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Concordia welcomes a new director of experiential learning and cooperative education

Career strategist and former adjunct professor Cherine Zananiri returns to Concordia to helm 2 soon-to-be merged offices
January 24, 2022

Pictured: Smiling woman with shortish blonde hair, glasses, a silk scarf and a blue shirt and jacket. Cherine Zananiri: “I’m thrilled to be back at Concordia.” | © Concordia University, photo by Lisa Graves

Concordia’s Office of Experiential Learning and Cooperative Education, soon-to-be combined, welcomed new director Cherine Zananiri on January 10. The talent and career strategist and former adjunct professor reports to Nadia Bhuiyan, vice-provost of partnerships and experiential learning.

Zananiri will support Bhuiyan and lead a team dedicated to achieving outstanding results in the multi-faceted domain of experiential learning.

Concordia is combining its Office of Experiential Learning (EL) and Institute for Co-operative Education; the new director position oversees the office.

“The EL office serves as a repository for experiential learning resources. Among its many functions, it offers support to faculty, staff and students, and also liaises with external organizations to develop and sustain partnerships,” Bhuiyan says.

“Combining it with the Institute for Co-operative Education — the university’s biggest provider of experiential opportunities — made strategic sense. It will also help us find ways to work together and leverage the resources from each office wherever possible.”

In her new role, Zananiri is responsible for fostering and maintaining long-term strategic partnerships with industry, community organizations and all levels of government to develop innovative experiential learning and Co-op programs.

Additionally, Zananiri will play a key position within the external-facing facet of Co-op by strengthening communication between students, faculty, staff, employers and other external partners and foundations.  

“Concordia’s experiential learning model offers students the chance to explore their career opportunities and build their professional development, while providing employers with access to highly qualified students,” Zananiri says.

“I look forward to pursuing initiatives with my team that will further expand the university’s innovative experiential learning programs and partnerships.”

‘Business acumen and proven team leadership’

Bhuiyan notes that Zananiri brings along strategic and hands-on experience in managing professional services, advising humanitarian organizations and successfully implementing innovative university programs.

“Her business acumen and proven team leadership will enable her to build and maintain collaborative relationships with Concordia’s senior leadership, notably faculty deans. Together they will work to promote the strategic benefits of experiential learning programs and ensure their alignment with the university and faculty priorities.”

Zananiri is no stranger to Concordia. As adjunct professor, she has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the John Molson School of Business for a total of 12 years. She also built and led John Molson’s first Business Career Centre from the ground up and was the director of its Career Placement Centre for eight years.

“I’m thrilled to be back at Concordia and taking on this exciting new challenge,” Zananiri says.

“I’ve continued to be involved with the Concordia community over the years through activities like serving as a judge at the John Molson MBA International Case Competition. So, my sense of community is strong.”

Learn more about Concordia’s soon-to-be merged Office of Experiential Learning and Institute for Co-operative Education.


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