GRO Conference 2016 Program

GRO 2016
Program and Speakers
Visiting St. John's
Contact Us


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

12:00-5:00 Conference Registration

R. Gushue Hall, Irwin's Rd, Memorial University 


3:00-5:00 GRO Network Executive Meeting (Tentative)

Junior Common Room, R. Gushue Hall, Memorial University


6:30-8:30 GRO Networking dinner (Informal)

Merchant Tavern, 291 Water Street


Thursday, June 9, 2016


8:00-9:00 Registration & Networking breakfast

R. Gushue Hall, Memorial University

Breakfast buffet set up in the Foyer of R. Gushue Hall


9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks and Welcome

Rob Greenwood, Executive Director, Public Engagement and Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, Memorial University, and Erin McGinn, Assistant Vice-President Communications, Government and Community Engagement, Ryerson University


9:15-10:15 Session #1 – A Public University, Serving the Public Good: Introduction to Public Engagement at Memorial

As the only university in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial has a special obligation to the people of the province—to be a public university, serving the public good. Dr. Rob Greenwood and colleagues from the Office of Public Engagement will provide a brief introduction to how this public engagement mission flows through everything Memorial does, and will set the stage for the coming days’ discussions about the role of universities as public institutions, and how they relate to other public stakeholders—particularly governments. Will include an introduction to Memorial’s Public Engagement Framework, the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, Yaffle—an online public engagement networking tool, and The Battery Facility.

Speakers: Rob Greenwood, Bojan Furst (Memorial University), Jennifer Adams (Memorial University), Jordan Wright (Memorial University)


10:15-10:30 Refreshment Break


10:30-11:45 Session #2 – University Advocacy in the New Ottawa: Panel Discussion

Representatives from Universities Canada (UC), national and/or regional advocacy organization, and several institutions, will share their thoughts on the current climate for university advocacy including some of the regional issues they are seeing arise or change under the new Liberal government.

Chairperson: Paula Dyke (Memorial University)

Speakers: Matt Hebb, Assistant Vice-President Government Relations, Dalhousie University, Robert White, Senior Advisor Government Relations, Universities Canada, Dylan Hanley, Director Public Affairs, U15-Group of Canadian Research Universities, Jennifer Vornbrock, Executive Director, Community and Government Relations, University of Victoria, Jennifer Grass, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Council of Ontario Universities


11:45-12:00 Break

Participants will retrieve their lunch from the Foyer in R. Gushue Hall and return to their seats for the lunchtime keynote speaker.


12:00-12:45 Session # 3 – Reconciliation and Higher Education – Lunchtime Keynote

Todd Russell, President of NunatuKavut, will share his thoughts on the responsibility of universities in moving towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. He’ll share his experiences, both in his current leadership role, and also from his time as an MP. He’ll discuss how university GR professionals can support more positive relationships with Indigenous peoples and governments, and how universities have the ability to help shape the way that Indigenous people are both understood, and governed.

Chairperson: Catharyn Andersen (Memorial University)


12:45-2:15 Session # 4 – Indigenous Affairs and University Government Relations Workshop

This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity to assess your institution’s current degree of engaged with Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples and governments. Colleagues from the GRO network will share examples from their institutions, leading to a broader discussion of the impact of GR work in the significant task of moving towards reconciliation.

2:15-2:30 Break

2:30-3:15 Defense Research and Universities

Marta Farsang, Director of Science and Technology External Relations, Defense Research and Development Canada, will discuss her department’s mandate, highlighting the connection between defense research and universities, both in Canada and in other jurisdictions. Ms. Farsang will also discuss how the science departments across government coordinate and connect with universities.

Chairperson: Matt Hebb, Assistant Vice-President Government Relations, Dalhousie University

3:15-3:45 Session #5 – GRO Survey Results

Erin McGinn will advise of the results of the GRO Survey, 2015.


3:45-4:00 Day 1 Wrap Up

A quick review of the day’s activities, and key insights, as well as a look ahead to the evening’s social activities and Day 2.


4:00-4:15 Gather for Tour

From Junior Common Room to Quidi Vidi Village and Signal Hill


4:15-5:30 Shuttle Bus Tour

The OPE bus will take interested participants to Quidi Vidi Village (Plantation, Brewery, Inne of Olde, etc.) to be dropped off, then will proceed to Signal Hill where it will stay for a period of time, before proceeding to the JAG Hotel. Rebecca Cohoe & Morgan Murray will be accompanying participants to answer questions and point out landmarks along the way.


6:30-8:30 Refreshments and Networking Group Dinner

Mallard Cottage – 8 Barrows Road


Friday, June 10, 2016 (Held at the Marine Institute)

8:30-8:45 Networking Breakfast

Main Lobby, Marine Institute


8:45-10:05 The Infrastructure of University Public Engagement Panel (Hampton Hall, Marine Institute)

Leading international and national experts will discuss how universities are using physical infrastructure, such as downtown campuses or satellite facilities, to better serve their constituents and better engage with their public partners.

Chairperson:Rob Greenwood, Executive Director, Public Engagement & The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, Memorial University

Speakers:Joanne Curry, Vice President, External Relations, Simon Fraser University, Jennifer Adams, Manager, Operations and Strategic Projects, The Harris Centre, Memorial University, Rob Esselment, Associate Vice-President, Government Relations, University of Waterloo, Cédrick Pautel, Universitié du Québec

 10:15-10:30 Refreshment Break


10:30-11:15 Navigating the New Ottawa, Keynote Address

A panel of national experts representing universities, federal regional development agencies, and municipalities will discuss the importance of universities in regional development, and how this imperative is changing under a new federal regime.

Chairperson: Nicole Rogers, Simon Fraser University

Speaker: TBD 

11:45-12:15 Marine Institute Tour

Experience the Marine Institute's unique simulation capabilities.

11:45-12:15 Lunch

 Lunch buffet served in the student lounge.

12:15-1:00 Session #9 - The Value of Place Keynote 

“Place" is more than just a point on a map. It’s the meeting place of the intellectual and cultural heritage of a community, along with its landscape, climate, and location. It shapes us, and defines the challenges and opportunities that make us who we are. Join us as Allison Kouzovnikov, President of the Shorefast Foundation, discusses her group’s partnership with the people of the community of Fogo Island, Newfoundland & Labrador. With Fogo Island’s unique character at its centre, the collaboration has built on centuries of ingenuity and curiosity to create opportunities in the present, from a world-class hotel to a thriving and innovative fishery. Ms. Kouzovnikov’s presentation will share Shorefast’s fascinating story and set the stage for the afternoon’s workshop on the importance of place for universities.

Moderator: Alexis Ksiazkiewicz

Speaker: Allison Kouzovnikov, President of the Shorefast Foundation


1:00-2:30 Session #10 – The Value of Place in University and Government Relations Workshop 

Participants will take part in interactive discussions to explore and share the importance that place plays in shaping their institutions in general, and their government relations activities in particular. 

Moderators: Morgan Murray and Rebecca Cohoe (Conference Chairs, Memorial University)


2:30-2:45 Refreshment Break


2:45-3:45 Session #11, Innovation, Science, and Economic Development in Canada

Science and Innovation Sector Assistant Deputy Minister, Lawrence Hanson, will discuss the forthcoming federal Innovation Agenda and its impact on post-secondary institutions in Canada and answering questions from the audience.

Chairperson: Aaron Scheewe, Manager, Public Affairs
McMaster University

Speaker: Lawrence Hanson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


3:45-4:00 Wrap-up and Closing Plenary

Erin McGinn will lead the plenary in a quick review of the past two days’ activities, and key insights, and offer closing remarks.


Public Engagement

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552