Meet 2 alumni volunteers who make an impact at U of T Engineering

Alumnus David Cheung (CivE 1T1 + PEY) chats with undergraduate students during an Alumni Mentorship Program event. (Photo: Nick Kachibaia)

Alumnus David Cheung (CivE 1T1 + PEY) chats with undergraduate students during an Alumni Mentorship Program event. (Photo: Nick Kachibaia)

This story originally appeared on U of T Engineering Alumni.
Mentoring a student startup, joining a departmental advisory board or becoming a global ambassador for U of T Engineering are just a few ways alumni are volunteering their time and expertise to Skule™.

“Volunteering is my investment in what I view as one of the most important institutions on the planet,” said Paul Malozewski (ElecE 8T3), vice-chair of the University of Toronto College of Electors.

Alumni volunteers also benefit in a number of ways. Volunteering provides an opportunity to expand their professional networks, gain access to world-leading researchers and laboratories, and make a difference in the lives of students.

In celebration of National Volunteering Week, we shine a spotlight on seven alumni who have made remarkable volunteer contributions to their alma mater.

David Cheung (CivE 1T1 + PEY) | Display Planning Strategy and Team Leader, Procter & Gamble

David Cheung thumbnail image

Volunteerism:

  • Chair, Alumni Mentorship Program

Why is volunteering at your alma mater important to you?

Mentorship and the chance to learn from those with experience, wisdom and knowledge are invaluable. I wish I had reached out to more alumni and older students for advice while I was in school. Through the Alumni Mentorship Program, I hope mentorship grows within the Skule™ community such that it becomes the norm for students as early as first year to understand the power of mentorship and start leveraging it to further succeed in their educational, career and life goals.

Describe one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences you’ve had at U of T Engineering?

Being chair of the Alumni Mentorship Program is very rewarding. It is always interesting to chat with students who are eager to learn and grow. And it’s especially a fun conversation when the topic relates to issues that I experienced when I was in school.

What advice do you have for alumni who are thinking about volunteering at U of T Engineering?

For anyone looking to play a role in improving the Skule™ community and experience, I would encourage them to reach out and suggest opportunities they would like to work on. U of T Engineering is always looking for volunteers and expertise.

Ross Pitman (GeoE 7T4) | Former Senior Geological Advisor, Apache Canada Ltd. and Kitimat Upstream

Ross Pitman thumbnail image

Volunteerism:

  • Chair, Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) – Calgary Chapter
  • Member, Institute for Sustainable Energy Industry Advisory Board
  • Guest lecturer

Why is volunteering at your alma mater important to you?

It is important to me because I feel that I have benefited greatly from the education that I received at Skule™. I don’t think that I would have embarked on the career I have had I not received a U of T Engineering education. As a result, I feel that I can make a small contribution back to the Faculty by sharing with the students some of things that I have learned along the way, and some things I was able to do because of the foundations set at Skule™.

I struggled making the adjustment from high school to university. It was a friend of my dad’s, Skule™ alumnus Peter Sidorchuk(EngPhys 5T9), who set me straight on how things work when studying engineering. When it came time to start a career, it was another friend of my dad’s, Skule™ alumnus James Pierdon (MinE 3T1), who told me the way it is — in no uncertain terms, I might add. I often think of what these gentlemen did for me when a student or young alumnus approaches me for advice.

Describe one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences you’ve had at U of T Engineering?

I have found that there isn’t a most-rewarding volunteer experience, there are myriad of them. They include helping to craft better resumes that will tell the reader the story about the individual, helping to prepare for job interviews, general career advice, helping young alumni to establish personal networks beyond social media, and work introductions. It’s all great!

What advice do you have for alumni who are thinking about volunteering at U of T Engineering?

I strongly encourage young alumni to keep in touch with the Faculty and its alumni. One never knows what or who might come your way and one never knows what doors might be open to you if you do. I might add that it can be very energizing to interact with the young students and/or alumni. They can keep you on your toes as they are full of energy and ideas and many of them are scary bright.


Read about five more alumni from other departments that are giving back to U of T Engineering