Fanshawe Honours Seven With Distinguished Alumni Awards
This year, Fanshawe College was proud to recognize seven outstanding alumni at the annual Fanshawe College Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony held on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
Fanshawe's Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony, November 19, 2009
The awards ceremony was held in the James A. Colvin Atrium (B Building) and had record attendance with 160 present as the recipients were honoured. Dinner was provided by students from the School of Tourism and Hospitality.
This year's winners are:
- Business - Sheri Knott - Human Resources Management '91
- Business - Jeff Malpass - Municipal Management '89
- Community Service - Debra Bodkin - Law and Security Administration '82
- Creative Arts & Design - David Moore - Design (Landscape) '94
- Health Sciences - John Davies - Respiratory Therapy '83
- Technology - Steve Done - Architectural Technology '79
- Recent Graduate - Andrew Rosser - Broadcasting Television '05
The Fanshawe College Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards program honours graduates of the College who have achieved career success and contributed to society in a substantial way. The award is presented in six categories. Five of these are specific program designations with the sixth award for a recent graduate. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are Fanshawe College's primary way to recognize and celebrate its graduates.
All of our winners have achieved outstanding career success, and made significant community contributions. They are shining examples of what is possible, and what doors can be opened, with a college education!
Sheri Knott: Following the road, leaving a trail
Sheri began her career at Fanshawe in 1973, when she was offered a clerical job in Continuing Education. Over the next three and a half decades, she moved steadily up the ladder, earning qualifications including a Human Resources Management certificate that helped her eventually become principal of Fanshawe's Oxford County Campus - a position she held from 1996 to her retirement in 2008.
Sheri says her academic work at Fanshawe was a key to her success as an administrator.
"Many of the courses within my program related to managing staff and interacting with people in general," she explains. "I found the courses to be relevant to the day-to-day operation of the campus and management of staff. The program also helped me to relate to both students and faculty from a user perspective. I needed to ensure that what I wanted as a student was given to students in Oxford County."
Sheri's focus on providing exceptional opportunities and service turned out to be a major boost for students in her region. Under her leadership, programming in Oxford increased from one post-secondary program to nine, based on specific demands in the area's economy.
"Each community in the Fanshawe catchment area has unique needs," she says. "People and companies in London have very different needs than rural communities in places like Woodstock or Simcoe. Customer service expectations are different as well. Satellite campuses can provide educational opportunities close to home that meet those needs and expectations."
As dedicated as she was to Fanshawe, Sheri still made time to serve her community. She has volunteered as a board member or director with the Woodstock Hospital Foundation, the United Way of Oxford, the Woodstock Economic Advisory Committee, and other organizations. She is currently a driving force behind the Ingersoll Chapter of Project Linus, which provides quilts and blankets to children in crisis. She also encouraged Fanshawe's Oxford County Campus to be involved in charity fundraisers and community service programs.
Now that she is retired, Sheri is taking full advantage of the opportunity to indulge one of her great passions: travel. She and her husband spent the first four months of 2008 driving through Texas. They have also visited the Amazon, Panama, Hawaii, and Greece, and look forward to seeing Africa, Australia, and other parts of the world.
"There are so many unbelievable places to see and things to do," she says. "Each place we go has its own unique flavour. We are so very blessed to live in such a great country as Canada and I have been especially blessed to be able to travel throughout North America and beyond. Without my career at Fanshawe and the benefits provided to me, I would not be able to do this."
Jeff Malpass: A legacy of leadership
Jeff enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public administration before moving to the private sector as General Manager at Siemens in 2002. Beginning as a Committee Coordinator for the Town of Oakville in 1984, he moved steadily through the ranks, eventually becoming City Clerk, Deputy City Manager and Commissioner of Corporate Services, and Acting City Manager for the City of London.
Along the way he also earned a Municipal Management certificate from Fanshawe to go with credentials from the University of Western Ontario, Michigan State University, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University.
Jeff says that Fanshawe's Municipal Management program was essential in helping him prepare for a career in public administration.
"The position of municipal clerk is very unique, even within public administration," he explains. "Fanshawe College is one of only a few post-secondary institutions in Canada that offer a program specifically designed to provide the training necessary to be a successful municipal clerk."
He also says that working full-time while he was completing the program taught him how to balance competing priorities - a valuable lesson that he continues to use in his professional and personal life. He carries a great deal of responsibility at Siemens and is now Vice President and General Manager leading the company's audiology business in Canada. Jeff serves on the company's global leadership team which has 400,000 employees operating in 192 countries around the world with annual sales over $100 billion CDN.
Despite his demanding career, Jeff has also accumulated an impressive community service record. He has held board positions with the Fanshawe College Foundation, the St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation, the London Economic Development Corporation, the London Convention Centre, London Connects, and various industry organizations.
"I believe that volunteer service is a learning experience that enriches your life," he says. "Community service provides an opportunity to meet many new and interesting people who you otherwise would not get to know."
Though he has added to his qualifications over the years, Jeff traces his growth back to Fanshawe. As a business leader, former civil servant, and college graduate, he has a unique appreciation for the value that colleges offer to individuals and communities.
"Colleges are the backbone of the local economy," he says. "They provide the training necessary for a skilled and competitive workforce. Without colleges, local businesses simply would not have the people talent to survive in today's complex economy."
Debra Bodkin: Learning - and sharing - lessons of hope
Debbie didn't expect her career in law enforcement to lead where it did. A police officer since 1987, the Law and Security Administration graduate became an expert in investigations and interviewing. These skills were put to good use when she travelled overseas to work on commissions in Kosovo, Chad, and Darfur and saw the worst of human cruelty and suffering first-hand.
Her experiences changed her, profoundly and permanently.
"When I went to Kosovo, Chad, and Darfur, I saw and heard horrific things, but I also learned some life-changing lessons that have made me a better person," she says. "The people I met had gone through so much more than I will ever have to and yet they still managed to be kind, generous, and caring. If people who have gone through so much horror can still see the positive things in their lives, then someone like me who lives in a wealthy, peaceful country has a responsibility to work towards improving the lives of everyone else who isn't so lucky."
After she came back from Darfur, people became interested in Debbie's experiences, as well as the insight she could share on the situation. Almost by accident, she became a speaker on the topic - a development that she says was as helpful for her as it was for her audiences.
"I really benefitted from the public speaking because it seemed to be just what I needed at that time," she explains. "Shortly after coming home from Darfur I had a bad case of depression and was diagnosed with signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. I felt helpless in regards to not being able to stop what I knew was still going on."
"Talking in front of people of all ages and seeing that my words moved them enough to take some action themselves to try and stop the genocide, I felt like I had regained a bit of momentum. As long as I kept telling others about Darfur, I was still doing something to try and put a close to the largest investigation I had ever been involved in."
Debbie is still talking to people today, reminding them to be grateful for the good things in their lives, and encouraging them to be compassionate, global citizens.
Despite her international work and public speaking schedule, Debbie remains a police officer first and foremost. She is currently a Sergeant in the Major Case Unit for the Waterloo Regional Police Service. She says Fanshawe laid the foundation for her success in law enforcement.
"At Fanshawe, I was lucky enough to have had some amazing instructors who had previously been police officers. They were able to attach their lessons to real life incidents. Every class continued to fire my drive towards my chosen career. As a result of what I learned at Fanshawe, my further training at the Ontario Police College was a breeze."
David Moore - Business is blooming
David completed Fanshawe's Landscape Design program in 1994, the same year the he launched Essential Landscape Services. In 2001, Essential Landscape Services merged with Clintar Landscape Management, and a thriving grounds maintenance company was born.
Today, Clintar has grown from a two-man operation to a business supporting 50 year-round employees, plus a contingent of seasonal staff. Thanks to an annual growth rate of 40% between 1994-2005, it is the largest of 22 Clintar franchises in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and the USA.
"Our franchise grew through aggressive marketing and a strong sense of customer service," David explains. "Having a great group of employees played a key role as well. Our front line staff are really the face of our company and we have a great group that lead us."
Over the years, that group has achieved an impressive 98% customer retention rate. It has also won many Clintar awards, including six Franchise of the Year designations, plus the City of London's 2006 Urban Design Award, the 2006 Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award, the Chamber's 2007 Business Integrity Award, and many awards from Landscape Ontario.
David and his business partner, Mike Malleck, maintain close ties to Fanshawe. Malleck teaches the Business of Landscape course, and both are strong supporters of the College's Horticulture program. Clintar sponsors two Fanshawe safety awards, as well as the Skills Canada team. David says he is proud to give back to the College as an industry partner.
"Fanshawe has been a great resource for me," he says. "When I was going through college there wasn't much industry support, which showed me that this was an area where I could help."
As it has grown, Clintar has made community service a priority. In addition to working with Fanshawe, the company has supported the London Regional Cancer Centre, the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation, the Parkwood Hospital Foundation, the London Health Sciences Foundation, the London and Area Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and the Business Cares Food Drive, among other events and organizations.
"During the early years of Clintar it was all about marketing and name awareness," David says. "Now it's about being a leader in our community and showing newer companies that it's the right thing to do. Our goal at Clintar is to show our employees the true benefits of giving back and to give that little extra push. Once they have seen those benefits first-hand, we hope that it becomes second nature and they will give back on their own."
John Davies: Breathing new life into respiratory care
John graduated from Fanshawe's Respiratory Therapy program in 1983. Since then, he has become a leading medical researcher and speaker, using his knowledge and passion to improve respiratory care across North America.
After working as a staff therapist in Windsor, and at Victoria and University Hospitals in London, John accepted an opportunity to work at one of the world's most renowned medical institutions: Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina. He started at Duke as a staff therapist in 1992, and eventually moved into his current position as Clinical Research Coordinator.
He says that Duke's research focus was a big draw for him.
"Research-related careers in respiratory therapy tend to be few and far between," he says. "I was fortunate enough to land one and it has given me the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology, lab research, and critical care.
"My research is focused mainly on Adult Critical Care. I am involved both with the new technology and novel ways to manage patients in the intensive care units. Certainly with the H1N1 pandemic this is a huge challenge."
John has taken an active leadership role in professional associations throughout his career. He works with the North Carolina Society for Respiratory Care, and has served as Chair of the Research Roundtable for the American Association for Respiratory Care. He also volunteers with local charities, speaks about the respiratory care profession in elementary schools, and has coached baseball in his community.
"I feel that doing community service is a way to give back to the society that provided me with the means to be successful in both my personal and professional life," he explains. "A good majority of today's respiratory mentors are approaching retirement age and it is vital that the 'up and comers' be provided with the knowledge and experience to continue to carry the field forward."
John is definitely doing his part to pass on that knowledge and experience. He has been invited to lecture at over 37 professional conferences, and has published seven papers and 32 abstracts in various medical journals.
While he has gone on to earn qualifications at other institutions, and moved south of the border, John says Fanshawe has played an important role in his success.
"Having traveled extensively in North America, as well as overseas, I have been able to observe a wide variety of educational programs for respiratory care clinicians," he says. "I view the Fanshawe program as being at the top of the list. It provided me with an exceptional foundation that both allows and nurtures the pursuit of advances in the respiratory field."
Steve Done: Building a better Fanshawe
Steve is a Fanshawe builder, literally and figuratively. As a Senior Associate with architects Tillmann Ruth Mocellin, the Architectural Technology graduate has contributed to redevelopment projects at the College worth over $100-million in the past decade. He even won an Urban Design Award in 2005 for his work on the Fanshawe Student Union building.
It's appropriate that Steve should have a chance to build part of the College's foundation, given the role that Fanshawe had in building his.
"Fanshawe's Architectural Technology program gave me the tools to understand the importance and complexity of the architectural field," he says. "It fuelled my life-long desire to contribute to our architectural environment. My classmates were exceptional and very focused. We were very competitive and pushed each other to raise the bar on every task. They have all achieved successful careers around the world."
Steve has been involved in many high profile projects at St. Joseph's Health Care London, Robarts Research Institute, the University of Western Ontario, St. Joseph's in Sarnia, and Parkwood Hospital. He is presently completing work at Fanshawe, Stratford General Hospital, and Niagara College.
As part of the leadership team at aTRM, Steve says it is a privilege to work on projects that serve the public.
"For over 27 years, I have been fortunate to work with a team of skilled professionals who share my passion, integrity, and strong work ethic," he says. "It is rewarding to provide high quality architecture for all of our health care and educational clients - especially Fanshawe. These projects are diverse and complex in nature, and they allow us to create positive long-term impact for all stakeholders and the community at large."
Steve takes his commitment to the community - and to Fanshawe - far beyond the workplace. He has contributed to several advisory committees, coached youth basketball and baseball, and served as co-Chair of the Fanshawe College Golf Classic since its inception in 2003.
"The Fanshawe College Golf Classic allows me another avenue beyond architecture to give back to Fanshawe for my past and current successes," he says. "Most importantly, it is an opportunity to generate funds for student bursaries. Higher education should be available to everyone, but financial challenges create obstacles for many. Student bursaries ease financial pressures and demonstrate unconditional community support for students."
To date, the Golf Classic has raised over $450,000 for student bursaries - yet another exceptional building project that Steve is developing at Fanshawe.
Steve wishes to thank the selection committee for this award. He is also thankful to his wife Brenda, who is a former Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, and his sons Ryan and Tyler for their love and support.
Andrew Rosser - Making a big difference on the small screen
As producer of daytime on Rogers TV, Andrew has found the perfect way to blend two of his passions: television and community service. The daily talk show highlights local groups and charities, and draws attention to events that serve Londoners.
"I think being involved in the community is something that has always been important to me, and I feel very lucky that my job allows me to help promote great community organizations in the city," Andrew says. "We all know people who are benefiting from the programs or services these groups provide, and I think that is why it is so important for all of us to help out through donation of money, materials, or even just our time."
Under Andrew's guidance, daytime has given a platform to the Animal Rescue Foundation of Ontario, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of London, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Community Living London, and many other service organizations.
The show is just the latest step in Andrew's development in television. He began as a volunteer at Rogers TV, then was hired to do freelance work before he finished Fanshawe's Broadcast Television program in 2005. In addition to daytime, his production credits include the St. Thomas Easter Seals Telethon, London Knights hockey games, First Local News, and the 2007 Under-17 World Hockey Championships.
He has also been a leader in covering London Pride activities.
"Producing London Pride 2009 was definitely one of the most satisfying projects for me to work on," he says. "I will never forget the very emotional interview that I was so fortunate to do with Mr. Richard Hudler, a well known activist and advocate for gay and lesbian rights. His tears about the overwhelming support for the first Pride March in 1995 reminded me of how far the LGBT community has come. I am very proud to be part of this community and was honoured that I could produce a program that was about something so close to my heart."
While he continues to grow and explore new opportunities as a producer, Andrew says Fanshawe gave him the foundation he needed to be successful in television.
"Fanshawe helped me to develop a lot of the technical skills that I use at my current job at Rogers TV, and helped me to focus on which part of the television industry I was most interested in: producing," he says. "I also think it was helpful to learn from teachers who have worked in the industry and could give us first-hand experience and advice. It was great to learn in an environment where my peers had the same interest in television as I did."
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