The Immigration and Settlement Studies Alumni Association is comprised of three executive committees to serve the interest of the ISS community.
The Communications Committee
Samantha DeBoer | Class of 2016
Samantha is an International Student Advisor at Ryerson University International Student Support. In her role, she supports newcomers and international students in their settlement and integration in Canada, which includes being Staff Advisor for the World University Service Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program at Ryerson and coordinating the Cultural Connections program.
She has worked in the not-for-profit sector in the areas of supporting the settlement of new refugees in Canada, policy research for immigrant-serving organizations, and outreach for diversity and inclusion initiatives. Samantha has worked in higher education for the past four years and she is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).
Samantha has served on the ISSAA Communications Committee since 2020.
Vanessa Dullabh | Class of 2013
Vanessa is a Creative Lead within the Canada School of Public Service for the Government of Canada. She started her career by working in Citizenship for IRCC during her placement where she gained the experience to continue her career in public service. Vanessa enjoys helping people and challenging the status quo.
Catrina Kronfli | Class of 2013
Catrina is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). Since joining the OCC in August 2018, she has authored seven reports on a range of policy files. Catrina also co-Chairs the Chamber’s Health Policy Council.
Prior to joining to Chamber, Catrina led the policy and government relations activities at the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Before that, she supported the development of a province-wide strategy at the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Catrina holds a BA and MA in Criminology from the University of Toronto, as well as an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies (ISS) from Ryerson University. Catrina has served on the ISSAA’s Communications Committee since 2020.
Berti Olinto | Class of 2018
Berti is a Communications and Settlement specialist with over 10 years of experience in research and data collection activities related to migrant integration, media discourses, and multiculturalism. He has worked as a research assistant for Ryerson University, the International Organization for Migration, and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration. He has taught at George Brown College in Toronto and the Andres Bello University in Venezuela.
He brings extensive expertise with social media, outreach, communication plans, and community development strategies for nonprofit organizations. Berti joined our Communications Committee in July 2020.
Sholeh Sharifi | Class of 2019
Sholeh has more than three years of direct experience with the settlement and resettlement service delivery. She has held positions in not-for-profit organizations and United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). She worked as an intern on the Immigrant Services team at YMCA in Vancouver.
Throughout her roles, Sholeh was engaged in research on the refugee and asylum seekers issues as well working and partnering with community agencies. She brings extensive experience with the delivery of settlement programs while developing curriculum and planning educational programs and events for immigrants and refugee population.
Sholeh has been part of the Communications Committee since 2020.
The Events and Project Management Committee
Stephanie Fraser | Class of 2017
Stephanie is a Test Centre Operations Coordinator at Paragon Testing Enterprises, which offers English language proficiency tests for those wishing to immigrate to Canada, become Canadians citizens, or study in Canada.
She decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Immigration and Settlement Studies after working for three years for British Columbia’s former Minister of International Trade, where she worked in one of the most immigrant populated communities in Canada. After obtaining her graduate degree, she has worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as a Research Fellow studying the Asia Pacific for a research institute, and as an Immigration Case Manager for a boutique law firm in Vancouver, BC. Additionally, she holds a BAH in Psychology from Queen’s University and a Certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies, and Procedures from the University of British Columbia.
Stephanie is extremely passionate about refugee issues, community development, and human rights advocacy. She formerly volunteered with a small group to sponsor a refugee through Rainbow Refugee in Vancouver, as a Citizenship Ceremony Facilitator with IRCC, and currently volunteers with the Together Project to provide support to refugee newcomers in Toronto. She is part of the Events and Project Management Committee as the Student Engagement Lead.
Brankica Jakovlevski | Class of 2015
Brankica Jakovlevski serves as a member of The Events and Project Management Committee. Brankica has over ten years of immigration-related work experience, and a wealth of education in the field. She holds an Immigration Consultant Certificate from Humber College (2014) and a Certificate in Refugee and Forced Migration Issues from York University (2010). Brankica graduated from the Immigration and Settlement Studies program in 2015. Brankica currently works as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at a boutique cross-border law firm in Toronto. She is also a JD candidate at Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University, as part of the law school’s inaugural class.
Sinthu Vimaladasan | Class of 2018
Sinthu Vimaladasan is the Events and Special Projects Coordinator at the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Ryerson University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of refugee law and integration, forced migration and Canadian immigration policy. Sinthu graduated the Immigration and Settlement Studies MA program in 2018. She also holds a BA in Human Rights and Human Diversity and Criminology from Wilfrid Laurier University. Experienced in project and program coordination, Sinthu has worked across multiple settings including not-for-profit and private sector organizations, international research teams, community-based advocacy groups and programs at Ryerson University including onBoard Canada and Cities of Migration. She is now working towards her RCIC and PMP accreditations.
Sharyne Williams | Class of 2019
Sharyne Williams is a part of the ISSAA Events and Project Management Committee in the Alumni Experience Coordinator role. After graduating from ISS in 2019, Sharyne now works with Service Canada as a Citizen Services Officer. Prior to this role, Sharyne worked as an Integration Program Officer with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Continuing her studies, Sharyne received a certification in Immigration: Laws, Policies and Procedures from the University of British Columbia. Sharyne’s main interests are in refugee studies, irregular migration, forced migration and immigration detention centres.
The Operations Committee
Lindsay Kane | Class of 2009
Lindsay is focused on creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all. Her efforts have primarily been in the areas of education and employment. She is currently a Work Experience Coordinator and Project Associate with Ryerson’s Law Practice Program. Through that experience she has been a group recipient of a ‘Provincial Diversity Award’ from the former Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Her experience includes having worked for UofT’s Centre for International Experience, George Brown College’s School of English as a Second Language, and various community-based organizations. She is currently the ISSAA’s ‘Operations Lead’.