Conestoga news

June 9, 2008 7:30 AM

College-Wide Awards Honour Outstanding Students, Alumni, Faculty

As part of the 40th Convocation ceremonies of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on June 11-12, President John Tibbits will present a number of College-wide achievement honours. In addition to these awards, Conestoga will also present an honourary diploma to Gerhard O. (Dick) Kappeler for his outstanding leadership in helping establish the new masonry training centre at the Waterloo campus. This co-operative effort involved Conestoga, the Ontario Masonry Contractors Association and the Ontario Masonry Training Centre.

The James W. Church Award

Established by Conestogas 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 Michelle Sageof the Broadcasting Radio and Television program.

She graduates from her program with an outstanding academic record, achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.78 on a scale of 4.

She is also a graduate of St. Marys High School in Kitchener, where she had an outstanding record as a student, a leader and a contributor to her school and community.

Her work activities reflect her commitment to her profession. She is in sales with Oldies 1090/KOOL FM, in technical operations part-time with CKCO-TV, and a production assistant with Toronto-based Monte-Brooks Productions, which is involved in television and film projects. But she also is a lifeguard and instructor at the Breithaupt Centre.

Her concern for individuals is evident through her involvement with a program called Adapted Aquatics, which provides swimming instructions and personal encouragement to children and adults with disabilities.

She also believes in and acts on her faith, mainly through participation in The Alpha Course, a spiritual exploration and development program, in which she has been a discussion leader and mediator, an organizer and supervisor of group activities, and a mentor to people of all ages seeking to add value and meaning to their lives.

The scope of her volunteerism also includes work at the Kitchener Public Library and at Rogers Television in Kitchener, as well as contributing as a reporter and columnist to The Catholic Register newspaper.

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 Corey Voth of the Woodworking Technician program.

Conestogas woodworking programs and facilities have a national reputation for excellence, and Voth came to Conestoga from his home province of Manitoba.

His final-year project is the design and production of an item called a serpentine chest, so named because of the curved aspect of its entire front surface. Basically, this piece is a four-drawer dresser that is adaptable for use in various areas of the home living room, bedroom or even dining room.

The project displays considerable knowledge of wood types and techniques, and great attention to detail. He used hand skills and machine production skills, including computer-aided production. In all, the project entailed nearly 200 hours of work, and it is an outstanding product.

The Aubrey Hagar Award for Teaching Excellence

The Colleges top honour for a faculty member, this award is named for Aubrey Hagar, a distinguished member of the Conestoga community for more than 20 years. A member of the Colleges 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.

This years winner is Norma McDonald Ewing, who teaches in recreation leadership and management programs in Conestogas School of Health Sciences, Community Services and Biotechnology.

Joining President Tibbits in presenting this award will be Pamela Healey, who is Aubrey Hagars daughter and who this year joined the staff of Conestoga in the role of Director of Co-operative Education and Career Services.

Norma McDonald Ewing cares for her students, listens to them and can reach them effectively. She is respected by her colleagues for her educational skills in the classroom, as well as in the development and application of curriculum.

She began teaching at Conestoga in 1993 and joined the ranks of full-time faculty in 1998. Before that, she had been with the City of Kitchener, in community development, facility supervision, and services and resource development.

She teaches in the Recreation and Leisure Services program, in courses dealing with community development, leadership dynamics, volunteer management, program planning, and research design and evaluation. She developed curriculum for the online, postgraduate program in Youth Recreation Leadership and a program called Recreation Management for Older Adults.

She is faculty representative on Conestogas Alumni Association Board of Directors and is former President of the Cambridge YWCA Board. In addition, she is active in recreation professional associations.

Her unique talents, insight, innovative spirit and leadership have earned her recognition locally and provincially. In 2007, she received one of this provinces highest educational honours: a Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

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.

This years awards go to five alumni:

Ron Budreau (Business Administration, 1983; Computer Programmer/Analyst 1984)

Ron Budreau first graduated in 1983 in Business Administration. One year later, he was a member of the first-ever graduating class of the Computer Programmer/Analyst program. That pioneering spirit has served him well.

He went on to form two very successful companies, the first called CompuPower Systems, the second Diamond Municipal Solutions. In both, he carved out a niche that has been of invaluable operational assistance in the public sector. These firms became leaders in devising software tools, systems and solutions for governments, particularly municipalities.

His leading-edge work has made him a much sought-after speaker with local government associations and Chambers of Commerce, as well as professional associations such as the Government Finance Officers Association.

He has served the public as well in capacities such as a Director of the Brant County Power Services Board, and Board Chair of Click CONNECT, a program which provides videoconference links between high school students and Ontario business leaders.

Although retired from his businesses, he has just come out of retirement to join Microsoft Canada as a senior partner account manager.

And he has still found time to earn his pilots licence, be a docent at the McMichael Art Gallery and volunteer with the Global Community Centre, an organization that aids refugees who have relocated to Canada.

Vince Marcone (Graphic Design, 1998)

Vince Marcone is a 1998 Graphic Design program graduate.

He lives and works in Guelph, but is truly a citizen of the world, thanks to the creative opportunities of technology.

He is involved, productive and recognized in the worlds of art, design, music, film and video.

Through his firm, Pet Skeleton Productions, he leads a collective of artists in exploring the frontiers of design and illustration, leading to new directions in expression and interaction with other artistic forms, such as music videos, online games and website development.

In 2002, Computer Arts magazine named him one of the design development communitys 50 leading creative figures.

In 2005, he won a Juno Award for best CD cover design, for the supergroup Jackalope.

Also in 2005, he received four Much Music Video Award nominations for his music video, Feel It.

In 2007, he won an Emmy, in conjunction with studios D20 and Xenophile, for an online alternative reality game called Fallen.

In his many roles and pursuits, he has numbered among his clients Sony Music, MSN, Disney Productions and the ABC Family broadcasting and online group.

Rob Nickel (Law and Security Administration, 1989)

Rob Nickel graduated in 1989 from the Law and Security Administration program. He joined the Ontario Provincial Police where he was involved in many important investigations and cases dealing with child pornography, especially in connection with the Internet. He became a lead investigator and supervisor, often working with teams assembled from several law enforcement agencies.

Following his retirement, he founded a company called Nickel Concepts, dedicated to spreading knowledge and awareness of crimes against children, and he is now on the Board of Directors of Child Find Ontario.

He is author of a highly regarded book titled Staying Safe in a Wired World A Parents Guide to Internet Safety. His expertise has landed him many public speaking engagements and television appearances on shows such as W5, Canada AM, Good Morning Canada, Fox Good Day New York and Dr. Phil.

Dana Rogalsky (Broadcasting Radio and Television, 1980)

Dana Rogalsky is a 1980 graduate of Broadcasting Radio and Television.

She began her career as a copywriter and producer of commercials at CKCO-TV, but her vision of the world is much greater.

In 1985, she began an involvement in overseas mission and relief work. It has become a passion and a commitment for her entire family. She, her husband Craig and their children have traveled to locations such as Mexico, Jamaica, Egypt and the Philippines to participate in community development projects.

In Canada, she and Craig have extended their involvement to include volunteer service as prison chaplains. Dana is further active in the community in executive and leadership positions with a number of faith-based groups.

As to her career, she is now with United Christian Broadcasters Canada, where she is a radio morning show host and producer, who has had the opportunity to interview guests such as Graham Kerr, Pat Boone, and Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo.

She has even found time to record and release a CD of her own inspirational songs, titled Prisoner of Hope.

Jeff Sutton (Business Administration Accounting, 1991)

Jeff Sutton graduated in 1991 from the Business Administration Accounting program and has traveled far, professionally and personally.

He went forward to earn a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Lakehead University, and started his career as an accountant and accounting manager in Hamilton, Brampton and Toronto. But a larger world awaited.

He moved to Alberta, to take a position as an inventory manager, and then launched into the world of international business management, relocating to Kazakhstan in a series of senior management positions in the construction, oil and marine service sectors.

In 2006, still in Kazakhstan, he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as Chief Financial Officer for the Central Asia/Caucasus region. In 2007, he moved on to KPMG in Moscow as Chief Operating Officer, Audits, in which capacity he is responsible for 15 offices in eight countries.

A key to his success has been his community involvement, whether with the YWCA in Hamilton, the Kinsmen in Alberta or the Lions in Kazakhstan.

In his new role in Moscow, he has been active in an organization called the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association. In January 2008, this group held an auction which raised more than $130,000 for the Vladislav Tretyak Foundation, to aid Siberian children and orphans.

The four spring Convocation ceremonies recognize more than 3,900 graduating students. The afternoon ceremony on Wednesday, June 11 involves full-time and part-time programs from numerous academic areas Health Sciences, Media and Design, Liberal Studies and The Conestoga Language Institute. The Wednesday evening ceremony is for full-time and part-time Community Services programs and programs directly administered by the Continuing Education Division.

On the afternoon of Thursday, June 12, participating are full-time and part-time programs from these academic areas: Engineering Technology, Information Technology, and Trades and Apprenticeship. The evening ceremony is for full-time and part-time Business programs.