By: Jenna Hobin

“Carleton is a special place. It’s an incredible university that really focuses on building community and creating opportunities for our students to learn in non-traditional ways.” As a Professor of International Affairs and Associate Vice-President of Teaching and Learning, David Hornsby believes in the power of the educational experience that is provided by Carleton as an institution.

This was David’s impetus to become a donor through Carleton University by supporting the Women in Computer Science Fund and the Chris H. Braeuel Bursary in Global and International Studies. He views FutureFunder—Carleton’s crowdfunding platform—as an opportunity for a community of people to come together to contribute smaller amounts to create a greater impact. As he says, “There are a lot of projects and activities seeking support that can have a meaningful impact not only on the lives of individuals, but also on broader structural issues in society.”

This is reflected in the Carleton-led initiatives supported by David, which both have advancing diversity at their core. With Computer Science traditionally being a male-dominated field, David felt compelled to donate to the Women in Computer Science Fund to support female students and the value that a different set of ideas and experiences contributes to each discipline. David says, “One of the critical pieces associated with disciplinary advancement is diversity—diversity of people, backgrounds and experiences.”

The Chris H. Braeuel Bursary in Global and International Studies is also working to progress diversity, by supporting third-year undergraduate students who are participating in a work placement as part of the International Experience component of the program. David emphasized that learning opportunities like this encourage diversity in perspectives, as they can help shape how one sees the world and engages with others. David benefitted from international experience both academically and in his professional work, which he believes can positively impact how you approach education and your view of other environments.

David with his wife, Trinish Padayachee.

While David’s commitment to higher education is undeniable, he also shared one other passion of his: coffee. Exploring downtown in search of his next roast helps to keep him grounded until we are back on campus with our unique community of faculty, staff and students that believe in making a difference. This collective mission ultimately led him to become a donor to Carleton University as he says, “I wanted to find ways, and I continue to want to find ways, to support our university either financially or by establishing programs that help develop our students into the great people that we all know them to be.”

Behind the Donor Curtain:

Do you have a personal motto or saying?

‘Always in service’. I aspire to be ‘always in service’ when it comes to the way I approach my own pedagogy and role as AVP In Teaching and Learning, or in the way I interact with scholars, in research and the community. I am always thinking of ways I can contribute in positive directions to help and be in service to society.

If you could meet anyone who inspires you, who would it be?

Paolo Friere. He was an educationalist from Brazil, and his intellectual work has inspired me in many ways. His whole philosophy around pedagogy of the oppressed really speaks to the emancipatory possibilities of higher education, and how we need to look at education as a project of social justice.  If I could meet anybody it would be Paolo Friere.

What profession other your own would you like to attempt?

That’s a hard one since I feel this is my vocation and something I really love to do. If I had another vocation I would love to get into architecture. I find the built environment fascinating, how it can influence people’s emotions and perceptions. How the way something is built influences relationships between people, collaborations and links communities. I am really interested in the potential of physical design in learning. When I am not working, you can find me reading architecture and design magazines or exploring interesting pieces of architecture around town.

Where is your favourite spot on campus?

I really love the Discovery Centre in the MacOdrum Library as a communal space where students and faculty can come together to help facilitate collaboration. I sometimes go and work from there with my laptop or hold meetings in that space. The vibe is wonderful.

What inspires you to ‘do good’?

We have a collective privilege that we maintain here in Canada, and that inspires me to give and think philanthropically to extend that privilege to others in our communities. We have to address inequities with a deep commitment to remove them, which requires an active and persistent effort.

You can support a FutureFunder initiative that is meaningful to you by joining Ravens’ Quest—Carleton’s first-ever virtual escape room. All Carleton employees who successfully complete the game will have $50 allocated to the FutureFunder campaign or giving fund of your choice, and will be entered into a grand prize draw to win a Nespresso! Register here by March 22! Click here for our FAQ page to learn more.