GPRC volunteers care for evacuees’ furry family members

Some of the GPRC faculty and staff who helped look after the evacuated animals Tiffany Duncan, Katey Johnston, Lin Roy, Bonnie Danielson, Dr. Chris Mizzi, Lisa Coady, Carl Ball, Rhonda Shaw, and Shannon Ball.

GPRC’s Fairview campus became home for some important members of families evacuated from northwestern Alberta due to wildfires.

First year Animal Health Technology student Dayna McKay who is living on campus during the summer is lending a hand.

The College’s Animal Health Technology program put out the call offering to house any animals for displaced families shortly after the mandatory evacuations started in northwestern Alberta. A few days later, when the Town of Manning was placed under evacuation notice, the local veterinary clinic reached out to ask GPRC to look after the animals it had been housing for evacuees.

“We wanted to make sure the animals were safe somewhere else,” said Kaitie Koch, manager of the Manning Veterinary Clinic.

Shaylene Syrota, RVT, Educational Lab Technologist AHT – Animal Sciences Department and Dr. Christy Barlund, DVM – Instructor – Animal Sciences Department were two of the faculty and staff volunteers.

The clinic had already housed animals from families evacuated from High Level for about 10 days.

When the animals arrived on campus, GPRC’s animal health faculty and staff did an amazing job, said Koch.

“They were incredibly helpful and knew what exactly needed to be done,” she said.

Over the course of the evacuation notice, GPRC housed a total of 11 dogs, one cat and one hamster. The program faculty and staff continued any treatments the animals needed and monitored them daily to ensure they were doing well, explained Rhonda Shaw, Animal Health Technology instructor.

The animals were weighed in and weighed out, had their appetite and attitude monitored daily, and were fed and walked twice a day. The dogs all got time to run in the College’s round pen.

Volunteers would send videos and pictures of the animals to their owners so the owners knew their pets were doing OK. Volunteers hoped the photos would help reduce some of the stress the evacuees were experiencing.

“We were grateful to be able to provide some comfort by having the evacuees know their animals were safe and well cared for,” said Shaw.

Lin Roy, Program Assistant – Animal Sciences Department and Rhonda Shaw, RVT, Instructor – Animal Sciences Department with the first evacuee heading home.

Jill Gaudet’s dog Spike was one of the animals that were cared for by GPRC staff on the Fairview campus.

“I have to thank Manning Veterinary for ensuring Spike was safe by taking him to Fairview,” said Gaudet. “And thanks to GPRC for taking care of Spike. During a very stressful time, it is a relief to know your pet is safe and well-cared for.”

Marcella Parenteau was also evacuated from Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement and her dog Lolly was at GPRC Fairview.

“I’m so grateful,” said Parenteau. “Being evacuated was very stressful and scary, and having Lolly looked after in Manning and then in Fairview was a relief for me. Thank you for watching her for me.”

Volunteer students, faculty and staff at the Fairview campus provided all this help. They even had a waitlist of people wanting to volunteer.

Cathy Srayko, Toolroom attendant motorcycle certificate program donated five bags of dog food to send home with evacuees when they pick their pets up.

“Staff have been amazing. We had an abundance of people helping,” said Shaw.

All the volunteers received a mini-training session before they had contact with animals.

“You were there for us in our time of need,” said Koch. “We really, really appreciated it. We know how much work it is to look after that number of animals. It took a huge stress and worry off our plate.”

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped feed, water, walk and play with the animals in our care:

  • Lin Roy, Program Assistant – Animal Sciences Department
  • Lisa Coady, Program Assistant – Motorcycle & Recreational Powersports Department
  • Katey Johnston, RVT, Educational Lab Technologist AHT – Animal Sciences Department
  • Shaylene Syrota, RVT, Educational Lab Technologist AHT – Animal Sciences Department
  • Rhonda Shaw, RVT, Instructor – Animal Sciences Department
  • Shannon Ball, Toolroom Attendant – Automotive, Parts, & Engineering Department
  • Carl Ball – Instructor – Motorcycle & Recreational Powersports Department
  • Tiffany Duncan, RVT, Instructor – Animal Sciences Department
  • Bonnie Danielson, RVT, Instructor – Animal Sciences Department
  • Chris Mizzi, DVM, Instructor – Animal Sciences Department
  • Christy Barlund, DVM – Instructor – Animal Sciences Department
  • Dayna McKay, first year AHT student
  • Taryn Dodds, first year AHT student


GPRC Animal Health Technology Staff make sure the animals the college housed on the Fairview campus get to spend plenty of time outside.
Back to school jitters are a real thing and we’re here to help!

Back to school jitters are a real thing and we’re here to help!

Back to school jitters are a real and normal experience of post-secondary life. It doesn’t what year of study you’re in, if you’re fresh out of high school, a mature student or somewhere in between; it doesn’t matter what program you’re taking, or if you already know someone attending GPRC or not. Back to school jitters get us all, and with a new academic year starting at GPRC in T-24 hours, we took to our social media followers for some helpful advice on how to combat back to school jitters.

They had some really awesome advice, check it out.

Our first question asked on Instagram was aimed towards GPRC alumni and returning students. We asked “What advice do you have for first students?”

The answers were really incredible.

  • Don’t procrastinate.
  • Get your work done right away, it will honestly save so much time and stress in the long run.
  • Buy your textbooks on amazon.
  • Be on time.
  • Attend every class – even after ThursDen.
  • Attend all the orientation events. You’ll meet some awesome friends there!
  • Balance. Balance the essays, lab reports, and studying with things you enjoy.
  • Go for walks. Fresh air will help you think.
  • Learn where your classes are ahead of time.
  • Learn where your supports are around campus and make use of them. They are there to help you after all.
  • Remember to live a little.
  • Come to home games. It’s so fun to be a part of something and why not cheer on your fellow Wolves.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
  • Get to campus early for parking!
  • Secure your favourite study spot early. Exam time, you’ll thank yourself.
  • Don’t forget to believe in yourself.
  • Talk to your classmates and attend social events. You could meet lifelong friends.
  • You might not have everything under control right off the bat and that’s okay. It’s okay to find your groove.
  • Don’t miss a day! One day can change everything!
  • Don’t be afraid. Life is scary enough, find things to love about college and enjoy it!
  • Utilize all of the student resources and take your studies seriously!
  • You belong here just as much of the next person.
  • The Students’ Association is here for you!
  • Take on chance and sign up for that course you’re curious about. You might find your passion, an awesome hobby or meet like-minded people.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your instructors. Ask for help!

Now that we’ve got some tips on how to battle those back to school jitters, we’re almost ready to take on the new school year. But first, let’s move on to the second question we asked our social media followers. We asked to our new and returning students, “What are you most looking forward to this academic year?” with hopes are sharing their response to give some of students who are nervous about coming back to school, some light and things they can also look forward too.

Here’s their responses.

  • Meeting new people – this is my first time moving away from home and it’s terrifying but also so exciting.
  • Moving out!
  • Freedom!
  • Finishing school so I can start a career I know I’m going to love.
  • Being challenged by classes and assignments again.
  • Volunteering.
  • Living the dorms with my three besties. It’s going to be so much fun.
  • Securing my favourite study spot at the Library.
  • No classes before 10 a.m.
  • Decorating my space to make it my own!
  • Getting the soccer season underway!
  • Seeing all my friends again and getting to meet new ones.
  • Making memories to look back on for a lifetime.
  • Getting back on the court!
  • Meeting like-minded people who share the same passions as me but also challenge me to view the world differently.
  • Joining a student group or club. I love getting involved and want to make the best of my time at GPRC.
  • School supply shopping. New notebooks and pens put me in such a good mood. I can’t wait to use them.
  • Getting back in the gym and getting involved with intramurals again.
  • TOGA! SA parties are the best!

We hope you found some of those tips helpful as you get ready to head back to GPRC or get ready to join us for your first year!

The number one advice we’d like to leave you with is, remember to make use of your student resources. They are here to help you and help you succeed in this next chapter of your life. You can find them all here. 

Welcome to the GPRC family.

Follow GPRC on Instagram to participate in future poles and to stay in the know of everything GPRC related. 


Welcome to the pack, Kelly!

Welcome to the pack, Kelly!

The GPRC Wolves are pleased to announce the signing of Kelly Reid to the Women’s Basketball program.

Welcome to the pack, Kelly.

A multi-sport athlete, Kelly was selected as a 2018 Edmonton Metro League All-Star with the Bellerose Bulldogs, as well as the Cross-Country Coaches Choice Award. Head Coach Mandy Botham says that Kelly is an extremely versatile athlete who can play and defend multiple positions. She’s a scoring threat from in and outside the key, and I’m excited to have her join our team. She is going to be an impact player for us.

Kelly chose GPRC because the community aspect looked to be a perfect for her. She is excited to play at the college level and can’t wait to work out with the team.

Welcome to the pack, Kelly.

Two new recruits for Wolves Men’s Volleyball program!

Two new recruits for Wolves Men’s Volleyball program!

The GPRC Wolves are pleased to announce the signing of Sean Van Oosterwick and Talon Durrant to the Men’s Volleyball program.

Sean who was selected to the top Victorian State team since 2013, played his last season with the Melbourne University Blues, and joins fellow Australian Wolves players, James Haythorne and Tom Wheeler for the 2018-19 season.

Sean Van Oosterwick is welcomed to the team by fellow Australian Wolves players, James Haythorne,

Sean chose GPRC and the Wolves because of the strong athletic department and school culture that he feels is a good fit for him. He is excited to show what he can bring to the team, and how his volleyball skills will develop at a higher level.

Talon, a local graduate of St Joseph Catholic High School joins the squad as a mature athlete and will be a great addition as a setter says Head Coach Mitchell Schneider, who looks forward to seeing how Talons’ volleyball IQ and mentorship of the younger players will benefit the team.

Welcome to the pack Sean and Talon!

Welcome to the Pack, Aaliyah!

Welcome to the Pack, Aaliyah!

The GPRC Wolves are pleased to announce the signing of Aaliyah Kouyami to the Women’s Basketball program.

Welcome to the Pack, Aaliyah!

Aaliyah is the 5th athlete from Grande Prairie to join the Wolves for the 2018-19 season. A powerful centre from the Charles Spencer Mavericks, Aaliyah will bring much-needed rim protection, and an inside presence for us, according to head coach Mandy Botham, who is also extremely proud to have a strong local and regional presence on the squad. Coach Botham strongly believes in giving local athletes an opportunity to play at the post-secondary level and says that the numerous high school and club games she has watched have definitely paid off. ­ Aaliyah, who is pursuing studies in criminal psychology, chose GPRC because it is close to home making the transition to a higher level of basketball easier. She is excited about the season’s first game and looks forward to learning all she can from coaches, teammates and other teams.

Welcome to the pack, Aaliyah!