Director of York University English Language Institute shortlisted for RBC Canadian Immigrant Award

Isaac Garcia-Sitton, director, International Education & English Language Institute at York University’s School of Continuing Studies, has been named a finalist for RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

Isaac Garcia-Sitton

Isaac Garcia-Sitton

For more than 12 years, the Canadian Immigrant Awards, organized by Canadian Immigrant Magazine, has recognized inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada. As a people’s choice award, winners will be selected by votes from people across the country. Voting is open until Aug. 7.

The 25 winners will be announced on CanadianImmigrant.ca on Sept. 8 and featured in the September issue of Canadian Immigrant magazine.

“I look at the list of other nominees and I am stunned by the sheer amount of excellence. While I am deeply humbled and honoured by the RBC Top 25 nomination, the real privilege is to be recognized amongst a group of such distinguished and exceptionally accomplished individuals,” says Garcia-Sitton. "I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Canadian Immigrant magazine for celebrating immigrant voices and perspectives, and to RBC for supporting this initiative. It is through opportunities like these that Canada can showcase its diversity of cultures, languages, and ideas."

The group of immigrants highlighted by the RBC Top 25 is a testament to the fact that excellence and brilliance are borne not out of conformity, but out of diversity, said Garcia-Sitton, and is an example of different communities working together for a better and more prosperous life.

"The immigrants on the list are but a small portion of the inspiring talent and excellence brought to Canada by newcomers every day,” he said.

Born in Barcelona, raised in Panama, and trained and educated in the United States, Garcia-Sitton served as a diplomat for Panama, working at the Consulates in New Orleans in 2005 and in Montreal in 2007. At the end of his diplomatic post, he applied as an immigrant to Canada through the skilled worker program in Quebec.

Currently, Garcia-Sitton is the director of International Education and English Language Institute at York University’s School of Continuing Studies. The institute is the largest university provider of academic English programming in Canada. The institute has risen in reputation both in Canada and globally (securing 100-plus partnerships internationally) as a provider of English language programming to students interested in continuing their education or those with international work experience who wish to gain a foothold in the Canadian labour market. In recent years, the institute has received back-to-back iStudy Guide awards for World Language School of the Year and a coveted nomination for the PIEoneer 2019 Language Educator of the Year award.

At York University, the institute is integral to York’s new Academic Plan 2020-2025, which has a priority of reaching a 20 to 25 per cent international student population within the next five years. According to the School of Continuing Studies’ latest annual report, 41 per cent of the incoming international undergraduates at York were recruited and prepared by the institute. The number of institute students who have gone onto studies at York University has grown from 547 in 2013 to 1,194 in 2019, an increase of nearly 120 per cent.

“I urge more organizations and corporations throughout the country to develop programs and provide opportunities to immigrants that allow them to flourish and build roots in a country we all proudly call home,” said Garcia-Sitton.

You can vote for Garcia-Sitton for RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards here until Aug. 7.

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