Here’s to the Kids!

Here’s to the Kids!

Finding balance as a student and parent is a tough gig. For those who must balance work on top, it can be overwhelming to say the least. We often talk about the struggle of working-student-parents, but there’s a group that is often overlooked in this journey; the kids. Our kids are on the same journey we are, and while we all hope to build them a better future, in the meantime, they feel the effects of our hard work and dream chasing. So, here’s to the kids…

Photo submitted by Casey Caines.

To the babies who grow up being rocked to sleep with lullabies of Plato and Organic Chemistry.

To the kids who learned to fall asleep on the floors of the library during exam week.

To the children who never complained about cereal for dinner too many nights in a row.

To the little ones who are the first at daycare in the morning so their parents can go to school, and the last ones to leave at night so their parents can go to work.

To the toddlers who learned to walk down the corridors of an empty school.

To the kids who had to share their family time with textbooks and laptops.

And to all the children who missed a good morning and, also a goodnight, because when you are a working student, sometimes 24-hours just isn’t enough.

I know it can’t be easy being the child of a working, student, parent. One day, there will be more time, and less studying. There will be less cereal, and more suppers at the kitchen table. You will walk this path together, even when its difficult, because you need to finish, and they need to see you do it. So, here’s to the kids who will grow strong, resilient, and educated because their first example was their parents.

Submitted by GPRC Education Ambassador, Casey Caines. 

GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 28, 2019

GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 28, 2019

Each week, two GPRC Wolves athletes are selected for their achievements over the weekend on the field, track, or court. We are pleased to congratulate Calandra Bychyk from the Wolves Women’s Soccer team and Cole Clements from the Wolves Men’s Volleyball team as our current Featured Athletes of the Week!

Calandra Bychyk #10

Program: 2nd Year, University Transfer, Bachelor of Kinesiology
Position: Defense
Hometown: Stony Plain, Alberta

Calandra Bychyk is in her second season playing for the Wolves women’s soccer team. She has played a vital role for the team both on and off the pitch. As a dual-sport athlete, Calandra is an excellent example of hardwork and dedication. She is a strong player and provides a towering presence in the middle of the defense on the pitch. As a fearless player with a great personality, Calandra has scored some important goals for the team this season. Thank you to Calandra for her dedication to the Wolves.

Cole Clements #11 

Program: 1st Year, Business Administration
Position: Outside Hitter/Libero
Hometown: Grande Prairie, Alberta

In his first season in the Wolves program, Cole Clements has excelled in adapting to the demands of being a student-athlete in the ACAC. His consistent efforts in the classroom, weight room, and on the court in the first semester have set him up for a great career in the ACAC and as a part of the Wolves Volleyball program. Cole’s ball control and athleticism are an asset to the team as he can make plays on offense and defense.  The future looks bright for both Cole and the Wolves! Thank you to Cole for his dedication to the Wolves.

Congratulations to the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge Winners!

Congratulations to Elizabeth, Holly, Zach and John of Team Growing the North for winning the GPRC 2019 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge! Both teams put on an excellent performance in front of our panel of judges yesterday – here are some highlights in photos.

First-year engineering students Zachary Fournier, Teigan Scott and Caitlin Peebles present their improved design for a piece of diagnostic equipment at the NBDC.

The winning team received a $3,000 prize and (even more valuable?) the chance to develop skills, build professional connections, boost their resumes, and kick their education at GPRC into high gear.

Thank you to our students all our partners, sponsors and supporters who made the challenge possible. We’re so proud of what our students have accomplished and what they continue to accomplish!



Team Lead Teigan Scott tests the prototype shaker tube she and her team developed using GPRC’s 3D printer.
















Holly Thiessen of team Growing the North presents the team’s video project to the judges.
The winning team poses with Challenge coordinator Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo. L-R: Elizabeth Vidrih, Holly Thiessen, Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo, Zachary Grinnell, and John Wanotch.


GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 21, 2019

GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 21, 2019

Each week, two GPRC Wolves athletes are selected for their achievements over the weekend on the field, track, or court. We are pleased to congratulate Brandon Harvey from the Wolves Men’s Soccer team and Lilee Burke-Stasiuk from the Wolves Women’s Basketball team as our current Featured Athletes of the Week!


Brandon Harvey #01

Program: 3rd Year, University Transfer, Bachelor of Arts
Position: Keeper
Hometown: Grande Prairie, Alberta

Brandon Harvey has been a valued member of the Men’s soccer squad for the past three years. Playing in the tough position of keeper, Brandon showcases his ability as a great short stopper with excellent reflexes shutting down the opposing forwards and midfielders. Brandon plays a key role to the team dynamic off the field as well as a co-captain for the team. Brandon is always leading by example. In the off-season, Brandon can be found as the broadcasting voice for basketball home games. Thank you to Brandon for his dedication to the Wolves and athletics programming.

Lilee Burke-Stasiuk #10

Program: 1st Year, University Transfer, Bachelor of Education
Position: Guard
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Lilee Burke-Stasiuk is a first year guard from Edmonton, who caught coach Mandy Botham’s eye while playing high school ball at Archbishop MacDonald. Lilee is an integral part of the Wolves young core of athletes. She is a wicked 3-point shooter who has worked hard to add other dimensions to her game. At the end of the first half of the season, Lilee was 13th overall in ACAC 3-point percentage at 35.4%. She is studying Education at GPRC, and wants to become a teacher. This would be a smooth transition for her as she excels at working with children and is one of our top coaches in the GPRC Wolves Minor Ball program. Thank you to Lilee for her dedication to the Wolves.

GPRC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Team Profile: Team #2 (NBDC)

GPRC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Team Profile: Team #2 (NBDC)

L-R: First-year engineering students Zachary Fournier, Teigan Scott and Caitlin Peebles show off their proposed redesigns for NBDC’s shaker tube.

GPRC’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge is well underway for the seven students who are competing this year.

In this GPRIN-sponsored challenge, teams of students work collaboratively with a business in the community to tackle a professional project or identify solutions to a challenge faced by the business.

The first team is working with the Growing the North business conference to develop a promotional video; the second is working with GPRC’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre to improve the design of a piece of diagnostic equipment.

Introducing Team #2: GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre – Shaker Tube

When first-year engineering students Teigan Scott, Zachary Fournier and Caitlin Peebles received their task for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge, they were excited by the possibilities.

GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) asked the students to redesign the tubes in their laboratory benchtop shaker, a piece of equipment used to remove varroa mites (a common honeybee pest) from bees. Bee samples are submerged in ethanol and shaken in shaker tubes to separate the mites from their hosts. Researchers can then evaluate the severity of the infestation by conducting a varroa count. Students were tasked with coming up with some ideas for improving the design of the shaker tube in a way that was cost- and time-effective.

Solving NBDC’s design problem required a solid foundation of knowledge about the shaker mechanism and about the solutions other laboratories had implemented. “I think for me the coolest part has been doing the research and seeing how it’s already being done,” said Peebles. “I like to look at things and see why they do what they do.”

Scott, Fournier and Peebles were surprised by what they found. Even many top-notch research labs did not seem to have sophisticated solutions to the problem the students were facing. The team discovered that many laboratories used simple, homemade contraptions to remove mites, often constructed from disposable coffee cups or peanut butter jars. “One of the tools other researchers have used was literally just a plastic cup with holes poked through the bottom,” said Fournier. “I saw that and thought, ‘I can do better!’”

The team’s design had to be leak- and rust-proof and made from materials that would not react with ethanol. Cost and convenience were key factors in the design process.

After much research and a lengthy trial-and-error process, the team has come up with four potential designs for improvement of the shaker tube. They are now in the midst of creating prototypes using GPRC’s 3D printer.

With competition day approaching fast and a top prize of $3,000 on the line, Team #2 hopes judges will agree their designs are “the bees’ knees”!


Teams will have the opportunity to present their challenge solutions on January 22, when a Challenge winner will be announced.

Read about Team #1’s experience here.