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IC Volunteer Spotlight: Gyanendra Kumar

  • IC Volunteer Spotlight: Gyanendra Kumar

The following blog post was written by Kelty Christensen, Learner Engagement Officer at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement (CEIIA).

ICan Crew volunteers members play an integral part in supporting the facilitation and success of Intercultural Centre (IC) events.  

On November 23, 2017, the IC hosted TEDxBowValleyCollege. This year’s theme was Kintsugi: Perfectly Imperfect, and several ICan Crew volunteers took on the role of emcee, introducing each of the TEDxBowValleyCollege speakers.

I met with Gyanendra Kumar, one of the emcees, to talk about his experience in volunteering with TEDxBowValleyCollege and the Intercultural Centre. Gyanendra is a Bow Valley College learner in the Health and Human Services program, and he has participated in numerous IC events in the last few months.

What made you decide to become a TEDxBowValleyCollege MC?

The first TED Talk I ever saw was by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. I was very inspired by his talk. When the opportunity to be involved with TEDxBowValleyCollege came up, I was very happy to be part of the experience. I like to speak in front of people and TEDx is a great platform to improve as a public speaker. I wanted to contribute to the collective effort of the TEDx event.

Did you improve your speaking skills?

Yes, I learned how to improve my delivery, managing my tone of voice and intonation. I don’t speak in a monotone now!  I improved my vocabulary and developed an awareness of what I am communicating with my body language. On the day of TEDx, I was so excited. I felt like I did a great job!

In addition to being an MC, how else did you contribute to TEDxBowValleyCollege?

I interviewed students on campus about Kintsugi- the TEDx theme. My friend and I walked around campus and asked students how they had transformed through challenges in their life. I enjoyed talking to all of the students. It was exciting, interesting, and humbling. I had to be persistent, not everyone wanted to be interviewed! But I was motivated to keep asking people. I got more confident. Every student that we talked to had a different perspective. Quotes from our interviews were shown at TEDx.

I never volunteered in my home country...Volunteering with the IC has been my first experience.

Have you done any other volunteering with the Intercultural Centre?

I have been in Calgary for three months. I never volunteered in my home country of India or when I lived for a year in Toronto. Volunteering with the IC has been my first experience. I have volunteered at Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids, the CEFL Welcome Bash, the ELL Settlement and Resource Fair, campus tours and now TEDxBowValleyCollege. I love to get involved, to get connected to people, and to talk with and help people. It builds my emotional intelligence. I’m learning in my studies, but I am also learning about people. It is a more holistic view of growth for me.

If you would like to become an ICan Crew volunteer, please contact

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