Student Advising – Conseil aux étudiants Professional Learning Community
(SACE-PLC)

The SACE PLC creates a space for an effective support network and forum of discussion amongst student advising professionals.

About

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.

Imarú Baquero
Manager, International Student Services
University of Lethbridge International
Co-Chair

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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.

Shanda Williams, RCIC
International Transition Advisor, MasterCard and WUSC Scholar Programs
University of British Columbia
Co-Chair

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Shanda Williams is an International Transition Advisor 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 15,000 international students. Her portfolio includes: promoting immigration literacy and immigration advising; liaising with UBC Co-op Council; and coordinating orientation programming. In January 2022, she started a new role supporting Mastercard and WUSC scholars as the program advisor.

Scott Bazan
Student Success Coordinator
International College of Manitoba
Topic Lead:“Pre-Arrival Programming & Orientation” and “Mental Health”

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Scott is a Student Success Coordinator at the International College of Manitoba (ICM). During his four-plus years at ICM, he has helped support international students through holistic advising, developing programming to support academic recovery and analyzing data to improve and develop communications, programming, policies and procedures. Scott is one of two Student Success Coordinators at ICM who manages the Student Success Advising Team. Before starting with ICM, he taught English as a second language in rural South Korea for a year.

Danai Bélanger
International Student Advisor
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Topic Lead: “International Student Engagement & Intercultural Transition” and “Mental Health”

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Danai is an International Student Advisor (ISA) and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. 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 works to support international students, scholars, researchers and their families as one-third of the advising team in the Internationalization Office at Memorial.

Carla Lawson
Academic Advisor, International Focus
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
Topic Lead: “Immigration” and “Advising Staff Support”

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Carla is an Academic Advisor, International Focus at NAIT. She has been advising students at the post-secondary level for 12 years and has supported international students for the past seven years. Carla received her Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) designation in 2017. Within her role, Carla 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 students in her position at NAIT as well as collaborating with colleagues across Canada in her role with CBIE.

Ravneet Panech
International Student Specialist
University of Alberta
Topic Lead: “Immigration” and “International Student Engagement & Intercultural Transition”

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Ravneet Panech is an International Student Specialist at the University of Alberta. Ravneet has been employed in the immigration field since 2012 and she has held multiple positions within the field. 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 as well as building a well-connected network with colleagues in the international education field through her involvement with organizations such as CBIE.