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Our alumni

Alumni of Communications Studies have gone on to do both meaningful and amazing things. Here, find just a small sampling of some of our Graduates who've gone on to be recognized on the International stage.

Featured alumni

“The professors in Communications pushed us to have our own vision and our own signature. There was an amazing sense of community. We were in it together, whether it was acting, recording sound, creating soundtracks, being on the lookout for locations for other students' projects.”

– Patrice Vermette, BA 23, Academy Award-winning and BAFTA-winning production designer, Dune, C.R.A.Z.Y., Young Victoria and Arrival. He returned to complete his degree this year — the year his daughter Lili Bertrand-Vermette graduated from the same program. 

“Concordia prepared me for my profession in both predictable and unpredictable ways. Not only did I learn the necessary skills to make me useful in my first marketing job in the entertainment industry on Day One, but it helped me to ideate and problem-solve in a singular way. As additional new platforms hit our industry, I was able to help navigate and anticipate the impact of new technologies on our media landscape. My degree gave me the necessary edge to ascend in my career.”

– Livia Tortella, BA 91, founder and CEO of Black Box, a music marketing juggernaut. Livia earned a reputation as a fearless entertainment executive, working with artists such as U2, Def Leppard, Dire Straits, Portishead, The Cult, Michael Bublé, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Bruno Mars, Death Cab for Cutie, Halestorm, Gnarls Barkley, and Janelle Monae, PJ Harvey, The Killers, Melissa Etheridge, Bon Jovi. 

“Without a doubt, my studies at Concordia Communications gave me an incredible foundation for my career. I often look back to my time there and how the professors, training, and guidance were instrumental first steps to working professionally in film and television.”

– Paul Barry, BA 92, first assistant director and producer, Bullet Train, Dead Pool, Snow Falling on Cedars. 

"My years at Concordia were amongst the most fruitful in terms of preparing me for the industry I was about to enter. In particular, the spectrum of courses offered through the Communication Studies department gave me a well-rounded background and foundation that I still use to this day.”

– Nastaran Dibai, BA 83, executive producer on Resident Alien, Dear White People, Flatbush Misdemeanors, Run the World, writer of Brown Girls, Hope & Faith, writer/producer at Amazon Studios (2015-2016), writer/producer at Warner Bros. (2014-2015).  

“Communication Studies was a perfect fit for me, providing theoretical and practical knowledge, innovative creative approaches, and long-lasting friendships that continue to yield collaborations even after twenty years.”

– Kieran Crilly, BA 03, cinematographer and co-producer of The Lady in Number 6, cinematographer for The Give and Take, Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur, Bad Ladies, and Boost.

"During my studies in Comms, I was able to utilize my creativity to its fullest potential. I’m grateful for the department as they provided me with the tools and knowledge to find a creative career in social media management that aligned with my passions."

– Jamie Lewis-Mella, BA 21, creative marketing coordinator at Cozey.


Frederic Bohbot, BA 01, Executive Producer, 2014 Academy-award winning documentary The Lady in Number 6, Frederic Bohbot founded Bunbury Films in 2002.

Donna Barker, BA89, Social Activist, Adult Educator, Documentary Filmmaker

As a founding staff member of the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society (IMPACS), and faculty with the Hollyhock Leadership Institute, Donna has trained and supported over a thousand social and environmental activists across Canada, helping them to develop better media and public communications skills. When she’s not helping activists tell their stories more effectively, Donna works as a documentary filmmaker. Broadcast credits include Sangoma: Traditional Healers in Modern Society and Side by Side: Women Against AIDS in Zimbabwe. She recently completed Little Boy Blue, earning her first writer/director credits since graduating from Communication Studies in 1989. Donna also sits on the Board of Directors of Moving Images Distribution and maintains several writing projects.

Salvatore V. Barrera, BA92, Director, producer, cameraman, pixel pusher, animator, etc.

“By the time I graduated from Communication Studies in 1992, I had already won an award for a music video from Musique Plus. Some of my producer credits include:Zigrail, André Turpin’s first film; Burnt Eden by Eugene Garcia; PSAs for Concordia University and the MUHC Foundation; as well as a documentary for CIDA. When I am not trying to master a new, soon to be obsolete, technology I’m animating titles and creating effects for films such as: Eisenstein, Big Money, Le Nèg’, Le Goût des jeunes filles, Méchant Party, Ne Dis Rien, Molinari: La dernière conversation.

Manon Boivin, BA89, Television Producer

Having graduated from Communication Studies in 1989, Manon has 15 years of industry experience in broadcasting and television production. She began her career in news with the CBCCTV and Global. She also acquired extensive experience as a researcher and production coordinator early on. With a solid news, documentary and lifestyle genre background, including several documentaries in the field of sports, science, technology, history and the arts, she has produced countless hours of programming. In the past year alone, as the new Western Region Producer for Kids’ CBC in Vancouver, she has produced over 24 hours of original content for the CBC. She collaborates on an ongoing basis in new program development with independent producers.

Manon is also a member of Women In Film and Video Vancouver, and a volunteer for the YWCA‘s Mentorship Program, and Career Girlz.

Andrew Carter, BA84, Broadcaster

Having earned his BA in 1984, Andrew Carter was among the first graduates of Concordia’s Joint Communication Studies and Journalism program.

From beginnings in the Loyola radio station CIRL his career path took him to radio stations from Thunder Bay back to Montreal, where he has capped a 20 year career in broadcasting with the Morning Man position at CJAD 800 Montreal.

Charles Faubert, BA93, TV, Filmmaker

After graduating from the Communication Studies program in 1993, Charles worked in film and television as production manager and producer, among (many) other roles. Charles’ first documentary film as an independent producer, Steps, received three international awards including Time International‘s Freddie Award (2002).

In 2003 Charles received an MBA from McGill University, which included an exchange semester in South Africa. Charles is very proud to be a member of the Board of Directors of Community Experience Initiative, a non-profit organization that encourages social responsibility.

Hana Gartner, Award-Winning CBC Journalist

Hana Gartner is one of Canada’s most recognized journalists, best known for her investigative reporting on The Fifth Estate. With a distinguished career over 25 years in broadcasting for the CBC, Gartner has earned the respect of the journalistic community and numerous awards.

Born in Prague and raised in Montreal, Gartner graduated cum laude from Concordia University‘s Communication Studies before starting her broadcasting career at CJAD radio in 1970.

Find out more about Hana Gartner on IMDB.

Adam Leith Gollner, Writer, Editor

Adam Leith Gollner’s first book, The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce and Adventure, was a national bestseller. He has written for The New York TimesGourmetthe Globe and MailMaclean’sGood Magazine, and has been the editor of Vice Magazine and the associate editor of Maisonneuve Magazine. He has played in a number of bands and still makes music now and then. He watched many Ingmar Bergman films when he was at Concordia.

Matt Holland, Actor, Writer, Director

An accomplished actor and a screenwriter, Matt has appeared in many films, plays, television shows and commercials. Credits include award-winning Canadian and U.S. productions, such as Map of the Human HeartMrs. Parker and the Vicious CircleDanielle Steele’s Vanished,BlancheLes Batisseurs D’Eau, and recent features The AviatorSecret WindowThe Day After TomorrowNouvelle France, and The TerminaL. Matt has also lent his voice to video games and animated series’ including Tom Clancy’s Splinter CellArthurPig CityCreep SchoolDaft Planet, and the forthcoming animated feature, Pinocchio 3000. Matt’s first produced feature screenplay, Gone Dark (a.k.a The Limit), starring Lauren Bacall, Claire Forlani, Henry Czerny and Pete Postlethwaite, premiered at the 2003 Montreal World Film Festival and was released in June 2004. He also directed the short film, Whistleblowers Anonymous, a Moc Docs 2003 winner. He is married to the actress Margaret McBrearty and together they have a son, Nelson. Find out more about Matt Holland on IMDB.

Barry Julien,  BA, 94 Head-Writer Colbert Report, Comic, Actor, Emmy Award Winner (2008)

Barry Julien is a writer, stand-up comic and actor. He is currently a writer for Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report in New York. In 2006, Barry was a writer on the FOX late night series Talkshow with Spike Feresten. Between 2000 and 2006 he was a regular contributor to The Onion, the critically acclaimed satirical newspaper. He has also written for the CBC series This Hour Has 22 Minutes for which he was nominated for two Gemini Awards. He was nominated for a third Gemini for his writing on the kids’ series Mystery Hunters. Barry Julien is also an actor and can been seen in things like The Hunger with David Bowie and Giovanni Ribisi, The Art of War with Wesley Snipes, Abandon with Katie Holmes and The Last Kiss with Zack Braff. Find out more about Barry Julien on IMDB. 

Suzanne Nuttall, Video Editor, Singer/Songwriter

Suzanne fell in love with editing while studying in the Communications Department. Indeed, it is when her classmates began asking her for her help with the editing of their projects that Suzanne discovered she had something of a calling. She is a singer/songwriter/guitarist in her roots duo Bare Bones which released three independent albums. In 1995, Suzanne moved to Toronto to pursue her editing and music. She has freelanced on a wide variety of projects: corporate videos, TV promos, documentaries and an animated series called Flying Rhino Junior High for Nelvana which aired on CBS. During this time, she moonlighted as a singer/songwriter in her six-piece soul band, Sue de Nym. From 1999 to 2003, Suzanne worked as a staff editor at a Mississauga company on many high-end corporate videos and a documentary series called Working Animals which aired on the Discovery Channel. In January 2004, Suzanne became a staff editor for TVOntario where she is now working. - Suzanne Nuttall/ Sue de Nym Music 


Steve Pariso, Technologist, Communicator

Steve Pariso began programming (computers) at age 11. As a student, his work was shown at the Whitney Museum of Art and the Art Directors Club in New York.  Pariso participated in the development of Macy‘s Home Shopping Channel and developed online shopping technologies (pre-web) including early Customer Relationship Management (CRM). He architected and managed the software development of IBM‘s Worldwide Branding/Design Standards and promotional tools (which received a CeBIT award). As a brand management technology consultant, Pariso has worked with Viacom (Nickelodeon, MTV), BellSouth, Time Warner. In addition, he developed over 40 software projects, systems and titles for various Fortune 500 companies.Later, Pariso became a member of the Netscape team in California. He later participated in the development of shopping and web search software for AOL, CompuServe, Netscape and a variety of other AOL properties.After leaving AOL, Pariso acted as interim CEO of Coscend Corporation, a small B2B infomediary start-up in Palo Alto, California. 

Steve Prentice, BA 1989, Author, Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur

“It is a great source of pride for me to say that my Communications Studies education is still put to daily use.” Steve graduated from the Communications Faculty in 1989. He studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School and was the university’s Rhodes Scholarship candidate for 1991.  He formed his own company, a soft-skills training company called The Bristall Group, which is now celebrating its 20thbirthday. He has written four books: one on time management and one on stress management, published globally by John Wiley and Sons, as well as a self-published book on career management and a self-published novel. He has produced and directed a television series on business excellence, and haswritten white papers in use in the business schools of both York and U of T.  He also a senior writer/journalist for an online magazine focusing on cloud technology. I returned to school in 2004 to obtain a degree in psychology from York University, and I lecture part-time at the Management Development Centre at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa. My pro-bono project is called Wolf On Wheels and is dedicated to helping Canadians of all ages find meaningful work. My Twitter name is @stevenprentice and I would love to connect with other Comms Studies alumni, students and staff. 

Mary Stephen, BA 1974, Editor, Filmmaker

Mary emigrated from Hong Kong to Canada at the age of 15. She studied filmmaking in Communication Studies and made experimental and documentary shorts before and after graduation in 1974. She then  headed to Paris in pursuit of a graduate film program and a love affair with the city she had always admired from afar. She left graduate studies in 1978 to make her first feature film and to begin a life-long collaboration with notable French filmmaker Eric Rohmer. Beginning as an assistant editor to Cécile Décugis — editor on Godard’s Breathless — she became Rohmer’s principal editor and co-composer, which she remains to this day. She also continued to make her own narrative and documentary files. Mary has now been married to the city of Paris for the last 28 years with 3 artist children, but continues her seasonal affairs with Canada, Asia and Africa. Find out more about Mary Stephen on IMDB. 

Robert Swartz, BA 1998

Robert made his first short documentary Struck While The Iron Was Hot in 1999, which was well received at both the Vancouver International Film festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. He went on to become a picture editor in Toronto and also studied at the Canadian Film Centre in 2003. Since then he has edited many documentaries and dramatic films, and also produced and directed Provider in 2004, a lyrical documentary portrait of his father. Provider aired on BRAVO! Television in Canada, and screened at film festivals in Europe, Israel and Canada. His next film Cab 138 explored Torontos troubled taxi scene, and was nominated for a Golden Sheaf award at the 2009 Yorkton Short Film Festival. Robert recently won a Gemini award for best picture editing in a comedy, variety or performing arts program for the film The Young Romantic.  

Donna Stella Vekteris, French to English Translator, Editor, Researcher

Donna is one of approximately 11 anglophones who grew up in Montreal’s east end. Since then, she has made and unmade homes in different parts of the city as well as Toronto, Mexico, Italy and France.After years in film and television she turned to freelance writing and translating, producing magazine articles and several series of non-fiction books for younger readers. Her short story, “The Iguana Revisited”, has been published in the anthology In Other Words: New English Writing from Quebec (Véhicule Press, April 2008). The book was launched at the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival in May 2008.“The Iguana Revisited” won second prize in the 2006 Quebec Writing Competition and was broadcast on CBC Radio One in 2007. Working on other short stories and a novel, Donna currently makes her home in NDG and in Nice.

Warren Wilansky, BA, 1996, Founder, Plank Multimedia

Warren has worked in web design as a freelancer, and project manager at HBE Software.Along with fellow Comm graduate Christiane Magee, he founded Plank, a web and multimedia design studio in Montreal, with the goal of bringing a real set of design skills to the Internet. The company has an extensive client list that director Michael Moore to the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada; from the National Film Board to the Fantasia Film Festival, and more. The company does work for Old Brewery Mission, the Shriners’ Hospital, Gilda’s Club, and the Highlands Hope Hospital Consortium. 

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