TRENT Magazine Editorial: The Changes Remain the Same

img_5019The latest edition of TRENT Magazine is currently making its way to mailboxes (and email boxes) across the country and around the world.  This edition features a fascinating piece on the conflicts between ethic minorities and LGBT movements by Trent Professor Momin Rahman. Prof. Rahman’s research is in the area of LGBT citizenship with a particular focus on Muslim LGBT politics and identity, including a four year SSHRC funded project on Queer Muslim Visibility in Canada and the United States.

We also feature a story on challenging age-related norms through arts-based health interventions, an update on Traill’s renewed status as an undergraduate residential college, and an entertaining look back at the 1979 PSB Wilson-led Trent Rugby trip to England.

The cover story? Alumni, award-winning faculty member, and champion of Trent/Caribbean relations, Dr. Suresh Narine ’91 and his efforts to help promote sustainable indigenous business in his native country of Guyana.

In my editorial, I look back on my relationship with Dr. Narine and point out how decades-long Trent conversations are so easily re-kindled.  I hope you enjoy it.

The Changes Remain the Same

Suresh Narine and I had a lot in common in the early ’90s. Sure, he was new to Canada, having moved from Guyana to attend Trent, but we were both skinny, scruffy kids with dual majors in academics and partying. We hung out in the same Traill/Peter Robinson College circles and got into roughly the same amount of mischief.  And, had you asked, neither of us would have dreamed that we’d be working for Trent University some 25 years later.

Today, Dr. Narine is a decorated professor with a penchant for pulling in major research monies. Compare this to the day in third year when I popped by his house to find him cooking a huge pot of rice with a single carrot sliced into it for “nutritional balance and a bit of colour.” He was a carrot ahead of me when it came to my late-semester OSAP diet.

Times are a lot less lean for both Suresh and me. Come to think of it, there’s quite a bit less lean about the both of us … and the less said about our collective hairlines, the better.

Getting together with Suresh is a lot tougher than it used to be. He’s in constant demand, flying all over the place to lead collaborative research agreements at Mahatma Ghandi University in Kerala, India; The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; University of the West Indies in Cave Hill, Barbados; and the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Botucatu, Brazil. And then there is the work he does around the world introducing practical applications of biomaterials.

Nonetheless, when we last sat down for a beer (a year or so ago) at our historic favourite watering hole, the Only Café, it was like time had stood still. We talked about classmates (though now about how many children they had rather than their Friday night antics) and about politics (both Trent and global). And then we trundled off to our respective Peterborough homes to get some sleep before heading up to campus in the morning.

Here’s where things differ:  I spend my days telling wonderful Trent success stories.  Suresh spends his days being a wonderful Trent success story. It’s an honour and a privilege to share a bit about one of the projects he’s working on today.  Please see page 11 for a story about his involvement in sustainable indigenous business.

Suresh and I have made another date for the Only Café—and this time you’re invited too. We have plans for a podcast interview to take place on the patio of the fabled Hunter St. bar.  While the details are yet to be sorted out—I mentioned he’s a busy guy, right? —the commitment is there on both fronts. We’ll be sure to let you know when it airs. Because, like so many of you, our university stories continue to this very day. And while waistlines and hairlines continue to change, our passion for Trent remains the same.

Cheers, my friends!

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