Communication Alumni Talks

The Communication Alumni Talks aim to foster relationships among the generations of students who have graduated from the Department of Communication since it was founded in 1978. Each year, graduates who have distinguished themselves in their profession or in some other capacity are invited to share their stories and talk about their career paths.

The Honorary Chair of the Communication Alumni Talks is Daniel Lamarre , President and CEO of the Cirque du soleil. He gave the inaugural speech in 2005.



The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumni Patrick Lagacé and Manon Genest..

Speaker: Patrick Lagacé, Journalist and broadcaster at LA PRESSE.

Topic: Media and Public Relations 2020 : Constantly Evolving Careers

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2020, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: On ZOOM


Speaker: Manon Genest, Founding Partner and General Manager at TACT Intelligence-conseil.

Topic: Media and Public Relations 2020 : Evolving careers

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2020, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: On ZOOM




The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumni Jolene Bradley.

Speaker: Jolene Bardley, Director of Strategic Communications for Operations Team at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Topic: Managing strategic communications for the RCMP

When: Thursday, March 21, from 7 p.m to 9 p.m.

Where: Alex Trebek Alumni Hall





The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumni Sylvie Cloutier.

Sylvie Cloutier

Speaker: Sylvie Cloutier, présidente directirce-génerale

Topic: Encourage intergenerational relationships and foster the creation of a professional network for communication students, particularly at the end of the course.

When: Wednesday, April 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Alex Trebek Alumni Hall

We would like to invite you to take part in the event to help students become aware of the importance of the network of graduates they will be part of.




The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumni Marco Dubé

Marco Dubé

Speaker: Marco Dubé, Executive Director of Regional Services, French Services at Radio-Canada

Topic: Becoming More Engaged and Informed Citizens through Communication

When: Monday, March 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: DMS 12102

This conference will be presented in French only followed by a bilingual Q&A period.




The  Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumna Elizabeth Rody

Elizabeth Rody


Speaker: Elizabeth Rody, Chief of Protocol at Parliament of Canada

Topic: From the Pope to Bono: Protocol in Canada’s Parliament
When: Wednesday, March 16, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.





The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumnus Donald Beauchamp

Donald Beauchamp


Speaker: Donald Beauchamp
Senior Vice President, Communications, Montreal Canadiens

Topic: From Campus to the Canadiens: A career in Communication
When: Tuesday, February 24 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: DMS12102




The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumna Janice McDonald

Janice McDonald


Speaker: Janice McDonald 
President, iStyle Originals Inc and Organization of Women in International Trade – Ottawa

Topic: The Future is Built on Great Ideas 
When: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
WhereAlumni Auditorium (UCU)

Achieve your dreams by keeping them alive

The businesswoman, who calls herself a serial entrepreneur, began her speech by citing Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes: "If you dream and you allow yourself to dream, you can do anything." Yet, to have a dream is one thing, to achieve it is another. Indeed, distractions are alluring and may hinder you from gaining and maintaining momentum. Ms McDonald insists that keeping your dream alive is essential. "Think how long it would take to get anywhere if you keep starting and stopping."

Share your ideas

She expressed a similar sentiment on ideas: having a great idea is one thing, but being able to share them with the world is another. "Ideas are the fuel, but the ignition is being able to communicate those ideas", says Ms McDonald. Since we live in a world of constant and certain change, it is those who know how to communicate changes and ideas effectively who will be successful. "Ideas have to be heard and shared and understood." It is important for young people to reach out, take initiative, build and maintain a network, to think about the opportunities that are out there for them and to create momentum. 

Work on your personal branding

And while networking, it is crucial to think about personal branding. A personal brand is not built on what you say you are, but rather on what people say you are. Therefore what people think of you is important, and will affect your future opportunities and encounters. For instance, it has become a habit to "google" people before meeting them ̶ googling is the new first impression. How you present yourself will be available for everyone to see on your various online profiles. The importance of thinking about your personal brand with intent cannot be understated here. 

Just go for it

When managing her businesses, Ms McDonald says she wants to work with authentic and bold people. Which is why she urges students to go for what they want: "Don't take the easy way, be brave, send that email, what do you have to lose?" Indeed, according to her, most people would be more than willing to help an enthusiastic person if they simply ask. "What's the worst that could happen? That they're gonna say no? If you knew how many people told me I couldn't do the things that I wanted to do..." So take your great ideas, put them out there, create momentum, build a strong network, and just go for it. That's what Janice McDonald did, and look where that got her.



The Department of Communication invites you to a talk by alumna Lucie Boileau

Lucie Boileau


Speaker: Lucie Boileau
Senior Adviser, Communications and Public Outreach, Canadian Medical Association

Topic: Savoir naviguer les courants médiatiques (in French, with a bilingual question period)
When: Thursday, November 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Simard Hall, Room 224

A wine and cheese will follow

How to navigate the new media waters
The arrival of social media and Internet age have forced media to reinvent themselves. With everything from online platforms’ insistent immediacy to the breakneck proliferation of information, journalists have to show exceptional judgment and be lightning fast to share news in real time. So where do public relations people fit in? How do they navigate these new waters that can submerge the message they want to get out at any time? It all comes down to commitment and credibility.

After receiving a degree in communications from the University of Ottawa, Lucie Boileau started her career as a journalist on the TFO public affairs program Panorama. For nearly 10 years, she closely followed education issues in Ontario and the Franco-Ontarian community’s agenda. She produced a documentary on the fight for French-language high schools in Ontario, De la coupe aux lèvres, which was on the syllabus for some University of Ottawa teacher education courses. In 2001, Boileau stepped away from the camera and started a second career in public relations. She became the first head of communications for the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, where she put in place innovative promotional plans and worked tirelessly to highlight the achievements of students and teachers. A few years later, she joined the communications team of the Canadian Medical Association, a prestigious national organization whose mission is to serve Canadian doctors, bring them together and advocate for the highest possible standards in health and heath care nationally. As the person responsible for media relations, Lucie finds the necessary means for the association to fully meet its mission as the national spokesperson for the 78,000 doctors it represents. In addition to facilitating media workshops, Lucie Boileau is also responsible for activities for the general public.



Jacques Beauchamp 

“Les défis du journalisme et autres réflexions sur le métier” (in French, with a bilingual question period)

When: Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Where: Montpetit Hall (room 203), from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Jacques Beauchamp

Journalist and host on Radio-Canada, Jacques Beauchamp began his career in the Canadian Prairies. A graduate of the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa, he found himself in Manitoba in the fall of 1987 as a television reporter with Radio-Canada. Soon, he joined radio when he moved to Saskatchewan to host a radio show. After his stay in the West, he returned to his native Ottawa where he hosted a daily public affairs show in the national capital. He then moved to Toronto where he took on the position of national news and public affairs radio correspondent. In 1999, he became head of national news assignments in Montreal. He then joined the team of Marie-France Bazzo as a reporter before taking on an international news column in the daily newspaper Montreal Express. Since 2003, he has been a reporter at the Désautels program. Listeners of the Première Chaîne have also heard Jacques Beauchamp host many programs over the years.



Nicolas Ruszkowski

Nicolas Ruszkowski

Nicolas Ruszkowski is Vice-President, Communications and Outreach, of The Ottawa Hospital, Canada’s largest academic hospital. Nicolas leads the hospital’s community relations, government outreach, media relations and issues management, employee engagement, change management and social networking. 

He is especially interested in crisis communication, an expertise acquired in the war rooms of two elections, on the floor of Canadian Parliament during the sponsorship scandal, and on the front lines of health-care during the H1N1 pandemic.

A student of Mass Communications at the University of Ottawa – a program created by his grand-father, Professor André Ruszkowski – Nicolas also served as Vice-President with North America’s largest public affairs firm (Fleishman-Hillard), Director of Communications to a Federal Leader of the Official Opposition, Director of Communications to the Forest Products Association of Canada and Country Director (in Slovakia) for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

He and his wife Amy live in Ottawa, with their Chocolate Labrador, Guinness. They hope to add to their small family soon.



Danièle Bélanger

Danièle Bélanger

Canada Research Chair in Population, Gender and Development, Dr. Danièle Bélanger, professor at The University of Western Ontario, studies different aspects of women's lives in developing countries, such as Vietnam and China. She is building on previous research that identified continuing discrimination against girls and women in spite of socioeconomic development and low fertility. The countries she studies share a cultural preference for sons over daughters, leading to phenomena such as sex-selective abortions of female fetuses, and human trafficking in women and girls.

In her research, Dr. Bélanger investigates how globalization and the new work opportunities that it creates for poor women are affecting them and their families. She considers how agrarian changes reconfigure gender relations and foster or undermine women's empowerment. Since 2005, she focuses on international migration within Asia, with a special attention to the migration of unskilled and rural women for work or marriage. She currently has funding from SSHRC and IDRC for a regional research project on migration and gender in Asia. At Western, she has supervised PhD and MA students from Canada, China, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Turkey, South Korea and Bosnia. She graduated from the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa in 1989.



Frédérica Dupuis

Frédérica Dupuis

Frédérica is an on-air television reporter with more than 15 years experience, presently working for the regional news of the CBC and Radio-Canada in Ottawa. Prior to joining Radio-Canada’s news team in the national capital, she spent more than three years in the United States pursuing her career as a freelance reporter. She also covered the news in Toronto for a decade, working for Radio-Canada as a television reporter as well as TVOntario’s French current affairs show as a journalist, host and field producer.

Over the years, she has covered ongoing and breaking news stories such as Michael Jackson’s trial, numerous hurricanes, and other natural disasters, the Rolling Stones concert for SARS relief and the 2003 Blackout. She has also done many in-depth current affairs segments including pieces on Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and stories about the aftermath of Walkerton.

As a bilingual journalist, she brings a unique cultural perspective to her reporting. Her background and experience, as well as her bilingualism, have always been assets. She has enjoyed collaborating with both her English and French television and radio counterparts, especially in the context of the merging of radio and television news services.

She graduated from the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa in 1994.



Michel Coulombe

Michel Coulombe

A Communication, screenwriting and management of cultural organizations graduate, Michel Coulombe worked in the communication sector before choosing cinema, a sector where he is mainly interested in diffusion. After acting as director of the Association des cinémas parallèles du Québec from 1984 to 1999, he shared his passion for Quebec cinema by organizing the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, a yearly retrospective of national production. From 2001 to 2006, he was involved in programming Silence, on court! (a joint project of the National Film Board and Radio Canada) which, through the Web, television and theatrical screenings, has helped many short films from Quebec and elsewhere find an audience. In 2007, he took on the leadership of special projects for Radio Canada International, where he organized competitions in creative media such as Métissé serré/Digital Diversity, Génération DX2 and Migrations. He produced the cyberseries J’adopte un pays and Embracing Canada, which focused on immigration. These activities allowed him to attend numerous world cinema events, namely as a jury member.

Working as a freelancerfor more than 25 years and as content analystfor Téléfilm Canada and Radio Canada, he has acted on numerous occasions as scriptwriting adviser for film and television. Since the early 1980s, he has been a contributor to several magazines and a commentator on many radio and television programs within Canada and abroad. He is a film analyst on Samedi et rien d’autre, broadcast on Saturday mornings on the Première Chaîne de Radio Canada and film critic for the all-news French network RDI. His publications include Le dictionnaire du cinéma québécois, Boréal, 2006 [1988], (with Marcel Jean); Denys Arcand. La vraie nature du cinéaste, Le Boréal, 1993; Entretiens avec Gilles Carle. Le chemin secret du cinéma, Liber, 1995; and Entretiens avec Jean Beaudin. À fleur d’écran, Liber, 1999.



Marie Grégoire

Marie Grégoire

Marie-Grégoire is Vice-president of Communication and Marketing with the public relations firm HKDP Communications and Public Affairs.

After working a number of years as an independent public relations consultant for companies such as Bell Canada and IBM, Ms. Grégoire became Vice-President of Marketing for Zoom Media. Until recently, she served as Senior Director of Communications for Desjardins Financial Security. She appears as a guest on RDI (Le club des ex) in Montreal, as well as on 98.5 FM, and is a columnist for the Métro daily newspaper.

She was a member of the Société d'aménagement Berthier-d’Autray (land-use planning)from 1987 to 1994, Vice-President of the Société de développement économique de Berthier (economic development corporation) from 1990 to 1992, a member of the Québec Conseil permanent de la jeunesse (youth council from 1990 to 1993, a member of the advisory committee of the National Bank for the Lanaudière region from 1993 to 1996, a founding member of the board of directors for the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi d’Autray-Joliette (youth employment organization) from 1995 to 2000 and President of a working group dealing with family-children of the CRD Lanaudière from 1999 to 2000.

A founding member of ADQ (Action démocratique du Québec), Ms. Grégoire was a candidate in the riding of Assomption in 1998. In June 2002, she won a by-election in Berthier but was later defeated in the 2003 election.

She obtained a B.A. in communication from the University of Ottawa in 1988.



Lisa LaFlamme

Lisa LaFlamme

Lisa LaFlamme, a communication graduate of the University of Ottawa, is well known as the CTV National Affairs Correspondent. Ms. LaFlamme has enjoyed a successful career anchoring the CTV News and interviewing numerous guests as co-host of Canada AM, Canada's most-watched national morning show. Prior to joining Canada AM, she was a political correspondent for CTV News in Ottawa and the prime-time NewsNet anchor, unravelling national and international current affairs for viewers. She recently spent five weeks in the Middle East reporting on the war in Iraq and the political climate in that country.

Ms. LaFlamme has received several awards, winning the 1999 Galaxi Award from the Canadian Cable Television Association in Vancouver and the prestigious RTNDA award for best live coverage of a breaking news event, and receiving three Gemini nominations in the Best News Anchor category.

Ms. LaFlamme is also actively involved with the community, promoting events for organizations such as the Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Women's Foundation.



Daniel Lamarre

Daniel Lamarre

As president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Lamarre leads an organization that is acclaimed as a Canadian icon in the international world of arts and entertainment. He manages the Resident Shows and Touring Shows division, new show development activities, and the creation of new entertainment projects. He is also in charge of multimedia, marketing and merchandising services.

Before joining the Cirque du Soleil in January 2001, he served for nearly four years as President and CEO of TVA Group, Quebec’s largest private television broadcaster. During that time, he also served on the boards of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, and helped administer the Montreal Heart Institute Research Fund.

From 1984 to 1997, Mr. Lamarre worked with NATIONAL Public Relations and became its president in 1995. Earlier, he served as President and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the world’s largest PR firm, and opened its first Montreal office. In 1977, he served as Director of Public Relations for the cable operator Cogeco.

Before taking up his management duties in the world of communication, he worked as a journalist for over ten years. He started out with the Trois-Rivières daily Le Nouvelliste, then moved on to Radio-Canada in Ottawa. He holds a B.A. in communication from the University of Ottawa.

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