One could say it was a “peak” experience for Professor Peter Constantinou of the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University.
Late in August, Constantinou summited Mount Kilimanjaro and stood at Uhuru Peak, some 19,341 feet (5,895 metres) above sea level. Reaching the summit of the famed mountain fulfilled the York professor’s childhood dream.
“What made this extra special,” Constantinou said, “was that I was able to do this with my daughter.” The father-daughter team were part of a four-person expedition that took seven days to climb up and two days to descend the mountain. “We battled the freezing temperature, struggled with altitude sickness, but got to the top without having to use any additional oxygen.
“One of the things I emphasize in my teaching is that without the prospect of failure, there is no opportunity to learn and grow,” he said. “So what I try to do with my students is help them set ambitious goals and objectives and work with them to get there. And a big part of this is walking the talk so they can see you are doing the same.”
A lifelong love affair with the outdoors, hiking and travel has taken Constantinou to many exotic places around the world. “It gave me a real sense of pride to stand on the top of this mountain and hold the York University flag, as it was the education I received here that opened up my eyes to the possibilities that exist.”