IRSA board of directors 2023 - 2024
Tina Saksida, President
Tina Saksida is an Associate Professor of Management in the University of Prince Edward Island's (UPEI) Faculty of Business. She holds a Ph.D. in industrial relations and human resources from the University of Toronto and specializes in the areas of organizational behaviour, human resource management (with a focus on nonprofit organizations), diversity management, and evidence-based management. Prior to joining UPEI in the summer of 2014, Tina lived in Toronto for nine years during her undergraduate and graduate studies and also has European work experience as a project manager in the public sector in Slovenia, her home country. Tina lives in Charlottetown with her husband and young son.
Vanessa Wachuku, Vice President
Vanessa C. Wachuku is in the final stages of completing a Doctorate Degree at Ryerson University where she specializes in Canada's immigration policy and the integration of immigrants in Canada. She has over twenty years of extensive professional experience in every sector in Canada and most recently works in the Federal Public Service. She worked in a nonprofit managerial capacity at the Canadian Red Cross where she served for almost a decade.
Vanessa contributes extensively to the field of immigration through publications, engagement and presentations in domestic and international platforms such as the International Public Policy Association. She serves as the Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (IJMBS) and serves as a Regional Coordinator of a Committee of Pathways to Prosperity Canada which is an alliance of university, community and government partners dedicated to fostering welcoming communities and promoting the integration of immigrants and minorities across Canada. Vanessa lives with her family in Charlottetown, PEI.
Rachel Murphy, Treasurer
Rachel works at the Bradly Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants firm since 2015. She obtained her MBA in finance from Saint Mary's University in 2010. She is a CPA, CMA charter holder, and a Financial Risk Manager certified by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. She also passed all three levels of the Certified Financial Analyst exams. Rachel was born in Shanghai, China, and moved to Canada in 2009. She is fluent in English and Mandarin. She actively volunteers in the local community and through her own Chinese newscasts to help the PEI Chinese community to stay informed with local news, events and new government policies.
Sandy Irwin, Secretary
Sandy Irwin is a versatile professional whose journey encompasses diverse experiences. Beginning as a violist in the PEI Symphony, Sandy transitioned to the world of professional rugby in Denmark for three years after a stint as a competitive swimmer, briefly holding the title of the 5th fastest sprinter in Canada. A serial entrepreneur, Sandy successfully owned and managed three businesses, including a consulting firm in Sweden. Academically accomplished, Sandy holds two Master's degrees, in Economics and Swedish Studies. Having navigated immigration twice, first for school and rugby in Denmark and later for family reasons in Sweden, Sandy also spent six months on a work visa in Bulgaria. His professional trajectory includes roles such as Communications Manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Director of Economics and Corporate Affairs and later the CEO of the PEI Medical Society. Additionally, Sandy contributed skills to Veterans Affairs as a policy specialist for a year, followed by a year dedicated to performance measurement.
Trung Dung Ngo is a Professor at the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering (FSDE), the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). He received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Robotics), Aalborg University, and an MSc. degree in Computer System Engineering (Robotics) from the University of Southern Denmark. Dr. Ngo is the founding director of the More-Than-One Robotics laboratory and the lead researcher of the Centre for Excellence in Robotics and Industrial Automation. Before joining UPEI, he was the faculty member of the Department of Electronic Systems, Aalborg University and the Faculty of Science, University of Brunei.
Dr. Ngo has supervised two postdoctoral researchers and more than 40 Ph.D. and Master students to date. He received the best paper award, the best video presentation award, and was the finalist for the research work with his graduate students. He was the recipient of the UPEI Faculty Association’s Merit Award for Scholarly Achievement in 2020. Dr. Ngo is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Professional Engineer registered at Engineers PEI, Canada.
Matt Totten is a Partner with Grant Thornton LLP in the Prince Edward Island business unit. Since starting his career nearly 20 years ago, he has gained a wealth of experience providing complex accounting, tax, and general business advisory services. In addition to his time with Grant Thornton, Matt has also held a Chief Financial Officer position for a large manufacturing company. This position allowed him to gain a broader business skill set from an industry perspective.
Matt has lived and worked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Calgary, Alberta. He moved back to Prince Edward Island in 2015 and now resides in Summerside with his wife and daughter. Matt is an avid volunteer and has sat on several not-for-profit organization boards, including Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, Community Connections, and Habitat for Humanity. He also enjoys coaching the sports in which his daughter plays.
Bobby Thomas Cameron
Bobby Thomas Cameron is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Prince Edward Island's Applied Communication, Leadership and Culture Program. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University (Ryerson University). His areas of research include public sector policy capacity, policy development, qualitative research methodologies and program evaluation policy and practice. Bobby has experience working as a Settlement Worker with IRSA PEI and as a Research Coordinator with the Toronto Metropolitan Centre for Immigration and Settlement. His volunteer and extracurricular activities have included completing internships in Malta and Kenya, working as an English instructor in Saudi Arabia, and completing an intensive training program on migration studies in India.
Corinne Chappell, a member of the Mi'kmaq First Nations, assumed the role of Advisor to the VPAR on Indigenous Affairs at UPEI in 2021. Her responsibilities encompass the planning, development, and implementation of Indigenous initiatives, providing guidance on stakeholder collaborations, and helping develop a better understanding of and response to the Calls to Action related to post-secondary education as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report. Ms. Chappell has been instrumental in the establishment of the new Faculty of Indigenous Knowledge, Education, Research, and Applied Studies. Holding Master of Education degrees from UPEI and St. Francis Xavier University, she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education at Western University. With over twenty years of teaching experience at the high school level, she co-founded and chaired the PEITF Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee and is an active member of the National Indigenous University Senior Leaders’ Association. Additionally, Ms. Chappell is renowned as a Mi’kmaq artisan, blending traditional styles with modern fashion in her creations.
Bio coming soon