Featured Presenters

Pubic Evening Forum

Join us for a free public screening of the documentary film RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope, followed by a panel discussion.
When: Thursday, January 25, 2018 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: The Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard St
Free: Please register online as space is limited. For registration, please CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE for more information (PDF)

Panel Discussion
Facilitated by:
Joanne Schroeder, Executive Director, Comox Valley Child Development Association, Courtenay, BC; Adjunct Faculty, Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Senior Fellow, Max Bell Foundation, Calgary, AB

Martin Guhn, PhD, Assistant Professor, Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Barbara Fitzgerald, MD, FRCPC, Developmental Pediatrician, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Kjerstin Dunk, BSc, Infant Development Consultant, South Cariboo Infant Development Program; President, Infant and Child Development Association of BC, 100 Mile House, BC
Deborah Bell, PhD, Registered Psychologist, Sand Story Psychology Services, Vancouver, BC

Main Conference


Sarah R. Lytle

PhD, Director of Outreach and Education, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Tots and Today’s Technology

Dr. Sarah Lytle is the Director of Outreach and Education at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington. Sarah leads a team of science communicators who disseminate the latest science of child development to those who can use it, including parents, educators, and policymakers. Dr. Lytle has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University. She is a member of the Zero To Three Academy of Fellows.



Michael Ungar

PhD, Canada Research Chair, Child, Family and Community Resilience; Scientific Director, Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CYCC) Network; Director, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS

The Social Ecology of Resilience: Nine Ways Families, and Communities Nurture a Child’s Wellbeing

Michael Ungar, is the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University. He is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. A family therapist and Professor of Social Work, Michael has authored 14 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 150 scientific papers. Michael’s influence comes from his ability to adapt ideas from his research and clinical practice into best-selling works like Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from their Parents. Among his many roles in his community, he has been the Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who works with mental health services for individuals and families at risk.



Monique Gray Smith

Author & Consultant, Victoria, BC

The 4 R’s: A Unique Perspective on Resilience, Relationships, Respect and Reconciliation

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud mom of twelve year old twins. She is an award winning author, international speaker and sought after consultant. Monique has been running her business, Little Drum Consulting since 1996. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. Monique’s strong understanding of education has led her to work as the Executive Director for Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC, the National Aboriginal Advisor for Roots of Empathy, as well as an instructor for the Justice Institute of BC. Her leadership in the field of Aboriginal Education led her to create a resource called The Ripple Effect of Resiliency: Strategies for Fostering Resiliency with Indigenous Children. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature. Her first children’s book, My Heart Fills with Happiness recently won the 2017 Christie Harris BC Book Award for Children’s Literature. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 26 years and is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.



Sarah Enos Watamura

PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Denver; Co-Director, Stress Early Experience & Development Research Center (SEED), Denver, CO, USA

Early Adversity and Lifelong Health: Risk & Resilience

Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver where she directs the Child Health & Development Lab and co-directs the Stress, Early Experience and Development (SEED) Research Center. After training with Megan Gunnar, PhD, at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, she received her PhD from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University in 2005. She has longstanding interests in children¹s physiologic regulation, their development within caregiving contexts, and in understanding mechanisms and trajectories from early life stress to later physical, mental health, cognitive/educational, and socio-emotional outcomes. Her work examines the unique stressors and buffers in families experiencing poverty and among newly immigrated families, and includes testing promising intervention approaches.