Special guests



Vianne Timmons

President and Vice-Chancellor, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador


Dr. Vianne Timmons, OC, took office as the 13th president and vice-chancellor of Memorial in April 2020, coming from the University of Regina where she had served as president since 2008. During her tenure there, the university attained its highest-ever enrolment and diversity, greater recognition for faculty work, and increased levels of external research funding.

A teacher by training, she maintains a wide-ranging research program emphasizing family literacy and inclusive education. Her credits include nine books, more than a dozen book chapters, approximately 40 peer-reviewed articles, 30+ funded research projects (as principal or co-investigator), and more than 200 invited lectures.

Her many awards include Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN), a National Inclusive Education Award, a Humanitarian Award (Red Cross), a Community Literacy Award (Canada Post), and the first Gender and Leadership in Higher Education Award (EMULIES). In 2019 she received the Indspire Award for Education. In 2017 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her lifetime contributions to inclusive education, family literacy, Indigenous post-secondary education, and women’s leadership.

Lisa Browne

Vice President (Advancement and External Relations,) Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador


Lisa Browne has had a long association with the province’s only university.

Born and raised in St. John’s, she is a graduate of Memorial, with bachelor of arts and master of business administration degrees.

She has been an active university volunteer, from serving in the Toronto alumni chapter, to the advisory boards of several units and programs, including the School of Social Work and Office of Public Engagement, to serving on the Board of Regents as an elected alumni member.

She has also worked at Memorial as a lecturer in Faculty of Business Administration and as operations manager of The Opportunity Fund, a campaign that raised $30 million from the private sector between 1996 and 1999. In 2020 she was honoured as the university’s Alumna of the Year.

Most recently, Ms. Brown was CEO of Stella's Circle, a charity organization providing services to adults who face many barriers to fully participating in their community. Under Ms. Browne's leadership, Stella's Circle was recognized for impact and excellence, winning the Canada Volunteers Award for Social Innovation, a Torch Award for Ethics from the Better Business Bureau-Atlantic Region and a NL Employers’ Council Path to Distinction Award. Atlantic Business Magazine also named Lisa one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada in 2017 and 2018.

Ms. Browne has also worked with Eastern Health as the director of planning, policy, access and privacy and the Peninsulas Health Care Corporation as director of communications and planning. An active community contributor, she serves on the board of directors of Food First N.L., Mental Health Research Canada and the National Gallery of Canada.


Presidents Panel (Hosted by President Vianne Timmons)

Dr. Judith Ramaley

President Emerita of Portland State University, University of Vermont and Winona State University


Dr. Judith Ramaley is President Emerita and Distinguished Professor of Public Service at Portland State University in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and President Emerita of Winona State University. Dr. Ramaley teaches in the Civic Leadership curriculum at Portland State. Dr. Ramaley holds an appointment as a Distinguished Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She chairs the Board of Portland Audubon and the Board of Second Nature, an organization committed to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society through the transformation of higher education. She is also a member of the Portland State University Board of Trustees and chairs the Governance Committee.

Prior to returning to Portland State University, Dr. Ramaley served as President of Winona State University (WSU) in Minnesota from July 2005 to May 2012. She served as a Visiting Senior Scientist at the National Academy of Sciences in the spring of 2005. From 2001-2004, she was Assistant Director, Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) at The National Science Foundation (NSF). While serving at NSF, Dr. Ramaley also held a presidential professorship in biomedical sciences at the University of Maine and was a Fellow of the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy.

Dr. Ramaley was President of The University of Vermont (UVM) and Professor of Biology from 1997 to 2001. She was President and Professor of Biology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon for seven years from 1990-1997

Dr. Andrew Petter

President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University


Dr. Andrew Petter is President Emeritus of Simon Fraser University and Professor Emeritus in its School of Public Policy. He currently practices law with Arvay Finlay LLP, serves as Board Chair of Innovate BC, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Asia.

Prior to joining SFU as president in 2010, Andrew was a professor in the Faculty of Law of the University of Victoria where he served as dean from 2001 to 2008. From 1991 to 2001, he was an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia and held numerous cabinet portfolios, including Advanced Education, Intergovernmental Relations and Attorney General.

As SFU President from 2010 to 2020, Andrew oversaw the development and implementation of a strategic vision that distinguished SFU as Canada’s “engaged university defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting edge research and far-reaching community engagement.”

Under his leadership, SFU was named Canada’s top comprehensive university for nine of ten years in the Maclean’s Rankings, and was rated first in the world for its impact on sustainable cities and communities in the 2020 Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings.

Andrew was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2019 and Order of B.C. in 2021 in recognition of his contributions to public policy and his leadership in advancing university-community engagement and higher education in Canada.

In 2018 he was named recipient of the Peter Lougheed Award for leadership in public policy.


Rebecca Mearns

President of the Nunavut Arctic College and Co-Chair of the Nunavut Arctic College-Memorial University Standing Partnership Committee


Rebecca Mearns serves as President of Nunavut Arctic College having previously held roles as the College's Vice President and its Dean of Education, Inuit and University Studies. Rebecca has also worked as an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement Manager at the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, a Researcher at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, an Instructor at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, and as a constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Rebecca was born in Iqaluit and grew up in both Nunavut and Scotland. She holds a BA in Sociology and an MA in Geography, both from Carleton University. In her time at Nunavut Arctic College, Rebecca has overseen the inital phases of the Nunavut Arctic College-Memorial University partnership, transition of the Nunavut Teacher Education Program from the University of Regina to Memorial University, and the delivery of the new, joint Bachelor of Social Work.

Rebecca is fluent in Inuktitut, a proponent of Inuit cultural activities such as sewing, berry-pickingm and hunting, and is an enthusiastic member of the traditional Inuit tattooing revitalization movement.



Social Enterprise Panel

Dr. John Schouten, Canada Research Chair in Social Enterprise

John W. Schouten is a professor of social enterprise at Memorial University. He specializes in studies of consumer culture and market dynamics using ethnography and other qualitative methods. His past work spans areas of consumer identity, consumption communities, market emergence, alternative research metholodgies, and environmental sustainability and human wellbeing. He now devotes his attention to understanding and facilitating social enterprise from these perspectives. 

Dr. Schouten's research appears in marketing journals including Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Consumption Markets & Culture, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. He is co-author of the book Sustainable Marketing. He has authored two novels - Notes from the Lightning God and The Fine Art of Self-Arrest - and has published short fiction and poetry in various journals, magazines and anthologies. 




Kimberly Orren, Founder, Fishing for Success

Kimberly Orren is a former high school science teacher turned fisherman and co-founder of Fishing for Success, a non-profit social enterprise in Petty Harbour that is creating a new pathway for the youth of Newfoundland & Labrador to connect with their fishing heritage.

She volunteers for the Social Justice Cooperative NL, is the Lead Facilitator for Project WET Canada in Newfoundland & Labrador: and serves on advisory committees for Food First NL, Ocean Frontier Institute / Governance Research, Too Big To Ignore, and the Canadian Literacy Coalition. In 2018, Kimberly was honoured to be recognized as a St. John's YMCA Woman of Distinction, was a TEDx Speaker, and contributed to the 2019 Woman's Almanac.


Carolann Harding, CEO, SmartICE

Carolann Harding, ICD.D, as the Executive Director of SmartICE, is leading a diverse coast to coast to coast award-winning team (President's Award for Public Engagement Partnerships 2020, Governor General Innovation Award 2019, United Nations Momentum for Change 2017, Arctic Inspiration Prize 2016), focusing on meeting SmartICE's social enterprise mandate, strategic directions, and social impacts.

Carolann is the Chair of FoodFirst NL, a director on the Women in Resource Development Corporation Board, and a member of the ICD NL Chapter Executive. In 1990, Carolann was named the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year for NL, in 2002 she won a Public Service Award of Exellence, and in 2014 she received a World of Difference 100 Award presented by The International Alliance of Women (TIAW). Carolann is a graduate of both Memorial and Dalhousie universities. In March 2021, Atlantic Business Magazine named Carolann as on of Atlantic Canada's 25 Most Powerful Women in Business. 


Dr. Mark Stoddart, Acting Head of Memorial's Sociology Department

Dr. Mark C.J. Stoddart is a Professor and the Head (Acting) of the Department of Sociology at Memorial University. He works in areas of environmental sociology, social movements, and communications and culture. His book, "Industrial Development and Eco-Tourisms: Can Oil Extraction and Nature Conservation Co-Exist?" was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan.

His work on the social dimensions of climate change, nature-based tourism, oil development and conflict, and environmental movements has appeared in a wide range of national and international sociology and environmental social science journals.


Dr. Gillian Morrissey, Acting Manager, Centre for Social Enterprise

Dr. Gillian Morrissey is the Manager (Acting) of the Centre for Social Enterprise at Memorial University, where she is responsible for guiding the fulfillment of the Centre's mandate to cultivate a new generation of socially-minded business leaders, strengthen social enterprise and drive social innovation in the province.

Dr. Morrissey has previously worked as Educational Support Co-ordinator for Memorial's MBA in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and is a Social Entrepreneur in her own right, having founded and managed two community music ventures in St. John's: Project Grace and The Bethany Centre for Arts and Community.