The Defining Moments Canada Team
Neil Orford – President
Jenifer Terry – Executive Director
Anna England – Projects Manager & Digital Curator
Louis Lebel – Digital Content Manager
Janelle von Kleist-Bernard – Digital Marketing & Communications Manager
Vincent Sabourin – Videographer
Amy McBride – Project Support
John Lorinc – Chief Editor
Linn Øyen Farley – Website Design & Technical Expert
The Project Team
Dr. Christopher Rutty
Christopher J. Rutty, Ph.D., is a professional historian with special expertise on the history of medicine, public health, infectious diseases and biotechnology in Canada. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Department of History, with his dissertation on the history of poliomyelitis in Canada. For his Ph.D. Christopher was supervised by the late Professor Michael Bliss, author of the seminal book, The Discovery of Insulin, which serves as the foundational source for much of the insulin story he has developed for the “Insulin 100” project. Since completing his Ph.D. in 1995, Dr. Rutty has provided a wide range of historical research, writing, consulting and creative services to a variety of clients through his company, Health Heritage Research Services. Dr. Rutty holds an Adjunct Professor appointment in the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He has also curated prominent historical exhibits, including on the discovery of insulin, most notably for the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine to mark the 90th anniversary of the discovery. Dr. Rutty has also published several articles on the history of insulin, as well as books on the history of public health in Canada, the history of the Canadian Nurses Association, the history of St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, ON, as well as numerous articles in print and online on the history of polio and the history of vaccines.
Alison Li is an historian of science and medicine based in Toronto. She is the author of J. B. Collip and the Development of Medical Research in Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003). Her current project, Wondrous Transformations: A Maverick Physician, the Science of Hormones, and the Birth of the Transgender Revolution, will be published by University of North Carolina Press.
Erin Matthews is a master’s student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include the history of science and medicine. Her current research focuses on the discussion of “Spanish Influenza” in Saskatchewan newspapers during the pandemic of 1918 and the roles Saskatchewan women played in the public health effort. With a background in communications, Erin is passionate about public history and loves to explore stories about history, science and health.
Matthew Barrett is an illustrator and historian who specializes in the creation of graphic histories and comics that visualize fascinating stories of the past. He received a PhD in history from Queen’s University and was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Canadian War Museum. He is the author of Scandalous Conduct: Canadian Officer Courts Martial, 1914–45, and is the co-author and illustrator of Through Their Eyes: A Graphic History of Hill 70 and the First World War.
Denisa Popa is a PhD student at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research focuses on Canadian medical history. She holds an MA from the IHPST and a Hon. BSc in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, also from the University of Toronto. Denisa is excited to join the Defining Moments Canada team as a Contributing Historian for the Herzberg50 project.
Dimitry Zakharov is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in History at the University of Saskatchewan supervised by Dr. Erika Dyck. His research interests include the history of health and medicine, the history of biology, and the history and philosophy of science. His research focuses on the history of cancer and cancer research in the 19th century. His dissertation, titled Morbid Cluster: The Development of Cancer Knowledge in the 19th Century, explores the emergence of several different forms of cancer research in the 19th century which combined and adopted a range of ideas from cell theory pathology, early bacteriology, and even evolutionary theory of the time, to create distinct explanations for the problem
of cancer and tumor formation.
Community History Research Fellow (Huron University)
Benjamin Harris is an undergraduate student at Huron University and is going into the third year of his Honours Specialization in history. His previous experience with public-facing history projects includes story maps detailing the movement of escaped slaves throughout America and analyzing the reporting of the Demarest kidnapping in newspapers around the world. In the past, Benjamin has worked as a research assistant to Dr. Nina Reid-Maroney and presented his work at the 2020 GIS Day event at Western University.
Dr. Madeleine Mant
Dr. Madeleine Mant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her biocultural research program examines health inequities in marginalized and institutionalized human groups through an interdisciplinary integration of bioanthropological and archival datasets. Her work investigates and amplifies previously unheard voices, demonstrating the powerful legacy of historical health in shaping health consequences and experiences today.
Garfield Gini-Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto. He explores how to teach through sustained critical inquiry while nurturing deep conceptual understanding and genuine competence. Garfield has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and rich, authentic assessments. Currently, Garfield is engaged with schools across Canada, in South America, and in Europe. Over the past two decades request for Garfield’s services have taken him from Asia to the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean and across North America. His interest in effective teaching and learning has led him to actively explore the challenges and opportunities presented by teaching and learning in the digital age. In addition to his work at the University of Toronto and delivering workshops, Garfield has also authored several articles, chapters in books and seven textbooks and has taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia. His most recent book co-authored with Roland Case, Creating Thinking Classrooms has received widespread praise from leading educators across Canada and internationally.
Scott Smalley is a new-service classroom teacher at the Secondary level. He has a B.A. in History and French Studies at Huron University and is completing his B.Ed at Western University (2023). He has a previous college diploma in Film Studies (2009) with honours at Fanshawe College. Scott previously worked on Defining Moments Canada’s Insulin 100 project as a researcher and curator of the Sir Frederick Banting exhibit. At Huron University he has worked as a Research Fellow under Dr. Tom Peace, and as a Research Assistant under Dr. Amy Bell. He was awarded the Huron Community History Centre’s Prize for Public History in 2020/21.
Brent Crane graduated from Nipissing University’s Concurrent Education Program with a BA Honours Specialization in Mathematics and a Minor in History in 2021. Brent’s passion for interdisciplinary education, particularly within his teachable subjects led him to work on educational resources for the Defining Moments Team. He hopes to create enthusiasm for Canadian history in learners across the nation.
Certified by OTTIAQ in 2010, Anne-Chantal holds a master’s degree in French Studies from the University of Sherbrooke (1996) and has nearly 25 years of experience in translation. She has acquired a diverse clientele almost everywhere in Canada (Quebec, Ontario, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba). In addition to the privilege of contributing to the promotion of the French language, Anne-Chantal translates for museums and organizations that, like Defining Moments Canada, cultivate the duty of remembrance and raise awareness about important chapters of history, some of which are dark and little known, particularly concerning Indigenous Peoples and veterans.
Seasoned translator, Marie-Catherine has over 25 years of experience, working in many fields. She has been a translator for the federal government for over 15 years, but also for several humanitarian non profit organizations. Marie-Catherine enjoys literature, cats and great food.