Practical & Academic Research Committee:

  • Plays a central role in the development of CERIC’s internal and external research agenda by reviewing materials to determine what research needs to be done in Canada and supporting the development of internal and external stakeholder surveys.
  • Determines and recommends to the Board the most effective way that CERIC can support the growth and development of practical and academic career-related research in Canada and its application.
  • Recommends priorities and guidelines for all practical and academic research efforts.
  • Chooses and recommends a relevant graduate thesis from works submitted through a contest to be considered for publication by CERIC.
  • Finds ways to communicate the fact that CERIC is supportive of career-related research and will lend its support and resources to both practical and academic research for the benefit of all Canadians.
  • Promotes and advocates the need for increased practical and academic research in this field across Canada.
  • Identifies partners to participate in and contribute to research projects.
  • Collaborates with researchers to advance career-related research in Canada.

Committee Members

Tony Botelho, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Co-chair)

Tony Botelho is the Managing Director of the UBC Career Centre. He was formerly the Director of Simon Fraser University’s nationally recognized Career & Volunteer Services. He is a past recipient of the Rob Shea Research Award by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) for his research on the role of career education in the contemporary university environment (2014). Tony also co-led (and co-chaired) the development of CACEE’s first research committee. In 2019 he was awarded the Stu Conger Award for Leadership by the Canadian Career Development Foundation.

Shalini Sharma, Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, Toronto, ON (Co-chair)

Shalini Sharma is an economist with a specialization in urban economics and urban labour markets. She is currently Director, Research & Policy at the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (CCYP), a federal governmentfunded organization dedicated to youth workforce development and youth well-being. CCYP, Research & Policy publishes insights into the following: youth employment issues, implementation and programming covering youth relevant labour policy, education and training and supports all other organization activities.

Noor Al-Zanoon, Alberta Innovates, Women in Science, Engineering and Research (WiSER), Edmonton AB

For more than five years, Noor Al-Zanoon has dedicated her career to improving post-secondary career development education through diverse experiences as a career educator, business partner, researcher and non-for-profit leader. Noor is currently a Senior Business Partner (Health Innovation-Talent) at Alberta Innovates. In her current role, Noor works within the Alberta health and research ecosystem to identify talent needs/opportunities, gaps and regularly analyzes career development research to improve trainee programs and initiatives. Alongside her work, Noor was recently a Co-chair and now Mentor in-Residence of Women in Science, Engineer and Research (WISER), a non-for-profit that aims to support the career development of women and gender minorities in STEM. For the past five years at WISER, Noor has spearheaded a mentorship program where she gained extensive experience in developing personcentred curricula and pedagogies, delivering high-quality professional development programs, and building communities to foster meaningful mentorship. In 2020, Noor successfully adapted the mentorship program to an online platform, while implementing new training modules designed to encourage and maintain mentor-mentee engagement in the virtual world. The success of training modules and mentee/mentor matching relied on the combination of evidence-based mentorship practices with practical experienced gained over the years of running the program. Finally, Noor is also pursuing a PhD in head and neck cancer and computer simulation giving her firsthand experience of the types of career development gaps in post-secondary education. 

Lorena Camargo, Labour Market Information Council, Toronto, ON

Lorena Camargo contributes to contemporary, forward-looking research projects about labour market issues in Canada as a Principal Researcher at the Labour Market Information Council. Her expertise includes innovation policy and global markets.

Lorena brings a variety of interdisciplinary skills and lenses to her research from working internationally with different levels of government, as well as the private sector. She has a master’s degree from the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy where she co-wrote a report on economic development and innovation policy that has since been approved for publication in the Oxford Journals’ Socio-Economic Review in 2022.

Lorena understands the value of multi-culturalism and loves languages! She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and speaks intermediate-advanced French.

Lorena is a Certified ScrumMaster. In her spare time, Lorena enjoys getting lost in a good book, dance classes, and when possible, travelling.

Tannis Goddard, Mixtmode Consulting, Port Moody, BC

Tannis Goddard is the CEO of MixtMode Consulting and provides training and consultation services to governments and career agencies regarding the design and implementation of career services, with a specialization in online and blended career services. She has over 25 years of experience operating career centres in Canada. Tannis led the launch of the first federally funded online career counselling program in 2004 and has since led the successful delivery of online services to a full range of client groups. With keen interest in seeing this delivery option grow in our field, Tann is has been involved in research projects, including her PhD studies, and has presented on this topic all over the world.

Jeff Landine, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB

Dr Jeff Landine is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick and a Licensed Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick. He has worked as a counsellor in the public school system, with UNB’s Counselling Services and in private practice for a combined 25 years. His teaching and research interests include employability, self-concept, identity development, career development and career counselling, as well as professional ethics.

Roxy Merkand, McKinsey Health Institute, McKinsey & Company, Kitchener, ON

Roxy Merkand is a Research Science Specialist at the McKinsey Health Institute of McKinsey & Company. The McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) is an enduring, non-profit generating entity within McKinsey & Company – founded on the conviction that, over the next decade, humanity could add as much as 45 billion extra years of higher-quality life (roughly six years per person on average – and substantially more in some countries and populations). MHI’s mission is to catalyze the actions needed across continents, sectors and communities to realize this possibility. Roxy’s work within MHI on Employee Health and Well-being facilitates collaboration, learning and innovation across private, public and social sectors to make a difference. Roxy’s team provides data, insights and tools to enable employers to be a positive force in improving employee mental health and well-being in a way that drives change at scale and is good for employees, for business and for broader communities.

Roxy earned her PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Waterloo (UW) in 2022 – focusing her research on the disclosure of invisible disabilities during job search and at work. Roxy worked for UW’s Centre for Career Action throughout her graduate studies, where she learned first-hand about the vital role career development practitioners can play for students. Roxy is passionate about weightlifting, sustainable food sourcing, trying new recipes, and snuggling with her two dogs – Frankie and Myra.

Magdalena Mot, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, BC

Magdalena Mot, PhD, CMCS, is a Work-Integrated Learning Co-ordinator at KPU’s Melville School of Business in British Columbia, Canada. She currently oversees a team of coaches and runs the Melville Business Strategy Internship program, supporting an ever-growing need for experiential learning opportunities. Magdalena is also teaching the Career Development Theories and the Code of Ethics at Simon Fraser University, as part of the Career Development Practitioner Certificate program. She is the Chair of the Global Connections Committee within the National Career Development Association. The GCC was formed 10 years ago by Norm Amundson. Magdalena is passionate about cultural anthropology and intercultural communication. She is interested in the role culture plays in one’s career decision-making. At the end of 2021, Magdalena has published a book in Bucharest, Romania, on the traditional wedding ceremonials in a minority group, which brings together the results of 12 years of research.

Vera Ziwei Wu, Career Consultant, Kamloops, BC

Vera Ziwei Wu has been a career consultant for over three years working with clients who have various capabilities and walk diverse paths of life. With a combination of counselling training from overseas and graduate studies, she obtained a background in adult learning design and research, with a passion to support people with life transitions. Her native languages are Cantonese and Mandarin.

Aziz Mimoudi, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC (GSEP)

Aziz Mimoudi is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, Sherbrooke University since September 2020. He is a researcher-member of the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technology (OBVIA).

His research topic focuses on the development of skills in training platforms assisted by artificial intelligence.

Since October 2022, he has been a research assistant in the “Global Smart Disruptive Learning” a GSDL/UNESCO project, an intelligent learning system redesigned for all, and research assistant in the Research Institute of Artificial Intelligence in Université TÉLUQ, Canada.

Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC (GSEP)

Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow has a master’s degree in sociology of labour, employment and organizations. He specializes in the analysis of public employment policies, career development and sociological approaches to labour and career guidance. He is involved in public and community programs for the employability of young people and women in Senegal and Quebec. His doctoral thesis project focuses on the participation of young people without a high school diploma in public measures and programs for social and professional integration from a capability perspective. 

Content & Learning Committee:

  • Provides support to staff on strategic content planning and development across CERIC’s learning streams (e.g. CareerWise/OrientAction websites, webinars, Cannexus conference) by utilizing results from surveys, polls, user feedback as well as other qualitative inputs.
  • Suggests possible leads for content submissions and learning opportunities that are in line with identified content streams or themes and suggest ways they can best be organized and presented in order to be usable and engaging (articles, links, blogs, webinars, social media and other channels) in both English and French.
  • Upon request, provides editorial support by reviewing draft publication content to ensure that the overall tone and quality of material is of a high standard, in line with CERIC’s mission and mandate, engaging and appropriate.
  • Promotes and educates career professionals on the need for, and sharing of information, ongoing learning and professional development across Canada.
  • Provides support and advise to staff in the review of Partnership Proposals, as required.
  • Actively champions and promotes CERIC periodical publications and learning initiatives to colleagues and networks.

Committee Members

Dinuka Gunaratne, Northeastern University, Vancouver, BC (Co-chair)

Dinuka Gunaratne is the Director of Career Development and Experiential Learning for Northeastern University. Since 2007, Dinuka has worked at six post-secondary institutions across Canada in student services, fundraising, alumni relations and career development. As a former international student from Sri Lanka and a new immigrant to Canada, he is passionate about supporting immigrants and international students while advocating for system-level change for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and dismantling racism in higher education. He is also a facilitator of Anti-Racism Response Training (ART).

Over the past six years, Dinuka has specialized in supporting the career development of graduate students (Master’s, PhD and Postdoc) and is recognized for his expertise in the field. He holds leadership positions with the Canadian Association of Colleges and University Student Services (CACUSS) Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Network (GPDN) and the Graduate Career Consortium (GCC). A graduate of the University of Guelph, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and is an avid gardener outside of work.

Holly Linkert, Eastwood Collegiate Institute Waterloo Region District School Board, Kitchener, ON (Co-chair)

Holly Linkert is a Co-operative Education and Dance Teacher at Eastwood Collegiate with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). She developed a Newcomer Drama Course to help refugee students develop English language skills as well as build connection to their new school environment. Holly is dedicated to helping her students find their groove and pathway in life. As a member of the provincial brainstorming team for the new Career Studies curriculum in Ontario, she helped to add financial literacy and updated job application methods to the curriculum. She has a diverse career background starting as a professional singer/dancer with Jean Ann Ryan Productions (Florida), member of a retail management team for Reebok Canada, a Guidance Counsellor with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), dance educator with Carousel Dance Centre, and a former volunteer for Ballet Creole (Toronto) and Dance Ontario. She holds a BA Honours history degree from Kings University College at Western University, a post-graduate Career Development Practitioner certificate from Conestoga College, a Teaching Certificate from D’Youville College (NY), and a Jazz/Tap teaching diploma from ADAPT.

Akshay Arora, Yorkville University, Vancouver, BC

Akshay Arora has experience in the co-op and career development landscape with Canadian post-secondary institutions supporting international and domestic students. His portfolio includes leading teams in the work-integrated learning setting, supporting students with post-graduate employment, change initiatives in communication and operation strategies, developing resources and implementing impactful projects to inspire student populations.

With a vision to empower students by providing resources, and strategically achieving career objectives and goals, Akshay being an international student himself, deeply understands the diverse challenges students encounter. Career development for him is empowering individuals to overcome challenges and opening doors of possibilities, fostering self-efficacy and being a hope and pillar of support. Ensuring students’ success is not just responsibility; it’s a profound commitment for him.

Shereen Ashman, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, Toronto, ON

After surviving gun violence, Shereen Ashman honed her talents in social innovation and is a selfdescribed community champion. For over 15 years, she’s created workforce, business cultural and educational programs to advance the socio-economic standing of the Black community in Toronto and the Caribbean with a particular focus on youth. Shereen is the cofounder of The CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals and cofounding member of the All Out Campaign and Sistertalk Toronto. Called on for her expertise in ideation, strategy and community engagement, Shereen has served in various roles in the nonprofit and education sectors: director of operations, program manager, college professor, curriculum developer, trainer and consultant. As an educator, Shereen is practiced in experiential and transformative learning pedagogy. She creates/delivers immersive trainings at conferences, educational institutions and community organizations on topics related to: community and social innovation, traumainformed care, ancestral healing, community-centered education, nonprofit development and small business development. 

Nordia Bogle, NKB Consulting & Professional Solutions, Brampton, ON

Nordia Bogle is a dedicated professional with a profound commitment to empowering individuals and fostering positive change within organizations. Currently serving as an Executive Director for a non-profit organization, Nordia plays a pivotal role in driving the organization’s mission forward. Additionally, she excels as a personal brand strategist and executive coach, focusing on empowering immigrant women and service-based professionals to unlock their full potential, embrace their ambitions and confidently step into the next version of themselves.

As an immigrant woman herself, Nordia possesses first-hand understanding of the challenges and uncertainties associated with navigating new territories, cultural practices and professional expectations. Her personal journey has fueled her passion for lifelong learning and development, motivating her to support others in their pursuit of career advancement.

Nordia holds a MEd in administration & leadership and has accumulated expertise in leadership development, strategic planning and change management throughout her career. Nordia aims to foster positive changes within organizations that employ immigrant women by advocating for their access to influential executive roles. Recognizing the unique perspectives and talents that immigrant women bring to the table, Nordia is dedicated to ensuring their voices are heard and their contributions are valued. Through her expertise and compassionate approach, she endeavours to make a lasting impact on the lives and careers of those she serves.

Michael Ford, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Michael Ford brings a diverse background to his career development work, teaching and studies. He has over 40 years’ experience in multiple professions and industries, including communications, healthcare, the arts, education and international business. Currently, he is the International Co-op Coordinator at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Michael is particularly interested in the shifting dynamics and trends of the workplace and jobs, labour market information, career adaptability, work/life transition and the future of work in times of uncertainty and rapid technological change. Around these topics, Michael has presented multiple times at the Cannexus conference.

Michael holds a BA in communications and a post-baccalaureate in counselling and human development. He is currently working towards an MA in educational psychology at SFU with a focus on career development and education. Previously, he was an instructor in SFU’s Career Development Practitioner Program.

Annika Gilgen, Government of Yukon, Whitehorse, YK

Annika Gilgen has several years of professional experience in labour market development, professional advancement and in post-secondary institutions, including responsibility for managing funding agreements, project co-ordination, program development and evaluation. In her current role with the Government of Yukon, she works on the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of a wide variety of programs, initiatives and strategies in a multi-stakeholder environment to enhance Yukon’s labour market.

Jenny Lee Northey, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Jenny Lee Northey is a Graduate Coordinator in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, supporting students in academic and career advising in their program journey. She has a focus on supporting the career development of post-secondary students through a particular equity, diversity and inclusivity lens. She has worked at Queen’s and New York University Shanghai for the past decade, in various student affairs roles. Jenny also brings experience in education, educational technology, and has built up experience in marketing and communications as a volunteer with various organizations. 

Romalie Manalang, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Winnipeg, MB

Romalie Manalang is an enthusiastic educator and career consultant who is experienced in working with youth and adults. It is her passion to assist individuals to achieve their career goals through client-centered conversations, navigation of information and planning. As an educator for many years, Romalie’s teaching philosophy is “teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.” Her passion to empower individuals to believe in themselves and their ability to become productive and positive contributors to our society is one of the reasons that gives meaning to her existence. As an immigrant herself, she has a heart for those with diverse and international backgrounds and especially those who experience cultural and language barriers during their career journey. Romalie immigrated to and currently resides in Winnipeg and is a proud member of the Career and Employment Services Team of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology. 

Medina Puskar, Manitoba Start, Winnipeg, MB

Medina Puskar is a Registered Social Worker and Manager of Career Services at Manitoba Start where she leads a team of trained and certified career coaches effectively guiding newcomers to find meaningful employment. Prior to being in a leadership role, she worked as a Career Coach/Facilitator, teaching employability skills and job search techniques. Medina completed the Career Development Practitioner Certification diploma from University of Winnipeg and hold a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Manitoba. As a refugee herself, she understands the challenges newcomers face in finding meaningful employment. Motivated by data, she is always eager to uncover new trends and strives to implement them in strategic planning within the organization.

Advocacy & Community Engagement Committee:

  • Contributes to developing and supporting the implementation of advocacy plans with identified priority audiences, including employers, educators and government, that promote career literacy as well as the social and economic impact of career development as a public good. Informs creation of national advocacy campaigns that elevate the value of a career mindset with constituents and clients.
  • Recommends strategies, either directly or in partnership with other sector leaders, to influence systems change that creates stronger and more equitable and effective programs, practices and policies to advance career development in Canada.
  • Identifies approaches to engage diverse stakeholders in the broader career development ecosystem with CERIC’s work and builds relationships through convenings and other means to address shared issues. Engages networks of influencers as partners in amplifying CERIC messages and supporting its activities.
  • Suggests tools and strategies for community engagement and growth among career development professionals so that they are informed, consulted, involved and empowered and can act as catalysts for change. Initiates and supports cross-sectoral conversations and peer-to-peer networking around career-related issues.
  • Advises on multi-channel public relations, including media, digital and social, to generate exposure and increase awareness of CERIC and other sector leaders as well as the public profile of career development. Guides the dissemination of research and learning that enhances the work of career professionals.
  • Actively champions and promotes CERIC assets to colleagues and networks.

Committee Members

Akosua Alagaratnam, First Work, Toronto, ON (Co-chair)

Akosua Alagaratnam is the Executive Director of First Work. Prior to joining the organization, Akosua worked as a senior public affairs professional, primarily focused on policy affecting marginalized communities and youth. During her tenure with the Provincial Minister of Children and Youth Services, Akosua led the Youth Justice and Youth Opportunity policy and also worked directly with multiple agencies, as well as frontline staff, to advocate for marginalized youth. As a senior policy advisor with the Provincial Minister of Finance, Akosua effectively advised on policy and legislation spanning a diverse portfolio, including labour, children and youth services, community and social services, correctional services, and Indigenous relations. With over six years of experience in government, combined with seven years as the board representative for the Region of Peel Women’s Centre – Interim Place, Akosua is an established driver of effective policy-making, communications, public and government affairs, and community engagement.

Akosua currently sits on the board of the Canadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability Training, MABELLEarts and GoodWill Industries – The Amity Group.

Valérie Roy, AXTRA, l’Alliance des centres-conseils en emploi, Montreal, QC (Co-chair)

Valérie Roy is the Executive Director of AXTRA, l’Alliance des centres-conseils en emploi, which brings together 95 employability service providers across the province whose mission is the job market integration of all Quebecers. She works with AXTRA’s members and partners to develop best practices, and a body of knowledge in the employment and training sector in order to create an inclusive labour market for all. Valérie also serves on a number of boards and committees in Quebec, Canada and internationally.

Yvanne Caballero, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Yvanne Caballero (BBA, CWS, IEWP) is a passionate career development professional with over 10 years of career education and program management experience with a focus on serving youth and young adults. Yvanne finds joy and purpose in empowering others through education, personal development and community involvement so that they can rise to new levels and lead fulfilling and balanced lives. Currently, Yvanne is a Cooperative Education Coordinator with the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba where she provides professional development advice, career coaching and facilitation to support co-op students while working in collaboration with business and community partners. Yvanne currently serves on the board of the Manitoba Association for Career Development (MACD). In 2012, Yvanne was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her contributions in the areas of youth and community engagement, making her one of the youngest in Manitoba to have received this medal. Besides her work in career development, Yvanne is heavily involved in the performing arts as a vocal coach, singer and songwriter, harnessing the power of music to inspire and uplift others. 

Keka DasGupta, Precision Marketing Group Inc, Toronto, ON

Keka DasGupta is a 20-year award-winning PR and communications strategist, a TEDx speaker, executive trainer and an entrepreneur. Keka began her career at IKEA and served with the company for seven years, managing all national PR and communications programs. She also served as the company’s media and crisis spokesperson. She then moved onto the reputed PR firm, DDB Public Relations (DDB PR). After becoming a new mom (she now has two boys), Keka established her own boutique consulting firm, Precision Marketing Group Inc.

Keka continued to consult with DDB, as a freelance VP of their PR division. In 2016, Keka and her DDB team were awarded the Oscars of the PR industry with the Agency of the Year designation in the global Gold Quill competition, by the International Association of Business Communicators. Keka has worked with such globally recognized brands as: IKEA, Nike, Disney, American Express, Schwarzkopf, Johnson & Johnson and many other Fortune 500s. She has worked in recruitment marketing for over a decade, co-founded a corporate L&D company, Enkompass Consulting, and served as an instructor at the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC), York University.

As her passion project, Keka also delivers keynote speeches and runs interactive Gratitude workshops for corporations across North America, focused on increasing employee productivity, happiness, loyalty and retention. Keka has also created a program for school students (Grades 7 to 12), focused on using gratitude to proactively tackle bullying environments. Keka is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS).

Trevor Lehmann, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Trevor Lehmann is a student services professional with over 9 years of experience advising post-secondary students on academic and career decisions at the University of Manitoba. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
Trevor volunteers with the Manitoba Association of Career Development (MACD) where he chairs the professional development committee to co-ordinate workshops and presentations to MACD members. He also assists with the annual Let’s Get to Work Conference.
Beyond career development, Trevor works to assist adults through other life transitions. As a volunteer with Palliative Manitoba, he assists clients through life transitions and associated loss and grief. He also maintains a private practice running groups and workshops to assist with mental health concerns related to climate change and ecological loss.

Alastair MacFadden, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), Saskatoon, SK

Alastair MacFadden is the Assistant Deputy Minister with Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan). He was formerly the Director of Executive Education at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and Interim Academic Director for the school’s University of Saskatchewan campus. He served previously as Deputy Minister of Immigration and Career Training (2018-2020) and Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour Market Development (2013-18) for the Government of Saskatchewan, and in other roles in government and the non-profit sector. As a senior official in government, Alastair reconciled labour market agendas for Canadians and newcomers, he negotiated investments in workers and businesses, and he worked to improve the results of labour market activities through collaborative planning with business, labour and others. His time as a senior official saw Saskatchewan rank among the top-performing labour markets in Canada, based on areas like the employment rate of under-represented groups, job tenures and the average period of unemployment. His work with other governments led to the formation of collaborative strategies among immigration officials and labour market officials, including the formation of a national non-profit known as the Labour Market Information Council of Canada. 

Adriano Magnifico, Louis Riel School Division, Winnipeg, MB

Adriano along a hiking path surrounded by greenery, wearing a navy blue sweater and a blue shirt collar. He has his hands on his hips and he smiles with his teeth, facing the camera.Adriano Magnifico has taught senior high school English and Career Development for 35 years. He is the creator of the Career Internship Program, a multi-award-winning venture that meshes career development with traditional courses, and which flourishes to this day in high schools. He works or has worked with executive/leadership teams with CERIC, LMIC, the Canadian Cyber Defence Challenge, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturing and Exporters (CME), and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He serves as a director on the boards of the Osborne Village Resource Centre and the Canadian Professional Logistics Institute.  Adriano actively volunteers with Junior Achievement, Special Olympics Manitoba, Harvest Manitoba and has coached hockey and baseball in his community for the past 30 years. He is Co-president of the Manitoba Association of Teachers of English and has worked on teams developing summer literacy programs for marginalized elementary students. Adriano publishes articles on career development, writes a regular column for the Winnipeg Free Press Community Review, and has won awards for his short stories, one of which was turned into a short film. He invented the LEAN Career Design Canvas, a big picture personal narrative tool, and shares it with CDPs in Canada and various countries. He hosts the podcast Adventures in Careerland with a team of dedicated high school students. He is happily married to Vicki, has three boys (all moved out!), and two rescue dogs, Maggie and Mighty.

Candace Stewart-Smith, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC

Candace Stewart-Smith (she/her) is the Director of the Centre for Experiential and Career Education at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in the traditional Territory of the Stó:lō Nation. Prior to her time at UFV, she was the Manager of Graduate and Postgraduate Career Education at the University of Waterloo. She has previously worked extensively in the areas of international student support and development, programming for first-generation racialized students, and intercultural education and training at the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University. Candace holds a MEd in student affairs from Wilfrid Laurier University and MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Guelph. 

Rhonda Taylor, Career Trek, Winnipeg, ON

Sophie Turner, Queen’s University, Toronto, ON

Sophie Turner is a seasoned professional with a diverse background spanning 25+ years in innovation, marketing, business development, entrepreneurship advising, executive coaching and career coaching. She brings extensive experience in value creation and developing talent within corporate and academic environments. Sophie designs and implements career-focused education and experiential learning programs for various working professional programs at Smith. Her specialty in this space is working with students – business leaders, entrepreneurs, and dated storytellers – in need of disruption to reframe, shape and innovate to find their new brand value to align with their career aspirations and personal visions.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Management in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE) from Queen’s University. Sophie is passionately working towards establishing a new ecosystem to support young adults in their journey towards mental wellness. During the early stages of her MMIE design thinking process, she could often be found using her dining room window as an ideation whiteboard, covering it with post-it notes.

Joel Murphy, Mount Saint Vincent University, Berwick, NS (GSEP)

Joel Murphy is a PhD candidate in educational studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. Joel’s research focus is youth development, career education and experiential education. Joel is passionate about young people and working with them to pursue their personal and career aspirations. Joel also works at the Centre for Employment Innovation located at St. Francis Xavier University as the Impact and Innovation Coordinator.  

Darrell Cole, BrickStorming, Winnipeg, MB (Co-Chair)

Darrell Cole (BA, MSW) has always been passionate about marketing, sales and advocacy. Whether it was as a part-time sales clerk at a pet store, founder and CEO of an experiential learning/career development organization, at a pub with strangers, a program designer, or president of a housing co-operative, Darrell has endeavoured to actively use his mind and voice to promote causes that engage and drive him. Having worked in the career development field for over 20 years, he is eager to contribute to the important work that CERIC undertakes.

The vast majority of Darrell’s marketing and sales work has revolved around his commitment to the principles of social justice (other than being a hardcore member of Rider Nation). He has worked tirelessly, promoting causes that involve the under-represented and disempowered in our society. He especially loves to explore issues through innovative, hands-on processes such as Lego® Serious Play®. Darrell is a certified facilitator at Brickstorming, a Winnipeg-based business facilitation, educational consultancy and visual artistry company specializing in the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method.

Darrell enjoys eating licorice, spending time with loved ones, playing board and role-playing games, family history research and growing succulents.

John Sharpe, Partners for Youth, Fredericton, NB

Educated at Holland College in Prince Edward Island and the University of New Brunswick, John Sharpe has work in the not-for-profit sector with youth and youth at risk for almost 30 years. John has served on various national and provincial committees and teams focused on youth mental health, youth healthy relationships, at-risk youth and career development and financial literacy. He has served on a number of boards of directors and has an interest in community development and integrated service delivery. John lives in New Brunswick with his wife Jo and Labrador retriever, Willow, and spends most of his summer in Prince Edward Island.