Skip to main content

New university announces first board of governors

Oshawa, Ont. - The University of Ontario Institute of Technology-Canada's newest university-announces the members of its first board of governors.

R. J. (Bob) Strickert and Garry Cubitt were appointed chair and vice-chair respectively, each to serve a one-year term. In addition, community members Peter Bagnall, Joanne Burghardt, Michelle V. Carter, Denise Jones, Gail Mackenzie, Mark Moorcroft, Mike Shields, Dr. Phillip (Rocky) J. Simmons, Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann and Doug Wilson were appointed to the board as community representatives. Gary Polonsky, founding president and vice-chancellor of the university, was appointed ex-officio. William J. Hunter was elected as an internal representative. More internal governors will be elected in September, when the university is fully staffed and students begin their programs.

Chair and vice-chair
Bob Strickert of Port Perry is a retired vice-president of Pickering Nuclear, Ontario Power Generation. During his career in the energy sector he worked on a variety of key projects at the national and international levels. Strickert is a graduate of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering at Queen's University.

Garry Cubitt of Oshawa has been employed by the Region of Durham since January 1974. In his current role as chief administrative officer, Cubitt is responsible for 1,700 employees who work at diverse locations in the region. He holds an honours B.Sc. from Trent University and an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto.

Community members
Peter Bagnall is general director, customer support services, General Motors of Canada Ltd. Since joining General Motors in 1965, Bagnall has held positions of increasing responsibility. He is a graduate of Waterloo Lutheran University (renamed Wilfrid Laurier University) and played an important role in Durham College's Creating Futures fundraising campaign.

Joanne Burghardt is editor-in-chief of the Durham division of Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing Ltd., as well as editorial director for 12 regional publications. A 1981 graduate of the college's Journalism program, Burghardt received a Durham College Alumnus of Distinction Award and a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1996.

Michelle V. Carter is executive director of Vince Carter's Embassy of Hope Foundation and CEO of Visions in Flight, Inc., both based in Daytona Beach, Florida. She was a teacher for 20 years and her contributions have been recognized through awards such as the state of Florida's Best Practices Award. She holds a B.Sc. in business education from Bethune-Cookman College and an M.Sc. in administration and supervision from Nova University, both in Florida.

Denise Jones is a chartered accountant and partner with Hobb, Bakker, Bergin, Hill Chartered Accountants in Bowmanville. She continues to serve as a career representative to the Central Ontario District Chartered Accountants Association. Jones is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ontario and holds an honours B.Comm. from McMaster University.

Gail MacKenzie is department head of the Student Services department at Courtice Secondary School. In addition to her roles as a secondary school teacher and guidance counsellor, she has been an instructor and presenter for York University, the University of Toronto and Queen's University since 1985. MacKenzie holds a B.Ed. and an M.Ed. from the University of Toronto.

Mark Moorcroft is an assistant crown attorney with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. His community service work includes volunteering with the John Howard Society. Moorcroft holds an LLB from Queen's University and he was awarded the McDougal-Watson Award for outstanding participation in the university's legal aid program.

Mike Shields is president of CAW Local 222 and the CAW/GM Intra-Corporation Council. He is also a member of CAW Canada's national executive board. Active in the community, Shields is a director of the Durham College Foundation and the Unemployed Help Centre, and co-chairs the United Way of Clarington/Whitby/Oshawa fundraising campaign.

Dr. Phillip (Rocky) J. Simmons is president and chief executive officer of Eco-Tec Inc. of Pickering. His experience and expertise are in the areas of research and development, manufacturing, engineering, international relations and education. Dr. Simmons holds a B.A.Sc., an M.A.Sc. and a PhD, all in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto.

Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann is program leader of the maternal child program at Lakeridge Health Corporation in Oshawa. Active in her profession and the community, Sunstrum-Mann is past president of the Durham Northumberland chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and a member of the Emergency Nurses Association of Ontario and the National Emergency Nurses Association. She holds a BA in health studies from York University and has just earned an MBA from Heriot Watt Business School at the University of Edinburgh.

Doug Wilson practises corporate and commercial law in Uxbridge, Ontario. He is a founding member of the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Foundation and he has served as chair and vice-chair of the hospital's board of directors and as charter president of the Rotary Club of Uxbridge. Wilson holds a Master of Law degree from King's College London (University of London).

Internal university board member
William J. Hunter is dean of the School of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Before joining the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, he served as a professor in the University of Calgary's Faculty of Education and held various administrative appointments including head of the department of Teacher Education and Supervision, and academic director for distance delivery. Hunter has lectured at universities across Canada, the U.S., Ireland and New Zealand and holds a PhD in educational psychology from Kent State University in Ohio.

Gary Polonsky is founding president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and president of Durham College. Polonsky holds a B.Sc. from Lakehead University and an MA from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He defends his doctoral thesis in higher education at the University of Toronto this spring.

About Ontario Tech University
Ontario Tech University advances the discovery and application of knowledge through a technology-enriched learning environment and the delivery of innovative market-driven programs responsive to the needs of students and industry. With more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in more than 90 programs, the university promotes social engagement, fosters critical thinking and integrates outcomes-based learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. The university's commitment to accelerating economic growth and social innovation is realized through faculty research collaborations with leading organizations such as Ontario Power Generation, IBM, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Durham Regional Police Service. To find out more, visit