VATION CELEBRATING PEOPLE AND ACHIEVEMENT
Sheridan’s Annual Alumni Magazine
Zaib Shaikh CBC’s “Little Mosque” star sees bright future
in the information age
Follow Your Passion
NEW BEGINNINGS A Writer’s Story PM#40048381
PLUS GRADS ON THE GO , ALUMNI NEWS & MORE
Black Tie “Motown” Gala Thursday, October 22, 2009 Pearson Convention Centre An event celebrating Sheridan’s 42 years of exceptional applied learning and honouring the individual, organizational and corporate leaders in our community.
For detailed information and to order tickets call our BiG PiCtUrE hotline: 905-815-4032 or visit us online.
w w w . s h e r i d a n b i g p i c t u r e . c o m
Ovation Forward President’s Message
Careers Zaib Shaikh
Senior Writer/Editor Carol Hill
Patricia Pinkney Mark Stoddart Robert Chaffey Karen Charles
Copy Editor Mark Mulloy
Editor-in-Chief Susan Atkinson
Contributing Writers Ryan Kelly Amber Bucaro Alisha Denis Graphic Design/Art Direction Stewart Dick Manager, Alumni Relations Deborah O’Malley Photography Jonathan Bielaski www.lightimaging.biz Printer Somerville Graphics Ovation is published once a year by the Department of Development & Partnerships and is circulated to over 75,000 Sheridan alumni.
If you have recently moved, please let us know so that we can update our mailing list.
10 12 14 16
Hot Jobs Jessica McCann Josh McDougall
Athletics Once a Bruin, Always a Bruin
Update Sheridan Sheridan News Alumni News Grads on the Go
28 30 32
Your comments and ideas are always welcome. Drop us a line at Ovation, Alumni Relations Office, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, 1430 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 2L1, 905-845-9430, ext. 2292, email@example.com. If you would like to advertise in Ovation, please contact Deborah O’Malley, Manager of Alumni Relations at 905-815-4078, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information current as of publication; June 2009. Cover: Zaib Shaikh, star of CBC Television’s Little Mosque on the Prairie.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
CONTINUING EDUCATION • Arts and Design
• Environmental Studies
• Business and Management
• Health and Wellness
• Communications and Languages
• Justice Studies
• Computer Studies
• Manufacturing Technology and Trades
• Education and Liberal Studies
• Recreation and Leisure
Growth within reach. REGISTER TODAY AT
w w w. s h e r i d a n i n s t i t u t e . c a / c e
Imagine… collaborating with a learning and development partner that combines creative process, design thinking and business competency to develop programs customized to suit your organization’s requirements. SheridanCorporate brings innovative learning and development solutions to the business community, delivering applied, researchbased, client-focused learning to local, national and international corporations.
Through our Centres for Innovation, we develop and deliver learning programs, consult and coach in a number of learning/ knowledge domains including: • • • • •
Leadership and Management Development Sales and Sales Coaching Project and Quality Management Business, Finance and Communications Enterprise Design
To experience breakthrough learning and development, engage our unique expertise and experience learning today
w w w . s h e r i d a n c o r p o r a t e . c a
n these difficult economic times, having the right skills is particularly important as changing trends in the workforce present new challenges for us all.
Sheridan has long been on the cutting edge of providing our graduates with the latest job skills, no matter what their stage of life. The alumni featured in this issue are proof of this, whether they are young graduates embarking on the first of what may be several careers, or more experienced alumni in search of a way to make a difference in the world. In this issue, we highlight two young graduates who are working in emerging specialties that have routinely made the list of hottest industries in Canada over the past few years: information systems security and web design. We also focus on alumni who have chosen to alter their career paths after life-changing events led them to pursue more fulfilling work. And, we speak to recent graduates for whom Sheridan offered the ideal way to move forward in their current professions. As Canada’s largest arts school, Sheridan has produced alumni who have made their mark worldwide. Zaib Shaikh (Theatre and Drama Studies – Bachelor of Arts 1997), the subject of our cover feature, has gained prominence through his leading role in the hit television series Little Mosque on the Prairie, and on stage, both in front of and behind the scenes.
A Greener Sheridan
The achievements of Zaib Shaikh and the other alumni featured here send a clear message that Sheridan is the path to graduate success, whether you hold a diploma, certificate, degree or graduate certificate. In fact, with the possibilities connected to a Sheridan education, this might be the right time for you to return for graduate studies or Continuing Education courses. We hope you enjoy reading about your fellow alumni, as well as the latest developments at Sheridan. Finally, we encourage you to keep in touch by visiting our website to update your contact information and learn more about the benefits available to you. As always, we look forward hearing from you. I welcome your comments, feedback and ideas. Let’s stay connected,
ECF El emental Chl or ine Fr ee
This publication was printed using inks containing vegetable-based raw materials. These inks comply with CONEG regulations for heavy metal content.
Sharon Aitken Director, Alumni and Annual Giving
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
A O T R ! A R E E Y E R E A ON EAT C GR s gram o r P ible ate
c sist u irre arket. ertifi o C y e e t ak bm aduaand will ma tough jo r G over an applied even in m d i o r r f She tensive, ployers, oose grams! n h i m e C e l r a a ro tenti 20 p to po Fo r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n a n d t o a p p l y : h t t p : / / o n e y e a r. s h e r i d a n i n s t i t u t e. c a
IS A B.S. OR M.B.A. IN YOUR FUTURE?
Earn a Business Degree through Centenary College. Centenary College has a rich history of providing quality education for over 130 years and is U.S. accredited. • CENTENARY COLLEGE offers BS and MBA fast-track degree completion opportunities for Sheridan College graduates. • Business advanced diploma graduates (three-year) earn your BS after 36 credits.
Many Sheridan graduates with a 3-year diploma can complete a bachelor’s degree with just 10 Davenport classes (30 credit hours).
• Business post-graduate certiﬁcate graduates earn your MBA in as little as 18 additional credits – about 11 months online.
Benefits to an online degree from Davenport University: > NO VISAS Earn your degree completely online.
• Studies available online or in-residence.
For Additional Information Contact: MR. RONALD BAYS (toll free) 1-877-236-4723 or email: email@example.com www.centenarycollege.edu
HRM (Graduate Certiﬁcate)
COMPLETE YOUR BACHELOR’S DEGREE ONLINE WITH DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
> 24/7 AVAILABILITY Take classes any time, work around scheduled commitments. > AFFORDABLE Scholarships are available, as well as partnership tuition rates. Contact us at:
A partnership with Davenport University for students, employees, and alumni of Sheridan College.
Dr. Robert Turner A Proud Farewell
t is with mixed emotions that I write this farewell message to our alumni community, as I am retiring from Sheridan this year. It was a pleasure to cap off my 33-year career in the Canadian college system at what I believe to be one of the country’s premier postsecondary institutions. Since I became President in 2001, Sheridan has undergone significant changes while taking major steps forward. We became degree-granting, and changed our status to that of an Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Sheridan currently offers six applied bachelor’s degrees, with four more pending final approval, and a further five degrees in collaboration with universities. Our enrolment has grown by 42% over the past eight years, and we have invested $150 million in new facilities at our campuses to accommodate this growth. We have also increased the number of full-time faculty with over 125 new positions.
While effectively managing our growth, we have also focused our attention on the quality of the student experience at Sheridan. We have made dramatic improvements to Student Services, most notably through the creation of Student Advisement Centres at the Davis and Trafalgar Road Campuses, which help guide students through every step of their postsecondary experience. I am proud of all that we have achieved during my tenure here, and will continue to watch Sheridan’s progress with great interest. I extend my best wishes to you, our alumni, who have effectively put Sheridan on the map and contributed to our reputation for quality and innovation through your hard work, creativity and career success over the past 42 years. Dr. Robert Turner President and CEO SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
As a Canadian Actor in television, this just doesn’t happen. Zaib Shaikh
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Zaib Shaikh 1997
Bridging Cultural Divides Through Comedy
t’s not unusual for people to line up for an autograph from the star of a hit television show. It’s definitely unusual when the star and the show are Canadian. Zaib Shaikh, who plays Amaar Rashid in CBC Television’s sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, is fast becoming that rare breed: the Canadian celebrity. He’s also in the unique position of having people approach him not just for his autograph but to offer their views on MuslimCanadian relations. That’s what happens when you are part of a ground-breaking series that has drawn international attention and record ratings. North America’s first Muslim sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie focuses on the Islamic community in a fictional Saskatchewan town. Shaikh’s character is a fish-out-of-water lawyer from Toronto who has become the imam or spiritual head of the community. His progressive views often cause him to butt heads with the more traditional characters on the show. The program has been renewed for a fourth season and is now broadcast throughout Europe and the Middle East, including Gaza and Israel. American cable networks are working on adapting the series for U.S. television. A hot topic before its premiere in January 2007, the program sparked the interest of CNN, The New York Times and the BBC. More than two million people tuned in for the first episode. The show’s first season
averaged a million-plus viewers a week. For a program that is not broadcast in the United States, the hype was unprecedented. “As a Canadian actor in television, this just doesn’t happen,” says Shaikh. In fact, Shaikh and his colleagues weren’t sure what to expect when they introduced a comedy about Muslims only six years after 9/11. “This was the first show of its kind in North America. We thought maybe the world wasn’t ready for it yet,” Shaikh recalls. Clearly the world was ready, particularly Canada. The show’s creation and subsequent success here is a reﬂection of this country’s tradition of crosscultural cooperation and inclusiveness, says Shaikh. A microcosm of Canada, the show’s writers and producers come from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. The creator of the show, Zarqa Nawaz, is a Muslim mother of four who was raised in Toronto. When a culture is confident in its identity, it can create something like this, says Shaikh. “The fact that a Muslim came up with the concept is part of the show’s charm and fascination.” Using gentle humour and a respect for the subject matter, Little Mosque on the Prairie has furthered Canadians’ understanding of Muslims and Islam, explains Shaikh. And it is this achievement that stands out for him.
“When you become involved in a show like this you take on a certain responsibility. Suddenly you become not just an entertainer, but a spokesperson for something, a potential agent of change,” reﬂects Shaikh. “I have met people of many faiths and ages and every one has been positive about the impact the show has made on them. They tell me it has sparked discussions within their families and made them see things in a different way,” he says. In the end, that’s what every artist strives to do, he adds, to be part of something that gets people thinking, perhaps changing them in the process. But not all artists get the privilege of feedback at this level, Shaikh says, particularly Canadian actors who have traditionally struggled to be recognized until they achieve success south of the border. This is changing, thanks in part to innovative shows like Little Mosque on the Prairie, as well as the power of the internet to share information. Social media such as YouTube create buzz about the strengths and talents of our artistic community that resonates across the globe, says Shaikh. “We rely less and less on validation from the United States because we’re getting it worldwide and we’re self-confident enough to celebrate our artists here at home.” SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
I have met people of many faiths and ages and every one has been positive about the impact the show has made on them. Zaib Shaikh
Shaikh was exposed to excellence in Canadian theatre early in his life. His drama teacher at Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga looked beyond the traditional classics and introduced students to Canadian works staged at Toronto’s smaller venues such as the Factory and Tarragon theatres. “Not too many high schools were doing that in the early ‘90s. It opened up the possibility to me that I could make it in this industry right here in Canada. And it led me to Sheridan,” he recalls. In 1997, Shaikh graduated from the Theatre and Drama Studies (Bachelor of Arts) program, a four-year joint program between Sheridan and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. 8
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
A Muslim of Pakistani descent, Shaikh is a first generation Canadian. Like many in his position, he was expected to succeed and be recognized for it, he says. Luckily, his parents are artists themselves - his father is a poet and novelist in the Urdu language – and understood their son’s desire to study theatre arts. They lived in the Bloor West area of Toronto as he grew up, then Etobicoke, before moving to Streetsville when Shaikh was in high school. After leaving Sheridan, Shaikh hit the ground running. He worked in some of the largest theatre companies in Canada, including the Stratford Festival, CanStage and the National Arts Centre, garnering excellent reviews for a wide range of roles. On
Your future is waiting screen, he has appeared in Omni Television’s Metropia and CBC’s Da Vinci City Hall, as Vancouver city councillor Shakil Khan.
Skilled behind the camera as well, Shaikh holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of British Columbia. In 2005, he co-founded the Whistler Theatre project, bringing professional summer theatre to the ski resort area. Most recently, Shaikh produced, directed and co-wrote a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, which was broadcast on CBC in June 2008. Othello, The Tragedy of the Moor features Shaikh’s co-star on Little Mosque on the Prairie, Carlo Rota in the key role. Shaikh’s production company, Governor Films, is currently developing adaptations of two more Shakespearean plays for television, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. With his directing and film development career in full swing, Shaikh isn’t concerned about being typecast as an imam or even a Muslim for the rest of his professional life, despite the success of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Besides, he says, his character on the show is far from one-dimensional.
“My character is a person first, a Canadian first, just like me, just like everyone in this country. If Amaar Rashid walked into a bar, a school or even a mosque, you wouldn’t automatically know he was an imam.” So from that perspective, Shaikh believes his future roles could lead him anywhere. Not that it’s an easy road to travel, he warns. Building a career in the entertainment industry requires relentless drive and energy. “You need to be in the right place at the right time and work hard to be everywhere,” he told a class of Sheridan theatre students this past winter. Although Shaikh underscores the effort and strength it takes to make it in the dramatic arts, he doesn’t lose sleep over his future. “I live in a generous country. There are people in the world who worry about losing their entire culture. I’m never going to lose my sense of self, my freedom to pursue my dream,” he says. “Whatever happens now will be gravy. And I hope to eat a lot of gravy.”
Sheridan Alumni Health and Life Insurance Plans Health and Dental Plans Group Term Life Insurance Critical Illness Protection Income Protection Plans Personal Accident Insurance 3 Affordable group rates 3 Fast and easy enrollment
To find out more visit www.cl-insurance.ca/sheridan or call 1-800-387-0649. Underwritten by:
Helping people achieve more
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Products still need to be attractive to the consumer, but many are now looking for socially responsible purchasing opportunities. Patricia Pinkney
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Patricia Pinkney 1994
Commerce with a Conscience
n these tough economic times, people at all income levels are scaling back on conspicuous consumption, either through necessity or by design. But the message that keeps coming through from economists and business pundits is that the economic renewal will be fueled, at least in part, by consumer spending. Many people find it hard to justify spending on discretionary items like jewelry when times are tough. But what if your purchase went to benefit someone in a far-off country who is struggling just to make ends meet? Entrepreneurs like Patricia Pinkney (Business Administration – Marketing 1994) are hoping that ethical spending will help to spur the growth of businesses like her Pangea Collection. From corporate high roller to small business owner, Pinkney has traveled the world since graduating from Sheridan. Growing up in Caledon, Ontario, this was her dream – and her job with Publicis, a French-owned international marketing firm, let her do just that. After graduation, Pinkney worked in the hospitality industry for a few years before moving into consumer packaged goods. Hired by Publicis, she worked her way up the ladder to become International Brand Director, based in Paris, France.
This role took her all over the world, from Jakarta to Rio de Janeiro. Ever curious about people and places, Pinkney took the time to explore the cities she traveled to, and found the local markets to be a great window into local culture – as well as great for shopping. After two years overseas, Patricia decided it was time to come home to Caledon and to Joe, her husband since 1990. Her travels had sparked the idea for the Pangea Collection, and after creating a business plan, she launched the online company in the spring of 2007. Pangea is the name used to describe the super-continent which existed before the earth’s tectonic plates shifted and the land mass split apart to form the current continents. The Pangea Collection aims to figuratively re-unite the continents by bringing together artisan jewelry, unique handcrafted jewelry and fair trade jewelry from around the world. While traveling for her former job, Pinkney had sought out fair trade organizations in the various countries she visited – and these are the primary suppliers of the jewelry she sells. These organizations can be found in such places as Chennai, India, where disadvantaged women weave beautiful and functional bags from
recycled plastic. And in Thailand and Nepal, where artisans create unique pieces from silver and semi-precious stones. “By marketing the works of these artisans to an international market, my company is helping them earn money to support their families,” says Pinkney. “As well, it’s a way to help preserve their cultural traditions.” A case in point is the Mien silversmiths in Thailand. For the Mien, handmade silver jewelry is more than adornment – it’s also a statement of status and wealth which helps a suitor decide on a prospective bride, says Pinkney. “The pieces in my collection are taken from this tradition, and wearing one helps to maintain the high craft skills of a justly proud ethnic tradition.” A perusal of the Pangea Collection (www.pangea-collection.com) reveals a wide array of unique and beautiful handcrafted jewelry and accessories, all at very reasonable prices. As Pinkney says, “Products still need to be attractive to the consumer, but many are now looking for socially responsible purchasing opportunities.” By offering both, she’s hoping that her customers will do their part to help kickstart the economy.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Mark Stoddart 1992
Celebrating the Journey
ife-changing moments can take place at any time. One minute, you’re pursuing your chosen path, and then something happens to spark an epiphany. Mark Stoddart’s moment occurred in 2005, when his close friend, Shaun (Blu) Rose died suddenly of a brain aneurysm at age 27. In the years preceding his death, Rose had become a much-loved youth worker in the Malvern area of Scarborough. His untimely loss led Stoddart, a 1992 Illustration graduate and Scarborough native, to re-consider his direction. “Shaun touched so many people in such a short time. I felt compelled to make an impact on the world in my own way,” says Stoddart. Up until that point, Stoddart had built a successful graphic design career working for companies like MuchMusic and Cadbury, while fostering relationships on the side with well-heeled clients like Nike, Converse and Universal Music. His designs also appeared on clothing worn by NBA star Tracy McGrady, singer Jully Black, and hip hop artists Saukrates and Redman. While his design work was rewarding, Stoddart decided that he could make a
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
bigger impact through a more personal form of artistic expression. Despite the risks inherent in becoming an independent artist, he picked up his paintbrush and launched 40@40, a quest to create 40 paintings of iconic black athletes, musicians and other public figures before his 40th birthday in August 2009. The decision to include athletes was a natural for Stoddart, who had been a topperforming athlete throughout his youth. In fact, it was sports that originally brought him to Sheridan. A star basketball player at Cedarbrae Collegiate in Scarborough, he was encouraged by Wayne Allison, Sheridan’s varsity basketball coordinator, to attend Sheridan . The school’s acclaimed Illustration Program and talented varsity basketball team made Sheridan a perfect fit, says Stoddart, who enrolled in 1989 and helped the Bruins win the 1989-90 national championships in Montreal. Stoddart has completed more than 30 paintings to date, featuring such legendary athletes as Satchel Paige, Jim Brown, Fergie Jenkins and Wilt Chamberlain, and notable jazz musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. His work has been collected by the likes of Toronto Argonauts CEO Michael
(Pinball) Clemons and DJ Spinderella from the female rap group Salt ‘n Pepa and Trey Anthony, creator of the awardwinning play, Da Kink in My Hair. Most recently, Stoddart was commissioned by Easter Seals Ontario to create a portrait of Montreal Canadians legend Jean Beliveau for the 2009 Rogers Conn Smythe Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction held on March 15. The power of his art lies in the stories of pain and triumph behind the subjects, says Stoddart, and how they impact the viewer. “Like all art, it is ultimately about you: your feelings and inspiration to act.” Rose, the inspiration for Stoddart’s own change of direction, has been commemorated with the naming of a Toronto park in his honour – a fitting tribute for one who dedicated his life to helping youth. Through 40@40, Stoddart is paying homage to him and to other African Canadians and African Americans who have taken risks and overcome challenges to leave their own positive impression on the world.
I felt compelled to make an impact on the world in my own way. Mark Stoddart
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Skills can be taught, but it’s much harder to instill a positive attitude in people who are used to having doors closed to them. Robert Chaffey 14
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
New Life after Layoff
obert Chaffey was a top sales manager at a major pharmaceutical company when he was downsized in 2003. Out of work, approaching middle age and a newly-single parent, he was feeling close to rock bottom. “Every time I opened a door, it seemed like there was another closed one in front of me. But I realized later that opportunity was behind all those doors,” recalls Chaffey. He now applies the interpersonal skills he used in sales to a career he finds much more rewarding: preparing people for employment. Chaffey manages the Acorn Culinary Enterprise (ACE) which provides training for jobs in the food services sector. “The end goal is to help people realize their full potential so that they may achieve financial independence and live the life they define,” says Chaffey, who graduated from the Community Worker – Outreach and Development program in 2007. For Chaffey, the layoff from Whitehall Robins (now Wyeth) after eight years with the company was a blessing in disguise. “The job was just not for me and being laid off forced me to analyze my life and find a new path.” Ironically, that path turned out to be one he had been on for years. An active volunteer throughout his adult life, Chaffey has always enjoyed helping others. After leaving Whitehall Robins, he made
the decision to pursue a career in social services. That meant going back to school, a tough road both psychologically and financially. “Sometimes I felt as though I should have been earning and not learning, to support my family. But it was a short term sacrifice for a long term reward,” he says. After researching available programs, he settled on Sheridan’s Community Worker program. “I knew it was for me,” Chaffey says. “I like building a relationship with people and then connecting them with the resources they need to move forward.” Chaffey was the ideal candidate for the Community Worker Program, says program coordinator Brian Dwyer. “In community development, we train students to support and encourage meaningful and sustainable change through participatory planning and grass roots involvement. Robert embodies this. He is the grass roots. No one who encounters him is left unchanged.” The ACE program, part of the Ontario Works employment services, runs out of Peel Youth Village in Mississauga. ACE participants are clients of the Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Programs. Chaffey facilitates workshops focused on success strategies for new employees. He developed the life skills component of the program which
addresses money management, preparing for interviews and employer expectations. The culinary aspect of ACE is handled by a cook. Chaffey is proud that six program graduates are now enrolled in the Cook Apprenticeship program at Humber College. His success in working with these young people is informed by his own less-thanperfect past. Chaffey admits he made some poor choices in his youth. But he counts himself lucky to have met some people with similar backgrounds who helped steer him in the right direction. “Today, mentoring is an important aspect of my job and I very much enjoy leading by example,” he says. So much so, that Chaffey also works at Peel Youth Village and Ontario Works two days a week, sharing his advice and experience with young and mature job-seekers alike. “Preparing someone for work is much more than simply knowing where the jobs are,” he says. “Skills can be taught, but it’s much harder to instill a positive attitude in people who are used to having doors closed to them,” he explains. In these challenging economic times, attitude is all-important, says Chaffey. “Challenges are really just opportunities in disguise. When a person buys into that, the options are limitless.”
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Education is never wasted. All learning and experience help us become a stronger resource to others, as well as ourselves. Karen Charles
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Karen Charles 2008
Finding Hope Amid the Wreckage
aren Charles can still see the heaps of rubble, remnants of what were houses, their contents strewn against nearby fences. Kitchen appliances sat precariously up in the branches of trees as homeowners picked through debris for a few precious mementos they could hold on to. Such was the devastation left behind by Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan, the two most destructive and costly storms in United States history. Charles was on the scene with the Canadian Red Cross following both disasters, providing support for the thousands of American Red Cross volunteers who poured into the affected regions. Amid such massive destruction, the 2008 Emergency Management graduate has witnessed deep levels of generosity and strength of spirit that have reinforced her commitment to her work.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
O second career
In New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Charles watched in admiration the hundreds of volunteers working at huge shelters and kitchens set up throughout the state. At one Red Cross kitchen, volunteers arose each day to prepare over 20,000 hot meals for people living in shelters, cars and tents, as well as the countless relief workers spread across the devastated area. She saw displaced residents, many already marginalized by a life of poverty, receive much-needed medical attention at no cost through the Red Cross. “Our health workers were able to give medication and dental care to many who hadn’t had such care in far too long.” Remaining with her too, are memories from other disaster zones where she has been part of relief efforts. Charles can clearly recall the dust and smell of New York City following the 9/11 attack, and the haunting stories of volunteers from all walks of life who felt compelled to sign up to work day after day. “Gradually, they started opening up about the friends and family they lost, or where they were on that fateful day when they had to run for their lives.” Charles’ previous experience in disaster services for the Red Cross kept her closer to home. In 1999 she spent five weeks at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton to support the 5,000 Kosovo refugees who were airlifted to Canada during the war in the former Yugoslavia. More recently, only weeks after graduation, Charles was involved in organizing temporary shelter for hundreds of First Nations people in Ontario’s James Bay region after severe ﬂooding threatened their safety. Every incident has been different but somehow similar too, says the Manager of Disaster Services for Southwest and West Central Regions of Ontario. “Each one leaves people vulnerable. Each one has etched images in my mind that will be with me forever. Some of deep sadness for what people have had to endure and others of the kindness of our fellow human beings.”
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
It was a winding road that led Charles to this point in her career, and Sheridan has been a key part of that journey. In 1974, she followed her husband (then boyfriend) who was studying Computer Science at Sheridan, and enrolled in the Medical Secretary program. After graduation, she worked for several years in the field, returning to Sheridan to study accounting in 1984. In 1991, Charles took an accounting position with the Canadian Red Cross in Waterloo which led to her involvement in International and Disaster Services. When Sheridan introduced its Emergency Management graduate certificate program in 2007, it was an ideal fit for Charles, who was seeking to expand her knowledge of emergency management practices. A lifelong learner, Charles deems the knowledge she gleaned from these years as fundamental to her success. “I keenly believe that education is never wasted. All learning and experience help us become a stronger resource to others as well as ourselves.” Being a source of strength to others in times of need has a great payback, says Charles, mainly through the gratitude of the people she helps support. Just before leaving CFB Trenton – after all the Kosovo refugees had a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs - Charles called the heads of the displaced families together to let them know they were in good hands. “A senior gentleman in the group stood up and, through a translator, said words that still bring me to tears of joy and appreciation for the opportunity I have been given: ‘Please let her know that, as soon as we saw her smile, we knew we were safe.’”
New Beginnings A story by Fariba Sahraei Canadian Journalism for Internationally Trained Writers, 2007
he war between Iran and Iraq had just ended in 1988, leaving disaster in its wake.
Millions of Iranians were eking out an existence amidst sorrow, grief and hopelessness. It was then that the first all-colour Iranian daily newspaper, Hamshahri, came into existence. In 1991, immediately after finishing university in Iran, I joined Hamshahri as a staff reporter on the culture, education and social affairs beat. Journalism is considered to be a dangerous job in Iran because of the lack of freedom of expression. Most newspapers are used as authority tools by different political groups, who exert control over editorial content. For female journalists, the restrictions are even more wide-ranging. I was required to follow the Islamic rules dictating clothing style, perfume, even tone of voice. Although I was born into a religious family, I have never been forced to practice religion. In my family, boys and girls were considered equal. This was not the case in the newsroom, where all leadership positions were held by men who made more money than women, regardless of their qualifications or job duties. When the publisher planned to provide social housing for some of the employees, women were excluded. I personally protested to the Editor-in-Chief, which resulted in the opening of a few rooms for the women who deserved this help. In return, I experienced even greater oppression on the job. Eventually, after 13 years as a journalist, I left Iran seeking freedom, peace and dignity. Canada has a reputation in Iran as a tolerant, multicultural society with many opportunities for immigrants and their families. It was also depicted as a cold, faraway land and my 14-year-old
daughter and I left for Canada in 2005 with great trepidation. From the start, I had several barriers to overcome, including language and lack of Canadian experience. The chances of getting my old career back were nearly zero. So I found a series of retail sales jobs to make ends meet. My self-confidence, dignity and strength were deteriorating day by day. I was frustrated by a sense of solitude and the shadows of poverty, but I avoided putting my pen down. Working five days a week for two or three companies, I kept ties with the media as a freelancer, filing stories for BBC Persian. When I learned about Sheridan’s program for internationally trained writers, I jumped at the chance to enrol. The program was a perfect fit, helping me bridge the gap between my experience in Iran and Canada. It was a treat to learn from both the program instructors and my classmates who were talented professionals from all over the world. The one-year program led to an internship with CBC Television and then part-time jobs in my field. I was working at the Hamilton Spectator until April, 2008. I am now a producer in charge of guest commentators on the BBC’s Farsi-language news program based in London. During my time here I realized how white the Canadian newsroom is. I saw evidence backing up the statistic that only 2.6 per cent of non-whites hold professional jobs in Canada’s daily newsrooms. Over time, I hope we can break through this barrier. Having cleared many hurdles myself, I left Canada with greater confidence and excitement about this new chapter in my life. This is the ﬁrst in a series of ﬁrst-person stories by Sheridan Alumni. SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Web design is everywhere, it’s in demand. Jessica McCann
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Jessica McCann Cyber Savvy
hile some companies are busy handing out pink slips, there’s one business that can’t hire qualified people fast enough. Interactive marketing agencies are hungry for talent and they’re turning to Sheridan to fill the void. Jessica McCann had barely completed her final year-end projects when she was snapped up by Mosaic Sales Solutions last spring. Mosaic is one of the largest independent field sales and marketing companies in North America. McCann is a 2008 graduate of the Web Design (formerly New Media Design) Graduate Certificate Program, which has won acclaim for the diverse skills and high quality of its graduates. An article in the December 2008 issue of Marketing Magazine singled out Sheridan graduates as the strongest candidates in the interactive marketing field. Companies know that our students learn all aspects of an agency’s operations, says Sean Patrick, Vice-President, Interactive at Mosaic and a part-time instructor at Sheridan. “As an employer, I was tired of bringing on designers who I had to train,” says Patrick who helped develop the eightmonth program. Its focus on web marketing, in particular, sets Sheridan’s program apart from others, adds Patrick, another Sheridan alumnus (he graduated from the Art Fundamentals
and Graphic Design programs in 1988 and 1990, respectively). “Not only is marketing a key factor in web design but it helps students become passionate about their work as they learn how to promote themselves,” Patrick says.
The field also offers ﬂexibility and independence, which can appeal not only to artists but to any professional with a busy life, says McCann, who works from home as well as in Mosaic’s Mississauga, Ontario office.
And the demand for web marketing specialists has never been greater. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, online advertising totaled $1.2 billion in 2008, up 37 per cent from the previous year. Little wonder, as the web is recognized as the most measurably effective, cost-efficient and customer-centered way to market products and services, says Patrick.
One of the biggest challenges of the job is staying current with the changes, both in software and social media such as Facebook. With technology seeming to change in the blink of an eye, how does Sheridan design a relevant curriculum for its program?
For McCann, the field represents an exciting and far-reaching avenue for her artistic abilities. “Web design is everywhere, it’s in demand, and has a global audience. I wanted to be a part of this, to extend my creative skills through a different medium,” says McCann, who came to Sheridan after earning a Fine Arts degree from Queen’s University. McCann dismisses the view of interactive marketing as a “sell-out” career for visual artists who are lured by the security of a steady paycheque. “I still use my basic artistic training every day. I have the freedom to make my own design decisions to create something beautiful. It doesn’t have to be stiﬂing. You can still be a creative person and work for a corporation,” says McCann.
“What we focus on changes each year so I am always learning,” says program coordinator Gillian Chubb, who revises up to 30 per cent of the curriculum annually. “To do this job you need to have a love of learning and the ability to help people take their thinking in new directions.” New technology is the gateway to innovative developments in web design, says McCann. “Sheridan’s instructors are incredibly aware of this, and they are keeping pace just fine. I have never been more impressed with my teachers than I was at Sheridan.”
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
O hot jobs
Josh McDougall Digital Defenders
he digital age may have us drowning in data, but it’s a cyber-criminal’s dream. A 2006 estimate by the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus indicates that identity theft alone is costing consumers, banks, credit card firms and retail stores $2 billion annually. So who can companies turn to in order to protect their growing databases which are overﬂowing with sensitive personal and business information? Enter the digital defenders! Newly-minted Sheridan graduates like Joshua McDougall (2008), a member of the first graduating class of the Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences (Information Systems Security) program, are well qualified to help companies address their security concerns. “The information security industry is a high-demand area right now because businesses can’t afford to ignore it,” says McDougall. “Every company can benefit from improved security, both internally and outside.” McDougall was snapped up by KPMG Canada, which provides auditing, tax and advisory services, right after graduation. McDougall works in the Forensic Technology/eDiscovery Services group at KPMG, which assists clients with the management of electronically stored information. Business is booming, as
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
eDiscovery (or electronic evidence) has become a key component of many legal trials. The 2008 case of Qualcomm in California is a case in point. The mobile phone chipmaker was fined $8.5 million U.S. for failing to provide tens of thousands of digital documents during a patent infringement trial. Security specialists like McDougall help companies avoid similar pitfalls by setting up secure data management and retrieval systems for them. It’s a monumental task. The sheer amount of data shifted from paper to the Internet over the past couple of decades represents a virtual information explosion, says McDougall. “You’d need an 18-wheeler to haul the documents related to just one case to the court house or company office.” So McDougall and his colleagues cull the information for relevancy and create search engines which allow clients to find specific information easily. Despite the growing demand, trained professionals in this area are rare, says Victor Ralevich, program coordinator for Sheridan’s degree in Information Systems Security. (KPMG hired McDougall on a part-time basis before he even finished school). With its blended emphasis on technical skills and organizational security management, Sheridan’s program is the only one of its kind in the province.
“The field, which is quite new here in Canada, is diverse and complex, and the demand is growing,” says Ralevich. Despite the newness of Sheridan’s program, many of the students among the 2008 graduating class were plucked straight from school to well-paying positions with good benefits. McDougall was attracted to his profession both for its broad scope and future growth potential. “Information Security is a great field because it’s constantly evolving. There is always a new challenge and something to learn. And we can apply our skill set to many areas outside of forensics, including network and server administration, risk management and programming, to name just a few.” Overall, the IT sector in Canada is experiencing a resurgence after falling off in the late 1990’s. We can expect the number of attractive career opportunities to grow in all sectors of information technology, not just systems security, says Ralevich. “The need for qualified IT graduates is escalating to the point where we will have a major shortfall of technology talent within five years.”
The information security industry is a high-demand area right now because businesses can’t afford to ignore it. Josh McDougall
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
O Left to Centre
Centre to Right
Rick Bolt, Head Coach, Men’s Volleyball (Architectural Technology 1995) Leroy Cassanova Assistant Coach, Men’s Volleyball (Business Administration 1983) George Moreira, Assistant Coach, Men’s Volleyball (Applied Photography 1996)
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Adam El Daba, Assistant Coach, Men’s Soccer (Computer Science Technician 2007) Shane Bascoe, Head Coach, Women’s Basketball (Law and Security 1998, Correctional Worker 2000) Tony Silvestri, Head Coach, Men’s Soccer (Systems Analyst 2003)
Once a Bruin, Always a Bruin
ith every passing second the anticipation grows, but the expression on Shane Bascoe’s face does nothing to betray the magnitude of the moment. He’s been around the game of basketball long enough – first as a player and now as a head coach – to be able to stay composed in the face of both victory and defeat. But when the clock finally runs out, giving the Sheridan Bruins women’s basketball team their second consecutive Ontario championship, Bascoe’s steely demeanour gives way to a smile that will be all but indelible over the ensuing hours. Among the first to offer his congratulations is Jim Flack – Sheridan’s Athletic Director and Head Coach of men’s basketball and the man largely responsible for Bascoe’s foray into coaching. As coach and star player respectively, Flack and Bascoe reached the summit of Ontario collegiate basketball 11 years earlier. That championship was the first of five for Flack and one of two earned by Bascoe during his playing days. Bascoe’s time as a Sheridan athlete was marked by both team success and individual accolades. He was a three-time All-Canadian and the only Bruin basketball player to be named National Player of the Year. In many ways, the bond between Bascoe and Flack forged more than a decade ago vividly illustrates why so many former Sheridan student-athletes (nine in total, including three of six varsity head coaches) have returned to lead a new generation of Bruins.
“Being at Sheridan made me feel at home and coaching here now it’s the same thing. It’s a family environment,” says Bascoe. “You can’t leave this place. They treat you well so coaching here is just something that you want to do.”
says. “We look for coaches who understand the traditions and the prestige that we have in our history and expect to have in the future. Nobody understands that better than those who have competed as representatives of this institution.”
So much so that Bascoe has chosen to fit Sheridan into his busy life as a father of two children and a student at teacher’s college at Medaille College in Buffalo. Thankfully, his family accepts the importance of coaching in Bascoe’s life. “I have a pretty understanding wife,” he says. “She played varsity basketball at the University of Guelph, so she knows where my passion for basketball comes from.”
Certainly the student-athlete experience varies from that of the average student. In a way, playing for a varsity team is like taking an extra set of classes where no grades are assigned, but the lessons learned can have a far-reaching and profound impact. Silvestri says it’s up the students themselves to figure out how to best utilize this knowledge, but as a coach he feels that it’s up to him to assist along the way.
Even more important to the job is the ability to see things from a player’s perspective. The strategy of hiring former Bruins as coaches is rooted in their empathy for the players.
“Being a student-athlete requires a lot of discipline and commitment. It’s about what you learn both in and out of the classroom,” he says. “That was something that I learned as a player and I try to teach to today’s athletes.”
“I think it’s pretty important having alumni coaching because we have a different understanding of what our program is all about,” says Tony Silvestri, Head Coach of Men’s Soccer and a former Sheridan Male Athlete of the Year. “It’s not just our knowledge of the sport, but more importantly our passion for Sheridan’s athletic department and varsity programs.”
Of course, winning a championship is the ultimate aspiration for a coach, but helping a group of individuals reach their potential is the real objective. So while history may view the success of a team through a prism of wins and losses, a team’s true value is realized through the collective journey, not the final destination.
For Flack, the man charged with hiring new coaches, a former student-athlete’s familiarity coupled with their own coaching prowess is what makes them such strong candidates. “If given a choice we’ll always go with somebody who comes from the family,” he SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Future Foundations Sheridan’s Fundraising Successes Student Capital Campaign Success Look at any successful institute of higher education and you’ll find a community of people, businesses and organizations that regularly give back through charitable gifts. Sheridan has been working to build that kind of community and has become a leader in college fundraising in Canada. In fact, Sheridan has brought to a close its most successful fundraising campaign ever. The Student Capital campaign wraps up this spring having raised more than $30 million over the past three years. The campaign has been a tremendous success and sets the stage for Sheridan’s future growth and the creation of more opportunities for students. The funds raised have been directed at three key areas: • t he Centre for Healthy Communities at the Davis Campus; • a major expansion of the animation facilities at the Trafalgar Campus; and • a significant increase in the scholarships and bursaries available to students.
Notably, the Student Capital Campaign surpassed its goal in raising money for student scholarships and bursaries. Over $3.5 million of these important student financial gifts are now available, more than triple the campaign target. During this period, we also raised $1,660,000 in planned gifts. Our latest facility, the Centre for Healthy Communities is an innovative learning space for our programs in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Athletic Therapy, Nursing, Police Foundations and many other areas that focus on the physical, mental and psychosocial health of our 26
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
communities. With its new equipment and training/rehabilitation facilities, the Centre is helping students graduate job-ready, giving them an edge in the employment market. The Sheridan Animation Centre at the Trafalgar Campus recreates a realistic studio environment for students in Sheridan’s well-known animation program. It is focused on producing knowledgeable graduates who can immediately play productive roles in a modern studio setting. Of course, such a record level of investment in student capital would not be possible without the generosity of our many donors. “We are extremely grateful for the incredible support from our corporate and government partners, as well as many individual donors, who demonstrated their belief in the value of a Sheridan education. Their commitment and leadership means we can continue to enrich the educational experience of our students,” said Frank Cerisano, Executive Director, Advancement.
A special note of thanks is owed to the Campaign Co-Chairs, Peter Gilgan, CEO of Mattamy Homes, and The Honourable William G. Davis, Premier of Ontario from 1971 to 1985, for their outstanding leadership. “I am pleased and proud to have been part of this successful campaign. Its impact will be felt for years to come as students graduate from these wonderful new facilities and move on to rewarding careers,” said Peter Gilgan. “It is gratifying to see how Sheridan has grown over the past 42 years to become a leader in graduating individuals whose impact has been felt far and wide. We are now in a position to support graduate excellence and innovation for generations to come,” said The Honourable William G. Davis, P.C., C.C., Q.C., Counsel, Torys LLP. As we look back on the achievements of the past year, Sheridan is also gearing up for its next fundraising initiative. The Building Futures Campaign aims to raise $3 million over the next 12 months to support equipment renewal, student financial assistance, and research and new program development.
The Big Picture Gala 2008 Wild colours, bell bottoms, platform shoes and disco balls greeted leaders from the Canadian business and entertainment communities as they joined Sheridan to celebrate at the 2008 black tie Groovy Big Picture Gala dinner in October. The gala, now in its second year, was a huge success, attracting 650 guests and raising significant funds to support Sheridan’s students and the over 100 programs it offers. Panavision Canada was the 2008 Big Picture Gala Honouree. The company is a leader in the Canadian motion picture and television industry and has a long history with Sheridan. During the evening, awards were presented to people, organizations, and community groups that have demonstrated a commitment to Sheridan while leading their fields in innovation and achievement. Sheridan recognized the following ‘Big Picture’ thinkers: • Arts: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures • Business: AMEC Canada Dr. Robert Turner at the 2008 Big Picture Gala with Mayor Fennell, Mayor Hazel McCallion and The Honourable William G. Davis.
• Technology: Siemens Canada Limited • Community Service: Alzheimer Society of Peel. Actor, comedian and 1982 Sheridan graduate Patrick McKenna donned a John Travolta wardrobe from Saturday Night Fever to serve as emcee and welcome guests for a night of great food, music and entertainment. Sheridan students from our Music Theatre Performance program, with the musical accompaniment of the Greg Andrews Big Picture band, provided the entertainment.
Annual Giving Initiative Getting a good education is one of the best investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Students need financial support as they learn – in fact, 52% of students at Sheridan obtain some form of financial aid. One way Sheridan alumni can help out is by making a gift to the Sheridan Annual Giving Initiative. When alumni give back to their program and help current students succeed, it strengthens the Sheridan community and makes a real difference in the lives of students following in your path. Contributing to the Annual campaign means you’ll be helping a good cause and will receive a charitable income tax receipt for your gift. Making even a small donation can help. For more information on how you can get involved in annual giving, please visit: giving.sheridaninstitute.ca.
Recognizing our Donors In November 2008, at our first annual Donor Appreciation Evening, Sheridan unveiled a new donor wall at the Trafalgar Campus. This innovative system of video display panels highlights not only donors, but also alumni, current students, Sheridan news, SheridanTV, donor profiles and a host of other information.
Patrick McKenna in his role as master of ceremonies at the 2008 Big Picture Groovy Gala. SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
News at Sheridan New Workforce Development Division responds to changing student population Sheridan has created a Workforce Development Division dedicated to developing and delivering innovative programs that respond to workforce trends and labour market needs in the province. The Division was launched in spring 2008, in concert with the Province of Ontario’s Second Career program which helps unemployed Ontarians identify and train for new careers in growing sectors. Current Workforce Development programs help students develop jobfinding techniques, including resume and cover letter writing and interview skills. As well, new career training programs in the fields of journalism, accounting and welding are being offered. “Workforce Development was created to help us meet the mounting need for specialized support services required by a rapidly changing demographic,” says Richard Finch, Dean of the new Division. “A range of services and supports is being provided that will lead to education and employment opportunities for newcomers, internationally trained individuals, unemployed individuals and workers in transition.” Demonstrating leadership in this area is vital as demographic changes in Canada and the economic and skills challenges facing Ontario create new demands from a changing student population. Over the past several years the immigrant communities in Halton and Peel have been expanding and in response, Sheridan has increased the number of programs and services designed to meet their needs.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Ed Sykes named SHARCNET Research Chair Dr. Ed Sykes, a professor in the School of Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences, has been appointed the first SHARCNET College Research Chair. SHARCNET (Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network) has awarded $80,000 in funding for this position for a two-year period. This funding will be supplemented with a $10,000 Fellowship from the Colleges Ontario Network for Industrial Innovation (CONII) and a $10,000 Proof of Principle Award from CONII. One of Dr. Sykes’ aims in his new role is to encourage other colleges to use SHARCNET and increase the number of personnel trained in high-performance computing (HPC) by involving exceptional students in research projects. SHARCNET is a consortium of 17 postsecondary research institutions in Ontario offering HPC facilities and services to its members. Sheridan is a founding member of SHARCNET, which was established in 2001 with seven institutions.
Creative visualization lab builds on Sheridan’s strengths in animation and tv/ﬁlm production Sheridan has received $300,000 from the Ontario government to develop the Creative Previsualization Unit, a studio/ lab facility for applied research and training in the area of previsualization for film, television and other screen-based media. The project combines several of the latest technologies, including 3D modeling and motion capture systems to create interactive virtual worlds for the exploration of shot planning, visual style, and story development. Professor John Helliker, principal investigator for Sheridan says, “Using 3D gaming technology that allows for immediate interactivity, the director, cinematographer, production designer and visual effects artists can now collaboratively explore character movement, camera, and story elements in a virtual studio or location well before actual production.” Professor Helliker describes the Creative Previsualization Unit as the first step in Sheridan’s long-term goal to develop
Update Sheridan AD-07-08-0366_A
It doesn’t get any better. Picked up the tab for lunch. Bought a few books online. Some great CDs, too. My credit card gives me a lot of freedom. And every time I use it, my alma mater gets a contribution.
The Centre for Real-time Production, a research and training centre dealing with a variety of collaborative digital imaging technologies serving the screen-based industries in the region. The Creative Previsualization Unit will be based at Filmport in Toronto, and is expected to begin operation in the summer of 2009.
Sheridan business students go global Consultation with industry and government was pivotal in the development of Sheridan’s latest degree program. The Bachelor of Applied Business – Global Business Management will address the need for future Canadian graduates to develop skills in global supply chain management, assessments of foreign markets and creation of marketing and business plans for those markets. “With globalization, these skills are in demand and it is our mandate to develop people to meet this need,” says program coordinator Charles Minken. The new bachelor’s program is set to launch in September, 2009. “Through cross-cultural training, case studies, business simulations, two coop work semesters and a major Industry Project in the final semester, students will develop significant applied skills,” says Mr. Minken. “It’s like a BComm, but in a global setting.” The bachelor’s degree has been accredited by the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) and Supply Chain and Logistics Canada (SCL Canada).
Security Protection Online Account Management No Annual Fee For more information, call
1.866.434.5393 Mention priority code CBGC Call us Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
MBNA Canada Bank is the exclusive issuer and administrator of the MBNA Platinum Plus Credit Card Program in Canada. MBNA, MBNA Canada, MBNA Canada Bank, MBNA Platinum Plus, and the MBNA logo are all trademarks of FIA Card Services, National Association, used by MBNA Canada Bank pursuant to licence. MasterCard, MasterPurchase and MasterRental are registered trademarks of MasterCard International, Incorporated, used pursuant to licence
©2008 MBNA AD-07-08-0366
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Alumni News the Chinese government. “But I’ve found that the films that feel easy to make usually end up being the least interesting ones I’ve worked on,” says Christou, who points to his instructors at Sheridan as instrumental in his development. “The teachers in the program all had industry experience. You could feel that they’d been through the wringer and I think we absorbed a little of that hard-won wisdom.”
Another Oscar nod for Sheridan Chris Williams, a former Sheridan animation student, received his first Academy Award nomination this year for Bolt in the Best Animated Feature Film category. Bolt is the first feature-length film directed by Williams, who shares the nomination with co-director Byron Howard. Williams earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Waterloo before enrolling in Sheridan’s Animation program. In his second year, he was hired to work at Disney when the studio’s recruiters visited Sheridan. While he left before completing the full program (three courses short), Williams credits Sheridan with launching him on his animation career. “When I started there, I didn’t know much about animation. All I knew is that I loved to draw and create stories,” he says. “My respect and love for animation took root at Sheridan. It was an amazing learning experience.” 30
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Over the course of his fourteen years at Disney, Williams has contributed to such films as Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Chicken Little. He is the seventh Sheridan alumnus to receive an Academy Award nomination.
Up the Yangtze and Amal win Genie Awards Up the Yangtze, co-produced by John Christou (Advanced Television and Film 2002), has received a 2009 Genie Award for Best Documentary. Set against the backdrop of China’s Three Gorges Dam hydroelectric project, Up the Yangtze examines the climate of political and social change in China through the lives of two young people. The film was a finalist in several categories at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Christou and his colleagues faced endless challenges in making Up the Yangtze, which was shot without the official permission of
Congratulations are also due to Richie Mehta (Advanced Television and Film 2002) whose film, Amal, picked up six Genie Award nominations this year, winning an award for Best Original Song. Other nominations for Amal included Best Picture, Achievement in Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Actor in a Leading Role and Overall Sound. The film was directed and co-written by Richie, produced by Steven Bray (Media Arts 2002) and edited by Stuart McIntyre (Advanced Television and Film 2002). The story of a taxi driver in India who experiences an amazing twist of fate, Amal has garnered praise both in Canada and internationally. The Genie Awards honour excellence in Canadian film.
Sheridan awarded Gold for magazine photography Jonathan Bielaski, (Applied Photography 2002) has received the 2009 Gold award for black and white photography from the Centre for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He was given the honour for a photo of business professor Brian Lyons which accompanied an article in the 2007 issue of Ovation highlighting Lyons’ longstanding contribution to Sheridan’s School of Business. The photo placed first among submissions from colleges and universities in eastern Canada and the United States.
Children of alumni keep it in the family
Virox Future Forum targets emerging employment trends
Homecoming 2008: An Evening in Tuscany
First year students Shaunna Demars (Practical Nursing) and Josh Kunder (Marketing Management – Co-op) are the 2009 recipients of Sheridan’s Children of Alumni Scholarship.
The inaugural Virox Future Forum took place at the Trafalgar Road Campus on April 2. The first in a planned series of four annual conferences, the Forum was created thanks to the inspiration and generous donation of Randy Pilon, President and CEO of Virox Technologies Inc. Randy Pilon is a 1982 Business program graduate and 2007 Distinguished Alumni recipient.
More than 150 alumni reconnected at an Evening in Tuscany on October 12, 2008. Alumni enjoyed Italian wines and cuisine at the event which was part of Sheridan’s Homecoming 2008 celebrations. Traditional Italian entertainment was provided by students from the Musical Theatre Performance program. Longtime volunteer and retired business professor, Dave Tinker, was honoured for his years of service in alumni relations.
Shaunna Demars is excited to follow in her mother’s steps towards post secondary academic excellence. Her mother, Suzanne Demars, graduated in 2002 from the Community Worker - Outreach and Development program and in 2004 from the Social Service Worker program. She received an Ontario Premier’s Award in 2003 and the Award of Excellence for Student Leadership from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges the following year. Shaunna calls her first year at Sheridan life-changing. “The experiences I have had at Sheridan so far have been second to none. From meeting some great friends to learning many new skills,” said Shaunna, who is determined to reach her goal of becoming a paramedic. “I am so proud that Shaunna is attending Sheridan because I truly believe in my heart that Sheridan makes dreams possible,” says Suzanne. Josh Kunder is the third member of his family to pursue a Sheridan education. His mother, Tamara Kunder, received a Corporate Communications Graduate Certificate in 2008 and his brother, Ben Kunder, a professional musician and actor, graduated from the Musical Theatre – Performance program in 2007. For information on how to apply for the Children of Alumni Scholarship Fund, please contact Robin Obuhowich at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to the fund, please contact Jennifer Deighton at jennifer.deighton@ sheridaninstitute.ca.
The forum focused on career trends and entrepreneurial opportunities today and into the future. Speakers included Rick Spence, former long-time editor and publisher of PROFIT magazine, Ian Portsmouth, current editor of PROFIT and Sean Wise, author and Online Host and Industry Advisor for CBC Television’s business reality show, Dragons’ Den. The response from the approximately 100 students attending the Forum was overwhelmingly positive.
“Big Picture” Award for Bob Munroe Bob Munroe (Computer Animation 1985), President and Co-Founder of C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, received a Big Picture Award at the 2008 Groovy Gala, Sheridan’s annual fundraising event, last October. Munroe, a 2005 Premier’s Award winner, was one of four recipients recognized among individuals, organizations, and community groups that have demonstrated a commitment to Sheridan while leading their fields in innovation and achievement.
We’re planning for Homecoming 2009! All grad years are invited to attend, and this year there will also be a special reunion for early-year graduates. Stay tuned for more information! Call the alumni office at 905-815-4078 or visit us online at alumni. sheridaninstitute.ca. Also watch for your e-copy of Ovation Online in your inbox.
GOOD FORTUNE HOMECOMING 2009 Friday, October, 2 at 6 p.m. Connexions (Formerly the Cage Pub)
Join us for an evening of good luck, charming company, and great give-aways... win a weekend trip for two to Niagara Falls Casino! For more information, call the alumni office at 905-815-4078, or visit: alumni.sheridaninstitute.ca
DO YOU RECEIVE OVATION ONLINE? Join the mailing list of our enewsletter, Ovation Online. It’s easy. Just forward your email address to us at: email@example.com or update your profile on our website: sheridanalumni.ca SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Grads on the Go Chris was also an athletic therapist for the Canadian team which won the 1991 Canada Cup.
BAA – Animation
Art Fundamentals Josh Cassidy, ’04, was a member of the Canadian Paralympics National Team that participated in the 2008 Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing, China. This was Josh’s first Paralympic Games where he placed 10th in the Men’s 5000m gold medal race, 4th in the Men’s 800m qualifying heat and 4th in the Men’s 1500m Semifinals. He has been named Male Athlete of the Year three times by the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, most recently in 2008. Josh, who is completing his final year of the BAA (Illustration) program, is also a successful illustrator and painter specializing in sports and entertainment.
Vlad Kooperman, ’08, is currently employed at Pixar Animation in Los Angeles, California, where he worked on Wall-E, the Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature Film. His first film, C Block, won awards in Toronto and Montreal, including Best Animated Film at the 2008 Student Film Showcase organized by the Toronto International Film Festival Group. C Block is a futuristic animated piece which follows a lanky canine desperate to be reunited with his favourite chew toy.
Business Marketing Co-op
Chris Broadhurst, ’85, is Director of the Toronto Athletic Club’s Clinic for Sport Medicine. He spent 19 years as a Head Athletic Therapist with the NHL, first with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1989 to 2005, followed by three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes. Chris served as Athletic Therapist at the 1998 and 2002 NHL AllStar Games and with the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. He was part of the Canadian gold medal winning teams at the 1997 and 2006 World Championships.
Darrell Keezer, ’05, owns a successful digital marketing agency with more than 15 clients and 10 contracted employees. His company, Candybox Marketing, generates business for its clients by getting their websites to the top of Google search results. The agency specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) which involves creating or editing a website to ensure it will be identified by certain search engines. Before starting his own company, Darrell, 24, worked in direct marketing software for Toronto’s Bluetree Direct Inc.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
Early Childhood Education Kristine DiCarlo, ’07, has been busy working on her Child Studies degree at York University since graduation. She also competed for Miss Canada Globe in August 2008, when she was named Canadian Scholarship Ambassador for the pageant. Kristine is currently employed at FastFrate, a trucking company in Bolton, Ontario where she manages payroll. Following the completion of her studies, she hopes to teach elementary school or work in special education.
Fashion Design Andrew Majtenyi, ’88, is an awardwinning designer who presented his most recent collection at the High Commission of Canada in London earlier this year. In the mid-1990s, he honed his couture skills while working with the National Ballet of Canada. Andrew received Toronto’s Design Exchange Award for Fashion Design in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He has created eight collections and has exhibited his work in Dubai, Prague and Zagreb. Andrew also designs for the film and television industry.
Illustration – Interpretive Matt Hammill, ’05, is a writer, illustrator and computer animator. His work has appeared in such publications as the Ryerson Review of Journalism, Chickadee and Cottage Life. Matt now works as an animator at Guru Studio in Toronto. He recently completed his first children’s book, Sir Reginald’s Logbook. Matt also graduated from the BAA Illustration Bridging Program (’06) and the Computer Animation program (’08).
Media Arts Producer Brian Mosoff, ’05, had a big year in 2008. His first movie, Real Time, which starred Randy Quaid (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Brokeback Mountain) and Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up, Nick and Norah’s Inﬁnite Playlist), had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It was also an Official Selection of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Journalism – Print Susy Pardo, ’93, is making life a little sweeter with her company, ﬂourgirls. The bakeshop, based in Milton, Ontario, specializes in cupcakes, custom-shaped cookies and other goodies. Since launching ﬂourgirls in 2005, Susy has seen revenues triple and her company highlighted in many publications, including Macleans and Canadian House and Home Magazine. Baking has been a lifelong passion for Suzy, who attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City, where she decided to create her own line of baked goods. Suzanne Sharma, ’05, has published her first novel, Dry Clean Only, about a spoiled girl who has a hard time holding a job, or taking on any real responsibility. The character is forced to let go of her ‘party girl’ ways and prove that she’s not a complete failure. Much of Suzanne’s inspiration for Dry Clean Only came from personal experience. “I drew upon the advice of one of my professors at Sheridan, Susan Hackett, who told me to write about what I know.” Suzanne currently writes for Canadian Real Estate magazine.
Music Theatre – Performance Romina D’Ugo, ’06, used her signature salsa to dance her way into the top 20 of the 2008 hit television program, So You Think You Can Dance Canada. She discovered her love of dance early on through her sisters who are talented dancers as well. While attending Cardinal Carter School for the Arts, Romina set her sights on Sheridan’s Music Theatre – Performance program. The dancer/actress has also starred in Hairspray, Degrassi: The Next Generation and, most recently, How She Move.
Janna Polzin, ’05, has the role of Maria part-time in Mirvish’s hit production of The Sound of Music, now playing in Toronto. She earned the role by placing second out of two thousand hopefuls on the CBC television show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? in 2008. She received an Award of Excellence from her hometown of Woodstock, Ontario, as well as the Key to the City. The Mayor of Woodstock also declared August 16, 2008 “Janna Polzin Day”. You can see Janna as Maria at Wednesday evening and Saturday matinee performances at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.
SHERIDAN OVATION | 2009
GROUP HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE for alumni of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Request a quote and you could
PROTECTION MADE EASY... GROUP RATES MADE EASIER! As an alumni of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, you can SAVE on your home and auto insurance through preferred group rates, while enjoying high-quality insurance products and outstanding service. As the leading provider of group home and auto insurance, we offer a wide range of innovative products, so you are sure to get the coverage that is right for your particular needs…and the peace of mind that goes with it!
ENJOY SAVINGS THROUGH
PREFERRED GROUP RATES
1 866 352 6187 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex home and auto insurance program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY and distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc. in Québec and by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in the rest of Canada. Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. *No purchase required. Contest ends on January 16, 2010. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at MelocheMonnex.com. Meloche Monnex® is a trade-mark of Meloche Monnex Inc. TD Insurance is a trade-mark of The Toronto-Dominion Bank, used under license.