Golden Key ran its Asia-Pacific Conference 2014: Think GLOBAL Act LOCAL from 13-15 February 2014 in Hobart at the University of Tasmania. Approximately 150 delegates from around the Asia-Pacific region participated in a range of high-profile speakers, panel discussions, professional development workshops and networking events.
The conference started off with a welcome BBQ. Then Professor Peter Rathjen, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, kicked off the Opening Session followed by a welcome from His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania. Our keynote speaker was Jodie Fox, co-founder of Shoes of Prey. The day closed with our Amazing Race networking activity where attendees were dispersed into groups of members from other chapters and set landmark tasks leading to a completion point.
Day 2 started off with a presentation from Dare Jennings, former founder of Mambo clothing and CEO of Deus ex Machina, followed by a Career Panel. Next, attendees were able to choose from a variety of professional development workshops on topics such as career planning for mature age students, networking, international careers in government and more. Later in the evening, Jeremy Picone of the Global Poverty Project was the Community Service Speaker. The day finished off with a leadership roundtable.
Sebastian Robertson, the founder and CEO of Batyr was the keynote speaker for Day 3. A variety of workshops were again available to attendees—this time focusing on leadership. Next it was time for our Q&A Panel Discussion, which tackled the ethics of Euthanasia. The split of opinions dividing the panel provided for a truly engaging debate! Former Party Leader for the Greens, Dr. Bob Brown, was the keynote speaker. The other panelists were: Dr. Nick Cooling, Dr. Gerry McGushin and Dr. Philip Nitschke.
The conference ended with a great Closing Gala Dinner, which had a “Secret Garden” theme. Attendees and guests were treated to dinner and DJ, presentation of chapter standard awards by APAC staff, and special event awards followed by dancing. The conference was truly a great event and we cannot wait until the next one!
Louise Robinson, a nursing student at Central Queensland University, shared with us some of her feedback after attending the conference:
“I have come away from this event feeling incredibly inspired and motivated on many levels. The conference offered guest speakers and workshops targeting personal and career development. In addition it was an opportunity to meet like minded people from a great diversity of backgrounds and degrees. I feel for me personally I have gained knowledge, skills and insight as to how to best market myself when it comes time for graduate opportunities, being involved in initiatives to make a real difference and additional life skills in general. Since the conference I have been in contact with other delegates to devise an awareness campaign to increase literacy levels specifically for rural school students in Tasmania. It is an empowering feeling to be involved with such a worthy exercise.”
Don’t miss the Golden Key 2014 International Summit from 31 July – 3 August in Boston. For more information and to register, visit www.is.gd/summit14.
-This post was written by Liliana Zubia, Golden Key University of Texas at El Paso Chapter President-
Regions 7 and 9 headed to west Texas for the 2014 Regional Summit from February 21-23. The annual meeting was hosted by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) chapter. This year, UTEP is having ongoing Centennial celebrations in honor of its 100th birthday and we were beyond thrilled to share this important milestone with our delegates.
The Regional Summit was full of excitement with 64 delegates joining us from Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and Texas. We were happy to see a few familiar faces from last year’s Summit and we were pleased to meet all of our new guests. We were also delighted to have three Associate Directors from Golden Key HQ, Sareena Helton, Melissa Decell and Jordan Lyons, join us for the weekend.
Regional Summit 2014 started on Friday afternoon with registration at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The Opening Session was held in the evening in the hotel’s Del Norte Ballroom. We served hor d’oeuvres while our guests mingled amongst themselves and got to know each other. Then everyone was officially welcomed with an entertaining welcome address by the chapter president and chair of planning committee, Liliana Zubia. After that we were split up into groups and participated in a fun ice breaker called the Human Knot. We then had our wonderful keynote speaker, UTEP President Diana Natalicio, deliver a great motivational speech that was about us unlocking our potential. After Dr. Natalicio’s speech, we were split up into groups again and participated in another competitive ice breaker that involved building blocks. We closed out our evening with a raffle and some announcements about the activities we had planned for the next days.
On Saturday, after breakfast, we started off our day by doing community service around El Paso. The delegates were split into three groups that went to three different locations. The first group went to the Rescue Mission of El Paso where they helped sort and organize goods in the pantry. The second group went to Polly Harris Senior Center where they helped set-up for an event that the center was holding that day. The last group went to YWCA Transitional Living Center where they helped with various housekeeping tasks around the building, which included moving heavy furniture, sorting arts and crafts materials, and organizing children’s books.
In the afternoon, the guests were transported to the UTEP campus where we ate lunch and had our headquarters updates presentations in the College of Business Administration Building. We stayed in the business building and had four 1-hour block workshops in three different rooms, for a total of 12 different workshops and roundtables. Workshops were conducted by delegates from the various chapters that attended Summit. After the workshops were done, we escorted the delegates through the UTEP campus back to the Hilton Garden Inn.
In the evening we held the Closing Session at the Coronado Country Club. After a long, busy day it was certainly rewarding to hang out at this beautiful venue overlooking El Paso’s striking skyline! Awards were given to various chapters by our Associate Director, Sareena Helton, and everyone dined after the awards were given out. Dr. Donna Ekal, UTEP Associate Provost of Graduate Studies, was our keynote speaker for that night and her speech was about the various steps we have all taken to get to the place that we’re at right now. After Dr. Ekal’s speech, the UTEP Golden Key chapter inducted two new Honorary Members to our chapter – Mrs. Hetie Houghton, accounting professor, and Mr. Jaime Mendez, Director of Student Support Services Center. A special award was then given to the UTEP Golden Key chapter by Sareena and Melissa for hosting Regional Summit. To end the evening, we had another raffle and we treated our guests to a fun Latin dance lesson. It was so much fun; everyone had a blast!
On Sunday we culminated the Regional Summit by giving our guests the freedom to explore El Paso. One option was to take a campus tour that gave a little more insight about our beautiful, Bhutanese inspired architecture. Other options were going to the Wyler Aerial Tramway, the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens, and shopping at the outlet malls.
Overall, Regional Summit was a complete success. For this, I would like to thank all the delegates for making it extra special with their presence. I personally would like to thank Sareena Helton and Melissa Decell for their solid support throughout the planning of this event. And a heartfelt thanks goes out to my team, UTEP GK advisors and officer board, who put a ton of effort into this and dedicated so much into making this event the very best possible!
Don’t miss the Golden Key 2014 International Summit from 31 July – 3 August in Boston. For more information and to register, visit www.is.gd/summit14.
—This post was written by Erik Graybill, the president of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Golden Key chapter—
From March 14-16, Regions 4, 5, and 6 held their 2014 Regional Summit in St. Louis, MO. I just want to start off by saying…WOW that was one intense and awesome weekend! For Kirsten, the chapter webmaster, and myself the day started really early on Friday. We were up between 2:30am and 3:30am to get ready and get over to the airport in Pittsburgh for the trip. We got into St. Louis before noon, and as luck would have it, we met our first fellow GK’ers. We shared the shuttle with the GK members from Wayne State in Detroit.
Once we arrived at the hotel and dropped our bags off at our rooms, we met with Ted Ross, the HQ Associate Director for region 5. We jumped right in putting together the sweet ‘swag bags’ for all of the attending members and putting the badges together as well. After that, we split out the t-shirts and headed out for some lunch.
When we got back, we ended up bringing all the products down for the registration table and then split off for a bit to have our one-on-one with our own Associate Director, Jordan Lyons. One of the things I love about Golden Key, after being in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, is that the staff of Golden Key CARE!!! Jordan was awesome during our one-on-one, finding out where we were on our plans to achieve both Gold and Key status in our first year. She is part coach, part friend, part cheerleader and, of course, part expert in how to get things done. From what I have heard from some of those who attended, it is the same for both Ted and Kiandra for their respective regions.
After our one-on-one meeting, Kirsten and I jumped in to help with the setup and then registration as well. The best part of working the registration table was being able to meet all of the great people who were attending the Regional Summit. We had a lot of fun talking to people, seeing who came from where, and discussing the travel. As for the hotel, it was very nice! We ended up sharing the hotel with a youth hockey tournament and a few spirit teams in town to support a women’s college basketball tournament. In fact, one of the girls from the spirit band from Northern Iowa came by the table and introduced herself as the social chair for her chapter of Golden Key. She was not there for the Regional Summit, but was there to try and help her team win! Such a small world!
That night we had our introduction session, and got to hear from all the AD’s and from Brad Rainey, Golden Key’s Executive Director. One neat thing about Brad is that he knew our chapter without any prodding. I stood up and shook his hand and when he saw the tag, without a break, he said, “You are the guys who switched over from Mortar Board, aren’t you?” I was impressed to say the least that with so many chapters, he knew something about each and every one. He is a great guy.
We had a fun time listening to the speaker that night who gave a really intriguing presentation on the history of St. Louis. There certainly is a lot of American history that has taken place in and through that city. We followed that up with an ice breaker and t-shirt exchange, during which I met up with my friends from Wayne State once more and we exchanged shirts. When I got back to my table, one of my table mates mentioned her mom was an alum of Wayne State, and I decided give the shirt to her to pass on to her mother. I was able to introduce her to the Wayne State ladies so they could exchange information so they could get pictures of her mother to post on GIN.
Saturday started bright and early with a quick breakfast and our workshop sessions. I was able to pick up some awesome advice on applying for graduate school in my first session. From there I was able to listen to Holly Jackson, the region 4 CoSM representative, give some great information about something she is very passionate about, which is how to utilize libraries to grow your chapter and use them to benefit the college even more. There were many other great workshops that attendees were able to attend as well. Next, we took a break for lunch, and Holly, Kirsten and I ended up having a nice lunch before we came back for the afternoon session. It was another great session about presenting at academic conferences.
After the workshops, a group of us went into St. Louis to see the Arch. Talk about amazing; it is a true thing of beauty. That night, we had a wonderful Mardi Gras themed buffet and party. Everyone looked great, as did the decorations. The food was tremendous and our keynote speaker for the evening had a great story of how to persevere through the problems life throws in your way to come out stronger on the other side. Afterwards, we had some fun playing games and just getting to know people. It was a fun and somewhat crazy night.
On Sunday, it was time to get ready to head home. It was sad saying goodbye to all the new friends we had met. The other problem is the temps fell from the mid to high 60’s to barely 30 degrees!!! Talk about a shock to the system.
All in all, it was a tremendous time. I highly recommend anyone who is on the fence about attending the Regional Summit next year to take the leap and go. You will learn so much and have a great time doing it. As for the near future, I hope to see all of the same people from Regional Summit at the International Summit because I am positive it will be that much more incredible.
Don’t miss the Golden Key 2014 International Summit from 31 July – 3 August in Boston. For more information and to register, visit www.is.gd/summit14.
—This post was written by Haley Wadley, vice president of the University of Wyoming chapter—
From March 14-16, Region 8 held their Regional Summit at 7,200 feet in Laramie, Wyoming! Members from around the region gathered together to participate in an adventurous weekend that would turn out to be filled with memories, new friends and great ideas. Over the past year members of the Golden Key chapter at the University of Wyoming prepared to make this weekend as successful as possible so that members around the region could gather together and share their love for Golden Key and all of its amazing opportunities!
Friday was just the beginning to a great weekend as attendees came into town and begin registration at the Hilton Garden Motel, where the traveling members would be staying for the weekend. At registration gift bags filled with several different items were handed out to each attending member, including Golden Key merchandise and lots of other goodies. Members were given some time to settle into their rooms before meeting up with University of Wyoming members to be caddied to the Wyoming Union building where the Summit meetings would be held. Upon arrival, members were given a Golden Key bingo question sheet where they had to meet other members in order to get spaces blacked out. Examples include: ran a 5K race, been to Disney Land, has siblings and etc. The first 3 members to meet 5 other members who met those qualifications won a prize! It was a great icebreaker.
After the students spent some time getting to know each other, a brief introduction was given by the Region 8 HQ Representative, John Dingfelder, which welcomed students to Laramie. After getting members excited about the weekend ahead of them, John handed the stage over to Sara Axelson, the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Wyoming and a Golden Key honorary member. As a keynote speaker, Sara shared some experiences she has had in her career and the wisdom she has gained. Mrs. Axelson left the members feeling enlightened, inspired and ready to be leaders in the community. A catered dinner was then provided to students at the Wyoming Union Building, so that they could have plenty of energy for the night’s activities that lied ahead.
After dinner, students retreated to the basement of the Student Union for a night filled with exciting entertainment including: a billiards tournament, karaoke, photo booth, ping pong, Xbox 360, and Just Dance! Not to mention the snow cones, popcorn, snacks, soda and dessert tables! All members engaged in some form of activity during the night and seemed to be enjoying themselves as there was constant karaoke singers breaking out air guitars and their own dance moves. The delegate mixer proved to be a good way for students to relax and have a good time!
On Saturday morning, members woke up to breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Restaurant and late registration began. A good morning welcome was given along with a headquarters update as Golden Key members arrived at the Wyoming Union at 9am. Students learned about the availability of scholarships and new advancements being made at the Headquarters office. Students scurried off to participate in the first of three workshop sessions being presented. All workshops focused in on the tools and resources available to Golden Key members and how to utilize these resources in order to better yourself and your chapter. Some of the workshop topics presented were: Personal and Professional Development, Service and Careers, New Member Recognition Events, Attitude for Altitude and Diversity and Inclusion, Golden Key 101 and more. After the first two workshop sessions adjourned, members met for a catered lunch and another update from Headquarters before returning to the third and final workshop session.
Following the last workshop session, members took a little time to relax before getting started on the service project. Before coming to Laramie, chapters were asked to collect small toiletry items (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, mouthwash, & etc.) to be donated to the new Family Crisis Center located in Rawlins, WY. The crisis center is new and truly appreciated the donations. Then, members started making Brazilian jewelry. Yes, Brazilian jewelry with a Brazilian native. Members got a brief informative talk from a Brazilian native who discussed the nature of the beads. The money collected from the jewelry sales is given back to a small community in Brazil so that a traveling mammogram machine can be purchased to help with breast cancer diagnosis. Members enjoyed learning different styles of making jewelry and picking out their own colors, styles and then making their own bracelets and necklaces. Some members even purchased some of the jewelry made!
A break was given before the closing banquet for some free time to relax and freshen up. The closing banquet started around 6 pm with a delicious dinner at the Wyoming Union where students gathered to reminisce about the day and the memories made. Jason Thompson, a renowned speaker, gave an astounding keynote address, and left us with the message that, “success is when you have fallen down and STILL get back up to keep pursuing your goals and dreams.” This message left members in awe as they moved to the University of Wyoming Planetarium to watch the newly released film Frozen.
As suspected, the fun would not stop after Saturday night. Sunday morning members woke up to another breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn restaurant. Chapter meetings filled up most of the morning, with each chapter discussing their successes, what needs work, and what new goals to be made. Members, tired yet motivated, checked out and departed Laramie around 12 pm to return to their homelands and put to work their knowledge from their 2014 Regional Summit.
On behalf of the University of Wyoming Golden Key chapter and Regional Summit Committee we would like to thank the Summit attendees, volunteers, Caterings of Laramie, Hilton Garden Inn Motel/Restaurant, Golden Key Headquarters staff, workshops presenters and keynote speakers. This meeting would not have been a success without you and we appreciate all that you do.
Until next time, remember to Just Breathe and we will see you at Regional Summit 2015!
—This post was written by Katrina Notarmaso, chapter president at The College of New Jersey—
During the weekend of Friday, 28 February and Sunday, 2 March, Golden Key members, leaders, and advisors from Regions 1 and 10 convened for their Regional Summit at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. The Stony Brook chapter did a fantastic job in not only planning and executing summit activities, but by making all participants feel at home!
On the first day of the Summit, chapters traveled from all over the east coast, from Maine to Maryland (even in tons of traffic), to arrive at Stony Brook University. Over 100 attendees from 30 chapters arrived ready to participate in all of the events planned for them! Upon their arrival, chapters registered for the event, received some Golden Key swag (such as Regional Summit t-shirts and backpacks), and donated canned goods to support the Stony Brook University Food Pantry.
Once everyone was settled in, participants met for the first time during the Opening Session, where they not only showed off their unique chapter chants, but got to know one another during a poppin’ (balloons that is) icebreaker. Afterwards, members drove over to Port Jefferson Bowl for some bowling and pizza! Although not everyone scored as high as they would have liked, it was nice to meet members from other chapters and hang out with them upon returning to the hotel.
The following day was filled with workshops and community service. To help get the day started off right, the Stony Brook Marching Band escorted us from the on-campus hotel to the Student Activities Center. While there, advisors participated in the Advisors’ Roundtable session where they gained insightful tips and ideas from other advisors on best practices for successful chapters. Student members also had the opportunity to attend workshops that not only related to Golden Key issues, such as Billhighway, but topics such as gap year opportunities, putting the team back in teamwork, as well as an officer roundtable. The workshops allowed both professional growth and an opportunity for officers to swap ideas. The facilitators were both engaging, as well as very passionate about their topics, which prompted meaningful discussions.
After having a great catered lunch from Panera Bread (best conference lunch ever!), participants listened to Franklyn Salas, a former Stony Brook student and Golden Key chapter president, talk about his experiences as both a Golden Key member and a non-traditional student. However, arguably the most touching speech of the night came from the Chapter President at Baruch College, Saleh Mugannahi, who spoke about how the connections he made through the Society helped him overcome challenges in his life. After more workshop sessions, members reconvened to assemble bilingual coloring books for children to use while waiting at local doctors’ offices. Great teamwork and organization made the event run smoothly and allowed for the creation of hundreds of coloring books for a great cause!
Later that night, Summit participants came together for one last time at the Closing Session. Over dinner, chapters received awards based not only on their standing (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Key), but also for their accomplishments, such as “Busy Bee” for extensive programming. Belly dancers from Stony Brook also performed prior to the DJ that closed the night. As a memento of the weekend, we took one large conference picture with the “golden key” that Baruch chapter gave to the Stony Brook chapter, which was signed by attendees. Overall, the weekend was not only a lot of fun, but a huge success and great experience!
—This post was written by Danesha Winfrey, Council of Student Members (CoSM) for U.S. Region 2, The University of Memphis—
Friday, 28 February 2014
Golden Key’s Regions 2 and 3 teamed together for our Regional Summit this year at Georgia State University, which is where Golden Key was born thirty-six years ago! Therefore, this Summit was indeed a special one. First, registration kicked off at the Hilton Downtown Atlanta and we also had chapter meetings with our respective Associate Director. Inside of the inviting Student Center, we were given a warm welcome by the panthers of Georgia State University.
We started out with our mixer and our welcome message from Brad Rainey, Golden Key Executive Director. He informed us on how Golden Key International Honour Society uses its funds effectively and how many hours we have contributed to service, among other valuable announcements. We are proud to be part of an honor society that gives more to its students than many other honor societies. Our night continued with a keynote address from Gala Jackson, M.Ed. – she is an entrepreneur and owner of InterviewSnob, a thriving career consulting boutique in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Jackson has been featured in U.S. News and World Report and she has won awards in résumé writing. Ms. Jackson spoke of how young individuals can accomplish their goals and that they should not be afraid of taking risks. Her tagline challenges its readers to “passionately pursue your purpose!” Her lecture also focused on the value of networking, as well as helpful anecdotes on how to network effectively. Regions 2 and 3 formed relationships with one another and with their respective Golden Key chapters.
We took candid pictures and had a successful icebreaker session lead by Mariko Antonacci, the chapter president of Georgia State University and U.S. Region 3 CoSM, and Pedro, the chapter’s service director; we all then seemed to loosen up. After that, it was time to eat! We had a wonderful mixer and we again had a chance to network with other chapters. There were chapters that traveled a lengthy way to attend our Regional Summit, such as members from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico chapters. We even had a chapter member from Nebraska attend! Although he is not in Region 1 or 2, he chose to attend our Summit. We thank him and all of our members who attended our Regional Summit!
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Our big day was just that: big. We started the morning with a breakfast and late registration. We then had our HQ update from Mr. Rainey in the Speaker’s Auditorium of Georgia State University’s Student Center. Shereen Ashtiani, Region 3’s Associate Director, and Traci Gordon, Region 2’s Associate Director, then gave us important tips on our deadlines, informed and reminded us of event assessment completion, and relayed other pertinent facts related to Golden Key.
At that point, it was time for our workshops! The content of Workshop Session I ranged from chapter fundraising tactics to GIN System navigation to how to successfully conduct community service projects. There were new officers in the midst of transitions to different positions within Regions 2 and 3 and the workshops aided the transitioning. Workshop Session II informed the chapter officers and members of how to market Golden Key on campus and the University of Miami, a Key chapter, discussed how to “Be Good, Be Well, Be Golden.” Golden Key officers and members also learned about officer retention, increasing member participation, business etiquette, marketing plans and the Golden Key 101 basics. The workshops were the excellent and we were only halfway done!
Of course, we needed sustenance and we had Subway sandwiches in the Student Center Lobby to satisfy this! chapters did not relegate themselves to sitting with people they already new— everyone mingled. We then attended our afternoon workshops and roundtables, which were just as informative as the morning sessions.
Workshop Session III consisted of a GK 101 discussion, an informative Billhighway session, virtual chapter engagement, and an educational workshop about Women, Leadership and Professional Development. The final session, Workshop IV, boasted of the power of collaboration, service event planning, fostering or continuing a relationship with Better World Books and discussions at the Advisor Roundtable. This session shared information on conducting a successful service event and the roles of officers, advisors, and collaborators, as well as information about Better World Books and how a chapter can successfully conduct a book drive.
Our sessions ended with officer roundtables consisting of building a strong Golden Key chapter– one for the chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents and one for officers and general members. Chapter leaders at the Presidents’ and Vice Presidents’ Roundtable shared ideas on engaging honorary members, high school students, and college freshman. Chapter leaders at this roundtable also discussed scholarships, the point system and signature events! The chapter officer and general member roundtable discussed components of building a strong Golden Key chapter that involves member engagement, service activities and keys to leadership.
The workshops and roundtables were highly informative and engaging. And, our host chapter, Georgia State University, was most gracious. We posed for a group photo at the Unity Plaza, had chapter meetings with our respective Associate Director and then looked forward to the closing dinner!
Our closing dinner was held at Veteran’s Memorial Hall. We enjoyed a southern cuisine of turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, collards and macaroni and cheese. We also enjoyed an introduction from Mr. Brad Rainey of our Keynote Speaker, Dr. TJ Murphy. Dr. Murphy is a faculty member of Emory University and he has guided many students to successful careers.
Dr. Murphy shared his insight on Graduate School and taking the thoughtful approach of seeking a post-baccalaureate degree program that is aligned with a student’s qualifications, as well as a school that can adequately cultivate a student’s passions and qualifications. Of this passionate approach to helping students unlock their best potential, was gradschoolmatch.com created by Dr. Murphy. We ended the closing dinner with a candy bar, photo booth, dog-tag pressing, networking, laughter and dancing.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
The morning of the last day of Summit consisted of breakfast and our chapter meetings with our respective Associate Directors. We also participated in our service project: donating toiletry items for the Metro Atlanta Task Force! We said our farewells and wished everyone a safe trip back to their respective states and territories. Here’s to a successful Regional Summit 2014 from the school where Golden Key was founded: Georgia State University!
—This post was written by Helen Luck from the Golden Key chapter at the University of Toronto—
On February 14-16, the 2014 Golden Key Canadian Regional Summit (CANCON) took place in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest city. Over 100 GK members across the nation joined us on Valentine’s Day weekend to celebrate their love for exploration, academics and Golden Key! CANCON was hosted by the chapters at York University and the University of Toronto.
The fun began on Friday afternoon for early arrivals at the chic Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel with the “Golden Key Unlocks Toronto” challenge. Participants explored Toronto attractions in teams of 5 or 6 with our CANCON tour guides. The object of the game was to complete a list of tasks at various, uniquely Torontonian attractions and to capture these moments with photos shared on Instagram, with the hashtag: #unlockTO. The tasks required participants to be creative, intelligent and team-spirited. The top 8 individuals with the most photos in number and creativity were awarded prizes worth a total of $3,000 in value! The attendees were also encouraged to bring canned goods and clothing donations for Fort York Food Bank as one of the challenges. After some fun around town and early registration, we made our way over to a local college pub, Einstein Café and Pub to warm up, mingle and relax before the big day.
At 9:00am on February 15th, attendees arrived at the newly built, state-of-the-art academic venue at the Rotman School of Management for a day packed with great speakers, workshops and networking sessions. Late registrations began and students received their attendee bags with lots of helpful material, including a specially made CANCON personal care package, Regional Summit guides, maps and other goodies. Attendees settled in after a sponsored continental breakfast and live music. The welcoming remarks were given by the two co-Presidents of UofT and York, Helen Luck and Mithila Kurera, followed by GK Canada Director, Ian Sankey; Student Rep, Vitaliy Chernenko; and our CANCON chair, Azin Zanganeh. Our keynote speaker was Marie Rickard, who gave a truly inspirational talk encouraging us to not only celebrate our triumphs in life, but to embrace our failures as well.
Attendees then proceeded to their first of the three panel choices over the day; this year’s panels consisted of renowned speakers in diverse fields ranging from biotechnology, medicine, and engineering to business design, law, architecture, and the fine arts. All panels revolved around the theme, “key to success”, with the idea that all attendees will be inspired by our speakers to unlock their potential. After the panel sessions commenced, attendees socialized freely with their peers and our valued sponsors, accompanied by live music and light refreshments. Shortly after the networking session, Victoria Fard and Gian Parian, the other co-presidents from UofT and York, began the chapter roundtable discussions in which chapter representatives shared their achievements for the past academic year.
Being young professionals, we work hard, but of course we play hard too. Saturday night began with an excellent dinner at Batôn Rouge and the party continued well into the night at one of Toronto’s most popular clubs, Tryst Nightclub.
We promised an entire weekend of fun, so we certainly didn’t stop with Saturday! Sunday brunch was located at the hotel’s own Azure Restaurant, followed by a deeper tour of Toronto’s most popular attractions including the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Autoshow and the Hockey Hall of Fame. For those who stayed, we ended the weekend with a bang at the CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant as the group enjoyed the sunset on a 360-degree view of the Toronto skyline.
On behalf of the organizing committee, we would like to thank all our attendees, advisors, and York University and the University of Toronto Golden Key chapters for making CANCON 2014 a huge success. We hope that CANCON 2014 has inspired you in molding your own key to success. Our planning committee and volunteers had a wonderful time putting the Summit together and we can’t wait to see you again at CANCON 2015!