Staff Spotlight - Lee-Anne Lavell

Lee-Anne hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her academic studies at Dalhousie University, majoring in English and History, Lee-Anne worked part time at a senior’s home. This heartwarming experience sparked Lee-Anne’s interest in advocacy work, an interest that eventually guided her towards St. Thomas University, NB, where she pursed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Throughout her studies at STU, Lee-Anne thought increasingly about international development, working in multicultural environments or doing some sort of internationally related work. This personal interest morphed into various international opportunities, including a volunteer opportunity with Canada World Youth working at a clinic in Honduras, teaching English in a rural town in South Korea, and finally the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), coordinated by ACIC and hosted by the Red Cross, working on maternal and child health initiatives in Nicaragua. These amazing opportunities showed Lee-Anne that her initial international interests had flourished into passionate career development.

After completing the Canadian component of the IYIP internship at the Red Cross in Dartmouth looking at health services for refugee women in the province, Lee-Anne was offered a position with Red Cross in Ottawa as a program associate for the Americas. Her two month contract turned into a two year contract, where she worked diligently on programming support in Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, and various parts of the Caribbean where the Red Cross works on maternal and child health initiatives, disaster risk reduction services, among others programs.

After living away from Halifax for nearly six years, Lee-Anne decided to return home following an exciting month long trip backpacking throughout West Africa.

At ACIC, Lee-Anne is working as the internship coordinator, providing daily support for our IYIP interns overseas. Lee-Anne’s role encompasses many responsibilities, including logistical support and reporting. However, she also ensures the personal safety and well-being of the individuals we have sent out into the field.

Lee-Anne has a very gregarious and outgoing personality, and always presents a warm smile to her friends and colleagues. We are delighted to have her contribute to our wonderfully dynamic ACIC team. 

What is your role at ACIC?

I’m the internship coordinator for the International Youth Internship Program, which is funded by the Canadian government and for which ACIC is an implementing partner. We have 16 interns who are currently overseas. As a former IYIP intern, I’m really happy to be in this position because the program really benefitted me both personally and professionally. The role entails logistical coordination of interns as well as coordinating with host organizations in Canada and overseas. When I’m not working directly on IYIP programming, I’m providing support for other ACIC programming. Our interns will be returning to Canada at the end of February.

If could have lunch with someone who would it be? Past or present.

Elizabeth May, because she is a really passionate person trying to live her ideals. I think that’s something that is often lost as people get older and move up within the professional realm. She’s very outspoken and articulate and works really hard. She believes that a better world is possible according to her vision of it- I think that’s really incredible.

What is your hidden talent?

This was my hidden talent when I was an intern as well – I hula-hoop, not very well, but with dedication.

What’s your favorite bit about working at ACIC?

The people. I really like the office environment; it’s a very supportive and inclusive place to work. We pack quite the punch for a small organization!

What book are you currently reading?

I’ve been reading a lot of Michael Ondaatje recently. I just finished reading “In the Skin of a Lion.” He is the guy who also wrote “The English Patient.” I love some of his stuff, and some of his other stuff I can’t read because I can’t focus on it, he’s very complex. I find him complex to read. 

Favourite Quote

“What is essential is invisible to the eye” -  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince.

On a day off, I’d…

Run, or write, or read.

Tell us about something on your bucket list

Run a half marathon!!

Staff Spotlight - Paige Munro

A native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, Paige is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Combined Honours in Political Science and International Development from Dalhousie University. As Communications Coordinator at ACIC, Paige keeps information flowing by actively maintaining the blog and other dynamic social media tools, coordinating the creation of public engagement and promotional materials, and other administrative activities to help the office run efficiently!

During a high school trip to Europe, as well as subsequent journeys, Paige caught the travel bug. Owing to her lifelong interest in politics, Paige thought she would work in the political realm – a passion that drew her to Parliament Hill as an Intern during the summer of 2011. After this amazing experience, she realized she wanted to shift her focus to international development. Paige will begin her honors thesis in the fall of 2013 and will be examining the role of gender–based violence in conflict, a topic of passionate personal interest.

Between studying at DAL, volunteering with the Red Cross and Immigration Services Association of NS, and holding down two jobs, Paige is extremely busy! But her dedication to her academic, volunteer, and career aspirations make it all worthwhile. Paige is intending to apply to graduate school for 2014/15, and is also hoping to soon undertake her first position abroad. Welcome to the ACIC team, Paige!

Paige Munro, Communications Coordinator

1. What is your role at ACIC?

Originally, the position I was hired on for at ACIC was ‘Program Support Assistant’, but now I have now stepped into the role of ‘Communications Coordinator’. Overall, however, I would more accurately describe my role at ACIC as supportive. I try to lend a helping hand wherever I am needed, I provide support for colleagues when their work may become overwhelming, and I certainly try to maintain a positive working environment to encourage the friendships that grow in our office.

2. What book are you currently reading (or recently read)?

I recently finished reading the book “Impossible Odds” co-authored by David Greene, Jessica Buchanan and her husband Erik Landemalm. This book is based on the terrible abduction of Jessica, an American humanitarian aid worker in Somalia and her colleague, Poul Hagen. The two were held for ransom for three long months until they were ultimately rescued by US Seals. It was a phenomenal book that offered tremendous personal insight into the dangers these individuals faced on a daily basis. This first hand account of Jessica and her husband, Erik, provided valuable depictions of the events before, during and after her abduction.  Although this is a very unique, intense and sensitive subject, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to anyone considering an international employment position of this nature.

3. What is your favourite quote?

Now this is an interesting request … there are so many great words spoken by so many intellects, past and present. However, there is one that stands out in my mind. I feel that this quote not only represents the way I approach my academic and career aspirations, but I value these words in my personal life as well – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, Mhatma Ghandi.

4. What would we find you doing on your day off?

On my days off, I often find myself trying to stay active. I like going to the gym or going out for a walk, maybe at Point Pleasant Park or Public Gardens. I love being outside. I also love to read, so picking up a good book is a great way for me to spend an afternoon.

5. Tell us one item on your bucket list. No bucket list? Where do you want to travel?

I can’t say I have thought too much about a bucket list, but as for where I want to travel? Anywhere and everywhere. I want to see the world. From Brazil to Russia, France to Uganda, Thailand to Australia, and everywhere in between. I want to experience as many cultures, customs, languages and people as possible. I believe the only way to understand how our world works, and more importantly, how we work together, is by going out there and seeing it your self.

Staff Edition: Stephanie McAnany


Stephanie hails from Fredericton, NB. With a BA with honours in Political Science (STU) and a Masters in Globalization and International Development (University of Ottawa), she has a wealth of knowledge to share with us.

Stephanie has travelled to over 15 countries, most recently, working in Tanzania (Zanzibar) where she completed an internship on capacity-building for a youth livelihoods program.  She has worked with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on a work term within the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, as well as with the Canadian International Development Agency on the Sudans team.  She volunteered with the Canadian Hunger Foundation’s Global Education Program where she led a team of volunteers in fundraising, school presentations, community outreach, and events. 

With a warm personality and a passion for all things international, stephanie seemed like the perfect fit. After a three-week orientation at the Halifax office in January, Stephanie returned to Fredericton, NB where she will continue her work with ACIC.

With her wealth of knowledge and experience, we’re pumped to have her on the team. Welcome Stephanie!

Stephanie  McAnany, Membership Coordinator

1. What is your role at ACIC?

My role at ACIC is to coordinate all that is membership! As a member-based organization, ACIC would not exist without its members in all four Atlantic provinces, so my role is to maintain a strong working relationship with these individuals and organizations, seek out potential new members, and help coordinate/implement the many opportunities that ACIC offers to its members.

2. What’s your favorite bit about working at ACIC?

The staff is pretty great – so warm and welcoming! I also love learning about all the amazing organizations and initiatives that are happening all over the Atlantic provinces. We may be small, but we have a dedicated group of individuals working in various projects related to international cooperation and development. Very inspiring things going on!

3. What book are you currently reading?

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I am simultaneously intrigued and terrified by the contents of this book!

4. Favourite Quote

I love so many quotes and never seem to remember the ones that move me most. One of my favourites:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

5. On a day off, I’d…

Be sleeping in, going to hot yoga, running errands and cooking something delicious!

reMEMBER Staff Edition: Eunice

Hailing from Vancouver, Eunice has called Halifax home for the past four months. She has been enthusiastic and open-minded about her adventure here in the Maritimes, and especially at ACIC. She finds the good in everyone, and every place she visits. Between her volunteer work in Halifax, and her work at ACIC she has been busy making a difference in our world; a true example of a global citizen. Between tweets, Facebook posts, and tea, Eunice has made an impact on ACIC through her inspiring creative flare to help ACIC with its revitalization initiative (the reMEMBER Campaign!). She has been an inspiration to all of us here at ACIC and will be truly missed!

Eunice Hii: Internal Communications Coordinator 

1. What is your role at ACIC?

I work on a bit of everything that has to do with communications. Most of my work is focused on communications with our members as opposed to with the public.  I get to work on things like the reMEMBER Campaign, newsletters, ebulletins, check emails of course, and interact with members via social media. Great fun!

2. What’s your favorite bit about working at ACIC?

Definitely the freedom to be creative and design my own work plan. I’ve loved getting to know all our members and writing about them. Also, the staff here make the days enjoyable! Thanks for all the laughs + great sushi!

3. What book are you currently reading?

Just started a book about a woman who was a doctor, mother and wife. She was told when pregnant with her 4th child that if she carried the baby to term, she might risk her own life as she had some sort of sickness. She risked her life nonetheless for the life of her child. How beautiful is that?! She is now a saint...St. Gianna Molla.

4. Favourite Quote

“Start small. Do what you can with something you care about so deeply that you simply can’t not do it...Start small, start with whatever is close at hand, start with something you care deeply about. But start. ”

-Muhammad Yunus

 5. On a day off, I’d…

Go for a run in Point Pleasant Park, eat croissants at Two If By Sea, go to mass, do the touristy things like ride Theodore (I’m not from Halifax you see), make some time to curl up with a good book (see Q#3), and finish off the day dancing to Signal Hill at the Lower Deck! Dream day.

reMEMBER Staff Edition: Emily

This woman will be your companion. I've spent more time with Emily than any of the other staff members. She is humble, genuine, gets the job done and will be supportive of even your craziest ideas. She'll shed light on what it's like to live in Korea and she's up to date with the latest happenings in our federal government. Sunshine to the office, I'm going to miss this lady and all our ice-cream dates + chai breaks. She's truly a gift to any work place she goes to.

Emily MacIsaac: External Communications Coordinator


1. Describe a typical day in the office in 1-2 sentences…

Interesting stories shared, and lots of laughs with staff and neighbouring office personnel!

2. What’s your favorite bit about working at ACIC?

The people and the mission.

3. What book are you currently reading?

I’m reading 2. Bitter Roots Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women –Sally Armstrong (non-fiction) and Kill Shot – Vince Flynn (fiction).

4. Favourite Quote?

 “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” -E. B. White

5. On a day off, I’d… to ride my bike to a nice park where I will read under a shaded tree.