Meet the Speakers


Nathan Cheney (BA ’14, BEd ’14)

Nathan Cheney joined Brock Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) as their Director in May 2022 where he supports the development and operations of continuing education, professional development and organization training opportunities for local and international groups. Prior to Brock, Nathan worked at Queen’s University and McMaster University with a focus on continuing education, international education, program administration, strategic leadership, partner relationship management and business development.

Prior to working in the post-secondary sector, Nathan was an Assistant Principal, Athletic Director and Teacher for a K-9 school in Alberta, Canada. As an educator and administrator, he believes that lifelong learning and continuous professional development is essential to career success and societal development. To support this belief, he followed up his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Brock University by completing continuing education programs in Intercultural Communication, Program Evaluation, Managing International Education programs and Foundational Leadership. He is currently completing his Master of Education thesis at Queen’s University with a topic of International Teacher Professional Development. 

See them here: In-Demand Skills in Ontario | Sept. 22


Gabriel Demarco (BSc ’13)

Realizing that his true professional passion lay in winemaking, Gabriel entered the Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) program at Brock University in 2009. By the summer of 2010, Gabriel was hired by Cave Spring Vineyard’s founding winemaker, Angelo Pavan, to intern in the winery’s eponymous vineyard. Upon graduation in 2013, Gabriel’s ambitions began to materialize when Pavan, whose work he had admired for years, hired him as a full-time winemaker. Continuing to grow under Pavan’s tutelage, he quickly progressed to the position of Assistant Winemaker in 2014 until he took over the reigns completely in 2018.

As Winemaker and Viticulturist, Gabriel oversees all aspects of winegrowing with a relentless drive to refine the distinctive style that the winery has established in Niagara over the decades. He is also the driving force behind Cave Spring’s passionate and evolving commitment to sustainability and an enthusiastic collaborator in the marketing and promotion of Cave Spring Vineyard wines in Canada and beyond.

See them here: Sip and Yoga | Sept. 17


Dr. Val Andrew Fajardo (BSc’09, MSc’ 12)

Dr. Val Andrew Fajardo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University and a Canada Research Chair in Tissue Remodelling and Plasticity Throughout the Lifespan. In this research Dr. Val Andrew Fajardo is looking for ways to promote physiological remodelling to help people live better and longer lives. In particular, Fajardo and his research team are focusing on inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase 3 (a protein implicated in several diseases) and promoting the function of a calcium pump in muscle called SERCA. His lab focuses on these targets using genetic and pharmacological approaches with the hopes of influencing adaptive changes in muscle that can be useful in the fight against obesity, aging and disease, as well as for spaceflight.

See them here: Researcher’s Corner | Sept. 19


Dr. Aaron Mauro

Dr. Aaron Mauro is Associate Professor of Digital Media at Brock University in the Centre for Digital Humanities. He teaches in both Interactive Arts and Science (IASC) and the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities (HUMA) programs on topics relating to digital culture, natural language processing, and app development. He has published articles on U.S. literature and culture, which have appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, Mosaic, and Symploke among others. Dr. Mauro has also published on issues relating to digital humanities in both Digital Studies and Digital Humanities Quarterly. He has recently authored a book-length study of the cultural consequences of cyber security called Hacking in the Humanities: Cybersecurity, Speculative Fiction and Navigating a Digital Future (Bloomsbury 2022).

See them here: Researcher’s Corner | Sept. 19


Jordan Nunn (BBA ’16)

Jordan joined Empire Mortgage Group in 2020, bringing with him years of banking experience with Meridian and Scotiabank. He currently holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. Jordan leans on his previous experience as a Financial Advisor with a holistic approach, enabling him to provide expert advice and 5-star customer service to his clients.

Jordan was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, and is still a proud resident. When he’s not helping clients you can find him spending time with his family and friends or enjoying some of his favourite activities like working out, softball, or golf. He also enjoys the outdoors and loves to hike, fish, cottage, and camp with his wife and their adorable dog Charlie.

See them here: Finding Your Way Home: Expert Advice for First-Time Buyers | Sept. 20


Dr. Erin Panda

Dr. Erin Panda is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies (CHYS) at Brock University and co-director of the CHYS Developmental Neuroscience Lab. There she conducts educational neuroscience research from two angles. From a basic science perspective, she studies how the brain responds while we read, listen to speech, and regulate our attention and how these responses relate to what we know, how we feel, and how we learn. From an applied perspective, she works with local school boards to evaluate how implementing evidence-based reading intervention improves learning outcomes for children who once struggled with reading. The goal of this work is to use neuroscience to provide new insights into the mechanisms of typical and exceptional development and to work with community partners to assist in effective implementation of evidence-based practices. This could lead to a better understanding of why some children may struggle with learning and help inform the widespread adoption of targeted and evidence-based programming so that more children can succeed.

See them here: Researcher’s Corner | Sept. 19


Sonia Reynolds (BA ’13)

Sonia Reynolds is an entrepreneur, certified yoga teacher and passionate advocate for chronic illness and ADHD. She believes in facilitating classes where her students can push themselves, connect with others and of course, have some fun.

After graduating with a degree in Political Science from Brock, Sonia decided to pivot into the fitness industry, and ultimately start her own business. If she’s not at her computer, you can find her golfing, kayaking or hiking.

See them here: Sip and Yoga | Sept. 17

Goodman Dean Barry Wright

Barry Wright

Barry Wright joined the Goodman School of Business in 2003 and is currently the Dean of the Goodman School of Business. He received his PhD in Organizational Behaviour and MA in Psychology of Sport from Queen’s University, and his Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Alberta. He teaches courses in leadership, change, and organizational behavior. Wright served as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Accreditation of the Goodman School of Business from 2008 to 2010, and as Interim Dean from 2015 to 2017. He has also been a Visiting Professor at L’Ecole Superieure de Commerce d’Amiens in France and the University of International Business and Economics in China. From 2020 to 2022, Wright was seconded as CEO of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.

Wright’s research at Goodman has largely focused on leadership and organizational change. In the surrounding Niagara community, Wright has served on numerous agencies and organizations, including as board chair of the Niagara Health System, and a board member for Leadership Niagara and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.  

See them here: How to Lead a Team | Sept. 21