Board Member Biographies
Most Rev. Christian Riesbeck, CC
Bishop Riesbeck obtained a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Sciences from the University of Ottawa, followed by a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from St. Paul University of Ottawa and a Master of Divinity from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough. He was Ordained to the Priesthood in Ottawa for the Companions of the Cross in 1996. He served in pastoral ministry in the Archdioceses of Kingston, Ottawa and Galveston-Houston, Texas, was appointed Chancellor and later Episcopal Vicar for Canonical Concerns for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, and a judge of the Ottawa Regional Marriage Tribunal. He also served as the Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross. In 2014, Bishop Riesbeck was ordained to the episcopate as Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa. He held the offices of Vicar General, Vicar for the National Language Parishes, Communities and Faithful, Moderator of the Curia, and Coordinator of English Pastoral Services. Bishop Riesbeck was named Bishop of the Diocese of Saint John in 2019.
Dawn Russell, BA, LLB, LLM, President and Vice Chancellor
Professor Russell has been President and Vice-Chancellor since July 2011. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University, a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie Law School and a Masters in International Law from Cambridge University. She was dean of the Dalhousie Law School for ten years and was the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law. She has taught business law, securities regulations, corporate governance, and law of the sea, and has also consulted in the law of the sea and international law and provincial boundary issues, and has provided legal assistance to governments on maritime boundaries and ocean management issues. She was a founding member of the Centre for Law and Democracy, served on the Maritime Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, and was an executive member of the Lawyers for Social Responsibility. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel and received the Francis Fish Award for Excellence and Leadership in the Legal Profession.
Kim Fenwick, BSc, MA, PhD - Acting President and Vice-President (Academic and Research)
Dr. Fenwick was appointed Acting Vice-President (Academic & Research) in January 2016. She was the winner of the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. She is the author of numerous scholarly publications including her contribution to Witnesses and the Law. She has taught at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, and she joined the Department of Psychology at St. Thomas University in 1995. She later served as the chair of that department and many university committees.
Tammy Augustine, BA, LLB (Oct. 2024)
Tammy Augustine is a graduate of STU and holds an LLB from the University of Ottawa. Since 2011, she has been the justice manager for the Elsipogtog First Nation where she is responsible for overseeing justice programs and projects related to Restorative Justice Program—healing and sentencing circles (including victim services) and the healing and wellness court. She has been active in her community at Elsipogtog and throughout the province. She serves on the justice advisory committee and served on the crime reduction strategy workgroup at Elsipogtog. She has also served on the New Brunswick Advisory Committee on Violence Against Aboriginal Women and the New Brunswick Roundtable on Crime and Public Safety.
Stacey Couturier, BA, BEd, CPHR (Oct. 2026)
Stacey Couturier is a Human Resources Professional who currently woks as Senior Recruitment Consultant for Accountant / Administrative Staffing’s New Brunswick location where she manages the recruitment of accounting, finance and administrative roles in the area. Stacey completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology at St. Thomas University and her Education degree from Crandall University in Moncton and is an enthusiastic ambassador for New Brunswick as a whole. Stacey is an active member of the Canadian Progress Club, Moncton’s local chapter of Business & Professional Women as well as the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources for New Brunswick.
Ellen C. Desmond, BA, LLB, MSW, LLM, KC (March 2027)
Ellen C. Desmond is a Commissioner to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. She was previously the Director of Legal and Administration with the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board from 2006-2020 and, prior to this, she worked in private practice. She received her Queens Counsel designation in 2015. She has also taught on a part time basis with the Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick. Ellen was the Chair of the Administrative Law Section for the Canadian Bar Association (NB), a member of the Board for Symphony New Brunswick, a member of the Accounting and Auditing Standards Oversight Council and the Atlantic Canada Lead for Women General Counsel Canada.
David Farrar, BA, LLB (May 2024)
The Honourable Justice David P.S. Farrar was born in Tide Head, New Brunswick and grew up in that Province. He is a graduate of St. Thomas University (majors in Sociology and Math) and University of New Brunswick where he obtained a law degree. While at the University of New Brunswick he was a Beaverbrook scholar and co-editor of the UNB Law Journal. He was appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in September 2009 and elevated to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in March 2010. He was a litigator in private practice specializing in commercial litigation, insurance defence work, construction law, workers’ compensation law, occupational health and safety and employment law. He was a part-time lecturer at Dalhousie University from 1989 to 2007 lecturing first in Civil Trial Practice and then, for the last seven years, Insurance Law. He previously served on the Board of Governors’ of St. Thomas University in various capacities for eight years. He had published and lectured frequently in a variety of fields including: Construction law, Occupational Health and Safety, Workers’ Compensation Law, Civil Procedure and Advocacy. He is the past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association Construction Law National subsection and the Canadian Bar Association, Nova Scotia Civil Litigation section.
David Ferguson, BA (Mar. 2025) - Chair
David Ferguson began his career in the New Brunswick public service in 1972. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Labour. Subsequent appointments included Deputy Solicitor General, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, and Deputy Minister of Natural Resources. Ferguson served as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet until his retirement in 2010. In 2011, he was appointed Chair of the Board of Horizon Health Authority where he served until June 2016. He currently serves on the Boards of Portage Atlantic and Learnsphere Canada. Ferguson has a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola College.
Marlene Floyd, BA (May 2025)
Marlene Floyd leads Microsoft’s corporate affairs, public policy and advocacy efforts in Canada. Prior to joining Microsoft, Marlene was responsible for the execution of national stakeholder engagement and outreach campaigns while serving as the Director of Operations and Outreach to the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau in the lead up to the 2015 federal election. Marlene has previously worked as a Partner at a national government and public affairs firm and has served as an advisor to Prime Ministers and several federal Ministers on a diverse range of public policy matters. An avid volunteer, Marlene sits on several national and community boards and is the founder of Dress for Success Ottawa. For her career and community achievements Marlene has been a recipient of a "Forty Under 40" award, Y Women of Distinction award and a Leading Women Building Communities award from the province of Ontario.
Krista Han, CPA, CA, FEA (Mar. 2025)
Krista Han is a partner at Grant Thornton and has almost two decades of experience in providing accounting, assurance, and advisory services to clients in the public and private sectors. She is the Chair of the Grant Thornton Foundation and also volunteers for various charities including the Terry Fox Run. She is a member of the Succession Connect Advisory Committee which supports immigration to the region through the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and serves as an advisory member to Family Business Atlantic. Han holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from UNBSJ; she is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Professional Accountant, and a Family Enterprise Advisor.
Brent Henry, CPA, CA (May 2025)
Brent Henry is Vice President, Finance and Acting Chief Financial Officer at Vetscor Inc in Fredericton. Prior to this role, he was the company’s Chief Compliance Officer and Director of Finance Operations. He has also worked as a Senior Accountant for Deloitte & Touche, LLP. He holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant) designation, was designated on the David Hope Honor Role at the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountancy and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting and minor in economics from the University of New Brunswick.
Daniel McCarthy – BComm, FCPA, DComm (May 2026)
Daniel J. McCarthy has over 30 years of experience in the investment banking and securities industry. He has worked as Vice-Chairman at Credit Suisse Securities (Canada) Inc and as Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets. Previously at CIBC, he was Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking for Diversified Industries. In addition, Mr. McCarthy spent a number of years as Managing Director within CIBC’s Equity Capital Markets business, where he was responsible for the distribution of new issues within CIBC’s private client brokerage division. Prior to joining CIBC in 1990, Mr. McCarthy was Managing Director of Private Client Marketing at Merrill Lynch Canada.
Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, BA, BTh, MA (Dec. 2024)
Sister Mary Beth McCurdy has been congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception since 2010. Earlier, she served in education as well as parish and liturgical ministries in both eastern and western Canada. She graduated from the University of New Brunswick and Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alta. Later, she earned a graduate degree from the Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. In 2008, she co-founded Sophia Recovery Centre for Women in Saint John, NB with the late sister Arleen Brawley SCIC. Sister Mary Beth served as a counsellor and board member at the centre. For three years, she was a delegate to the International Union of Superiors General. She is a board member with the Sisters of Charity Federation of North America as well as the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md. Her commitment to community outreach and social and ecological justice includes a focus on truth and reconciliation in relationship with Indigenous peoples.
The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Chancellor (Dec. 2024)
The Hon. Graydon Nicholas earned a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University, a Bachelor of Law from the University of New Brunswick, and a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. He worked with the Union of New Brunswick Indians as legal counsel and then as its Chair and President. As a jurist he argued cases at all levels including at the Supreme Court of Canada and was a Provincial Court Judge from 1991-2009. With former Supreme Court Justice Gerard V. La Forest, he co-authored the March 1999 Report of the Task Force on Aboriginal Issues at the request of the New Brunswick Government. He was Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 2009 to 2014, becoming the first Indigenous person to hold this office. He was the Endowed Chair of Native Studies at STU from 1989-1991 and was reappointed in 2015.
Phillippe Ouellette, BA, MA (Sept. 2024)
Phillippe Ouellette is the deputy commissioner of growth and community planning for the City of Saint John where he holds the administrative responsibilities for coordinating economic development, intergovernmental affairs and revenue generation. He holds a bachelor of arts from STU, a master’s in political studies from Queen’s University and recently completed the Senior Executive in State and Local Government Program from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Prior to joining the City of Saint John, he worked for the Government of New Brunswick as a director in the Population Growth Secretariat. He currently serves on Saint John’s Social Renewal Strategy and Saint John’s Advisory Board on Homelessness.
Vaughn Sturgeon, BA, CMA, CPA (Dec. 2027)
Vaughn Sturgeon is the president, CEO and owner of The Warren Group, a logistics and industrial services group comprised of six individual operating companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University and is a certified management accountant. He has been active in his community, serving on boards with the Rexton Community Access Centre, Rexton EMO and Rexton Credit Union. In the transportation industry, he has served as a director with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Atlantic Provinces Truckers Association and has served other corporate and not-for-profit boards. Sturgeon has also participated in many regional forums on economic development in Atlantic Canada.
Stephen Ward, BA, MA, PhD (May 2027)
Stephen Ward is a philosopher, journalist, educator and award-winning author. He started as a legislative reporter for the Saint John Telegraph before moving to the Canadian Press. He has worked as a foreign reporter, war correspondent and news room manager. He covered conflicts in Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and was often the only Canadian reporter in battle zones. Following his career in the field, he became the first faculty member at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism and made media ethics his area of expertise. His book, The Invention of Journalism Ethics, is now a standard reference around the world and his recent book Global Journalism Ethics: A Global Approach is one of the first philosophical examinations of ethics for global media.
Bill Whalen, BA (Oct. 2023)
Bill Whalen is owner and chief executive officer of Hawk Marketing Services based in Moncton, NB and has extensive experience in community relations, special events management, board and executive communications and media relations. Over his career, he worked with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Blue Cross, Irving Oil, the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce and Corporate Communications Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia and was inducted into the Canadian Public Relations Society College of Fellows. He has been a community leader having played important roles as Chair of the Greater Moncton Airport, the Greater Moncton United Way Campaign, the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships and the Friends of The Moncton Hospital Foundation. In 2013 he was given the Order of Moncton.
Michael Dawson, BA, MA, PhD (Oct. 2024)
Michael Dawson is Professor of History at St. Thomas University where he teaches courses on Canadian History, the global history of sport and tourism, the relationship between history and entertainment, and the comparative history of national identity and popular culture in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. He served as Chair of the History Department from 2006 to 2010 and Associate Vice-President (Research) from 2015 to 2020. In 2014 he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.
Matthew Hayes, BA, MA, PhD (Oct. 2023)
Dr. Matthew Hayes joined the Department of Sociology in 2009 after earning a BA and an MA from Carleton University and a PhD from York University. He has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters in highly respected, international venues. He has published in three languages, English, French, and Spanish, and his research networks have been aided by his ability to speak and work in two others, Italian and Portuguese. He is currently the Canada Research Chair in Global and Transnational Studies. He specializes in global sociology, transnational gentrification, lifestyle mobilities, and cosmopolitanism. His latest research explores the lives of lifestyle migrants from high-income countries in the Global North to lower income countries in the Global South.
Robin Vose, BA, MA, MMS, PhD (Oct. 2024)
Robin Vose was born in Vancouver and subsequently lived in Montreal, Rochester (NY), Saskatoon, Ottawa, Toronto, Cranbrook, Nanegalito (Ecuador), Alonim (Israel), South Bend (IN), Springfield (OH) and now Fredericton. He majored in History and Middle East Studies at McGill University before switching to Medieval Studies at the Universities of Toronto and Notre Dame. His PhD research focused on the role played by members of the Dominican Order of Friars Preacher in defining and policing barriers between Jews, Muslims and Christians in medieval Spain and North Africa, and he continues to examine premodern modalities of religio-cultural conflict—such as inquisition, crusade, and colonialism—around the globe.
Catherine LaPrairie (April 2023)
Catherine LaPrairie is a third year student from Ottawa, ON.
Don Bossé, BA, BEd, MMus (Oct. 2023)
Don Bossé is a lecturer at St. Thomas University and the founder and director of STU Jazz. Don recently retired from his role as director of music and Fine Arts Department Head at Fredericton High School. In 2015 he was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor's New Brunswick Youth Orchestra Award for his leadership for the musical development of the youth of New Brunswick. In 2016 he was named MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, sponsored by the iconic rock group RUSH, and honoured at the 2016 Juno Awards.
Stephanie Underhill Tomilson, BA, BEd. Med (Dec. 2024)
Stephanie Tomilson is a leader in the educational community. She is currently the Principal at Fredericton High School, and prior to this role, she had been a Principal or an Assistant Principal in schools of the Saint John region since 2007. Stephanie has been an educator for over 20 years. She has spent 11 of those in administration and greatly contributes in a variety of community outreach programs in her school. Tomilson received a Bachelor of Arts (major in English) and a Bachelor in Elementary Education from St. Thomas University, and a Masters of Education (Educational Foundations in Administration) from University of New Brunswick. She is also a board member of various organizations, including Children’s Wish/Make-A-Wish, KV Oasis Youth Centre and Hestia House Women’s Shelter.
Jeffrey Carleton, BA, MA (Associate Vice-President Communications)
Jeffrey Carleton is Associate Vice-President of Communications at St. Thomas University. He has worked in the post-secondary sector for 19 years and has served on various administrative committees at the university. He holds a BA (First-Class Honours) and MA (Distinction) from UNB and has been a communications practioner for 33 years in the corporate and post-secondary sectors. He has expertise in issues management, media relations and crisis communications, and has presented to many organizations on these subjects.
James Culligan, BBA, CPA,CGA (Vice-President, Finance and Administration)
James Culligan is Vice-President (Finance and Administration) at St. Thomas University. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He joined STU in 2022 following a successful career at Service New Brunswick where he held progressively responsible senior positions in accounting, budgeting, and administration. For the last six years prior to his move to STU, he was Executive Director of Finance and Administration overseeing a large operating and capital budget, as well as having responsibility for financial forecasting and reporting. He also has private sector experience as he worked for Irving Transportation Services before joining SNB. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from UNB and holds designations from the Certified General Accountants of Canada.
Jodi Misheal, BA, BEd (Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Relations)
Jodi Misheal was appointed Vice-President (Advancement & Alumni Relations) in April 2017. Over her career, she has been a director of capital campaigns, annual funds, and major gift programs, and has directed alumni relations programming. She was Director of Development at St. Mary’s University, Assistant Campaign Director at Acadia University, and Senior Development Officer and Alumni Fund Director at Mount Allison University. She was also Director of Alumni Affairs at Mount Allison where she was responsible for chapter events, reunions, annual fund, and class projects. She was partner/owner of Red Letter Philanthropy Counsel, a company that provides guidance and support to non-profit organizations. Misheal holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University and a Bachelor of Education from St. Francis Xavier University.
Alex Nguyen (President, Students’ Union) (May 2023)
Alex Nguyen is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is a fourth year student majoring in Political Science and is the president of the STU Students’ Union.