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TIES Awards QE2 Platinum Jubilee Medals

November 3, 2023


Recognizing Outstanding Community Service

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) proudly honoured ten outstanding Albertans with the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) at a ceremony in Calgary on January 24th, 2023.

The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) was created in 2022 by the Government of Alberta through the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Recognition Act. The medal is being awarded to 7000 deserving Albertans through collaboration with provincial partners to ensure an equitable representation of all regions and all fields of endeavour.

The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) is honoured to recognize the following ten recipients of these awards through our organization. (In alphabetical order)

Mohamad Awada

Mohamad Awada is a community advocate, who made Canada his home nine years ago. Since day one he has been serving the community, such as but not limited to children's services, women in need, vulnerable refugee/newcomer populations, mental health, trauma and various crises. Mohamad co-chairs the Alberta anti-racism advisory council and also sits on the board of the mid-Eastern ­European diversity council with the Calgary police, Alberta Muslim Social Association, and the Calgary Arab festival. He is actively involved in the community and is always ready to help and volunteer his time. During the hard times of COVID, Mohamad always found time to deliver hampers, volunteer with vaccine clinics and spread awareness among newcomer communities.

Marjorie Cameron

Marjorie Cameron grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and went to the University of Saskatoon. She taught school for one year after getting her degree. Her and her husband moved to Ottawa, then Trinidad and Tobago before coming to Alberta with their two sons. Her career was with the federal government as a reacher. Teaching got put on hold until she had the opportunity to volunteer with TIES. She always says how much of a wonderful experience it has been, She's met so many interesting students over the years. She admires their commitment to learning English while caring for their families, working and settling into life in Canada. The classes are lively and she even says how teaching has helped her brush up on her own English grammar! Marjorie is a dedicated educator who acquires happiness when her students succeed.

Donna Clarke

Donna Clarke has been an integral member of The Immigrant Education Society for the past 14 years. Her passion for literacy learners led her to advocating for the creation of the Literacy Centre of Expertise in 2020. Every student Donna has encountered will know her warmth and ability to create connection and success for all. She empowers students and teachers alike to be the best they can be. Donna is a leader in the literacy community and will continue to incite positive change and excellence where ever she goes.

Dora DiLullo-Patten

Dora DiLullo-Patten has been volunteering since the 1970's. She grew up in an immigrant family where the concept of giving back to one's community was integral to who she was. As a life-long learner, volunteering helped her to learn from others, help mentor, support and solve problems. Dora has volunteered on a variety of community-based areas from coaching teams to being a member of multiple boards of directors for both professional and not-for­-profit organizations. She has volunteered her skills working with Indigenous People's, refugee families, Immigrant and refugee support, teacher training, women's issues and 2S+LGBTQ. Dora has led and continues to lead projects in a variety of outreach projects. She is a strong advocate for social justice and is and is passionate about helping those who are marginalized through a range of volunteering opportunities.

Anusha Kassan, PhD, RPsych

Dr. Anusha Kassan is an associate professor with a high-impact position in child and youth mental health in the school of Applied Child Psychology program at the University of British Columbia. Her program of research is influenced by her own bicultural identity and is informed by an overarching social justice lens. Her primary program of research centres on immigration, and she has a long standing research partnership with TIES, which she values immensely.

Suman Khanal

Born in Nepal, Suman Khanal obtained his Masters in International Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. He also received his Masters in Business Administration from Lincoln University, and is working on his Doctorate. He also earned his post-graduate diploma in Community Based Development from St. Francis Xavier University. Suman served as the CEO for the National Federation of Community Credit Unions in Nepal for 7 years before he moved to North America. In the US, he served as Financial Literacy Program Director for America's Credit Union Museum and for 5 years he served other non­profit organizations as they helped immigrants in their settlement and integration. Since 2003 he has been a Certified Development Educator with the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions. Suman joined TIES in September 2013 as a Program Coordinator for Financial Literacy and the Welcome Resources Information Program, and served in this position until he became the Manager for Settlement Services and Facility Operations. In 2017 he expanded his work portfolio to include a new title, Management of Settlement Services and Employment Training, and assumed his current role at TIES as Chief Program Officer in 2022. His mission is to help immigrants and low income citizens enjoy a meaningful life in their community.

Jeny Mathews-Thusoo

Jeny Mathews­-Thusoo is a proud second­ generation Malayalee woman with a vision that the future of cities belongs to the those who believe in the power of dreams. With over 20 years advocating for positive social change, she currently works as a Program Lead of Resilience & Futures at The City of Calgary. There she strives to democratize the future by inspiring communities and partners to imagine possibilities of liberated and equitable futures. Jeny is also an instructor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work teaching advanced policy practice with a lens of social innovation. She feels blessed to have her supportive spouse, Shivi, and her two daughters, Avaani and Oya, stick by her journey to making change.

Ruth Scalp Lock

Ruth Scalp Lock was born on the Sikisika First Nation east of Calgary, her Father Blackfoot, her mother Cree. She was raised in her traditional culture. As a young child she was placed in the Indian Residential School, where she suffered much abuse. She survived that experience and the following years of addiction and violence. In 197 4, she experienced a spiritual reawakening and chose a healing path. She worked in many helping places until she had a vision to address the legacy of her people, working for many years to establish a shelter for Aboriginal women based on a cultural approach. Ruth ran for the position of MLA in southern Alberta in 1992 for the NDP. She then ran and was subsequently elected as a Band Councillor at Siksika Nation, where she sat for 18 years. Today Ruth is a healer, community builder, and Elder. She is currently involved in the issue of Murdered and Missing indigenous Women in Canada. In 2014 she released her Book, My Name is Shield Woman: a hard road to healing, vision and leadership. Ruth is a voice for cross cultural understanding and forgiveness, as the beginning of reconciliation of the past and building the future.

Joud Shafiq, PhD

Dr. Joud Shafiq is a mother of three. She has a PhD in the area of molecular genetics, a higher Diploma in Islamic studies and a Masters in comparative religions. Currently, Joud is perusing a certificate in mediation and conflict resolution. Joud's passion is spreading and sharing of knowledge, especially knowledge that promotes better intercultural communications and improves relationships.

Cesar Suva, PhD

The late Dr. Cesar Suva pursued a life of academia and ever­ expanding social circles internationally. He was born in Manila, grew up in Edmonton, completed his Undergraduate degree in Montreal, returned to Manila to finish his Master's degree and achieved a PhD in Canberra, Australia. He returned to Alberta once again to progress his professional career, and ultimately became the Vice President of Research and Program Development at The Immigrant Education Society. Cesar had a great love for history and helping others, dedicating his life's work to conducting research in the immigrant sector to help benefit the Newcomer Community.

TIES would like to say a special thank you to Mr. George Chahal, a Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, who joined the ceremonies to present the medals. Before entering federal politics, Mr. Chahal was a Councillor for Ward 5 on the Calgary City Council from 2017 to 2021.

The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) is a tangible way to publicly acknowledge the work and dedication of these Albertans who are actively contributing to our province and country and to pay tribute to the example set by Her late Majesty throughout her lifetime. Congratulations to all the worthy recipients!

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