Meet Lia Pizarro.

Over the next year, we’ll be joined by Lia Pizarro, a 4th Year Journalism and Communications student whose real-world experiential learning opportunities shifted her career plans towards humanitarian causes – a focus she hadn’t considered before coming to Carleton. As she embarks on the final year of her undergraduate career, she joins us to share a window into the life of a Carleton student embarking on a journey to use her education as a force for good.


When I was given the opportunity to share my stories and experiences with you all this year, I was hesitant at first. I didn’t see how the life of an average fourth-year Journalism and Communications student would intrigue or even interest anyone. Like many students at Carleton University, I’ve done my part to be involved on and off campus by joining clubs, attending events, and exploring what Ottawa has to offer.

However, one thing I can say is that going to Carleton has paved the way for new experiences that have inspired me to take on opportunities beyond what I could ever imagine. 

I’ve had the privilege of being immersed in a program where I am constantly in search of stories to tell and people to talk to. I’ve interviewed ex-child soldiers, humanitarian workers, disability experts and world travelers. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stories and experiences of those who would have never thought their voices mattered or even belonged out in the news world. To top it all off, Carleton has never failed to offer and provide extra-curricular opportunities that continue to inspire and drive my passion for telling stories and exploring the world.

For the past two years, I have been heavily involved with the Alternative Spring Break Program as a participant, ambassador and team leader. Through this immersive year-long program, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with international partners such as Students Offering Support, on service-learning projects in countries like Honduras and Guatemala. On a local scale, I’ve also participated in various student-led volunteer programs such as Campus to Community and Carleton Serves, where I’ve volunteered alongside many other Carleton students in community service organizations across Ottawa.

Through donor support from the Carleton community, these enriching programs are bringing students closer together and opening doors for our involvement both in and out of the classroom. Your impact has provided us with the opportunities to supplement in-class studies with real world experiences.  Through Collaborate, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in Carleton’s history, your generous contributions have a lasting impact on students who aren’t financially able to participate in these programs. Your investment in our future is ‘Here for Good’ and will truly go a long way in helping us to develop the skills, careers, and philanthropic values that will help us make a difference in the world.

After three wonderful years at Carleton University, I now have the honour of sharing my own stories and experiences with you all this year as I make my way through the final leg of my undergraduate journey.

My next Carleton adventure will take me to the beautiful communities of Fogo Island and St. John’s in Newfoundland, where I will celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with Carleton alumni and friends. I invite you all to follow my story through the Carleton University Alumni Association Facebook page, where you can get an insider look at my adventures on the east coast.

Until next time!

Lia Pizarro

4th Year Student
Bachelor of Journalism

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Gunther Bauer

(Photo by Mike Pinder)

As a former professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Design, Dr. Gunther Bauer’s philosophy on giving back is simple: “If we can, we should”.

Beyond his academic contributions, Dr. Bauer’s dedicated philanthropic efforts on campus will provide generations of Carleton engineering students with opportunities to create, invent, and pursue new heights of research with real-world applications. Within the past year, Dr. Bauer has invested $50,000 to establish two endowed scholarships for students pursuing Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton. While the creation of the first of these scholarships honours his life-long passion for Civil Engineering, the second is aligned with his vision for a world of Engineering that embraces and recognizes talent in all its forms – and genders.

Now retired, Dr. Bauer recounts the incredible resilience shown by women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields following the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in which 14 women, many of whom were engineering students, lost their lives in an act of gender-based violence. Inspired, too, by his wife Irmgard and three daughters — three Carleton alumnae themselves — Dr. Bauer’s latest investment on campus is an endowed entrance scholarship to help eliminate barriers faced by women entering the field.

Through the support of donors like Dr. Bauer, successful alumni and many others, Carleton’s work to encourage women in STEM continues to be a powerful collaborative effort.

Carleton’s Day for Good is November 29



Some days, you’ll agree, are better than others.

Since 2013, the Carleton community of alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends have come together each year to celebrate #GivingTuesdayCA. Year after year, we have rallied in support of promising student projects and inspiring research initiatives.

This year, we hope you will join us.

On November 29, our goal is to make higher education a force for good by raising $150,000 in just one day.

For 24 hours, Carletonians around the world will come together to find and fund the projects they find most meaningful.

Every gift counts. All gifts made this year will be amplified by a dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity for every gift made (up to $1000) on

With your help, we can unlock $150,000 in matching funds, helping students and researchers get the resources they need to make their work possible – on campus, and around the world.

Over the next month, you’ll hear exciting news and updates from us as we count down to Carleton’s Day for Good. Bookmark this page and follow us at @FutureFunder or @TheFutureFunder to be inspired and help us spread the word.

Until then, mark November 29 as the day to return to and be part of something truly special.

The Champions: Meet Norah Vollmer


She arrived at Carleton University as a student in 1992 and has found it impossible to leave. Norah Vollmer, BAHons/96, does double-duty on campus, working as manager of faculty affairs in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) while completing her graduate diploma in public management through the School of Public Policy and Administration.

Norah received bursaries as a third and fourth year undergraduate student. “It meant a lot to me that someone believed in me, was willing to help me, and ultimately saw potential in me,” she says, adding that it was only in retrospect that she realized that the money came from administrators, faculty, and alumni of Carleton. A contributor to the Campus Community Campaign Bursary fund, which consists of financial-need based awards to undergraduate students, Norah is also involved with the Scholars at Risk campaign.

Here’s what makes Carleton University ally Norah Vollmer tick:

I was a kid who enjoyed… reading!

For me, success is… making things work efficiently and effectively. Lately, I have been reading a lot of books about productivity and I am inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement “I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life.” I think making a life is how I would like to measure my success.

I am happiest when… my new puppy sits rather than barking insanely at other dogs, people running, and people with wheels — bikes, motorcycles, or skateboards.

Education is so important because… it opens doors, and your mind.

The best advice I would give to a new student is…. to ask questions. Make sure you understand the assignments. Take advantage of all of the opportunities on campus — lectures, the art gallery, as well as the many people on campus who want to see you succeed.


Norah Volmer, Carleton University. Photo: Chris Roussakis


Lightning Round: The Five Ws

Who has inspired you recently? Dr. Hossein Raeesi, the Iranian scholar and human rights lawyer who came to Carleton through the Scholars at Risk network. He and his family have made huge sacrifices to try to make the world a more peaceful place.

What degree (other than English) do you wish you had taken? All of them! But art history is first on my list for my “next degree.”

When is your favourite season on campus? The fall. September is so exciting. When you work at a university, you get to experience that back-to-school rush every year.

Where is your favourite spot on campus? There are many! I’ll mention Dundas residence because it was the first building I saw when I arrived from Toronto. I didn’t know anyone because I had worked for a year after high school to save money for university and had mostly lost track of my high school friends. I was a little anxious about having a roommate, but she was great. I should not have worried.

Why give back? Because someone believed in me. In my third and fourth years, I applied for bursaries and was successful. I had to provide a budget (which was probably a very good exercise in managing my funds) and a short essay. I’m not sure who read it, but I certainly put my heart and soul into that essay. It meant a lot to me that someone was willing to help me and ultimately saw potential in me.

Norah Vollmer, Carleton University. Photo by Chris Roussakis


The Champions series by Sarah Brown features supporters of special projects around campus and profiles those who are supporting social and economic good in society. This is Carleton’s founding premise and that spirit carries on and is being celebrated on the cusp of the university’s 75th anniversary in 2017. Learn more about Carleton’s most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign. Together, we’re Here for Good.