Grebel alumni change the world with tech

February 8, 2023 | Focus On Education | Volume 27 Issue 3
Farah Jurdi | Conrad Grebel University College
Waterloo, Ont.
Grebel alumnus Jared Baribeau works on tech related to the manufacture of zero-waste textiles. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

Like many Conrad Grebel University College alumni, Dale Brubacher-Cressman considers it important to make an impact on the causes he stands for. “My upbringing in the Mennonite church, extended into university life at Grebel, fostered in me a sense of responsibility and desire to make the world a better place.” Brubacher-Cressman graduated with a degree in Systems Design Engineering in 1987 and now invests in tech companies that fight climate change.

UWaterloo’s innovation ecosystem encompasses a mosaic of ideas, perspectives and experiences, and Grebel—which is affiliated with UWaterloo and operates a residence for UWaterloo students—encourages students to branch out and enrich the world around them. These diverse communities work together to help build vitality and passion in students that inspires them to work toward good causes.  

“At PeaceWorks, my team and I look for new and innovative ways to achieve results with less resources,” said Scott Bauman, a 2007 computer engineering graduate who lived at Grebel. PeaceWorks is an IT company with many non-profit clients. “It motivates me, knowing I’m working for an organization that is purpose-driven more than it is profit-driven.” 

Some Grebel alumni are designing ways to help save the planet—from Cole Atlin’s contribution to nuclear technology advancement to Jared Baribeau’s work to attain zero-waste textiles.

“Conversations and classes at Grebel dramatically broadened my mind on what activism can look like, and helped expose me to how change happens,” said Baribeau.

Also working on one of humanity’s most pressing issues, Neil Brubacher, a recent engineering graduate, uses his knowledge of machine learning to shape a richer understanding of climate change and arctic life. “I also credit the rich opportunities for interdisciplinary thinking and context-building fostered by many years in the Grebel residence community,” said Brubacher. 

Technology is a way to globally share knowledge and information.

“Making lives easier is the name of the game,” said Kevin Willms a 2012 computer science graduate, and former don in the Grebel residence. He is currently the senior manager of Cloud Operations Reliability Engineering at D2L, a learning platform that enriches education through accessibility.

Grebel works to cultivate the next generation of scholars, entrepreneurs and leaders. 

Grebel alumnus Jared Baribeau works on tech related to the manufacture of zero-waste textiles. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

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