C'est Leafy!

In this issue

Recognizing All You Do!

Recipients of the 10 year long service awards

The Faculty and Staff of GPRC Fairview were honoured at the Employee Recognition Ceremony last Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Despite the fact that classes are currently ongoing, the turnout was fantastic! Emcee Chris Laue led the proceedings, welcoming the group before handing the mic over to Pete Merlo, Chair of GPRC Board of Governors. Following a nice buffet lunch, the awards were given out, starting with the long service awards. We had two people recognized for 35 years of service to the College - Don Koyman and Bob Shmyruk

This year there were five retirees honoured for their careers with the College. Richard Byam, Garry Candy, Dan Litke, Bob Shmyruk and Bob Walsh have all dedicated their professional lives to the betterment of our students, and passing on skills and knowledge.

Jennie Smeenk, Manager of the Students' Association in Fairview came up next to present the Excellence in Teaching Award. This student nominated award is given out to one instructor between the campuses, and this year's recipient was Gaylord Toews!

The event ended with the presentation of the Distinguished Employee Award. This peer nominated award is given out annually on each campus to a staff member who exemplifies the core values of GPRC. This year's honouree was Garry Candy. Unfortunately Garry wasn't able to attend the ceremony, however his wife Beverley came to receive the award on his behalf. 

Many thanks to all the Faculty and Staff for the hard work you do to make GPRC a great learning experience for our students!

View All Photos >

Trades and Technology Camp A Huge Success!

Pipe Trades

The 14th annual Trades and Technology Camp at GPRC Fairview was hosted on May 7th & 8th, 2015. 14 Schools with over 145 students plus their chaperones registered from all around the region. Students had the opportunity to choose 3 sessions that they were interested in including Animal Health Technology, Automotive Service, Beekeeping, Carpentry, Electrical, Harley-Davidson® Mechanic, Heavy Equipment, Machinist/Millwright, Motorcycle Mechanic, Parts Technician, Plumber/Pipe Trades, Power Engineering, ThinkBIG, and Welding. There was also a presentation about the Registered Apprentice Program (RAP), given by representatives from Careers Next Generation. As this is a two day event, the students get to spend the night on-campus and the evening activities  included swimming, glow bowling, a movie or gym activities.

Carpentry ThinkBIG

This is such a great recruiting tool, having the students come on campus and try a session in a subject they are considering pursuing. The event was a great success judging by evaluation form comments: “It was awesome”; “I would have brought more students if I knew it was this good!”; “It’s hard for me to choose a favourite session”; “want longer/more sessions/days”; “Everything is excellent” and “the camp was great, I would recommend it to others!”  Many commented on their favourite session and stated that they will be coming to GPRC to take that program.

Thanks so much to everyone involved from the instructors to the tour guides and everyone in-between that helped make this event happen!

~ Submitted by Patricia Woronuk

Grade 7 Day

The Grade 7 Experience held at GPRC Grande Prairie on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015, was a hit! Approximately 450 students from schools in Grande Prairie, Sexsmith, Beaverlodge, Valhalla, Woking, Ridge Valley, and Spirit River converged on the campus for a morning of activities and classroom tours. Volunteers led the groups around to the different areas of the College where they saw demos on various subjects and had the opportunity for some hands-on learning.

The groups came together again for a feeding frenzy of lunch in the gym. All 450 students, plus chaperones and volunteers were fed pizza, water and fruit and were ready to head out to their buses within 30 minutes!

Special thanks to the many volunteers who came together to make this happen! We absolutely could not host these events without your help!!

Watch a video of the day >

Students take part in the Be Fit For Life portion of the day
Caught on the move!


A Classic Thank You!

Devon Wardley and Vince Vavrek of Fletcher Mudryk & Co. LLP present Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President and CEO with a cheque for their commitment as the new three-year Title sponsor of the GPRC College Classic Golf Tournament. 

A Sprinkle of Kindness

Melissa Sterling, Darrah McGowan, and Melissa Macky sprinkle some kindness around GPRC Grande Prairie on Monday, May 11, 2015

Darrah McGowan is a GPRC Alumna, who went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at St.FX University in Nova Scotia. At the moment she is integral to the sprinkle kindness project which visited GPRC Monday. Darrah and the 'Melissas' had a great time bringing smiles to the faces of people they met. The group also gave out flowers to mothers on Mother's Day, in various locations around Grande Prairie.



Congratulations Grads!

GPRC's second convocation ceremony of 2015 was held at GPRC Grande Prairie on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Of 499 eligible graduates, 223 attended the ceremony, making it the largest turn out ever! 

Annually GPRC gives two awards to graduating students. The Paul J. Evaskevich Valedictorian Award recognizes the most outstanding graduating student receiving a certificate or diploma after at least one full year of study from all programs offered at Grande Prairie Regional College. The Beth Sheehan Salutatorian Award recognizes excellence of a collaborative degree completion student and acknowledges their choice to complete their studies on campus at GPRC.

This year the Paul J. Evaskevich Valedictorian Award recognized Calculus Datingaling for his academic achievement, contributions to college life and personal growth. In his native Phillipines, Calculus was politically active and involved, and he continues to be a strong believer in human rights and freedoms and the betterment of society by democratizing access to opportunities. At GPRC, he is one of the founding members of the GPRC Model UN club, which participates at Model UN Conferences and which helps to create awareness of international issues and diplomacy among students. He is also an active member of the GPRC Art Club and has served as a peer tutor for other students.


The Beth Sheehan Salutatorian Award 2015 was presented to Morgan Thomas who is graduating with a Bachelor of Education, Teacher Education North, offered at GPRC in collaboration with the University of Alberta. During her years at GPRC, Morgan has been focused on her studies, earning scholarships and recognitions, but always found time to dedicate to her volunteer activities. She coaches junior high and high school basketball, and was also very involved in the Education Students’ Association executive council. “Working with people and then coaching really opened my eyes up to how good it feels to help people,” Morgan says. “I think I have a good sense for what other people are feeling and experiencing.”
This day would not have been possible without the 40+ volunteers who came together to set up the gym, help dress the graduates and dignitaries, and then tear it all down afterward. You are fantastic people and your contributions are immensely appreciated! THANK YOU!

Say Yes Before Friday!

Spring is here and it's that time of year when we are looking for College Classic Golf Tournament Volunteers! T-shirt orders need to be in by the end of this week, so make sure to let Patricia know that you'd like to volunteer and the size you need, or you may have to take one that doesn't fit properly!  

If you're still on the fence about helping out, then maybe you haven't heard what a great time we have! This is a great chance to enjoy some time outside while getting to know some co-workers who you may not meet otherwise. This is an extremely important event for our College, as it's one of the largest fundraisers that we have. The event is scheduled for Friday, June 5th, 2015 at the Grande Prairie Golf & Country Club. There are many fun, interesting volunteer roles that need to be filled and will help support our College! Please check your calendar and email Patricia or give her a call with the hours that you are available and she’ll set you up with a great position. 

We NEED your HELP!!  Without great volunteers like yourself this event can’t run as successfully as it has in the past!  

Thank-you so much in advance,

Patricia Woronuk, Volunteer Chair 

Caring for Livestock

L-R: Daniella Suarez, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Emily Morabito, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Darrell Dalton, Alberta Veterinary Medical Association; Ashley Atkinson, Grande Prairie Regional College, Shelbi Schuk, Grande Prairie Regional College

In March 2015, Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) and the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) hosted the 2015 Livestock Care Conference in Calgary. The conference features prominent speakers from the livestock industry, and over 200 participants were involved this year. Included in that number are GPRC Animal Health Technology students Shelbi Schuk and Ashley Atkinson. The girls were sponsored by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association and had a great learning experience!

~ Submitted by Patricia Woronuk


New Season For Performance Series

Getting Fit @ GPRC

Over the course of this spring, GPRC Fairview held a community fitness challenge! Participants weighed in at the beginning of January and had their final measurements taken April 2 & 3. Of the 29 participants who started, 14 finished, losing a total of 336 centimetres! 

The competitors had mid-point weigh ins at six weeks and everyone received a binder to keep track of workouts and nutrition. Seminars were also offered to the participants, covering the topics of stress, nutrition and introduction to the weight room.

Points were awarded for centimetres lost, pounds lost, keeping track of workouts and nutrition and attending group exercise classes. First place winners Glen and Sue Lundgard, took the grand prize of $350 cash. Marcy Mckay and Kenny Evans were awarded $150 cash for second place, while Darcy Moss and Melanie Kirby recieved small gift baskets for their third place finish.

~ Submitted by Alison Bjornson 

Faculty & Staff Appreciation

Discovering Trades in Hinton

Hinton Trades Discovery Day, held at the Hinton Recreation Centre on Thursday, April 30, 2015, was a huge success with over 675 high school students from across the Yellowhead region and about 225 people from the general public attending. 

Grande Prairie Regional College was well represented and showcased interactive displays that encouraged the students to stop and listen longer, while learning that there are a lot of choices in potential career paths. A number of students even went home and brought their parents back to explore our displays and information. Lots of options were open to the students with all of the Trades and Technology GPRC careers represented. 

GPRC had a prime location including seven tables overflowing with information, demos and signage with a list all of the trades and technology programs offered at the College. There were a lot of representatives from 'big industry' on site, offering job opportunities and they explained that attending GPRC was a stepping stone to get those jobs. This bi-annual event offers great exposure for GPRC recruitment and the trades programs we offer.

~ Submitted by Patricia Woronuk

Giving Back To Our Community

Sheila Moerkoert and Carla Dodd had fun volunteering for McHappy Day on May 6th. They volunteered for an hour serving up Happy Meals, Big Macs, and more, all for a good cause! They plan on doing it again next year!

~ Submitted by Janelle MacRae

Oh Those Puppy Days!

The puppies hit the hallways of GPRC Fairview on April 16, 2015, for another round of Puppy Days. Effie, a Cocker Spaniel cross, and Tiny, a German Shepherd cross are both up for adoption at the Peace River SPCA. The students really enjoyed the pups and gave them lots of love. Tiny went in search of food from the students, to no avail, and Effie was a little more content to just sit back and let the students seek her out.

~ Submitted by Alison Bjornson 

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 Edith Didzena, GPRC Early Learning and Child Care diploma graduate, on her acceptance into the post diploma Bachelor of Child Studies at Mount Royal University. This is our first graduate who has been accepted into the Bachelor of Child Studies at Mount Royal University.  

• Transformers is pleased to report on an initiative that was implemented one year ago, that both streamlines College processes and moves the College forward in its green initiative. Campus Operations implemented a single authorization form for both travel and fleet vehicle requests using Matador. When an individual completes the request, the system automatically forwards the same request to the appropriate designate for authorization, and then on to Facilities to complete the vehicle booking. West Yellowhead continues to book their vehicles through the Grande Prairie campus. If you have any questions regarding vehicle bookings please contact Tim Brodhagen, Fairview campus and Wendy Iob, Grande Prairie campus.

• Congratulations to Vanessa Sheane, who has completed her MSc. Nursing.

• Many huge thanks to everyone who volunteered to help during Convocation at GPRC Grande Prairie! A full list of names will be published in a later issue. 

• Congratulations to Dr. Rene R. Gadacz, Arts and Education, as he has recently completed and revised a number of articles for The Canadian Encyclopedia/Historica FoundationA list of his several dozen articles on Aboriginal ethnography, archaeology, and biographies of prominent Canadian anthropologists may be found online.  

• Thank you and congratulations to Darlene MacDonald for her success with the Dual Credit program. Darlene's dedication to the students and enthusiastic approach has taken this program to the next level.