OpenThink Community

Based at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Graduate Studies, OpenThink draws on experts at Dalhousie and the University of King's College, as well as external partners like NATIONAL Public Relations, to provide a select group of PhD students from across academic disciplines with the skills and confidence they need to open their thinking to the world. [...]

Based at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, OpenThink draws on experts at Dalhousie and the University of King’s College, as well as external partners like NATIONAL Public Relations, to provide a select group of PhD students from across academic disciplines with the skills and confidence they need to open their thinking to the world.


Dr. Lynne Robinson is the director of the Interdisciplinary PhD (IDPhD) program at Dalhousie University in addition to being the academic director of the OpenThink Initiative.


Andrew Riley is the program director of the OpenThink Initiative and the senior manager of strategy and communications for Dalhousie’s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Workshop leaders


In addition to being a Dalhousie professor and the Canada Research Chair in Children’s Pain, Dr. Christine Chambers is the scientific director of the CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth; the director of Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP); and was named one of Canada’s most powerful women in 2019.


The associate director of the journalism program at the University of King’s College, Pauline Dakin joined King’s in 2016 following a distinguished career with the CBC. She teaches broadcast journalism with a focus on news and current affairs.


Shannon Hall is a Dalhousie PhD candidate in Medical Neuroscience who is passionate about using social media to connect with other researchers and share information. She is experienced in science communication, social media management and digital content creation.


The Vice-President of the Halifax office of NATIONAL Public Relations, Kristan Hines previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Premier of Nova Scotia. She has also spent time in Ottawa on Parliament Hill, providing strategic political, policy and communications advice for cabinet members and elected officials.


An award-winning journalist, Kim Pittaway is the former managing editor and editor-in-chief of Chatelaine and a past president of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. Currently, she is the executive director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College, as well as an instructor in the journalism program.


An assistant professor in the journalism program at the University of King’s College, David Swick spent over 20 years as a journalist writing for newspapers and magazines as well as contributing to documentaries for television and CBC Radio.


An online news and multimedia specialist with nearly 20 years of experience working in newsrooms across Canada, Terra Tailleur is an assistant professor in the journalism program at the University of King’s College.


The Associate Vice-President of NATIONAL Public Relations’ Halifax Office, Tara Wickwire has led PR strategy for some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.


Dalhousie’s head of creative services, Paul Williams is also the treasurer and past president of the Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. He is the former creative director of NATIONAL Public Relations and a past Nova Scotia Community College faculty member.