March 19, 2020: Why you should support International Work. The COMMIT Model”, Doug Thompson will introduce and John Wright, will thank our speakers.
Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites Doug Thompson, Paul Siberry, Kevin Silver, Dave Skinner and Alex Smith, to join him at the head table.
Today at Rotary:   Our program today was presented by three representatives of the Stratford Campus of the University of Waterloo.   Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, Associate Director of Undergrad Studies, Noah Pratt, 3rd year student and recipient of the Rotary Club of Stratford Scholarship, and Kim Bardwell, Director of Advancement at the University of Waterloo were all introduced by Jim Young.
Speakers from the University of Waterloo Kim Bardwell, Director of Advancement, Noah Pratt 3rd year student and this year's recipient of Rotary Scholarship, Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach Associate Director Undergrad Studies introduced by Rotarian Jim Young.
Jim reminded us that the scholarship was made possible through the proceeds from the Club’s 90th Anniversary Dinner, held in 2012.  It goes to a 3rd or 4th year student in the Global Business and Digital Arts program, from Perth County if possible.  The funds raised for the scholarship were enough for 10 years, with more fund raising required if the Club wishes to extend it.
Sebastian told us about enjoying family outings to the Theatre as a child, which made it an easy decision to accept the position at the Stratford Campus when it was offered to him. 
The program offered in Stratford is a unique one in that it combines three disciplines – web design, digital creativity and business.  The first cohort of 60 students arrived in 2013 and today there are over 700 students.  Their first year is mainly offered at the Waterloo campus but 2nd,3rd and 4th year courses are offered exclusively in Stratford.  There is also a graduate program offered in Stratford as well.  Only about 100 students live in Stratford because of the scarcity of accommodations and because of the high cost.  It is more economical to live in Waterloo.
The University has plans to move to a completely co-op program in the fall of 2021.  This will give the students 4 work terms over the course of the program, an opportunity for networking and increases the chances of finding employment after graduation.  Longer range plans include expanding the graduate program to include a PHD in design in a few years.  There are no plans to put up another building, although use of the current one is being maximized with night courses now being offered.  The Bradshaw Building has classrooms in the basement and student accommodation on the upper floors.  This is the result of a partnership between the university, the property owner and the developer.  More of those kinds of partnerships would be of interest to the University.   UW is hoping to find more employers in Stratford who would be interested in taking on students for their work terms.
Noah Pratt, scholarship recipient, expressed his thanks to the Club for their support which has greatly relieved the financial stress that many students experience.  Noah is from Exeter and currently lives in St. Marys.  He is very involved in student activities and governance.  He is very enthusiastic about the integration of three disciplines in the program.  He feels he is being taught how to think, not told what to think.  He says there is a strong connection between the staff and the students at the campus, a very real sense of community that isn’t available in a larger setting.  Upon graduation, he hopes to apply his skills within the community to foster connections between people.  He is about to go to the University of Singapore for an internship there.
Kim Bardwell talked about the impact that scholarships have for students when they are applying for university.  The program at Stratford has a higher tuition than a regular Bachelor of Arts program.  Fifty percent of the students take advantage of foreign studies for a semester which adds additional costs to their education.  However, within 6 months of graduation 96% of the students have employment in their field of study.  The Stratford program was the first in Canada but there are other universities now with similar offerings.  It is important to the University of Waterloo to remain competitive.  The University is very appreciative of the scholarship provided by the Rotary Club of Stratford.
Kim extended an invitation to all to attend a student showcase at the Stratford Campus of the University of Waterloo on March 26 from 7-10 p.m.  Student projects will be on display gallery-style.  The University is quite proud of its students who have been competing successfully in various international competitions and design challenges.  If you are able to attend, you will be impressed with the quality of the work that will be on display.
Our speakers were thanked by Bert Clifford.
Scribe:  Wendy Anderson
Rotary Announcements
Covid-19 Health Concerns - With significant events upcoming including the Home Show and the Rural Urban Dinner, the Board will be considering how best to proceed at its meeting on Monday March 16th.   More to come later.
Bulletin Editor – The Club is looking for a new bulletin editor as Nick Aroutzidis has recently resigned from the club.  If you are interested, please be in touch with President Brent or Secretary Charlene as soon as possible.
All committees should add a review of their information on the Club website to their next agenda.  Much work has gone into the new website and everyone benefits when the information is current and accurate.
Rotary Scholarship recipients for the last 7 years
Guests: No visitors
Foundation Draw: The prize, a gift card from Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop, was generously donated by Colleen Devine and won by Jim Snider.
Make-ups: No report
Please, if you do a make-up, please send me an email at
March’s Attendance Committee: John Wright (I/C), Jim Scott, Andrea Page, Chris Thomson, Al Wakelin, Jo-Anne Hood Tidman, Doug Brown, Kel Pero, Sarah Hamza.