Our Team

Kelly Toughill

Editor and Publisher Kelly Toughill is an award-winning journalist and academic based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was deputy executive editor of The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, before joining the academy. She has been part of the faculty of the University of King’s College since 2006, and served as director of the School of Journalism from 2010 to 2016. Prof. Toughill became accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council to develop the capacity to provide the authoritative, detailed news and information that international students need to succeed in Canada. Other than limited volunteer work, Prof. Toughill does not engage in individual immigration consulting. She has hosted more than 40 international students in her Halifax home since 2006. She is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.

Yongmei Wang

Chief Translator Yongmei Wang has extensive experience in adult education and cross-cultural communication. Originally from Shanghai, she has a translation certificate from Beijing Foreign Studies University and a graduate degree in cross-cultural communications from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She has taught at the Jinling Institute of Technology in Nanjing, the Senior College of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University. She is an active volunteer in Halifax, helping with ESL and settlement programs for new immigrants.

William Kowalski

Chief Technology Officer William Kowalski has designed and developed interactive learning experiences for an array of corporate, government and military clientele. He has taught technology to adults at Nova Scotia Community College and in the Nova Scotia Department of Labour. He is founder of the boutique web development firm, Mahone Bay Web Design, and has more than a decade of experience in web design, hosting and IT management. He is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.

Will Tao

Contributing Editor Will Tao is an immigration lawyer at Larlee Rosenberg in Vancouver. He provides legal services in all areas of Canadian immigration law with a focus on complex refusals, appeals, and judicial review. As the product of an international student father and the spouse of a current international student, Will has a particular interest on advocating for immigration policy reform to help empower and educate international students in Canada. Will has appeared in both local and national media as a commentator. Will runs his own law blog, Vancouver Immigration Blog, which was awarded a 2015 Clawbie for Best New Law Blog in Canada.

Will provides expert legal immigration opinions for Polestar Student Immigration Network at Will’s Corner.

Lu Xu

Editorial and marketing assistant Lu Xu is an international student from China who is currently completing a Master of Journalism (data and investigative) at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Her work has appeared in Walrus.ca and on CBC. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Sichuan International Studies University. She has also studied at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Sarah Poko

Polestar reporter Sarah Poko is a journalist currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Originally from Nigeria, Sarah is passionate about writing about diversity and social justice issues in her community. She recently completed a masters degree in Investigative Journalism from the University of King’s College, and enjoys writing fiction in her spare time.


Polestar Immigration Research
5900 Chain Rock Drive
Halifax, NS B3H 1A1

Tel: 902-414-8392
Email: [email protected]

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