Professional Staff

Owner, GroupatWork

Waverley, Nova Scotia

Alison was forced to take piano lessons as a child. She hated it. But then she started teaching others how to play the piano and she discovered that she loved it - not the piano… she still hates the piano… but she loved teaching. By the time she finished her undergraduate degree she had a flourishing “piano school”, teaching people of all ages, and she knew that she wanted to teach.

In the summer of 1989, Alison’s teaching horizons broadened when she discovered experiential learning while attending St FX’s Diploma in Adult Ed Program and the rest was history. So was the piano. She instantly knew what she wanted to do and it changed the course of her career. After completing her Masters of Education, Alison launched her own learning company, Groupatwork, in 1992 and joined the St FX facilitation team in 1995. In addition to her work with St FX, she has designed and delivered in-person and online experiential learning programs for universities, colleges, provincial and municipal governments, health care, non-profit and private sector organizations across Canada and the United States.

Her interest in experiential learning extends to travel and the outdoors. Alison is certified in wilderness first aid and wilderness navigation…..fortunately she has never been lost or hurt.

Alison firmly believes that everyone (a) has something important to teach and share with others and (b) can learn new skills. She loves the StFX program because it offers a rich and rewarding way of designing, facilitating and learning.

Owner, W. Ward Consulting

Keswick, Ontario

"The best way to learn something is to do it, in an environment that is free of the fear of failure." 

Wendy is an independent consultant and formally trained adult educator, offering almost 30 years of experience as both an internal and external consultant in the private and public (municipal government), and independent consulting (private practice) sectors.

After completing StFX’s Diploma in Adult Education she became part of the facilitation team for St. Francis Xavier University’s award-winning Diploma in Adult Education for over 25 years.

Throughout her extensive career in Adult Education, she has always emphasized the importance of providing a safe and supportive learning environment where learners can maximize their experiences.  Her expertise includes Needs Assessment, Evaluation, Learning Design, Facilitation Skills, Ethical Decision Making, Problem Solving, Executive Coaching, Leadership, and Communication Skills.

She loves seeing the ‘light bulb’ moment when she knows that the facilitator and the learner have accomplished something together.

On warm days, Wendy can be found on a golf course.  Golf continues to be one of her personal challenges!

Partner, Whittaker Melnike Group Inc.

Thornbury, Ontario

Diane grew up in a family of teachers and knew for sure she never wanted to be one.  Her life changed when got a job with Katimavik after completing her undergraduate degree. Katimavik was a globally-recognized alternative learning and volunteer organization based on experiential learning. After several years she went on to complete a Masters in Adult Education at the University of Toronto, started a free-lancing career, and joined the teaching group of the St. Francis Xavier in the Adult Education Diploma Program.

Diane employs the experiential approach as she works in leadership development, team effectiveness and facilitator training throughout North America. She was an early adopter of 360 degree feedback and has coached hundreds of leaders to translate the results into learning. Diane trained as a coach and is now a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She has worked across many businesses in the private, not for profit and public sectors and is recognized by her many long term clients as a supportive and completely reliable partner.

Over the years Diane has made volunteer contributions as a manager of a competitive soccer team, athlete support in wheelchair tennis events and co-ordinator of learn to curl programs. She enjoys being an enthusiastic and not particularly skilled participant in golf, cycling, hiking, curling and skiing. She believes that experiential learning provides the best opportunity for everyone to bring their own knowledge, skills and curiosity to the learning environment. Her loyalty to the ST. FX program is based on the high quality instructors and learners, and the opportunity for everyone to explore the power of experiential learning.