Desire2Learn celebrates employees' receipt of prestigious awards | Press Release | D2L
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  • Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Desire2Learn celebrates employees’ receipt of prestigious awards

Press Release

Employee accomplishments recognized with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award and The Waterloo Region Record's

Desire2Learn Incorporated (“Desire2Learn”), a leading provider of enterprise teaching and learning platforms, today announced that two Desire2Learn employees have recently been honored with awards for their personal and professional accomplishments.

Michael Swart, Senior Database Developer at Desire2Learn, is the recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award, in the SQL Server category. The award recognizes leaders in the technological community who actively share their expertise with both users and Microsoft.

Of the estimated 100 million users who participate in technology communities, the MVP award has been granted to a select group of 5,000 technology experts in over 90 countries since its inception in the early 1990s. Potential award recipients are evaluated by members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups, who consider the nominees’ expertise and voluntary contributions to the technical community over a 12 month period.

“I was very happy and honored when I found out that I was receiving the Microsoft MVP award,” remarks Swart. “I have always been passionate about technology, and it has been so fulfilling to have had the opportunity to share the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years.”

Swart is being recognized for maintaining a blog entitled “Michael J Swart, Database Whisperer,” focused on providing insight about SQL Server, Microsoft’s database software. Swart will be recognized at the 2012 MVP Global Summit, being held February 28 to March 3 in Bellevue, Washington, where he will have the opportunity to network with other MVPs and business leaders.

Another Desire2Learn employee, Wes Alkin, has been recognized by The Waterloo Region Record as one of the region’s “Top 40 Under 40.” This annual list of honorees recognizes 40 of the area’s “unheralded leaders” who make a difference through both their professional and personal work. Selections were made by a panel of judges from the community and the Waterloo Region Record.

Alkin, a Technical Solutions Engineer at Desire2Learn, was nominated by a number of people in the Waterloo Region community who recognized his drive and determination in various aspects of his life. As a competitive athlete, Alkin was ranked 22nd in the world for the five-kilometer run and 89th in the world for cross country where he represented Canada. He won three NCAA team titles at the University of Arkansas, and helped coach the University of Louisville to win the Big East Championship.

Furthermore, Alkin was named the Adult Learner of the Year at the University of Louisville where he received his Master’s degree. This is a university wide award that students over the age of 23 were eligible for. The fact that Alkin had a couple of learning disabilities made this accomplishment even more impressive. In his spare time, he now mentors other individuals with learning disabilities, helping them to reframe their challenges to focus on the positives while also teaching them coping skills. Alkin is being recognized for his entrepreneurial drive which has allowed him to transfer his skills and successes from his personal life into his professional work.

“We congratulate both Michael and Wes on their exceptional accomplishments,” remarks John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. “They exemplify the drive and determination that makes Desire2Learn employees successful in their professional work as well as their personal accomplishments. Their commitment to changing peoples’ lives, each in their own way, is inspiring, and shows us what a difference one person can make.”

For more information on Microsoft MVPs, visit, and to read the Waterloo Region Record’s “Top 40 Under 40” feature, visit the newspaper’s website here.

About Desire2Learn Incorporated

Desire2Learn Incorporated is a world-leading provider of enterprise eLearning solutions that enable institutions and other organizations to create teaching and learning environments that reflect their vision, goals, and branding. Desire2Learn and its subsidiaries support more than eight million learners worldwide. Clients include higher education, K-12, and healthcare as well as associations, government and other leading organizations. Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn has personnel in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore. For more information, visit:, call 1.519.772.0325 or toll-free 1.888.772.0325 (within North America), +44 808.234.4235 (U.K. and Europe), 0.800.452.069 (New Zealand) and 1.800.656.210 (Australia).


Press Contacts:

John McLeod
Sr. Director of Marketing & Alliances, Desire2Learn Incorporated
519.772.0325 ext. 378
Twitter: @Desire2Learn