Mrs. Helen Szewello Allen
Helen Szewello Allen is an experienced post-secondary educator and administrator spanning a career of 25 years. Ms. Allen’s experience includes serving as Director of Field Education in social work at McGill University and at the University of British Columbia. She has held the positions of Dean at Thompson Rivers University and Sheridan College, and Vice-President, Education and Student Services at Vancouver Community College. She has also taught English in Bautou, Inner Mongolia, China. She has presented her research nationally and internationally at numerous conferences. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, budget management and policy development. Active in her community, Ms. Allen is a Project Coordinator with the Welcoming Newcomers Project at Lakeview Multicultural United Church. Currently she is co-chair of her church’s planning committee for the re-development of the church property for a new church space and 104 social housing rental units. Previously, she served as Treasurer for the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network. Ms. Allen was the Founding Member and Chair of the Board of Directors of Projet Communautaire de Pierrefonds, a multi-ethnic family services organization in Montreal. She holds a Masters of Social Work from McGill University and an Honours Bachelor of Social Work from Laurentian University.
On a personal note, her mother, was a Polish prisoner of war in Germany and came to Canada after several years in a refugee camp. Her father, fought with the Polish forces at Monte Cassino, Italy, and came to Canada with the Anders battalion. They settled in what is now Thunder Bay, Ontario, and raised three daughters. While she grew up amongst the Polish families in the area, she has moved around the country and lost some connections with her Polish roots and would welcome the opportunity to give back to the community of her heritage.