At engineering pre-commencement keynote, CBC’s Manjula Selvarajah emphasizes volunteerism and to begin “right when you graduate”

Posted on July 08, 2021


As an alternative to the traditional keynote speech, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science opted for an interactive conversation between Manjula Selvarajah (Sc’93), Dean Kevin Deluzio, and Christina Bisol, the president of Queen’s student Engineering Society at this year’s pre-commencement virtual celebration which took place the evening of June 24.

Manjula Selvarajah is a journalist, tech and education columnist with CBC Radio, and guest host of CBC’s Ontario Weekend show. She is formerly VP of Marketing at the start-up Eloqua, now part of Oracle. She is cofounder of Tamil Women Rising, and a board member of Jumpstart Refugee Talent, and Scientists in School.

“My years at Queen’s really opened so many doors for me,” said Selvarajah, who earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Queen's. “I left the school with a real desire to give back. I decided to focus on empowering women, refugees, and promoting science to kids. Here’s the funny thing. As I go about my volunteer work, I keep running into other Queen’s engineers!”

Manjula Selvarajah

“That’s great thing to do,” she quickly added, in reference to volunteerism. “Choose something that you want to give back to, and start right when you graduate, because it’s also a great opportunity to network. Whether it’s telling stories, getting kids to care about science, helping refugees, or creating jobs, I feel like the school is allowing me to make an impact on society.”

The evening also included comments from Dr. Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies & Professor of Global Developmental Studies, and featured a degree conferral address from Chancellor Jim Leech and remarks from Queen’s Provost and Vice Principal (Academic) Mark Green.

A recording of the event is available in its entirety here.