June 30, 2011

In this issue

2011 Governor General's Award

Parker Jobin is this year's recipient of the prestigious Governor General's Award.  He was presented with his medal by Susan Bangrove at the President's Reception at the GPRC Fairview Campus on June 24th.  The Governor General's Academic Medal is one of the most prestigious awards that a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive.

Parker has earned the Associate of Science credential at GPRC, having completed two years toward his Bachelor of Science degree and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout his studies while also playing on the Wolves volleyball team.  Francois Fournier has written an excellent story about Parker and his achievements on the Wolves Athletics web page: https://www.gprc.ab.ca/athletics/

Record-Breaking Year for Continuing Education!

As the fiscal year-end approaches, GPRC Continuing Education is reflecting on a very eventful year! As of July 1st, our department will officially be known as Continuing Education (formerly Workforce Development). The GPRC Board of Governors, the Executive Team, and the department all agree that the name “Continuing Education” better reflects our vast selection of courses and offers more name recognition, bringing us in line with most other post-secondary institutions.

In other exciting news, our department has had a RECORD number of student enrolments this past year! Our highest enrolments to date had occurred in 2007, with 9,542 student registrations. As of June 27th, with 3 days still to go in the month, our enrolment numbers reached 9,590!  GPRC Continuing Education served upwards of 9,590 students this past year! We expect the number to climb by about another 100 when the month is officially over. Thanks to all our amazing staff who worked so hard to serve so many members of our community! ~ Submitted by Janelle MacRae

Back (L-R): Mona Rowland, Nora Gerzanich, Leigh Roberts, Paula Marchesi, Shera-Lea Crichton. Front: Shari Johnston, Janelle MacRae
Missing: Darwin Eckstrom, Chad Boone, Ross Young, Candace Sanderson, Lauri Dvornek, Angela Scriba, Crystal Smith

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President's Reception Fairview Campus

The GPRC Fairview Campus hosted the President's Reception on June 24th. The Alumni/Foundation held their June meeting at the Fairview Campus and attended the reception afterwards along with GPRC staff members and local dignitaries. The event was organized by Patricia Woronuk and emceed by VP Fairview, Marg McQuaig-Boyd. This year's recipient of the Governor General's Award, Parker Jobin, also attended and was officially presented with his medal by Susan Bansgrove. At the end of the program, the sold-out Harley Davidson Draw was held and the lucky winner is a GPRC student from Yellowknife!  What a great event!

Alumni/Foundation Director, Wayne Zack, VP Academics & Research, Susan Bansgrove, and Alumni/Foundation Chair, Kelly Chalmers.

Parker Jobin makes the big draw while Joanne Ballance, Marg McQuaig-Boyd and Patricia Woronuk look on.

Patricia Woronuk fires up the Harley one last time!

Aboriginal Industrial Workers Employment Program

The Aboriginal Industrial Workers Employment program is a work ready program for 18-30 year old youth. It is a Federal government funded program through Skills Link Canada. We did 2 intakes this past 2010-2011 year, operating in cooperation with the Continuing Education department at GPRC. Typically 9 -12 students complete the program from each intake. At this point, all graduates receive a $500 bonus for their hard work.

Some interesting and exciting things happened this year: our two "Mikes"  from the first intake were forced to use their safety training in real life situations. During one incident, Mike M. was riding the transit during a snow storm and the bus hit a snow bank and got hung up. Mike grabbed a reflective vest and started to redirect traffic using his newly-learned flagging skills, thanks to taking a Continuing Education Flagging course. On a later incident, both “Mikes” were getting off the transit and another passenger got off with them. Once they were off the bus, the bus drove off and the stranger collapsed. Both students quickly reacted using their first response skills from Standard First Aid until medics got there. Wow what a great bunch!
~ Story by Lauri Dvornek, Project Coordinator

Students taking a Chainsaw Safety course

Students taking a Fire Extinguisher Training course

GPRC ESL Instructors Make Lasting Impressions

A former English as a Second Language student who attended GPRC in 2006, Tomohiro Tsuchiya, from Japan, had his PhD Dissertation published and acknowledged GPRC ESL Instructor Joan Manhas for helping him with this accomplishment. Tomohiro (known as Tomo) won a national award for best thesis of the year from the Council of College Teachers in Japan. In his acknowledgements he states: “I am also grateful to Joan Manhas at Grande Prairie Regional College in Canada for revising my English and for giving me intelligent comments through the publishing of this book.”

He goes on to later thank Margaret Welwood, also an ESL instructor at GPRC, for “helping me with specific problems in the description of grammar and expressions during the course of the writing my original dissertation.”  Joan tells us that when Tomo attended ESL at GPRC, “He was impressed that we taught not only oral communication and simple reading and writing. He wanted to learn to write essays, which, of course, is part of Level 6/7.”

Congratulations to Joan and Margaret, you made a lasting impression on this student, as you do to every student you teach! ~ Submitted by Janelle MacRae

Joan Manhas                           Margaret Welwood

GPRC is now an IELTS Test Centre

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, general version, is normally taken for immigration purposes. There are currently only 3 official IELTS test centres in Alberta, 2 in Calgary, and 1 in Edmonton, at Grant MacEwan University. The Grant MacEwan test centre noticed that many people were traveling to Edmonton from Grande Prairie to write the IELTS. Grant MacEwan’s ESL Testing Manager, Ruth Jordan, contacted Candace Sanderson, GPRC’s ESL Administrator, about doing off-site IELTS Testing in Grande Prairie. Candace invited Ruth to tour the GPRC facilities and both agreed that our location would be an ideal off-site test centre.

On June 21, GPRC received the official word that IELTS Australia has approved an off-site IELTS test centre at the GPRC Campus! The first test is scheduled for September 24th, 2011. This is an excellent example of Alberta post secondary institutions working together to provide a valuable service to the community. ~ Submitted by Janelle MacRae

Excellence in People

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

  • Thanks to Julie Byrne for her efforts in helping a student and his family that was evacuated in the Slave Lake Fire and were living with their two small boys in a small 18’ trailer. Julie found them an apartment in residence and gathered up some basic furniture. She also got a birthday cake when she found out that one of the boys was having a birthday the day they moved in. She has also been in touch with two other students from the area to ensure that help was available should they need it.
  • Thank you to the organizing committee and volunteers of the College Classic Golf Tournament which raised $77,000.
  • Thank you to the Board of Governors for taking time to attend the ACCC Annual Conference in Edmonton.
  • Thank you to the College staff that showcased our institution by making presentations at the ACCC Conference: Bruce Rutley, Karen Scribner (accompanied by Melodie Wilton)
  • Asha Parmar was a recent recipient of a $2500 CARNA/TD Meloche Monnex Scholarship administered by the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust (ARNET). These awards were given out at the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) Awards Gala in Calgary on June 9, 2011. Asha is studying in a Master of Nursing program through Trinity Western University. Congratulations Asha!
  • Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers below who assisted in the very successful Trades & Technology RAP Camp on May 5 and 6th. 18 schools with 212 students grades 9 – 12 Jr. High registered for this year’s trade’s camp. Some schools traveled from as far away as La Crete and Fort Vermilion. School counselors and supervisors were equally impressed, commenting that it was very educational and great with the hands on experience for the students:  Marg McCuaig-Boyd, Rik Vandekerkhove, Dianne Lund, Gord Ivey, Ryan Peterson, Trisha Holubowich, Wendy Cane, Dr. Ursula Jedra, Katey Johnston, Dr. Susan Klassen, Lin Roy, Rhonda Shaw, Bob Shmyruk, Tony Shmyruk, Harry Frykas, Dan Parks, Wally Besler, Bill Antonello, Carl Ball, Peter Sellers, Gary Thompson, Michael Rainville, Stewart Primrose, Rob Young, Gavin Winters, Ken Rueckert, Russ Minami, Craig French, Dan McRann, Bear Moffatt, Les Ashton, Brian Carreau, Brett Dillman, Brent Boutilier, Cheryl Frank, Bev Candy, Patricia Woronuk, Jeremy Peters, Marie Coristine, Residence House Keeping Staff, Karen Lazarko, Alison Frixel, Rose Murphy, Julie Byrne, Larry McDonald, David Burgess, Instructional Support Staff, Sue Sych, Security Staff, Housekeeping Staff, Fairview Recreation Staff, Accounts Office, Rob Wiebe, Martin Larsen, Dave Hiebert, Garry Candy, Sandy Rendle, Dave Long, Pete Dechant, Tim Brodhagen, and Cafeteria Staff: Roberta Reyda, Dianne Sawchuk, Gloria Ellis, Stephanie Olsen, and Bonnie Loxterkamp
  • Thank you to Trisha Holubowich, Animal Health Technology Chair, for the extra time committed with little notice to support the needs of the displaced animals as a result of the fires in Slave Lake.
  • Thank you GPRC’s Elder in Residence Miriam Youngchief, for offering Seminars in Aboriginal Awareness. Miriam has been providing guidance to the youth of the community and GPRC community since she arrived on GP campus in September 2010.
  • Thank you to the following staff that worked to implement the Absence Reporting System: Jordan Pickup, Karen Gerwatoski-Maddigan, Barb Ollenberger, Carol Arkinstall. It has had very positive impacts on efficiencies in the Human Resources Department.
  • Congratulations to Nursing Faculty member Raelynn Shaughnessy who recently won the Betty Ford Professionals in Residence Award. She has been selected to receive an all expenses paid one week educational experience at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, California learning about treatment of people and families with addictions.
  • Huge thank you to all of the staff and faculty who volunteered their time and made the GP campus convocation on May 7th the huge success that it was! A very special thanks to Shawnna McClelland, Robert Cole, Brian Parlee, Suzanne Dunn, Cal Noskey.
  • Special recognition to Margaret Bowes and the numerous volunteers of the Encana Grande Prairie and District Music Festival who go out of their way every year to thank the staff at the College that make the Festival a success. The list of individuals recognized by Margaret are: Hazel Liley, Community Relations; Jamie Alaimoana, Campus Operations; Robert Howey and Geoff Whittall, Fine Arts; Robert Cole, Media Services and Theatre; Amy Johnston, Bookings; Fay Bredeson, Conservatory.
  • Thank you to Bob Walsh for organizing the second annual commuter bike clinic at Fairview Campus. Also thank you to his team of volunteer mechanics: Annike Watts, Jeremy Peters, Dave Hiebert, and Fred Walkley.
  • Thank you to Dr. Duff Crerar and Dr. Daryl White, colleagues of GPRC history instructor Dr. Jaroslav (Jerry) Petryshyn, who have chosen to recognize his retirement by establishing an award in his name: the Jaroslav (Jerry) Petryshyn History Bursary. This bursary will provide a financial award for students of GPRC wishing to pursue a study of History.