Conestoga news

June 15, 2005 9:46 AM

College-Wide Awards Honour Outstanding Students, Alumni, Faculty

As part of the 37th Convocation ceremonies of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on June 15-16, President John Tibbits will present the following College-wide achievement honours.

The Governor General’s Academic Medal
This bronze medallion 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. For 2005, there are co-winners.
  • Christopher Kuntz of Woodstock is graduating from the Welding Engineering Technology program. He interrupted his program studies for a time, however, to pursue employment in his chosen technical field. His academic average in his program was 92.45 per cent. He is now a manufacturing engineering weld specialist, concerned with issues and processes related to quality, continuous improvement, information system monitoring and problem solving, with ATS Reliance Technical Group at Electro-Motive Canada in London. Electro-Motive Diesel, the parent company, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of locomotives.

  • Lauren Weber of Waterloo entered Conestoga in the fall of 2001 following his graduation from Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational Institute, and proceeded directly through the Electronics Engineering Technology - Telecommunication Systems program. He participated in the co-operative education stream of the program, spending his off-campus co-op terms employed at Research In Motion (RIM), the internationally known firm based in Waterloo. That experience has led to a position with RIM in the compliance area, which is responsible for ensuring that RIM’s products meet all technical standards and specifications for the Canadian and global markets. His overall academic average at Conestoga was 95.47 per cent.

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.
  • Sarah Roberts of Kitchener is graduating from the Business Administration - Management Studies program. She is also a graduate of Conestoga’s Food and Beverage Management program and is now enrolled in the post-graduate Human Resources Management program.
    In addition to her academic achievements, which include receipt of a Millennium Excellence Scholarship, she has an extensive record of community involvement with organizations such as the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, World Vision, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

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 $1,000.
  • Joe Ignor of Kitchener and Edwin Larin of Waterloo are graduating from the Mechanical Engineering Technology - Automated Manufacturing program. Their final-year project, which involved more than 1,200 hours of work, was to design and manufacture a remote-control Nitro two-stroke engine of the type used in mini remote-controlled cars. Not only did they conduct feasibility studies and prepare extensive documentation for all components and elements of the project, they also developed the computer application programs needed to run the automated machinery to produce the engine, and devised a plant and site layout required to manufacture their product over a five-year period (including all machinery and equipment specifications, plus job descriptions for all employees).

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 of the Conestoga community 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.
  • This year’s winner is Titia Taylor of the Early Childhood Education program. A Kitchener resident, she has been with Conestoga since 1970 and has developed a reputation for building positive, productive relationships with her students and colleagues, as well as being a guest speaker and workshop presenter in the community on topics related to child studies.
    She is known for her philosophy of considering the whole learner, a process that moves from motivating students to imparting knowledge, to fostering an active learning process for students, to guiding them in the development of teamwork skills, to applying theory to practical situations that build strength in problem solving.
    She is also active in a number of professional associations, the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System, the United Way and the Special Olympics.

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.

Eight awards are being given to:
  • Bianca Biatsakakis (Social Services, 1999), who is coordinator for Home Support Services for the City of Waterloo, and a volunteer with the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Grand Valley Institution for Women.
  • Machelle Denison (Business Administration - Marketing, 1982), who with her husband co-owns Denison Print in Breslau -- a firm frequently recognized for corporate citizenship -- and who has a long record of involvement with United Way and Junior Achievement.
  • Garth Dix (Criminology and Law Enforcement, 1974), who is Chief of the Brantford Fire Department, the Director of Victim Services for Brantford and Brant County, and a volunteer fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  • Russell Kelly (Law and Security Administration, 2003), who is a public speaker and an advocate on the issue of restorative justice and is employed with Community Justice Initiatives in Kitchener.
  • Timothy Kingsbury (Business Administration - Materials Management, 1982), who was Chief Technology Officer with Bell Canada and who now holds the same post with the Great Gulf Group of Companies. He is Chair of the Halton Museum Foundation, and a former member of the Boards of Halton Women’s Place, the Milton Historical Society, Ducks Unlimited and the Halton Board of Education.
  • Wally Vogel (Electronics Engineering Technology - Computer Systems, 1983), who is founder of Creditron, a firm specializing in cash handling and remittance payments technology. Creditron is a multi-million dollar enterprise headquartered in Mississauga and Santa Ana, California. He is also a leadership trainer and mentor to young business professionals, and a participant in the Honduras project of World Vision.
  • Marianne Walker (Nursing, 1977), who is President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre in Guelph, a participant in provincial committees formed under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and an executive member of the Canadian College of Health Sciences Executives.
  • Raymond Ward (Law and Security Administration, 1988), who was with Peel Regional Police Service, is now with the Waterloo regional service, served a secondment with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to develop procedural and technical innovations in policing, and is active in his hometown of Ayr in minor sports and the annual Fresh Ayr Festival.

Convocation involves four ceremonies, recognizing more than 3,500 graduating students. The afternoon ceremony on Wednesday, June 15 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. The Wednesday evening ceremony is for full-time and part-time programs from the School of Business and Hospitality. On Thursday, June 16, participating programs are from the School of Liberal and Media Studies, plus all Health Sciences programs and programs directly administered by the Continuing Education Division. The evening ceremony is for Community Services programs from the School of Health Sciences, Community Services and Biotechnology.


John Sawicki
519-748-5220, ext. 3336

With regard to the Alumni of Distinction Awards, contact:
Monica Himmelman
519-748-5220, ext. 3459