Conestoga news

June 14, 2002 2:20 PM

Conestoga to Honour Outstanding Alumni at Convocation

Five outstanding graduates of Conestoga College will receive Alumni of Distinction Awards at the College’s 34th Convocation ceremonies on June 19 - 20.

Alumni of Distinction are recognized for combining career success with work that shows commitment to community development. Winners stand as role models to current students and new graduates, and as proof of the value in general of a college education and in particular of Conestoga College.

At three of the four Convocation ceremonies, one award will be presented. At the other ceremony, two outstanding graduates will be honoured.

Randolph (Randy) Wagar
June 19, 4 p.m. ceremony
A 1971 Woodworking Technician graduate, Randy Wagar and his wife, Wende (a Conestoga Nursing graduate), own and operate Down to Earth Family Products, which specializes in a variety of products created from recycled plastic -- synthetic lumber and plywood, and sheeting used to wrap food products. The Wagars also manufacture items such as picnic tables and playground accessories. Their firm recently was named Business of the Year by the Napanee Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his Conestoga diploma, Randy Wagar also has earned a teaching certificate from Queen’s University. Before venturing into the business world, he performed valuable service for Corrections Canada, as senior instructor in the
cabinetmaking shop at Millhaven Correctional Institute in Kingston.

Martin Szydlowski
June 19, 7:30 p.m. ceremony
Martin Szydlowski graduated in 1997 from the General Business program. He has quickly established himself as a valued team member with DENSO Corporation, an internationally known manufacturer of automotive parts and electronic systems. He works in the human resources area, was a leader in helping
to develop a formal human resources manual of policies, procedures, programs and benefits, and was instrumental in the setup of a full-service human resources function at DENSO’s Mississauga sales office.
His interests are varied -- he will soon be seeking certification as a Human Resources Professional (CHRP), as well as certification as a personal fitness trainer. A team captain for the Guelph Dragon Boat races, he has also organized and led fundraising initiatives for the Rotary Club of Guelph- Wellington.

Rob Currie, Jill Herne
June 20, 4 p.m. ceremony
Rob Currie is a 1988 graduate of the Broadcasting - Radio and Television program. Rob and his wife, Carol Ann, who is also a Conestoga broadcasting graduate, own and operate C to C Productions in Kitchener. The company has been involved in both domestic and international productions, produced a number of award-winning videos and done community service productions for organizations such as United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Toastmasters International and Skills Canada. Rob is active in Skills Canada; he has been a competition judge and technical advisor for the organization, which promotes technical education and career opportunities to young Canadians. In addition, he has taught regularly in the Broadcasting - Radio and Television program, encouraging many students to pursue technical careers in the field and to consider entrepreneurial opportunities. Rob is also a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, with a major in English Literature.

Jill Herne is a multiple graduate of Conestoga -- from the Nursing Assistant program (1970), the Nursing program (1979) and the postgraduate Psychiatric Nursing program (1979). She is currently Director of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer at the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph. She has also worked effectively in the areas of health care administration, hospital management, community health administration and wellness promotion She is Vice-Chair of Conestoga’s Nursing Program Advisory Committee, an active member of the Guelph and Wellington Barrier-Free Committee and the district Nursing Administration Standing Committee of the Ontario Hospital Association. She is also a graduate of the University of Guelph, in Psychology, and holds a Master of Science degree from the California College for Health Sciences.

Eric Finkelstein
June 20, 7:30 p.m. ceremony
Eric Finkelstein graduated in 1973 from the Recreation Leadership program, and now holds the post of Director of Communications and Customer Service for the City of Brantford. He has worked throughout Ontario in his profession and given countless hours to community recreational activities on a volunteer basis.
With the city, he played a key role in the development of a far- reaching customer service plan for the Department of Parks and Recreation, a plan which then become adopted corporate- wide. In the educational field, he is a program advisory committee member with the recreational services program of
Mohawk College and has consulted on the recreational services curriculum review and program design at Conestoga. Professionally he has been President of the Directors of Municipal Recreation of Ontario, Chair of the Board of Regents for the Revenue Sources Management School at North Carolina State University, and active in the National Recreation and Parks Association.

CONTACT: Monica Himmelman, (519) 748-5220, ext. 3459