Who We Are
The people behind SFU Public Square are committed to working collaboratively to create space for diverse voices and ideas. Our permanent staff are joined by community volunteers and students through the work-study, co-op and peer education program who infuse our approach with their energy and ideas. Much more than a production team, we confront the complexity of topics in our programming through a spirit of always learning and striving for better. This culture challenges us to think holistically and extend ourselves towards ever more interesting, inclusive, and productive engagements.
Janet Webber (she/her) – Executive Director
Janet effectively designs and facilitates community engagement activities which encourage the respectful exchange of diverse values and ideas. Locally and internationally she has convened innovative, inclusive and impactful events for small intimate groups and for audiences numbered in the thousands. The north star that guides Janet’s work is her belief in the fundamental importance of bringing people into spaces and conversations with each other on the issues that shape our individual and collective lives. Janet is originally from Toronto, lives in Vancouver and holds a BA in Psychology and an Executive MBA.
Seth Erais (he/him) – Program Manager
Seth comes to SFU Public Square with a professional background in student engagement, program development and event planning. He is an educator and advocate for accessibility and meaningful inclusion. Before working with SFU Public Square, he developed and facilitated interreligious and intercultural education and programming for students, staff and faculty at the University of Calgary. Seth completed his BA in Religious Studies with a focus on pedagogy and experiential learning in post-secondary education at the University of Calgary. He believes in the power of storytelling for social change.
Learn more about Seth in this People of SFU story.
Gabrielle Parent (she/her) - Communications Lead
With a BA in Anthropology and Greek and Roman Studies from the University of Victoria, Gabrielle often refers to herself as an accidental communications professional. After a series of internships, Gabrielle’s love for storytelling led to her discovery of the communications field. Following her time at the Office of the Seniors Advocate of BC, Gabrielle decided to shift towards education and community engagement. As a queer woman, avid reader, and amateur writer, Gabrielle believes in the power of storytelling in uniting a community, sharing perspectives, and enacting social change.
Learn more about Gabrielle in her Meet the Team interview
Silvana joins SFU Public Square following a year in the non-profit sector. Originally from Colombia and holding a BA in Human Geography from UBC, Silvana enjoys learning from different perspectives and contributing to the creation of safe spaces for dialogue and knowledge sharing. She is excited to work and learn alongside the university and the local community to deliver engaging and inclusive programming with SFU Public Square. In her spare time, Silvana enjoys dancing, singing, and walking around the city with a good playlist on her headphones.
Learn more about Silvana in her Meet the Team interview
Nola Mellon (they/them) – Design Lead
Nola believes in the power of building human connection through design and storytelling. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, they have a BA in Visual Communication Design and a Diploma in Graphic Design. With a passion for continuous learning and unlearning, Nola is drawn towards projects surrounding social justice and community engagement.
Learn more about Nola in their Meet the Team interview
Gabriel Alegbeleye (he/him) – Program Assistant
Gabriel is a 4th-year Criminology major at Simon Fraser University. He believes knowledge is one of the most powerful tools, and that when equipped with knowledge, a community can thrive. Gabriel has a passion for community building, art, digital media, and justice. He is excited to be part of a growing SFU and British Columbia community and hopes to make significant impact at any given opportunity. In his spare time, Gabriel enjoys cooking, exercising, and planning towards the future.
Learn more about Gabriel in his Meet the Team interview
Ina Pace (she/her) – Communications and Research Volunteer
Ina is an international intern from England and University of Victoria (UVic) alumni – a major in History and English Literature. She is now in Vancouver to build experience with the team at SFU Public Square through the InternEx program! Her multimedia background includes research for TV documentaries and social media marketing. Most recently, Ina has worked in International Higher Education project management, for which she helped facilitate programs designed to refine, for example, academics’ teaching skills and to empower women's leadership. Happiest when being creative, Ina looks forward to furthering wider community engagement efforts at SFU Public Square.
Learn more about Ina in her Meet the Team interview
Sofia Sokic (she/her) – Program Assistant
Sofia is a 3rd year Communications student at Simon Fraser University. She believes teamwork is an essential tool to building a productive and positive community. Sofia’s passion for design, media, community building, and teamwork inspired her interest to join SFU Public Square as a Work Study student. She is excited to be apart of making positive change within SFU and the broader Vancouver community. In her spare time, she enjoys being with loved ones, exercising, reading, and enjoying the few moments of peace outside of the busy schedule of a university student.
Learn more about Sofia in her Meet the Team interview
Athena Samonte (she/her) – Program Volunteer
Athena is a 4th-year Cognitive Science major and Global Humanities minor at Simon Fraser University. Athena is passionate about bridging the gap between technology and society. She believes that dialogue is a key element in producing productive changes and is excited to be working with a team of like-minded individuals to inspire deeper conversation in the community. In her spare time, Athena enjoys reading classic and contemporary literature, taking photos of whatever catches her eye, and living in the moment.