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Full Circle - Friends and Colleagues

Two High School Friends End up Teaching Side-by-Side at Humber College in the Recreation and Leisure and Sport Management Programs  

Call it luck, fate or destiny, but two people who grew up together in Chatham, Ontario and were great friends throughout high school, are now teaching the same program, in the same field, at the same college. And they have gone full circle, with desks located right next to each other once again!

 Rick Simone, Program Coordinator for the Recreation and Leisure and Sport Management Programs at Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning hired Professors Sherri Branscombe and Dr. Ashwin Patel as part of the School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism.

“True story; Ash and I were really good friends in high school, we went to the same really small school in Chatham and were in the same grade and had the same best circle of friends,” says Sherri. “Many years later we are sitting side-by-side in desks again!”


Prior to joining the faculty full time, Sherri has been teaching part time at Humber College since 2010. “Sherri came from a unique background with the Canadian Armed Forces where she served as the National Sports Coordinator for Canadian Forces Personnel Support Programs,” says Rick Simone. “She was the Community Recreation Coordinator for CFB Borden and has a wealth of experience in recreation and leisure activities.”

Sherri graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Sports Management and Exercise Science Degree. Sherri has over 18 years experience in the Sport and Recreation industry having worked in a variety of sports facilities in the public and private sectors, including being the Operations Manager of a rock climbing facility. She holds over 15 professional certifications in the sports industry, including coaching, officiating and instructor certifications. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Sports Science Program at the United States Sports Academy. She lives in Wasaga Beach.

“Sherri is competitive by nature and relates exceptionally well to the students and is getting such a great response from students. Sherri brings a unique talent to our team and is a great attribute to the Recreation and Leisure Services Program," says Rick.

Says Sherri: “It's hard to put into words how incredibly rewarding it is to bring a passion of my own into the classroom after having worked in the Recreation and Sports industries over the years. When I can re-live these experiences as a facilitator of learning and connect it and relate to the students who have such excitement for recreation and sport, I am in a place where I literally watch our students learn and grow. Here I can only be incredibly proud of our students. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow during this exciting time for our programs. I truly work with the best faculty and staff, at the best College, and with the most dynamic students and I am proud to call myself one of the team!”

“Dr. Ashwin is an extraordinary teacher with a versatile background and hopes to build our program in the area of sports psychology as well as to introduce courses in customer service and facility operations.” Rick states, “The Sport Management and Recreation and Leisure programs are extremely popular and are growing at a fast rate. Five years ago there was one other faculty member aside from myself and now there are seven full time professors. Sports and leisure offers many opportunities for advancement and career opportunities for students.”

tennis ball and racket

Dr. Ashwin Patel earned a B.A. in Psychology and History from the University of Guelph and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Tennessee. During his tenure at Western State Colorado University, Dr. Patel 13 different courses in the Exercise and Sport Science program. He also developed the Sport Psychology minor and served as faculty advisor for the Sport and Fitness Management program, while also serving as Chair of Academic Policies and providing mental training services for 10 National Championship athletes. He also worked with various teams and coaches in the area. Recently, Dr. Patel served as a consultant for Action Learning Associates, an organization which designs and delivers customized programs for leadership development and high performance teams. He has trained professional athletes and is a popular guest speaker at conferences and has given presentations on Sport and Exercise Psychology at worldwide and regional Sport Psychology, Exercise Physiology and Coaching Conferences. Dr. Patel is also a tennis instructor and will soon complete his certification to become an Association for Applied Sport Psychology Certified Consultant.

Dr. Ashwin Patel and Professor Sherri Branscombe

Dr. Ashwin Patel from the Sport Management Program and Professor Sherri Branscombe from the Recreation & Leisure Services Program.