Shad Western

Program Directors

Rebecca Smith

Student Affairs, studying Grief, Loss and Bereavement

Rebecca Smith (she/her) is an experienced student affairs professional who works with some of the highest achieving students in the country. Her leadership has “provided wings to many outstanding ideas and helped students flourish in their own development.” Smith received the Vice-Provost Innovation Award in 2010 and the Western Award of Excellence in 2017.

In addition to her work with the Scholars community, Smith is an engaging facilitator who trains faculty, staff and students in various wellness and social impact topics, including safeTALK, ASIST and a new program co-created by Smith in partnership with Western’s Director of Health Services. The Leadership in Wellness program is a proactive and research-based training designed to educate faculty, staff and other campus leaders on how to promote wellness in their professional roles. 

Smith’s invigorating and positive energy is contagious and her genuine interest in student, staff and faculty well-being has earned her the trust and respect of students and colleagues alike. Smith is known for always making time for her students, going above and beyond to provide support, particularly in times of crisis. Her work with mental health training initiatives increases awareness campus-wide and equips campus community members at all levels with the resources necessary to support those in crisis – an extremely valuable asset to the Western community.

Smith has served as the London Sidewalk Talk City Leader since 2016, where the message is simple: you talk, we listen. Here educational background focuses on Sociology and Religious Studies. As a dedicated life-long learner, Rebecca is currently completing her work in Grief, Loss and Bereavement studies. In her free time, she enjoys staying active with her husband and two daughters, and traveling to sunny destinations.

Mary Weil


Mary Weil (she/her) is a Lecturer in the Management Communications group at the Ivey Business School. Mary teaches Management Communications in Ivey’s HBA, MBA, MSc, and Executive Development programs. Mary graduated from Western University with a Master of Arts in Journalism and spent several years as a reporter and television producer before moving into public relations and then transitioning to teaching full time.

Mary was awarded the 2015 EFMD Responsible Leadership case writing award. She has written cases about the communication issues that companies face including recovering from natural disasters, dealing with social media issues, and handling challenging media encounters. Mary is passionate about working with students on how to best communicate. She has worked with students on several cases and learns so much from their perspectives.

In her over-involved teenage years, Mary managed to do almost everything – drama, music, supporting community organizations, starting a sustainability-focused club, spending a semester at the Ontario Science Centre Science School, and going on exchange to live on a dairy farm in Germany – but the Shad program was the one that got away. She is thrilled now many years later to be able to join students in their growth and joy of discovery through Shad.

Mary has worked with a range of corporate clients at multinational firms and mid-sized companies. She especially enjoys helping entrepreneurs engage with the media and find the best way to tell their stories. Prior to joining Ivey, Mary worked at CTV’s Business News Network (BNN), producing two-and-a-half hours of live programming every day. Mary’s articles while at Dow Jones Newswires were published in newspapers across Canada as well as in The Wall Street Journal.

In her free time, Mary enjoys stitching and is a member of the Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild. She also enjoys getting outdoors and has hiked on all seven continents.