It’s difficult to imagine Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) without Barb Tatarnic.
Now CCOVI’s Manager of Professional Studies and Outreach, she joined the University in 1983 and was part of the original team to bring Brock’s flagship research institute to fruition in 1996.
Since then, Tatarnic has worked tirelessly to grow the institute and has been instrumental in CCOVI’s efforts to advance the Canadian grape and wine industry through knowledge and technology transfer.
In honour of her dedication and commitment to both CCOVI and Brock’s professional and continuing studies programming, Tatarnic was recently honoured with an Outstanding Service Award from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE).
The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding leadership, commitment and service to university continuing education in Canada.
“I’m actually still trying to process being given the award, especially in its inaugural year,” says Tatarnic. “I love what I do, complete with all of its challenges, so it’s just so amazing to be recognized for your body of work.”
Tatarnic’s role has evolved as CCOVI has grown. For many of the institute’s formative years, she was the sole staff member responsible for continuing education and outreach, two aspects of CCOVI’s mission.
CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said Tatarnic’s passion to continually raise the profile of CCOVI within Brock and the broader community is unmatched.
“Barb has been a driving force in developing our wine outreach, community engagement initiatives and continuing education programs at CCOVI,” she says. “Her work in outreach and continuing education touches over 4,000 individuals each year and she has been vital in establishing the institute as a leader from a knowledge mobilization perspective.”
Tatarnic’s award nominators pointed to the fact that she has been instrumental in advancing professional and continuing studies programming and infrastructure not only for CCOVI, but also for all of Brock. She was the first to initiate online continuing education courses at Brock and also managed the introduction of the University’s first micro-credential offerings.
Since CCOVI’s inception, Tatarnic worked to ensure non-credit wine tasting courses were included in the Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) undergraduate program and she also guided the Institute to become an accredited program provider of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust® and the Cider Institute of North America’s cider and perry programs.
Beyond the institute’s professional and continuing studies offerings, Tatarnic has shaped the success of CCOVI’s knowledge dissemination within the local and Canadian grape and wine industries. Part of this includes her work to host significant outreach and community engagement related events, including the Experts Tasting, Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series, Cuvée, Fizz Club and several international academic conferences, such as the prestigious International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in July 2022.
“Barb is a champion of continuing education here at Brock University, and this award recognizes her experience and ability to provide the wine and cider industry with leading-edge programming,” says April-Dawn Blackwell, Brock’s Associate Vice-President, Professional and Continuing Studies. “On behalf of the team, congratulations to Barb on this achievement.”