— Speakers 2019


Natalie Harris

Post Traumatic Growth and Recovery: A Paramedic’s View

Natalie Harris is a retired Advanced-Care Paramedic from Ontario with over 11 years of experience. Natalie is a newly appointed City Councillor for the City of Barrie. She possesses a Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine from Victoria University for which she received the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010.

Along with being an educator with organizations such as Georgian College and the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, Natalie is also an avid writer and has published a book titled Save-My-Life School: A first responder’s mental health journey. The book’s foreword was written by 6-time Canadian Olympian and mental health advocate Clara Hughes. Natalie has also written articles for the Canadian Paramedicine Magazine and the Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS). Natalie is a blogger for the Huffington Post and is proud to be a Bell “Let’s Talk” Ambassador.


Dr. Cynthia Baxter & Dr. Kate Hamilton

Rocky Mountain Program

Dr. Cynthia Baxter is a well-known forensic psychiatrist and award-winning teacher. She completed her Medical Degree (with Distinction) in 1999 at the University of Alberta and then her Psychiatry Residency and Forensic Training at the University of Calgary. She is board certified in both Canada and the United States. She has been assessing and managing violent offenders and sex offenders for the criminal justice system, law enforcement, and the health care system since 2002. She has served as an expert witness in court around issues of violence, mental health, risk assessment, personality disorders, and psychiatry (both forensic psychiatry and general psychiatry). Dr. Baxter has been the recipient of numerous awards for teaching medical students, other physicians, and a variety of other professionals.

Dr. Kate Hamilton is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Calgary with a specialized focus on depression. She has been employed by Alberta Health Services in the department of Forensic Assessment and Outpatient Services (FAOS) since 2003. Her clinical work has primarily focused on forensic risk assessment and specialized sexual offending treatment. She is currently the Clinical Lead for the Rocky Mountain Program – an inpatient sexual offending program for provincially incarcerated offenders. Dr. Hamilton’s research has focused on cognitive behavioral therapy for depression and sexual offending.


Dr. Colleen Kawalilak

Honouring the ‘Teacher’ and ‘Learner’ Within

Dr. Colleen Kawalilak, Professor, Chair of Adult Learning, and Associate Dean International (Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary), draws from deep experience as a Social Worker and Adult Educator (Services for the Handicapped; Child Protection; Parent Resource Unit); Instructor and Program Coordinator (Bow Valley College); and Teaching and Learning Consultant (SAIT Polytechnic). While at Bow Valley College, Dr. Kawalilak supervised academic and personal development programs at the Calgary Remand Centre and Spy Hill Correctional Centre. She has an extensive background in supporting educators and planning and delivering programs for adult learners in a variety of traditional and non-traditional work and learning contexts.

Book: Pathways of Adult Learning (2014), Groen, J., & Kawalilak, C.
https://www.canadianscholars.ca/books/pathways-of-adult-learning


Dr. Wanda Polzin, MA, RSW, EdD

Trauma-Informed Practice: Why and How

Dr. Wanda Polzin has over 25 years of counselling and clinical experience working with children, youth, and families across various domains including Health/Mental Health and Addictions, Children and Family Services, as well as Education. She is currently the Clinical Director at Little Warriors and was previously the Clinical Director at CASA. Dr. Polzin has a Doctorate of Education in Counselling Psychology, a Master of Arts Degree in Counselling Psychology, and is a Registered Social Worker. Dr. Polzin’s clinical training is multi-faceted, with specializations in Attachment, Trauma, EMDR, AAT, Neurobiofeedback, Family Therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Concurrent Addiction and Mental Health interventions. She has a deep passion and energy for working with children, caregivers, and professionals, particularly in the area of attachment-based caregiving, trauma and trauma-informed care, family systems, complex case needs (dual diagnosis), evidence-based practices, supporting resiliency, and promoting wellness.


Joy Sinclair

The Gladue Report as a Reconciliation Protocol

Joy Sinclair, a Cree Michif mother and grandmother, from Northern Alberta, has 45 years’ experience working within her Aboriginal community in the areas of mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. Her prior experiences as an Indigenous Life Skills Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Elder’s Helper has given her the necessary traditional knowledge, understanding and sensitivity to assist communities in addressing the on-going historical traumas affecting Aboriginal peoples. As an Indigenous Gladue Report Writer, she has observed an expressed correlation between the intergenerational trauma and resultant childhood conditioning of Alberta’s Aboriginal youth and adult offenders, to their involvement within the Canada’s Justice system. She is privileged to present a first-hand view of the positive imperatives and healing necessities embodied by the Gladue Report, in relation to Alberta’s Indigenous offenders.


Carolee Turner

Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask but Were Afraid to Because You Thought You Would Look Racist – Lessons Learned from Working with At-Risk Youth

Carolee Turner has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She works with high-risk populations from parenting teens to victims and offenders of domestic and sexual violence. Carolee is currently managing and coordinating a joint justice and community high-risk domestic violence offender program for those deemed at-risk to commit a homicide. She is currently the Associate Director at the Centre for Newcomers and manages the Real Me youth gang intervention program.


Anthony You

21st Century Correctional Education

Anthony You has been teaching Academics, Computers, and Personal Development at the Edmonton Remand Centre since 2014. Anthony is an advocate for integrating technology and Computational Thinking in the classroom to supplement and improve teaching and learning outcomes. Since 2007, Anthony has been involved with initiatives at the University of Alberta to introduce clear technology outcomes. This work at the U of A includes his involvement with the Master of Education in Health Sciences Education program; his work with virtual standardized patients for Interdisciplinary Studies (INTD 410); the Master of Educational Psychology in Technology in Education program; a virtual-world campus orientation for international students; and the Computing Science Summer Camp Program. Anthony believes that technology and innovation, with the right focus, can overcome obstacles and barriers within classrooms in correctional settings.


Dr. Lauren Zanussi

Become better teachers: Principles on how to create great education for adult learners

Dr. Lauren Zanussi has lived in Calgary almost all of his life. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary and has degrees in Biochemistry and Medicine. He went on to be trained in Psychiatry and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.He is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary where he has run the undergraduate course in psychiatry and medical skills. He has special expertise in communication skills training and is a consultant to other departments to help train their residents as communicators. He has a special interest in the use of technology to augment learning and has been helpful in driving the modernization of medical education at the University of Calgary. He is the twice the recipient of the Allan R. Jones award for innovation in education and twice the recipient of the Michael Tarrant Award for Mentorship in education. He has over two dozen awards for his lecturing at the medical school.As a Psychiatrist, he has received training in psychiatric complications of medical conditions. He practices in Calgary at the Foothills Hospital. He has an inpatient and outpatient practice, a large portion of which is taken up by people with sleep disorders, liver disease and transplants. He has worked closely with the Canadian Mental Health Commission and the University of Calgary in reducing stigma of mental health in the public and amongst medical practitioners. He is the Acting Medical Director of Psychiatric ER services and is the Site Chief at the Foothills Hospital.


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