Instructors Bios

Instructor 1: Sawsan Abdul-Majid, PhD, P.Eng, SMIEEE

ANCWT introduction session:

Sawsan is ANCWT president, part time professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Ottawa.Her goal is to help new comers (refugees and immigrants) to Ottawa, to find their dream jobs in Canada, to merge with the Ottawa community, by offering their expertise to the Canadian community.Sawsan has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Varna University Bulgaria in the field of Optical communication, is an accomplished academic/researcher. For over 20+ have joint many Faculty of Engineering departments internationally.She has been with the University of Ottawa as Researcher/ project manager/ Part time professor for the last 8 years. Sawsan is licensed as Professional Engineer of Ontario, Chair GLP at oPEO .She is also a Senior Member IEEE and an IEEE Canada Humanitarian Initiative Committee (HIC) member, acting as IEEE Canada HIC Student Activities Chair, as well as technical committee co-chair.Sawsan is a distinguished Engineering Professor who has made choices for a better life. A woman who makes it happens, especially in the field of Science, Technology and Engineering, a true inspiration to women and girls everywhere.

Instructor 2: Hanan Anis, PhD, NSERC  chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design

Entrepreneurship Session: A: Start up basics (1, 2and 3)

Hanan is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering  at the University of Ottawa. She holds an NSERC  chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design and is also the coordinator of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering. Hanan’s passion is to help students develop an entrepreneurial mind set and start successful businesses. Hanan has been teaching entrepreneurship , design and innovation for many years. Prior to joining the university, Hanan was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ceyba, an optical long-haul networking company that employed 250 people at its peak.

Instructor 3: Joan Kerr

Entrepreneurship Session, B:

Joan Kerr is a Social Entrepreneur and humanitarian with over 35 years in facilitating community economic development projects. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities, a not for profit with a passion for promoting philanthropy and supporting resilient neighbourhoods.

She bring with her a diverse background in Project Management, marketing and film production. Her expertise lies in the not for profit, private and entertainment sectors.Joan is the recipient of the United Nation WSIS Civil Society Award for Content & creativity, and the Region of Partnership Award.For the past 30 years, Joan has focused on green technologies, small business development and community organizing. Through the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC), and prior to that, the Energy Conservation Society of Ontario (ECSO), Joan has organized numerous fairs, events and demonstration sites for public participation and education.

She is the regular guest on Rogers Community TV, appearing on shows such as:

  • fabulous Joan: showcasing her sustainable lifestyle
  • Being Your Own Boss
  • Municipal Hotline
  • Community Commentator on elections, gardening, events

Joan has served on the board of directors for numerous committees in the region of Durham including the Durham Integrated Network.

Presently, Joan is the Special Advisor for the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Humanitarian Initiatives Committee (HIC) and the Internet Governance Body ICANN as Membership Chair for the Non Profit Operations Concerns Committee (NPOC).Joan is certified in Horticulture by becoming a Master Gardener, Aromatherapy and Community Facilitation.

Instructor 4:Magdalene Cooman

Interview Competencies and Networking Tips – Strategies for Successful Job Searching

Author. Speaker. Coach. Entrepreneur. Facilitator. Blogger.

Advocate for employment opportunities for newcomers, refugees, youth and women.

Magdalene is an advocate for living life fully from the soul, both in her career and her personal life. She has over thirty years of experience working in the fields of Education, Special Education, Employment, Management, Newcomers, Youth and Women. She has helped to initiate and develop new programs with a focus on improving the lives of others, wherever she has worked. She is passionately interested in empowering others to be leaders and to live a meaningful and purpose driven life.
She received a Community Leader’s Award by Immigrant Women Services in 2009, which recognized her leadership skills and contribution to Ottawa.
“I am a girl on a soul mission to live my life to the fullest and to die feeling happily exhausted from using every bit of talent which I am blessed with, and to bless whoever comes into contact with me, in whatever capacity, wherever they are.” (For WOW feature – Immigrants of Ottawa.)
Magdalene is the author and publisher of Mags Magazine, an inspirational magazine designed to inspire others to live their soul missions. She has completed two editions: Live Your Future Now and Soulful Encounters.
Magdalene Cooman is the Director of Employer Engagement at World Skills Employment Centre. She leads employer engagement initiatives and works strategically with employers in Ottawa to establish partnerships and promote newcomer talent as a valuable asset for businesses (Private Sector and Government) as well as labour market integration. She is internationally trained herself and has extensive experience working as an employment counsellor and coach with newcomers. She has developed several curriculums and training programs for organizations in Ottawa and Ontario, for both newcomers and staff who work with newcomers. She is a keen advocate for newcomers

Instructor 5: Marie Mitsou, BA, Bed, Med, CCC

Resume writing

Marie has been a Career Counsellor at the University of Ottawa’s Career Development Center since 2008. She started her studies at UOttawa in the Honours Co-op Communications program and followed up with a bachelors in Education. Marie went on to teach senior English for the Conseil des écoles catholique du Centre-Est for several years while completing her Masters in Counseling. She got her start in personal counseling working in the community before transitioning to her positioning as Career Counsellor Marie truly enjoys offering guidance, encouragement and education to students and alumni searching for a career that is rewarding, challenging and that is, most importantly, suited to them as individuals.

Instructor 6 : Julie Lavigne, BA, Med, CCC

Job interview skills and preparation

Julie always valued and was interested in supporting others in their well-being which led her to complete a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree (completed in 2002) in Educational Counseling at the University of Ottawa.  After graduating, Julie developed her Counsellor career on the Gatineau and Ottawa regions in vocational, mental health and human resources roles by working in various industry sectors: the non-profit, semi-private and public sector.  In April 2013, Julie left a varied federal public service career and is enjoying the dynamic and creative context of the University of Ottawa by helping students and alumni tackle their career questions and liaise with faculties and services to better respond to the students and alumni career needs.

Instructor 7:Wafa Boussaha, B.A., B.Éd., M.Éd. Candidate

Counsellor in training

Wafa is a student in her second year of the M.Éd. Counselling Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. She is completing an internship at the Career Development Centre where she provides career counselling services to students. Wafa started her studies at uOttawa in the Honours Psychology program. While working and volunteering in community centres, she enjoyed helping, guiding and unconditionally accepting youth, their families and their challenges. She decided to continue her studies and complete a bachelors in Education. Wafa is currently teaching at the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario while finishing her Masters in counselling.

Instructor 8: Barbara Robertson

Get to Know Ottawa

Barbara Robertson; is a recently retired educator with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.  Her most recent teaching position was as an Instructional Coach working alongside classroom teachers researching teaching methodologies that yield the highest impact to students.  Barbara is a three-time national winner for her teaching and participation in The Entrepreneurial Adventure Program which partners a classroom teacher with a local business leader in order to set up a not-for-profit business in a classroom. Barbara completed her education at the University of Ottawa and in addition to being the mother of three adult children is an avid cyclist, traveler, reader, glass artist and knitter.

Instructor 9: Moody Samuel Farag, M.Eng., P.Eng.

PEO / EIT licensing

The Manager of Admissions at Professional Engineers Ontario since March 2002, Mr. Farag comes to this position from a solid manufacturing base in both Canada; where he was a senior Process Engineer for six years at Celestica; as well as in Sudan, where he supervised the engineering manufacturing team and was assistant production manager at a pharmaceutical company.  Mr. Farag obtained his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Instructor10 : Frank Akujobi, PhD, P.Eng.

Promoting Your Small Business: A Practical Approach

Dr. Frank Akujobi is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping small businesses on a budget promote and sell their products and services.He is the founder of SellersnBuyers.com (SnB), a business-to-business (B2B) platform that helps businesses and entrepreneurs advertise, promote and sell their products and services. Frank Akujobi holds a doctorate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carleton University, and is licensed as Professional Engineer of Ontario. He volunteers on the board of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), Ottawa Chapter, as Vice Chair, Education Outreach Committee.

He is also the CEO of The Frankware Group, a Canadian consortium engaged in providing risk management and cyber security consulting services, as well as holds and operates a real estate investment and property management portfolio.

Instructor 11: Mrs. Tara Al Ani

Tara Alani is a Settlement Counsellor who holds a bachelor degree in Physics and Mathematics from the Salahaddin University in Erbil. She worked as a High School Teacher for five years until she fled Iraq due to political unrest and war in 1994. She then moved to Canada where she has been working as a cultural interpreter with CISOC, Able Translation and Languages of Life. She has been working as a Settlement Counsellor at the Catholic Centre for Immigrants since 2003.As a community facilitator and leader, she was recently awarded the 2016 Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador for her support, hospitality and genuine respect to newcomers in Ottawa