Determination drives adult learners

Fourteen learners from a variety of educational institutions and agencies received Adult Learner Awards from the London Council for Adult Education (LCAE) on May 17. Three Western students were among these award recipients: Anmar Almukhtar, Erin Anderson and Martin Zivcak.


Anmar Almukhtar

After graduating from medical school in Iraq in 1993, Almukhtar went on to specialize in cardio-thoracic surgery, becoming a fully certified specialist surgeon in 2001. Upon the outbreak of war in 2003, and the subsequent civil war in 2006, Almukhtar and his family fled the violence and sought a safer place to live and build a future.

After relocating to the United Arab Emirates, Almukhtar immigrated to Canada in 2013 under the Skilled Worker Immigrant program. As a volunteer for the Red Cross, Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and a Community Emergency Response Volunteers (CERV), Anmar pursued a medical career in Canada. Unfortunately, the obstacles to secure a residency as an internationally trained physician were substantial.

Undeterred and determined to stay in the medical community, Almukhtar successfully obtained admission to the Diploma in Clinical Trials Management at Western Continuing Studies. Thriving in the program, he has been an asset to our learning community.


Erin Anderson

Anderson began her studies full-time at Western in fall 2016. She immediately focused on getting involved and making the most of her time.

In her first year, Anderson became involved in a number of groups on campus. She is a hard-working, dedicated, and strong advocate for all mature students on the campus. She has spent the last year working as the Student Coordinator of the Society of Mature Students (SMS). In this role, she has consistently dedicated considerable time and energy into helping other adult learners adjust to life at Western. In fact, many students took the time to recognize Anderson at a recent award ceremony held.

She has also maintained a high academic average and is a member of the Western Scholars program.


Martin Zivcak

Zivcak began his studies at Western in fall 2015 after graduating from the General Arts and Science program at Conestoga College, where he achieved a 98 per cent program average and received several prestigious awards, including the President’s Honour List Award. He has continued to maintain a high academic average at Western, as well, as a member of the Western Scholars program.

During this past year, Zivcak began a role as a Mature Student Mentor in our Society of Mature Students (SMS). His mentees described him as “respectful, outgoing, caring, and extremely helpful.”

Zivcak provides his mentees with unconditional moral support. He is not just a student with exceptionally high grades but, more importantly, he is always willing to help others. Zivcak goes beyond his responsibilities as a SMS Mentor, helping not only his peers within SMS, but also his classmates outside of the program. Zivcak’s passion and enthusiasm gets others quickly on board, enabling them to reach their true potential. His exceptional ability to understand unique challenges of individual mature students, and his dedication to help overcome those challenges is what makes him a mentor who leads by example, helping to promote a great supportive environment within SMS.