Learn more about the presenters at our next Annual Conference. More details will be added to this page as they become available. Stay tuned!
For more information about Trade Commissioners attending the 2020 Conference, click here.
Mónica Aguirre is the Stakeholder Relations Manager at IDP IELTS Canada, where she is responsible for the engagement with Canadian organizations within the education sector, government, and professional registration authorities with an interest in language proficiency and IELTS. Mónica has over 10 years experience in international education and has in-depth understanding of the Canadian market, client relationships management, and the study of new languages. Monica is fluent in Spanish, German, and proficient in Portuguese.
Carolyn Bercu has been working in the ESL industry for 20+ years, both in the public and private sectors. After 8 years at University of Toronto’s ELP, she went on to build up ILAC’s award-winning Pathway program in Toronto and then Vancouver. She left the school side of the language industry to be the Manager of International Marketing at Languages Canada, and then returned to her passion of helping students with their higher education choices, now as Director of Pathways for EC. Prior to joining the education field, Carolyn worked for the federal government. With a postgrad in Social Services Worker-Immigrants and Refugees, she worked at Employment and Immigration Canada, helping new immigrants with their job searches and re-training opportunities.
Mélanie is responsible for providing functional guidance to internal stakeholders, other government departments and agencies, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders on the international student program. She joined Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2011 and has worked on different programs within the Department, such as temporary residents, citizenship and passport. Mélanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development (Honours), and a Master of Arts in Sociology and Women Studies from the University of Ottawa.
Uri Carnat joined ApplyBoard in August, 2019, as Director - Strategic Partnerships. He leads the acquisition of new school partnerships for Canada, leverages potential within existing agreements, and works on collaborative platform opportunities for students around the world. Prior to ApplyBoard, Uri was Country Director – Canada at IDP, leading the IDP student-recruitment and IELTS business lines in Canada and Latin America. In his work with IDP, Uri opened the Canada office and negotiated 80+ post-secondary recruitment agreements, leading to thousands of students coming to the country each year. Prior to his work with IDP, Uri was North American Regional Director for GEOS Language Corp, representing 12 language schools in Canada and the USA.
Ginny Chien is the Dean of the English Language Centre at Columbia College in Vancouver, BC. Prior to her administrative role, she taught both international students and immigrants while acquiring her Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from SFU. She has previously co-chaired the BC TEAL Lower Mainland Annual Conference, and she is now a co-chair of Languages Canada's Professional Development and Membership Committee as well as a board member. She is passionate about professional development and enjoys the convenience of technology.
Marian Crandall is an Associate Director, ETS Global Client Relations at ETS TOEFL. She is responsible for outreach to TOEFL and GRE score users in academic, institutional, and government agency settings. Before joining Client Relations, she was an assessment specialist in the English Language Learning division for the TOEFL and TOEIC programs.
Malcolm is responsible for providing functional direction and coordinating the operational delivery of IRCC’s visitor, temporary foreign worker and international student programs. Since joining the federal public service in 1997, his career has centered around facilitating the international movement of persons and goods, with a focus on client service, risk and compliance. Prior to joining IRCC in 2013, he occupied a range of positions of increasing responsibility at Passport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (Honours) from the University of Toronto, and has completed the Security and Intelligence Leadership Program at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.
Gabriela Facchini has worked in the International Education Industry for 30 years, with a successful record developing the Latin American and European markets not only for ESL programs but also for public postsecondary institutions. She was the Director of Operations for 21 years for a private language school and has worked for 10 years at public institutions as a Business Development Manager. For over the last 10 years, Gabriela has also worked part-time as an Auditor and Inspector for IALC (International Association of Language Centres). Gabriela served on the Board at Languages Canada for 5 years from 2015-2019.
Sara Davila is a teacher and educator who has spent more than a decade immersed in communicative language pedagogy and learner-centered teaching. She is currently informing the next generation of curriculum as a Learning Expert with Pearson English. Her personal contributions to the field can be found at saradavila.com.
Glenda Fish has been a teacher and administrator in post-secondary settings for more than 30 years. Currently she is the Operations and Academic Manager for Trent-ESL at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Prior to that she was the Curriculum Coordinator for Trent-ESL.
Jennifer Flasko is the Content Development Lead in the Test Operations Division at Paragon Testing Enterprises. She is responsible for hiring and training the item writing and editing team, maintaining test documentation, and overseeing content production. Jennifer is a TESL certified instructor with 15 years of professional English as a Second Language teaching and assessment experience. Prior to joining Paragon, she worked as an instructor, with contracts in curriculum development and assessment review, for the Langara College English for Academic Purposes (LEAP) program. She has a B.A. in Applied Linguistics (emphasis on Teaching English as a Second Language) from the University of Victoria, Canada and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a Specialization in Language Testing from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests focus on language test design and validation.
Christina Furtado, MACP is a Mental Health Counsellor in the areas of addiction, anger management, behavioural intervention, self-esteem, mood-related disorders, and anxiety and trauma-related disorders. With clinical experience in outpatient mental health programs, inpatient addiction rehabilitation centres, and over 20 years of experience within the educational sector, Christina works with organizations guard.me/keep.meSAFE to fulfill their continued commitment to each student’s mental health, while working with partners to promote positive wellbeing and to break down the barriers and stigma around mental health. Christina is a practicing member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals since 2015.
Robin Garcha is the Director of Business Development for Canada at ICEF. Robin has over ten years working in various roles in both the public and private sector within the international education industry. She played an integral part in launching StudyinBC.com with the BC Council for International Education. A marketer by heart, Robin has a passion for marketing and branding as well as recruitment and strategy development. Robin holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
Recognized as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal®, Sundeep Gokhale’s broad practice is focused on the representation of management in many areas of employment and labour law. He is frequently asked to speak at industry conferences and lead webinars on a variety of topics related to his practice. Sundeep is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association (Labour & Employment, Construction Law, Civil Litigation, Constitutional, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Workers’ Compensation), South Asian Bar Association (Toronto Chapter), Law Society of Upper Canada, and Retail Council of Canada. He volunteers his time to Ovarian Cancer Canada and has taught employment and labour law at Conestoga College. Sundeep is trilingual – English/Hindi/Punjabi.
Kelly Harnett is Director of Studies at ILAC Vancouver. She completed her B.A at Simon Fraser University. Kelly has 7 years’ experience as an ESL teacher in Canada and Korea and has been a TESOL trainer since 2016. She is an avid traveler who has been to 25+ countries.
David Hazell is Director of Studies at English School of Canada in Toronto. He has been an educator for 15 years and has taught in the UK, Japan, and Canada. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school. He also oversees teacher hiring and training, professional development, and curriculum development.
Simone Hengen is an ESL Instructor at the University of Regina whose language learning research and teaching are grounded in decolonizing perspectives. In her work, Simone has explored language learners’ experiences with Indigenous peoples, and empowered learners and instructors with inquiry tools to discover and create relationships within Indigenous communities. She has presented her work in local and international conferences.
Ishmael Johnson has been working with International students in the US and Canada since completing BAE’s TEFL certificate in 2013. A former member of the MATESL out of Massachusetts and a current member of ATESL in Alberta, Ishmael is dedicated to professional development of teachers and institutions that provide English instruction. Working as substitute teacher, Student Services Officer, Integrated Skills Teacher, Part-Time Program Coordinator, Director of Studies, and now Center Director at Stafford House Calgary, Ishmael’s work, development, and implementation of information technology systems in programs allows a unique and comprehensive view of the ever changing needs of teachers, students services, and management. Ishmael possesses a BA in Sociology with minors in Russian Area Studies and Philosophy.
Angela Johnston is Head of Academic and Compliance at ILAC. Angela completed her B.A at the University of British Columbia and has a diploma in Adult Education from Vancouver Community College. A former TESOL instructor and ESL teacher, Angela has over 12 years’ experience in language instruction and teacher training in Canada, Egypt and the Netherlands. She is passionate about professional development and is currently completing the Certificate in Intercultural Studies at UBC.
Dr. Sabiha Khuram has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the USA and a double Masters; she is a highly experienced trainer and leader in the educational management area. Sabiha is presently working as a Global Consultant for IELTS Teacher Training Workshops at the British Council. She has a keen interest in all areas of women empowerment and social enterprise.
Jennifer J. MacDonald is Head Teacher of ESL Programs at Dalhousie University, where she is the academic lead on a variety of programs in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and teacher professional development. She is also a doctoral candidate at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research interests lie at the intersection of EAP, internationalization of higher education, and critical applied linguistics, with a focus on the Canadian context. She has recently co-authored an EAP writing textbook with Oxford University Press entitled Academic Inquiry 1, Sentences and Paragraphs. Find Jennifer online at @Jen_Mac_Donald or jennifermacdonald.ca.
Shaun MacLeod is the Academic Director at the Canadian College of English Language. He has a BA in English from Dalhousie University and over 15 years of experience in the language sector, both at home and abroad. He has been with CCEL since 2007, first as an instructor before stepping into the role of director. He is a board member of Languages Canada and co-chairs the Membership and Conference committee.
Seppy Masoodi holds a Ph.D. in Education. She is the Manager of International Relations and the Chair of Research Ethics Board at NorQuest College. She has more than 15 years of experience in educational development and leadership.
Paula Medina is Director of Academics and co-founder of London Language Institute in Ontario. She has worked in the field since 1998. Paula is involved in numerous areas of her school including curriculum development, TESOL training, human resources, and marketing.
Barbara Mendes is Director of Studies at ILAC Toronto. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Sao Paulo/FACASPER and ICELT from the University of Cambridge. Barbara has over 20 years’ experience as an ESL instructor and TESOL trainer. She is passionate about teacher engagement and development.
Pete Novak is a strategic business development veteran and is currently responsible for the growth of in-house and high stakes exams, and teaching qualifications at Cambridge Assessment English. Pete is the co-founder of the MBA Games, and has held various advisory positions, including at Columbia University’s Tele-Information Center. He is also a staunch advocate for more cowbells.
Andrew O'Shea has been involved with English Language Teaching (ELT) as a teacher, administrator and publisher for over 20 years. After receiving an MA/TESOL at San Francisco State University, Andrew lived and worked in Istanbul where he taught intensive English to university students and oversaw the assessment program, fostering an interest in test design and construction. Since 2004, he has worked in ELT publishing and is currently the regional sales manager for National Geographic Learning.
Chris Parades joined the ICEF Canada team as Business Development Manager for Western Canada in 2019. Chris comes to ICEF from Bodwell High School where he served as the International Recruitment Manager for three years. His work was extensive throughout Brazil, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russian speaking countries. He is well versed in student recruitment, marketing and working with agents.
Anouchka Plumb is the Manager of Language Programs in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Windsor, where she oversees the university’s English pathway program, TESL Canada Standard One and Two English Language teacher education certification programs and a range of teacher training and language courses. Anouchka holds a PhD from the University of Windsor. Her research interests include higher education internationalization; commodification and commercialization of education; English for academic purpose program development; and international postsecondary student experience and wellness. Anouchka has presented on learner motivation, teaching for critical thinking, international student engagement through technology, English for Academic Purposes assessment and communicative language teaching.
Susan Priebe the Director of English as a Second Language International at Trinity Western University and currently teaches LING 309: Disabilities and Learning English. Susan began her career in 1985 as an Elementary School teacher with a specialization in ESL, French and Learning Disabilities. After completing her TESOL certificate, Susan began teaching English for Academic Purposes to adults in 2000. Susan holds an MA in Educational Studies – Special Education.
Sheri Rhodes has over 25 years' experience in English as an Additional Language (EAL) and has worked at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta as instructor, teacher trainer, and instructional designer. She is now the Program Administrator of the MRU English Language Program. Her educational background includes undergraduate studies in Business Management and Public Administration, and an MA in TESOL from the University of Calgary. She is currently serving as the Director of Research and Outreach for TESL Canada.
Catherine Rust-Akinbolaji is University College Dean and Assistant Professor of TESOL at Providence University College in Manitoba. She has lived and taught in Hong Kong and Slovakia and now trains others to teach English to speakers of other languages. She has also given many workshops and presentations on teaching and learning.
For the past two years, Molly Stern has been the Educational Products Coordinator for AFS Intercultural Programs. She supports institutions, universities, NGOs and other organizations with the Global Competence Certificate Program. Previously, she worked in volunteer sending and higher education study abroad organizations. She holds a master's degree from the School for International Training in International Education and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Sociology, Women’s Studies & Spanish.
John Taplin began his career as an educator working with indigenous youth as a high school English teacher in Australia. His life's journey in inter-cultural education continues in Alberta where he has worked in university and private sector settings; as an English teacher for immigrants, international students and first nations Canadians; and as a teacher trainer. In 1996, John became the Founding Director of Global Village Calgary. In 2016, Global Village Calgary embraced Sentio's Global Competence Certificate which is run as a natural fit with English language training.
As a former English language teacher, Sasha brings a hands-on knowledge of the Language Education sector to her role as EduCanada Brand Manager. Following a career in teaching and higher education management, Sasha joined Global Affairs Canada in 2012 and has been in various roles including as Regional Education Trade Commissioner for Middle East and Africa, providing support to Education sector clients and promoting Canada as a top study and research destination on the global stage.
Tetyana Vdovina is Academic Leader/Manager at International Centre for EAP (ICEAP) in Toronto and has taught English for over 20 years. She oversees the smooth day-to-day operation of the school, staff professional development, and curriculum development for new programs.
Samuel Vetrak, Founder and CEO of BONARD, has over 20 years' experience advising government-led agencies, destination marketing bodies, education providers and their associations, as well as real estate investors, developers and operators in student housing and alternative residential. The company, a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Member, with individual memberships in the world research association ESOMAR, provides comprehensive insights on global youth and student mobility market trends, and helps investors, funds, developers, operators, governments or destinations to identify market & investment opportunities and justify investment-related business decisions.
Katharine is Scoring Lead, Test Operations, for Paragon Testing Enterprises. Prior to joining Paragon, she worked for over 20 years as a private ESL educator, preparing high school students for university study in Canada and the United States, and as an English for Academic Purposes and Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) instructor. In her role with Paragon, Katharine contributes insight gained from teaching international students and immigrants. At Paragon, she has learned, from the ground up, the challenges involved in assessing language performances and delivering timely, accurate scores. Katharine has worked on rater training, feedback, and monitoring, scale development, and rating systems development. She is currently focused on diversifying rater performance metrics.
Jennifer Wilson is the Managing Director for the Canada Homestay Network (CHN). After retiring from practice as a Registered Midwife in 2005, Jennifer joined the family business. She holds an MBA with a specialization in Leadership and is always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. As a second-generation leader of CHN, Jennifer is passionate about creating opportunities for building relationships, and believes that homestay offers a unique opportunity for all of us to break down cultural barriers and make the world a smaller place. Jennifer is a certified Compassion Fatigue trainer, through Tend Academy.
For the last four years, Janet has led a variety of projects at BCIT, including the re-envisioning strategy of its refreshed English Language Learner (ELL) pathway program (launching September 2020). She kicked off her career teaching English in China in the early 1990s and went on to teach English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and University-transfer English in several public post-secondary institutions in BC, serve as the EAP department head at Vancouver Community College and as faculty representative to the Board of Governors. In addition to an M.A. in Education (University College London) and M.A. in English Literature (McMaster), Janet holds certification in TESL (Teacher of English as a Second Language), adult education, post-secondary leadership and change management.