As part of the 36th Convocation ceremonies of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on June 16-17, President John Tibbits will present the following College-wide achievement honours.
The Governor General’s Academic Medal
This bronze medallion and award certificate is commissioned by the Office of the Governor General of Canada. It goes to the graduating student with the highest overall academic grade average for all courses in a diploma-level program.
The winner is Chris Duchaine of Cambridge.
In the demanding, three-year Graphic Design program, which contains 45 courses, he achieved an overall academic average of 97.32 per cent. The range of courses covers everything from photography basics to typographic design, from illustration techniques to printing technology, from electronic design to professional practices and a final thesis. In 13 of his courses, he achieved 100 per cent.
He is a Cambridge resident and a graduate of Pere Renee de Galinee Secondary School.
The James W. Church Award
Established by Conestoga’s founding president, the James W. Church Award recognizes excellence in a combination of areas: achievement in learning, concern for the dignity of the individual and a personal contribution of benefit to society. The award consists of an inscribed and framed program shield, plus a cheque for $1,000.
The winner is Human Resources program graduate Julie Jamieson of St. Jacobs.
She is employed with Home Hardware Stores Limited, where she has risen to the position of Compensation and Benefits Manager.
She cares for a mentally challenged adult very other weekend. Through her church, she acts as a hospitality minister, participates in fundraising activities and conducts bi-weekly visits to nursing home residents.
A decade ago she founded and organized a program called Christmas Dreams. The program gathers information on needy families from Woolwich Township who cannot afford Christmas gifts. Individually or in groups, Home Hardware employees then purchase gifts for these children and families according to the list of needs provided by the families. The value of the donation to needy families has risen from less than $5,000 in the first year to more than $20,000 today.
The Conestoga College Mastercraft Award
Established by former Conestoga President Kenneth E. Hunter, this award recognizes outstanding technical achievement by an individual or a student team in the creation of a program-related technical project. Eligible projects must first win a program-level competition to qualify for College-wide judging. The prize consists of an inscribed and framed program shield, plus a cheque for $500.
The winner is Shawn Van Wyk of Salford. He is graduating from the Woodworking Technician program. He entered Conestoga following graduation from Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute.
His project is both historical and modern - it is what is known as a Bombay chest, which is a medium-sized, decorative piece of accent furniture adaptable to any room, but usually found in a living room setting. Known for their curved, flowing lines, Bombay chests were common in Holland and England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and gained additional popularity in the 19th century.
He modernized his design by incorporating contrasting woods: cherry and maple. He is responsible for all aspects of the project, from conceptualization to working design to execution. Production involved hand tools, power equipment, hand drawing and computer-aided design technology and entailed more than 150 hours of work.
The Aubrey Hagar Award for Teaching Excellence
The College’s top honour for a faculty member, this award is named for Aubrey Hagar, a distinguished member for more than 20 years. A member of the College’s founding Board of Governors, he went on to provide valuable service to Conestoga as Director of Academic and College Planning, then as Director of Strategic Planning. The award consists of an inscribed and framed Conestoga Coat of Arms, a specially designed Conestoga College Liripipe and a professional development bursary of $800.
The winner is Marlene Zister of Waterloo, who is a Professor in the Nursing program.
She joined Conestoga in 1986, having previously been Nursing Supervisor at Kitchener’s St. Mary’s General Hospital. She holds a diploma in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of arts in education.
Students and colleagues have high praise for her efforts on behalf of students and their success.
She is also well known for her commitment to professional standards and growth, both specific to the Nursing program and of relevance to the teaching functions at the College. She has been vigorous in furthering her own education at every opportunity, for the benefit of her program, her students and the College. She has also served the College as a member of College Council, the General Education Committee, and the Health Sciences Ethics Committee and as an Internal Quality Auditor.
A founding member of Hospice Waterloo, she is also an active volunteer with Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Alumni of Distinction Awards
These awards, which consist of an inscribed and framed program shield for each recipient, recognize outstanding graduates for their personal and professional achievements, as demonstrated through career success and commitment to others through community and volunteer work.
Four awards are being given.
Paul Buttinger (Business Administration - Management Studies, 1985)
Following graduation, Paul and his brother, Gord, took on the management of three Midas Muffler shops established in Waterloo Region by their father. Under their stewardship, the business has grown to include seven additional sites elsewhere in the region, as well as Perth County and Halton Region, as well as ownership of four of the commercial plazas where the shops are located. The Buttingers were recognized in 200 as operating one of the twelve best Midas businesses in North America.
Paul is also active in the community through sports coaching at the minor level and membership on the advisory committee for K-W Oktoberfest.
Paul Montague (Graphic Design, 1985)
After Conestoga, Paul worked in a variety of positions in the graphics business before founding his own firm, Punch Integrated Communications, in 1998. The firm lives by the philosophy and practice of teamwork. Quality and customer service have allowed the Guelph-based company to grow quickly.
From the beginning, Punch has worked with blue-chip Fortune 500 companies. For two consecutive years, Profit magazine has named the company one of Canada’s fastest-growing start-up companies. The company has also won the provincial government’s Global Trader Award, which celebrates export achievements by small and mid-sized companies.
Many Conestoga graduates are part of the Punch team, and Paul gives back to the community by acting as a mentor and adviser to young people seeking direction and information related the education and careers in graphic design. He is also active in the local Big Brothers Association.
Sylvia Scott (Nursing, 1977)
Sylvia is Director of Professional Practice at Grand River Hospital. She is a member of Conestoga’s Nursing Program Advisory Committee and a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record Community Editorial Board.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University and is currently at work on a master’s degree. She has also taught occasionally in the health sciences area at Conestoga.
Her greatest achievement is in Kenya. Working with an organization called Care Partners International, she and her husband, Stephen, were instrumental in founding a health center in the remote area of western Kenya where she was raised as a child. The Matangwe Community Health and Development Project now provides prenatal care, disease immunization, health education and illness treatment to an area of the world suffering from the ravages of HIV and tool long ignored.
Commitments in Kenya prevent her from attending Convocation, but her husband and son will accept the award on her behalf.
Stephen Tangney (Motor Vehicle Mechanic, 1980)
After completing his apprenticeship studies, Stephen Tangney went into teaching, in transportation technology at Kitchener’s St. Mary’s High School. As his expertise and reputation grew, he continued activities both for St. Mary’s and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. He has been lead teacher on several articulation courses involving the school board and Conestoga’s Guelph campus.
He is now the board’s co-ordinator for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). He works with students, teachers and administrators to highlight the value, importance and career opportunities offered by the skilled trades.
He has served on Conestoga’s Metal Machining Program Advisory Committee, provided leadership for his board in connection with the annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition, played a key role in establishing auto service and metal machining articulation agreements between his board and Conestoga. He is also a founding member of the Employment Recruitment Strategy Task Force, which focuses on skills needs and skills shortages that affect the growth potential of the regional economy.
Convocation involves four ceremonies, recognizing more than 3,500 graduating
students. The afternoon ceremony on Wednesday, June 16 involves full-time
and part-time programs from two academic areas - the School of Engineering
and Information Technology, and the School of Trades and Apprenticeship
- plus part-time programs administered by the Continuing Education Division.
The Wednesday evening ceremony is for full-time and part-time programs
from the School of Business and Hospitality. On Thursday, June 17, participating programs
are from the School of Liberal and Media Studies, plus all Health Sciences
programs and the Educational Assistant program from the School of Health
Sciences, Community Services and Biotechnology. The evening ceremony is
for Community Services programs from the School of Health Sciences, Community
Services and Biotechnology.
CONTACT: John Sawicki, 519-748-5220, ext. 3336
(With regard to the Alumni of Distinction Awards, contact Monica Himmelman, 519-748-5220, ext. 3459)