Happy 10th Anniversary GPRC Research & Innovation!

Happy 10th Anniversary GPRC Research & Innovation!

We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings back in 2007. When GPRC Research & Innovation (then called the Centre for Research and Innovation, or CRI) was first created, it was with an unshakable sense of optimism, even in the face of difficult times. We knew back then what ten years in business has confirmed to us today: there is something special about this college and this community.

Former PREDA Chair Jack O’Toole (left) shakes hands with GPRC President Don Gnatiuk at the GPRC R&I 10th Anniversary Celebration, September 22, 2017.

Some have called it the “entrepreneurial spirit” of the north; but whatever you call it, it’s been driving academic and economic success in the Peace Region for decades. It’s the reason behind the success of R&I initiatives like Pollutants to Products (which has earned two patents and is entering its commercialization phase), Community Enhancement Research (which has helped improve mental health crisis intervention systems in the city of Grande Prairie), and the GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre – Technology Access Centre (which has grown in capacity by over 1200% since 2013 and is set to triple in size and capacity over the next twelve months). Not only that, but GPRC R&I has been lucky to offer help to incredible students and faculty at GPRC campuses as they engage in meaningful, innovative research and scholarship with the potential to transform their communities.

Lab Technician Jamie Lee Martin takes guests on a tour of the GPRC NBDC-TAC laboratory, September 22, 2017.

It’s been ten years since we began, but we’re nowhere close to finished. We can’t wait to see where the next ten years will take us.

Dr. Weixing Tan demonstrates tailings separation technology to guests in the Pollutants to Products solarium, September 22, 2017.
The GPRC Community Enhancement Research team meets up with representatives from the RCMP and Alberta Health Services to discuss future research opportunities, August 23, 2017.
Winners of the Student Research Award (left to right: Demica Pusch, Anwar Tuhl, Brittany Cowen, and Kara Witow) with their mentors, Drs. Connie Korpan and Michelle Yeung.

Watch the live video of our 10th Anniversary Celebration here. Thank you to all who joined us.

GPRC Wolves Athletes of the Week: September 25, 2017

Each week, two GPRC Wolves athletes are selected to showcase their achievements in the classroom and on the field, track, or court. We are pleased to congratulate Jessica Winterford and Meghan Dalziel as our current Athletes of the Week!

Bernardo Rojas

In his second year with the Wolves, Bernardo has had a brilliant start to the season. Bernardo is very good with his techniques and has great skill on the ball with quick feet. Bernardo has an excellent shot and is always a danger in and around the penalty box, which attributed to his Player of the Game nomination against the Augustana Vikings earlier this season. Dedicated to his training off the field, Bernardo has tremendous upper body strength and wins many duels in the middle of the field. He is a quick player with great stamina and has excelled on the field for the Wolves.


Cameron Close

Hailing from Fort St. John, B.C, Cameron is in his second season with the Wolves. This season, Cam has moved to the left back position, and has been brilliant so far. A small but pacey athlete, allied to his strong tackling, not many get the better of Cam. He has the sweetest left foot and scored against the Augustana Vikings earlier in the season with a super strike, earning him the Player of the Game nomination. A great personality on and off the field, we wish Cam continued success this season.



Congratulations Bernardo & Cameron! 

Learning by Doing: GPRC Instructor Gifts his Students Axolotl Eggs for Study

Learning by Doing: GPRC Instructor Gifts his Students Axolotl Eggs for Study

Besides the students, staff, and faculty who frequent it, GPRC Fairview campus is also home to a group of unusual residents. If you attend this campus, you’ve probably noticed them in fish tanks in the offices and classrooms: tiny, aquatic salamanders known as axolotls, whose unique biological properties make them the perfect subjects of study for animal health students.

Dr. Chris Mizzi, Animal Sciences instructor at GPRC, has been breeding and raising the amphibious creatures as a hobby for around twenty years. He first became interested in the axolotl when his university chemistry instructor introduced him to them. “It kind of started my fascination with amphibians,” Mizzi said. “I’ve been involved with them ever since.”

An axolotl egg rests in a jar of water.

Students in Dr. Mizzi’s classes are always offered the opportunity to care for axolotl eggs during the two- to four-week incubation period. Mizzi notes that the students would probably never otherwise get an opportunity to see the rare creature up close. Axolotls are of special interest to the medical research community for their regenerative properties. “They can regenerate most of their body parts,” explained Mizzi. “If they get a leg cut off, they can regrow it. Eyeballs, parts of their liver – they can even heal their own spinal cord.”

Axolotls are also excellent case studies for embryotic development. “The eggs are so large you can actually see them develop with the naked eye,” said Mizzi, adding that the transparent membrane allows a clear window to the inner workings of the egg. “I’ve seen them change from one cell to two cells to four cells. You can see them form gills and the head and you can just watch everything.” Because most organisms go through a similar process in utero, studying axolotl eggs can teach students a lot about fetal development.

A young axolotl. So cute!

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen these guys,” said Kaytlin Evans, first year Animal Sciences student. “They started out looking like a tiny little bean. Now they’ve developed gills on the side of their face. Yesterday I noticed them moving.” Evans values the opportunity to work with an axolotl up close: “It’s a great experience to be able to deal with different types of animals, especially amphibians and reptiles. I hope to specialize in exotics, so this was a good learning experience.”

First year animal health student Kaytlin Evans (left) holds submerged axolotl eggs next to classmate Kaylee Shmyruk.
GPRC Wolves Weekend Recap

GPRC Wolves Weekend Recap

Your GPRC Wolves hosted the University of Alberta – Augustana Vikings at the Pomeroy Field in their second set of home games of the season.

Sporting their new team gear, the Women won 7-1 on Saturday, and 4-1 on Sunday, claiming 6 valuable points to tie the top of the standings in the North Division. Players of the Game were rookie striker Ashtyn Haycock and veteran defender Bailey Zahorodniuk.

Goals from Alexi Watson (2), Ashytn Haycock (2), Kelsey Wudkevich, Madi Gillespie and Brook Robert secured Saturdays win for the ladies. Coach Morgan commented that Sunday’s game was a tighter affair, with the Wolves coming out the out eventual winners 4-1. Jess Winterford opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half and Shelby Henley increased the lead early in the second half. The Vikings reduced the arrears soon after before goals from rookie midfielder Kelsey Wudkevich and 2nd year defender Megan Dalziel secured the win for the ladies.

With a draw 0-0 on Saturday, and a win 3-0 on Sunday, the men bounced back from last weeks’ defeat to garner 4 points well-earned points. Players of the Game were striker Bernardo Cruz, and goalkeeper Brandon Harvey. Coach Morgan commented that the Wolves should have won Saturday’s encounter, but a host of missed chances allowed the Vikings to claim a share of the spoils, going on to mention that a magnificent performance in the midfield by Bernardo Rojas confirmed his Player of the Game nomination. Goals from rookie midfielder Rui Vale, 2nd year defender Cameron Close and rookie striker Zack Fischer on Sunday secured the win with Coach Morgan saying that Sunday’s game was much better with the Wolves racing into a three-goal lead. Despite missed chances to add to the score line in the second half, the men deservedly secured their first win of the season.



The squads have no games this weekend, but will prepare to travel to Edmonton Friday September 29 where they will face the Kings University Eagles, and the Concordia Thunder. All games can be watched on ACACTV.ca, and home game schedules are available at gprc.ab.ca/athletics





Wolves fall to Team Canada Sitting Volleyball Squad

GPRC Wolves Men’s Volleyball played an exhibition match against the Team Canada Sitting Volleyball Team Friday night at Peace Wapiti Academy.

Despite a 1-4 loss to the National team, it was an excellent experience for our athletes and our program. The opportunity to train and compete with our National team was one that everyone was easily excited for, and to have the maple leaf in our gym and across the net from us was unforgettable, said Wolves Head Coach Mitchell Schneider. The National Team has a strong Wolves connection with 3 of the coaching staff being Wolves Alumni, Head Coach Jeff Smith (WVB 2012-14, Assistant Coach Krystal Bush (WVB 2004-05) and Athletic Therapist Caitlin Baker (WBB 2008-11).

Smith, the Head Coach of the Wolves Women’s Volleyball team who won ACAC and CCAA Silver in 2014, was thoroughly impressed with the turnout and by the game play. He said that we don’t get an opportunity to play against a large block on a consistent basis, and the GPRC guys bought into the opportunity to learn a game, and also teach a few things to the national team. Smith plans to come back to Grande Prairie for exhibition games until the team qualifies for the 2010 Paralympic Games to be held in Japan.

This event was a great opportunity for Grande Prairie and area to see the calibre of play of the Team Canada Sit Volleyball Team said GPRC Wolves Athletic Director Francois Fournier; they are great athletes who perform at a very high level. Congratulations to their coach Jeff Smith, his coaching staff and the players and best wishes for continued success on the world stage.

St. Joes: Double Gold at Big Red


One of the largest volleyball gatherings in the Province, The Service Plus Inns and Suites, Big Red Volleyball Tournament was hosted this weekend by Wolves Volleyball. 22 Girls, and 17 Boys teams registered for the tournament, but in the end, it was an all Grande Prairie final, with St. Joseph Catholic High School and Peace Wapiti Academy battling it out in both the Boys, and Girls. St. Joe’s emerged as the winner on both fronts, clinching gold and the 2017 Championship Banner.


Boys Girls
Gold St. Josephn Catholic High School St. Josephn Catholic High School
Silver Peace Wapiti Academy Peace Wapiti Academy
Bronze Sexsmith Secondary School Spirit River Regional Academy
4th Parkland Composite High School Dawson Creek Secondary School – Juniors

Congratulations to all the teams that participated! We hope to see you in 2018.

GPRC Wolves Athletes of the Week: September 18, 2017

GPRC Wolves Athletes of the Week: September 18, 2017

Each week, two GPRC Wolves athletes are selected to showcase their achievements in the classroom and on the field, track, or court. We are pleased to congratulate Jessica Winterford and Meghan Dalziel as our current Athletes of the Week!

Jessica Winterford

Jess, who enters her 4th year as a Wolf is a dynamic, creative midfielder and a wonderful passer of the ball. Her all action style is a joy to watch and she is the heartbeat of the team. Jess has great stamina, and is a fierce competitor who never gives an inch. With an ability to link defense and attack with ease, Jess has great vision, an explosive shot and scores important goals.

As a leader, Jess always sets a good example on and off the pitch, and is well respected by everyone which makes her a true asset to the Wolves Program.


Meghan Dalziel

Meghan Dalziel enters her 2nd year with the program after an impressive rookie season. Meghan can play in a number of positions and is a vital member of the squad. A solid defender, Meghan is aggressive and reads the game well. She is a great header of the ball and a real presence on the field.

Always composed under pressure, Meghan is also a talented technical player as she can use both feet, has great awareness, passing range and a terrific shot.


Congratulations Jess and Meghan!