2018-19 Featured Alumni
A portrait and biographical note for a few Champlain Alumni are put up in Champlain’s Alumni Hall each year. The featured alumni are those who be prominent in college life during that year. This can mean participating in a college event, speaking at one of our college dinners or being a part of a program or activity. If you are a Champlain Alumni who would like to get involved, we would be excited to have your participation. Please contact the College Principal, Tina Fridgen.
Jonathan Semugaza ‘13
Bonjour Champlain! My name is Jonathan Semugaza and I graduated from Trent University 2017 with a joint Cultural studies and Psychology. Since that time, I have been working as an Enrolment Advisor and sharing my experiences with other potential Trent students.
Reflecting back on my life I am always remind that life can change your trajectory like a strong gust of wind. Coming to Canada as an immigrant I was able to experience this first hand. It was not until those very same winds ceased and I was able to dock on the beaches of Champlain, which truly has and continues to be my home. The college and its members allowed me to come as I was and share my truths and experiences. The bonds and friendships that I was able to form enabled me to push grow on an academic and personal level. It was through this support that I was able to share my ideas and talents as Orientation staff and Co-Chair, helping other incoming first year students and my staff find their voice as they navigate the world around them.
One of the most important characteristics of the college is community. Allowing students to foster an identity of their own and contribute ideas for a greater purpose is how true growth occurs. Sitting on the council will help me give that voice to students. By providing an opportunity for students to experience the rich history and tradition while providing a space to create their own tradition is the very foundation that Champlain stood upon not only for myself and future generations as the mark of the college continues to make a global impact.
Christina von Bulow ‘13
Christina was the Alumni speaker at our High Table Dinner 2017.
Hi Champlain! My name is Christina von Bulow and I graduated from Trent in 2017 with a BSc. Geography. Since that time I have been a research assistant in the Trent Environmental Wind Tunnel and am currently an Enrolment Advisor for Trent, which means I am actively recruiting Champlain, I mean Trent Students every single day. When I first came to Champlain I had no idea what an impact this college would have on my life. The connections you make with your peers can launch you take part in activities you had no idea existed before Champlain. The traditions and college weekends made me feel a part of a Chamily from day one. Not only did I meet some of my best friends here but I learned who I was and the type of impact I could have on others. By getting involved as an Orientation Week Leader and Co-Chair I was able to share my love for this College and inspire others like they inspired me. I really challenge all of you to get involved and try something new, because trust me it can truly change your life. You are all so lucky to be a part of the best college at Trent, so enjoy it, it goes by fast! I hope to continue my involvement in the college now as a very proud and recent Champlain Alumni. I hope to see you all around at College Weekends and have the opportunity to meet you all, so if you see me around come say hi! Because I’m Champlain Till I Die.
Zach Baranowski ’13
Zach joined us on the 2017 College Canoe Trip in the Kawartha Highlands over the October reading break as our photographer.
Zach Baranowski is a freelance photographer based in the Greater Toronto Area, he graduated in 2017 with a degree in Geography at Trent University. He is actively working to better the connection between humans and the natural world, by promoting an active lifestyle through exploration and adventure. Zach combines his passion for photography with his love of the outdoors to work with clients and on projects that have a focus on travel, adventure, the environment, and promoting the preservation of natural areas.
Zach has had a passion for photography ever since a very young age, but it wasn’t until his time at Trent that he really started to combine his talents in photography with his love of the natural world. Surrounded by his peers both in Champlain College and in his courses, with a similar dedication for the environment, he developed a new direction for his work. The friendships and connections that Zach created while he was at Trent are still very important to him as he continues life outside of the university, and he tries to stay involved with his college, program, and the university whenever possible.
He uses a creative approach for each project to convey stories and invoke emotion, through a strong use of visual tools including compelling composition, rich colour, and thought provoking imagery. His goal is to capture moments and create stories, with the hope of inspiring others to appreciate the outdoors and create their own adventure, no matter how big or small. Zach also has experience in a wide range of photography including sports, commercial photography, photojournalism, portraits, and weddings.
Spencer Anderson ‘10
Spencer was the Alumni Speaker for our High Table dinner in 2016 and the MC in 2017.
My name is Spencer Anderson and I am a proud graduate from the class of 2010, earning my Honours B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Since my time at Trent I have worked as an Enrolment Advisor for Trent University, giving hundreds of presentations to prospective high school students throughout Ontario. I have also worked briefly in the healthcare field as a research assistant where I looked at the effectiveness of various cancer screening programs. Currently I am completing my M.Sc. in Environmental Life Science at Trent University where I am utilizing a variety of genetic techniques to explore the health and fitness of White-Tailed Deer.
Champlain College means everything to me. From my first year on campus to present it has been my home and place where I have truly been allowed to flourish as an individual. Through my involvement as TCSA Commissioner for Champlain College Cabinet, Orientation Leader, and Captain of the Angry Lumberjacks I was given the opportunity to grow as a leader and develop the skills that have aided me the most in my professional career – teamwork, communication, and confidence.
It is important to me now to continue to be involved as an alumnus to ensure that current generations of Champlainers have the same opportunities I did to partake in our many traditions, and be part of a very loud and proud community. The feeling of family and welcoming is a cornerstone of Champlain College and is something I will continue to promote until I die.
Bob Taylor-Vaisey ‘66
Bob is often an Alumni representative at our college dinners and events and is involved in college life in many capacities.
I was in the very first year of Champlain (1966), a double major in history and languages, returning after my BA for a Masters specializing in mediaeval law. Trent in general and Champlain in particular gave me the foundation for a 30 year career with Imperial Oil, as well as a fervent interest in volunteerism.
My four years at Champlain were essential to my growth as a student and a person. It was truly a community of scholars where we studied, ate and socialized together and built life long friendships.
After Trent, I went to another university and another college, but Champlain will always be my college and I look forward to being involved as it continues to grow, as will the students that call themselves Champlainers.