2020 Excellence Awards Recipients

CBIE honours the recipients of our Excellence Awards during the annual conference. Developed by the Board of Directors, the Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of international education in a range of specialties.
2020 Catalyst Award

Catalyst Award

Awarded to an individual or group for bringing cutting-edge knowledge to the field of international education.

Glen A. Jones, University of Toronto
Roopa Desai Trilokekar, York University
Merli Tamtik, University of Manitoba

The team of Tamtik, Trilokekar and Jones are recognized for their foundational and ground breaking contribution to research on international education through the publication of “International Education as Public Policy in Canada.”

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With chapters written by leading scholars from across Canada, this cutting-edge volume illuminates the uniqueness and complexity of the Canadian story of international education, increases our understanding of challenges and possibilities, and contributes to policy and practice in international education. This book offers a comprehensive critical analysis of Canada’s international education policy approaches and makes a major contribution to the global discussion on international education.

North Star Award

Awarded to a new professional who has shown extraordinary promise in the field of international education.

Saher Ahmed, University of British Columbia

Saher Ahmed has worked with International Programs & Services at UBC’s Okanagan Campus since July 2017. In those three years, she has emerged as a true leader, working to support international students, faculty and staff, creating ongoing and meaningful relationships with stakeholders from across the campus and community.

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Saher became a RISIA in 2018, revamped and improved the Intercultural Development Program (IDP) to become one of the most successful programs in the portfolio and supports a wide variety of intercultural and social justice focused programs across campus and within the larger Kelowna community. Most recently, Saher has created an “Intercultural Foundations” program that, is specifically focused for students and staff in the School of Engineering (SoE). In addition, Saher has contributed and has co-written the UBC Okanagan’s Truth and Reconciliation Intercultural Understanding report that provided direction for UBCO strategic planning for the calls to action. Saher also runs workshops, and presents at conferences, UBC, and the broader community focused on welcoming newcomers and issues related to social justice, intercultural understanding and reconciliation.

Board of Directors Leadership Award

Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of international education.

Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, University of Calgary

Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura considers internationalization as a community effort, requiring courage, leadership, stewardship and innovative solutions based on relationships built over time and consistent and persistent effort.

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Over the past eight years, Janaka has created an impact through nurturing and building relationships locally and globally and supported internationalisation in the best way forward. Travelling many miles, spanning continents, he has learnt the value of bringing people and ideas together to advance internationalization at the global level and create long-lasting impact. Playing a significant & influential role in internationalisation, Janaka has led UC’s international strategy and won six competitive awards recognizing these contributions. He also actively engaged in advancing innovative ideas, knowledge and collaboration related to internationalisation within Canadian and global networks. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership, passion, and dedication to the sector by spanning from innovations in the establishment of international research initiatives, funding for students, award-winning research on internalization, and active participation in international associations related to the sector.

2020 Panorama Award

Panorama Award

Awarded to a team or individual to recognize innovation and excellence in design, planning, implementation and management of high quality endeavours in international education with programming that focuses on academic, extracurricular, capacity-building and/or learning abroad.

Canada-European Union Co-op Program (CANEU CO-OP)
  • Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University – DHBW, Germany
  • FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences (FJH), Austria
  • University of Victoria, Canada
  • University of Waterloo, Canada

In terms of long-term internationalization goals, the CANEU COOP program has been a “lighthouse” at both Canadian universities.

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A game-changer as the first hybrid at UVic and elevating the value of a hybrid agreement as a strategy for achieving exchange agreement balances at both Waterloo and Victoria in the subsequent countries of the Netherlands, Brazil, and China. Internationalization strategies of the consortium partners have all benefitted with evidence that the hybrid model is validated as a viable way to undertake international mobility agreements. The “Can you co-op?” program demonstrates how the founding members creatively brought together available resources and expertise to develop an impactful sustainable opportunity that now benefits students, institutions, and employers across continents.

(Top image, left to right, front row: Karl-Heinz Droege, Brigitte Ilg, Johannes Haas; back row: Cathy Lac-Brisley, Lisa ter Woort, Norah McRae, Angela Schoepfer; bottom image, left to right: Lisa ter Woort, Brigitte Ilg, Britta Goertz, Norah McRae, Johannes Haas, Karima Ramji)

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

Awarded to an individual, a work team, or a campus group whose behaviour or initiatives demonstrate significant contributions toward enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion through international education.

Équipe IDEAL, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

IDEAL— Inclusion, Diversity, Equity for All the Lands. True to its name, the IDEAL team embodies CBIE’S fundamental values: diversity, equity, international education and inclusion.

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Under the leadership of professors Isabel Desgagné-Penix and Hugo Germain from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR), this research team is made up of students from all over the world and illustrates a mosaic of countries, religions, gender, colours and traditions. In recognition of the admirable efforts made by professors Desgagné-Penix and Germain, the student-researchers were keen to nominate the team for CBIE’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Award. This team demonstrates how our very differences can become our biggest strengths, rather than a source of weakness. Thank you to professors Desgagné-Penix and Germain, as well as their students, for their unique contribution towards, and their exceptional engagement in, enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.