Creating space for transformative conversations


Staff and faculty manage and deliver the core educational and public programming for the Centre for Dialogue, and provide support for affiliated initiatives.


Shauna Sylvester

Director, SFU Centre for Dialogue & Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, SFU Public Square

Shauna is a skilled facilitator, an award-winning social entrepreneur and a passionate public speaker on urban issues, democratic development and climate solutions.  Shauna has founded four organizations including Carbon Talks and Renewable Cities, Canada’s World and IMPACS—the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world.

Shauna is a Professor of Professional Practice in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was the co-creator and first Executive Director of the SFU Public Square and serves as the Director of the SFU Centre for Dialogue.

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Aretha Munro

Assistant to the Director

Aretha is a graduate of the University of Victoria in Anthropology and Environmental Sciences. She comes to the Centre with deep experience in administration, project management, communications and marketing. For the last 5 years, she has served as the Administrative Coordinator for the Positive Women’s Network, an educational and support organization serving the needs of women living with HIV and AIDS. Aretha is an accomplished photographer and videographer. She has worked with organizations such as Momentum Magazine, the Cultch, Check Your Head, Vancouver Live! Biennale and South Arm Community Centre.

Brenda Tang

Administrative Manager

Brenda Tang started her work with the Centre for Dialogue in 2004 with Dialogue Programs. After a brief stint working in real estate marketing, Brenda returned to the Centre working under the Academic Director managing department and project budgets, marketing and website updates, event planning and logistics as well as all aspects of administration. Brenda has been employed in numerous departments within SFU and also has a background of working in the downtown eastside, marketing for the non-profit arts and teaching English in Guangzhou, China. She holds a BA in Communications from SFU.

Robin Prest

Program Director, Civic Engage

Robin Prest is the Program Director for Civic Engage, an initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of governments and citizens to work collaboratively on policy decisions. He regularly supports elected officials and senior decision-makers to improve the clarity and impact of public engagement initiatives, and to embed engagement within organizational cultures.

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Sebastian Merz

Program Manager, Civic Engage

Sebastian is part of a team to build out the Centre's Civic Engage Program, an initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of governments and citizens to work collaboratively on policy decisions. His approach to dialogue-based engagement is inspired by his background in peace research, conflict resolution, and the study of democracies.

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Grace Lee

C2U Expo 2017 Community Jam Event and Marketing Coordinator

Grace is an alumnus of SFU, with a BA in Communications and minor in Print and Digital Publishing. Prior to working at the Centre for Dialogue she has worked as the Corporate Events Coordinator for Canadian Tire, where she organized events across the country. Grace also has a strong communications background that she has cultivated through her studies at SFU, her work in Canada and her employment with KPR & Associates in South Korea, where she has worked in development and execution global digital strategies and managing online communities for brands like Kia Motors, and Samsung Camera.

Grace brings her extensive event planning, public relations, fundraising, communications and project management experience to support a national Steering Committee in delivering a two-day interactive conference in Surrey May 1 to 2. The Community Jam is part of the lead up to the main C2U Expo 2017 conference being held in Vancouver May 3 to 5, 2017.

Linda Bannister

Undergraduate Secretary

Linda Bannister is the Undergraduate Secretary for the Semester in Dialogue and the Centre for Dialogue. From meeting and greeting Semester in Dialogue students, to organizing their reading material, Linda keeps all aspects of the office in good working order and brings a friendliness to all of her work and interactions.

Kelvin Chan

Budget Assistant

Kelvin holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography with a Minor in Communications in Dialogue. He assists in managing the financial processes for the various programs at the centre, and reports to the Manager of the Centre for Dialogue. Kelvin sees dialogue and engagement as an opportunity to be part of a medium that helps us wonder, discover, and be inspired by an individual’s unique narrative.

Gerilee McBride

Design & Communication

Gerilee McBride has a BFA in Visual Arts in the discipline of painting from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, a Post Baccalaureate in Communication from SFU and a Master of Publishing from SFU. She provides web and design services and is responsible for developing a variety of print and web-based communication and marketing materials for both the SFU Centre for Dialogue and the SFU Semester in Dialogue.