2007 Alumni of Distinction


Gary Christian Maintenance Techniques – Industrial, 1986 and Industrial Mechanic Millwright, 1990     Gary Christian has been a great addition to the maintenance field, currently working for the Regional Municipality of Durham as chief maintenance operator, water, where he is responsible for the direction of a group of maintenance operators; hands-on delivery of day-to-day operations; and maintenance of various facilities. Christian, a member of the Durham College Water Quality Technician program advisory committee, contributes practical training ideas and provides program faculty with interactive learning strategies. In addition, he assists seniors in the community with grass-cutting and home maintenance.

John Edward Draper Journalism, 2005     John Edward Draper’s sense of entrepreneurship is demonstrated through his business, Together We Rock! Since its creation in 2006, the company has promoted leadership and learning through a series of presentations and a school leadership program designed to promote communities that are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. He volunteers extensively within Durham Region, working with organizations such as Simcoe Hall Settlement House, the Canadian Institute of Child Health, Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School, the WhyNot Marathon for the Paralympics, the Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre and the Catholic Youth Organization. He visits campus often and continues to break down barriers in education and the working environment for people with disabilities.

Gail Elliott Public Administration, 1970     Gail Elliott has spent her entire educational career with the Durham District School Board. Elliott became principal of Lord Durham Public School in 1986, spearheading programs such as Lion’s Quest, Rainbows and Peer Youth Negotiation. She was also responsible for the special education program priorities and processes in response to ministry initiatives and board policies; the co-ordination of services for students with special needs; and the co-ordination of the board’s special-education funding process requirements. She commits herself to her community by participating in the annual Terry Fox Run, Parents as Partners conferences, anti-bullying initiatives, special-education conferences, the Council for Exceptional Children, events in support of violence-free schools and her church’s food bank.

Carolyn Luscombe Entertainment Administration, 1995     Carolyn Luscombe has received more than 25 international nominations for her work with Eclectic Events International (EEI). As founder and president of EEI, she relies on her Durham College education to help her provide a wide range of event services to the corporate market. She has also taught Event and Meeting Management at George Brown College for 10 years. Luscombe is an active member of the International Special Events Society (ISES) in Toronto, Ontario and has held several board and committee positions. She was a speaker at the ISES Eventworld Conference in 2006 and a committee member for ISES Eventworld Education 2007. Luscombe has been honoured with prestigious Canadian Event Industry Awards for Spirit of the Industry and Producer of the Year.

Connie Wood Registered Nursing, 1976     Connie Wood has spent 31 years of working in a variety of health-care settings, providing quality long-term care, acute care and community nursing services. Currently, she is a healthy living co-ordinator with the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team, responsible for program development, educational sessions and promotion of treatment, education and counselling. Wood’s community involvement includes serving the Haliburton Friends Network board for Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, volunteering for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services and participating in the Access Indicators Panel for the Ontario Hospital Association report card.