Conestoga news

June 14, 2006 3:22 PM

College-Wide Awards Honour Outstanding Students, Alumni, Faculty

As part of the 38th Convocation ceremonies of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on June 14-15, 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.
The winner is Alicia Weber of Kitchener. She is graduating from the Electronics Engineering Technology - Telecommunications Systems program. The program deals with the design, development and application of electronic devices and circuits used in analog and digital communications systems, in networks and transmission media, and in digital signal processing. She compiled a composite average of 95.50 per cent, including marks of 100 per cent in ten of the program courses.

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.
Sherry Zettler of Walkerton is this year's winner. She is graduating from the post-graduate Early Childhood Education Resource Teacher program, and previously completed the Early Childhood Education program. She is employed by Bruce County Social Services as a traveling preschool resource teacher.
From an early age, she has been involved with community, volunteer and caring activities in various ways: with a program for special needs children called Extend-A-Family; as a personal support helper to a child afflicted with cerebral palsy; as a home child care provider for a disadvantaged family; and as a peer mentor to student colleagues at Conestoga. She has been recognized by employers and supervisors for exemplary work as a community support services worker, early childhood educator and teacher's aide.

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 winning project was developed and produced by Stephen Connell of Paris, Jonathan Musselman of Kitchener and Derek Novakowich of Kitchener. Connell and Novakowich are graduating from the Computer Engineering Technology program and Musselman from Electronics Engineering Technology - Telecommunications Systems. The three collaborated on their final-year, comprehensive technical project. Known as the DigiPhase Acoustic Processor (DAP), it employs a remote mobile calibration module that provides quality digital sound processing for home entertainment centres - regardless of how the owner arranges the system components and furnishings in the room containing the centre. The DAP allows any system to sound at its best by automatically compensating to ensure sound quality.

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 Geoff Johnstone, a professor in the School of Liberal and Media Studies. He holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of Wales and a master's degree from McMaster University. His fields of study were economics and social studies, and sociology. He has been at Conestoga since 1970, earning a reputation for excellence in developing curriculum in areas such as science and diversity, multiculturalism and the multidisciplinary courses in Conestoga's four-year degree programs. The author and co-author of a number of research papers, he also co-wrote a sociology textbook now in use at a number of Ontario colleges. He has been an active member of a number of academic committees and groups at the College, has been varsity soccer head coach since 1971 and has received a recognition award from Conestoga for his contributions to student life.

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 year's awards go to four alumni:

  • Cindy Coulas (Nursing, 2001; Registered Nurse - Critical Care Nursing, 2003; Cardiac Care for Registered Nurses, 2003), who is a resource nurse at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener, in the cardiovascular intensive care unit. She is also active as a part-time instructor at Conestoga, a coordinator of first aid programs, a volunteer computer skills teacher to elementary school children and engaged in degree studies at both Wilfrid Laurier University and Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Treena Diebolt (Law and Security Administration, 1999), who is Director of Human Resources with Waterloo-based Barber-Collins Security Services Ltd. She has made her mark through the development and introduction of new programs, such as one for employee recognition, and has coordinated the firm's United Way campaign.
  • Brett Tucker (Civil Engineering Technology, 1987), who is in management with Freedom 55 Financial/London Life Insurance Company in Waterloo Region. In addition to a high degree of involvement with professional associations and groups, he has served as President of Conestoga's Alumni Association and was recently appointed to the Board of Governors of the College.
  • Eva Vlasov (Social Services, 1995), who is Executive Director with Argus Residence for Young People, located in Cambridge. She is very active in the community through her participation on a number of groups and committees dealing with issues of homelessness, emergency shelter and youth counseling.
  • Convocation comprises four ceremonies, recognizing more than 3,000 graduating students. The afternoon ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 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 the afternoon of Thursday, June 15, 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.

    CONTACT: John Sawicki, 519-748-5220, ext. 3336
    (With regard to the Alumni of Distinction Awards, contact Monica Himmelman, 519-748-5220, ext. 3459)