GPRC Awards Recognize Community
Tuesday, March 13th, 2018
GRANDE PRAIRIE– The annual Grande Prairie Regional College President’s Awards Luncheon today recognized several members of the community for contributions to excellence in education. The event, hosted by the GPRC Alumni/Foundation, was established in 2004 and honours its donors and presents GPRC’s most prestigious awards.
The Distinguished Volunteer Award is in recognition of exceptional contributions of time and energy dedicated to the advancement of GPRC and was presented to Tina Martel.
Martel, a GPRC instructor in the Fine Arts department, is heavily involved with the College community through her volunteerism and leadership. Martel served on the GPRC Alumni/Foundation Board for six years starting in 2010 and her efforts have made a lasting impact on the College’s Stewardship and Recognition programs. Martel has also dedicated her time to assisting with the coordination of volunteer student-artists to participate in the President’s Ball, an annual GPRC fundraising event.
The Steps to the Greater Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of GPRC alumni early in their careers. Opera singer Matthew Dalen is this year’s recipient. After developing an interest in music as a member of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir, Dalen nurtured his passion in GPRC's Bachelor of Music University Transfer program. After finishing at GPRC in 2012, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta. Dalen has gone on to earn his Master’s in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto and perform throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Currently, Dalen is a member of the Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program.
The Alumni Award of Excellence recognizes specific, recent accomplishments of alumni. This year, GPRC is excited to award three outstanding alumni with this award. The recipients are Geoff Walker, Arlin Sansome and Shauna Hanson.
Walker, who graduated in 2006 from GPRC with his Business Administration diploma, has made an impact on the local curling community in the city. Walker, who played for the Wolves curling team during his time as a GPRC student, now plays lead for Team Gushue and has played in events on the World Curling Tour and Grand Slam of Curling as well as participated in the Tim Horton's Brier, World Championships and Canadian Olympic Trials.
Sansome completed his Motorcycle Mechanic Certificate from GPRC Fairview in 2001. Since then, Sansome has achieved his Journeyman Red Seal accreditation in motorcycle mechanics, opened his own motorcycle repair, customization and fabrication shop, taught motorcycle and marine mechanics, set the record for developing the world’s fastest front wheel drive electric car and has been featured on the Discovery Channel as an innovator in electronic controller development for electric vehicle propulsion. In 2015 Sansome formed Underground Electrics as a corporation dedicated to developing and promoting high performance electronic vehicle technology.
Hanson was a student of GPRC from 2011 to 2015, achieving her Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Accounting Major through Athabasca University’s collaborative program with the College. Currently, Hanson works as a Chartered Professional Accountant with MNP and is one of nine Alberta students who made the national honour roll for their outstanding performance on the three-day National Common Final Exam (CFE) for the Chartered Professional Accounting program (CPA) in 2017.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was established to recognize GPRC alumni for outstanding accomplishments in their professions, and/or in service to their community, society or GPRC. GPRC honoured alumnus Dr. Bart Lardner with the award.
Lardner graduated in 1984 from GPRC Fairview with a diploma in Animal Health Technology. He later received his PhD from the University of Saskatchewan and has conducted world renowned research in the beef and forage industry. He has been invited to give over 250 talks in Canada and other countries including the United States, Australia, Finland, China and Mongolia.
The Board of Governors Award of Distinction is the College’s highest tribute to individuals or groups within our community. This award has been established to honour individuals whose actions have made exceptional contributions to our community and to the advancement of higher education.
Doug Morris is the 2018 Award of Distinction recipient. Morris completed two terms as a member of the GPRC Board of Governors in 2017 and has been dedicated to strengthening the College since he was a student.
Morris started at GPRC as a student athlete in 1976 and served as Athletics Vice-President on the Students’ Council. He later became the head coach for the Wolves Badminton program, a position he held for 16 years. For his contribution to GPRC programs and sport, Morris was inducted into the GPRC Wolves Wall of Fame and the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Morris has also been very active in the college community, serving as past chairman of the College Alumni/Foundation Board and as a chartered member of GPRC’s forerunner fundraising group, the Wolf Pac Booster Club. GPRC chose Morris to receive the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005.
Today’s event also inducted 22 new members to the GPRC President’s Council. The President’s Council consists of individuals who have completed service to GPRC on the Board of Governors or Alumni/Foundation Board of Directors, volunteered as Chair of a major fundraising event, made a planned gift to the College, or received a distinguished award at GPRC.
More than 150 GPRC donors and supporters were present for the ceremonies, held today in Clarkson Hall at Evergreen Park.
GPRC is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. Established in 1966 in Grande Prairie, GPRC now includes campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and learning centres in Edson, Grande Cache, Hinton and Jasper. GPRC offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities. For more information visit gprc.ab.ca.
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