2008 Alumni of Distinction


Gary Heagle Electronics and Computer Technician, 1978; and Electronics and Computer Technologist, 1980     Since graduating in 1980, Gary Heagle continues to advise and champion the college’s programs and students and has been instrumental in pursuing provincial and national accreditation for its engineering programs as a program advisory committee member and an Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) college liaison. For 20 years, Heagle has been employed with Bell Canada as a customer systems engineer where he has been involved in the design and implementation of domestic and global networks; co-presented the design of the highway 407 system; and spearheaded the consultation, design and sale of Internet connectivity for the Mosport Edenfest Rock Concert. Heagle is a licensed amateur radio operator and a member of the Repeater Technical Committee, providing support and maintenance to four VHF/UHF repeaters in the Durham Region. Since 2004, he has served as chairman of Hamfest, a radio flea market operated by the Oshawa and Pickering Amateur Radio Clubs.

Kristi Honey Business – Accounting, 2004     As a student in the Business program, Kristi Honey graduated on the Dean’s List and President’s Honour Roll while working full-time, and completing her studies part-time and via correspondence courses. While Honey was completing her Bachelor of Management (Business) from Athabasca University in 2005 and her Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Canada West in 2007, she established Lakeridge Consulting Services, now called Summit Group Software, where she serves as president. She is also president of Dynamic Trainers Incorporated, another company she established. In addition she is the only person worldwide to be certified by Microsoft Corporation to deliver the Microsoft Dynamic Training Skills classes. The mother of two small children, Honey is an active director on Brooklin Day Nursery’s board of directors, responsible for financial decision-making, employee relations and health and safety issues.

Robert Malcolmson Business Administration/Accounting, 1970     A student during Durham College’s first year of operation, Robert Malcolmson graduated from the three-year Business Administration/Accounting program in 1970. After working at Thomson Newspaper Corporation for 20 years, finishing as publisher and general manager at the Halton Hills Herald, Malcolmson has spent the last 10 years as chief executive officer and general manager with the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, where he has increased membership by 60 per cent, initiated and produced Oshawa’s first Visitors Guide and re-designed the monthly board publication with a distribution of more than 5,400 to local businesses. Whether hiring students for field placements, contract positions or creating student bursaries, Malcolmson has supported Durham College throughout his career. He is an active member of the community, holding a life membership with the Kinsmen Club of Georgetown and has been involved with groups including the United Way, Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Patricia O'Connor Nursing, 1976     Upon graduating from the Nursing program in 1976, Patricia O’Connor completed the Emergency Medical Care Attendant certification. She was a member of the first group of paramedics trained in Ontario becoming the province’s first female paramedic in 1978. Later that year, she completed her flight paramedic training and became part of the first air ambulance team in Ontario. After joining the St. John Ambulance para-medical program servicing remote Canadian Artic communities, O’Connor was involved in a plane crash while en route to Pelly Bay, Nunavut in 1989. Waiting to be rescued, she performed her nursing duties under extreme duress and received a commendation for her actions. Recognizing the need for additional health-care support, she established her own air ambulance company, Medflight, in 1995. O’Connor has spent more than 20 years flying to remote villages in Canada’s north, providing care to patients or stabilizing them in preparation for flights to receive treatment in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. During this time she has continued her training in various aspects of nursing; provided lectures across Canada; and became a founding member of the Canadian Association of Aero-medical Transport,a national organization for the development and promotion of aero-medical services in Canada. O’Connor was recognized for her outstanding career achievements when she was named to the Order of Canada on December 28, 2007 and received the prestigious Premier’s Award in 2009.

Stephen Reynolds Sports and Entertainment Administration, 1974     A graduate from Sports and Entertainment Administration, Stephen Reynolds has worked at the City of Pickering, providing exceptional recreation programs for the city’s residents for more than 30 years. As division head for the Culture and Recreation department, he is responsible for the strategic development of recreational and cultural opportunities for the community; maintenance of facilities; and day-to-day leadership and administration for the department. Reynolds has remained involved with Durham College since graduating, offering field placement opportunities to students and as a former member of the Sports Administration Advisory Committee. An active community member, he has been involved in numerous committees including the Society of Directors of Municipal Recreation, Big Brothers of Oshawa/Whitby and St. Mark’s United Church.

Janice Tanton Graphic Design, 1985     Since graduating from the Graphic Design program in 1985, Janice Tanton has sold her artwork in more than 800 galleries throughout Canada and the United States. She has also licensed her images to The Bradford Exchange for collector plates and to clothing stores including Northern Reflections and Northern Elements. Currently the program manager for Aboriginal Leadership and Management at The Banff Centre, she was responsible for designing a teepee for the centre’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and was recognized at a ceremony held by a local native elder. Tanton and her family were adopted by the community and Tanton was given a Blackfoot name and accepted as the elder’s daughter. Since 1989, Tanton has also managed her own art publishing and design company. She was invited to attend the first-ever 1999 Canada/USA Business Women’s Trade Summit as a delegate and received a nomination for the Rotman Women Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. Tanton is an active volunteer in her community and through the college, providing mentorship and instruction to Canadian artists and youth.