News & Notes About FIMS Alumni

Awards & Accomplishments

Adrienne Arsenault, MA’91 (Journalism) and honorary doctorate recipient (2013), won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program or Series for her coverage of “CBC News: The Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan.”

On April 2, 2018, Kate Avery, BA’16, joined Western’s Alumni Relations team as TD Insurance Associate, Digital Engagement. In her role, Kate supports alumni engagement through the use of digital and social media channels, and helps identify new opportunities to leverage digital technology.

Mike Bickerton, BA’01 (MIT), won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Reality/Competition Program or Series as part of the team producing The Amazing Race Canada.

Clara Chu, MLIS’85, LIS PhD’92, was announced as the 2019 EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award in an American Library Association press release on January 22, 2019. The award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope.

Michael Davidson, BA’08 (MTP) won Best Cinematography at the 2018 Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival for his work on the feature film SuperGrid.

Michelle Dubé, BA’07 (MIT), won a Canadian Screen Award for Best News Anchor, Local, for her work on CTV News Toronto at 6.

Shelby Gobbo, BA’13 (MIT) received the 2018 Silver Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Employer of the Year – Business Services at a ceremony in New York.

Lee McGuigan, BA’09 (MIT) and MA’12 (Media Studies), successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled "Selling the American People: Data, Technology, and the Calculated Transformation of Advertising" at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

Alex Paterson, BA’08 (MPI), was appointed as the new Executive Director of Canada 2020 by the Board of Directors late last year. View the press release.

Angela Pollak, LIS PhD'15, received almost $90,000 in Federal funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund for capital investment in a business she and her husband started last summer based on her dissertation work in the area of experiential information in a rural and remote community in Northern Ontario. The money will go toward building an accessible comfort station and the purchase of beach and trail wheelchairs to make the area around Algonquin Provincial Park accessible to tourists with physical disabilities. For more information, visit

Joanne Schwartz, MLIS'88, was awarded the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in October for her work Town is By the Sea. The award included a $50,000 prize.

Joel Sherlock, MLIS’13 and MA’14, accepted a new position as Manager of Genealogical and Archival Research at Crown-Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada in October 2018.

Nancy Vanden-Eykel, MLIS alum, joined the Yukon Council of Archives as an archivist in October 2018, where she is spending nine months in archives and record management.

Rose Vespa, MLIS’91, was appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, based in Toronto, Ontario. Read the press release.

Publications, Presentations & Creative Works

Alexandra Beamish, MLIS'17, published the following article, which was originally completed as a Guided Research Project under the supervision of Professor Lynne McKechnie:

Alexandra Beamish (2018) "Examination of Picture Books Depicting Libraries for Children Ages Birth to Seven Years," New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship, 24:2, 114-143, DOI: 10.1080/13614541.2018.1535779

Aruna Dutt, BA’18 (MPI), produced a documentary with the London Poverty Research Centre, titled The New Normal.

James Forrester, MLIS’87, wrote an article for the ExLibris Fall 2018 newsletter titled, “The World Wide Web & its Impact.”

Darrelle London, BA’07 (MIT) released a new children’s lullaby album titled, Sing to the Moon in late 2018. It is London’s fourth studio album, but first venture into children’s music.

Phil Pallen, BA’10 (MIT), gave a talk at Western’s Founder’s Day UK event, titled “Uncertainty Amid Brexit: A Personal Branding Perspective.”

Chantale Pard, MLIS'13, published the book STEM Programming for All Ages: A Practical Guide for Librarians, in August 2018, with Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Thanks to Sylvia Stead, BA’75 (Journalism) and Public Editor, Globe & Mail, for acting as moderator of the question period at Western’s Founder’s Day 2019 event in Toronto March 7th.

In the Media

Kara-Lis Coverdale, MA’10 (PMC), was featured in an article titled, "Taking it slow with Kara-Lis Coverdale" on, published on February 12, 2019.

Skye Corey, MLIS'14, was featured in an article titled, "Tiny Library, Big Goals," published on the website as part of their Movers & Shakers feature on March 8, 2019.

Sabina Iseli-Otto, MLIS'06, was featured in an article titled, "Beyond Braille," published on the website as part of their Movers & Shakers feature on March 7, 2019.

Stuart Thompson, BA’10 (MIT), was featured in an article titled, “Stuart A. Thompson: From the Gazette to the New York Times,” published in the Western Gazette on October 14, 2018.

Caroline Vandriel, MLIS'08, was featured in an article titled, "Sylvan Lake woman spreads love of reading to Africa," published in the Sylvan Lake News on February 28, 2019.

Christine Walde, MLIS'13, was featured in the article, "Career Spotlight: What I do as a Grants and Awards Librarian," published on the website on February 18, 2019. She also presented a FIMS Graduate Library workshop on January 29, titled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About a Grants and Awards Librarian* But Were Too Afraid to Ask.”

News & Announcements

Thanks to alumni Becky Blue, BA’06 (MIT) and MA’07 (Journalism), and Laura Morrison BA’12 (MIT) as alumni representatives on the 2019 Student Career Conference Planning group.

Tyler Bryden, BA’14 (MIT), founder of the company SixFive, was featured by the Western Accelerator’s Founders Flight Night on March 26, 2019. Bryden developed speaker analysis software called

Thanks to FIMS alumni Monica Rossa, BA’13 (MIT), Allyson Eckel, BA’14 (MIT), Erickson Anupol, MLIS‘18, Ashley Shantz, BA’10 (MIT), Lauren Arnold, BA’08 (MIT), Kellie Anderson, BA’16 (MIT) for hosting “Western in Your Workplace” for Western’s Founder’s Day 2019.

Thanks to alumna Sonia Bebbington, MLIS’99 (Director General, Information and Document Resource Service, Library of Parliament) for doing a guided tour of the Library of Parliament, Ottawa on Nov 8th. And thanks to Ottawa MLIS alumni who joined our alumni social at Play.

Thanks to alumnus, Peter West, BA’02 (MIT), MA’05 (Media Studies), for hosting a small MIT alumni gathering at his business, Bowman’s Bar & Grill in Ottawa on Nov 7, 2018.

In Memoriam: Clark Davey
Clark Davey, BA'48 (Journalism), passed away in Ottawa on February 25, 2019. A member of Western Journalism's inaugural class, Davey was an editor for the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Montreal Gazette, as well as the president and chair of The Canadian Press, over the course of his career. Davey was a founding board member of the Michener Awards Foundation, and he spoke at the journalism program's 60th anniversary celebration in Toronto in 2006. For more information about Davey, view the obituary, or read The Canadian Press' article.