Conestoga news

November 25, 2020 9:44 AM

Graduate success highlighted at alumni night

On November 19, more than 50 graduates from Conestoga's Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture - Project & Facility Management (APFM) program gathered virtually for the second annual APFM alumni reunion event.

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APFM graduates Marisa Havens (left) and Nick Heibein (right) were inducted into the APFM hall of fame in recognition of their contributions to industry.

Joined by APFM students, past and present faculty, chairs, and Conestoga President John Tibbits, the evening focused on celebrating the impact of the program and its graduates.

"We just celebrated our fourteenth cohort at fall convocation," said faculty member and organizer Ron Bean. "This night is about showcasing the success and achievements of our more than 300 APFM alumni and the considerable contributions they make to industry."

The program boasts a 90 per cent employment rate within six months of graduation, with alumni making a difference in their workplaces and communities in Ontario, across Canada and as far away as Australia and Jordan.

As part of the celebration, program representatives inducted two alumni into the APFM hall of fame in recognition of their impact. Marisa Havens and Nick Heibein, both graduates of APFM's first cohort in 2007, joined the ranks of last year's inductees: retired faculty member Colin McGugan and retired School of Engineering & Technology executive dean Julia Biedermann who were both instrumental in the program's design and launch.

Havens, a project manager with leading construction company Pomerleau, holds Gold Seal, Facility Management Professional and LEED designations. She shares expertise and insights as a Program Advisory Committee member at Conestoga, helping keep the college's programs aligned to current and emerging needs.

A global operations officer with JLL, Heibein is actively involved with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the world's largest and most widely recognized association for facility professionals. He was recently recognized as an IFMA Forty Under 40, representing the future of facility management.

This year's event also combined the distribution of student awards and provided opportunities to network.  

Conestoga's unique four-year APFM co-op degree program is the only in Canada to be accredited by the IFMA Foundation. The program focuses on the entire architectural process from the planning phase through to occupancy and the adaptive re-use of buildings. Students gain strong foundations in architecture, construction, basic engineering and business; insight into project and facility management; and have additional exposure to liberal arts disciplines and practical applications for the business enterprise.