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The host

Hosted by Gwen Madiba (MA ’12; BSocSc ’08), each season of uOttaKnow dives into a different theme for conversations with alumni and researchers that illuminate, inspire and entertain. Gwen is also the President of Equal Chance, a non-profit organization that empowers women and Black communities across Canada.  

Introducing: Season 3 of uOttaKnow!

Join us as we navigate the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. In this season we talk film, music, reality television, tech trends, and more. We’ll hear from uOttawa alumni working at the heart of show biz, from Montreal to Toronto to California—and beyond! 

uOttaKnow is brought to you by the University of Ottawa’s Alumni Relations team. Rhea Laube is the producer and theme music from season three is composed by Idris Lawal (BCom ‘15), a Nigerian born, Toronto based recording artist.

Have an idea for an upcoming season of uOttaKnow? Can you think of an incredible future guest or feature topic?  Email producer Rhea Laube and let us know. 

 

 

Check back here or subscribe to get the latest episode of uOttaKnow! 

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Episode 3 – Late-night TV, political satire, and democracy

Samantha Bee (BA 94) is the host of the popular American late-night TV show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee which offers a satirical take on the weekly news. She is a comedian, writer and producer and was previously the longest serving correspondent on Comedy Central’s Daily Show. Samantha discusses the transformative role uOttawa had on her career path and the potential of political satire to activate democratic engagement. Special spotlight question to Samantha from alumna Dr. Elizabeth Dubois (BA ’11) Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa.

 

Listen to Season 3 – Episode 3 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 3 – Episode 3

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Episode 2 - The Filmmaker’s Craft

Philippe Falardeau (BSocSci ’89) is the renowned Canadian film director of the Oscar award nominated Monsieur Lazhar as well as such Hollywood films as The Good Lie staring Reese Witherspoon and most recently My Salinger Year with Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Philippe discusses the filmmaker’s craft and the changing future of the movie industry. Special spotlight question to Philippe from alumnus Papa Orleans-Minnow (BA ’15) host of the popular podcast Pops Culture.

Listen to Season 3 – Episode 2 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 3 – Episode 2

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Episode 1 - Entertainment, Connecting Worlds and Carrying on Family Legacy

Jesse Jones (BA ’03; Gee Gees Men’s Basketball ’00-’02) is a creator, executive producer, host, speaker, and head of Jones & Jones Group. He is also the new host of season one of the Bachelor in Paradise Canada that launched fall 2021. Jesse discusses his journey through the entertainment industry, his Jamaican Canadian roots, and the importance of family legacy.  Special spotlight question to Jesse from Haitian Canadian alumna CiCi Moya (BA ’11) content creator, host and health advocate. 

Listen to Season 3 – Episode 1 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 3 – Episode 1 

Past seasons of uOttaKnow

Launched in September 2020, you won’t want to miss our previous conversations. Check out our archived episodes below and click through the links to listen or read each episode transcription.  

Our first season is about some of the most pressing topics to affect us during COVID-19: stress and mental health, vaccine research, and educational adaptability.  

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Episode 1 - Stress, Resilience, and the Brain

Dr. Nafissa Ismail, University Research Chair in Stress and Mental Health with the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Ismail explores the impact of prolonged stress on the brain and shares strategies to build resilience during challenging times. 

Listen to Season 1 - Episode 1 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 1 – Episode 1 

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Episode 2 - COVID Vaccine Development

Dr. John Bell, Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute speaks about COVID-19 vaccine development and the challenges of mass distribution, access, safety, and effectiveness.  

Listen to Season 1 - Episode 2 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 1 – Episode 2 

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Episode 3 - Beyond the Classroom, Education in a Pandemic

Dr. Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa, explores how learning during a global pandemic is shaping and impacting the younger generation, Gen C- ‘Generation Covid’. 

Listen to Season 1 - Episode 3 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 1 – Episode 3 

This second season focuses on wellness and personal growth, with alumni guests from the fitness, fashion, and music industries.  

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Episode 1 - Think Like an Olympian

Jean François Ménard (MA ’07; BSc ’05) is a mental performance coach who has worked with an incredible roster of elite athletes such as Olympic champions Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue and Super Bowl champion Laurent Durvernay-Tardif. He shares practical strategies to manage uncertainty and build resilience from his book Train Your Brain Like An Olympian. Special spotlight question to Jean François by head assistant coach, Gee Gees women’s volleyball Kaly Soro (BA ’19; Gee Gees Women’s Volleyball ’13-’18). 

Listen to Season 2 - Episode 1 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 2 – Episode 1  

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Episode 2 - Afrobop, Music, and Healing

Idris Lawal (BCom ’15) is an Afrobop Toronto based recording artist who released his debut EP “Young, Black & Blue” to great acclaim in 2020. He shares about the power of music for social change and healing.  Special spotlight question to Idris by Haitian Canadian musician, Liautaud H Philogene (BSocSci ’17) who works under the artist name King H. 

Listen to Season 2 - Episode 2 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 2 – Episode 2 

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Episode 3 - Fashion is Passion

Chantal Durivage (BA ’93) is founder and EVP, Creative Affairs of Groupe Sensation Mode. This conversation touches on everything from fashion as self-expression, eco-conscious clothing, to the future of retail and body diversity. Special spotlight question by Isabelle Gauvreau (BFA ’97) visual artist, owner and private stylist of the Ottawa boutique Isabelle Mode. 

Listen to Season 2 - Episode 3 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 2 – Episode 3 

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Episode 4 - Inclusive Fitness, Motivation, and Positivity

Health Sciences alumna Jeanette Jenkins is a celebrity fitness trainer based in Los Angeles and the founder and president of The Hollywood Trainer. Jeanette talks about her journey to reaching millions online with her workouts and the evolving landscape of the fitness industry. She shares inclusive fitness tips for individuals of all abilities and backgrounds to motivate, build confidence and embrace healthy living. Special spotlight question to Jeanette by alumnus Trevor Monaghan (Gee Gees Men’s Football ’97-’01) member of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, and fitness manager of the Chisasibi Fitness Center located on the eastern shore of James Bay in Northern Quebec.  

Listen to Season 2 - Episode 4 on Apple Podcast | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Simplecast 

Read transcript for Season 2 – Episode 4 

Alumni Spotify playlists

There’s no shortage of talent within the uOttawa alumni community. That’s why we created a series of themed Spotify playlists featuring alumni and students from across the University’s faculties.

The Spotify uOttawa Alumni-Diplômés project started in March 2020 in response to the isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve continued the initiative to remind us of the extraordinary power of human creativity—and of the immense talent that exists within our alumni community!

We’d love to hear from you: suggest the names of other talented uOttawa alumni artists and help improve our playlists. Email [email protected] with your ideas.

In the meantime, happy listening!

Get grooving with these themed playlists

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The Link web series

The uOttawa Entrepreneurship Hub, in partnership with Alumni Relations, produces a web series called “The Link” which introduces listeners to entrepreneurial insights shared by alumni around the world.
Get caught up on all the past episodes