Student Advising – Conseil aux étudiants Professional Learning Community
The SACE PLC creates a space for an effective support network and forum of discussion amongst student advising professionals.
Student Advising – Conseil aux étudiants (SACE) works to address the needs of IE practitioners who provide international student advising within Canada’s institutions. This PLC identifies tools and resources that encourage the free exchange of ideas and information between professionals involved with international student support at different institutions. SACE is open to CBIE members at all levels who work or have an interest in global learning.
Meet our Steering Committee Members
The Steering Committee members and co-chairs act as a voice for SACE and increase awareness of the international student Advisor community they represent. For more information on roles and responsibilities, please see SACE’s Terms of Reference.
Program Director, Global Campus Initiatives
University of British Columbia
Shanda Williams is the Program Director of Global Campus Initiatives and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Shanda started her journey in Canada as an international student in 2003 and, after completing her undergraduate degree, started working as a library supervisor with Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She soon found her passion was more aligned with providing transitional support to international students, creating opportunities for students to share their unique cultures and ensuring that students had appropriate immigration support. After 13 years of studying, working and living in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Shanda moved to UBC in 2017 and joined the International Student Development team supporting over 17,000 international students. In her current role, she is leading the final year of the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program as well as supporting WUSC Scholars at the UBC campus.
Manager, International Student Services
University of Lethbridge
Imarú (Ima) Baquero has worked in international education for over a decade in both college and university environments. She currently works as the Manager, International Student Services at the University of Lethbridge. Her responsibilities have included international strategic planning, international student support and advising, education abroad, partnership development, and international student enrolment management. Imarú has been a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor since 2017, and she is one of the instructors of the CBIE International Students and Immigration Education Program (ISIEP). She also serves as a member of the CBIE Immigration Advisory Committee and as co-chair of CBIE’s Student Advising Professional Learning Community.
International Student Specialist
University of Alberta
Ravneet Panech is an International Student Specialist at the University of Alberta. Ravneet has been employed in the immigration field since 2012 and has held multiple positions. Ravneet received her RCIC designation in 2017. She started working in the post-secondary sector in 2018 when she accepted the Immigration Advisor position at the University of Alberta. She has been providing advising support to the international student population over the past three years, where her portfolio areas included providing immigration advising, delivering seamless support services, handling complex student matters and advocating on behalf of students. Ravneet is passionate about supporting international students and building a well-connected network with colleagues in the international education field through her involvement with organizations such as CBIE.
Supervisor, International Academic Advising
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Carla supervises the International Academic Advising team at NAIT and is passionate about supporting advisors in skill development and students through holistic advising. She’s been advising post-secondary students for over 13 years and has supported international students for the past 8 years. Carla received her Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) designation in 2017. Within her role, Carla trains advisors on different advising theories, concepts, and helping skills. In addition, she offers holistic support to students, exploring career options and creating education plans while ensuring study-permit holders understand the immigration implications of their decisions. She enjoys working with advisors and students in her position at NAIT as well as collaborating with colleagues across Canada in her role with CBIE.
Immigration Advisor, International Student Success
Lysange Gervais is the Bishop’s International Office Immigration Advisor – International Student Success. As such, she develops and implements a variety of initiatives to support international students in preparation and throughout their transition to life on campus and in Canada. In particular, its role involves accompanying international students from admission to graduation, with a view to their academic success, in several areas: immigration, insurance, financial support, integration into their new environment, etc. Lysange holds a Bachelor’s of Education degree as well as a Master’s Degree specialized in intercultural education from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). She is also a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA).
Director of Student Experience
Mount Allison University
Danai is the Director of Student Experience and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at Mount Allison University. She has worked in the international education field for nearly 14 years in four provinces and across five institutions. A former international student herself, she brings her own personal experiences navigating Canada’s immigration and settlement systems into her advising practice. Her research interests include community building, diversity education, and post-colonial African studies. She currently provides strategic leadership for student transition and settlement programming at Mount Allison University.
International Student Immigration Specialist
Melinda Meng is an International Student Immigration Specialist at Seneca College and a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Having worked in international education for more than 8 years, Melinda has strong background and achievements in solving student issues related to transition and acculturation within a diverse environment. As an advisor, Melinda’s advising philosophy focuses on developmental advising, where she shares the information students need to assess their situations, analyzes process/rationale of how the decision may be made, guides them on the pros and cons of each option, and encourages them to make their own decision. Ultimately, post-secondary education should provide opportunities for students to achieve self-fulfilling and growth as a person. She always takes the initiative to keep abreast with emerging trends and maintains her network. She believes that sharing the resources, practices and challenges with peers will showcase how we support international students within our unique context, but also, how voices from different perspectives will inspire us to reflect how we could utilize the resources and better the practice in our own institution. For the long term, we could build a healthy, holistic international education industry with peers feeling supported to each other.
International Student Advisor
Marie-Pierre Charette has spent over 12 years working in the field of international education at various universities across Quebec. With experience in international mobility and recruitment, she now works with international students. Marie-Pierre currently serves as International Student Advisor at Université Laval, where she is in charge of the Student Buddy Program that helps new international students adapt to the university community. Furthermore, holding the title of Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) since 2021, she advises students in their respective immigration processes.
International Student Advisor and Immigration Specialist
Mayoori is a lawyer called to the bar in Ontario in 2017. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa and is an alumni of York University, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate studies. Following the completion of her articles at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, Mayoori joined an immigration law practice where she worked for 3 years specializing in immigration and refugee protection matters.
Mayoori is passionate about access to justice and demystifying the law, which continues to guide her work as an International Student Advisor and Immigration Specialist at York University. Since joining York University’s International Department in September 2020, Mayoori has played in instrumental role in identifying opportunities to strengthen international student support services by implementing creative solutions, such as developing a joint advising model between York International and student support staff across campus. She has also developed a professional learning session for campus partners to learn about fundamental concepts in immigration law and how they can incorporate this knowledge to make proactive interventions and effective referrals to the international office and immigration advising team.
Beyond work hours, Mayoori enjoys being active and activities like hiking, running, cycling, which is complemented by her love of decadent desserts.