Each year, Fanshawe College presents a series of awards to deserving graduates. Many of these awards are presented in recognition of academic achievement, leadership and volunteerism. Below is a list of this year’s recipients with a description of each award. Fanshawe congratulates these students for their extraordinary achievements.
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2020 Graduation Award Winners
Governor General’s Academic Medal
For more than 125 years, the Governor General’s Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. It is awarded annually to the student graduating with the highest academic average in the educational institution.
Garion Davey - Civil Engineering Technology
While taking a demanding program at Fanshawe, Garion and his wife still managed to enjoy time volunteering with his church community. He is very thankful for his wife who supported him throughout school and the wonderful friendships he made with his class and other students.
Garion enjoyed ‘hanging out’ at the rock wall with friends to get his workout. He did co-op placements at MultiView as a utility locator and Callon-Dietz doing AutoCAD drafting of engineering and legal plans. Garion is currently employed as a Junior Design Technologist at Cyril J. Demeyere Limited in Tillsonburg, Ontario.
The President's Prize is presented annually to a full-time post-secondary diploma, degree or graduate certificate program student who has achieved a significant academic standard while making a meaningful contribution to campus life.
Christine Belanger - Honours Bachelor of Interior Design
Christine’s most memorable experience in her program was working on her thesis in fourth year on designing Retirement Homes suited for a Memory Care environment. She loved exploring new ideas and networking with different designers and various members of the senior care community.
Christine has fond memories volunteering at McCormick Home and painting with the seniors at the home. While a student, she organized charity fundraisers in 2018-19 and raised $7,000 for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers while providing Fanshawe students with programming to create awareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.
Christine is the first in her family to graduate from Fanshawe and currently works in an office dealership in Ottawa. She plans to progress to the position of Interior Designer and pursue her Masters in Interior Design.
Dr. Howard Rundle Academic Award
The Dr. Howard Rundle Academic Award is presented annually to a full-time post-secondary diploma, degree or graduate certificate program student who has achieved a significant academic standard while demonstrating excellence in leadership through involvement in Fanshawe College campus life.
Sasha Giesbrecht - Early Childhood Education
Sasha’s favourite course at Fanshawe was Professionalism, Ethics and Advocacy because it allowed her to research her community and learn ways to actively participate within it while making a difference.
She was Student Council President at the St. Thomas/Elgin Campus and enjoyed planning experiences and activities for Fanshawe students. Sasha did placements at Monsignor Morrison Catholic School and Dalewood Early Learning Centre where she implemented activities based on children’s interests and emergent curriculum.
Sasha was proud to graduate on the President’s Honour Roll and overcame the challenges of being a mature student with two children. Sasha is currently helping raise awareness of the “blessing box” in support of her local food bank and is working as a supply early childhood educator for the Thames Valley District School Board.
Dean's Academic Award
This award is presented to full-time or part-time students who have achieved the highest academic standing upon completion of a certificate, diploma or degree program during the previous academic year. The awards are presented to a student in each of the following academic areas:
Faculty of Creative Industries
Paulina Roberts - Video Game Design and Development
Paulina loved the vibrancy of being a downtown student. She enjoyed the relaxation days where students could get massages, enjoy snacks and play with cute dogs! Paulina has reached out and worked with several current students in the Game Design program to offer free study sessions and computer troubleshooting. She loves to share what she has learned with others and has found it keeps her skills sharp. Paulina is incredibly proud to be the first graduate in her family – even more so to graduate with honours! – and thanks Fanshawe for listening and helping her when she needed it the most. Paulina is currently working at RUNE Entertainment,, a production company owned and operative by Fanshawe professors, Paul Wollenzein and Nancy Nor. The project is really cool and top secret! She hopes to be part of London’s incredibly vibrant game development scene for many years to come!
Faculty of Business, Information Technology and Part-time Studies
Kevin Krahn - Computer Programmer Analyst
Kevin had the unique opportunity to experience student life on two campuses. The first few semesters were at Fanshawe’s main London campus and the last two were spent at the College’s downtown campus. He says it was nice to be among the first students to study in a shiny new building.
Kevin gets involved with the community by volunteering at a soup kitchen. He says that winning this award is a big accomplishment because keeping his grades up was a challenge, especially since he lives quite a distance from London and winter driving to get to class could be difficult.
Kevin did his co-op at Cineplex Digital Media as a software developer who fixed bugs and developed new features. He is currently working there part-time as he pursues further education.
Faculty of Health, Community Studies and Public Safety
Tatyana Coghlin - Fire Inspection and Fire Safety Inspection
According the Tatyana, the best part of her program were the friendships she made while in her program. One of her proudest accomplishments was tutoring fellow students and watching them succeed!
Tatyana spent time on placement at the St. Thomas, St. Mary’s and London Fire Departments and found everyone to be very welcoming while providing valuable insight into fire prevention. She loves working with the public and hopes to be a fire educator one day. Tatyana is the first in her family to attend Fanshawe College.
Faculty of Science, Trades and Technology
Garion Davey - Civil Engineering Technology
While taking a demanding program at Fanshawe, Garion and his wife still managed to enjoy time volunteering with his church community. He is very thankful for his wife who supported him throughout school and the wonderful friendships he made with his class and other students. Garion enjoyed ‘hanging out’ at the rock wall with friends to get his workout. He did co-op placements at MultiView ass a utility locator and Callon-Dietz doing AutoCAD drafting of engineering and legal plans. Garion is currently employed as a Junior Design Technologist at Cyril J. Demeyere Limited in Tillsonburg, Ontario.
Faculty of Access, Language and Regional Campuses
Zack Mallough - Police Foundations (Accelerated), Woodstock/Oxford Campus
Zachary says the most memorable aspect of my program experience was the knowledgeable and inspiring faculty. The faculty provided our program with theoretical and practical knowledge that I will carry with me into my future career and life endeavors. He considers himself fortunate to have met the faculty, made friends and developed bonds that will last beyond his time at Fanshawe. Zachary has been dedicating his free time to serving those facing extreme poverty through 519Pursuit as an Outreach Team Member. Their mission is to create friendships with a lasting connection and positive impact by creating a more inclusive community. He is very proud for completing the accelerated program while overcoming the obstacles of balancing work expectations, personally volunteering, organizing fundraising events to support the Habitat for Humanity trip, and renovating his home. He currently works at London Health Sciences Centre in the security department and hopes to serve his community by obtaining a position with with a local police service. He joins his father Garry (Automotive Service Technician) as a Fanshawe family graduate!
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Awards
The Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award is presented annually to full-time post-secondary diploma, degree or post graduate certificate program students representing each of the following areas of study: business, community services, creative arts and design, health sciences and technology.
Award recipients must have demonstrated academic success while demonstrating a significant contribution to college life or to the community, displaying a real commitment to others.
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award – Business
Luisa Ibarra Espitia - Business - Marketing (Co-op)
Luisa’s most memorable experience at Fanshawe College was training for approximately a month with her amazing partner and two coaches to participate in the Ontario College’s Marketing Competition in 2019.
As a newcomer to Canada, Luisa found building her own network in Canada to be a major challenge but says Fanshawe offered all the tools she needed to strengthen her relationships with the College and community. As a member of the InSPIRE program Luisa mentored international students and believes it to be an important part of her college experience. While sharing her knowledge and experience with her peers, she worked with an industry mentor who helped develop her professional profile so she would be prepared to take her first steps into the labour market after graduation.
She is very proud to be on the President’s Honour Roll for academic achievement. Luisa works for ApplyBoard as an Evaluation Application Coordinator helping international students achieve admission into higher education institutions around the world. She sees herself in a future management position where she can contribute even more to the company’s mission to educate the world.
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award – Community
Ashlee Webber - Child and Youth Care
Ashlee has such a passion for understanding and helping youth struggling with mental health issues so it’s no surprise her favourite course was mental disorders. She enjoyed the free lunch days because she had the opportunity to serve the students while enjoying the feeling of community that came with being with the other students.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is very important to Ashlee and she will always be part of the organization. She is very proud of the fact that she balanced being a full-time student with being a full-time single parent. Ashlee did a field placement at Lutherwood-Childrens Mental Health Treatment facility where her main responsibilities including counselling youth and maintaining routine. She currently works as a staff member at Lutherwood and hopes to find a permanent position in a hospital working in a mental health unit.
Ashlee is very proud to be the first person in her family to graduate from Fanshawe College.
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award – Creative Arts
Christopher Nagy - Broadcasting - Television and Film Production
The television production and media operations course provided Christopher with an exciting challenge because he had the opportunity to set up/run production and run a full television station (Fanshawe TV) while in his program. He has enjoyed meeting new people and working on fantastic projects with his classmates – many from the ground up. He and his classmates produced the Share the Land music production in conjunction with other Fanshawe programs.
Christopher volunteers in the community by coaching in the London Minor Football Association and the St. Thomas Hawks. His proud of his 4.2 Grade Point Average upon graduation and credits it to hard work, determination and organizational skills. His excellent academic standing secured the Bell Media award for Network Potential in Television and the subsequent internship that came with it. Christopher worked in productions for CTV and TSN and his first shift in the TSN control room was “the day that sports stood still” during COVID. Watching everyone, working the changes and coming together as a team of focused and phenomenal professionals was an experience he dreamed of!
Christopher is the first person in his family to attend Fanshawe. He would love the opportunity to get back into the live television production environment and run live professional sporting broadcasts.
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award – Health
Keanna Alcock - Respiratory Therapy
For Keanna, there were many memorable experiences in the Respiratory Therapy program – from the simulations to the sputum cups – but the most memorable was the mission trip to Guatemala. She has been an excellent ambassador for the program and has been interviewed by CTV News, Polytechnics Canada, CBC News, National Post and others. Keanna’s proudest accomplishment was receiving her Registered Respiratory Therapist license as she overcame many obstacles including failing out of the program then being readmitted. She did field placements at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, Victoria Hospital and University hospital, shadowing respiratory therapists in the ICU, emerge, NICU and more. Keanna is currently working at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Fanshawe runs in her family as her sister graduated from the Civil Engineering Technology program in 2018.
Fanshawe College Distinguished Student Award – Technology
Breno Alvarenga - Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems Commercial Operations
One of Breno’s most memorable parts of his program was participating in Research and Innovation Day with his project that involved inspecting airports using drones. He found it very challenging and received a lot of support from his professors who he says were great role models for the kind of professional he wants to be.
Breno also gained experience as a class representative for the Norton Wolf School of Aviation. He was able to help facilitate changes regarding classes, the campus and the overall student experience. Professors and fellow classmates often reached out to him for assistance with solving problems and he was glad he could help build a better college experience for everyone.
Breno became involved with an organization he met during a volunteer fair at the College. Investing In Children is an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children. He joined the charity and started working on improving literacy for children. He had plans to develop a program that would teach aviation concepts to children as an after school program. Unfortunately, it was postponed due to COVID but he hopes to restart it in the future because he believes that investing in children’s education is the main cornerstone for our planet’s development.
Breno currently works at the Civil Aviation Authority of Brazil (the governing body that regulates aviation safety) and is the first person in his family to graduate from Fanshawe College.
Harry Rawson Award
The Harry Rawson Award is presented annually to a full-time post-secondary diploma, degree or post-graduate certificate program graduate. The recipient will have achieved academic success while demonstrating extraordinary ability in communication and/or interpersonal skills within the Fanshawe College community.
Kosiso Simon-Ebo - International Business Management
According to Kosiso, the International Business Management program provides hands-on and practical knowledge with case studies and real client situations that provided opportunities to practice the theories they learned in class. Apart from his academic achievements, Kosiso is proud of the friends and connections he has made. He is currently the president of the International Student Association at Fanshawe College, representing internationals students’ interest and building a support system they need upon arrival in Canada. Kosiso enjoyed working out, rock climbing and playing on the indoor golf simulator at the College’s state-of-the-art Wellness Centre and gymnasiums. Kosiso is currently working as a Residence Services Representative at Fanshawe Residence and hopes to work in business or supply chain consulting in the next few years. He would also like to start his own business in the future.
Mary Ann Darling Memorial Alumni Award
The Mary Ann Darling Memorial Alumni Award is presented annually to a full-time diploma, degree or graduate certificate program student who has achieved academic success while demonstrating volunteer work, above and beyond the program of study requirements, that shows a caring attitude toward people and has enhanced the image of Fanshawe College.
Hannah Diemert - Respiratory Therapy
Hannah had a lot of fun in her labs and simulation courses and felt they provided the class with a lot of hands-on experience to prepare each student for their profession. She enjoyed getting involved in promoting the program and the respiratory therapy profession any way she could. She volunteered at Fanshawe’s open houses and during Respiratory Therapy Week. She also enjoyed being a part of the peer tutoring program. She was very proud to graduate a few weeks early from the program so she and her classmates could start working right away to help care for COVID-19 patients. It was a stressful and nerve-wracking experience but she felt it was very rewarding and wonderful opportunity. Hannah did placements at both London Health Sciences Centre in London and Guelph General Hospital. She worked alongside Registered Respiratory Therapists in the ICU, emergency rooms, operating rooms, labour and delivery to care for patients who had difficulty breathing. Hannah feels very lucky to have been hired from her placement at Guelph General Hospital as a Graduate Respiratory Therapist and has now completed her board exam. She looks forward to continuing her professional career. She is the first person in her family to graduate from Fanshawe College.
R.C. Hamilton Award
The R.C. Hamilton Award is presented annually to a full-time post-secondary diploma, degree, apprenticeship or graduate certificate program student who has demonstrated a significant contribution to enrich student life through leadership activities with a resulting enhancement of Fanshawe College.
Reem Al Rabya - Business Administration - Leadership and Management
One of Reem’s favourite experiences at Fanshawe was going on an exchange trip to France as she made many friends, had fun and learned what field of business she wanted to get into. Reem also enjoyed volunteering with CISV to give back to the community and participating in the events and activities Fanshawe had to offer.
Reem has been accepted into the Bachelor of Commerce – Entrepreneurial Management program at Royal Roads University. She is currently on her co-op placement as a student project coordinator with Heritage Conservation Services with responsibilities that include tracking the effect of COVID on people’s work and the potential hours of work lost because of the pandemic. Reem wants to pursue a career in Business Intelligence or Data Analytics with a future goal to own her own business. She is the first in her family to attend Fanshawe College.