Written by: Shauna Quinn
Edited by: Pina Capuano
July 14 2014- Some say the public relations program at Algonquin College is the best in the province. Heck, some go so far as to say it’s the best in the country. Once you meet the program coordinator, Stephen Heckbert, you’ll understand why.
Originally from Eastern Canada, Stephen brings over 20 years of experience in public and media relations, government relations, strategic communications, marketing and more to this prestigious program. A graduate of the University of Prince Edward Island, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in English and philosophy. Shortly after this, he began his career as a journalist while completing a Masters degree in Journalism at Carleton University. He later began his communications career with the New Brunswick Department of Finance as the Director of Communications to the Minister and in 2003, the Ottawa Business Journal named him an honouree of their Ottawa’s “40 under 40” award.
A man of many hats, Stephen teaches a variety of classes at Algonquin College including Public Relations Workshop I, II, and III, The PR Business Environment and Writing for Public Relations. On top of this, Stephen is always there to fill in for any other professor should the need arise, making him not only a strong leader, but a valuable team player as well. Not only does he teach his students that public relations is a two-way communication, Stephen demonstrates this through his teaching methods. His door is always open and his genuine interest in each student is evident from day one; By using a question of the day to learn about the personalities and characteristics of each student, he demonstrates his unique creativity and eagerness to know and understand each student. Stephen’s refined public speaking skills ensure his classes are captivating, educational and always interesting while his stellar sense of humour motivates students to rarely miss his lectures.
He is extremely enthusiastic about his profession and radiates an eagerness to fill the minds of his students with the knowledge they need to succeed. Above all, the legacy he leaves behind is more than that of an exceptional professor and mentor, but rather that of a truly a spectacular person.