Durham College alumni from around the world digitally visited the school’s Global Class as part of the college’s 50th anniversary.
The event, titled “The Global Graduate” was hosted by Durham president Don Lovisa, Global Class instructor Lon Appleby and Sally Hillis, senior alumni development officer. The event was part of the Brewing Memories tour to celebrate 50 years of Durham College.
The Global Class is an interactive class that is livestreamed. It covers topics about the planet, humanity and history. Appleby created the class. Online viewers and in-class students can participate and interact with guests from anywhere in the world.
Five Durham College graduates were invited to take part with the goal of uniting alumni with current students. Participating graduates were:
- Rutsu Ataman, a renewable energy technician graduate from 2015. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey but is currently in Mersin, Turkey.
- Jennifer Iacob, a 2004 nursing graduate located in Bucharest, Romania.
- Cameron Munro who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the operations manager program in 2012.
- Matt Warburton, who graduated from the graphic design program in 1983. He lives in Vancouver, B.C.
- Bob Wheller, a 1983 graphic design graduate who lives in London, England.
Each alumnus has made different contributions to both Durham College and the world. Warburton and Wheller are the people behind the original design for the Durham College shield logo. They both also designed the Royal Mail Stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Ataman’s calling is creating renewable energy in Ghana.
Munro shares corporate best practices across many Asian countries. He has led a team of 400 people through business climate changes in Toronto.
Iacob does charity work with children in Romania. She is founder and director of the Arms of Love project and the charity Break the Cycle. Both provide aid to various groups including children, mothers and orphans.
The alumni spoke about landing work beyond the GTA in today’s political climate, culture shock, language barriers, and how to find success beyond Durham.
“Buy a plane ticket and show up,” said Wheller. “Eventually you will crack something.”
They answered questions from students and gave advice.
“Ask questions. It puts you on the radar. They see you as engaged,” said Warburton.
President Lovisa said events like this are important for students.
“It’s inspiring, empowering and real. These people are succeeding,” said Lovisa. “Get on a train and take a chance.”
Appleby said the event was a good experience for students.
“These people gave the students real world nuts and bolts,” said Appleby.