At the College
I started Grade 9 in the fall of 1988. I chose Loretto College because of its theatre, arts and music programs. I was very interested in the creative arts. When Mrs. McClelland became my art teacher in Grade 11, she unlocked all of my creative talent. From her, I learned about colour theory, graphic design, perspective drawing and real life drawing. In Grade 12, I had Mrs. Murphy for English. She encouraged me to embrace my love of writing suggesting I pursue a post secondary education in Journalism (which I did) where we both agreed if I chose Print Journalism, I could use my graphic arts skill for editorial layout.
I have very fond memories of Mrs. McClelland. By the time I entered grade 11, I was feeling very lost about what I was meant to do after high school. I wasn’t destined to be a mathematician, nurse, scientist, teacher or doctor, and to be honest, university didn’t appeal to me. While other teachers lectured me about being “practical” about my schooling, Mrs. McClelland discussed with me at length what was available at Toronto area colleges and for that I am forever grateful. University isn’t for everyone and there is no shame in a college diploma.
I’ve spent the last two decades working as a graphic designer and marketing specialist in several industries. I started out as a Copy Editor and Illustrator in the newspaper industry. I then moved into multimedia, I.T. and insurance. I now work as a Manager, Creative Design for an association that supports Canada’s life and health insurance companies.
When I’m not working I am passionate about cycling and nutrition. I was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder in 2004 and it’s been a tremendous struggle to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Five years ago I made some significant changes in my life by changing my diet and becoming physically active. I have managed to sustain a 90 pound weight loss, but it’s not been easy (there have been gains, followed by losses). Because I know how difficult this is, I am very open on social media about living with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). By connecting with other women who suffer with this condition, I hope to offer inspiration that its symptoms can be managed with good lifestyle habits. I am also an avid cyclist and a huge proponent of “cycling at any size”. When I went for my first bike ride, I was over 300 pounds and could barely ride two kilometers. I was incredibly self conscious but kept at it, convinced I could prove to myself I could do it. Eventually I worked my way up to 30 km long bike rides in just under 90 minutes. I am also passionate about public transit and the infrastructure needed to support transit options in suburban communities. Online, I’ve been dubbed a “commuter extraordinaire” since I bike, walk, bus, train and drive to get around the GTHA.