Inspiring stories of 2020

Stories of hope and generosity from Sheridan grads

This past year has brought its fair share of ups and downs.

But along with challenges, 2020 has presented opportunities for growth and gratitude. In the Sheridan Alumni office, we’re inspired every day by the tenacity and creativity of Sheridan grads.

As we close out 2020, we thought it would be worth revisiting some of the alumni stories we found most inspiring from this past year. These grads, and the rest of the Sheridan alumni community, make us excited to see what the next year will bring.

Overcoming adversity through art

Over the past year, alumni artists have brought communities together through their work, painting literal and metaphorical reflections of the world we’re living in.

For example, comic book brand Heroes of the World – founded by Joseph Bonsu (Art Fundamentals ’02) and Mark Williams (Computer Animation ’06) – showcase superheroes from different parts of the world working together. The duo have built stories that have seen the superheroes they’ve created getting involved with real-world issues, whether they be natural disasters, political turmoil, and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elsewhere, although artists Alexis Eke (Bachelor of Design ’20) and Mark Stoddart (Illustration ’92) graduated 20 years apart, both create art that inspires change, actively advocating for diversity in the art world.

Many Sheridan artists have inspired us with the obstacles they’ve overcome to pursue their passions. Despite being diagnosed with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) at birth and having her right arm amputated just below the elbow as she was finishing her third year at Sheridan, Deanna Molinaro (Creative and Visual Arts ’18) has overcome the odds to hone her craft as an artist, illustrating books and hand painting accessories.

Faces of the frontlines

When we think back on 2020, one of our biggest sources of hope was found in the stories of the frontline workers who served as the main line of defence in supporting the most vulnerable members of their communities.

Whether it be Practical Nursing grads working in our hospitals, Police Foundations alums delivering hot meals to people experiencing homelessness, or Personal Support Worker alums working in long-term care homes, these vital community members have spent the year working tirelessly to keep us safe.

Read more about the inspiring contributions made by members of our Sheridan alumni community in our #SheridanHelps publication.

Inspiring innovations

Innovation comes in many forms, and we’ve been inspired by our alums who’ve pivoted, and pulled off some pretty epic plans this year.

Virox Technologies, owned by President and Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business namesake Randy Pilon (Business ’82), was the first company to receive an investment from the Ontario Together Fund. The money enabled Virox to double its production of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) – a disinfectant that quickly kills the coronavirus.

Mechanical Engineering alums Hargurdeep Singh (Mechanical Engineering Design and Drafting Technology ’15) and Eyal Geiger (Mechanical Engineering Technology ’06), each used cutting-edge 3D printing tech to help create PPE for healthcare workers.

And at Wilcox Bodies Ltd, where David Dick (Law & Security ’94) is vice-president, the team shifted from ground support equipment for the airline industry to manufacture vehicles to clean and disinfect indoor and outdoor spaces, and medical products like mobile medical equipment tables, dirty linen carts, face shields and collapsible patient beds.

Storytelling strengths

While most of us hunkered down at home, many alums were at-the-ready with family-friendly entertainment to help get us through the long days.

The animated feature, The Willoughbys, directed by Kris Pearn (Animation ’90) came to Netflix in April, and Guru Studios – founded by Frank Falcone (Antimation ’90) – released Pikwik Pack – a series based around four magical animal delivery workers.

We were thrilled to celebrate the storytelling successes of Sound Editor Craig Henighan (Media Arts ’95) and Richie Mehta (Advanced TV & Film ’02). Henighan landed his third Emmy in September for his work on Netflix’s Stranger Things, while Mehta took home an International Emmy for Delhi Crime – a series he wrote and directed.

Throughout 2020, our alums released countless children’s book, television series, and movies, performed in virtual theatrical productions, and taught workshops for children of all ages. We were also fortunate enough to have several grads virtually share their storytelling skills with the alumni community this year at our Side Biz Shop ‘n Share Show and our first-ever Sheridan Alumni Family Fun Day.

 

Do you know an inspiring Sheridan alumni? Send us an email at alumni@sheridancollege.ca.

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