Faculty of Applied Science & Technology - Fall Convocation, November 10, 2021
Welcome to Sheridan’s 58th Convocation! This morning, we are honouring the graduates of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology. My name is Carol Altilia and I am Sheridan's Provost and Vice-President, Academic. As we gather virtually today, we would like to acknowledge that all of Sheridan’s campuses reside on land that has been, and still is, the traditional territory of several Indigenous nations, including the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat, the Métis, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Since time immemorial, numerous Indigenous nations and Indigenous peoples have lived in and passed through this territory. We recognize this territory is covered by the Dish with One Spoon treaty and the Two Row Wampum treaty, which emphasize the importance of joint stewardship, peace, and respectful relationships. As you may be joining us from different territories, we acknowledge the many diverse nations and territories you are joining from. Sheridan College affirms that it is our collective responsibility to honour and respect those who have gone before us, those who are here, and those who have yet to come.
We are grateful for the opportunity to be learning, working, living and thriving on this land. Congratulations, graduates! Convocation is a significant milestone in your life, one made more meaningful by the unprecedented challenges you have had to overcome since the global pandemic began. You’ve completed your program during a time when we had to quickly adapt the ways in which we work and learn, lacked a sense of normalcy and routine, were prevented from gathering and celebrating in person with our friends and family, and faced threats or impacts to our financial stability and security. As we see vaccination numbers continue to increase and COVID-19 case rates gradually decrease around the world, we can all take comfort in the knowledge that better is coming. But as we gather virtually today in celebration and anticipation of a brighter future, we also recognize those who have suffered the greatest loss of all during the pandemic. Sheridan mourns every Canadian who has died from this terrible disease, and we grieve alongside each student, faculty and staff in the Sheridan community who has lost a loved one to COVID-19.
To begin our convocation ceremony, please join our students from the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre, - Performance program, Lyrie Murad and Emry Tupper, accompanied by Michael Mulrooney, in singing of our National Anthem. O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all of us command, Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, Il sait porter la croix! Ton histoire est une épopée Des plus brillants exploits, God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. Thank you for that beautiful rendition of O Canada. It’s now my pleasure to introduce Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s President and Vice
Chancellor to officially launch this Convocation. Thank you Carol. On behalf of Sheridan, I extend a warm welcome to you, our graduands in the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, and to your family members and friends who are joining us today for this virtual ceremony. Convocation is an important milestone in our students’ experience. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and a stepping stone
into your future. While I am disappointed, like all of you, that circumstances prevent us from celebrating your achievements in our traditional fashion, the importance of this occasion is undiminished. The past two years have been a learning experience for all of us, and I’m so proud of the determination you have shown in successfully completing your program in the midst of these unprecedented circumstances. Resilience and grit are qualities we strive to nurture in our students, and
your success in reaching this point assures me that we are advancing that goal. My colleagues and I are passionate about postsecondary education because we know it transforms people, families and communities. It’s not just that graduates enjoy higher rates of employment and greater earning power-- it’s that an investment in higher education propels people to be healthier, more engaged, conscious citizens in our democracy – which is more important now than ever before. You are graduating at a time of global economic and political uncertainty. As our Chancellor, Hazel McCallion, will share with you shortly, past generations have also faced unforeseen challenges and risen to the occasion. I’m confident that you, armed with your degree, diploma or certificate, and the overall learning and skills that you have gained from your Sheridan experience, are well-equipped to go forth and make a positive impact.
In closing, I would ask you to consider those who have fueled, funded or inspired your learning journey, be they family, friends and/or your professors. They deserve our collective thanks and recognition. It’s now my pleasure to introduce a brief video message from Sheridan’s Chancellor, Hazel McCallion. It is now my great pleasure to introduce heridan’s Chancellor, Hazel McCallion.Hazel McCallion was first elected Mayor of Mississauga in November, 1978, and was the longest serving Mayor in the city’s history, with twelve consecutive terms.“Over the course of her
career, Ms. McCallion has received countless distinctions and honours. She was installed as Sheridan’s inaugural Chancellor in June, 2016. Greetings to the graduating class of 2021! To the many family members, friends, staff and faculty joining our virtual audience – welcome. I am glad to be able to share some thoughts with you on this special day.
It is a great honour for me to serve as Sheridan’s first-ever Chancellor. As someone who never had the opportunity to attend college or university, I have a keen appreciation for how meaningful this milestone is for you. And as someone who grew up during the Great Depression and oversaw many challenges as Mayor of Mississauga, I also understand what it means to embark on a new journey during a pivotal moment in history.
As the class of 2021, you are graduating at a time when our society continues to face a great challenge, one that requires all of us to work together to overcome. And we will – together with you, our newest graduates. It will take hard work, ingenuity, passion, and commitment. I have no doubt that you are ready, and that Sheridan has prepared you well. You are graduating from one of the most
progressive postsecondary institutions in Canada – one that instills in our students a desire and resolve to go out and make a difference in their communities. While this is a moment of unprecedented change in our world, it’s also a moment of great opportunity. There’s everything out there for you – go for it with enthusiasm and dedication, and you will be a success.
I wish you the very best on this next chapter. Thank you so much, Chancellor McCallion, for that inspiring message. And now, it is my honour to introduce Sara Ibrahim, a member of the first graduating class of the Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing, and Sheridan’s inaugural Poet Laureate. As part of the graduating class of 2021, Sara has successfully published her
work in professional literary venues and has been nominated for several national poetry contests. She is joining us from Vancouver, where she recently started an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Graduation Spark - Class of 2021, hello from afar. Welcome to your graduation. This is not the graduation we envisioned.
This is not the final year we expected. This is not the bittersweet end to our school days we yearned for. But our celebratory spark endures, as does the grief that comes with all good endings.
We should remember that sparks like all energy does not die it transforms. It grows and winnows into new beginnings. It transmutes all it touches. It alters us even as itself ends.
So yes, Gone, in our celebration, is the pressing of the crowd, gone is the stage. Gone are the echoes of applaud; the cheers of friends and family is soft and far away. Gone is the congratulatory hugs and handshakes. No bouquet taken, and no moment on stage. What lingers is the tenderness of a last class, the end to life as a student, the shifting hope.
A spark that carries on, that burns for just a little bit longer. What remains is the loneliness of a good ending. Of the embers left at the end of an educational fire. Yes, something intangible is missing. Something in the smoke and fog of a physical celebration. Sure, the electricity of a shared space and time is gone.
Our isolated screens both separate and connects us. We alone we celebrate together. But that spark, that energy of a lingering end and the joy new beginning lives here in this moment.
Even in this moment of distant celebration, of stifled joy, let us rekindle the flame and let sweetness overcome. Hold onto the pride and triumph, that high high that comes with a burning success, Or capture this relief we feel at a hard-earned end, the lingering relief of earning a hard win, and finally embrace even the fear-tinged thrill that comes with new beginnings. Here at the end take a moment to remember ourselves in our first fiery school days Think about the light that guided us from a gasping stumbling semester, Remember our shifting journey of a strike, a funding cut, and finally a pandemic. Each one taking some of our number but not our fire. Let us celebrate the journey so filled with burning energy and heat. This is a parade of a wide flung graduating class synchronised together.
The space between us is less then the distances glass can throw its sparking light. Bedroom lights have replaced stage lights, our smiles are the same. Computer screens have supplanted stages, our whispered conversations by dm’s. Our applause is internal, and far away but not less joyous then when out loud and up-close. Here at the end take a moment to remember ourselves in the early optimistic first days Think about the light that guided us from a gasping first semester, Remember our shifting journey of a strike, a funding cut, and finally a pandemic. Each one taking some of our number but not our spirit.
A gift of any journey is a satisfying end. A fire, a spark, an ember that keeps its glow. Class of 2021, goodbye and congratulations from afar.
Thank you, Sara, for your incredibly powerful message. At this time, I'd like to introduce the Chair of Sheridan’s Board of Governors -- a leader deeply invested in students, learning and graduate outcomes – Ms. Daniela Hampton-Davies, to extend greetings from the Board and confer this year's credentials. Thank you Janet. We have been presented with the list of graduands who have successfully completed the curriculum of their chosen program as required by Sheridan’s Board of Governors, and recommended by the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology to be awarded their credentials in recognition of their academic accomplishment. I therefore confer their degrees, diplomas and certificates on them in absentia, with all the honours, privileges and responsibilities pertaining thereto.
On behalf of the Board of Governors, I want to extend our warmest congratulations to the Class of 2021. At this time, I'd like to hand the virtual floor over to Lindsay Engel, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, to deliver her remarks and introduce your valedictorian. On behalf of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, I'd like to congratulate each of you for completing your respective programs — an accomplishment that demonstrates your resilience, determination and dedication, especially in these challenging times. You arrived at Sheridan eager to pursue passions in computing, engineering, architectural technology, chemistry, environmental sciences or skilled trades. The knowledge and real-world problem-solving skills you've developed at Sheridan ensure you depart fully prepared to navigate a rapidly-changing world. It's an academic tradition for a representative of the graduating class to speak on behalf of their fellow graduates, looking back on your Sheridan experience and looking forward to the future journey on which you are about to embark. It is my pleasure to introduce
this year's valedictorian from the Faculty of Applied Science & Technology, Puneet Kaur Johal. Puneet completed her Chemical Engineering Technology program with an outstanding cumulative GPA of 3.84, while also completing two co-op work terms. She was a conscientious and dedicated student who always brought enthusiasm to the
classroom, while applying what she learned to her work in the laboratory. In addition to excelling in her studies, Puneet worked as a Peer Tutor and was a member of the Sheridan Chemistry Club, and she won the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology Silver Medal Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada (Toronto Section), and Wackerlin/Kogut Award of Excellence in Chemical Sciences. Puneet is highly spoken of by her professors and her peers. She served as an inspiration to her fellow students, a testament to her strong leadership abilities and positive attitude. She has been an excellent role model during her studies, and will make Sheridan proud as she begins her career in the chemical and engineering industry.
I'm honoured to turn the camera over to Puneet, your Faculty of Applied Science & Technology valedictorian! Hi everyone! Greetings and welcome to everyone joining us virtually today, Dean Engel, faculty, staff, family and friends. Wow! I breathe rarified air as I stand here today as the Valedictorian representing the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology. The road was long and the journey challenging, but here we are, after months of hard work, after more than a year of the pandemic and relentless struggles. CONGRATULATIONS everyone, we made it! I am beyond honoured and like everyone else, I have so many people to thank for this day. I would like to start off with the biggest
cheerleaders of my life, the ones who have always encouraged me in whatever I chose to do - my parents! I always say, I am not nearly as happy to receive the awards as I am to see their reactions. I would also like to thank my grandmother, who has been with me day and night, looking after me and bringing a smile to my face while my parents were overseas. It gives me the greatest joy to see them happy and proud. I love you all!
A heartfelt thank you to all my professors! There really isn’t enough I can say to describe how helpful, caring and amazing they have been, how much we have all learned from them and how much we cherish them. To share a personal example: I will always be grateful to one of my professors for helping me get a job at Sheridan, which was in fact my first job ever! That single opportunity helped me meet so many people, connect to other fellow students, and form some amazing relationships – all thanks to the kindness of that professor who believed in me and helped set me on a path. I worked alongside some extremely kind and excellent individuals at Sheridan who have taught me lessons of a lifetime. As much as I love hyperbole in literature, I’m not exaggerating when I say that moving to Canada was the best decision of my life and choosing Sheridan has been such a blessing. The amount of love and respect and recognition that I’ve received here is unmatched. Sheridan
is my second home and I love this place. I will be forever grateful and indebted. In all these years of studying and working and surviving, the most important thing I’ve learned is that the world can use a little more love and kindness. It’s a mad race and we all get so involved in earning degrees and making money and being successful that we forget to offer the world around us a few moments of our time, a little piece of us, a little help, a little love, a little kindness. Sweet little gestures and kind, good words are the most powerful. Make sure you keep flooding the world around you with love and affection. I would like to end with a shoutout to all
my classmates, friends and coworkers because I know the importance of having the right people around you and I’ve been really lucky in that matter. Everyone has been so amazing! And last, but not least, a big shoutout to all of my fellow international students who leave their loved ones behind, go through all the hardships alone and thrive in a totally new country! Congratulations once again to the Class of 2021! Thank you. Congratulations, Puneet, and thank you for your insightful and inspiring words! I eagerly look forward to hearing about your next success. At this time, I'd like to introduce our guest speaker, Akil McKenzie. Akil is a gifted director
and videographer who graduated from Sheridan's Bachelor of Film and Television program in 2018. As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Falling Motion, he's worked for various clients: creating music and corporate videos for companies including Nike and Lexus. In February, he also launched his new film, Historians, which brings together his powerful spoken-word poem that poignantly captures the experience of anti-Black racism. His film has gone viral on social media and was recently featured on CBC's The National. It also won Best Social Justice Film at the Vancouver Independent Film Festival. Thank you for joining us today, Akil! I want to start this-- I'm gonna start that over - ahhh --it's disgusting, I gonna do it again.
Hey, what's up y'all? It's your boy Akil McKenzie on Instagram - Akil.McKenzie if you're trying to follow me on Twitter and I am a 2018 graduate from the Honours of Bachelor of Film and Television. Right now, I currently am in a full-time job running my own media production company, which is called Falling Motion.
We shoot like commercials, music videos, weddings, films, all that stuff. I do when I went to school for. So the way I want to start this is by asking if you guys remember 2012.
You know, that's the year where there are all these kinds of predictions that the world was going to end and there were movies and songs all dropping about it and everyone was like, "It's the end of the world and spoiler --we got through it. Now, 2020 comes along and everyone's like, "Yo! The Mayans got it wrong, bro. We read it wrong. It's not supposed to be 2012. The world's going to end in 2020." And you know what, I'm not going to lie.
I thought it was pretty legit because the world looked like it was actually burning. A Global pandemic, political upheaval, human rights were just endangered left, right and centre. And yet, we made it through that year too. Now, here we are. And I'm speaking with the graduating class of 2021 - yo! That's that's nice. That's a nice year to see you graduate, like 2021 - mmm.
It's good. It sounds good. And you made it through that. You were a part of that. And now as you graduate, the world's just going to keep burning. It's going to keep happening.
But that's OK because as it's already been proven, that does not stop you from shooting for success. Like, look where you are now. Now when I say success, I don't mean that as career, not lifestyle.
I'm talking about happiness. True success is happiness -- for yourself and for those around you. And the way life works, a lot of people aren't given the opportunity to find that success.
Many people aren't in circumstances that encourages that happiness. And that's why it's kind of OK to see the world burn down because it gives us the chance to rebuild. And we are the generation that will take that fire and turn it into light. You finished your time at Sheridan in circumstances that you couldn't have dreamed of when you started. The Sheridan alumni community is so proud of you.
Congratulations, Bruins. And shoot for success. You finished your time at Sheridan in circumstances you never could have dreamed of when you started. The Sheridan Alumni community is proud of you.
Congratulations! Congratulations, Bruins and welcome to the alumni community. We’ll be here to cheer you on as you start your career and I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish next. Congratulations, Bruins! You’ve worked so hard. Now, it’s your turn to celebrate.
Savour every moment of this exciting time in your life. And welcome to Sheridan Alumni. Thank you so much, Akil – and all of our incredible alumni who continue to support Sheridan. It is now time for that special moment - the virtual presentation of degrees, diplomas and certificates which will be highlighted on each graduand’s slide. But before we
begin, I want to speak to the special designations and awards that some of you have received for outstanding academic achievement. Students who achieve a cumulative program grade point average of 3.6 to 3.89 will receive a light blue Honour Cord in recognition of their Honours status. Students who achieve a cumulative program grade point average of 3.9 to 4.0 will receive a double blue Honour
Cord in recognition of their High Honours status. The student in each program with the best academic record overall will be awarded the Board of Governors’ Silver Medal. Those graduates who have completed the Board Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving in addition to their degree program will also be bestowed the Creativity Honour Cord.
This Honour Cord is a symbol of academic achievement and the colour orange represents creativity. The stole that you will receive, along with your parchment, is a symbol of academic achievement that represents the realization of excellence in your chosen program and symbolizes your membership in the international community of scholars. Any special designations our graduands have received will appear on their individual slide, along with their personal reflection and picture. Our Indigenous graduates will also receive Sweetgrass. Sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines of First Nations communities, along with sage, cedar and tobacco. It is used by many Indigenous
communities across North America for ceremonial purposes, smudges, healing and talking circles. The smoke is believed to purify thoughts and physical spaces and to promote wellness. It is often braided with the three sections representing mind, body and soul or love, kindness and honesty. There is a further, institutional honour that we recognize at Convocation each year. The highest academic honour awarded by postsecondary institutions in Canada is the Governor General’s Medal. This medal recognizes the graduate who has achieved the highest academic record from among the members of the graduating class.
We would now like to recognize this year’s recipient, Sevhan Acar Hammudeh, who was awarded the medal earlier this year. Hello! Good morning! My name is Janet, and I'm Sheridan's President. Do you know why we are here today? Because my mom got the highest score in the whole college? That is awesome. You should be doing this announcement and award. That is excactly it. So, congratulations! We're so thrilled for you. The Governor General's award is a really
big deal. So congratulations, and thank you for choosing Sheridan. We've heard just amazing things from your faculty and we're so proud of you. Honestly, you carry with you Sheridan's legacy in all that you are going to do and I can't imagine how much work you've invested in this, particularly with two kids at home. So, congratulations! The last year, in particular, couldn't have been easy. Well done! Well done!
Congratulations! Congratulations, again, to our graduating class in the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology. We are so proud of you and the 195,000 alumni of this great institution. Please know that as soon as public health directives allow, we hope to offer you the opportunity to cross our stage and celebrate your accomplishment in person. Until then, on behalf of our entire learning community, I'd like to thank you for choosing Sheridan to advance your educational and life goals! Best of luck in the next step of your journey, and please stay in touch with our incredible Alumni team!