London, Ontario - On Thursday, February 8, Fanshawe will host the 26th Distinguished
Alumni Awards, celebrating significant contributions of six graduates and an honorary
alumnus who have established a legacy of excellence in their workplaces and communities.
What: Hall of Fame Dinner
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. (reception), 6 p.m. (remarks)
Location: James A. Colvin Atrium, located in B building (please see
campus map for building location)
The 2017 recipients are:
- Peter Cassidy (Architectural Technology '79), Principal, John Paul II Secondary
- Elizabeth Lorusso (Radiography '81), MRI program coordinator, Fanshawe College;
MRI Technologist, London Health Sciences Centre/St. Joseph's Health Care (Health
- Marcy Mussari (Interior Decorating '14), Owner & Entrepreneur, Marcy Mussari
Interior Decorating; Winner, The Search for Canada's Next Designer (Recent Graduate)
- Nick Paparella (Broadcast Journalism '81), Reporter, CTV News London (Community
- Peter Rocca (Computer Programmer '94), CEO, Partner & Founder, Start.ca,
- Steven Sabados (Fine Art '86), Host, The Goods on CBC; Designer, S&C Home
Collection (Creative Arts and Design)
- Peter van der Westen, President, Vanderwesten and Rutherford Associates Inc.
Full biographies of Fanshawe's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are available
Fanshawe is one of Ontario's largest colleges. Its campuses, located in London,
Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock, serve close to half a million people with a promise
to educate, engage, empower and excite. For more than 50 years, Fanshawe has been
helping people unlock their potential and achieve success. The College attracts
students from 80 countries every year and opens up a world of possibilities through
more than 200 degree, diploma, apprenticeship training and certificate programs.
Biographies of Fanshawe's 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Peter van der Westen, President, Vanderwesten and Rutherford Associates Inc. (Honorary
As an experienced leader in business, infrastructure and community development,
Peter van der Westen is a builder extraordinaire. With an innate ability to see
potential in people and projects, Peter's strategy and integrity are hallmarks of
his company, Vanderwesten & Rutherford (V&R), which provides mechanical and electrical
consulting engineering services to a wide range of clientele. Moreover, Peter's
commitment as an enthusiastic community volunteer is evident across many dovetailing
former leadership roles, as board chair of the King's University College Board of
Governors, King's University College Foundation, London Public Library and Museum
Believing Ontario's college system is pivotal to a flourishing economy, Peter is
a longtime Fanshawe champion. As a strong industry voice for program planning, he
is proud of his past service on the College Program Advisory Committee for Applied
Arts, which included chairing several curriculum review sessions.
Peter also welcomes Fanshawe co-op students, hires its graduates, sponsors the Alumni
Hall of Fame Dinner technology category, participates in Foundation and Board of
Governors golf tournament fundraisers and shares his expertise with the innovative
new Canadian Centre for Product Validation. At the same time, Peter is the worthy
recipient of a Queen's Jubilee Medal acknowledging his many community contributions.
Peter Rocca, CEO, Partner and Founder, Start.ca (Business)
With expertise spanning a range of technologies, Peter Rocca is a renaissance man
for the Information Age. As an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed nerd, Peter enthusiastically
welcomed the world's introduction of the personal computer in his youth and remains
excited by the digital revolution. History confirms unprecedented technological
development launched with the Internet in the mid-1990s and Peter and fellow Fanshawe
student Darryl Olthoff recognized the impact computers would make on the world.
Sharing their know-how, these college friends created an internet enterprise savvy
enough to challenge Rogers and Bell.
That enterprise is Start.ca and it certainly lives up to its name. With Peter's
leadership, the company outgrew its office space and increased staff from 25 to
60 between 2012 and 2015. Growth continued with more people choosing streaming over
cable, and fibre optics emerging as the next big technology. Today, Start.ca owns
three buildings, serves 65,000 satisfied subscribers and employs 160 loyal staff.
Through its development, Start.ca helped launch the Canadian Network Operators Consortium
(CNOC), earned a business designation to offer VoIP digital phone services, invested
several million dollars in fibre optics in downtown London, created the internet-based
Start TV and received the 2017 Large Business of the Year Award from the London
Chamber of Commerce.
Nick Paparella, Reporter, CTV News London (Community Service)
Generously expanding his prominent television news career to serve as a community
advocate, Nick Paparella is a man for many charities. Trained in broadcast journalism,
Nick has covered the best and worst of times throughout his 40 years of news reporting.
His assignments have ranged from the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama as the first
African American president to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Overall, what resonates
for Nick is to bring a big voice to important community initiatives like My Sister's
According to Nick, community means being involved, because we all depend on one
other. And, Nick “walks the talk” by annually serving as volunteer emcee for more
than 50 charitable fundraisers. Nick is also a board member of the Salvation Army
Community Council, Extend-a-Family and the Cardiac Campaign for LHSC.
Always shining a light on others, Nick humbly accepted the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Medal in recognition of his community service. Always inspiring others - including
his three sons - with energy, effort and emotion, Nick is an avid runner with two
Boston Marathons and two full Ironman competitions under his belt, and mentors dozens
of Fanshawe broadcast interns at CTV - bringing encouragement and empowerment to
Elizabeth Lorusso, MRI Program Coordinator, Faculty, Fanshawe College; MRI Technologist,
London Health Sciences Centre/St. Joseph's Health Care London (Health Sciences)
As an inspirational professor and innovative researcher within Fanshawe's School
of Health Sciences, Elizabeth Lorusso is hailed internationally for her collaborative
work on reducing radiation dose levels in x-ray exams. Embracing the ALARA principle
- an acronym for keeping radiation exposure “as low as reasonably achievable” for
needed results - Elizabeth's research shows that today's advanced digital imaging
technology no longer requires the same quantity of radiation as film-based x-ray
Since publishing in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences in 2015,
Elizabeth has become a popular presenter on this important topic. In 2016, she shared
her findings at the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists Conference,
the American Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences Conference
and the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists World
Congress held in Seoul, Korea.
Most recently, Elizabeth presented to the Vietnam Association of Radiological Technologists
and is forging significant global health sciences connections. In recognition of
her creative curiosity and strong work ethic, Elizabeth is a recipient of the 2017
Practitioner of the Year
Award by the Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, the 2016 London
Health Sciences Centre Scholarly Award and the 2015 Chair's Award of Inspiration
at Western's Imaging Discovery Days.
Marcy Mussari, Owner and Entrepreneur, Marcy Mussari Interior Decorating; Winner,
The Search for Canada's Next Designer (Recent Graduate)
As a creative and award-winning entrepreneur, Marcy Mussari is making a big splash
in the design world just two short years after graduation. Embracing opportunity
is Marcy's strength, as demonstrated throughout her Interior Decorating program
and in several strategic ways since. Appreciating her hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake
is a popular wedding destination, Marcy wisely directed local contacts to her online
photography and Do it Yourself (DIY) YouTube videos. In return, she landed a design
job with Niagara's Ooh La La Designs and a coveted spot among the Top 25 finalists
in the Hallmark Channel's Home and Family Show DIY Contest filmed in Hollywood,
Marcy also shared her designs with CTV daytime host Marilyn Denis and netted four
lifestyle segments on The Marilyn Denis Show. As a result, she earned a chance to
compete as an up-and-coming design expert in Gusto TV's reality, high-stakes décor
series called The Search for Canada's Next Designer - and took top honours!
As prizewinner, Marcy secured an IKEA Canada design contract and a trip to Sweden
for IKEA's 2017 Democratic Design Days. Today, she continues to seize opportunities
for her business called Marcy Mussari Interior Decorating and inspires others to
never give up, be positive and always follow their dream.
Peter Cassidy, Principal, John Paul II Secondary School (Technology)
Believing in the concept of paying it forward, Peter Cassidy is changing the world
one student at a time. As both an architectural technologist and an enthusiastic
educator, Peter points to his hands-on college experience as a launch pad to his
teaching career. Through his applied learning at Fanshawe, Peter honed a talent
for creative design, and learned to ask questions and help solve problems through
collaboration – skills he continues to use in his leadership role as principal of
John Paul II Secondary School.
Appreciating support of teachers who saw more potential in him than he saw in himself,
Peter strives to see the best in every student. While working as a designer, he
realized his passion for technology was more akin to education than industry, so
he headed to teachers' college. Peter then created a successful 18-year teaching
career and advocated for the introduction of technology across the London District
Catholic School Board curriculum – before training as a principal.
Peter acknowledges he is a “rare bird” to transition from technology to school administration.
Yet, his positive college experience remains central to his work as an enthusiastic
champion for college as a viable pathway for post-secondary education. This is heartening
for Peter's students, as he continues to pay it forward in his lifelong role as
an architect of human potential.
Steven Sabados, Host, The Goods on CBC; Designer, S&C Home Collection (Creative Arts
Recalling a creative process honed in his Fine Art program, which molds raw material
into a chosen object, Steven Sabados thanks Fanshawe for molding him into the person
he is today. Against the backdrop of international success as a television host,
designer and writer, Steven remains focused on the theory of kinetics learned at
college decades ago. It confirms everything is in flux, so an artist must capture
moments. This revelation resonates with Steven and enables him to move forward in
Prior to the sudden loss of Steven's life and business partner Chris Hyndman in
2015, Steven and Chris were winning television acclaim, contributing to the creative
and charitable sectors and blazing a trail for others in the LGBTQ community. In
2007, the pair launched a home décor product line across North America, under the
brand S+C. Working together, they enjoyed notable success with several HGTV shows
before moving to CBC-TV in 2008 to host a new syndicated, daytime lifestyle show
simply called Steven and Chris.
Today, Steven still captures moments and celebrates belonging to a co-host quartet
featured on CBC-TV's The Goods. He continues his public journey while holding tight
to his favourite Fanshawe creation, as a means of staying grounded.