This year’s impressive group of winners went above and beyond to inspire excellence and create meaningful learning experiences for students
Georgian College’s Board of Governors celebrated an outstanding group of employees, alumni and community partners at an awards ceremony on May 2. Each year, the council organizes the Awards of Distinction, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the college.
This year’s impressive group of winners have gone above and beyond to inspire excellence and create enriching learning experiences for students.
“The Board of Governors was impressed and equally proud of the contributions of this year’s recipients,” said Ali Khonsari, Chairman of the Board. “They have achieved incredible results and shown remarkable creativity and resilience during another difficult year. We are so grateful for all they continue to do to support Georgian, our students and the communities we serve.
Two organizations received community partner awards.
The first was presented to Magna International Inc. Magna’s partnership with the college is longstanding and multifaceted. Since 2010, they have placed over 130 Georgian co-op students and hired over 200 graduates. Magna supports students financially through annual awards and scholarships, and ensures that Georgian’s curriculum remains relevant to the industry by participating in the college’s program advisory committees. In 2020, the company announced a $1 million investment in Georgian to support applied research and development of a new state-of-the-art mechatronics lab.
The second prize was awarded to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), which has consistently supported student learning over the years.
Georgian recognized the outstanding leadership shown by Dr. Gardner and his dedicated team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The SMDHU team has been essential to ensure that college protocols and the campus environment maximize student and employee safety. Guidance and support from the health unit has been essential for Georgian to provide the in-person learning students need to graduate. The health unit was also a key partner in delivering Georgian’s community immunization clinics, which served over 1,000 community members.
“We are deeply grateful for the continued support of our community partners and are thrilled to recognize both Magna and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for the countless ways they contribute to the continued success of our students and the college as a whole. said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian.
“Together, we are providing innovative learning experiences and fostering future generations of highly skilled workers, leaders and caring citizens in central Ontario and beyond.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to two graduates who have made a significant contribution in their field while acting as an ambassador for the university. The first was awarded to Arjun Batra, founder and CEO of Doon School.
Batra has dedicated countless hours to supporting the Georgian since graduating from the Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Manufacturing program in 2007. He was the first international student-turned-Georgian alumnus to be named Chairman of the Executive Council from the alumni association in 2020. It has been a co-op, hired Georgian graduates and worked to make life in Canada easier for newcomers and international students.
Bradley Bowden, Program Development Facilitator at All Sports All People, also received the Alumni Award. Bowden is a graduate of Georgian’s Art and Design Fundamentals (2009) and Graphic Design (2013) programs. He is one of the few Paralympic athletes to have won gold at the Summer and Winter Games. A force for Team Canada in para ice hockey, he won gold in Turin in 2006 and played wheelchair basketball in Athens in 2004, where Canada won gold.
Bowden combines her skills learned in Georgia with her passion for supporting youth in sports, helping to make programs available for children with physical and developmental disabilities. He has received many accolades and gives back in many ways, sharing his experiences and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
Four Georgian employees were also awarded. Nicole Norris has been honored with the Employee Entrepreneurial Award for leading several change initiatives. Joanne Foxton, Jennifer Shelswell and Mac Greaves have all received awards of excellence for their superior achievements in teaching and learning.