About Us

Vinitha Gengatharan

Executive Director, York International

vinithag@yorku.ca

Vinitha Gengatharan is the Executive Director of York International. As Executive Director, Vinitha focuses on strategic leadership and operational planning for international student success and enhancing student mobility opportunities. She also provides vital support to the Provost's Office in developing and executing an internationalization strategy that contributes to and enhances the University’s international reputation and reach. Vinitha has 17 years of experience working at several universities, most recently as the Director of Waterloo International at the University of Waterloo, and at the University of Toronto in a variety of leadership roles. Her previous work included: managing international student services, developing international pathway programs, overseeing the analysis necessary to establish and support international academic priorities, creating opportunities and programs of intercultural communications and education, participating in more than 30 strategic missions, establishing an institutional overseas office, strategic framework for international partnership development, supporting several hundred delegation visits, contributing to the development of institutional international strategies and overseeing the tracking and achievement the priorities. Vinitha has also been an active volunteer in the not-for-profit sector, including most recently as University Lead for the Ryerson led Pan University Lifeline Syria Initiative, has served as the Chair of the Agincourt Community Services Association, a United Way anchor agency, and currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce.

 

Helen Balderama

Associate Director, International Partnerships and Programs

helencb@yorku.ca

Helen joined York International in November 2016 after more than 3 years at the University of Manitoba where she championed international education cooperation through her work at the UM International Office and the Division of Extended Education. She holds a BA Philosophy (Cum Laude) from the University of the Philippines, a Post Graduate Diploma on Cultural Projects for Development from the International Training Centre of International Labour Organization in Italy and an MA Public Administration from the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Helen has more than 15 years of professional experience in the international education field backed by a portfolio of programs and projects in Asia, Europe and the Americas including her work at the UNESCO National Commission in Manila and the Asia-Europe Foundation. Helen is NAFSA’s International Outreach Coordinator (2017-2018) and was recently appointed Member of the 2018 CBIE Annual Conference Advisory Committee. Helen speaks English and Tagalog.

 

Beth Alaksa

Coordinator International Mobility Programs

balaksa@yorku.ca

Beth has been involved in international education during her long career at York. Of the various roles she had, working with York students going on exchange and visiting students from York partners, is the most rewarding. She admires the courage of students who step out, try something different, and in the process, develop confidence and independence. Many exchange students remain in contact long after their graduation from York. Beth is passionate about supports to returned exchange students and is currently a member volunteer to CBIE’s Canadian Learning Abroad Alumni Community (CLAAC).

 

Hani El Masry

International Project Coordinator

haniem@yorku.ca

Hani is the Global Learning Assistant (on a two-year leave from his role as a Global Learning Assistant) responsible for exchange partnerships in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and the Americas. Hani has lived in eight countries and is passionate about international education and the great opportunities that come with it. He firmly believes that studying abroad is one of the best decisions one can make in their life. Hani is a York alumnus - he holds degrees in International Studies (Glendon College, York University, and International Law from the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Hani is a Member of CBIE’s International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders (INTL). Outside work, he enjoys reading, coffee shop hopping, and getting to know new cities. Hani speaks English, French and Arabic.

 

Glenda Lowndes

Global Learning Assistant, Exchanges and Visiting Students

glowndes@yorku.ca

Glenda is the Global Learning Assistant responsible for exchange partnerships in Europe, Israel and Turkey. As a York alumna, she never knew about the amazing international opportunities offered to students, only until she started working at York International. Now, Glenda has made it her goal to make students aware of the opportunities and encourage them to see the value and impact it will have in their overall student academic success and personal growth. She holds a Master of Information from University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours Human Resource Management from York University and an International Business Diploma from Seneca College. Glenda speaks English and Spanish.

 

Michelle Le

Global Learning Assistant, Exchanges and Visiting Students

mle23@yorku.ca

Michelle is the Global Learning Assistant, Exchanges and Visiting Students. Before she joined the York International team, her role was to assist in the coordination of internships for students in the International MBA program. She has a passion for student affairs and has been fortunate enough to work in multiple departments which has allowed her to work with various types of students with diverse backgrounds. She enjoys travelling for the experience of learning about traditions, languages, and values of other cultures. Michelle is a proud York University alumna and holds an Honours degree in Health Policy. Michelle speaks English and basic Vietnamese.

 

Rajin Patel

Database Officer, International Partnerships and Programs

rajinp@yorku.ca

Rajin Patel is the Database Officer at York International. He supports the YI Team in the implementation of a new web-based database for (1) international partnerships and (2) student mobility management. Rajin is experienced in IT project management in public intuitions. As Digital Analyst at the University of Toronto (U of T) Student Life Communications, he served as a web design and content consultant to various departments at U of T. He was an IT Researcher and Analyst at the Trillium Health Partners where he collaborated with technical and administrative staff in implementing a Learning Management system for tracking physician attendance at rounds. He is also York alumnus with a Hons/Spec. BA in Professional and Technical Communication (16’), and is completing a Master’s Degree in UX and Information Systems Design at U of T (19’). Rajin has a truly international family background and cultural identity. He was born in the UK, and is of Indian and Kenyan heritage. Outside of work, he enjoys perfecting his distance running (10-15 km) and distance swimming (1000-2000m) times.