Panel Discussion: Inclusive Internationalization


Admir Chihaluca

Founder of Black Employee Resource Group at SAIT

Admir has over a decade of work experience in international markets development and is currently working at SAIT as an international recruiter and partnership development officer simultaneously focusing in the Americas, Middle East and African markets, previous to that he worked at ATB as a talent acquisition partner in the largest it’s division: business and agriculture.

He worked at the University of Alberta where he served as the International Relations & Recruitment Coordinator as official representative of the Americas Region.

Along with successfully increasing and diversifying the UofA’s student population across targeted region markets in the Americas, Admir was responsible for the negotiation and development of a number of key international partnerships involving student mobility, collaborative research, and capacity building initiatives in Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil.

Admir has his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA-Hns.) from the University of Guelph as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Organizational Efficiency (Lean Six Sigma) from Villanova University and Organizational Leadership Executive Education from Harvard University.

Admir is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

John Partington

Director of EDI at SAIT

John is the Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. He brings nine years of progressive experience in higher education administration and is a founding member of the Pride at SAIT Committee. Originally from Ottawa, ON, he holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, a Master of Arts from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University.

Kajol Bhatia

SAIT International Alumna

Kajol Bhatia is a post-graduate work permit holder who started her Canadian journey in 2018 as a student at SAIT. As a student, she focused on being involved in leadership programs and volunteering within the community in different roles. Bhatia was born and raised in Dubai, U.A.E., and recognizes the struggles of an expat through her father’s experience. In 2020, she earned a diploma with honours in Journalism from SAIT and CBIE has recently nominated her to apply to the IRCC Youth Advisory Group. In her current role at the International Centre, she is responsible for advising prospective students and helping new students adapt to the Canadian culture. Bhatia speaks three languages, namely, English, Hindi and Sindhi, and has lived in three countries in the past 10 years.

Thevi Pather

AVP International
Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Thevi Pather is the AVP, International at Saskatchewan Polytechnic with over 20 years of experience in the post-secondary sector. His previous work in international education includes work at UBC, SFU, Royal Roads University, Camosun College, and North Island College. As a former international student, he brings a unique perspective to the topics of international recruitment and support, global engagement and mobility, and diversity and inclusion in the post-secondary sector. Prior to working in international education, he worked in social services where he was drawn to diversity and equity work given the marginalized client groups he served. Thevi has a BA from University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, a B.Sc. from Fresno State University, California, a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Policy and MA from Simon Fraser University. His doctoral research at SFU examines the relationship between study abroad and the development of Cosmopolitan ideals.

Janaka Ruwanpura

Vice Provost and Associate Vice-President Research (International)
University of Calgary

Janaka Ruwanpura is the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Research (International) at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is also the current elected Executive Chair of the Commission of International Initiatives of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) as the first Canadian and Non-American to chair any of the councils and commissions of APLU. He was a full professor, Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems and a founding director of the Centre for Project Management in the Schulich School of Engineering.