Local educator recognized for decades of volunteer service

Offering a helping hand to someone in need is second nature for Vince Anania (BA ’85, BEd ’86).

The two-time Brock graduate and educator of nearly 38 years has been a dedicated volunteer within the Brock University community since he first stepped on campus.

Four decades later, Anania received the Brock University Alumni Association’s (BUAA) 2023 David S. Betzner Award on Saturday, Sept. 16 in recognition of his continuous Brock volunteer service.

“At Brock University, we’re extremely fortunate to have such a supportive and engaged community of graduates who are eager to give back, whether it be through their time, talent or other means like financial contributions,” says BUAA President Chris Ventura.

Three people pose side-by-side in front of a red wall. Two of them are holding a framed certificate between them.

Brock University President and Vice-Chancellor Lesley Rigg, David S. Betzner Award recipient Vince Anania (BA ’85, BEd ’86) and Brock University Alumni Association President Chris Ventura (BA ’12, MEd ’17) at Brock’s Alumni Recognition Reception on Saturday, Sept. 16.

“Alumni are the result of Brock’s exceptional academic and student experience — experiences that wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers like Vince.”

During his undergraduate studies, Anania seized countless opportunities to get involved in university life, helping the Brock University Students’ Union organize events across campus, including concerts, Homecoming events and events for the former College of Education, now known as the Faculty of Education.

Even as a graduate, Anania has answered the call to support Brock initiatives like Convocation and Smart Start. He has also hosted presentations for students on various topics including work-life balance, exploring careers in the education sector and providing mentorship to Brock teacher candidates.

Anania believes it’s his duty to help in these ways.

“If I didn’t get the opportunity to attend Brock for my undergraduate degrees, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Anania. “It’s vital to give back to ensure our school continues to excel and create positive members of society. Today’s students are our future.”

Anania currently teaches physical education and health to five kindergarten classes at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Niagara. His daughter, Kristiana Anania, is on track to follow in her father’s footprints as she enters her final year of Brock’s Concurrent Teacher Education program.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to close this chapter of my career alongside my daughter as she embarks on a new chapter in her own career journey.”

As he nears retirement, Anania looks forward to having more time to give back to the Brock community and enjoy the simple things in life.

Nominations for the 2024 alumni awards program are open until Wednesday, Jan. 31.

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