April 4, 2013

In this issue

GPRC Recognizes Community Members

The annual Grande Prairie Regional College President’s Awards Luncheon held March 5th recognized several members of the community for contributions to excellence in education.  The event was established in 2004, and the awards honouring volunteers, alumni and community builders are the most prestigious presented by the College.

The Distinguished Volunteer Award was presented to Carolyn Vasileiou, a GPRC instructor who works with her students in support of numerous events throughout the community, building an ethic of volunteerism as part of the curriculum.

Carolyn Vasileiou receives her award from Kelly Chalmers, Alumni/Foundation Chair.

Mike Reeve of Velocity Video was the first ever recipient of the Steps to the Greater Alumni Award, which has been established to recognize outstanding achievements of GPRC alumni early in their careers.

Michael Reeve receives his award from Joanne Perrott.

An alumnus of Fairview College, now GPRC Fairview, was presented with the Alumni Award of Excellence.  Ian Macdonald, now retired, is widely known for his contributions in both education and agriculture.  

Ian Macdonald receives his award from Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President and CEO.

Former chair of the GPRC Board of Governors, Fletcher Bootle, received the College’s highest tribute.  The Board of Governors Award of Distinction was established to honour exceptional commitment to supporting higher education for the people of our region.  

Fletcher Bootle receives his award from Vincent Vavrek, Chair of the Board of Governors.

College Day 2013

On Tuesday, March 19th GPRC Fairview Campus hosted the 2nd GPRC College Day Open House from 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Program displays were showcased in the college atrium, and interested participants were treated to campus tours throughout the afternoon. A popular attraction for visitors was having their picture taken on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle!

Over 135 students from 6 area schools (Worsley, Hines Creek, Peace Outreach in Peace River, Eaglesham, Ridgevalley, and Hillside in Valleyview) were bused in for the afternoon. As well individual students and their parents from other Peace area schools and the general public attended the Open House. Some students took the opportunity to fill out applications for programs beginning in the fall.

Gord Ivey, GPRC College Recruiter, would like to thank all those who helped make this College Day Open House a wonderful event! ~ Submitted by Gord Ivey; photos by Cheryl Frank

Richard Wagamese

Acclaimed Ojibway author Richard Wagamese shared his experience as a writer and storyteller with an audience of 188 attendees at the DJ Cardinal Performing Arts Centre on March 5th. The next day, he spoke to a full house of GPRC students at a potluck hosted by the Circle of Aboriginal Students and the on-campus Friendship Centre. Many of the students in attendance are in the TEN (Teacher Education North) program and study writing and literature as part of their education. Richard and his wife Debra both spoke about their respective journeys as writers and storytellers in an interactive session which allowed the students to ask questions and get advice on the art of telling a story.

Industrial Readiness Program Students

The twelve students taking part in Continuing Education’s Industrial Readiness Program greatly enjoyed the 2 Day Trades Camp they recently attended.  The students were able to participate in hands on activities in 3 trades: Electrical in Grande Prairie, and Welding and Carpentry in Fairview.  The instructors in each trade spent time discussing a typical day in the trades, expected wages that can be earned, some common characteristics of a successful tradesperson in each respective trade and followed it with hands on opportunities.  The students found the Trades Camp very valuable, and many are indicating their interest in a trades career.  Thank you to all the great GPRC staff who helped to organize this Trades Camp!


The Industrial Readiness Program is a 6 week program consisting of life/employability skills, resume and cover letter writing, training and obtaining of 12 safety tickets, 1 computer course, a 2 day Trades Camp, an optional 3 day Chainsaw Safety course, and industry exposure.  The project is a partnership with GPRC Continuing Education and Rupertsland Institute, offered to Metis students 18 or older, living in the Grande Prairie area. ~ Submitted by Janelle MacRae

Kindergarden Class Visits Fairview Campus

Together, Gord Ivey, Lin Roy and Eileen Drouin provided tours of the farm and Animal Science building for E.E. Oliver school kindergarten classes. Here are some photos from one visiting class. You can definitely tell spring is not too far off - lots of baby animals on the farm and the kids have energy to burn!

Recent Donations

Joanne Ballance, Development Manager and Carmen Haakstad, VP External Relations accept a cheque from Lions Club member Alan Segal, in support of the Club’s endowed bursaries at GPRC.

Excellence in People

At each monthly Board of Governors meeting, staff and faculty recognitions are presented to the Board by Don Gnatiuk on behalf of the Executive Team:

· Congratulations to Kelly Socha who recently completed the requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Australia. She recently received notice that she has been given two awards from the institution for her graduate work. Kelly will graduate “with distinction” in her Master’s program and has also been awarded the Dean’s Commendation – Postgraduate Program.

· Appreciation has been received for the numerous staff that contributed to making Destination Imagination such a huge success.  The use of the College facility and the staff that provided their support made for an exciting day for the kids involved.  Thank you to Bruce Rutley, Amy Johnson, and Dwayne Head.  Also, the helpfulness of the security staff made everything go smoothly.

· Thank you to the committee members involved in the recent NEPAB accreditation process and successful site visit:  Liz Richard, Deena Honan, Tamara VanTassell, and Shilo Watson.  Various faculty also served as tour guides, drivers and participated in the faculty forum during the site visit, along with about 12 students.

· Thank you to Bookings and Event Assistant Amy Johnson for her excellent customer service and assisting Alberta Health Services with arranging a workshop for Health care professionals entitled “Death, Dying and Dementia”. The commendation letter received refers to Amy as professional, approachable, efficient, and very accommodating.  Way to go Amy! 

· Recognition has been received for Dave Waknuk, coach of the Wolves Women’s Basketball Team, for continuing to do such an outstanding job of coaching.  He is very well respected in the ACAC community as well as in the Basketball Alberta and Basketball Canada fraternities.

· Thank you to the IT staff, specifically Matt Thiessen and Niraj Shrestha for working such long hours the weekend of March 9/10 to resolve a problem with the home and shared drives on the mail file server. 

· Many thanks are extended to the numerous staff and volunteers that helped to make the March 9 Fairview Convocation ceremony a huge success.  Attendance from Alumni, Board of Governors, staff, and faculty from both campuses was appreciated. 

· Congratulations to the instructors and students in the GPRC Nursing Department who have been shortlisted three different times for the fourth annual Health Innovation Challenge.  Of the 74 essays submitted explaining innovation practices that could change the future of health care in Canada, three GPRC student essays were shortlisted.  In the individual category:  Randy Jackson, ‘Emergency to Home:  Improving Health Outcomes for Seniors Across the Continuum’.  In the group category:  Farell Archibald, Nahanni Hasselfield, Crystal Goosney, “The Hamilton-Wentworth HSO Mental Health Program”; and Kenisha Constable, Tannis Donaldson, Lindsey Jones, “Saskatoon Health Bus”. 

· Congratulations to Motorcycle Mechanic Instructor Brad Chorney and Motorcycle Technician students Devin Dennison (and his younger brother Josh) , Josh Pavel, Ashton Clemmer, Car Minde, Drew Orme, Dee Scott, Gord Bueckert and Isaac Paridaen for their third place finish in the mini Numb-Bum 6 hour ice race at George Lake the weekend of March 9/10.  The team completed 43 laps on the frozen lake in the Novice over 400 cc class. A second competing team was headed up by Megan Careless and her fellow 2nd year Motorcycle Technician apprentices Levi Belland, Bryan Rosseker, Mike Court and friend Alyre Woodsworth with support from Landyn Howlett. Megan’s apprenticeship team took 4th place with 38 laps completed.

· The Grande Prairie Regional College Business Case Competition team travelled to Olds College on the weekend of March 9/10 to compete in the 8th Annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition.  The team members were Business Students Melanie Williams, Erin Hoffmann, Paulette Ellison and Kerri Suurd.  While the Team did not place in the top three, their presentation was strong and interesting. 

· Thank you to all the staff that made the two day Trades Camp in Fairview for the Continuing Education Industrial Readiness Program a huge success!  You have inspired and motivated many of the students to consider a career in the trades!!   Special thanks to Charles Sanderson, Tony Shmyruk, Riley Buker, and Pete Dechant for allowing the students the opportunity for the ‘hands on’ experience; and to Gord Ivey for taking such good care of us while we were in Fairview and to Dianne Lund for organizing the entire experience!