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The faculty team leading the Master of Communications Management are experienced educators – both distinguished academic scholars and acknowledged industry practitioners offering you a blend of practical and theoretical expertise and instruction.


 Alex Sévigny, APR, MCIPR, B.A. (York), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto), Pens.Étr. (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)

Alex Sévigny was the second director of the Master of Communications Management Program, serving from 2011-2019. Alex is associate professor of communication studies and communication management at McMaster University (2001-present). He co-founded (with Graham Knight) McMaster’s communication studies program in 2001. He is director of the COMM-LAB: McMaster Communication Management Lab (2019-present), Hi is also the founding editor-in-chief of the new Journal of Professional Communication (2011-present). His major research interests lie in data-driven digital and social media strategy and management, political communication and marketing, computational natural language analysis, media content analysis and opinion measurement. Alex works at the intersection of data science, communications management, marketing, politics & culture.

Philip Savage, B.A. (Carleton), M.A., Ph.D. (York)

Philip Savage is a new addition to the faculty of the MCM, although he has been a faculty member of the McMaster University Communication Studies and Multimedia Department since 2005. From 1989-2005, Philip was a senior manager in planning, regulatory affairs and audience research for the CBC Radio, TV and new media services. Dr. Savage lectures and writes on the history and changing role of audiences in Canada and around the world. Dr. Savage continues to be involved in communication policy formation as a consultant and expert witness with the House of Commons, CRTC, Commissioner of Official Languages, the Canadian Media Research Consortium (CMRC), the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), and other groups. He is a board member and researcher with the Europe-based RIPE (Re-Visionary Interpretations of the Public Enterprise) and has contributed to major publications on developments in broadcasting and its digital transformation around the world. He is Executive Board Member and Secretary to the Canadian Communication Association. He is a board member and previous Chair of Georgian College Research Analyst Program (RAP) Advisory Board. He has chaired various professional research bodies including those of the Bureau of Broadcasting Measurement (BBM) and Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA). He has been a finalist for several major teaching excellence awards.

Terry Flynn, APR, FCPRS, B.A. (Carleton), M.S., Ph.D. (Syracuse), Director of MCM Program

Terry Flynn is lead professor and founding director of the MCM program. After a 20-year consulting career, he completed his Ph.D. at Syracuse University in 2004 and joined the faculty of McMaster University where he immediately set out to create Canada’s first graduate program in Communications Management. Terry leveraged his relationship with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to establish a partnership between McMaster and Syracuse – making the MCM degree a truly unique offering for professional communicators. In July 2011, he turned over the directorship of the MCM program to his colleague Dr. Alex Sévigny after seven years at the helm to focus on his research and publications – while still remaining the program’s lead professor and head cheerleader. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University and an adjunct member of the faculty at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. From 2006-2011 Terry was a member of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Relations Society and served as its president in 2009-2010.


Nick Bontis, B.A., Ph.D. (Western)

Nick Bontis is a founding faculty member of the MCM program. He is an award-winning professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business. He is considered one of world’s leading experts on intellectual capital and its impact on performance and has recently been named as one of the Top 30 Management Gurus world-wide. He has won over a dozen major teaching awards and the faculty researcher of the year twice. Maclean’s Magazine has rated him as one of McMaster’s most popular professors for six years in a row! TVO recognized him as one of the top 10 lecturers in Ontario. OUSA awarded him Ontario’s top professor. He is also a 3M National Teaching Fellow, an exclusive honour only bestowed upon the top university professors in the country. Nick is also a best-selling author, internationally sought after keynote speaker, management consultant as well as a board member to several organizations.

Rita Cossa, Honours BBA (Laurier), Letter of Accomplishment (The Institute of Canadian Bankers), CSC, CIM (Canadian Securities Institute), M.B.A. (McMaster)

Rita Cossa is an Assistant Professor in the Strategic Management area in the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. A faculty member since 1999, she teaches Business Environment & Organization and Business Policy & Strategic Management. Rita has also taught introduction to marketing courses at both the undergraduate and MBA levels, as well as Marketing in the Non-Profit Sector. Teaching highlights include a nomination to TVOntario’s Best Lecturer Competition, multiple nominations for a McMaster Student Union Teaching Award, and notations in the Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities as a Popular Prof for Marketing. Rita is a co-author for Understanding Canadian Business, Seventh Edition, the best-selling introduction to business textbook in the Canadian university and college market. Past publications include student and instructor supplements such as marketing study guides, running cases, and test banks. Prior to her teaching career, Rita held several management-level positions in the financial services industry.

Milena Head, B.Math. (Waterloo), M.B.A., Ph.D. (McMaster)

Milena Head is a Professor of Information Systems at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. Specialising in eBusiness and Human Computer Interaction, she has published over 75 papers in academic journals, books, and conferences. In her research, she seeks to answer questions such as: How do we build trust and how does this differ in a virtual environment? How can design help instill this trust? How do Canadians adapt to and adopt new technologies? How does this differ in cultures from around the world? How is strategy supported through new technologies? Milena is a strong proponent of experiential learning through the case methodology. Cases allow students to directly apply and integrate theories from various business disciplines to real-world situations/problems. She is the recipient of several research and teaching awards.

Peter Vilks, B.Sc.E.E. (SUNY-Buffalo), M.B.A. (McMaster)

Peter Vilks is an assistant professor in the strategic market leadership & health services management area at the DeGroote School of Business. Vilks is the 2010 McMaster Teaching Award winner for the Faculty of Business. This is the second time Vilks has won the MSU Teaching award since he arrived at DeGroote in 2003. “[Students] are here to get the education to prepare them for the next step, and the next step is almost always taking their careers to the next level,” Vilks says, adding “Given that’s where they want to go, I take it as my duty to share that goal with them.” Prior to joining DeGroote, Vilks worked as a senior executive in a variety of public and private sectors. His corporate experience allows him to seamlessly integrate empirical and anecdotal evidence into his teaching. Vilks teaches marketing and strategic management in the MCM program.


Ira Basen, B.A. (Carleton), M.A. (Wisconsin-Madison) / Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Ira Basen began his career at CBC Radio in 1984. He was senior producer at Sunday Morning and Quirks and Quarks. He has been involved in the creation of three network programs; The Inside Track (1985), This Morning (1997), and Workology (2001), as well as several special series, including “Spin Cycles,” an award winning six part look at PR and the media, that was broadcast on CBC Radio One in January/February 2007, and “News 2.0,” a two part exploration of news in the age of social media that aired in June 2009. Ira has written for Saturday Night, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and the Canadian Journal of Communication. He writes a column on media for, and is a contributing editor at Ira has won numerous awards, including the Canadian Science Writers Association Award, the Canadian Nurses Association Award, the Gabriel Award, and the New York Radio Festival Award. He has developed several training programs for CBC journalists, including courses on short-form documentary making, “spin”, journalism ethics, and user generated content. He has also recently developed a series of webinars for the CBC about critical thinking. Ira teaches communications management ethics in the MCM program, with the aim of challenging students to grow as professionals by examining their practices as communications managers from a critical perspective.

Paul Bates, MTS, DTP (McMaster), FCMA, CPA (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario), CMA (Society of Management Accountants of Ontario), CMC (Council of Management Consultants, Ontario Institute)

A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants (FCMA) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Paul’s career has spanned: senior academic administration; business and divinity school lecturing; investor advocacy; capital markets regulation; investment dealer executive leadership with P&L accountability; expert witness and international consulting in the financial services sector. He is a former member of the council of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Jacquie Hoornweg, MCM (McMaster), ABC

Jacquie Hoornweg, MCM, ABC is currently a professor of public relations and journalism at Durham College in Oshawa, Ont., and a communication consultant in the energy sector. Immediately prior to teaching, Jacquie was vice president of corporate relations and communications for Ontario Power Generation (OPG). There she led the province-wide team responsible for managing OPG’s reputation, brand and communications, including relationships with site communities, First Nation and Métis peoples, government, media, academic and industry partners as well as activists and OPG’s valued employees. Prior to OPG Jacquie spent more than a decade as an award-winning reporter and editor for Metroland’s Durham Region Media Group. Before that she worked in content development, production and art direction in magazines, business publications and radio.

Heather Pullen, MCM (McMaster), APR, FCPRS

Heather Pullen, MCM, APR is the former Manager of Public Relations & Communications at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). For the past 13 years, she played a key role in developing and executing multi-faceted communication programs related to activities and services at six hospitals and six healthcare facilities, all located in Hamilton, Ontario. She recently re-launched a strategic communications consultancy that she operated for 10 years prior to joining HHS. Earlier in her career, she was a member of the public relations department at The Toronto Hospital (Toronto General and Toronto Western) and, before that, a producer, editor and reporter at CBC Radio (Ottawa and National.) Heather now teaches healthcare communications, and crisis management and communications, in two postgraduate programs at McMaster University.

David Scholz, B.A., M.A. (Manitoba) / Leger Marketing

Dave Scholz is a Partner at Leger Global and an Executive Vice President with Leger’s Canadian offices.  With over 20 years’ experience in public opinion research, Mr. Scholz has been a leading figure in all phases of both qualitative and quantitative projects across Leger’s divisions.
Mr. Scholz specializes in communication research and holds an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Manitoba where he researched the effects of reading on attitudinal measures.  He has developed a Reputation Measurement Index for Leger and has published an annual report on corporate reputation in Canada for the past nine years.  Dave has consulted with most of the major PR / Communications firms and many of the major corporations in Canada on their communications efforts.  As well, he has presented research on Canada’s PR industry and its practices at several conferences and events.  He has published in both trade and academic journals and continues to advance strong research practices among the communications’ communities in Canada and globally.

Mark Stewart, B.A. (McMaster), M.B.A. (McMaster)

Mark John Stewart teaches Strategic Management and Marketing Management in the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program. Currently Associate Director, Advancement (Development and Outreach) at the DeGroote School of Business, Mark has served McMaster University in many capacities, including as President of the McMaster Alumni Association and as member of the Board of Governors. An MBA graduate from the DeGroote School of Business, he has also completed executive education programs at Harvard University and the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Mark recently completed a five year tenure as Director of Commercial Activities at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and is the current Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of charitable organization Empowerment Squared. As a public speaker, Mark has presented to a diversity of audiences with a focus on strategy, leadership, and professional development. He has been recognized as one of CBC’s Top Five Young Professionals to Watch and one of Hamilton-Halton’s Top Forty Under 40, and is the President of Flyprint, a print and marketing firm serving clients across Canada.


Michael Meath, A.A.S. (SUNY Onondaga Community College), B.S. (SUNY Empire State College), M.S. (Syracuse)

Michael Meath is an adjunct professor in the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management Program. He also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, and is a guest lecturer at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He serves on a Newhouse School advisory committee for the executive master’s degree in communications management. Michael is also the founder and president of Strategic Communications, LLC, a firm specializing in public relations, crisis communications, government relations, strategic planning, and issues management consulting to energy, healthcare, government, education, manufacturing, industrial design, and financial services organizations throughout the United States. Michael has served in leadership roles on numerous community organization boards, including the Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York (CNY), the Food Bank of CNY, Countryside Federal Credit Union, and Leadership Greater Syracuse.

Maria Russell, B.A. (College of Saint Rose), M.A. (Syracuse)

Maria P. Russell joined the full-time public relations faculty of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications in September 1986 after more than 16 years of professional public relations practice. She previously served twice as Chair of the School’s Public Relations Department: 1990-92 and 1994-2002. In 1995 she created The Newhouse School’s interdisciplinary, limited/residency distance learning program for mid-career public relations professionals, leading to a master’s degree in Communications Management. She serves as director of that program, which attracts professionals from all over the world, and in 2007 this initiative will be replicated in Canada through a partnership with McMcaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. More.

Anthony D’Angelo Maria Russell, B.A, M.S. (Syracuse)

Anthony D’Angelo has served in public relations leadership roles in the corporate and agency sectors for more than 25 years, most recently for ITT Corporation and previously for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, Magna International, United Technologies and Sage Marketing Communications. His practice areas include change management, reputation management, branding and marketing communications.

He is 2018 national chair of the 22,000-member Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a past chair of its College of Fellows and a founder of PRSA’s MBA program to bring strategic communications content to MBA curricula nationwide. His pieces on the importance of strategic communications to organizational leadership have appeared in BusinessWeek, the Financial Times and The Public Relations Strategist, and he is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal’s “Crisis of the Week” column. He has presented seminars on change management at several conferences and universities during the last 15 years.