EduCulture helps Canadian higher education institutions boost international student strategies and increase admissions as well as effectively overcoming recurring academic and socio-cultural challenges. EduCulture involves preparatory English and Culture courses as a value-added incentive for international students so they quickly adjust to academic and social expectations whether learning face-to-face, or in the Canadian virtual classroom.
EduCulture is a division of Strang Intercultural Solutions (SIS). SIS is a training/consulting business that helps companies and educational institutions develop a competitive advantage by providing consulting services, intercultural training and building global alliances as they relate to the organizations’ needs locally, provincially, nationally or internationally.
International education and teaching faculty experts, Karen Strang and Melanie McVeety, bring more than 50 years of professional teaching, curriculum development and international expertise to EduCulture.
Karen Strang, President of Strang Intercultural Solutions, has provided services locally, nationally and abroad since January 2015, including: keynote speaking, intercultural training for new immigrants and employees in our domestic workplaces; and consulting for academic institutions and businesses on international engagement issues and supporting companies to seek their goals of building business alliances across cultures. Clients are from corporate, non-profits and service organizations, to government and academic sectors. Her strategic training sessions focus on effective communication and intercultural competency development.
Karen holds a BA degree in Communication Studies and her post-graduate studies and training include: the UBC Certificate of Intercultural Studies, Training for Intercultural and Diversity Trainers Program, the Socio-Cultural Competency Training Program, as well as Facilitating Intercultural Learning. Karen is also an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator. She worked in a Director of International Relations role at two Ontario universities over a period of 20 years. Her professional and academic background is complimented by practical experiences of gaining knowledge first-hand when dealing with people and collaborating with partners in her travels to over 35 countries around the world.
Community engagement related to her passion … ‘developing intercultural competencies for a better world’ include roles such as: President on the Canadian International Council’s (CIC) Nipissing District Branch; Founder of PWNN (Professional Women Newcomers’ Network) assisting new immigrants to integrate into our community and workplaces; Teaching international students at Canadore College; Executive Director of CCV (Canada Campus Visits) educational tours bringing international students to Canada. She is known as, “the connector” by many in our community, and in March 2020, Karen received the ‘PARO Changemaker Entrepreneur of the Year’ award.
Karen and her husband Kevin live on a lake in the rural forests of North Eastern Ontario. She loves to garden, golf and enjoys quality time with her children and three grandchildren.
Melanie holds a Master of Education Degree, Bachelor of Education Degree, Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Broadcast-Journalism Diploma and several English Language Learning additional qualifications and certifications.
Melanie McVeety is a veteran educator who has taught an array of subjects, including English for Academic Purposes (EAP), ESL, English, and many others, at the high school, adult, and post-secondary levels. Melanie has taught international and immigrant students from more than 44 countries.
Melanie’s teaching experience includes Bachelor of Education students, Indigenous students and a specialized course for International students at Nipissing University for more than a decade. She has taught secondary students at Temagami First Nation, as well as students at private schools at the elementary and secondary level. She has also taught numerous EAP students at Laurentian University, Nipissing University, Mount Allison University/New Brunswick Community College, Cambrian College and Canadore College.
Her ability to teach at all levels and all ages provides expertise and a multitude of skills that actively engage students in practical learning while having fun!
She believes education must be personally relevant for the learner, engaging, collaborative, creative, and global. Student and teacher must understand the contexts and tools that support ongoing learning in the current educational environment, but also develop a conceptual framework that can continue to support the value of self-directed learning, reflection, and meaningful responsibility for lifelong learning, and community and global contributions. Socio-intercultural competence skills for teachers, students, volunteers, community partners and administrators are a must!
Melanie’s ONLINE curriculum development and teaching precedes Covid-19, and her ability to transform face-to-face learning to online teaching overnight has been praised and appreciated by her post-secondary employers during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
Melanie enjoys travelling and playing sports. She resides on beautiful Lake Nosbonsing with her husband, Mark, and her two Boston Terrier fur babies in the small town of Corbeil in a breathtaking, natural environment just outside the city of North Bay, Ontario, Canada.