Meet our Staff

Calgary Staff

Deidre Lake
Executive Director

Deidre’s career started with teaching. From there, she specialized in performance-based, competency-based assessment tools related to language, communication, and workplace integration. She’s managed various programs and initiatives for non-profit organizations and large institutions. She’s been a member of various provincial and national advisory committees. From management, she moved into the areas of curriculum design and research. She’s led several research studies related to language assessment and a longitudinal study on International Medical Graduates in Canada. Deidre has been working with International Medical Graduates since 2004 and brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience, and ideas. She has a proven track record in the development of innovative, high quality, outcome driven, online and face-to-face training programs, including the highly successful MCAP program for IMGs in Alberta. She is enthusiastic and driven to continue to lead, develop, and implement quality educational programs. She is committed to excellence and passionate about IMG education, workplace training, e-learning initiatives, and the evolution of technology in the areas of education and healthcare.

Teresa Lau
Career Transition Program Coordinator

Note: Teresa is on maternity leave until July 16, 2022.

Teresa Lau is a human resource professional with extensive experience in recruitment and selection, training and development, and employee relations. She had the privilege to work with foreign workers and assisted them in renewing work permits and obtaining permanent residency. She has also worked as a coordinator for various government and non-profit agencies.

Teresa is a Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta Candidate and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a Concentration in Ethnicity, Immigration and Multiculturalism as well as a Human Resources Management Certificate from the University of Calgary. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Arts in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University. Through her experience and education, she strives to give others the tools they need to be successful in their lives.

Kelly Allen-Pitchko
Career Transition Program Coordinator

Kelly Pitchko is a heartfelt and dedicated career development professional. She has a background in career & academic advising, human resources, and marketing. Kelly has had the fortunate privilege to grow and develop her career across several types of organizations, including national industry associations, NGOs, and post-secondary institutions. She has extensive experience working with and supporting transitioning workers, new graduates, and post-secondary students in achieving their career and employment goals. She is a passionate and devoted individual who thrives on encouraging others, making valuable connections and believes in the power of the growth mindset.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys walking, biking, experimenting in the kitchen, and spending quality time with her young family.

Shola Adelakun
Program Administrator

Note: Shola is currently on maternity leave.

Shola Adelakun has a background in Psychology and Business Administration coupled with over five years’ experience in Human Resources and Administration in the Health and Wellness industry. Shola is passionate about humanitarian causes that drive social change and that make significant and measurable socioeconomic impact. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom. Shola recently moved to Calgary with her family and when she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, gardening and exploring various cuisines. After a short stint at the Women's Centre of Calgary where she and her team helped in contributing towards impacting the life of women positively, she is excited to join the AIMGA team as the Program Administrator.

Nasim Izadi
Program Administrator

Basma Tariq Sheikh, B.A, MSc
Specialist Advisor & CTP Facilitator

Basma is a member advisor and facilitator for AIMGA. Basma has a passion to connect with individuals whom she can be resourceful to in any way. She has extensive experience in counselling youth, children and adults in various different areas such as; parenting strategies, career permanency, mental illness, interpersonal relationships, so on and so forth. Basma specializes in industrial/organizational Psychology and has vast knowledge in the following areas; employee motivation, morale, leadership, productivity and general organizational consulting. Basma enjoys working with IMGs in exploring alternative career pathways in healthcare. She facilitates AIMGA’s Career Transition Program.

Clementine Crooks
Career Transition Program Employment Coach

Clementine Crooks has her Masters in Leadership with a specialization in Health Care and is CPHR certified. For almost fifteen years Clementine has worked with organizations to improve efficiencies and maximize profitability by developing their people processes. This work has included the development of policies and procedures, performance management processes, executive coaching, recruitment, and employee documentation.

Clementine has worked with professionals across Canada to support their career transition processes where she works in a one-on-one capacity to enhance their chances of getting hired.

Nashit Chowdhury
Research & Program Evaluation Coordinator

Having a background as a medical graduate, Nashit Chowdhury is currently focused on working in the area of health and wellness research and community engagement. He has 2 years of experience in public health research where he worked primarily with the diverse immigrant population of Canada. Nashit is highly motivated to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic, physical and emotional wellbeing of immigrants; particularly, International Medical Graduates (IMGs). He enjoys engaging with people, listening to their ideas and thoughts, and learning from their experiences. In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with family, hanging out with friends, exploring nature, and helping people. He is very excited to work for AIMGA where he can contribute his knowledge and experience to facilitate the professional integration of his fellow IMGs.

Nuruddin Lakhani
QE1 Moderator

Nuruddin Lakhani is a medical professional with a background in clinical pediatrics and public health. Nuruddin possesses over a decade of experience working in a community hospital in Tanzania. Outside of work, he enjoys photography and listening to music. Nuruddin is a strong proponent of child health as evidenced by his work in vaccine advocacy which resulted in PCV-13 & Rotavirus Vaccine being administered free of charge under the EPI of Tanzania. He was also instrumental in the development and accreditation of postgraduate curricula that paved the way to introduce postgraduate training programs at the Aga Khan University Medical College in East Africa (Dar es Salaam Campus). Nuruddin’s educational background in clinical pediatrics and public health has enabled him to assume various roles in his career as a pediatrician, health educator, program developer and administrator in medical education. He has strong abilities to communicate effectively with his colleagues, demonstrated problem-solving skills, the ability to motivate people and exceptional time management skills; these skills are the driving forces for his achievements in his professional life.

Edna Ramirez Cerino
Health and Wellness Coordinator

Edna Ramirez Cerino is an International Medical Graduate and Software Assistant from Mexico. Since becoming a General Practitioner, she has worked as a General Manager and Physician in a rural clinic in Mexico which enhanced her skills in community health and preventive medicine. She immigrated to Canada in 2016 and since then she has worked as a clinical coordinator at the Victoria Fertility Centre and Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine. As an active member of AIMGA's COVID-19 Response Team and Health & Wellness Team, Edna has been enrolled in multiple activities to support the ethno-cultural populations in Alberta during this pandemic. She has also been working with the University of Calgary as a Community Scholar and Community Advisor since November 2020. Edna recognizes the importance of patient education, advocacy and research to improve health outcomes and she is seeking career opportunities to utilize her skills, knowledge and experience in these areas.

Kathleen Hall

Kathleen’s career in the English-language instruction field started over three decades ago. She began working as a researcher for TESL Canada then moved on to teach at private institutions, colleges, polytechnics and universities both in Canada and abroad. She has managed projects and programs at post-secondary institutions, and has sat on advisory boards and steering committees for provincial and national initiatives. Kathleen’s main career focus has been on developing models and programs targeting the integrating of immigrants into skill-appropriate employment. Most importantly for the purposes of AIMGA, she has worked with International Medical Graduates since 2006. She was involved in Deidre’s highly successful MCAP program for IMGs as an instructor through the Universities of Calgary and Alberta as well as online. She also worked with MCAP in curriculum development and as a Project Manager. Additionally, she was a curriculum developer, instructor and Program Manager for a national English for Health Care Occupations project. Kathleen has had extensive experience in delivering IELTS preparation courses. In addition to her RSA/CTEFLA and undergraduate and graduate studies in English Language and Literature, Theory, and Educational Leadership, she has been engaged in ongoing training in teaching methodologies, and has several post-graduate teacher-training certificates. She has been formally training EAL instructors for the past 4 years.

Edmonton Staff

Tisha Raj
Advisor and Study Group/Observership Coordinator

Tisha Raj comes with an extensive background of event planning, workshop facilitation, volunteer management, project and communication management for various not for profits. A 2015 graduate from MacEwan University in sociology specializing in youth and family diversity and a minor in political science, she successfully has worked and traveled to places such as Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Guayaquil, Ecuador and Holguin, Cuba learning the different challenges that each community faces when it comes to the health and wellbeing of its citizens. She has a deep learning for sustainability and conservation and loves to rejuvenate during her travels around the globe and across Canada. Tisha will be helping spread the word about IMGs in the Edmonton community, making connections, and exploring alternative pathways into healthcare.

Monica Spencer
Program Administrator

Originally trained as medical secretarial-transcriptionist, however ended up working for many different departments with Alberta Health Services from Lab Aide to Administrative Assistant before working with AIMGA.