Chris Hatfield tells 10k students of space career

May 29, 2014   ·   0 Comments

1.ChrisHadfieldBy Tabitha Wells – On Friday, about 10,000 people spread across the multiple Georgian College campuses had an opportunity to listen to Canadian Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield share his story of becoming an astronaut; from dreaming about it as a young boy into making it an out-of-this-world reality.

“Georgian is very proud to have Chris Hadfield come and tell his story about his time in space and at the space station,” said Dave Forbes, Campus Manager at the Orangeville Georgian Campus. “I think what we’re going to hear is anything is possible. I think there is going to be a leadership message, but there is also going to be a ‘you can accomplish anything message.’”

Col. Hadfield spoke live from the Barrie Campus, and his talk was streamed to the other six Georgian campuses via videoconferencing technology as part of the 20th annual Advancing Learning conference. Conference participants, students, staff, faculty, supports and members of the different communities came out to hear him talk about his story and important lessons he has learned through his journey.

“Education, enabling technology, how we organize ourselves on an individual level – these help us get the impossible done,” he said. “How we visualize failure is just as important as how we visualize our success.”

The Orangeville Campus kicked off the event with a breakfast for the students and members of the community in attendance, followed by the opportunity to watch the live-stream of Col. Hadfield’s speech.

Robin Blakely, a student in Georgian College’s Step-Up Program, was beyond excited to have the opportunity to see the Colonel speak.

“He is a really interesting man, he’s really inspirational, and he’s a rock-star astronaut,” said Ms. Blakely. “It’s a great opportunity to hear him speak because he’s talking about his time in space, the things he did there, and what he did up there for people down here. He’s a really cool man.”

She added that she heard about him a few years ago, and followed him during his educational series he presented online via the space station, to educate students, followed by his incredibly popular song Space Oddity.

“It was just a really cool thing to see, that he was doing this not just because he was an astronaut but because he wanted to teach the kids about space,” she said. “He taught random little lessons online and would update us on twitter, and the fact that he is Canadian is just amazing. I’ve never seen him speak, so the fact that he is so close and that he is speaking to us as Georgian is so cool.”

The Colonel has an impressive story, and became a worldwide sensation after blasting off from Kazakhstan in 2012. He utilized social media to make his story, experience and outer space accessible to millions who would never have that opportunity, and is the pioneer of many firsts in Canadian history. Just some of those accomplishments include being the first Canadian to perform spacewalks and command the International Space Station.

“Georgian is all about extraordinary experiences, and today was certainly one of them,” said college President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes in a press release following the event. “Col. Hadfield reminded us all of the power of having a vision – that anyone can achieve their dream if they have the right tools, work hard and go out and get it.”

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