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Announcing the recipients of the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards


Peterborough ON – (November 9, 2016) – Fleming College is pleased to recognize two individuals for their outstanding commitment to volunteerism with the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards.

Community organizer and volunteer Sean Pennylegion of Haliburton will receive the external award while Mamdouh Mina, a part-time faculty member at Sutherland Campus, will receive the internal award. The awards will be presented at a special event later this month.

Sean Pennylegion is a long-time volunteer who devotes his time to musical and artistic events, environmental strategies, and education.

Mr. Pennylegion first became involved in the Haliburton community while attending the Ecotourism Management program at Fleming’s Haliburton Campus 16 years ago. His volunteer work encompasses organizations such as the Haliburton County Folk Society, the Highland Summer Festival, the Haliburton Art and Craft Festival, and the Hike Haliburton Festival. Mr. Pennylegion was also a member of the core committee that sponsored a Syrian refugee family to come to Haliburton, and he is now playing an active role in helping the family transition to their new life.

Mr. Pennylegion’s volunteer work extends to an international level. Along with his wife Gwen, he has regularly volunteered to teach English and music (for a month at a time) at a rural school near Siem Reip, Cambodia. Before their most recent trip, Mr. Pennylegion asked for small donations to buy ukuleles for the children at the school. He raised $2,500 and was able to not only buy the instruments but also a storage cabinet and meal plans for the students.

Described as friendly, caring and compassionate, Mr. Pennylegion’s nomination stated that he greets everyone with a big smile and is constantly looking for opportunities that will improve the quality of life for all.

 Mamdouh Mina is a part-time faculty member who teaches computer sciences at Sutherland Campus. He is also a student earning his MBA and a long-time community volunteer.

Mr. Mina has demonstrated extensive community service and volunteer involvement through his work with Big Brother Big Sisters and the New Canadians Centre. He has been a dedicated Big Brother for more than a decade, positively impacting the lives of local youth. As well, Mr. Mina has assisted with the integration of Syrian refugees into the Peterborough community. He has served as a volunteer translator and has provided the families with useful contacts and vital resources as they settle into their new life in Canada.

 Mr. Mina’s nomination stated that he continually participates in activities and causes that build a better community, helping countless people.


About the Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards
The Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Awards were created to recognize citizens who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to, and concern for, their community, country or beyond. Within volunteer work and through their career these candidates have exceeded expectations, putting their ideas and skills to practical use for the benefit of others. One award is given to an employee of the college while another is awarded externally, to a citizen of the communities the college serves.


About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 5,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 71,000 alumni.



Media, for more information please contact:
Laura Copeland
Communications Officer
705.749.5530 x 1370