Skip to content

2015 Five Northern Leaders: Dr. Kevin McCormick

A passion for learning has been the rocket fuel for Dr. Kevin.
A passion for learning has been the rocket fuel for Dr. Kevin.

A passion for learning has been the rocket fuel for Dr. Kevin.
McCormick to find himself in the position of president and chancellor at Huntington University in Sudbury, which offers programs in gerontology, religious studies and communication studies.

He was just 40 when he assumed the role in 2006.

McCormick, originally from Toronto, is very pleased with his decision to move his wife Renee and their two sons to Northern Ontario nine years ago. He continues to be inspired daily by the faculty, students and community that surrounds him.

McCormick describes himself as a builder or a fixer. “My role is organic and enabling,” he explained. “I am supportive of my team. But we all lead at different times, and know when to follow
as well.”

He describes his team as insightful, saying when you bring a collection of insightful people together, amazing things
can happen.

Since joining Huntington University he has championed a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including the establishment of the Lougheed Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a first in Northern Ontario, where the public and the university offer opportunities for collaboration in fostering best practices in teaching and learning. It has held academic conferences, workshops and identified leaders in education with the Northern Ontario Award for Educational

There is also the founding of the first Canadian Institute for International Policing (CIIP). McCormick saw the need to build a national centre for developing international opportunities for Canadian police, and an international platform to draw global attention to highly innovative programs and initiatives that multiple police agencies can implement throughout
the nation.

McCormick is a hardcore sociologist. He obtained his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from York University in sociology. He is focused on the integration of community and post-secondary learning. He demonstrates his belief with the community boards he contributes towards, such as St. John Ambulance, Access Aids, United Way, Crime Stoppers and the Vale Hospice.

He doesn’t stop at the borders of Ontario, or even Canada. He has been involved in international work for many years bringing his expertise in post-secondary education to other parts of the world. He regularly visits refugee camps to witness firsthand the challenges faced by people in extreme situations of survival. As an independent volunteer he supports relief efforts by helping to implement educational programs and awareness campaigns for teachers and learners. He has worked in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. When he returns to Canada he continues to lend a hand. He is currently a member of the board for the Canadian Friends of Burma, a not for profit organization that works for democracy and human rights
in Burma.

“I hope that our students realize that to be involved in the community is not just a check in a box, but that we can study about hunger, or better we can learn in the community about hunger. What you learn in the community is how to lead,” said McCormick.

His ability to bring education and community together has been continuously recognized both at home and abroad. He was named Canada’s Professor of the Year by the college sector in 1999 while teaching at Georgian College. He received the Award of Excellence for Humanitarianism by Chiangrai Rajabhat University, Thailand in 2008, an Order of Crown of Thailand in 2010 and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

More recently he was honoured with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship for his exceptional long-term contributions that improve the quality of life for those in his community and province. This was garnered from his role as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel (HLCol) of the Irish Regiment, 2nd Battalion and 33rd Brigade Group in which he acquired military medals and other items once owned by fallen soldiers. It was his mission to return them to surviving family members.

McCormick has demonstrated, rather vividly, his belief that leadership happens in brief moments of generosity that foster an environment for good things to happen.