Welcome to Toronto, Canada and the IAAO Conference 2019! On behalf of OCAS and the OUAC, we are pleased to welcome you to this year's conference at the beautiful Royal Canadian Military Institute in downtown Toronto.
The International Association of Admissions Organisations (IAAO) is an international community of practice for admissions professionals, bringing together senior colleagues from centralized higher education admissions services around the world. This year's event in Toronto will provide an informal forum for discussion on the challenges and opportunities, and sharing of good practice, related to the delivery of higher education admissions.
About the IAAO
The International Association of Admissions Organisations (IAAO) was founded in 2008 by centralized postsecondary education admissions organizations from all over the world. The association, made up of the heads of the centralized admissions organizations, provides a forum to exchange information and insights that can aid the further development of centralized admissions.
This event is by invitation, and is aimed at current and prospective members of the IAAO. The event will benefit those working in senior positions at organizations delivering centralized or shared admissions services for higher education, with an interest in sharing experiences and understanding how shared admissions services are managed in different settings around the world.
The event was first hosted in London, England in 2008 and has since been hosted in Australia, Oman, Canada, Germany, Croatia, and Sweden before returning to it's roots for the 2018 conference in the United Kingdom.
There is one conference registration option for this year's event. The price of the conference is $100 CAD + HST and includes the following:
- All conference sessions (Sept 25 & 26)
- Lunches and refreshments (Sept 25 & 26)
- Networking reception (Sept 25)
- Group dinner (Sept 26)
- Toronto CityPASS
- Ontario Universities' Fair (Sept 27)
|8:30 - 9:15||Registration|
|9:15 - 9:45||Welcome Remarks|
|9:45 - 10:45||
Service Diversification Panel
|10:45 - 11:15||Networking Break|
|11:15 - 12:30||Membership Updates|
|12:30 - 13:30||Lunch|
|13:30 - 14:30||
Increasing Admissions in the Skilled Trades and Technologies Panel
|14:30 - 15:00||Membership Updates|
|15:00 - 15:30||Networking Break|
|15:30 - 17:00||
Highlights of the Ontario College System
|17:00||Day One Conference Concludes|
|17:00 - 19:00||Networking Reception|
|9:00 - 9:15||Opening Remarks|
|9:15 - 10:45||
Understanding Applicant Behaviours and Trends
|10:45 - 11:00||Networking Break|
|11:00 - 12:00||
Credit Transfer Panel
|12:00 - 13:00||Lunch|
|13:00 - 14:30||
Modernizing Admissions Technology - AI, Blockchain, Credentials & Security
|14:30 - 15:00||Networking Break|
|15:00 - 16:00||
Tales of a Postsecondary Education Recruiter
|16:00||Day Two Conference Concludes|
|18:00 - 20:00||Closing Dinner - Fifth Events|
Karen Creditor - President & CEO, OCAS
In her role as CEO of OCAS, Karen has blended the “go fast” philosophy of the technology world with a thoughtful, communal approach, engaging the collaborative nature of the college system to improve the experience for students transitioning to postsecondary education. She is also a passionate speaker and promoter of shifting institutional culture toward embracing innovation and continues to spread the message of seeking out technology opportunities to advance the needs of students and college administrators.
Under her leadership, OCAS continues to create new and innovative pathways and support for both college applicants and explorers, while also delivering leading-edge systems, dependable technology, and cost-effective solutions across the Ontario college system.
Dr David Christie - Managing Director, Universities Admissions Centre
David joined UAC as Managing Director in 2015 and was elected chair of the Australian tertiary admissions centres in 2016.
David’s experience in the education sector includes several years as Academic Registrar at the University of Wollongong, and leading strategy and planning at Open Universities Australia. He has played an active role in higher education policy development, as a working group member of the Australian Government’s Higher Education Standards Panel, and as Executive Director of the International Student Taskforce.
Helen Thorne - Director of External Relations, UCAS
Helen is responsible for the development of UCAS’ strategy and new market opportunities, product management, marketing, content and PR, and UCAS’ UK-wide portfolio of exhibitions and conferences.
Following a period at the Natural Environment Research Council, she led the Research Councils UK team for five years from its inception. She was responsible for establishing and leading the Research Councils UK office in the United States, strengthening collaboration between UK and US universities. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to the administration of science.
Helen is proud to be an independent governor at Northumbria University, Newcastle and at Swindon Academy and Nova Hreod School, Wiltshire.
Darryl Spector - President, Promation Nuclear
Darryl is the President of Promation Nuclear Ltd. Since joining Promation in 2004, Darryl has established himself as a strategic Operations professional and Executive leader. Coupling his strong and engaging communication style with his previous Engineering, Manufacturing, and Project Management experience, Darryl has been instrumental in driving growth and development evolutions within Promation.
On a personal level, Darryl is a very passionate and active advocate for promoting an awareness of the skilled trades at an early stage. He instills a deep and personal appreciation for the skilled trades, as well as articulating a clear and cohesive argument for the real and tangible benefits of engaging in the skilled trades at an early stage, and the substantial benefits it generates for an individual’s career prospects and horizons.
Darryl holds the seat of Vice-Chair of the Board for Skills Ontario, and also acts as the Chair of the Education and Skills Committee of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI). Darryl is also an alumni of the Skills Ontario program from his time participating in the Precision Machining competition, having medaled in the Regional, and Provincial competition, and competing at the National competition.
Gayleen Gray - AVP and Chief Technology Officer, McMaster University
Gayleen has 20 years of experience in Higher Ed IT and oversees McMaster University's technology, information systems and services, including Information Security. She launched the McMaster IT Strategic Plan in 2019, provides leadership across all campus technology priorities and is responsible for the institution's IT Governance processes. Gayleen sits on the ORION Board of Directors, the Hospice Wellington Board of Directors, and is an active member of CUCCIO and the Higher Ed IT community.
Jennifer Moesker – Strategy Manager, Studielink
Jennifer Moesker works for Studielink, the central enrolment portal for students in bachelor and master studies in the Netherlands, since 2016. She focuses on innovation and policy-to-practice in the enrolment chain and is an expert in managing collaborative communities and knowledge sharing. She has a particular interest in student data exchange. Jennifer has been active in the educational and public sector for 25 years, in communications and IT projects and programmes. From the start of her career she mentored skilled interns and trainees, both administrative and IT, and advocates the importance of guiding students into practice.
Linda Franklin - President & CEO, Colleges Ontario
Linda Franklin joined Colleges Ontario as President and CEO in 2007. She has spearheaded a system wide marketing campaign on the value of college education, brought public attention to the impending skills shortage and led advocacy efforts to improve pathways for students.
Previously, Linda was CEO of the Wine Council of Ontario. There, she worked with government on legislation that dramatically improved the economics of the industry, allowing the number of wineries to rise from 20 to almost 200 today.
Linda’s early career included time as a partner in a consulting company, the head of communications for a regulatory body and for government MPPs, and Chief of Staff to an Ontario cabinet minister. She has an MA in journalism from Western University.
Heather Lane - Executive Director, OUAC
Heather Lane has been the Executive Director of the Ontario Universities Application Centre since January 2018. Prior to this she has spent her career working in the area of student affairs and services at three different Ontario universities. Her most recent appointment was as Vice Provost, Students at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto, a position she held for over 9 years. In this role Heather was the senior leader reporting to the Provost responsible for the Registrar’s Office, Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, all the Student Affairs and Services units and Athletics and Recreation. Heather holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and is a former President of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services.
Melissa Fritz - Research & Data Analyst, OCAS
Melissa Fritz is a Research and Data Analyst on the Research and Insight Services team at OCAS. During her time at OCAS she has been involved in a wide range of data-focused projects researching various topics intended to provide insight into the Ontario college ecosystem. Some of these projects include examining institutional transfer analyses, partnering with ONCAT and OUAC, in depth multi-year application trend analyses with both system-wide and institution-specific reporting made available, and administering the OCAS Applicant Experience Survey.
Yvette Munro - Executive Director, Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT)
Yvette Munro is the Executive Director of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), a provincial organization that works with Ontario’s 45 publicly funded colleges and universities, and Indigenous Institutes to support a seamless and mature transfer system in Ontario. Yvette brings to ONCAT more than two decades of postsecondary, government, and not-for-profit experience. Most recently, Yvette spent a decade at York University in progressively senior roles, including the last five as the Director of Academic Partnerships and Planning within the Office of the Vice Provost Academic. She has also held contract teaching positions at York, as well as Humber, Sheridan, and Ryerson. Yvette is currently completing her doctoral degree in Education at York University.
Victoria Baker - Manager, Degree & Credit Transfer, Seneca College
Victoria Baker is the Manager of Seneca College’s Degree and Credit Transfer Office and has worked within the post-secondary education sector in Ontario for over 11 years. Her role involves working closely with Academic areas to establish, develop, negotiate and update new and existent articulation agreements with institutions both locally and abroad for in bound and outbound pathways opportunities. Her centralized Office houses a degree transfer advisement team who provide a range of support services to assist students as they pursue their educational goals. The office also oversees and facilitates the Transfer Credit process for students coming to Seneca with previous post secondary education. Victoria has helped to raise Seneca’s profile as Ontario’s college leader in pathways and partnerships.
Andrew Wilson - Assistant Director, Transfer and Transitions, Admissions, York University
Andrew Wilson is the Assistant Director, Transfers & Transitions and is responsible for ensuring an easy transition from applicant to registrant for students at York University. With over seven years working in the Office of Admissions, Andrew continues to seek new opportunities to enhance consistency, transparency and delivery of services to all university partners to ensure a successful transition for students. Andrew is currently Co-Chair of the Transfer Advisory Group (TAG) responsible for collaborating with ONCAT to prepare and deliver transfer advisory meetings to the provincial postsecondary community.
Ali Hirji - AI Hub Project Manager, Durham College
As the AI Hub’s project manager, Ali Hirji has over 12 years of experience working on a variety of technology implementations in the government, academic and not for profit sectors. With a specific interest in broadband communications, Ali has held senior roles in projects to enable remote connectivity, implement technical trainings, bolster cyber security frameworks and enhance access to mission critical applications. He has also taken a lead role in securing funding for over 15 related projects and established numerous public private partnerships. Ali is completing his PhD in communications and holds multiple research and teaching positions.
Igor Drvodelić - Assistant Director, Agency for Science and Higher Education
Igor Drvodelić participated in the introduction of the central admission of study programs and national secondary school’s final exams of in Croatia as one of the project managers. He has 14 years of experience in information systems and services in higher education and has been heading the Central Admission Office since its foundation in 2009. Igor has actively participated in launching projects which better link higher education and the labor market (e.g. graduates tracking). He also actively promotes the introduction of new technologies into Croatian higher education, with an important role played by cooperation with IAAO organizations, whose meetings he has participated in since 2010.
Doug Holmes - Manager, eTranscripts, OUAC
Doug started as a software developer at the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) in 1995. He was part of the original team which developed the OUAC's EDI-based postsecondary transcript exchange system, and has augmented that system for PESC XML transcripts (both high school and postsecondary). He has worked with calculating GPA’s from incoming electronic transcript data and has supported the OUAC's various proprietary admission application exchange systems. Doug was also part of the team which mapped and implemented PESC XML standards for both the Admissions Application and Test Scores, as part of the OUAC’s new data exchange process with their university partners. In 2019, Doug moved to the business side of the OUAC as Manager, eTranscripts. He serves as both the ARUCC representative to AACRAO's SPEEDE Committee (1998 - 2005, 2011 to present) and as Co-Chair of the Canadian PESC User Group (2017 to present).
Liz Henriques - Liaison & Recruitment Officer, George Brown College
Liz Henriques has been part of the George Brown College community for 24 years. Working as a Student Recruiter and helping high school students (and their parents!) navigate their way through post-secondary options is so important. Liz spends much of her time de-bunking the myths of what people think college is, as well as illustrating how the collaborations between colleges and universities can provide the best educational pathways leading to great jobs.
Her role in Student Recruitment has also led to many projects including, being on the Liaison & Student Recruitment Sub-Committee Executive, planning conferences attended by all Ontario College recruiters, providing input on OCAS projects, and developing College Recruitment presentations used by George Brown as well as other Colleges.
Sonia Cianfarani - Assistant Director, Student Recruitment, York University
Sonia Cianfarani has been a fixture at York University for more than 20 years. As Assistant Director of Student Recruitment, Sonia has travelled around the world meeting with students and parents. Much like a tour guide, Sonia helps students map out their academic journeys to York. There is no better ambassador for the school.
In 2014, she received the Bryden Alumni Local Hero Award for her extraordinary contributions to York University. For years, Sonia has built educational pathways for thousands of incoming students from all walks of life.
This year's IAAO Conference will take place at the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI) in downtown Toronto, Canada.
Royal Canadian Military Institute
426 University Avenue
Tel: 416-597-0286 / 1-800-585-1072
The following hotels are recommended by the organizing committee due to their proximity to the conference venue and Toronto tourism. Please note that there are no rooming blocks or preferred rates at any of the hotels listed below. Should you prefer to stay at a different hotel, you're more than welcome to do so, just make sure to check the distance from the venue first as transportation to and from the conference will be at your own expense.
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street East
The hotel is located a 7 minute (600m) walk from RCMI.
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown
108 Chestnut Street
The hotel is located a 5 minute (350m) walk from RCMI.
145 Richmond Street West
The hotel is located a 7 minute (600m) walk from RCMI.
Arrivals & Transportation
Toronto has two airports – Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Delegates arriving from international locations should land at Pearson Airport, while delegates connecting through Canada or the United States may land at either Pearson or Billy Bishop Airport.
Transportation options from Billy Bishop (YTZ) include taxi and the complimentary airport shuttle bus.
Passport & Visa Requirements
All visitors to Canada must have a valid passport upon entry. Please check with the Canadian embassy in your home country to see whether or not you require a visa. You can also check entry requirements by country on the Government of Canada website.
If you are travelling from a country that does require a visa to enter Canada, you will need a letter of invitation from the organizing committee. If you require an invitation letter, please email Tiffany Gard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are travelling from a country that does not require a visa to enter Canada, you will need to purchase an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This should be completed as soon as possible as some requests can take several days to process. It is recommended to get your eTA prior to booking your flight to Canada. The cost is $7 CAD per person and the application must be completed online.
We are pleased to offer the Toronto CityPASS to all delegates at no charge following the IAAO Conference. See Toronto's top attractions – incredible views, amazing animals, inspiring culture, fascinating science, and more with the Toronto CityPASS.
CityPASS admission includes:
- CN Tower
- Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
- Casa Loma
- Royal Ontario Museum
- Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre
The Toronto CityPASS is valid for nine (9) consecutive days, including the first day of use.
CityPASS tickets will be available for pick up on the first day of the conference – Wednesday, September 25, please book your sightseeing time for after the conference.
For any questions or inquiries, please contact: