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 is 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 have led her to become an international speaker sharing her experiences, teaching others the ins and outs of business, and branding.
Suzanne (Sue) Bowness (www.suzannebowness.com) is a writer/editor with over 15 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 and now serves as its curriculum lead.
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 (link is external)) 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).
David (D.D.) Miller is of mixed settler and Nbisiing Anishinaabe descent. He 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), and a book of sports social history, Eight-Wheeled Freedom (Wolsak & Wynn).
A professor in Humber’s English Department, Miller is the co-editor of The Humber Literary Review and is co-chair of Humber@TIFA, an annual interdisciplinary academic conference held in conjunction with the Toronto International Festival of Authors. 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.
Angelo Muredda is a Toronto-based freelance film critic, programmer, and teacher.
His writing has appeared in the National Post, Cinema Scope, The Walrus, and TVO. He hosts teh online lecture series “Disability on Film” at the MNJCC and a monthly film series at the Royal Cinema. He completed his PhD in English on representations of disability in Canadian literature and film at the University of Toronto.
Angelo previously taught Canadian literature and writing as a graduate instructor at the University of Toronto. Since 2017, he has taught at Humber College, where he currently teaches in the Media Foundation certificate program and the Department of English.
Renee Sylvestre-Williams is a writer and journalist, and has worked at Global News, the Toronto Star, AOL and Yahoo.
Owner and strategist with -30- Communications, creator of The Budgette, a financial newsletter for single people, and Co-founder of The MidWeek 30, Renee also spends her time as freelance finance writer and strategist with clients such as Manulife, Sunlife, MoneySense, the Globe and Mail, MD Financial, Genworth Canada, PWL Capital, Forbes, Lowestrates.ca, Flare magazine, Forbes and Canadian Living.
Though she has not published a book, she did ghostwrite one, and is happy to talk about it if you ask!
Lindsay Zier-Vogel is a Toronto-based writer, educator and freelance grant writer. She joined Humber’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2021.
With magazine, TV, and online writing experience, Lindsay’s work has been widely published in Canada and the U.K. and her first novel is forthcoming (Fall 2021). Since 2001, Lindsay has been teaching creative writing workshops in schools and communities—including at the AGO, with the David Suzuki Foundation, the Toronto Public Library, Word on the Street Festival, the Canadian High Commission in London, England, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada. She is a highly sought-after freelance grant writer and is also the creator of the internationally-acclaimed Love Lettering Project, where she asks people to write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find. In 2015, Lindsay won a Canadian Screen Award for her work on an interactive digital series with BellMedia.
After studying dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Lindsay received her BA in English and then her Masters in English and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She also is a graduate from the Humber School for Writers.