International Relations Professional Learning Community (IR-PLC) October 2022
Message from the Co-chairs
2022 brought both excitement and challenges as international relations professionals embraced a new hybrid reality. As travelling and hosting in-person meetings began, we all navigated the complexities and constant changes that come with our work, particularly during a pandemic and with an ongoing increase of geopolitical tensions. Despite these challenges, the IR-PLC community continued to come together to share good practices and learn from each other.
Building upon the feedback we received from our members, our programming aimed to identify new trends in international relations, to explore ways to assess partnerships, and to examine how international partnerships can both advance the Sustainable Development Goals and embrace decolonization and equity diversity and inclusion principles. Through both virtual and in-person sessions we were able to engage over 400 members and IR professionals around the world this year.
Throughout the year we connected with sister associations like EAIE, AIEA, NAFSA and IESA as well as other organizations such as Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the Alethea Foundation in hopes of expanding our network and sharing our efforts. In the Spring we also helped advise the recently launched Community of Practice on Partnerships (led by representatives from US institutions), supported various sessions on Enhancing Canada-US Partnership and continued to look to building partnerships beyond our borders.
We continue to be amazed at the work and dedication of the IR-PLC Steering Committee. As we know, work and life are busy at the best of times, yet these Steering Committee members meet monthly and spend endless hours organizing opportunities to advance our profession. After years of meeting virtually and working together it was wonderful to finally be able to meet (many for the first time) in person in Denver during the NAFSA and in Barcelona at the EAIE Conference.
As we look to 2023, our priority will be to continue to advance the IR profession while working toward ensuring our events are inclusive by offering hybrid and bilingual dialogues and events as well as reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups (such as Colleges and Polytechnics).
It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve as your IR-PLC Co-Chairs. We look forward to continuing to work with our members to support and continue to grow this amazing community!
Andrea & Yukino
The mandate of the IR-PLC is to create a space where International Relations and Partnership Officers can share experiences with their colleagues across Canada, exchange and access information, opportunities and best practices, link into the wider international relations community and work together to champion international collaboration and advance our global engagement agendas.
The IR-PLC helps IR professionals in Canadian HEIs to connect with each other, to engage on matters of concern and interest within our sector, and to increase our effectiveness in linking our institutions with the world.
This PLC creates a space for discussion, learning, and collaboration for International Relations Officers and others whose work focuses on supporting and promoting international collaborations.
The goal of the IR-PLC is to foster a community of practitioners, which includes:
- Exchanging best practices across institutions;
- Building partnerships with key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally;
- Promoting discussion and exchange of ideas of key issues impacting the sector;
- Providing professional development and leadership opportunities through the Steering Committee;
- Advancing the field of International Relations in Canada, particularly with regard to diversity, inclusion, and equity; and
- Advocating for shared issues of concern.
Andrea Delgado Morrow
University of Calgary
Janine Denis Gonzalez
Partnership Development Specialist,
University of Ottawa
Senior Manager (Interim),
Simon Fraser University
University of Alberta
Global Learning and Intercultural Support,
Studio for Teaching and Learning,
Saint Mary’s University
International Strategy Advisor,
VP Office – Academic & Research,
International Partnerships & Programs,
University of Guelph
University of British Columbia
Learning & Safety Abroad,
University of Toronto
Overview of Membership
From 60 members in 2019 to 353 members in 2022, the IR-PLC membership has steadily increased with 101 new members joining in the past year.
Members by Province/Territory
Events & Initiatives
welcomed guest speakers
welcomed guest speakers
from senior leadership positions, industry and academia.
presented at conferences
presented at conferences
including sessions at the CBIE Quebec Regional Meeting and CBIE’s Professional Learning Communities Information Session.
The IR-PLC Steering Committee thanks all of the guest speakers, members and CBIE for their support with the various events, activities and initiatives undertaken throughout 2022.
We would also like to express our gratitude to our partners in crime, the staff at CBIE, especially Melissa Payne, Sophie Jodouin, and Jorge Ramirez-Aguilera, for their on-going support and openness to let our PLC push the boundaries. As well as Larissa Bezo, Karen Dalkie and Catherine Wilde for their leadership and support in enhancing and expanding the IR-PLC.
Last but not least, we would like to thank our previous SC members, including the co-founders Carol Zachs and Julio Sevilla, for their continued leadership in the industry and their ongoing commitment to build and enrich this valuable community they have established.