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Meet our team of driven change-makers.

At Illuminate, we foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and ambition. We're a team of doers.


Alina Huang

Founder & CEO

Alina Huang founded Illuminate Universe when she was a high school student. She is passionate about building a more diverse and inclusive Canada through innovation in the education landscape. Before joining Illuminate, she worked as a consultant for Deloitte and a product manager for IBM. In her spare time, you can find her watching Bridgerton and Emily in Paris on Netflix with her two Golden Retrievers while sipping on iced coffee. 


Jessica Zhang

Operations Manager


Jessica is an open-minded work-taker who loves to communicate and connect with people. She graduated from Sauder Business School, University of British Columbia with a bachelor degree of Commerce. Jessica loves to meet new people, is excited about creating impact and has passion in marketing and business analysis while she loves to travel around the world when time is available.


Howson Chen

Learning and Development Manager

Howson graduated from UBC Sauder Business School studying Business Technology Management. He mainly focuses on generating learning materials targeting Mandarian-speaking learners. Howson has 2 cats and during his free time, he loves watching movies and cooking.


Austin Teshuba

Learning and Development Manager

Austin is an Illuminate alumnus who participated in the 2018 high school leadership and business conference. Since then, he has succeeded in the National Lead role within Illuminate and now leads the educational development portfolio. Austin obtains a software engineering and honors business administration degree from Western University (Ivey Business School). He has interned for Deloitte and Google. 


Emily Liu

Partnership Manager & Academy Lead

Emily is an Illuminate alumnus who was a National Lead in 2021. Since then, she has been promoted to manager leading client-facing and partnership development.  Emily interned as a digital marketing analyst at Staples Canada and has accepted an offer from Deloitte as a Risk Advisory Analyst this summer. 


Olivia Carlton

Academy Coach

Olivia studies Commerce at Western University, Ivey Business School. She loves connecting with people and she is one of the orientation leaders in Western. Olivia now focuses on program execution and student mentorship with Illuminate Leadership Academy.  


Cher Peng

Digital Content Creator 

Cher enrolls in UBC's Cognitive Systems Program focusing on Psychology and Brain Stream. She loves learning about people. When Cher is not working on projects or studying, she plays piano or draws. Her favorite song is Jupiter by Gustav Holst.

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Alina Guo

Digital Media Coordinator

Alina studies at Rotman Commerce and is part of the Rotman Commerce Women in Business club. She has hosted events with 60+ attendees, liaising with representatives from companies including Deloitte and PwC and creating engaging slides. 

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Sarah Xu

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Sarah studies at Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto. She is a part of the University of Toronto Women’s Student Association, where she is responsible for financial planning and budgeting, as well as doing market research and funding applications. Sarah focuses on social media and general content creation with Illuminate.


Gillian Smith

Communications Coordinator

Gillian obtains a B.A from Western University. She is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women's fraternity in the world with high standards for its pledged members. Gillian now supports Illuminate's professional communications portfolio.

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