Hiring announcement: Communications Associates

04 February 2022

External Relations is pleased to announce the hiring of 10 Communications Associates throughout the three Colleges, Internal Communications, and Media Strategy.


Donna McKinnon joined the College of Natural and Applied Sciences as a Communications Associate on January 17. Donna is a versatile writer and content creator with more than six years communications experience in the Faculty of Arts. Most recently, Donna contributed freelance writing for people-focused organizations such as the Alberta Lodging and Hotel Association. 

Nate Lam and Shirley Wilfong-Pritchard joined the College of Health Sciences as Communications Associates on January 31. Nate comes to the team from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine where he was the Communications and Alumni Relations Coordinator and brings his varied experiences as a freelance content creator and video journalist. Shirley brings her versatile skills as a freelance writer, editor, creative strategist, and designer to the team, as well her previous experience with the Alberta School of Business and as marketing manager at MacEwan University. 

Lauren Bannon will join the College of Social Sciences and Humanities as a Communications Associate on February 7. She comes from Goodmorning.com where she was communications specialist and also brings her audience development and stakeholder relations experience as online engagement coordinator with Fair Trade Edmonton Council.

Internal Communications

Supporting the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research with internal communications focused on students and employees, Sarah Coffin started in her new role as Communications Associate on January 31. Sarah has worked in communications in Student Services at the university since 2003, starting at the Career Centre and then moving to work with the Health + Wellness units within the Dean of Students portfolio.

On February 7, Sabrina Tharani will join Internal Communications as a Communications Associate with a focus on student and employee communications related to the Office of the Registrar. Sabrina previously supported the Issues Management team as a News and Media Analyst, and provided interim writing support to the Internal Communications team penning stories for The Quad and YouAlberta

Michelle Peters-Jones joins the team as a Communications Associate on February 7 and will support communications to our internal communities related to experiential learning, career development, and academic support. Michelle comes to us from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, where she used podcasts and social media to connect with student audiences. She also brings her experience as former manager and editor of the Canadian Journal of Sociology. 

Kirsten Bauer joins the team as a Communications Associate on February 14 to support internal communications related to student health and wellness. Kirsten comes to us from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry where she has worked as the Awards Coordinator and most recently the Social Media Associate, operating multiple social platforms and using them to enhance strategic storytelling. 

Media Strategy

Sarah Vernon joined the team as a Communications Associate on February 3. An experienced, creative journalist, Sarah brings a keen sense of what makes a good story and the ability to juggle multiple projects under tight deadlines. Her most recent assignments included steering Global Edmonton’s fast-paced, constantly-developing Weekend Morning News, while simultaneously producing a national television segment on parenting.  Prior to that, Sarah produced and reported for a daily primetime current affairs program at CTV. We’re pleased to welcome her skills in storytelling and enterprise journalism, and experience engaging with subject matter experts.

Debra Clark joins the team as a Communications Associate on February 16, coming from Corporate Communications at the City of Saint Albert. There, she collaborated across multiple departments on media relations, communications, and marketing initiatives. First and foremost a storyteller, Debra has also honed her skills inside both a newsroom (CTV Edmonton) and a post-secondary institution (MacEwan University). We’re excited to welcome her combined experience in proactive communications outreach and stakeholder relationship building, as well as her ability to get to the heart of a story and share it in an engaging way across multiple platforms.