Page 1

Winter 2016


Dream . . . AT THE ZOO




From Bobsleighs To Fire Trucks


Taking Charge on the front-line Twelve students ignited their careers by taking Lakeland’s first blended learning firefighter training program this year. The first eight weeks of the program consisted of theory, which students completed online at home so they could earn while they learned. For the remaining four weeks of the program, students immersed themselves in live training scenarios at the Emergency Training Centre. At one of the most advanced emergency services training facilities in Canada, students put theory into action battling burning buildings, protecting others from dangerous goods explosions and more. The second offering of the blended firefighter training program starts January 2017. The program has expanded to 17 weeks – 12 weeks for theory work and five for live training. Learn more at

Big-picture thinkers. Problem solvers. Innovators. Leaders. These are the types of people we strive to develop at Lakeland College.

Every gift counts. • Scholarships • Academic events • Leadership initiatives • Extracurricular activities • Campus improvements • Student clubs

Help future Lakeland students excel by supporting our 2016-17 Annual Campaign for Students. Your generosity will strengthen and enhance these opportunities for students.




Winter 2016

Excel is published by Lakeland College’s Department of Advancement & External Relations. Excel is also available on Lakeland College’s website at The Alumni Office distributes mailings, invitations and class lists. Anyone wishing to be excluded from certain mailings should notify the Alumni Office.


Editors: Katie Ryan and Colleen Symes Writers: Katie Ryan, Colleen Symes and Eric Healey


Creative Design: Ironjet Promotions Inc.


Cover Photo: Calgary Zoo Accepting Advertising: Advertising in Excel is welcome. For rates call Alumni Office at 780.853.8628 or email Contributions: Special thanks to all alumni who contributed to this edition of Excel. Letters, photographs and news are welcome. We reserve the right to edit contributions. Submitted photographs



must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Please address all correspondence to the Alumni Office. Publications mail agreement No. 40009099 Return undeliverable addresses to Lakeland College Alumni Office 5707 College Drive Vermilion, Alberta, Canada T9X 1K5 1.800.661.6490




Barry McCarty ‘69 Vice President

Bigger & Better

Ed Lefsrud ‘65

Western Canada has gone into fall with some challenging conditions but hopefully most farmers will still be able to get their crops off. As always, we need to look at every situation from a positive position and carry on.


Don Deaville ‘66 Secretary

Sandra Bernes ‘66

This year has been a growing year for the Alumni Association. We’ve had suggestions come from alumni members to the executive, and we’ve taken a hard look at a bunch of small challenges that are now in the process of being solved.

Past President

Bill Fox ‘58 Director

Charlie Jamieson ‘84 Director

Werner Wennekamp ‘65 Director

Ray Yaworski ‘75 Director

Wyman Lockhart ‘66 Director

Carolyn McIntosh ‘66 Director

We do appreciate all alumni’s interest and concerns because this helps make our Alumni Association interesting, sustainable and efficient. This year’s attendance at Homecoming was greater than that of 2015, and we expect that 2017 Homecoming will be even bigger and better. Lakeland College’s students, staff, and research teams are more abundant than ever. I’m amazed and impressed at all the new programs offered, combined with the numerous research projects. This opens all kinds of new opportunities for students and staff alike. As alumni, we thank you for your support and let’s all continue to “sing the praises” of our great Lakeland College.

Bill Plumley ‘66 Alumni Liaison

Shauna Zack Historian

Tom Kibblewhite ‘59

Barry McCarty 1.780.632.7433


LET’S STAY IN TOUCH! Go to our website and update your contact information:

And why not have some fun! Join our Alumni Facebook page!


ALUMNI SOCIAL EVENTS DATES & LOCATIONS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2017 Yuma Alumni Snowbird Social Westwind RV & Golf Resort 9797 East 32 Street, Yuma, AZ Time: 1 to 6:30 p.m. $15 per person, supper included Lettuce operations tour available. Optional for an additional $45/person (US) Tour must be booked two months in advance, please RSVP by Dec. 4, 2016 Contacts: Jack & Jeanette Price, 928.342.4567 Lyle & Sandra Baker, 928.342.4339 SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 Edmonton & Area Alumni Social Country Side Golf Club 51466 Range Road 232, Sherwood Park, Alta. Time: 2 to 5 p.m. Contact: Shauna Zack (Alumni & Donor Relations Officer) 1.800.661.6490 ext. 8628 FRIDAY - SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 10, & 11, 2017 Lakeland College Alumni Homecoming Registration form will be in the Spring 2017 Excel Lakeland College, Vermilion, Alta. Contact: Shauna Zack (Alumni & Donor Relations Officer) 1.800.661.6490 ext. 8628 WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 2017 Grande Prairie Alumni Social Dunvegan Campsite, Alta. Time: 1 to 5 p.m. Contacts: Alice Fortier, 780.532.6662 Eric Stamp, 780.766.2464


SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2017 Lacer the Racer Alumni Golf Tournament Vermilion Golf and Country Club, Vermilion, Alta. Contact: Shauna Zack (Alumni & Donor Relations Officer) 1.800.661.6490 ext. 8628 THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2017 Westlock Alumni Social Westlock Memorial Hall, Elks Room 99 Ave. – 106 St., Westlock, Alta. Time: 2 to 5 p.m. Contacts: George & Ivy McMillan, 780.349.2404 Doug & Vera Brown, 780.349.2410 Lakeland College will be on the road this year too! Be sure to stop by our booth at the following event and say hi: • Farm Tech in Edmonton, Alta. January 31-February 3, 2017

Alumni are welcome to attend each event. Bring a friend! And please RSVP 14 days prior to each event to assist with planning.

Excel was incorrectly informed that one alumnus was deceased and reported this in the “In Memoriam” page of the “Spring 2016” issue. John Janvier, Class of ‘61, is alive and well. We sincerely apologize for this error. WINTER 2016



Lakeland alumni have been busy! They connected at alumni socials in Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, Westlock, Saskatoon, Kelowna and beyond. Plus, they returned to their alma mater for Homecoming and Rose Ball 2016, which marked the 101st anniversary of Lakeland’s Alumni Association. Our next alumni social will be held south of the border in February. Check the alumni social events list on page 7 or visit for other upcoming events.



Hot Streak Continues The number of awards and achievements for Lakeland College’s interior design technology Class of 2016 is growing. Coming in first place in the kitchen portion of the 2015-16 Schoolhouse Charm Student Design Competition is Sydney Melnyk. Placing second is Brittany McQueen, with honourable mention going to Sara Downing. In the bath portion of the competition Naomi Mason received honourable mention. The winners were announced in September during a live webcast presented by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). In August, Melnyk also took first place in the NKBA 2015-16 Charette Design Competition. Downing came in second place and Rebecca Kurczaba received honourable mention. All of these students graduated from the program in June. The Class of 2016’s success marks the 13th consecutive year Lakeland’s interior design students have placed in student competitions.



DOUBLE AWARD WINNER: Sydney Melnyk still can’t believe she’s a double winner in student design competitions. “It’s pretty crazy, I can hardly believe it,” says the Lakeland College alumna of winning first place in two National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) design competitions. Competing against students from across North America, the Class of 2016 grad says she was prepared to do well thanks to Lakeland’s interior design program. “I really like that we had smaller class sizes in the studio. I felt heard and able to ask our instructors questions. They were always willing to help and make sure you understood concepts,” she says. “I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.”

Sydney Melnyk “I am very detailed orientated. I try to go above and beyond to make sure I hit all of the points that the client wants. To see the construction process underway is surreal. I am going to have my first kitchen designed and constructed – it’s very exciting,” says Melnyk. Trusting in the skills she developed as an interior design student is key to her success, according to Melnyk, who graduated with distinction. “It’s about letting your best be good enough. That’s something that my sister told me when she was going through school and it’s helped encourage me to push forward and give it my all.”

Sydney Melnyk takes a break from her design work at Henry Downing Architects. Top, her award-winning design for the Schoolhouse Charm

Meeting deadlines and designing remain part of Melnyk’s day-to-day. She’s happily working as an interior design technologist at Henry Downing Architects in Saskatoon, Sask.

competition features grey

“To start my career off on such a high note, I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” says Melnyk. “Thank you to Lakeland – you have an amazing program – and thank you to the NKBA because without them I wouldn’t be able to put such awesome accomplishments on my resumé.”

cabinetry and customized

In each competition, Melnyk won for her features. kitchen designs. With the charette, Melnyk and close to 100 NKBA student members from 11 other post-secondary institutions created a functional kitchen in a three-hour time frame. For the schoolhouse charm competition, competitors designed a kitchen for real clients, who are now building the kitchen of their dreams thanks to Melnyk.

Melnyk is $7,500 richer and was given a trip to Orlando, Fla., for the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in January 2017 for her award-winning designs. WINTER 2016



Brittany McQueen’s dream of becoming an interior designer is now a reality. In fact, this Class of 2016 grad is now an awardwinning interior designer.

Brittany McQueen

“Everything our instructors have shared with us and guided us through has prepared us for this line of work,” says McQueen, who was also part of the Rustlers rowing team. Along with other students from across North America, McQueen participated in the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) 2015-16 Schoolhouse Charm Student Design Competition. Her design earned her a second-place finish and an opportunity to build her resumé.

“It’s going to help me a lot in the kitchen and bath industry,” says McQueen, who works at Fresco Interiors Design Group Inc. in Saskatoon, Sask. “Knowing that I’ve done an actual project with real clients who provided their standards and criteria, I think it’s a really positive start to my career.” The hard work continues for McQueen as she prepares to apply for the Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer (AKBD) certification. The application process involves an exam and two professional affidavits, among other requirements. “I am excited to be working towards this accreditation – the learning never stops with interior design,” says McQueen.

SUCCESS LIES IN THE DETAILS Being detailed oriented is what Sara Downing, Class of 2016, learned to excel at in Lakeland College’s interior design technology program. This served Downing well when it came to competing in the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) 2015-16 Charette Design Competition; she took second place and was awarded $4,000. “Your competition work has to be hand-drafted, so you have to be efficient with your drawing and have clean lines. Everything needs to be crisp,” Downing says. “Thanks to all of the courses we took over the past two years, I know I went into the competition feeling confident. I think



the program prepared us incredibly well to compete and succeed.” At the end of the program, Downing completed an eight-week practicum with Alykhan Velji Designs in Calgary, Alta. She’s now planning to start her own residential interior design business in Saskatoon, Sask.

Sara Downing

“Lots of students have come out Lakeland successful and with these competitions, the fact that we do so well every year means there’s something right going on at Lakeland. After 13 years of success, it’s not just luck,” says Downing. Beyond the classroom and the competitions, Downing also excelled with Rustlers Athletics. She earned the rookie of the year award for soccer and ACAC top 10 All-Conference for futsal, as well as MVP.


Alumnus succeeds

IN TELECOMS Describing Kagan Kneen as driven would be an understatement. The Class of 2006 and 2008 business diploma and commerce degree alumnus has accomplished much in the realm of business since graduating and shows no signs of slowing down. He started working with Bell Canada in February 2014 as a regional manager in Saskatoon. Responsible for 20 stores, Kneen oversees the dealer channel in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In less than a year with the telecommunications company, he achieved President’s Club status. “It’s essentially the highest sales target,” explains the 31-year-old. “I achieved significant year-over-year growth in all metrics compared to my predecessor. The first couple of months on the job were about figuring out the role and relationships with the store managers, individual owners and the dealers. After that, it was really to reach those high sales.” As a member of the 2014 President’s Club, Kneen was flown to Portugal for a week to spend time with the company’s top executives. He was approximately three per cent away from qualifying for the elite status last year, so Kneen’s goal is to join the 2016 President’s Club. Eventually, Kneen wants to take his success with Bell a step further by taking on a director position and ultimately becoming a vice president. “I am really working to grow their business,” he says. To do so, Kneen is drawing on some of the lessons he learned from studying business at Lakeland. Through Doreen Der’s leadership and supervision course Kneen says he learned that he wanted to be a leader and a manager. Phil Allen’s course in operational management also continues to have a significant effect on Kneen’s work ethic today.

“That course made me who I am. I am very detail-focused and I know that came from a lot of the lectures and things that happened in that course,” he says. “It’s through that I believe I am the third highest regional manager in compliance scores for store audits and visits, which is really good for me because I have the largest geographical area. To have such a broad span and diverse area, it’s really something I am quite proud of and attribute it to the training I had at Lakeland.” While completing his business diploma and commerce degree at the Lloydminster campus, Kneen worked part-time in sales at the local Bell store and was named number one salesperson in all of Canada for Bell corporate sales. “I was pretty proud of that and it was in Doreen’s course that I decided I wanted to move up within the company and grow within Bell,” says Kneen, who hails from Marwayne, Alta. “The fact that the professors were so connected to us – that’s where I think I gained a lot of my leadership skills from.” Once he completed his degree through Lakeland College’s partnership with Athabasca University, Kneen moved to Saskatchewan. While Bell hadn’t opened up shop yet, he worked with Telus to launch Koodo stores in the province. Kneen was promoted to channel marketing representative at Telus before leaving the industry for an opportunity in refractive surgery as a clinic director, laser technician and marketing director. “I pretty much had three titles that I was working with for a while,” he says with a laugh. It wasn’t long after that Bell opened in Saskatchewan and Kneen seized the opportunity to take on the regional manager position. “I really missed the industry. Telecomm is something that I am super passionate about,” he says. “It’s extremely competitive so it’s really all about the rapport we are building with the customers and making it a lasting relationship. There are still customers I have from Lloydminster who I still speak with regularly. “Seeing other people succeed through my leadership is a great motivator too,” Kneen adds. “I work with them to make sure that they grow to see not only the personal progression but their professional progression as well. I want them to see their potential.”



Mason Mehl credits Rocky Mountain Equipment – his employer of 10 years – and Lakeland College for supporting him throughout his apprenticeship.


Parts apprentice wins

PROVINCIAL AWARD Lakeland College apprentice, Mason Mehl, is among the best of the best Alberta apprentices. Mehl was recognized as the province’s top parts technician apprentice and was one of only 58 apprentices to receive a 2015 Top Apprentice Award. This marks the eighth time a Lakeland parts technician apprentice has won this provincial award. “This is a well-deserved accomplishment for Mason and we are quite proud of him,” says Randy Hobbis, instructor. “He’s a personable, skilled and top-notch journeyman.” Presented by the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Mehl was honoured at the annual Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board Awards on April 15. “It was lots of fun and really nice to see that when people put in an honest effort they are able to achieve their goals and be recognized,” says Mehl, of Oyen, Alta. To achieve his goal of becoming a parts technician, Mehl enrolled in Lakeland’s apprenticeship program. He completed three periods of technical training at the Vermilion campus as well as the required 4,500 hours of on-the-job training. Excelling in his studies at Lakeland, Mason was one of the recipients of the Trades Staff Award, which is awarded to the top graduating apprentice student in each program based on leadership, enthusiasm and academic ability. “It was pretty incredible at Lakeland to see that the instructors weren’t only willing to help you succeed but, on top of that, they were willing to help you excel. They wanted to see everyone reach their full potential not only at college but in life,” says Mehl. “You could tell they all genuinely cared about the students. I’d like to thank the instructors at Lakeland because without them we wouldn’t be able to learn and achieve our goals.” Alberta’s annual Top Apprentice Award honours apprentices in each trade who achieved the highest overall marks in their final period of training, and received strong employer

recommendations. Mehl credits Rocky Mountain Equipment – his employer of 10 years – for supporting him throughout his apprenticeship and on the job today. “They’re a great business because they want everyone to get the education and training they need to do their work well,” says Mehl. Even now as a journeyman, Mehl says he’s still learning something new every day on the job. “One of the best things about this trade is that it’s never boring. It’s very seasonal with the line of work that I am doing in ag equipment,” says Mehl, who has a farming background and training in agricultural mechanics. “Being able to help someone with equipment problems is what I enjoy the most, that way they can continue with their work and be able to support their families once we help them out.” Parts technician is one of nine apprenticeship trades offered at Lakeland College’s Trades Centre at the Vermilion campus. Lakeland also offers periods one and three of the parts technician program online. .

Mehl (centre) accepted the 2015 Top Apprentice Award for the parts technician category in April from the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education.






Creative duo EXCELS IN MARKETING Depending on the day, Lara Dobson, Class of 2001, could either be consulting on a project, serving as a sales rep, taking orders, coordinating project installations or working reception. “Solving problems and assisting others is what I do all day,” says Lara, with a laugh. And as owner/operator of Ironjet Promotions with her husband Christopher, Class of 2001, she excels at it.

secure teaching positions afterwards. However, after five years of teaching students from Grade 2 to Grade 9 in rural communities, including Lashburn and Hillmond, Lara and Chris were ready to see the world. But, the best laid plans can go awry, and they did for the Dobsons; in this case, the economy crashed. Plans to travel were put on hold and with no teaching positions to return to, they decided to focus on developing Chris’s freelance graphic design business, which he’d operated on the side over the years.

“In a downturn economy, we decided to go into business and people thought we were crazy,” says Lara. “We were very “We’re very much a team in this,” she says, noting Christopher fortunate to have such great community support from the start, – a nationally awarded salesperson – takes care of his share of which really helped. We had a lot to learn and the company the operation too, including sales, installation, production and grew so fast. We’re grateful to have bookkeeping, among other tasks. Before Lloydminster’s support.” this energetic duo opened Ironjet’s doors “In a downturn economy, we in downtown Lloydminster in 2009, they Providing clients with turnkey solutions for decided to go into business and started their career path as teachers. In their marketing needs is at the heart of fact, they met while studying to become people thought we were crazy.” what Ironjet Promotions offers. Whether teachers in Lakeland College’s university – Lara Dobson it’s print products, decals or banners, transfer program. signage, logos or other promotional items, “I really enjoyed my Lakeland experience. Lara and Chris – and their Ironjet team – work hard for Because of the smaller campus environment, you actually get their clients. to know people. Whereas when you’re at a larger university, you lose that community feel,” says Lara. “Our whole team really takes pride in what we do,” says Lara. “On a day-to-day basis, what I really love is seeing people For Lara, enrolling at Lakeland was an opportunity to get a proud of their business. We’re selling someone’s image for good education in her community and it proved to be an their business, creating something they are proud of and inspiring decision in the end. “There were a lot of great something that helps connect them to their market. I love instructors at Lakeland who pushed us into being more than helping people do that. To see them grow their business we thought we could be. You weren’t there to just show up to because of what we do, it’s so wonderful to be part of.” class, they challenged our minds and that’s what an institution should do,” she says. “I really think Lakeland brings so much to the community and I hope the community sees how important it is.” After studying at Lakeland’s Lloydminster campus, both Lara and Chris transferred to the University of Alberta to complete their bachelor of education degrees, and both were quick to

Being part of large-scale events, including Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, helping Lakeland celebrate its centennial and working with local businesses are among the highlights Lara lists for Ironjet. “Building community relationships and being part of something bigger than yourself is what keeps me inspired every day.” WINTER 2016




FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM From team environments to team sports, James McNaughton always knew he wanted to work collectively with others – an area where he feels the most comfortable and valuable. It’s not surprising that teamwork is secondnature to McNaughton. After all, he made it to the world’s biggest sporting stage – the Olympics.

During the onsite portion of the program McNaughton went through live industrial fire scenarios at the Emergency Training Centre.


The former linebacker for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees got involved in the sport of bobsleigh after being invited to a recruitment camp in Calgary. McNaughton began competing internationally in 2011-12. Midseason 2012, he graduated to the elite World Cup circuit and competed in two straight world championships plus the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. He was a member of the four-man sled piloted by Justin Kripps.


“I had a blast (as a bobsledder) but it was kind of a blip in the radar. It was fun but I felt I wouldn’t be able to build a real life,” says the Newmarket, Ont. native. When he began his career search, he wanted something that would allow him to carry out an active and healthy lifestyle while still working in a team atmosphere. “Firefighting was the thing that stood out the most for me,” says McNaughton. McNaughton, 28, was one of 12 students to participate in Lakeland College’s 12-week blended learning firefighter pilot program which began May 16. During the first eight weeks of the program, students completed theory work online. They spent the final four weeks training at the Emergency Training Centre at the Vermilion campus. “It was absolutely amazing, my classmates and I can’t believe we called it school,” says McNaughton of the intensive field training. “The at-home portion was challenging, you

have to be dedicated. And being here (Lakeland College) for the practical portion has been the coolest experience of my life.” With the smaller class size, a six-to-one ratio, McNaughton said the instruction was great. He found the instructors to be very thorough and able to bring real-world experience conversations to the floor.

his new role within the local fire department – a position he earned by flying to Ontario during training in order to complete testing and begin the interview process. “During my interview, they were excited to hear that I was taking this course.” McNaughton received the Centennial Emergency Training Achievement Award granted to him by his Lakeland instructors and peers. He was humbled by his selection. “I can’t believe my classmates awarded me this,” says McNaughton. “This program has been a great experience.”

“The volume of time we have on the hose and on the pad, it would be hard to replicate anywhere else from what I’ve heard. We had tons of reps out there, which is where you put all the theory into action,” says McNaughton. After graduating from the program in August, McNaughton had two weeks off prior to beginning his new career. Moments before receiving his certificate, McNaughton received a call from City of Vaughan to advise him of

McNaughton graduated from the 12-week firefighter program on August 5 and was presented the Centennial Emergency Training Achievement Award by fire instructor Alan Jones.

The blended delivery option of the firefighter training program will be offered again in 2017. The program length was increased to 17-weeks to make the program more manageable for students.

Do you have a few hours to give? Could you share photos and stories?

Help us create a 100-year

HISTORY BOOK WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Join our editorial team and help share Lakeland’s legacy in a 100-year history book! CONTACT THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: 780.853.8466 1.800.661.6490 ext. 8466

History books were printed to mark the college’s 50th and 75th anniversaries. By creating a 100-year history book, we’ll continue to share Lakeland’s Ever to Excel history. Please let us know if you’re interested in making this historical project a reality.

The production of this book is tentative pending alumni involvement.

– Bill Fox ‘58 and Sandra (Hilts) Bernes ‘66



dream come true

Ag alumna fulfills dream as zookeeper

From penguins to a seven-year-old American woodland caribou named Lindsay and a baby Madagascar tree boa named Bellatrix, LaSalle has worked with a range of creatures at the Calgary Zoo.

More than 10 years ago Brandy LaSalle was asked what she planned to do. A common question asked of most students studying at any post-secondary institution, this Lakeland College alumna’s heartfelt response was simple: I would love to work at the zoo. No, LaSalle wasn’t referring to a local watering hole. “It was funny, they asked me if I meant the bar in Vermilion, but my long-term goal was to work at the Calgary Zoo and I did it. It’s been an amazing opportunity,” says LaSalle, Class of 2007. Animals have been a mainstay in LaSalle’s life. Growing up in Oshawa, Ont., her family operated a travelling petting zoo as well as a pig racing show that toured Western Canada each summer. Knowing she wanted to work with animals in some capacity, LaSalle started her post-secondary studies in animal sciences at the University of Manitoba but wasn’t sure if it was the best fit for her. As a member of the university’s Stockmans’ Club, LaSalle learned about Lakeland College at a competition in Edmonton. “I met some Lakeland students there who told me how amazing Vermilion was and

since we would be driving by that we should stop to take a look around. When we did, I fell in love with the campus.” LaSalle completed Lakeland’s two-year livestock production program and kept busy with campus life. She competed with the Stockmans’ Club, helped with the rodeo team, worked at the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland during the summer months, and assisted with milking for the dairy unit. LaSalle also helped manage Lakeland’s Boer goat project, which included yearling billies from farmers throughout Alberta, and completed the college’s artificial insemination course. “The best course I took was in veterinary sciences. We worked with the vets and went around campus to treat animals – that was by far my favourite,” says LaSalle. “Having the opportunity to gain experience working hands-on with the animals was the greatest part of my Lakeland experience.” The skills she gained from Lakeland’s student-led, hands-on approach served LaSalle well even before she graduated. She was hired to work with the sea lions and penguins at West Edmonton Mall’s Marine Life attraction while she completed her studies at the Vermilion campus. After graduating she worked at the attraction for three years. LaSalle left Edmonton to take on a leadership role with continued on next page . . .

. . . continued from previous page

the Calgary Zoo and be part of a new penguin exhibit. For almost seven years, LaSalle has been doing what she always dreamed of doing – working as an official zookeeper. And though it’s been nearly a decade since she graduated from Lakeland, LaSalle says the courses she took in husbandry, disease, breeding programs and plant sciences remain beneficial. “It’s about making sure your animals are as healthy as possible,” says LaSalle of the parallels between working with exotic and agricultural animals. LaSalle’s worked with a number of species at the zoo since the penguin exhibit, including hippopotamuses and giraffes. She now tends to Canadian wild carnivores. “I had no idea that I am madly in love with bears,” LaSalle says with a laugh. She’s currently looking after three black bears, two grizzly bears, two wolves and two cougars. LaSalle is responsible for cleaning, husbandry, feeding and much more. “Most people are surprised to learn that being a zookeeper isn’t about cuddling and playing with animals. It’s a lot of work and a lot of cleaning. It’s very physically demanding and requires strong observation skills, which is something I took from Lakeland. That dedication and focus is definitely needed,” says LaSalle. “The best part about my work is the connections you build with the animals and the relationships you create. Every animal has a personality, even smaller ones like snakes. Each one is different and just seeing those relationships and getting to build them is amazing.”

Clockwise from top, LaSalle completes a target training session with Mardi, a reticulated giraffe; bottle feeding an orphaned Rocky Mountain Goat; daily husbandry, including a mouth rinse and oral gel, with a hippopotamus, LaSalle’s dream animal; a routine vet check on Baroness, a 24hour musk ox calf; more training while Mardi gets a hoof trim; and a training session with Ginny, a Red Tegu lizard who had compromised health issues and is now an ambassador animal.





Lakeland’s President Alice Wainwright-Stewart, centre, is joined by a number of students at the launch of the college’s new visual identity.

Student leadership is at the heart of Lakeland College’s newly enhanced brand strategy.

president of the Lloydminster campus Students’ Association and a member of Lakeland’s winning Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition team helped to unveil Lakeland’s new visual identity.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Lakeland unveiled a new visual identity, marking the second phase of a branding process that started in 2014 with the development of a brand strategy. Elements of the visual identity include a logo, tagline, typography, and official colours that reflect the Lakeland experience.

“I’ve been fortunate to be involved with this brand redesign from the beginning as a student, and as a summer employee of Lakeland College. There have been a lot of conversations regarding this with lots of feedback, and as a community – students, prospective students, staff, and everyone else involved – we decided this is Lakeland. In doing so, together we’ve built on over 100 years of excellence,” says Gray, who introduced Lakeland’s new tagline: Leading. Learning. Since 1913.

“We’re excited to unveil this new look to our students, staff, alumni, and friends of the college,” says Alice WainwrightStewart, president of Lakeland College. “The strong L icon of the logo represents the leadership of our students and references local architecture, the strength of the Prairies, the region’s landscape, and academic achievement.” Designed by Berlin Communications of Edmonton, Alta., the visual identity was developed through extensive consultation, focus groups and surveys. More than 100 current and prospective students as well as staff members provided input throughout this process. Together, they offered guidance to ensure Lakeland’s new visual identity complements the five core attributes of the college’s brand strategy: • Student-managed learning experiences; • A place to be heard; • Connected and relevant; • Future focused; and • Academic credibility

The gold element in the middle of the logo is a reference to the sash worn by grads at convocation. It’s also similar to a kernel of grain, an acknowledgement of our Prairie roots. It’s placed in the middle of the L as it connects the college’s two campuses together. The green and gold colours − which have served Lakeland almost since its beginning − remain. However, the shades are richer than previous versions. The logos for Lakeland’s Emergency Training Centre and the Rustlers were also refreshed to reflect the design of the new Lakeland logo. The third phase of Lakeland’s branding process is the launch of a responsive website. The new site is expected to go live in the spring.

Among the many students involved in the process of developing the visual identity was Tony Gray, a recent graduate of Lakeland’s marketing major. The former WINTER 2016



OFFICIALLY OPENS As a hub for innovation and applied research, Lakeland College’s Livestock Research Facility is officially open for student-led learning. Featuring state-of-the-art technology for livestock research and development, the opening of the facility at the Vermilion campus on Oct. 20 is the culmination of significant support from Judy Sweet.

livestock industry in Western Canada. Past projects that have been done in the livestock area include lamb milk replacer, heifer feed efficiency, feeder lamb rotation, beef finishing rations and wet/dry barley feed trials. “The opening of the Livestock Research Facility is an exciting milestone for Lakeland’s Student-Managed Farm. Thank you to Judy and her family for supporting student-managed experiences,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. “With this modern facility, our students have the space and tools necessary to lead current livestock research projects. They’ll gain valuable research experience as they work alongside faculty and industry leaders on innovative research projects.”

Wanting to make a donation in memory of her husband Garth Sweet, who raised purebred Simmental cattle for more than 25 years with their family, Judy reached out to Lakeland in 2014. Since then, Judy “The research that’s being done at has supported the modernization and Lakeland with cattle is not only great expansion of the Livestock Research Facility through donations from her for the industry but more importantly family’s Sportaken Holdings and from it’s benefiting students.” The Garth Sweet Simmental Foundation. – Judy Sweet “The research that’s being done at Lakeland with cattle is not only great for the industry but more importantly it’s benefiting students. They’re taking charge of incredible research opportunities and learning from the results. We’re proud to be part of this project and to help Lakeland students succeed in this industry,” says Judy. “Garth had a real passion for the Simmental breed and he had a great interest in the research side of Alberta Simmental cattle. Lakeland has been a wonderful organization to work with – they’ve really honoured Garth’s dream.” Home to 50 head of cattle and the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland Livestock Research team, the Livestock Research Facility has increased Lakeland’s capacity to participate in applied research projects of importance to the

The conversion of the former bull test station into the Livestock Research Facility began in 2012 with the installation of GrowSafe technology for monitoring the individual feed intake of animals. The second phase, completed in 2013, was the addition of new cattle and sheep handling systems plus a scale system. The third phase of the modernization project, completed in 2015, was the expansion on the east side of the building to create a demonstration space. The 1,000 square foot area includes washrooms and a lab space. To officially open the Livestock Research Facility, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held. From left, Casey Finstad, the SMF Livestock Research Team leader, Stewart Ainsworth, Judy Sweet, Darrel Howell, chair of Lakeland’s Board of Governors, Alice WainwrightStewart, president, and Josie Van Lent, dean of agricultural sciences, had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

National LEADERSHIP AWARD for Lakeland College instructor Lakeland’s Rob Baron is one of four people in Canada to receive a gold level Award of Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). For his innovation and achievements at Lakeland, Baron was awarded the gold CICan Leadership Excellence Award during the organization’s annual conference in Québec City on May 31. “I was extremely honoured that my colleagues chose to nominate me for this award. I have worked with some amazing teams for many departments over my career at the college,” says Rob Baron, head of Lakeland College’s renewable energy and conservation program. CICan’s 2016 Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country. The Leadership Excellence Award recognizes that although the entire post-secondary institution plays a learning leadership role in the communities they serve, inevitably, one individual makes an outstanding contribution each year. “Rob has been a valued colleague for over a quarter of a century. The leadership he has shown both Lakeland College and the community is immeasurable, valued and overwhelmingly respected,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. “From helping to establish the StudentManaged Farm – Powered by New Holland to creating new curriculum for agriculture, and developing Lakeland’s applied research, Rob is instrumental to the growth and success of the college. He is very deserving of this prestigious award and we are very proud of his accomplishment.” Before joining Lakeland as an instructor in 1987, Baron worked in agricultural machinery research and manufacturing, specializing in fertilizer, seeding and pesticide application. At Lakeland, Baron has exercised his passion for sharing knowledge and helping others learn through classroom instruction, course development, program development and most recently through leading the college’s applied research initiatives. With his continued dedication to students, Baron has led initiatives to improve the quality of education at Lakeland. Some

Rob Baron (left) with Denise Amyot (right), president and CEO of CICan, following the CICan awards ceremony.

of the areas in which Baron has excelled in his leadership include: Ÿ Active in the team that developed the Student-Managed Farm

(SMF) model, which revolutionized the way that Lakeland provided agricultural education to students; Ÿ Being an early adopter and thought leader in the engagement

of new learning technologies and methods of student engagement and piloting the first fully online program at the college; Ÿ Exploring ways to undertake applied research which keeps

students closely engaged and provides student-led research projects; Ÿ Championing the development of new areas of programming

by developing the Renewable Energy and Conservation program; Ÿ Driving the development of Lakeland’s key research

infrastructure, the Centre for Sustainable Innovation; and Ÿ Building relationships with industry that have resulted in

project collaborations and investments. “Rob has one of the best creative minds of anyone I have had the pleasure to work with, and has truly been a leader in every sense of the word in such a broad spectrum of projects,” says Mel Mathison, former dean of Lakeland’s School of Environmental Sciences and Applied Research. “Lakeland College is a different and better college with Rob’s contributions.” Throughout his career Baron has been recognized for his work and innovation with a number of other awards including the Graduate Thesis Award from the Canadian Society for Bioengineering (2005) and Award of Innovation in Teaching from the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association (2007). WINTER 2016



LAKELAND RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP Lakeland College has received an international award for providing opportunities for its students and staff to develop leadership skills.

Powered by New Holland, the student-run esthetician spa, math fairs in local schools organized by university transfer students, and a simulated fire hall for firefighter students. The newest initiative is the Student-Environmental Consulting Office which involves environmental sciences students.

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) announced that Lakeland won a bronze Award of Excellence in the leadership development category during the WFCP World Congress in Brazil in September. The awards celebrate institutions whose exceptional initiatives strengthen applied learning and research outcomes.

On the employee side, Lakeland mentors and supports faculty and staff who are interested in developing their leadership skills.

“We at Lakeland pride ourselves on providing real leadership opportunities for employees and students who are ready to take the lead. Our focus on student-managed learning experiences sets us apart from other post-secondary institutions and has become an important element of our brand promise,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. A few of the many examples of student-led learning opportunities at Lakeland include the Student-Managed Farm –

“We give our people the opportunity to develop their potential. It’s a shared process that requires fostering an environment of trust, respect and mentoring. But the benefit is that shared leadership builds a talent base and creates the next generation of college leaders,” says Wainwright-Stewart. Lakeland was among 20 institutions from Canada, China, Basque Country, United Kingdom and United States recognized for innovative and inspirational projects. Lakeland’s win marks the second time the college has received a WFCP Award of Excellence. In 2014 Lakeland received a silver Award of Excellence in the college-industry partnership category.


Whether you’d like to create a new academic award, establish a memorial scholarship or donate to Lakeland in honour of your fellow alumni, we’re here to help. Contact Shauna Zack to find out how you can help Lakeland students take the lead.

Lakeland’s Alumni Association has a surplus of the following: • 50-year anniversary books • 75-year anniversary books • Plus yearbooks!

Contact Sandra Bernes, Class of ‘66, with the Alumni Association. Purchase by donation.



Call: 780.853.8628 Email: Visit:

DISTINGUISHED COMPANY Lakeland College annually salutes notable alumni and citizens who have made significant contributions or have achieved major accomplishments. Laryssa Whittaker, Class of 1991, was inducted to the Distinguished Alumni program during the Lloydminster 2016 convocation ceremony. Learn more about Whittaker online at or in the Winter 2015 Excel.

Edmund Lefsrud, Class of 1965, was inducted to the Distinguished Alumni program during the Vermilion 2016 convocation ceremony. As the 2016 Distinguished Citizens, honorary credentials were awarded to Jean Paré and Ross Ulmer for their professional and communityminded achievements. Learn more about these distinguished individuals:


Since graduating from the Vermilion Agricultural and Vocational College (now Lakeland College) in 1965, Edmund Lefsrud has been dedicated to the agriculture industry. He credits his college education and former principal, Bill Baranyk, with providing a strong foundation for a successful career in agriculture.

“I went back to the college just after I graduated for some reason and Mr. Baranyk told me he had a job for me,” recalls Lefsrud. “In a roundabout way he put me into the world of the seed business, certainly agriculture. He was the one who Don Henry pointed me in the right direction and I needed some discipline in my life and that position gave it to me.”

Edmund Lefsrud (right) with Georgina Altman, vice president of advancement and external relations.

Canadian Seed Growers’ Robertson Associate Award, the Long Service Award and the Outstanding Service Award. “I always wanted to be in farming,” says Lefsrud, who’s also a licensed pilot. “I kind of adored my father and he was pretty good at farming so I just followed in his footsteps somewhat.”

More than 50 years after his own convocation, Lefsrud received the Distinguished Alumni award for the Vermilion campus on June 3 and was inducted onto the college’s Alumni Wall of Distinction. Lefsrud started his career working as a seed inspector with Agriculture Canada for two years before purchasing the family farm near Viking. For almost 50 years, Lefsrud and his wife Ellen have worked together to expand their farm to 5,000 acres and several companies, including Lefsrud Seed and Processors Ltd., and 6 King Genetics.

From 4-H to the local Lions Club, Lefsrud is a committed volunteer for numerous organizations. Lefsrud Seed and Processors donates to fundraisers and supports research for the development of a new oilseed pea product and has sponsored youth to attend leadership courses. He’s also a proud member of Lakeland College’s Alumni Association. Edmund Lefsrud’s college yearbook photo from 1965.

As an accredited seed grower, Lefsrud provides clean certified seed to farmers and companies across Alberta, across Canada and even around the world.

In 2003, the Lefsrud family farm became a century farm, with Lefsrud’s son, Kevin, being the fourth generation farmer in the family to work the land. As an active member of the farming community, Lefsrud continues to share and teach the value of agriculture.

For more than 30 years, Lefsrud has dedicated his time to the Alberta and Canadian Seed Growers’ Associations and he has held several roles on these boards including the presidency for both the Alberta Seed Growers’ Association and the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association. For his significant and dedicated service, Lefsrud has received several awards including the

“I believe that being a farmer and a seed grower has truly allowed me to contribute to my community. I believe in seeing the next generation of farmers develop and grow into this honourable profession,” says Lefsrud. “That’s what we’re doing – feeding the world with the best knowledge, best education and best product that we can.” WINTER 2016


MUSIC INSPIRED SUCCESS FOR DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN For nearly four decades Ross Ulmer has excelled in the business community – a feat he attributes to his family’s philosophy of giving back. In honour of his achievements, Lakeland College inducted Ulmer to the Wall of Distinguished Citizens during the Lloydminster campus convocation ceremony on May 27. Prior to receiving an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Business Degree at the ceremony, Ulmer congratulated the Class of 2016 and shared his “lessons from a trombone player.” “By getting a degree or diploma, you’re not part of the majority anymore; you have made the decision to excel and you have done what only one in three Canadians does in getting advanced education. Congratulations and well done,” he said. “When you start working, you are playing a concert every single day of your life. Make sure that you set your standards of performance; make sure you work well with others; make sure you don’t practice on your customers; and with all of your knowledge, personality and your vision to thrill your audience, thrill the customer. The reward is the thrill you give yourself.” Growing up in North Battleford, Sask., Ulmer watched his father Joe work his way from the parts department to dealer at Boyd Brothers, a Chevrolet dealership. His community involvement was an inspiration to Ulmer. Before working in automotives, Ulmer studied music professionally obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Following two years with the RCMP Band in Ottawa, Ulmer joined the family business. After working as a service manager



Ross Ulmer (centre) with Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president, and Darrel Howell, board of governors chair.

at Ulmer Chev, Ulmer became a partner with his brother Doug and father in 1984. By the time they expanded their business to Lloydminster in 1987, they had three dealerships. “I’ve learned that being part of someone else’s growth is one of the most exciting activities you can do. My desire to be a part of others’ success has stood our business well. My job became that of producing managers, then producing individuals who can general manage a dealership and then coaching general managers to excel. It’s a big reason why we grew from one dealership to 14,” says Ulmer. “What has made me succeed from music? Number one, I have high standards. I always want the job to be done better than average. How will you perform? Choose excellence.” An ardent commitment to customer service and community has garnered Ulmer Auto Group a number of accolades including a CADA Laureate Award, Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts, Motor Dealer Association of Alberta – Rural Dealer of the Year, and four-time winner of the GM Triple Crown award. However, the accomplishments that are most meaningful to Ulmer include his marriage of close to 40 years and his three incredible daughters, current and former business partners, and his community contributions. Known for his community involvement, Ulmer has been an instrumental supporter of numerous organizations including the Lloydminster Regional Theatre Foundation, local Rotary Clubs, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, Lakeland College and First Baptist Church, among many others. “It’s a paradox of life that I have never figured out, but the more you give, the more you get.”


Honorary degree for top-selling cookbook author

Even though they’ve finished their studies at Lakeland College, Jean Paré encourages the Class of 2016 to never stop learning. “Now they are entering the real world and the main thing is to keep learning and to do something that they’ll enjoy,” said Paré. “I know I always enjoyed my work and ended up with a company that was like extended family. It was such a pleasure to work with everybody.” Well-thumbed, shared by friends and family, and even soiled by recipe ingredients, Company’s Coming cookbooks are fixtures in kitchens throughout Canada and around the world, thanks to Paré. Born in Irma, Alta., Paré’s career in the kitchen began in the 1960s when she opened a café in her hometown of Vermilion, Alta. She moved on to run a home-based catering service for more than 18 years. continued on next page . . .



Jean Paré (centre) with Darrel Howell, board of governors chair, and Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president, at the Vermilion campus convocation ceremony.

. . . continued from previous page

Paré’s easy-to-follow recipes using readily available ingredients Her first catering job was in 1963 for 1,000 guests at the 50th led to sales of more than 30 million Company’s Coming anniversary of the Vermilion School of Agriculture, now Lakeland cookbooks before her retirement in 2010. As one of the topCollege. “We had no refrigeration and no heat at the college. It selling cookbook authors in the world, Paré’s name appears on was a challenge alright, but it turned out well. I found that I just more than 200 cookbooks. enjoyed it so much that I thought I would be a caterer forever. But then as result of all that catering, came the cookbooks. Then “Over the years I received letters from many I thought I would be doing that forever. people who learned how to cook through However, when I got to 83, I decided to “Over the years I received letters these books. The youngest one who wrote retire,” says Paré, with a laugh. from many people who learned was six years old and the oldest was 94. how to cook through these When I wrote Cooking for Two, there Fifty-three years after her first catering job, books. The youngest one who happened to be a Vermilion boy who was Paré was recognized as Lakeland College’s wrote was six years old and the heading off to university and his mother gave Distinguished Citizen and was presented him that book. He wrote me a letter telling with an Honorary Bachelor of Applied oldest was 94.” me about how he enjoyed the book but that Business Degree during the Vermilion – Jean Paré the odd recipe only served one,” she said, campus convocation ceremonies on June 3. with a laugh. “It’s like coming full circle – it all started at the college and here I am returning,” she said. Paré’s culinary passion led her to amass more than 6,000 cookbooks – an impressive collection that she donated to the In 1981, Paré wrote and published her first cookbook – 150 Culinary Collections at the University of Guelph in 2011. In Delicious Squares – focusing on popular treats from her 2003, Paré was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee catering events. The first printing of 15,000 copies sold out in Medal, and in 2004 she was made a Member of the Order less than six weeks. That proved to be the first of many of Canada. cookbooks in the Company’s Coming series that Paré authored.




Bachelor of applied science: environmental management students are in charge of three different environmental sciences projects, including reclamation at the remote ETC site.

NEW STUDENTMANAGED ENVIRO PROJECT LAUNCHED There is no substitute for experience. And with the newly launched StudentEnvironmental Consulting Office (S-ECO), students in the bachelor of applied science: environmental management (BASEM) program are gaining valuable leadership experience.

and create an inventory/monitoring plan for existing wells; or establish a plan to maintain and improve Lakeland’s ALUS (alternative land use services) land and identify new ALUS sites on college land. “I’m not aware of any other college in Alberta doing something like this with environmental sciences – where you give your students an actual project that they are in charge of. This gives them ownership of their project for the entire year,” says James Woodhouse, an environmental sciences instructor and S-ECO academic coordinator. “S-ECO provides them with real-world experience now.”

As a new Lakeland College student-managed learning opportunity, S-ECO sees BASEM students take charge of three environmental sciences projects.

Tying into their project management and communications courses, BASEM students determine the direction of their respective project. Working in groups, students are responsible for research, analysis, planning, communication and overall project management. They also work with a number of environmental sciences diploma students for data collection, mapping and more.

Students either work alongside industry on reclamation at the Emergency Training Centre’s remote site; develop a plan for installing new ground water monitoring wells on college land

BASEM is a post-credential applied degree program that includes eight months of course work followed by one eightmonth industry practicum. WINTER 2016



Lakeland College students are taking charge of their education with a number of other student-led learning opportunities:

Lakeland’s business students don’t have to wait until they’ve graduated to work with real clients. In fact during the spring 2016 semester, students in MK 170 Marketing Principles not only had the opportunity to engage with local businesses, they created and presented original marketing plans for them. Divided into groups, students were given a client brief for either Acton’s Lower Shannon Farms, Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster or Lloydminster & District SPCA. With this project students applied their knowledge of marketing techniques, analyzed their businesses marketing operations and product, and evaluated how best to promote its goods and services. At the end, students presented a formal marketing plan – complete with promotional guidelines and activities – and a television commercial that they created and uploaded to YouTube.

STUDENT-RUN TRIAL TARGETS MILK OPTIONS Milk, and milk replacer, were put to the test with orphan lambs at Lakeland’s Student-Managed Farm –Powered by New Holland (SMF). The brainchild of Tara Sturges, an animal science technology graduate, this student-run “sheep trial” started when the first orphan lamb dropped in February. Rather than sell the orphan lambs, which was the case in the past, the lambs were divided and fed either whole Jersey milk – donated by the SMF dairy team and chosen for its high fat content – or acidified milk replacer. In total, 16 orphan lambs participated in the trial. For Lakeland, this trial has established a viable orphan sheep program at the SMF that will help the college to retain triplet genetics. “Whether we have results or not, this has refined our orphan program. This will help us retain our flock,” says Marisa Moe, instructor and SMF advisor for the sheep unit. “It’s been an incredible learning opportunity for our students. They’ve taken ownership of it and have gone well above the normal responsibilities of the SMF team.”



Tara Sturges spearheaded the trial. As a graduate, she says she looks forward to learning the results when they become available.




Students enrolled in HS 202 Leadership Activities – a new course taken by first-year child and youth care (CYC) and second-year early learning and child care (ELCC) students – in the spring 2016 semester were tasked with “paying it forward.” The class of 43 worked in groups to choose a way to accomplish this. They created a proposal with a mission, vision and budget, conducted research and established an implementation plan. From creating a new drop-in program in Edgerton to providing cleaning services at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton, starting wellness activities at the Vermilion Valley Lodge, completing food drives for the Mannville and Area Food Bank, and making baskets for moms with addiction, each group had to present their project to a panel. They created a proposal with a mission, vision and budget, conducted research and established an implementation plan. Once they had approval from the panel and secured any funding they required, the eight groups had four weeks to implement their project.

Just like any new start-up, developing and launching the Student-Managed Enterprise (SME) had its share of challenges. But there were also many rewards for the students and instructors involved in the inaugural year of the SME, created so agribusiness students had the opportunity to manage all aspects of a business during their final year of study. In fact, by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, the class had operated a very successful Pop-up Shop – Powered by Student-Managed Enterprise during Little Royal, investigated options for a western-themed retail store in Vermilion, started an online store to sell Lakeland Aggie gear, and worked with interior design technology students to develop a new design concept for the Student Centre. Developing business plans, working with vendors, marketing events, conducting focus groups, managing inventory and creating financial statements were among the many tasks the students completed. In the end, all of their achievements and mistakes result in valuable business experience.

LAKELAND TAKES THE PODIUM AT CASE COMPETITION Five Lakeland College students are each $500 richer after competing in the Alberta Deans of Business college case competition. The competition sees each team enter a “war room” with a real-world business problem. In 10 hours, each team must come up with an analysis, solution and presentation, which they then submit to the judges. Afterwards, they practice their presentation and prepare their answers for the judges with the help of their team facilitator. The following morning, each team must share a 12-minute presentation, after participating in a five-minute question and answer period with industry specialists. Competing against 13 post-secondary institutes from across Alberta at the 2016 Deans of Business college case competition at SAIT in Calgary, Lakeland College’s team brought home $2,500 with their second-place finish. NAIT placed first and SAIT was third. 2016 marks the 11th time Lakeland has entered the competition and the fourth time Lakeland’s team reached the podium. Lakeland’s team is sponsored by Servus Credit Union and Hawkings Epp Dumont.

From left to right, Michael Wirachowsky, Don Shaw, Erin O’Neill, Tessa Lay and Tony Gray successfully competed in the 2016 Alberta Deans of Business college case competition.




CLASS OF 2016 EVER TO EXCEL Lakeland College’s alumni family has grown again. Graduates of the Class of 2016 were celebrated during two convocation ceremonies at the Vermilion Regional Centre on June 3. More than 350 of the 497 candidates for graduation from the environmental sciences, fire and emergency services, human services, agricultural sciences, interior design technology and street rod technologies programs sported green and gold as they crossed the stage to receive their credential. Lloydminster graduates from business, energy and petroleum technology, health and wellness, and university transfer programs donned caps and gowns during their convocation ceremony on May 27. More than 160 of the 206 candidates attended the celebration.

MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM APPROVED FOR CREDENTIAL Lakeland College’s newly named community mental health certificate program was officially approved by Alberta Advanced Education. Students now receive credit for completing this online certificate program – formerly named mental health practitioner. The program was first introduced as a non-credit program in 2014 to educate helping professionals and increase their knowledge, skill and ability to support those experiencing mental health challenges. There are currently 17 registrations in the courses offered in this program. The first cohort of community mental health certificate program students is expected to graduate next year. “To have that stamp of approval from the government is important for the college and our students,” says Joanne McDonald, chair of the School of Human Services, noting the course material and program requirements will not be affected by the program’s name change. Designed for students to take on a part-time basis, the community mental health certificate program consists of nine



courses including introduction to mental health, concurrent disorders, infant/toddler mental health, and alternative therapies. Students are also required to complete a practicum component. Available only online, the community mental health certificate program has generated interest from students across Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. To be eligible for admission, candidates must have a post-secondary credential. “Our program is targeted to professionals who have a background in human services. Introductory courses give you a good foundation but they don’t give you the specifics for signs and systems, actual agencies in your community and how can you really focus on helping in that particular area. Because mental health is such a broad area, having those specifics really help and we’re pleased to be able to offer them in this program,” says McDonald. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

2016 PRESIDENT’S GALA A SUCCESS FOR STUDENTS Friends of Lakeland College united in celebration of student success and helped to raise more than $30,000 for awards, scholarships and bursaries at the 2016 President’s Gala on April 8. “From the outstanding contributions of our sponsors to the tremendous generosity of our guests and how instrumental our students were in each aspect of organizing this event, the 2016 President’s Gala was a wonderful celebration. Thank you to everyone for supporting student achievement at Lakeland College,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. “The success of this event will enable the college to enhance the student awards program.” Stephanie Wakefield, a university transfer pre-veterinary medicine student, and Lucas Tetreault, a heavy oil power engineering student, served as emcees at the gala, and Michelle Wright performed. The 2017 President’s Gala will be held on March 24.

NEW ENVIRO MAJOR CHAMPIONS ESSENTIAL RESOURCE More accurately reflecting a program’s primary focus is the reason behind a name change for an environmental sciences major at Lakeland College. The water conservation and management (WCM) major provides students with enhanced opportunities to develop indemand skills and become champions of water, an essential natural resource. The program was formerly known as environmental monitoring and protection. Officially approved by Alberta Advanced Education, the name change to WCM took effect July 1, 2016. The WCM name change has been a collaborative effort with faculty, current students, alumni, industry and advisory committee members. The program has always had a water focus, and the name change offers the opportunity to better align with the Alberta Water Act, with its objective to promote and support the conservation and management of water. In April, Lakeland signed a memorandum of agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada for the delivery of a new wetlands course: decision making for wetlands management. To strengthen the emphasis on water quality conservation and

management in the program, WCM is now offering this new course. “These changes are in line with our program objectives and ultimately, our students will come out of the program more employable with the foundation they build in WCM,” says Dr. Ben Sey, dean of the School of Energy and Environmental Sciences. WCM’s course offering includes aquatic biomonitoring, water conservation and regulations, watersheds and water resources, waste and water management, groundwater monitoring techniques and aquatic habitat protection, among others. WINTER 2016


HUSKY ENERGY FUELS NEW HOPE EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING Heavy oil power engineering (HOPE) students at Lakeland College will soon gain enhanced training in steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and thermal operations thanks to Husky Energy. Husky recently provided funding towards equipment for a tool room and water separation equipment to simulate thermal operations in the Energy Centre, which is located at the Lloydminster campus. A portion of Husky’s investment is allocated for curriculum development to increase training on produced water exchangers. The new tool room will feature work stations complete with industry-ready tool kits to provide HOPE students with more hands-on learning opportunities in the Energy Centre. The work

stations will increase the students’ ability to operate and maintain equipment in the heavy oil industry. HOPE’s second-year curriculum includes a course for SAGD, and with Husky’s donation Lakeland will augment the current offering by fall 2017 providing further knowledge and training in water treatment and produced water exchangers. “Husky’s generous support will not only advance our HOPE program and provide additional opportunities for students to take the lead using industry-standard equipment and tools, it will better prepare our graduates to take charge and succeed in industry,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College. “We thank Husky for their continued support and partnership.”

NEW INNOVATION OFFICE OPENS TO SUPPORT EAST CENTRAL ALBERTA ENTREPRENEURS Alberta Innovates, Lakeland College, and the Regional Business Accelerator have partnered to create an East Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (RIN) in Lloydminster in recognition of the city’s prominence as a regional economic development hub. In conjunction with the creation of the new RIN, Alberta Innovates has also established a technology development advisor position in Lloydminster located at the Regional Business Accelerator. Kara Johnston, a former Lakeland College dean with vast entrepreneurial expertise, will provide coaching and mentoring to local companies in the region.



The new regional network will increase collaboration between existing economic development leaders throughout the region to ensure businesses have access to commercialization expertise, training, programs and services required to address the unique needs of a new innovation-based business. Member organizations in the RIN offer a suite of geographically convenient services and programs including advisory services, technology and concept development, industry and academic funding programs, market and customer development, financing and investment attraction, and educational programs.


FEAST ON THE FARM SUPPORTS STUDENT LEADERSHIP Lakeland College’s first Feast on the Farm was a resounding success. With 150 guests in attendance on Aug. 20, more than $20,000 was raised in support of student leadership opportunities. “Feast on the Farm proved to be a memorable night for all. We are honoured by the generous support from our sponsors, alumni, community organizations and friends of the college,” says Georgina Altman, vice president of advancement and external relations.

Held in conjunction with Alberta Open Farm Days, Feast on the Farm was hosted at Lakeland’s Barr Farm in celebration of the harvest season. Guests were given a tour of the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland prior to dining outdoors. The evening featured a live auction, keepsake photo in the field and lively music thanks to The Laurence Boys. The emcees were recent agricultural sciences grads. Ali Mullin, Class of 2014 agribusiness, and Carson Reid, Class of 2016 agribusiness, shared their Lakeland experience with guests and the leadership opportunities they experienced at Lakeland.

A TEAM EFFORT – LAKELAND INSTRUCTOR EARNS GOLD HARVEST AWARD Lakeland instructor Peter Walsh is the recipient of a 2016 Gold Harvest Award as a member of the Entomology Field Guide Team. Walsh and a group of his peers were recognized for their exceptional and significant contributions made to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the development and publication of Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada. They won the award in the Innovation, Collaboration and Service Excellence category. The publication, three-plus years in the making, captures 25 years of emerging pests, new science, and new pest management technologies, including biological control and biopesticides. “It’s definitely a team award,” says Walsh, a current staff advisor with Lakeland’s Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland. “It was a huge job but it was fun and exciting to work on something I am very passionate about.”

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada department has presented these excellence awards since 2001. The federal department not only recognizes its staff but also people from other government departments, universities and organizations. Not only does the Gold Harvest Award honour individuals who have distinguished themselves through excellent work and exemplary behaviour, the award honours positive results yielded through the former. “The students love it, they find it useful and they all want to know where they can purchase a hardcopy. For me, that is my reward, that the students see it as a learning tool and they see the value in it,” says Walsh, who taught crop technology for more than 30 years at Lakeland. Much like its predecessor, Walsh expects this most recent publication to hold its value for upwards of 10 years. And when the time comes to produce an up-to-date version, the semi-retired professor says he will jump at the opportunity to continue to grow an important and invaluable piece of literature. WINTER 2016



Paying tribute ALUMNI HONOUR MENTOR WITH NEW SCHOLARSHIP Everybody has someone who has made a difference in their life, someone who has left a deep imprint on their hearts and minds. For many Lakeland alumni, Phil Allen’s name comes to mind. As a former Lakeland vice president, basketball coach and professor, Allen’s reach was far when it came to inspiring his students to be the very best they could be. When news spread of his passing in January 2016, seven of his former students decided to commemorate Allen’s life and legacy through the creation of the Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship.

diploma and 2008 commerce degree. “He played an integral role in who I’ve become and my belief in not giving up on people. If someone is struggling and if I see there is that potential there, I am never going to give up on them and I know I got that from Phil.” The scholarship is available to full-time students in their second or subsequent year of studies in any business administration program. It’s awarded based on good academic standing and leadership qualities. The recipient must also be a current member of a Rustlers sports team. “This scholarship criteria is so on point with what Phil’s vision was and what it would have meant to him,” says Kneen.

Kellsey Sinnett was presented with the first annual Phil Allen “He always taught his students to act, to be a difference maker Memorial Scholarship during the 2016 Donor and Award and to be a positive force,” says Kristine Knourek, Class of Celebration at the Lloydminster campus. Four of the founders 2007 business diploma and 2008 commerce degree. “Phil was of the scholarship were able to attend the ceremony. Together the advisor who taught our classes as much about practical, they represent different industries and real-life facts – like how critical it is to reside across three provinces. save your money and pay down your “He always taught his students to act, mortgage – alongside all of the book “We know this is a small reflection of the to be a difference maker and to be a giant of a man he was. We are aware we learning that comes with corporate positive force.” can never repay the learning, the finance, micro-economics, marketing kindness, the life lessons and the and the Canadian banking system. He – Kristine Knourek dedication Phil showed to every single was the mentor who spoke to each of us student, both on the basketball court like we were the most important person and in the classroom,” says Knourek, who shared a heartfelt in the room.” donor speech during the celebration. “But, we do know our Joining Knourek in creating this scholarship are six other actions make a difference. We know our donation to Lakeland business alumni from the Classes of 2007 and 2008: Preston College and the creation of this memorial scholarship are a Parsons, Delia Morgan-Tetz, Kelly Tobler, Leanne Hawes, Lacey token of gratitude to such an amazing man. It’s a small way to Gartner and Kagan Kneen. recognize his force.” “There was no such thing as ‘can’t’ with Phil. If he saw potential in you, he would drive you to make sure that you were the best that you could be,” says Kneen, Class of 2006 business



Alumni who would like to contribute to the Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship can do so by contacting Shauna Zack in Alumni & Fund Development, 780.853.8628.



CAREER PATH ON TRACK Robert Wray, Class of 2010 renewable energy and conservation, was recently promoted. He’s now director of Deger Canada Inc. – the top position in the Canadian branch of this German solar tracker company. Wray (second from the right) was customer service manager since 2013. He brings his five years of experience with the Deger tracking systems into his new role. He was one of Lakeland’s first graduates in the renewable energy and conservation program.

“I DO” Aydon Almberg, Class of 2013 agribusiness, and Jessica (nee Wirsta) Almberg, Class of 2011 western ranch and cow horse and 2013 animal science technology, said “I do” in Czar, Alta., on Sept. 10, 2016. The couple met at Lakeland College in 2011 where a love for horses, cattle and agriculture led them to building a life together. They currently live at their farm – The Broken Arrow Ranch – near Czar.

AND BABY MAKES THREE Dana Gard, Class of 2011 veterinary medical assistant, 2013 animal science technology and 2014 agribusiness, and her boyfriend Shayne Sweeney of Vermilion welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Payton June Sweeney on March 11, 2016. They also bought a new house in Vermilion and look forward to their next adventure. Shayne is now working for Morris industries as the northern Alberta territorial manager and Dana will return to Lakeland College in the spring as an enrolment specialist at the Vermilion campus.

WEDDING BELLS Curtis Ross, Class of 2013 animal science technology, met Brittany (nee Prouse) Ross, Class of 2011 agribusiness, during Ag-Citing in 2011. They stated it was love at first sight when she toured him around the campus. On Sept. 3, 2016, the couple married in Saskatchewan. They are now farming alongside the Prouse family in Sheho, Sask. WINTER 2016



BUNDLE OF JOY BLAST FROM THE PAST Bob Baxter, Class of 1954 agriculture, was not only friends with the legendary Bing Crosby, he also had a role in one of Crosby’s movies that was filmed in Jasper, Alta. Crosby would visit Baxter in Jasper and hunt with the Baxter family, as well as attend golf tournaments there. Baxter came across this family photo with Crosby, for which he proudly wore his Vermilion School of Agriculture jacket. The photo was taken in February 1955. From left to right in the photo are: Bob Baxter, Kay Baxter (his mom), Bob Baxter (his dad), and of course Bing Crosby. This photo was taken in Hollywood at the filming of GIGI. You just never know where those VSA jackets will show up!

Carly Pawluk, Class of 2016 agribusiness, and Trenton Schoorlemmer, Class of 2016 crop technology, welcomed their baby girl, Madilynn Rose Schoorlemmer, on Sept. 7 weighing 7lbs 4 oz. Trenton worked for AGSI at the Duvegan location in Rycroft as a summer student. Carly worked for Bayer as a territory sales assistant and is now a full-time mom “loving life.” Trenton is the new area marketing rep at Richardson Pioneer in Lavoy, Alta.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER RETURN TO CAMPUS Carson Reid, Class of 2016 agribusiness, and Ali Mullin, Class of 2014 agribusiness, returned to the Vermilion campus in August to emcee Lakeland’s first annual Feast on the Farm. As emcees of this celebration of harvest, Mullin and Reid shared their Lakeland experience with guests and discussed the leadership opportunities they experienced at Lakeland.

Olivia (nee Milne) Koziak, Class of 2013 educational assistant and early learning and child care, and Chad Koziak, Class of 2012 crop technology, said their vows in Lamont, Alta., on Aug. 6, 2016. They met while attending Lakeland College in 2012. Chad is from a grain farm family near Lamont and Olivia is from a ranch family in Fairview, Alta. Both are continuing their family heritage of farming alongside the Koziak family farm and growing the cattle operation of the Milne Ranch in Lamont as Koziak Land and Cattle. Chad’s father Larry Koziak and grandfather Larry Koziak Sr. also graduated from Lakeland, as well as Olivia’s grandfather John Milne and great grandfather Harold Gares.

ADVANCED EDUCATION Maria Sarcauga, Class of 2011 university transfer, is currently enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology program at Harvard University. Learn more about her journey at

MAKING MUSIC Karac Hendriks, Class of 2000 real estate appraisal and assessment, released his self-titled EP in August. His latest single, Can’t Help Loving You, also hit the airwaves in August. Hendriks’s first EP was released on iTunes in 2010. “To finally hear my songs on the radio is very cool,” says Hendriks.

SMALL BUSINESS AWARD WINNER Shelly Corbiere, Class of 1996 interior design technology, received the President’s Choice award at the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards Gala in October. Corbiere is the owner of Shelly’s Window Coverings. Shelly’s Window Coverings was established in 2001. Formally known as Skies The Limit, Shelly renamed the business in 2014 when she expanded into drapery.

CLASS OF ‘66 GIVES BACK When the dust had settled after Homecoming 2016, the Class of 1966 decided to give back to Lakeland in recognition of their 50th anniversary. Marg McLaren, Class of 1966, collected donations from her fellow alumni to purchase a special bench for the Vermilion campus. Her husband Bill, Class of 1967, also helped with the project. The bench is located under the Green Roof Pavilion in the Vermilion campus quad.




















Lakeland College announces the passing of the following alumni, past staff and alumni spouses. Our condolences are extended to their family and friends.
































Lakeland looks back to 1939 when Friday afternoons at the college featured programs sponsored by the Social and Literary Committees. According to the 1939 yearbook, “stump speeches and stunts of various kinds enlivened the various lit. periods, while budding violists and soloists presented items of marked interest.” The committee members included: BACK ROW: Edith Hutchinson, Robert MacDonald, Vera Latam, Dorothy Hetherington, Ray Foster and Jean Cochrane. FRONT ROW: Morven Reid, Steve Pawliuk, Douglas Hay and Ian MacLean


Would you like your “vintage” Lakeland College photos featured here? Send them to the Alumni Office! Our goal is to archive and showcase our incredible history.



The elegance of yesterday with the charm of today.

For a place to stay or getaway, enjoy the charming atmosphere & quiet elegance of Alumni House. For room and rate information visit or call 1.800.661.6490, ext. 8737

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Lakeland College Alumni Office 5707 College Drive Vermilion Alberta T9X 1K5 Canada Post Publication Mail PM40009099

Profile for Lakeland College Canada

Excel Winter 2016  

Excel is the alumni magazine of Lakeland College. The Winter 2016 edition includes stories about a grad who works at the Calgary zoo, distin...

Excel Winter 2016  

Excel is the alumni magazine of Lakeland College. The Winter 2016 edition includes stories about a grad who works at the Calgary zoo, distin...