GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 7, 2019

GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week: January 7, 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 Scott Fraser from the Wolves Men’s Soccer team and Anna van der Giessen from the Wolves Cross Country Running/Indoor Track team as our current Featured Athletes of the Week!


Scott Fraser #14

Program: 5th Year, Business Administration
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

GPRC Wolves midfielder, Scott Fraser is in his fifth and final year at the College. He has played a key role in the program and mentoring our younger players. Scott has a wand of a left foot and possesses a wonderful first touch complete with a booming shot. He is one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the squad and his love for the game brings the team’s momentum up a notch.

Scott is a popular member of the squad. He is a mature student-athlete and advises the younger athletes of the Wolves way. Thank you to Scott for his dedication to the Wolves.


Anna van der Giessen

Program: 2nd Year, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Hometown: Bezanson, Alberta

With the departure of last year’s Cross Country Running MVP Kelcie Bulas, Anna van der Giessen was tasked with leading the Wolves Women’s Cross Country team this fall. Anna stepped up to the task and was the top GPRC Wolves Women’s runner in every race during the October and November season. The pride of Bezanson, Alberta, Anna looks to score points in Indoor Track for the Wolves in the 600m, the 1000m, and the 4 x 400m relay this semester. Thank you Anna for your dedication to the Wolves program.

Congratulations to our GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week. Thank you for being excellent examples of what it means to be a student-athlete.

GPRC Wolves Athletes of the Week: October 1, 2018

GPRC Wolves Athletes of the Week: October 1, 2018

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 Erin Grier and Miguel Macedo from Wolves Cross Country Running as our current Athletes of the Week!

Erin Grier
1st Year Personal Trainer
Duchess Park Senior Secondary
Grande Prairie, AB

Erin Grier returns to school this season and embarks on a new challenge: XC Running. This Mother-of-Four/Ultra Marathoning/Wolves Athlete, Erin has competed in a number of half marathon, marathon, and ultra marathon races in the past few years, but the 6 km ACAC XC distance is uncharted territory for her.  Grier looks forward to learning the ins and outs of “short distance” racing with the help of her younger Wolves teammates.


Miguel Macedo
1st year B Comm Transfer
Spirit River Regional Academy
Rycroft, AB

Miguel Macedo enters his rookie year as one of the top runners on the Wolves men’s team.  In his Grade 12 year, Miguel placed 3rd in the ASAA NW Zone XC Running Championships and 8th in the 1500m at the ASAA High School Provincials.  Miguel credits his teammate and fellow SRRA graduate Eric Nooy for pushing him in races and practice and making him a better runner and better person.


Congratulations Erin and Miguel! 

Student Ambassador Submission: With the End in Mind

Student Ambassador Submission: With the End in Mind

When I was younger my teacher asked the question “what are you going to be when you grow up?”

At that age I daydreamed about being something amazing- a hero, a firefighter, a nurse, a dentist, a farmer, anything really. My imagination ran wild with ideas of who I was to become when I grew up. As I proceeded through life this question became harder and harder to answer. Do we ever really know what we want to be when we grow up?

I will admit I have changed my career goals multiple times as an adult. My original plan was to become an accountant. I was enrolled in the Business Diploma program at GPRC to test the waters only to find out that business and accounting were not my passion. I ended up withdrawing from the program in the second year. My life was stressful and chaotic. I felt like I ruined my life and I would never be able to be something great. I was depressed and felt alone. I couldn’t turn to my family for help because no one understood my daily struggle. I needed some soul searching. I went on a back-packing trip around Australia with a girlfriend; travelling was the best thing for me. I gained a new appreciation for myself because I was finally listening to that little voice inside. I was able to digest my life decision of quitting school. I realized my life wasn’t over and it was okay.

I returned to school a few years after to become a Registered Dental Assistant. At first I didn’t have much of an interest in dentistry. A close friend of mine recommended the program because I could get a job anywhere in the world. I have been an assistant now for six years. I absolutely love the field I am in. I am truly passionate about helping others and I value educating people about their dental needs. I have reached a point in my career where I am ready for change. I need something more. I decided to return to school once again to become a Dental Hygienist.

I am returning to school as a mature student. I feel like I am faced with new challenges as I struggle to find balance with every aspect in my life. I am thankful for having a supportive group of friends and a wonderful, caring boyfriend who help me live my dream.  My biggest advice for students of any age is to listen to your body and not stress the little things. Take time for yourself and spend time with people who make you happy. Learn good study habits and never be afraid to ask for help. When you are stressing over studying and completing assignments remember you are not alone and you are allowed to let loose. Tell yourself to smile everyday, it really does make a difference in your mood.  Try to engage in conversation with someone new. Take pride in being a student. We are in this together.

Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Natasha Getz.

Work Integrated Learning Recap

Work Integrated Learning Recap

In October 2017, GPRC announced a new work term course for Business Administration students called the Work Integrated Learning program. It launched this summer with 15 lucky students.

John Wanotch, a first-year Business Administration student, was placed at FOURWORD Bike & Board shop as Social Media Manager and Marketer. This placement allowed him to learn more about social media and other avenues for online marketing.

“With traditional marketing shifting over to an online platform, I found this to be a good chance to see how it operates at a small business level,” said Wanotch. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far. There has been much to learn coming into this placement and I am learning something new every day.”

First-year student Joseé Lapointe and second-year student Jann Danielle Pascual were placed with Alberta Summer Games. “It’s been a great opportunity to kick off our summer,” Lapointe said. “It’s work that otherwise we may not have had the opportunity to be a part of.”

Lapointe and Pascual have been working on signs and promotional material as well as shooting sponsor videos. They are both loving it, enjoying how every day is different and that they are always busy. “It’s great for networking and meeting people,” said Pascual. “And it’s great for the experience. It’s also pretty cool that I can now say that I worked for the Alberta Summer Games.”

Over at Visa Truck Rentals, Elizabeth (Lizz) Vidrih, who is going into her second-year of the Business Administration program, said she doesn’t want to leave her placement. “Everyone has been very supportive and patient in teaching me all they can. I am grateful to work with such an amazing team.”

In addition to providing work experience and networking opportunities, work integrated learning helps students learn about themselves and what they want to do after they graduate.

“This has allowed me to solidify what I want to do as I pursue my degree and form my career path,” said Wanotch. “This is as much of a learning opportunity as it is an experience builder for a resume.”

“This work experience has reaffirmed that I made the right choice getting into the Business Administration program. The future is not here yet but what I am sure about is that this experience will have a positive effect in both my second-year and my future career,” said Vidrih.

Participating in the work integrated learning experience benefits students in many ways. They get first-hand experience and insight into how a business operates. They’re able to apply what they’ve learned in their classroom lessons to their jobs. Then they can take everything they’ve gained from that experience and apply it back to their studies.

To future students considering the program, Lapointe said, “Why not? You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. It will benefit you. It’ll be worth it.”

Wanotch adds, “Stay driven. Not every day will be a good day, and some days are going to be far more challenging than others, but it gets easier if the drive is still there. This wasn’t something I’d ever dream I’d be doing but here I am.”

Read the original news release here. 

Crackin’ Cases

Crackin’ Cases

This past weekend, your GPRC Deans of Business Case Team competed in the 13th annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition in Edmonton. This year’s competition was co-hosted by Grant MacEwan and Norquest, which took place between March 22 and 24. Every spring the top business and commerce students in the province gather to solve a case regarding a specific company and it’s potential problems, with the focus being on accounting, marketing, business strategy, and finance areas of the company. The teams only get 9 hours to read, analyze, crunch numbers, prepare a PowerPoint, and present a solution to the business’ problems. It’s a fast paced, high stakes day with a cash reward of $4,000 for the first-place team that creates the winning presentation – and if that doesn’t sound intense enough, the following day you must present your PowerPoint to a panel of judges. That’s right- it also includes public speaking (gasps of horror come from all the terrified students that public speaking claims victim to).

This year’s team consisted of (from left to right in the featured picture)

  • Riley Kjemhus– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Mykel Lewsaw– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Alexis Nellis (captain)- Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Brittney Commet– Second year Business Admin., Accounting Major
  • Kiersten Giesbrecht– Third year BBA SAIT collaboration, Accounting Major
  • Josh Hrushka– First year Business Admin., Marketing Major

Sound interesting? Well you’re in luck! If you read on, you’ll be walked through a summarized day-by-day play of how this weekends events unfolded, and at the end I’ll tell you how you can be a part of this prestigious event for 2019’s team.

On Thursday, the team met at GPRC and travelled to Edmonton in one of the college’s luxurious vans (thanks GPRC!). The team’s coaches rallied their husbands to be designated drivers for the weekend (thanks husbands!) and they got us there safe and sound with plenty of stops for Timmies on the way. Once in Edmonton, the first stop was the closest grocery store to gather provisions for the following day, tons of fruit and veggies were purchased to keep the team full and energized for the weekends activities. After the grocery store escapades, we made our way to the hotel where we got nice and festive for the opening ceremonies. The theme this year was Mardi Gras (interesting theme for a business competition) so on top of our business attire we donned the traditional green, purple, and gold beads and headed off to Norquest. The dinner was a delicious Cajun inspired dish of chicken, gumbo, and beignets for dessert. Following the dinner, the duo of Earth Group gave an inspiring presentation about their company and how they help children all over the world (google them, they’re amazing!) with the captains of each team picking presentation time slots to wrap up the evening. Ours was the lucky team to pick the first time slot at 7:30 a.m., which meant less time to practice and even less sleep- so back to the hotel we went to prepare for Friday’s war room.

Now the war-room is just as terrifying as it sounds. You are “locked” in a room from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with just your team, two school-provided laptops, writing utensils, food, and the case. No cellphones, no access to communications like email or Facebook, nothing but internet access for research and PowerPoint. This all took place on Friday, where the teams all gathered at MacEwan University to have a healthy, hearty breakfast and then escorted to their respected rooms by their hosts. Once in the room, the magic happens. You must identify the problem and essentially “solve” the case and have your PowerPoint presentation completed and handed in at 6 p.m. sharp- if you’re not done by 6, you must submit what you have- no extensions or exceptions! After we finished in the war room, we headed back to the hotel to start practicing the speeches for the presentation to the judges the next day. Full of Subway and adrenaline, we started preparing our speeches and presentations late into the night.

Saturday morning came far too early and fast, as we met in one of the hotel rooms at 4 a.m. for more practicing. And let met tell you- 4 a.m. is a hard time to sound excited and confident in your presentation, but our coaches kept us on our toes and eventually dragged the excitement out of us. Once we had a few more rounds of practice in, we went back to our rooms to get prim and proper in our best business attire to address the judges. 7:30 a.m. came, and your team did your College proud as we not only executed a flawless presentation but answered ALL of the judge’s questions to the point where they ran out! (did I mention the judges also have 5 minutes to ask you ANYTHING about the case, and you get marked on how you answer? Yeah, this just keeps getting better).

Feeling like kings and queens, we went straight to the closest Tim Horton’s for a victory coffee and to talk about the thrill and rush from achieving what we just did. 9-weeks of practise with nine different cases, on an average of 9-hours a week spent on these cases, and one final case being presented to the Business Department faculty the day before we left, had all lead up to this. Each one of us had poured our heart and souls into this team on-top of part time work and full course loads, and it was over in 15 minutes.

Although we didn’t place this year, the feelings we all had and the sense of family and devotion we developed towards each other made us feel like the true winners. We didn’t mind that we didn’t place, we knew that what we had just accomplished was more than most students got to experience, and we were thankful for every bit of the journey we got to participate in. We did some serious Storming, Forming, Norming this semester and although the team is officially done for another season, we realized friendships and bonds that will last much longer.

Try-outs for next years time will take place this upcoming November/December, and although you need to be nominated by faculty- I encourage all Business and Commerce students to inquire about the team and how you can go above and beyond to receive a nomination to try-out. I guarantee the extra time and effort you put out will reward you with skills, abilities, and friendships that will last a life time.

Submitted by Case Team Captain and Student Ambassador- Alexis Nellis