2013 Speakers


Educating Solution Integrators


Jessica McEachren

As the ecologist for the City of Mississauga, Jessica is primarily responsible for the City’s natural areas through protection, restoration, and stewardship. Prior to working with the City of Mississauga, she was a consulting ecologist for a private consulting firm; spending most of her time waist deep in wetlands, up late doing amphibian surveys or with a warm coffee bright and early doing bird surveys all over the Province. From there, she became the Environmental Planner for the City of Guelph, reviewing development applications and ensuring the balance between development and the maintenance of the Natural Heritage of the City. Both positions offered her a wide range of experience which helped her obtain her current position. Throughout her education and career, she has been inspired by eco-centred change and has been a part of that movement by motivating and assisting residents, business owners and even staff to be more eco-conscious.

Greening Our Communities…one step at a time!

Ecological preservation has and will continue to be an integral part of community growth. The long-term maintenance of urban canopy cover, diverse wetland communities or meadow habitats all have social and ecological benefits for communities and individuals alike. Over time and with the growth of urban centres, including the associated demands for infrastructure etc. the environment has come to be in the foreground of development and is often seen as a boundary or limitation to growth. Despite popular belief, there is the opportunity to strike a balance and achieve both goals of urban growth and ecological preservation, but it can sometimes seem like it’s not a walk in the…forest! All it takes is some patience, passion and perseverance, and even some of the biggest critics have started seeing green!


Tom Galloway

In addition to his job as the Director of Plant Operations here at the University of Waterloo, Tom has been an elected representative in our community in some capacity since 1988, first serving as School Trustee for a local school board before moving on to city and regional politics as a councillor. In addition to wearing all those hats, he also sits as the Director of the Waterloo Region Police Services Board, which is responsible for providing civilian oversight to police services. He will draw from his experiences in government in his talk “Nail ‘em and Jail ‘em” – an exploration of crime prevention through social development, our internalized boundaries regarding our perception of crime prevention, and the jurisdictional boundaries within the criminal justice system.

Nail ‘em and Jail ‘em

My talk will be about the benefits of Crime Prevention through Social Development. I will attempt to illustrate that the traditional Criminal Justice system approach to Crime Prevention of catching bad guys and putting them in jail, while needed to some degree, is inordinately important in our society and that Crime Prevention through Social Development is more effective, builds better citizens and even costs less. A better balance needs to exist.

I want to try to eradicate the thinking that simply putting away offenders solves the problem as opposed to dealing with the root causes of crime.I will discuss how I think we have gotten to this point and what we need to do to move the pendulum. My talk will be based in part on the research or Drs. Irwin Waller and Ross Hastings, two of Canada’s leading Criminologists.


Vanessa Humphries

Vanessa is currently a Project Manager at the Security Governance Group – a research and consulting firm specializing in the security dimensions of statebuilding, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconstruction. She has worked internationally with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, where she spent six months working with the Regional Office for the Pacific, responsible for responding to humanitarian crises in 14 Pacific Island Countries. She attributes her preparedness and success in her career so far in part to her own interdisciplinary education, with a Master’s degree in International Public Policy and a B.Soc.Sci. in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. Her life experience extends beyond her work, however, and it’s that breadth that inspired her talk “Beyond Education: Bringing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Your Life”. She will explore the importance and value of having an interdisciplinary approach, not only in education, but also in how we perceive others and the world around us.

Beyond Education: Bringing An Interdisciplinary Approach to Your Life

“Experience informs intuition. But it does more than that: Experiences sets the frame within which we analyze and interpret what we perceive” (Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe). My presentation will focus on the importance and value of having an interdisciplinary approach, not only in education, but also in how we perceive others and the world around us.