People of Georgian: Top 5 stories of 2022

Dec. 30, 2022

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives – and we’ve been sharing them all year long. Looking back on 2022, we have collected the most-viewed stories featuring Georgian employees, students and alumni. We can’t wait to share more of your inspiring stories in the new year.

People of Georgian: Top 5 of 2022

Meet Jarrod Otterman: Journey with reconciliation changes professor’s life  

Jarrod’s life changed after joining an anti-racism learning circle with a group of Georgian employees.

The Engineering and Environmental Technologies professor, along with the other employees, read the book Me and White Supremacy.

The book guides readers through different aspects of white supremacy and encourages daily, reflective journaling to unpack their own biases and histories. Learning circle participants discuss it all together over several weeks and then take anti-racist action in their lives.

“It literally could not have changed my life more, like a 90-degree left turn,” says Jarrod.

“Joining that learning circle changed my whole life – my outlook, my interaction with family and friends, and just how I move through the day – thanks to a lot of people here. I’m grateful for that.”

Read Jarrod’s story.

Meet Tonya Kennedy: Country singer goes from Lady Gaga tribute artist to nursing student

As a kid, Tonya wanted to be a singer or a nurse.

She was a country singer for 20 years and then a Lady Gaga tribute artist before her music career came to a halt.

A recent alumna of Georgian’s Practical Nursing program, Tonya is tackling a different career head on.

“It just sort of makes sense that I’m now fulfilling the other part of when I was the five-year-old kid saying, ‘When I grow up I want to be a singer or a nurse,’” she says. “Life has led me down this road to where I’m supposed to be.”

Read Tonya’s story.

Meet Krishi Ka Patel: International student makes the most of on-campus experience

Krishi always knew he would be a student leader, and he says he’s sad it’s coming to an end.

The soon-to-be Computer Programming graduate travelled from India to Barrie to be part of the Georgian community and quickly became active on campus, working in different areas to support other students.

“When I was a new student and attended the online academic orientation, there was a session about the Georgian College Students’ Association. At that moment, I decided in my mind that I was going be part of it one day,” he says.

“I’m very glad about my leadership journey at Georgian.”

Read Krishi’s story.

Meet Nandi Young: Peer mentor embraces new role focused on Black student experience

Nandi was not just a student, but also the first Black Student Engagement and Outreach Assistant at Georgian.

As part of the college’s Centre of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, she worked on creating a solid foundation for Black students.

“I want Black students to know that they don’t have to go back to Toronto for an education where they feel they’re among people they can identify with,” says the Social Service Worker graduate.

“They can be confident in choosing Georgian because they can see and hear everything the college is doing to foster a sense of community, belonging and inclusion.”

Read Nandi’s story.

Meet Lisa Lavigne: ‘Bubbles’ makes full-circle college journey

Lisa will answer to “Lisa” or to “Bubbles.”

As a Beaver Scouts leader with the bubbly nickname, who also works as an Academic Program Assistant at Georgian’s Owen Sound Campus, she has worked with little kids who she sees later when they start college.

“This one individual I remember vividly: very quiet, very shy, in his own little shell. To see him now grown – in postsecondary education and confident – it fills me up with joy inside and makes my day even brighter,” she says.

“To see these kids today all grown up is so fulfilling.”

Read Lisa’s story.

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