co-director of Ottawa’s first children’s film festival.
Lynn provides consultation on strategic policy, planning and marketing within the areas of operations, sponsorship, membership and finance. In addition, she directs and manages licensing of MediaSmarts’ educational resources. Lynn brings a diverse range of skills, including marketing, communications, finance and administration, developed while working in the not-for-profit, film and television, and international development sectors.
Matthew Johnson is the Director of Education for MediaSmarts, Canada’s center for digital and media literacy. He is the author of many of MediaSmarts’ lessons, parent materials and interactive resources and a lead on MediaSmarts’ Young Canadians in a Wired World research project. As an acknowledged expert in digital literacy and its implementation in Canadian curricula, Matthew is the architect of MediaSmarts’ Use, Understand, Create: Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian K-12 Schools. He has contributed blogs and articles to websites and magazines around the world as well as presenting MediaSmarts’ materials on topics such as copyright, cyberbullying, body image and online hate to parliamentary committees, academic conferences and governments and organizations around the world, frequently as a keynote speaker. He has served as on expert panels convened by the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Ontario Network of Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Services and others, consulted on provincial curriculum for the Ontario Ministry of Education, and been interviewed by outlets such as The Globe and Mail, BBC News Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Radio Canada International and CBC’s The National.
Kara Brisson-Boivin is the Director of Research for MediaSmarts. Kara is responsible for the planning, methodology, implementation, and dissemination of key findings from original MediaSmarts’ research studies. Kara also leads ongoing evaluations of all MediaSmarts’ research and programs. Kara completed her PhD in Sociology at Carleton in 2016 with a research focus on Indigenous criminal justice and the ethics of punishment. Before coming to MediaSmarts, Kara created a mentorship and certificate program for graduate students on career development in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Carleton. Kara brings to MediaSmarts: an in-depth knowledge of the research and program evaluation processes; extensive publication experience in international academic (peer-reviewed) journals, magazines, and research blogs; and a background in presenting research to key stakeholders at academic conferences, invited talks, panels, keynote addresses, and in webinars.
As a French Education Specialist, Thierry is responsible for creating resources for educators, parents and community groups and for conducting outreach activities with French language schools, school boards, education ministries, and faculties of education and community organizations across Canada. Thierry is a former editor, translator and French language teacher and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa.
As Project Manager, Julia manages and coordinates the development of media education and awareness projects, initiatives and resources for MediaSmarts. Her responsibilities include assisting with project proposals, preparing and executing work plans, planning and maintaining budgets, and compiling reports. Julia previously worked for the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, as administrator of On the Identity Trail, a large multi-disciplinary research project. She holds an Honours B.A. in History.
As Web Manager, Diane is responsible for the administration, development and maintenance of MediaSmarts’ websites. Prior to MediaSmarts, Diane worked as Web Manager for CARE, an international aid and development organization, and as a Web Designer on numerous website projects within both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She brings with her many years of experience in website management, design, development and maintenance with training in design, multimedia and social media.
As Marketing and Communications Manager, Liz is responsible for communications, promotions and media relations at MediaSmarts. A veteran of the non-profit sector, she has a track record of creating awareness and raising money for a variety of worthy causes. Liz earned a BA in political science and sociology from Western University and a post-graduate diploma in public relations from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.
As Office Manager, Lisa provides support to Staff and the Board of Directors as well as ensuring the smooth functioning of the organization’s operations. She brings to MediaSmarts over twenty years of experience in administration, finance, and governance. Lisa formerly held positions as Assistant to the Department Chair at Concordia University, Manager of Finance and Administration for a public mining company, and Credit Officer for a Xerox Canada Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Concordia University.