Professional Development Award Recipients

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Past Winner Biographies


Marco de Petrillo
Biography forthcoming


Kelly Bergevin
Kelly Bergevin received her MLIS from McGill in 2021. She was Vice-President and President of the Youth and School Libraries Section for two years, including through the difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic, and was the first leader to hold an in-person event after the pandemic. She is presently a document technician at the Dorval Public Library, but has also worked as Assistant Librarian at Selwyn House School, as well as Editor and Journalist for World Atlas. The professional development award allowed Kelly to attend the OLA Superconference in Toronto in February 2023.


Not awarded this year


Not awarded this year


Christopher Marsh
Christopher Marsh is currently the librarian at the Baie-D’Urfé Public Library. Christopher holds a MISt and a B.Ed. from McGill University. He previously worked for McGill University Health Centre Libraries, Concordia University’s Webster Library, and the library for Environment and Climate Change Canada. The ABQLA Professional Development Award helped Christopher attend the American Library Association 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.


Paule Kelly-Rhéaume
Paule Kelly-Rhéaume is currently the Web Services Librarian at Concordia University. Paule holds a MISt from McGill University and a BFA from OCAD University in Toronto. She completed a Library Practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2017, and was also part of the Westmount Public Library’s circulation team in the audiovisual and teen sections. In addition to her emerging career in libraries, Paule has been published in the Toronto Star and This magazine. This award helped Paule attend ARLIS/NA’s 46th annual conference, Out of Bounds, in New York City.


Raphaella Dixon
Raphaella Dixon is a Board Librarian at the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and a member of the CFLA Copyright Committee.  She headed the Quebec committee for CLA’s Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada, and she was a co-author of APSDS’s Foire aux questions sur le droit d’auteur en milieu scolaire du Québec.  This award helped Raphaella attend the 2017 ABC Copyright Conference in Kingston, Ontario.

Dee Winn
Dee Winn is the Head of Information Services at Concordia University’s Webster Library.  She also worked as Reference & Instruction Librarian at the University of British Columbia and as Information Literacy Librarian at the University of Windsor. Dee  serves on the Librarians Without Borders Executive Team. One of her research interests is international librarianship, and she traveled to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in 2014 and 2016 to volunteer in a school library.  This award was intended to help Dee attend the 2017 REFORMA National Conference VI in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the conference was canceled due to Hurricane Maria. In the end. the award helped Dee attend The Academic Library in Times of Change Conference, hosted by the California Association of Research Libraries.


Janice Kung
Janice Kung is a Business Librarian at Concordia University and she graduated from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. Janice is an active member in a number of associations including the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC), Northern Alberta Health Libraries Association (NAHLA), and ABQLA. The ABQLA Professional Development Award helped Janice attend the WILU 2016 Conference in Vancouver, BC.

Wayne Pender
Wayne Pender works with the Archive of the Jesuits in Canada in Montreal, as well as with the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Wayne is an active member of ABQLA, the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA). The ABQLA Professional Development Award helped Wayne attend the SLA 2016 Conference in Philadelphia.


Naz Torabi
Naz Torabi is a Liaison Librarian at the Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering at McGill University. With the help of the Professional Development Award, Naz was able to attend the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) National Conference in Vancouver, BC, where she delivered a lighting talk entitled “Exploring the Role of Library Collections in Furthering the Teaching Mission of Health Sciences Professional Programs in Canada”.


Alisa Soukhodolskaia
Alisa Soukhodolskaia is the Outreach and Newcomer Services Coordinator at the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. Alisa is an active member of ABQLA. With the Professional Development Award (formerly known as the Travel Bursary), Alisa was able to attend the Canadian Library Association (CLA) National Conference and Tradeshow in Victoria, British Columbia in May 2014. Words of wisdom from Alisa: “To those thinking of applying, it is well worth the effort to reflect on your career and professional goals and put together a stellar application.”

Jennifer Zhao
Jennifer Zhao is a Liaison Librarian at the Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering at McGill University. Jennifer is an active member of ABQLA and is a past-President of the Youth Section. The Professional Development Award (formerly known as the Travel Bursary) helped fund Jennifer’s trip to Indianapolis to attend the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, where she presented the paper entitled “Identifying challenges faced by Chinese undergraduate engineering students in acquiring information literacy skills – A report on survey findings”.