Conestoga news

June 14, 2010 1:56 PM

College-Wide Convocation Awards to Honour Outstanding Students and Faculty

As part of the 42nd Convocation ceremonies of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on June 16-17, President John Tibbits will present a number of College-wide achievement honours.

The Conestoga College Mastercraft Award (June 16 afternoon ceremony)

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. One Mastercraft Award is given at the spring Convocation and one at the fall event.

Efser Akgol, winner of the 2010 Conestoga College Mastercraft Award

This spring, the Conestoga College Mastercraft Award goes to Efser Akgol of the Software Engineering Technology co-op program. Akgol resides in Kitchener.

She is a native of Turkey, who came to Canada in 2005. In Turkey, she completed three years of industrial engineering studies at Sabanci University, which has an international reputation in science, engineering and technology.

Her Conestoga co-op work term was at Research In Motion in Waterloo. Clearly, this was an excellent opportunity for her. It turned out to be an excellent opportunity for RIM, too. She was able to study and experience their processes and translated that into her winning project, titled the Project Resource Planning System.

The PRPS is a desktop application designed to improve the planning, execution and efficiency of the work process. It deals with testing times and procedures at RIM. The aim is to provide the required resources for a selected task in such a way that management can clearly and quickly see how many resources are needed (both material and human resources), and how to create optimized scheduling, including training schedules to impart to team members necessary skills to complete the task. The end result is enhanced productivity and profitability.

Her comprehensive, final-year project involved more than 300 hours of work, from concept through development and testing, to implementation and full documentation. It is an outstanding example of the application of knowledge and skills in solution of a real-world challenge.

The Aubrey Hagar Award for Teaching Excellence (June 16 evening ceremony)

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.

Steven Kupina, winner of the 2010 Aubrey Hagar Award for Teaching Excellence

The winner of the 23rd Aubrey Hagar Award is Steven Kupina of the School of Business and Hospitality. He resides in Waterloo.

Kupina began his teaching career at Conestoga on a part-time basis in 1988 and became a full-time professor in 2005. He holds degrees from McMaster (Honours BA in Economics), Waterloo (MA in Economics) and Queen's (Master of Industrial Relations). In 2004, he was honoured by Conestoga with a Distinguished Associate Faculty Award.

Prior to his full-time employment at Conestoga, he was with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in the post of Supervisor of the Resource Centre and Employment Programs. During his 15 years at the Region, he helped develop effective and efficient employment service programs and resources for citizens of the community.

Kupina teaches economics in a wide range of business program areas at Conestoga. He has developed curriculum for a number of economics courses at the diploma, degree and postgraduate level. This course development has entailed in-class, online and hybrid delivery formats. At Conestoga, he has been a leader and innovator in the use of learning technology, as well as an advisor/mentor willing to share knowledge and resources with colleagues.

His students, supervisors and colleagues all testify to the concern he shares for the success of his students, his outstanding ability to apply the subject matter of economics to the realities and situations of everyday life, and his enthusiasm for teaching.

Joining President Tibbits in presenting this award will be Pamela Healey, who is Aubrey Hagar's daughter and Conestoga's Director of Co-operative Education and Career Services.

The James W. Church Award (June 17 evening ceremony)

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.

Ainsley Bearinger, winner of the 2010 James W. Church Award

This year's award goes to Petersburg resident Ainsley Bearinger, who is graduating from the Recreation and Leisure Services program.

In the area of academic achievement, she has been outstanding, earning a composite grade-point average of 3.90 and graduating with high distinction. Later this year, she will begin studies in therapeutic recreation at the University of Waterloo.

She has also distinguished herself by the energy, thoughtfulness and dedication she brings to serving others. She is a supervisor of youth drop-in services with the City of Kitchener, leading recreational activities for youths aged 12-17 who find themselves in difficult or challenging life circumstances. She is also a volunteer camp counselor for the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation, a cost-free camp activity for financially underprivileged children.

There are many more achievements - a coach and team organizer for Wilmot Field Hockey; Vice-President of the Recreation and Leisure Services Student Association; a leadership role in Conestoga's Respect campaign, which promotes tolerance and understanding in the College community, based on communication; and a games day facilitator for the Waterloo public school board, developing programs for children with disabilities.

In all cases, she has been praised by faculty, supervisors and employers for her attention to detail, her management skills, her warm personality, her empathy and perceptiveness, and her dedication to excellence.

The four spring Convocation ceremonies recognize more than 3,900 graduating students. The afternoon ceremony on Wednesday, June 16 involves Media and Design, and Engineering and Information Technology graduates. The Wednesday evening ceremony is for Business and Hospitality program graduates.

On the afternoon of Thursday, June 17, participating are graduates of programs in Trades and Apprenticeship, Liberal Studies, and Health and Life Sciences. The evening ceremony is for graduates of the Conestoga Language Institute and of Community Services programs.

CONTACT: John Sawicki, 519-748-5220, ext. 3336