Conestoga news

March 17, 2003 9:32 AM

Disability Services Students, Volunteers Receive Awards

Outstanding students and volunteers associated with the Disability Services Office at Conestoga College have received a number of awards in recognition of their achievements and efforts.

Disability Services staff work with College faculty, administrators, support staff and volunteers to provide equal access to educational resources and facilities for students with disabilities who meet admissions criteria for enrolment at Conestoga. The office furnishes a wide range of services, counselling and facilities to accommodate special learning requirements in order to integrate students with disabilities into the educational environment.

Early Childhood Education student Cynthia Scott of Arthur received the first-ever Bette Stephenson Bursary of $500. The award is named in honour of Dr. Bette Stephenson, former Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities and currently Chair of the province's Learning Opportunities Task Force (LOTF). The LOTF was created to encourage development and implementation of innovative services for students with learning disabilities at Ontario colleges and universities. Conestoga College was one of eight postsecondary institutions selected in 1998 for LOTF funding.

Scott was chosen for attaining the highest first-year academic standing of any learning-disabled student in a diploma-level program at Conestoga. She achieved an academic average of 92 per cent.

Also presented were four June Dahmer Disability Services Awards, named for the late June Dahmer, who was a member of the Student Services staff at Conestoga's Waterloo campus and who had an enviable reputation for her concern for students, especially those with learning disabilities. Students with disabilities actually nominate winners for this award in each of four categories: faculty, support staff, student and volunteer.

The faculty award went to Roger Mainland, a long-serving teacher and Student Services counsellor, who now co-ordinates an academic program titled Human Services Foundation. The support staff award went to Monica Himmelman, a Social Services graduate of the College who for many years was with the regional office of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. She returned to the College in the 1990s to head up the Alumni Services Office. The student award went to Ken Irwin, himself a learning-disabled student, who assists physically disabled students with academic and living arrangements. Irwin is a graduate of two Conestoga programs, Woodworking Technician and General Business, and is currently enrolled in the postgraduate Woodworking Manufacturing Management program. The volunteer award went to Paul Sharrocks, a retired engineer and Cambridge resident, who is one of approximately 30 volunteer proctors at the College, assisting disabled students with taking/writing examinations. Each received an inscribed award plaque.

CONTACT: Marian Mainland, 519-748-5220, ext. 3478,