Education Abroad Professional Learning Community (EA-PLC)

The Education Abroad PLC provides a forum for professionals in the fields of education abroad and global learning to share knowledge, organize projects and activities, and enhance their competencies.

Global Skills Opportunity Learning Series

Global Skills Opportunity (GSO), CBIE, and the CBIE Education Abroad Professional Learning Community (EA-PLC) are collaborating on a learning series to support Canadian post-secondary institutions in developing and designing their international experience programs.


The Education Abroad (EA) PLC creates an informed and effective support network and forum of discussion amongst education abroad professionals. In order to continue our learning in the field, the PLC also develops and/or promotes education and training opportunities for global learning professionals. The EA PLC is open to CBIE members at all levels who work or have interest in global learning.

The Education Abroad PLC encompasses the following sub-groups:

  • Accessibility & Inclusion
  • Education Abroad Measures
  • Intercultural Competence
  • Pre-Departure, Re-Entry & Wraparound Support
  • Virtual Education Abroad
View the EA-PLC’s 2022 Annual Report

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee members and co-chairs act as a voice for the EA-PLC and increase awareness of the EA community they represent. For more information on roles and responsibilities, please see the EA-PLC’s Terms of Reference.

Co-chairs of the EA-PLC

Janine Knight-Grofe
Director, International Education
Durham College

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Janine Knight-Grofe has 15 + years’ experience in international education practice and research. She is currently Director, International Education at Durham College where she is responsible for a spectrum of internationalization initiatives, including leadership for education abroad; developing and implementing programs and services related to international students; and implementing the Internationalization and Global Engagement Plan along with the international education team.

Janine is a PhD student, Higher Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Colleen Packer
Director – Global Learning
University of Calgary

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Colleen Packer has worked in the field of international education for over 20 years. She is currently the Director, Global Learning at University of Calgary International, where she provides leadership for the University’s education abroad and global learning at home programs, working with stakeholders across campus to support the institution’s global engagement plan. In addition to serving on various internal and external committees, Colleen is the co-chair of the CBIE’s Education Abroad Professional Learning Community and is a frequent presenter at both national and international conferences. Colleen has an M.Ed. in adult learning from the University of Calgary.


Accessibility & Inclusion

Zhi Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Education Abroad (Services), University of Alberta

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Zhi has a Ph.D in Administration of Post-secondary Education from the University of Alberta. She is passionate about international education and strongly believes that a critical outcome of the UAlberta experience is for the graduating students to develop interest and competencies in engaging professionally and socially with diverse communities in Canada and around the world.

Education Abroad Measures

Ms. Shabnam (Shay) Surjitsingh Ivković
PEng (ON), Director – International Strategic Initiatives, Co-operative & Experiential Education, University of Waterloo

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As the Director of International Strategic Initiatives, Shabnam (Shay) designs and delivers University of Waterloo’s Co-operative and Experiential Education’s internationalization strategy that continues to place CEE as a global leader in the work-integrated learning arena via sustainable pathways for quality growth & innovation. Being an avid advocate of WIL, she has presented on program outcomes, student satisfaction, building co‐op legacies in organizations, risk management, WIL impact on UN’s SDGs, etc. at several global conferences. Shabnam loves working at university because she believes that in a well-rounded education lies the promise of our future.


Intercultural Competence

Rebecca Trautwein
Manager, Education Abroad, University of Calgary

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Rebecca Trautwein is the Manager, Education Abroad at University of Calgary International, where she provides leadership to her team, in pursuit of increasing global learning experiences for the campus community through strengthening global partnership and collaboration. Her expertise includes risk management, experiential programming, relationship building, intercultural development, and wraparound supports, with over ten years’ experience, at both polytechnic and university institutions. Rebecca holds an MA in International and Intercultural Communication from Royal Roads University, which guides her work and teaching, in helping people develop a deepened understanding of the complexities, nuances, and joys of intercultural communication, and ultimately the human experience.

Karima Ramji
Associate Director, International, Indigenous and Strategic Initiatives, University of Victoria

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Karima has over two decades of experience in work integrated learning, and currently serves as Associate Director. International, Indigenous and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Victoria’s Co-operative Education Programs and Career Services. A Certified Advanced Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Professional and an active researcher, she has co-published articles in the International Journal of Work Integrated Learning, and a chapter on UVic’s Intercultural Competency Development Curriculum, in the book Work-integrated Learning in the 21st Century: Global Perspectives on the Future. Karima just completed two years of service as Co-Chair of the ACE-WIL BC/Yukon’s Research Committee and is currently Chair of CEWIL Canada’s International Committee. She espouses values of pluralism and servant leadership in all she does.

Pre-Departure, Re-Entry & Other Wraparound Support

Elissa Cressman
Manager, Safety Abroad, University of Waterloo

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Elissa earned a Master’s of Education degree in Higher Education leadership from the University of Calgary and worked to support students as a Manager, Residence Life before taking on leadership of the Safety Abroad portfolio at the University of Waterloo. Skilled in risk assessment and iterative process improvement related to international travel Elissa provides strategic and operational leadership associated with the health, safety and security of those travelling abroad on University of Waterloo sponsored travel and activities including the coordination of emergency responses for crisis situations abroad.

KK (Kristina) Miller
International Mobility Coordinator, Seneca College

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KK is an education abroad professional who’s been reflecting on global learning in higher education since her exchange in university. Her international journey continued as she worked in Japan for four years before starting her M.Sc. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. Shortly thereafter, she joined George Brown College as Administrator, Inbound Mobility and began pulling the threads for her personal and professional experiences into projects that focused on wraparound services. That included improving her own credentials and becoming a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Now at Seneca College, KK is investigating the role of gamification and instructional design in wraparound services for education abroad opportunities.

Virtual Education Abroad

Ada Lee
Global Development Manager, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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Ada Lee is an international education professional with 8+ years in global mobility and partnerships, international recruitment & admissions, and student engagement. As a 1.5 generation settler hailing from Hong Kong, cross-cultural navigation and learning have been lifelong personal interests. She hopes to continue efforts in widening access to experiential global learning programs and leveraging technology to build inclusive and innovative programming. She lives alongside the great Douglas fir trees in coastal city of Vancouver.

Eunjung Riauka
Director, International Learning, University of Western Ontario

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Eunjung is an International education professional who is dedicated to helping students, staff, faculty and higher education institutions better understand and engage with global issues through international mobility, research and internship abroad programs. Leveraging over 10 years of experience in higher education in the field of international mobility programs, recruitment, partnership development & agreements, admissions (domestic/international), and assessment of transfer credits. Highly motivated and engaged in developing an internationalization strategic plan and direction in advancing the internationalization agenda and positive student experience in post-secondary institutions, she is a knowledgeable and trained facilitator and curriculum developer for cultural safety learning programs. In her current role, she oversees the international learning program at Western University. She is currently co-chair of the Virtual Education Abroad sub-group at CBIE’s Education Abroad PLC.