Five alumni were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their professions and their community at the college’s 2020 Alumni of Distinction Awards event held virtually on May 4.
Massi Basiri, Meti Basiri, Jillian Harvey, Dustin Leitch and Saifullah Muhammad are now among the more than 200 Conestoga graduates who have been recognized through the Alumni of Distinction program since it was established in 1997.
“Alumni are nominated by peers, teachers, community leaders, colleagues and friends,” said Paul Osborne, associate vice-president, Marketing & Community Relations as he welcomed guests and members of the Conestoga community to the event. “They come from a variety of backgrounds and academic achievements, but what they all have in common is the unwavering commitment to excellence which has helped them reach their individual goals, made their workplaces more effective and their communities a better place to live.”
Conestoga’s 2020 Alumni of Distinction:
Dustin Leitch - Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship (2007)
Leitch began his career with Guelph Toyota and became a Toyota Master Technician in 2009. He joined Tesla in 2010 and now serves as regional service manager for Ontario and Quebec. Leitch also serves on the Program Advisory Council for Conestoga’s Automotive Service Technician program.
Saifullah Muhammad General Arts & Science - English Language Studies; Journalism (2017, 2019)
Muhammad is a Rohingya human rights activist who has spent much of his life advocating for refugees and persecuted minorities. He helped create the Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative and is the co-founder of Rohingya Youth Voice Canada. He is currently completing his master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo.
Meti Basiri - Business Marketing (2014)
As the co-founder and chief marketing officer at ApplyBoard, Basiri leads international recruitment, partner relations, sales enablement, sales operations and marketing teams. He was instrumental in building longstanding partnerships with more than 1,500 educational institutions across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and more than 5,000 global recruitment partners. In 2019, he was named to Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 in three categories: Education, Immigrants, and Big Money.
Massi Basiri - Fitness and Health Promotion (2014)
Basiri is the co-founder and chief operating officer of ApplyBoard, ensuring the organization’s processes and activities keep student success and well-being at the forefront. He was named to Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 with his brother Meti in 2019.
Jillian Harvey Bachelor of Applied Technology — Architecture - Project and Facility Management (2013)
After earning her master’s degree and two professional designations following her graduation from Conestoga, Harvey now serves as facilities coordinator for the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario portfolio with the University of Guelph, supporting the coordination capital projects at agricultural research stations across Ontario. Harvey initiated the Women of APFM award which was established by a group of alumni to encourage women within the APFM program to continue pursuing a unique career.
Conestoga now has more than 150,000 alumni, with the majority contributing to the growth and prosperity of the local region. Visit the Alumni website for more information and full profiles of the 2020 recipients.