Staff

MediaSmarts’ ability to deliver high-quality programs and resources is based on the expertise and dedication of the dynamic group of professionals listed here.

Kara Brisson-Boivin (on Leave)
Director of Research

Tricia Grant
Manager of Marketing and Communications

Kathryn Ann Hill
Executive Director

Lynn Huxtable
Director, Stakeholder Relations

Matthew Johnson
Director of Education

Julia Ladouceur 
Project Manager

Marc Alexandre Ladouceur
Media Education Specialist

Samantha McAleese
Research Associate (Interim)

Francine Paulin
Office Manager

Melinda Thériault
Marketing and Communications Assistant

Diane Trépanier van Rens (on Leave)
Web Manager

MediaSmarts Bloggers

 

Staff Biographies

Kara Brisson-Boivin (on Leave)
Director of Research

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 also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Research Professor (2018-2023) in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. 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.

Tricia Grant
Manager of Marketing and Communications

Tricia is responsible for MediaSmarts’ marketing and communications strategy, including digital outreach, media relations and event planning. Tricia comes to MediaSmarts from the book publishing sector, having worked in publicity and marketing for Penguin Random House Canada in Toronto and DK Books in London, UK. She has held communications roles for organizations like Volleyball Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada, and has experience in public relations, digital content, advertising, and strategic partnerships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Carleton University. 

Kathryn Ann Hill
Executive Director

Kathryn is pleased to join MediaSmarts, bringing extensive experience as senior leader in the voluntary sector. Kathryn has a Masters of Social Work (1992) from Carleton University, and a Master of Management Degree (2003) from McGill University. Her commitment to social justice has resulted in a career of over 25 years of service in the voluntary sector, serving in senior leadership roles at the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, United Way Canada, HealthPartners Fund, Family Services Ottawa and its social enterprise, FSEAP Ottawa. Kathryn has extensive experience in building partnerships and collaborations, at the local, provincial and national level. In her work, Kathryn has focused on building healthy, relevant and resilient organizations.

Lynn Huxtable
Director, Stakeholder Relations

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
Director of Education

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.

Julia Ladouceur
Project Manager

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.

Marc Alexandre Ladouceur
Media Education Specialist

As a Media Education Specialist, Marc Alexandre is responsible for creating resources for educators, parents and community groups and for conducting outreach activities with French language schools, school boards, education ministries,faculties of education and community organizations across Canada. He holds a Master’s Degree in Theology, as well as Bachelors’ in Education and Theology. Marc Alexandre has previously worked as a teacher in the Ontario and Alberta school systems, as a facilitator in Ontario schools and as an editor and translator. He believes in the well-being of all persons experiencing the rapid growth of technology through comprehensive digital literacy and intersubjective education.

Samantha McAleese
Research Associate (Interim)

Samantha is a Research Associate for MediaSmarts, working with the Director of Research to fulfill the organization’s comprehensive research agenda. In collaboration with staff and partners of MediaSmarts, Samantha conducts literature reviews, prepares research ethics applications, designs and implements qualitative and quantitative research studies, analyzes data, writes research reports, and disseminates research findings. Samantha is currently completing a PhD in Sociology at Carleton University with a research focus on the criminal justice non-profit sector and the role that practitioners play in supporting people with criminal records in the community. Samantha also has more than a decade of experience working with the non-profit sector in Ottawa and maintains her connections with various organizations through the Community Adult Justice Network and the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa’s Research and Evaluation Working Group. Samantha brings to MediaSmarts extensive knowledge of qualitative research processes, publication experience (including both academic and general media sources), facilitation and public speaking skills, familiarity with practices and resources in adult education, and a passion for strengthening the relationship between academia, non-profit organizations, and the community.

Francine Paulin
Office Manager

As Office Manager, Francine provides support to our 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’ experience in administration and client services, including twelve years in a not-for-profit environment. Francine formerly held positions as:  Executive Assistant/Office Manager at the Association of Canadian Port Authorities; Reception Administrator at Morneau Shepell; and Foundation Associate at the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.  She holds a diploma in Graphic Design from Canadore College.

Melinda Thériault
Marketing and Communications Assistant

As Marketing and Communications Assistant, Melinda plays a key role in implementing MediaSmarts’ communications plan. She is responsible for maintaining MediaSmarts’ day-to-day social media presence and creating digital content. Since starting as a student intern in 2017, Melinda has also filled the short-term roles of Research Assistant and Project Coordinator at MediaSmarts. She holds an Honours B.A in Communications from Carleton University and a Master of Media in Journalism & Communication from Western University.

Diane Trépanier van Rens (on Leave)
Web Manager

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.