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Brandon University's Dr. John Everitt Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to International Development

November 15, 2006

Source: Brandon University

OTTAWA, ONó Dr. John Everitt, Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at Brandon University, has been named the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award by World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a leading Canadian development agency. The award, which was presented to Dr. Everitt at a ceremony in Ottawa on November 10, recognizes Dr. Everitt's exceptional contribution over nearly three decades to international development and global citizenship through his support of WUSCís programming.

Dr. Everitt has been involved with WUSC since 1976, when he attended a WUSC international seminar in Guyana. He became a founding member of the WUSC local committee at Brandon University the same year, and was a member of the WUSC board of directors from 1977 to 1981.

Those who know Dr. Everitt commend his tireless devotion over many years to the WUSC Student Refugee Program (SRP) in particular. The SRP enables student refugees from developing countries to resume their studies at Canadian universities. Through the program, some 45 student refugees enter Canada in a typical year, usually from Asian and African countries. By 2008, WUSC expects to have facilitated the placement of about 1,000 sponsored refugees.

For the SRP to be successful, WUSC local committees on university and college campuses must raise awareness of the program and recruit sustainable financial support for it, which can be challenging. Thanks in large part to Dr. Everittís efforts the local committee at Brandon has been able to sponsor a student refugee every year for the past 25 years.

Richard Selwanja, originally from Uganda, was one such refugee. "It was the summer of 1984 when I first encountered Dr. Everitt at the Bandon airport," says Selwanja, who now has a B.A., a B. Sc. (Hons.), an MBA and a CGA, "He had come with his wife to pick me up to stay with his family for a couple of weeks until the opening of the university residence for the fall session. During my stay at his home, he spent a significant amount of time assisting with my orientation to the city and members of the local community. This was invaluable in making me feel at home and ultimately in helping me succeed in my academic endeavours."

As his greatest accomplishment, Dr. Everitt singles out arranging stable funding for the SRP at BU so that others can continue it after his retirement. Funds are currently raised from an annual alumni donation, a Brandon University Faculty Association donation, and a student levy. The faculty association donation is indexed, and he hopes to get the alumni donation and student levy indexed this year as well.

The work is rewarding because itís so easy to see the results, he said. "Iíve done a lot of volunteering and charity work over the years, but I prefer activities where I can see the payoff from my input rather quickly as opposed to giving money and not knowing where it goes," said Dr. Everitt.

Judith Woodsworth, WUSC chair and president of Laurentian University, says Dr. Everitt has impressed the organization with his unflagging energy and commitment. "With this award, we are recognizing how hard he has worked to build the WUSC of today and tomorrow."

WUSC is a network of individuals and post-secondary institutions that believe all peoples are entitled to the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a more equitable world. Active on more than 50 university and college campuses across Canada, its mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training.

For more information, please contact:

Wallace BeatonSenior Communications OfficerWorld University Service of CanadaPhone: (613) 761-3643Cell: (613) 314-3551Email:

Dr. John EverittDepartment of GeographyPhone: (204) 727-9766 (office)Email:

Richard SelwanjaPhone: (613) 526-5108Email:

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