Meet the Community Access and Engagement Team


Emily Ecker

Emily Ecker, Manager
As Manager of Community Access and Engagement, Emily brings extensive experience in developing community based partnerships. For over 20 years, Emily has been committed to improving access to education and employment in the Hamilton community. With a background in Business and Education, Emily has been instrumental in the development of projects such as City School by Mohawk, the Community Integration through Co-operative Education program, and leads the School College Work Initiative for Mohawk. Contact emily.ecker [at] (Emily) if you are looking for an opportunity to collaborate with Mohawk College on community-based initiatives!

Vanessa Crawford

Vanessa Crawford, Learning Connector
Vanessa joined the Community Access and Engagement team in September 2015. With her many experiences in an administrative role, Vanessa is an organized, enthusiastic team player. She enjoys supporting community based activities and working on dual credit programs. If you have any questions regarding City School, please email vanessa.crawford [at] (Vanessa). She is always happy to hear from you!

Sarah Harvie

Sarah Harvie, Community Mobilizer
Sarah began in Community Access and Engagement in May of 2015, and has been part of the City School team since the beginning! She has a background in education with a focus on working with diverse populations including community work and instruction for individuals with developmental disabilities. Sarah has had multiple roles at the College including teaching for the Community Integration through Cooperative Education program and School of Liberal Studies. You’ll often find her out in the community at Hub meetings, Open Tables, and other community events in this great city we call Hamilton. Reach out to sarah.harvie1 [at] (Sarah) to find out more about City School and other Access programs.

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Reilly MacDonald, Training Specialist

Reilly joined the Community Access and Engagement team in November 2016. She’s passionate about increasing accessibility to higher education and working alongside our community by listening to people in their neighbourhoods, then designing programs to meet their needs. She has a background in Social Work and community organizing, with a focus on anti-oppressive practices. She hopes to reduce barriers to postsecondary and create a more inclusive and diverse learning environment. Get in touch with reilly.macdonald [at] (Reilly) about City School, Mohawk’s connections in the community, or about the Neighbourhood Leadership Institute.


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Cat Maracle, Community Research Liaison

Cat joined the Community Access and Engagement team in March 2017. With her positive personality, she raises community awareness of programs and services offered through City School and seeks out new opportunities to partner with community projects. Cat has many years of experience engaging with Hamilton's communities through the Neighbourhood Action Strategy and will be continuing to connect Hamilton residents to postsecondary experiences in creative and accessible ways. Contact catherine.love1 [at] (Cat )to find out more about City School, or to learn about City School's work with Hamilton's Indigenous groups. 



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Nancy Reyes, Mobile Project Officer 



Nancy has over 10 years of office administration experience in the private and not-for profit sector. She takes pride in being an active member in the community through her volunteer work as Co- Chair of Crown Point Planning Team, Human Rights Exhibit Coordinator, and Outreach Coordinator for Hamilton Youth Poets.

She is very passionate about social justice issues, grass roots organizing and resident-led initiatives. At the same time she is a strong believer that quality education is the back bone of any society. She is very excited to be part of City School by Mohawk to support its goals of breaking down barriers and improving access to postsecondary education. Contact nancy.mejia-reyes [at] (Nancy) to talk about our new Mobile Classroom! 

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Jeremy Atkinson, Research Coordinator

With research experience at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and Seneca College, Jeremy has expertise in report writing, survey design, and statistical analysis. Jeremy leads City School by Mohawk’s research initiatives; including the current applied research and innovation project funded through the Government of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and a past study of City School transfer rates funded through the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer. Contact jeremy.atkinson [at] (Jeremy) to find out more about City School's research projects.


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Sarah Bradshaw, Learning Support Officer 
Sarah joined the Community Access and Engagement team in October 2017. She is passionate about student success and believes that given the right circumstances and support every learner can be successful. Sarah is a graduate of the Business program at Mohawk College and is currently working on certificates in Human Resources and Teaching Adults. As a Mohawk Alumni and current Continuing Education student, Sarah is well versed in all things Mohawk. After getting her start in Student Services she is eager to share her knowledge of the college with City School students and help them become Mohawk Alumni themselves. Contact sarah.bradshaw1 [at] (Sarah) for support with City School course work or to arrange an appointment. 

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Bryan Ledgerwood, Training Specialist 

Bryan became a member of the Community Access and Engagement team in July 2017. He is dedicated to the development of Hamilton’s various communities and has worked closely with the GALA, Keith, and Jamesville neighbourhoods. Bryan’s focus has typically involved reducing barriers to the social determinants of health, such as education, social inclusion, and access to healthy food. He has worked with North Hamilton youth in the Pathways to Education program to improve high school graduation and post-secondary enrolment rates. He has worked with Mission Services of Hamilton to develop social inclusion and resource programs within the community and within the men’s shelter, while also operating the Good Food Centre (foodbank) and youth meal program. As part of Mohawk College, Bryan is excited to help the team continue to reduce barriers to post-secondary education for residents of Hamilton and the surrounding region. Email bryan.ledgerwood [at] (Bryan )to find out more.

Natalie Shearer

Natalie Shearer, Training Specialist 
Natalie joined the Community Access and Engagement team in September of 2015. She’s passionate about her work with City School and projects related to language studies. With a background in adult education and community development, Natalie is always looking for ways to bring relevant learning opportunities to Hamilton neighbourhoods. Natalie is currently on secondment in another department of the College. Please contact gwen.zeldenrust [at] (Gwen Zeldenrust) about language programs, and immigrant services at Mohawk.

Lauren Soluk

Lauren Soluk, Training Specialist 
Lauren has been part of the Community Access and Engagement team since July 2015. With a love for creativity and hands-on team building, she enjoys engaging in arts-based and trades-based programming. You can find her connecting with outside organizations, building partnerships and connecting Mohawk to the community. When she’s not out and about, you will find her spending time with the Academic Upgrading program at Mohawk, a cost-free Employment Ontario initiative designed to upgrade adult literacy and math skills. Lauren is currently on secondment in another department of the College. Please contact reilly.macdonald [at] (Reilly MacDonald) if you need assistance or are interested in learning more about Mohawk in the community, City School, and Academic Upgrading.