Insider May 11, 2011

In this issue

New Board of Governors Chair

At the end of the April 28 public meeting of the Board of Governors, Michael O’Connor passed the gavel to incoming Chair Vince Vavrek. Members of the Board expressed their appreciation for the passion and commitment demonstrated by Mike O’Connor during his term as chair. Mike in turn expressed his appreciation for each individual on the Board, and assures us that he will remain closely connected to the College. Vince Vavrek assumed his role as Chair on May 2, 2011. A warm welcome to the new public members of the Board of Governors:  Doug Morris, Tab Pollock, and Stewart Wilson. Welcome also to Students' Association President, Jenna Backer.

GPRC Convocation 2011

Grande Prairie Campus

The GPRC gymnasium was transformed into an elegant Convocation Hall last weekend, welcoming graduates and guests to a moving ceremony filled with memorable moments. From the first strains of the bagpipes heralding the arrival of the platform party and the 220 convocants to the last delectable morsels at the President’s Tea, Convocation 2011 was fully appreciated!

2011 also marks the initiation or a new GPRC tradition: the planting of a tree in honour of the graduating class, which will eventually form “Alumni Lane.” Chair, Kelly Chalmers, made the announcement on behalf of the Alumni/Foundation.

Photo: Valedictorian Darren Stoupe, Fitness Leadership Diploma and Salutatorian Jenna Foster, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Horse Lake First Nation and GPRC Working Together

An agreement between Horse Lake First Nation and GPRC designed to bring knowledge and opportunity to the people of Horse Lake has been formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding. The signing of the MOU took place in early April at Horse Lake First Nation by Chief Rick Horseman and Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President, who both spoke about the importance of this project to all involved.

“This is a great day for Horse Lake First Nation,” said Chief Rick Horseman as the MOU was signed between Horse Lake and GPRC in early April. “We are very proud to enter into this understanding with the college – there have been many people involved in making this dream come true.”

“We are very honoured,” said Gnatiuk. “It means a great deal to us that you have chosen GPRC as your partner in this initiative, and we thank you for trusting us.”

An educational strategy to meet both the credit and non-credit educational needs of the Horse Lake community is now being developed cooperatively by GPRC and HLFN. Some of the first opportunities being explored for delivery at Horse Lake are academic upgrading, computer courses and safety certificates.    - Submitted by Lynne Ness

Along with Don Gnatiuk, Susan Bansgrove and Chief Rick Horseman are Band Councillors, Brian Horseman (left) and Michael Horseman (right).

Wasn't That a P.A.R.T.Y.?

If you hear someone in Fairview say “wasn’t that a party?”, it may not be what you think. P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Prevent Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth. It’s a program aimed at educating youth about possible consequences of drinking and driving. This event also illustrates the effectiveness of working together toward a common goal. Fairview & District FCSS, Family & Community Resource Centre, Fairview Fire & Rescue, EMS, RCMP, Victims Services and GPRC were all involved in the planning and implementation.

On Tuesday, April 12th students from Fairview High School, Hines Creek Composite, St. Thomas More High School and Worsley High School attended P.A.R.T.Y. 2011 at GPRC Fairview Campus. Corporal Brad Giles of the Fairview RCMP Detachment spoke with the students about consequences of drinking and driving and distracted driving both legal and emotional. Grade 9 students were also assigned, various everyday tasks by occupational therapy and speech pathology to give the students an idea of what it would be like to have a physical disability or brain injury.

Fairview emergency personnel (EMTs, Fire and Rescue and RCMP) arrived at the campus, sirens blaring and lights flashing, to find a vehicle/pedestrian accident. Students and on-lookers watched the simulated rescue, extrication and emergency medical care. A drunk driver, with minor injuries, was hauled away by the RCMP, and his passenger was extricated from the vehicle by Fire and Rescue and lived to tell the tale. The pedestrian was struck by his vehicle and, despite the efforts of EMT personnel, died at the scene.

Moving into smaller groups, the students were taken through a number of stations, including a tour of the fire and rescue vehicles and ambulances; a simulated screening test given to suspected drunk drivers (students wore “beer” goggles – welding goggles with distorted glass); and an air bag deployment demo, where they could see the explosive force firsthand. Sandy Rendle, GPRC automotive service technician instructor, who conducted the demo, explained how the air bag and seat belt are designed to work together and what happens if your airbag goes off when you are not wearing your seatbelt. - Submitted by Cheryl Frank

Fort Nelson Recruitment Trip

Five years of being an ambassdor have provided amazing opportunities to share, learn and connect with the communities that GPRC serves. At the end of April, recruiters were in Fort Nelson. If you haven’t been to Fort Nelson, it is quite an experience. On the way to Alaska and Whitehorse, it is a remote community of roughly 5000 people that welcomes GPRC with open arms.

Last year was Gord Ivey’s first trip to Fort Nelson, and this year we have several students coming to GPRC. A full Friday was spent at Fort Nelson Secondary School, a great high school that really promotes the pursuit of education. Fifty percent of 2011 grade twelve grads are going on to post secondary training/education of some sort. Enquiries about the College and it’s programs were abundant all weekend at the trade fair. Everyone that took the time to speak with us had great questions and a genuine interest in GPRC programs. We met parents, new students, soon to be grads and alumni. It is trips like this that make the travel worthwhile and leave us recruiters feeling pretty good about what we do!

Feedback from the Life Skills (grade 8-12 class) teacher Mrs. Payne lifted our spirits.
“I appreciate the attention you gave to my Life Skills students. Students on modified programs often get over looked for post-secondary. You both offered them lots of information in a way they could understand. I heard a few comments from my students: ‘I can’t wait to go to college now’. ‘I wish I wasn’t in grade 8 so I could go’, ‘I’m happy; I get to go college now’.  Two of Mrs. Payne’s students will be attending the Transitional Vocational program in Fairview this September. The first ever from Fort Nelson.

That is what it’s all about; opening doors, providing information and inspiration and being ambassador’s for education! - Submitted by Megan Ryan-Walsh

Alumnus Mark Calliou, Executive Director, Fort Nelson First Nation – Former GPRC Business Administration student

Alumnus P.A (Paddy) Whidden, Director Alaska Highway Program – Engineering Assets Stategy; GPRC University Transfer student in 1976.

Excellence in People

In the April 14 edition of Insider, two people were inadvertently omitted in the recognition of volunteers in the GPRC Fairview Campus Convocation ceremonies: Thank you to Fran McGuire and David Burgess.

At the April 2011 Board of Governors meeting, the following recognition was presented by Don Gnatiuk on behalf of the Executive Team:

• Appreciation goes out to the volunteers and dignitaries who attended the Northwest Regional Skills Competition in Fairview. It was a great day and very well done.

• Congratulations Kelly Benning, Author. Kelly has been invited to read her original stories at the 2011 North Words Writers Festival.

• Thank you to GPRC representatives, including Board member Pete Merlo, for committing three days to participate in the Grande Prairie Health and Learning Centre Visioning Sessions.

• Congratulations Trevor Thomas and BA2010 Students for becoming involved in the Alberta Cops Project, creating an integrated marketing campaign to recruit high school students to consider a career in police services. GPRC had 7 teams competing with 1 team earning the right to go to Calgary to present for a chance to win $5,000. The team representing GPRC is: Dana Aspin, Allie Auger, Nicole Band, Shaun Deering and Dave Oakes.

GPRC received the Community Living Award from the Alberta Association for Community Living. The award recognizes commitment to inclusive post-secondary education by welcoming and facilitating the inclusion of students with developmental disabilities.

• Congratulations Ed Bader for his art exhibit of painted graphic texters in the new Toronto Gallery White Wall North.

• Appreciation is extended to Heavy Equipment Technician student Rick Butz, who is leading an initiative to raise money for a family with a child with cancer. Also thank you to staff member, Karen Lazorko, for her efforts in this initiative.

• Appreciation is extended to the organizers of the Festival of Gold, celebrating the success of the Wolves Athletics program.

• Congratulations to Liz Richard, a co-author on a published article titled “the Influence of an Undergraduate problem/context based learning program on evolving professional nursing graduate practice.

• Members of the Executive team who attended the Academia Summit in April congratulate President Don Gnatiuk for his presentation “Letting Go: The Challenge of Driving Campus Innovation in the Current Context”.