Fanshawe College Celebrates Fall Graduation
On Thursday, November 6 and Friday, November 7, 2008, Fanshawe College welcomed approximately 1,000 graduates and their families to fall convocation ceremonies at the London campus.
"It is always exciting to recognize our graduates and celebrate their accomplishments," said Fanshawe President Howard Rundle. "With Fanshawe credentials in hand, this year's graduates are well prepared for jobs in today's dramatically changing and challenging economy. A postsecondary education is more of a requirement for meaningful employment than it has ever been."
Business student Joel Aalbers received the Governor General's Academic Medal for outstanding scholastic achievement on November 7. Joel has also been selected as the recipient of a 2008 Deloitte and Touche LLP Academic Award for achieving the highest GPA upon completion of the Business - Accounting program.
In photo at right: Fanshawe President Howard Rundle presents the Governor General's Academic Medal to Business student Joel Aalbers.
Civil Engineering student Michail Bantseev also graduated on November 7. Michail was born in Russia and moved to London along with his parents and eight brothers and sisters. He enrolled in Civil Engineering at Fanshawe several years ago and competed in cross-country, winning gold at the Ontario championships. After completing his first year of studies, he was involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Eventually Michail resumed his studies in Civil Engineering and began studying theology through distance education at Master's College and Seminary in Toronto. He also started a consulting company, MVB Accessibility Consulting, specializing in accessible design for commercial and residential applications.
"Michail is very conscientious with a high sense of duty," said Solomon Asantey, Coordinator of Civil Engineering Technology. "He never used his physical challenges as an excuse or as a means to obtain advantage. I personally find Michail to be inspiring in the way he approaches life."
Earlier this year, Michail traveled to Ethiopia to attend the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Call to Action on Poverty, Lack of Access and Discrimination. The conference was a call to action prompting governments to implement laws and administrative measures that secure the rights of persons with disabilities. He was sponsored by Cheshire London.
"Every time I encountered Michail he was in a positive mood," said Dan Douglas, Acting Chair, School of Building Technology. "He embraced all challenges and barriers as a learning opportunity. There is no doubt that Michail will continue to inspire everyone he interacts with as he pursues his many personal and career goals."
Guest speakers at Fanshawe's fall graduation ceremonies included Don Donner, Executive Director of the Boys' and Girls' Club of London; Michael Schmalz, President of Digital Extremes; and Joy Warkentin, Fanshawe's retiring Senior Vice-President - Academic.