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Matthew Fawcett

Paying it forward to give others an opportunity to change the world

Matthew FawcettThe University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) changed his life. Now Matthew Fawcett wants to give that opportunity to other students.

UOIT's learning approach helped Matthew see problems as opportunities. His professors and fellow students motivated him to do more than he thought he could do. The support he received made him want to give back. He began volunteering – for the Student Association, his faculty, the Justice Society and other student groups – acquiring leadership skills and self-assurance along the way.  

Today, his daily goal is to impact someone's life in a positive way. He's working in a public service job he loves, volunteers as Chair of the UOIT Alumni Association and donates every month to his alma mater. He is determined to offer others the same life-changing opportunities he had.

“UOIT made a huge impact on my life - not only in the classroom but outside of it," he says. As President of the Student Association, for example, Matthew helped students shape their academic experience and also helped to shape the university itself. "It was a tremendous opportunity to work with UOIT leaders and play a role in decision making. I loved advocating for students and being deeply involved in university and student life."

He was proud to be in UOIT's first graduating class in 2007, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Policy and Justice. But when he walked off the stage, he wanted to continue his relationship with UOIT. He believes this university helped shape his personality with its focus on approaching the world with optimism, initiative and creativity, a problem-solving mindset, a take-charge attitude and a return-the-favour tradition.

In 2012, the year the UOIT Alumni Association was established, he ran for election to Council and was subsequently nominated Chair. Wanting to be what he calls "a catalyst for relationship building among alumni and UOIT,” he has been working to implement initiatives that will benefit his fellow alumni and strengthen the growing UOIT alumni community. "It's exciting to think that 100 years from now people will recognize UOIT as a great institution and that great alumni came from here," he says.

When it comes to paying it forward by volunteering, donating and advocating for others, "I feel that something inspirational and exciting will happen," he adds. "When students are able to realize the full potential of their education, they will ultimately contribute to the university, their community and the country."

Matthew Fawcett
Class of 2007
Bachelor of Arts – Criminology, Policy and Justice
Customer Care Specialist, Ontario Public Service