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.
Board of Directors Leadership Award
University of Calgary
For over 20 years, Colleen Packer has been a key contributor, collaborator and expert in education abroad, within the national and international contexts, and in leading progressive initiatives at institutional and provincial levels. As the CBIE Education Abroad Professional Learning Committee (PLC) co-chair, she has helped create a community that has been central to advancing the field of education abroad in Canada. She supports its members as an ally, advocate, and leader, willing to tackle the big issues and complex intricacies of our field.
When borders closed, and many exchange programs ended, Colleen worked to initiate new programs and strengthen dimensions of exchange partnerships previously thought impossible. Her commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is central to her leadership, as demonstrated by her success in expanding participation in education abroad to historically excluded communities. She has humbly shared her experiences and has inspired, encouraged and assisted international education professionals around the world. She is tirelessly forward-thinking, always looking for new ways to enhance and advance education abroad.
Elizabeth Paterson Award
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Kat Edmond has been working and volunteering with various departments at Memorial University since her arrival in the fall of 2018. As a volunteer for WUSC-MUN, she actively campaigned and worked towards implementing a student refugee program at Memorial. She is a dynamic student leader committed to improving the lives of other marginalized students. Her work with the LGBTQ+ international student community and in the area of reconciliation with Indigenous students is particularly praiseworthy.
Kat is a remarkable person who is always willing to help others and faces obstacles with resilience. She is one of the most giving, empathetic, and responsible student leaders at Memorial.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Award
University of British Columbia
Rohene Bouajram is a sought-after expert in the policies and programs that affect international education in Canada. Over the past decade, she has been requested as a subject matter expert on a variety of important initiatives, bringing a critical EDI lens into the design and delivery of many training programs. Some of these programs include the National Advisory Committee for Queens University and their Immigration Practitioner Diploma and CBIE’s International Students and Immigration Education Program (ISIEP). She is also an active contributor to national and provincial working groups and has facilitated educational workshops for a number of provincial governments.
Rohene is an advocate for student supports and programming with a social justice lens. Rohene created new opportunities to support international, Indigenous, and domestic students through her service on the UBC Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence taskforce in 2021. Furthermore, as an executive member of the Black Caucus, Rohene demonstrated grace and strength while evaluating the institution strategically and elevating the needs of Black students, faculty and staff. Building an anti-racist institution requires a commitment to ongoing learning and action and deep care in leadership practices.
North Star Award
Felipe Civita Ferreira
Felipe is a young professional and leader in international education and has worked for both colleges and universities in Alberta and British Columbia. As a former international student, he understands the value of international education and is an advocate for the sector as a whole.
Felipe started his career in international education with Bow Valley College (BVC), where he supported BVC’s strategic expansion into East Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America through various projects and bilateral mobility agreements. In 2019, Felipe joined Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and led a team supporting the university’s overall internationalization initiatives. He now works at NorQuest College, where he leads and supports a number of international development and education projects across East Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia.
Originally from Brazil, he is a true global citizen with personal and professional experiences living in South and North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. He has visited 50+ countries and speaks three languages fluently.
York University Globally Networked Learning (GNL) Team
What started as a crisis turned into an opportunity to advance inclusive access to global engagement and opportunities for both faculty and students. While not new at York University, the Globally Networked Learning pan-university initiative was launched in the summer of 2020, when institutions in Canada and around the world were figuring out the aftermath of the global pandemic.
By expanding and rethinking the traditional notions of COIL to include brief virtual collaborations (from one week to two semesters), the York-GNL team has opened access and lowered the barriers for faculty and students to experiment, innovate, collaborate, thus the term GNL-Es with ‘E’ for experiences, experiments, and environments.
To date, the team has successfully supported more than 25 GNL projects engaging 40 faculty members and 900+ students combined between YorkU and its global partners in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, Romania, UK and USA. GNL’s impact and influence extend further as the York-GNL team actively participates in knowledge-sharing and dissemination activities as well as communities of practice in Canada and globally.
Reconciliation and Internationalization Award
Dr. Kim Anderson, Dr. May-Britt Öhman, and Allison Broadbent
University of Guelph
The University of Guelph’s Sweden Field School, Conversations with the Sami on Revitalizing Indigenous Lands and Cultures, was developed through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Kim Anderson, Dr. May-Britt Öhman, Allison Broadbent, and many others in Canada and Sweden. Funding from the Global Skills Opportunities initiative enabled a group of mainly Indigenous students and faculty to engage in a conversation-based learning program on topics including language loss, climate change, traditional resource management, land-based cultural practices and Indigenizing universities.
One Indigenous student said, “I feel as though I have learned more in Sápmi about Indigenous people internationally, about Indigenous people in Canada, and about myself than I have learned in quite a large portion of my education. I think this speaks volumes about the importance of learning from Indigenous educators … and prioritizing reciprocal conversations with the community.” The program created personal and professional relationships that will continue to develop through the ongoing commitment to facilitating these types of programs.