2018 Senecans of Distinction Award Recipients
Steve Linthwaite graduated from Seneca in 1985. He is Chair of the Bachelor of Aviation Technology (BAT) Program Advisory Committee and President of the Seneca Alumni Council. As Vice-President Flight Operations at Jazz Aviation LP, Linthwaite led the development of the groundbreaking Jazz/Seneca direct-entry cadet and flight instructor pathway programs. He was instrumental in establishing two scholarship programs for BAT students, awarding as many as six students annually. Through Jazz, he has provided annual sponsorship for the United Way golf tournament and Campaign for Students.
Christine McGregor is the founding Co-chair of the Aboriginal Education Council at Seneca. The council has been instrumental in supporting Seneca in enhancing and developing structures, policies and programs for Indigenous students and the community. The Floral Design graduate dedicated six years to the council and ended her term in spring 2017. A community elder, Christine is an expert in historical Indigenous art forms and works as a consultant and teacher in Indigenous arts and crafts, such as moccasin making and leather beadwork.
Josephine Muhaya, a graduate of the Honours Bachelor of Child Development program, has enriched many lives, both at Seneca and internationally. In her role as professor and program co-ordinator in the School of Early Childhood Education, she mentors students who have not completed high school and need to be reacquainted with academics to help them successfully pursue a career in early childhood education. Josephine is also a director of a child care centre in Kampala, Uganda. Every year, she welcomes Seneca ECE students to undertake international field placements and gain valuable experience in Ugandan early years practice. Josephine has also worked with faculty in the School of ECE on a research project studying the professional development of early childhood teachers in Uganda and Rwanda and has led collaborations with other educational institutions.
Marvin Southcott is the owner of some notable Seneca “firsts,” including first student recipient of the Seneca Cup –
the highest student honour available. As an Electronics Engineering Technology graduate and as Seneca’s first student council president in the late 60s, Marv laid the foundation of fellowship amongst students and bridged communications with the community during challenging times. While he obtained the education he needed to launch a successful career building audio tuners and receivers for the broadcast industry, Marv was also instrumental in building Seneca’s identity.
Colleen Fleming served on Seneca’s Board of Governors from 2010 to 2016 and served as Chair for two years. During her time as Chair, Colleen spearheaded a monetary fundraising goal for the Board’s contributions to the Board of Governors Entrance Scholarship, which was surpassed by 50 per cent with all Governors participating. Colleen has senior executive experience in two sectors. She is an active volunteer and has been a leader and adviser for many organizations during her career. Colleen’s expertise and support has been invaluable to Seneca.
Donald Johnston has made significant contributions to the School of Accounting and Financial Services as a dedicated member of two program advisory committees. As a recognized Fintech expert, Don has been instrumental in supporting professors to expand their professional networks and in helping the School to connect with niche expertise. He has supported the School in the development and delivery of cutting-edge training to multiple international delegations during the past three years in areas such as bitcoin and cybersecurity. Don has provided support to current students and future business owners by introducing young entrepreneurs to programs that provide legal support to help them set up their businesses. Don’s graciousness and generosity has also given the School access to event space in the downtown core for alumni reunions and meetings.
Joan Williams was a member of the School of Aviation Program Advisory Committee. She was chief flight instructor of Toronto Airways Limited, where Seneca students completed their private pilot flight training until it was brought in house in 2001. As chair of the board and vice-president of quality at Ottawa Aviation Services (OAS), Williams developed a pathway program for BAT graduates to earn a flight instructor rating free of charge after which they are hired to work for OAS. She was a good friend and mentor to many Seneca aviation faculty. She passed away on July 3, 2017.
Russell Bannock joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 as a pilot officer. He flew night missions over Europe in a de Havilland Mosquito, one of the few aircraft that was able to intercept German buzz bombs. Following the war, Bannock went on to become president and CEO for de Havilland Aircraft. As a long-time supporter of the School of Aviation, he sponsors an award for a graduating student who demonstrates academic achievement, leadership, involvement in student life and participates in varsity athletics. He received an honorary degree from Seneca in 2017.
Royal Bank of Canada
RBC has been a generous donor to Seneca over the past 15 years, most recently making a significant gift to create the RBC Mental Health Symposium, which takes place every two years and provides a full day of programming for administrators, academics and practitioners who have an interest in mental health. RBC is a significant supporter of postsecondary education in Canada and recently re-confirmed their commitment to the sector with the Future Launch program – an investment in youth, education and employment.
Triumph Empress Service Canada Inc.
Triumph Express Service Canada have been generous donors to Seneca students since 2012. Their donations fund The Triumph Express International Transportation and Customs Award, which supports first year students in the International Transportation and Customs program. Triumph Express is an award-winning freight forwarder and customs broker. Founded in 1988 by Harvey Rei, Triumph started by providing services exclusively from Asia, and is now operating globally. Harvey’s children, Eddie and Helen, joined Triumph soon after graduating from university and are keen philanthropists.