Where are They Now

Dr. David Bardsley (1975)

Dr. Bardsley was the first recipient of an O’Brien Foundation Fellowship

dr-david-bardsleySpeaker Biography

Dr. David Bardsley is the founder of Silver Eagle Media, a company dedicated to helping individuals increase their cognitive ability and perform at their highest intellectual level. Diagnosed as mentally retarded and institutionalized as a child, he rose to become an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon; a profession he practiced for 12 years before retiring to follow his passions of learning and physical activity. He has spent the past five years crisscrossing the country presenting to business executives, teachers and parents organizations and has recently authored the book, “The Less Than Perfect Child.” He presents the latest scientific information and evidence based best practices for increasing intellectual ability, at any stage of life, through the use of specific physical activities.

He holds a B.Sc., M.Sc., D.D.S. and Fellowship in Oral & maxillofacial Surgery.


Dr. Krista Byers-Heinlein (2008)

Krista-Byers-HeinleinDr. Krista Byers-Heinlein is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia University, where she directs the Concordia Infant Research Lab.  Krista Graduated from Fredericton High School in 1999, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Computer Science from McGill University in 2003.  From 2004-2010, she pursued graduate studies in Developmental Psychology at the University of British Columbia, and with the support of the O’Brien Foundation fellowship (2008), received her MA and PhD degrees.

Krista’s research focuses on bilingualism in infancy: how young infants hearing two languages from birth successfully acquire their languages.  She has investigated questions such as how prenatal exposure to two languages affects infants’ listening preferences at birth, and how bilingual 1-year-olds learn new words.  Part of her interest in bilingualism stems from her childhood growing up in New Brunswick and attending French Immersion school.

She has published widely in academic journals including as Psychological Science, Cognition, and Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. She had received provincial and federal grants to support her research, and numerous awards including most recently the Society for Research on Child Development Outstanding Dissertation Award (2011), the Desjardins Chercheur étoile (“Star Researcher”) award in 2011, and the Concordia Media Outreach Award for Research Communicator of the Year (2012).

Krista’s work garners wide public interest, and has been featured in media outlets including TIME magazine, the Globe & Mail, le Devoir, Today’s Parent, Psychology Today, and CBC’s As It Happens.

Dr. Anne Compton (1986)

anne-comptonAnne Compton, BA, MA, PhD, (poet, academic, professor, editor, and arts organizer) received an O’Brien Foundation Fellowship in 1986 to pursue Doctoral Studies in Canadian Literature at the University of New Brunswick.

Anne received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and history at the Prince of Wales College (now the University of Prince Edward Island) and a Master of Arts degree in Canadian and American literature at York University. She completed her PhD at the University of New Brunswick in 1988. Her PhD thesis which focused on the Canadian poet A.J.M. Smith, was later published by ECW Press as A.J.M. Smith: Canadian Metaphysical (1994).

In 1998, Anne became director of the Lorenzo Reading Series at the University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNBSJ), a highly reputable university reading series (“Compton”). She was later appointed writer-in-residence at UNBSJ. She also taught several courses for the English department.

During her time at UNBSJ, Anne published the following works: Opening the Island (2002), Processional (2005), and Meetings with Maritime Poets: Interviews (2006). She also took on an editorial role with The Edge of Home: Milton Acorn from the Island (2002), as well as Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada (2002). Over the course of her career, Compton has won two Atlantic Poetry Prizes (2003 and 2006), the Governor General’s Award (2005), several Excellence in Teaching Awards, the National Magazine Award (2008), and the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts (2008) (“Dr. Anne Compton”). Anne also published a work of poetry Asking Questions Indoors and Out (2009). Along with her critical articles and scholarship on Atlantic and New Brunswick literature, Anne’s work at UNBSJ represents her most significant contribution to the province. In the thirteen years she has spent with the Lorenzo Reading Series, she has “introduced New Brunswick readers to hundreds of Canadian books over the years” She has also worked with “a number of beginning and emerging writers,” one of whom, in gratitude, established The Dr. Anne Compton Writing Prize in Poetry. Anne currently resides in Rothesay, New Brunswick.

Mikila Gallant, "Anne Compton." The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia.

Ed. Tony Tremblay. Fredericton: New Brunswick Studies Centre, 2010.

Dr. Sheree L. Fitch (1987)

sheree-fitchSheree Fitch, is a storyteller, educator, and literacy activist and the author of award winning poetry, picture books, nonfiction, plays and novels for all ages. Her first publication was the children's book Toes in my Nose. (Doubleday 1987.) Her second children's book Sleeping Dragons All Around (1989), won the Atlantic Bookseller's Choice Award in 1990. Subsequent awards include the Mr. Christie Book Award, (There Were Monkeys in my Kitchen), The Young Canada Reads award (The Gravesavers) and the Vicky Metcalf award for Children's Literature in 1998 for a body of work inspirational to Canadian children.

Fitch holds a BA from St. Thomas University, an M.A. from Acadia University, and honorary doctorates from St. Mary's, Acadia and St. Thomas Universities for her contribution to Canadian literature and issues affecting women and children. She has taught writing workshops around the globe and in universities, including the Faculty of Education at the University of New-Brunswick and children's literature at St. Thomas University. Sheree Fitch has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and her work as a poet and literacy educator has taken her to the Arctic, Bhutan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Belize, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico. Sheree is currently the Honorary Spokesperson for the New-Brunswick Coalition for Literacy, and each year she sponsors a writing competition for New Brunswick Youth. Her ventures in literacy education include completing a three-year summer writer in residency for Somebody's Daughter in Nunavut, She still spends some of the year speaking and touring schools and various libraries, both in Canada and abroad.

For a complete bibliography, visit her website at www.shereefitch.com