Class Notes – Fall 2019


David (Dave) Thompson, DVM ’42, reports he is “happy and healthy,” having celebrated his 100th birthday last year. He enjoys reading OVC’s Crest news and keeping updated with other alumni.


John (Ross) Knechtel, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67, is an active member of the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association and an advocate for mental health support in Guelph.


Lawrence Cornett, BA ’70, retired to Prince Edward County after a career in education paralleled with journalism. He is a volunteer with the Regent Theatre, Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Association and the new Probus ( as photographer.

David Whittington and Cora Whittington, B.Sc. ’72 and B.A.Sc. ’74, respectively, were inducted into the Peterborough Agricultural Wall of Fame in Peterborough, Ont.


Lynda Macdonald, BLA ’80, was inducted into the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (Don Wuori, BLA ’78, was also inducted posthumously). Macdonald is the director of community planning for the City of Toronto, Toronto/East York District.

Anne Marie Taylor, DVM ’81, recently retired and returned home in Nova Scotia, having fun exploring the vibrant local food and wine scene. Travelled this winter in Cambodia and Vietnam, including an unplanned and unexpected overlap with the 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit.

David Calder, BA ’82, has been named city manager for Cambridge, Ont. Previously, he was chief administrator for the Town of Tillsonburg, Ont.

David Giuliano
David Giuliano

David Giuliano, BA ’82, M.Sc. ’94, is a pastor and author. His latest book is It’s Good to Be Here: Stories We Tell About Cancer. He lives on the north shore of Lake Superior in Marathon, Ont., and was the 39th moderator of the United Church of Canada.

Leonard (Mike) Wallace, BA ’87, is the new executive director of the London Development Institute in London, Ont.

Patrick Dowds, BA ’88, retired following a 30-year teaching career and now plays guitar and sings for a local band called Fire When Ready, which plays gigs all over the GTA.


Kelly Thornton, BA ’90, served as the artistic director of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto for 18 years and is now the first woman to serve as artistic director of the 60-year-old Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Darryl Huard, B.Sc. ’91, has been appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to work with Venezuelan refugees and migrants in northern Brazil.

Tania Davies, B.A.Sc. ’97, has been accepted into the vice-principal pool at the London District Catholic School Board. She lives in London, Ont., with her husband, two children and two dogs.

Tara Holland, B.Sc. ’97, M.Sc. ’05 and PhD ’14, is an environmental science professor at Simon Fraser University who overcame great adversity, including battling breast cancer, to win the 2019 Squamish 50K trail race.

Darren Long, BA ’98, is vice-president of sales with Guildhall Wealth Management. He and his wife, Megan, like attending alumni events and sharing U of G memories with their three children, the oldest of whom they hope chooses to attend U of G to study science or engineering.


Justin Peter
Justin Peter

Justin Peter, B.Sc. ’00, is a partner in Worldwide Quest, a Toronto-based experiential and educational travel company ( He worked for several years as senior naturalist at Ontario’s world-renowned Algonquin Park, and was the lead howler for Algonquin’s celebrated public wolf howls. He has personally led tours to such places as India, Peru, Namibia, the Galapagos Islands and the shores of Hudson Bay.

Rebecca Sutherns

Rebecca Sutherns, PhD ’01, recently published her first book, Nimble: Off Script But Still on Track, a coaching guide for responsive facilitation.

Laura Piersol
Laura Piersol

Laura Piersol, B.Sc. ’02, loves wondering and wandering within the Fraser River watershed. Sharing her love for the natural world is her main passion in life; she is an ecological educator and has worked throughout Canada and the U.S., most recently coordinating a community mapping project in Lethbridge, Alta. She has also recently worked for Stanley Park Ecology Society, Metro Vancouver Parks and the BC Sustainable Energy Association. Currently, she is pursuing PhD studies at Simon Fraser University.

Morgan Moore, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’04, has been appointed to the Farm Products Council of Canada by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Climate change scientist Tristan Pearce, MA ’06, PhD ’11, is a new Canada Research Chair and associate professor of cumulative impacts of environmental change at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Jeffrey Malins, B.Sc. ’07, is a psychology professor at Georgia State University, where he studies the brain networks that support school-age children. “I was first introduced to the field by taking a psycholinguistics course during my undergraduate degree at Guelph, and I was so inspired that I soon decided to dedicate my career to this exciting research area. I am very grateful for my experiences at Guelph!”


Britt Benn
Britt Benn

Rugby player Britt Benn, BA ’14, has qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She was a member of the bronze medal-winning 2016 Canadian Olympic team.

Brandon Raco, BA ’15, was selected among this year’s Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media company. A U of G environmental governance grad, he is sustainability manager in Physical Resources on campus.

Kafui Hotsonyame
Kafui Hotsonyame

Kafui Hotsonyame, B.Comm. ’15, is an internationally ranked competitive powerlifter. He recently finished seventh overall at the International Powerlifting Federation’s World Men’s Classic Championships in Helsinborg, Sweden.

Ken Peroff, BA ’16, has been named an assistant coach of the Guelph Storm hockey team. As a U of G student, he played four seasons with the Gryphon hockey team.

Chase Tang
Chase Tang

Chase Tang, B.Comm. ’16, has a lead role in the new Netflix series Jupiter Rising. “I owe all of this to everything I learned in the years I was at the University of Guelph and to all the amazing professors I had,” says Chase Tang, B.Comm. ’16. Tang recently landed a lead role in an upcoming Netflix series, Jupiter Rising. “I want to inspire the current U of G students to understand how amazing a time we live in now. 2019 is fully of endless opportunities and anything and everything you can dream of – GUARANTEED – is possible if you are willing to completely lose yourself in it and the process in going after it.” Tang invites students and alumni to follow him on Instagram, @chasetangofficial. Read more about his story at

Moulika Sharma
Moulika Sharma

Moulika Sharma, B.Eng. ’17, is a project coordinator and health and safety captain for GHD Ltd. in Toronto and a language instructor for newcomers to Canada, and was a national finalist in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, held this past August. “U of G helped me develop skills that I continuously hone and utilize in both personal and professional development. I am proud to say I am a U of G engineering alumna and will forever be a Gryphon.”