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ethiopian expeditions Work in Ethiopia earns Northcotts MHC award p.6

Nurturing Love of Music p. 3


Anniversary Babies p. 2

RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: Medicine Hat College 299 College Drive SE Medicine Hat, AB T1A 3Y6

Customer No. 1337475 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40010360

Lifelong Career after MHC p. 5


Babies cash in

l a re

Talk about the luck of the draw. Rebecca Dell studied for free at Medicine Hat College this year simply because she was born on the right day of the right year. Dell is just one of 56 students dubbed ‘anniversary babies’ by MHC. All of them were scholarship winners as part of the college’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1990.

Volume 2 Issue 2 Office of College Advancement Medicine Hat College 299 College Drive S.E. Medicine Hat, AB T1A 3Y6

PUBLISHER Mark Keller EDITOR/CONTENT Kaylynn Hohensinn DESIGN/LAYOUT Richard Bell PHOTOGRAPHY Pixeldust Photography Submitted Photography

MANDATE Real people. Real stories. Real life. Our mandate for real is to share news and information about the people—students, alumni, employees, and supporters—who make Medicine Hat College a vibrant place to learn and grow. This focus on the ambitions and accomplishments of people is core to the nature of the college and the publication. real will be produced three times annually, perhaps growing in frequency and scope in the months and years ahead. The publication is mailed to alumni and donors, and provided free to the Medicine Hat community. The editor reserves the right to limit, select, edit and position submitted copy. Views expressed in real do not necessarily reflect college policy. real contents may be printed with acknowledgement.

CIRCULATION/ CHANGE OF ADDRESS Contact College Advancement at 403.504.3667 or via email at

Medicine Hat College maintains a database of all alumni and donors. This database is used to send you news about MHC, including real, and invitations to special events and requests for support. On Sept. 1,1999, post-secondary institutions were required to comply with Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In accordance with this legislation, please respond to one of the following options:

please keep my name, or

remove my name from the real mailing list

“Without the scholarship I honestly don’t think I would have pushed myself to go back to school, which is a scary thought.” Samantha Conn

The Bachelor of Arts student is majoring in psychology and hopes to be a criminologist when her post-secondary schooling is over. Having a free year helped to confirm her chosen path was the right one. “I didn’t have a plan,” said Dell. “Just before the school year started I chose my program and it’s been really interesting. I’ve really been enjoying it.” All babies in Medicine Hat and its surrounding rural communities who were born on the 25th day of any month during the 1990/91 academic year were awarded one-year scholarships. At that time, one year tuition cost nearly $550 but today it saves the students approximately $3,300. This year, Medicine Hat College had nine ‘anniversary babies’ on campus enjoying their scholarships. Joining Dell was Samantha Conn, who is studying education and French in the hopes of becoming a French immersion teacher. “People kept saying congratulations to me about winning the scholarship. I would say, ‘congratulations for what? I was just born,’” she joked. “But I know I’m lucky to have this free year because it saves me so much money.” Conn enjoyed her first-year practicum placement at Ecole St. Thomas d'Aquin; most schools don’t offer a practicum until the second year. “I felt really lucky to take education here because there is that advantage of knowing in your first year whether you really connect with the students and want to be a teacher,” said Conn. Prior to the placement Conn was leaning towards teaching younger children or students in high school. The middle grades didn’t appeal to her because she felt students are at a more awkward stage and may be harder to relate to. But time spent in a Grade 5/6 classroom broadened her viewpoint.

“The connection wasn’t there instantly but eventually they started coming to me for help and looking at me like I was a teacher,” said Conn. “I had a lot of fun with the Grade 2/3 class, too, so who knows now what grade I’ll teach.” Being granted an anniversary scholarship made a world of difference to Conn. The undecided high school grad didn’t know what she wanted to be or if she even wanted to go to college until an informal visit to the registration department prompted her to action.

“I didn’t know what to expect as far as numbers of babies,” Speckeen was quoted at the time as saying in a Medicine Hat News article. “I can imagine the college board in 17 or 18 years saying ‘Who got this bright idea?’, especially when tuition is around $4,000 to $5,000.”

“I found out this was the last year to redeem my scholarship and I didn’t want to waste it. Without the scholarship I honestly don’t think I would have pushed myself to go back to school, which is a scary thought.” The tuition giveaway was the brainchild of then-president Fred Speckeen. The celebration and local media coverage received national attention and other post-secondary institutes followed MHC’s idea for their own milestone anniversaries.

Samantha Conn

Name ___________________________ Signature ________________________ No response means Medicine Hat College will assume an individual wishes to remain on the mailing list.

Photo courtesy Medicine Hat News

realPEOPLE . 2


with Jeff Desjarlais

Jeff Desjarlais couldn’t fit much else into his hectic schedule. This VP of almost everything - the Student Association’s outgoing VP Internal, the Phi Theta Kappa VP representing Canada and Montana, the VP of local non-profit organization AJ’s Loan Cupboard – also finds time to serve as the Director of Policy for the Alberta Students’ Executive Council. He’s currently working towards his degree in Business Administration with a major in Management. Oh, and he’s a curler in his (limited) spare time!

Fast FactS

Age: 22 Hometown: Medicine Hat Fave Food: Homemade Perogies Fave Band: Three Days Grace Fave Movie: Happy Gilmore

Q. Describe yourself in ten words or less?

Dependable, reliable, hardworking and dedicated to my community.


Ping pong or pool?

Tough choice but I would have to pick pool.


2011/12 SA



Phi Theta Kappa has allowed me to develop and grow my skills beyond what I would have ever expected. I have gained experience in providing workshops, planning conferences across North America, developing a magazine, working with people worldwide and effectively representing and advocating for individuals. This gives me the confidence and knowledge to complete similar tasks when I enter the workforce.

The experiences I have gained and the networks I have created will undoubtedly help me get where I want to be in my future career. By getting involved in the college community I have set myself apart from all the other business students by gaining real world experience prior to graduation.


Who is your inspiration/hero?

In a business sense my inspiration is Donald Trump. His ability to build such a diverse business strategy throughout the world is difficult to do, but he has managed to do it very well. He has a


How do you think your experience at MHC has prepared you for a career?


What has Phi Theta Kappa added to your skill set? How will it benefit you as you move forward?



My hope for the next five years is to simply find a career that I love. I have enjoyed helping students through my various roles and I hope I can find something that will continue to provide me with personal growth, while still helping others achieve their goals. I don’t know what that career looks like right now, but I am searching and hoping to find the right fit. As for the next ten years, I hope to use the skills and knowledge I have gained to open my own business either locally, regionally or internationally.

Clubhouse with crispers! Best clubhouse in town!


I would like to see the SA become a major part of every student’s experience at MHC. Additionally, I would like to see our services expand to offer everything students need on campus and make their time at MHC that much better.

Like many other members, I received a letter inviting me to join. I submitted my application and eventually joined the local Alpha Tau Delta Chapter of Medicine Hat College as vice president. From there I had the opportunity to attend a regional conference in Everett, Washington where I was encouraged to run for the District V, vice president position and represent all Phi Theta Kappa chapters in Canada and Montana. I decided to run for the position and was elected successfully in the spring of 2009. I ran once again in the spring of 2010 and was re-elected to serve on the regional board.


What does the future hold for you in the next five years? The next ten years?


What’s your favourite meal at Crave?



Where do you see the SA heading in the future?


How did you get involved with Phi Theta Kappa?

It’s provided to Phi Theta Kappa members who stand out among their peers. Over 1,600 applications were received from across North America this year and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners. I won $2,000 and a plaque from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Additionally, my name and institution will be listed in the April 11 issue of USA Today featuring the 52 CocaCola New Century Scholars. It is a great honour to receive this award and it means even more being the first Canadian to ever receive it.

strong business sense and confidence that can be applied to businesses of any size. On a personal level, my inspiration is Steve Yzerman. The calm, professional manner he carries himself with makes him one of the most respected individuals in hockey.


The one that sticks out most in my mind was attending the 2011 Alberta Students’ Executive Council Lobby Conference in Edmonton. Students from across Alberta joined to lobby the provincial government on important issues impacting post-secondary students. We met with civil servants, MLAs and the premier to pitch our ideas. To cap things off, we were each introduced by name in the Alberta Legislature during question period by the Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. The impact we made is something I will never forget and the work we accomplished will allow more students to access post-secondary education for years to come.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, stay focused and make every effort to appreciate those who help you along the way.

Tell us about the Coca-Cola New Century Scholarship you won.



What are some of the most exciting events you have been a part of with SA?


Any advice for the new VP Internal?


conservatory nurtures love of music

Shelby MacPhail

At just 14, Shelby MacPhail is already a force to be reckoned with in the musical world. The triple threat – she studies piano, violin and voice – is progressing fast and making beautiful music along the way. Shelby’s time after school is occupied with private lessons, performances and at-home practice, leaving little time for anything else. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had quit music lessons,” said the ninthgrade St. Mary’s High School student. “It affects my whole life, not just the musical part.” Her hard work has paid off with several trips to provincial competitions and a Rose Bowl win for last year’s effort with her chamber music quartet. In addition, Shelby has won two silver medals in voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music for achieving the highest mark in Alberta on a voice exam. Acacia Doktorchik, Shelby’s voice instructor at the Conservatory, said she is the ideal student every teacher wants to work with: hardworking, gracious, sweet and respectful.

“Shelby is a joy to work with. She is always willing to be challenged and try new things. She’s extremely musical, well beyond her years,” said Doktorchik. In her private lessons with Shelby, no particular path is followed. Doktorchik wants to make sure Shelby and her other students enjoy their time with her as well as learn and grow. Having a musical background is important for success later in life, said Doktorchik, and Shelby’s years of instrumental practice contribute to her current vocal success. “I think it’s especially important for young kids to start on an instrument as early as they can. It develops their musicality and ear training. Students who learn a string instrument have the most amazing ear,” she said. Luckily, the Medicine Hat College Conservatory has a number of talented instructors to lead children on that journey from new music student to musician extraordinaire. For some children, like Shelby who began lessons at three years of age, musical instruction begins shortly after they learn to walk. Take Val Brower’s toddler class, for example.

Two-year-old kids attend her weekly class to sing songs, hear rhymes, play with felt cut-out blue birds and play Ring-Around-The-Rosie. What they don’t realize as they run around with friends and sit in Val’s lap for story time is that they are slowly developing a sense of musicality. “We start by learning about heartbeat, rhythm, melody,” said Brower, the Kodaly Children’s Music Literacy Program instructor. “With the toddlers it’s a lot of echo singing. Now I will sing ‘Who is wearing purple today? Claire is wearing purple today.’ Next year, Claire will sing back to me, ‘I am wearing purple today.’ It’s a lot of repetition.” Working with toddlers has its advantages and challenges. Two-yearolds aren’t known for their lengthy attention spans so Brower sticks to her lesson plan only as long as the children allow her to. When a young girl walks off to sit on her mother’s lap, she knows it’s time to move on to the next activity. It’s all about adaptability and going with the flow, she said. “We add new things and slowly let things go as the children become uninterested. Children love routine and repetition. I’ve told the parents, ‘we’ll get

tired of these songs before they do.’” But for Brower, working with the children and being immersed in music out weighs any so-called challenges. “I find it really easy to be at their level, sitting on the floor with them, using the vocabulary they understand. I love watching them progress to the next level. I get excited when they learn rhythm and you see they get it. When they succeed at something I have taught them, I know I’ve done my job.” Part of Brower’ job is to prepare the students for music lessons in the future. The curriculum starts a year after the toddler class at the age of three and goes to age six. Children learn the basics early on and progress to recognizing and reading musical notes in bass and treble clef. Above all, children learn focus. “I always tell parents there aren’t any instruments you can play while jumping around a room,” said Brower. Chelsea Higg's daughter Clara attends the toddler music class. As is the case with some students Brower teaches, Clara’s nerves get the better of her during class but it doesn’t mean she isn’t learning.

realSTORIES . 4

“This is the place I want to be. I love walking in to work in the morning and hearing instruments practicing – pianos, violins, cellos, everything.” Val Brower “She loves singing and dancing,” said Higgs. “She may not sing in class but she sings the songs at home. She’s definitely absorbing everything around her.” And if children can overcome that shyness early on in life, Brower believes they will be better equipped socially as they enter their school years. Music develops children intellectually and improves their motor skills and discipline, she added. For Brower, she wouldn’t want to be teaching anything else. “Music is my first love. This is the place I want to be. I love walking in to work in the morning and hearing instruments practicing – pianos, violins, cellos, everything.” Shelby’s mother, Brenda Lea MacPhail, said Medicine Hat is lucky to have so many talented and dedicated instructors

within the community. MacPhail also serves as the president of the Symphonic Society and is a member of the Conservatory Cabinet, a volunteer-run fundraising and awareness group. “With the high quality of the instructors at the Conservatory and within the community, students are continually challenged year after year to improve their skills, right from a young age,” said MacPhail. “Most kids have the ability to learn an instrument very young and it comes with so many long-term benefits.” Whether you’re three or 93, playing an instrument is a skill you can use at any age anywhere in the world and bring enjoyment to those around you, she added. The Conservatory serves as a great launching point. “It really is Medicine Hat’s best-kept secret,” said Brower.

Val Brower with her toddler class

Beaton says her support is

“no big deal”

Barbara Beaton & Greg Epton (former managing director of Alberta Theatre Projects)

Barbara Beaton has a love of music and a philanthropic heart. A combination of the two resulted in a $20,000 donation to the Medicine Hat College Conservatory. Born and raised in Medicine Hat, Beaton has a passion for choral music that carried on throughout her career and personal life. As a child she was involved in church choir, community choirs, and at university, the Mixed Chorus. “A very strong interest, actually love, of mine is choral music,” said Beaton. “The arts really appeal to me. I am amazed at people who can create such beautiful sounds.” When Beaton left Medicine Hat in the early 1960s the Cultural Centre was not yet built. A return trip to Medicine Hat in the fall of 2010 was her first chance to visit the Conservatory facilities, and she was impressed by what she saw. “I was quite pleased with the progress it has made. The surroundings and the area are quite conducive to the joys of creativity.” Calgary has served as Beaton’s home since 1962, where she served for 32 years as a physical education teacher and guidance counselor. Many of her charitable donations and volunteer hours since retiring have supported non-profit organizations in that area, including the Alberta Theatre Project and various opera, symphony and dance groups.


Almost 50 years later, however, Medicine Hat remained close in her mind and heart. “My love of my hometown is where I put my focus” said Beaton of her latest donation. “There are so many worthwhile organizations here in Calgary but I also believe they have an easier time raising funds than perhaps in a community the size of Medicine Hat.” In recognition of Beaton’s donation, two spring Conservatory performances were named in her honour. Len Vandervaart, Dean, Division of Arts, expressed appreciation for Beaton’s generosity. “Ms. Beaton understands and appreciates the arts and sees the value in them,” said Vandervaart. “We always do great work at the Conservatory but these kinds of gifts and support take what we do there to a whole new level.” One of the goals of the Conservatory is to make performances a hallmark, showcasing the talent students and instructors possess. Donations enhance the level of education and support the Conservatory can provide. “There are a lot of people who contribute in various ways; they give of their time and their moral support. By my not living there, not being there in person, contributing financially was the one way I could think of to still support the Conservatory,” she said. “It’s no big deal.”

lifelong career launched

at mhc ATB District General Manager Tony Lacher

It was 1977 and an undecided Tony Lacher registered at Medicine Hat College for a Bachelor of Commerce. Little did he know his time at MHC would evolve into a 32-year career with ATB Financial.

One of his instructors at the time was Bob Zbryski. In an environment with less than 15 core business students, Lacher appreciated the one-on-one mentorship available at a college the size of MHC.

“I think with a large university it’s a lot more overwhelming and there can be a lot of stress involved,” said Lacher. “Chris is smart, way smarter than I was at that age, and musically inclined. He’ll do very well.”

The born-and-raised Hatter entered college with an idea of what he wanted to be – a chartered accountant – but six months into his education, a recruitment visit from local banks altered his path.

“We grew very tight with each other as students and with Bob. He was really instrumental in providing a lot of inspiration and confidence.”

And if history repeats itself, Chris is in for a rewarding career. Should that choice be ATB Financial, then he will have chosen a company which has evolved into one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers and one of the 75 Best Workplaces in Canada to work in.

“I’ve always liked crunching numbers but the idea of being an accountant was lacking the people piece,” said Lacher. “That visit tweaked my interest.” That’s when he switched programs, and less than a month after graduating with a Business Administration diploma Lacher began his career with ATB. After more than three decades and a dozen relocations, Lacher now serves as the district general manager for all communities south and east of Calgary. “I was working my way through college at OK! Economy (a grocery store formerly on 3rd Street SE) and I actually had to take a pay cut when I made the transition from grocery store clerk,” he said. “But I saw it as an investment in my future. You have to start somewhere.” Lacher finally settled in Drumheller in 1996 where he and his wife Linda raised their three children. He managed the branch in Drumheller until his current position became available last year. “It involves a lot of travelling,” said Lacher, who spends hours on the road driving to Oyen, Lethbridge, Strathmore and everywhere in between. “But it is a great opportunity to connect with the local branch managers, our associates and their customers.” The Business Administration program prepared Lacher for his career in the financial services industry. He said the diversity of the courses provides a wellrounded education, with topics including human resources, labour relations and accounting. “No matter what you want to do in life, whether it’s open your own business or manage a company, this program really complements your skills. It’s such an added value to wherever you want to go in life. It’s adaptable to so many facets of life.”

Lacher attended McCoy high school prior to MHC; his wife attended Medicine Hat High School. The two met at a Valentine’s Day dance. Although Lacher and his wife haven’t lived in Medicine Hat since the late ‘70s, he frequents the community to work with the three local ATB branches and visit family. He has remained close with MHC over the years and is now able to give back through ATB’s commitment to supporting the communities they serve. ATB has been a sponsor of the Family Fun Zone at MHC’s fall Homecoming events and Lacher is currently working with Financial Assistance to develop a scholarship for students in need. “I know as a student, there are times you can get down to your last nickel. When students have to decide between quitting school to work or finishing their education, we want them to be able to have the option to continue pushing through it. We don’t want them to quit and then not ever get their diploma,” he said. Lacher is also playing a part at this year’s convocation ceremony, reading the alumni declaration. He views the invitation as “flattering and a chance to reminisce.” As is typical with Lacher’s hectic, road-running schedule, he will have to rush back immediately following the ceremony to attend his own son, Chris’s, high school graduation. Chris is following his father’s footsteps this September when he will enter the Business Administration diploma program at MHC. Lacher’s two oldest children both attended university – his oldest son is a police officer and his daughter a registered nurse – but Chris believes a college is more suited to his needs.

“I’ve never had the challenge of jumping out of bed and not being excited to come to work,” he said. “It really feels like my ATB because I’ve grown up with it and helped shape it over the years to what we are today and where we’re going tomorrow.”

Tony Lacher's 1979 MHC yearbook photo

Congrats to all the graduates of MHC 2011 Convocation is friday June 3, 2011 Morning Ceremony: 10 a.m. (Adult Development/Arts/Science/Trades)

afternoon Ceremony: 2 p.m. (Business/Health Studies)

realLIFE . 6 When the children see the effort that goes into providing them assistance, said Deborah, they feel they are of value. Both the care of local staff and expedition volunteers who travel around the globe contribute to their sense of well-being. Deborah believes it’s a “huge factor in building self-esteem.” A nine-year-old girl, after just one year in the program, said, “I never knew my mother; I never tasted my mother’s milk. This centre has become my family. For the first time in my life, I know what it’s like to be loved.” “That’s what’s so gratifying,” said Deborah. All of the Northcott’s seven children have experienced an expedition in Ethiopia and have the advantage of seeing firsthand how difficult life can be outside of Canada. Between the pair, more than 50 trips to Ethiopia are under their collective belt.

ethiopian expeditions Starting from humble roots in Medicine Hat and growing to include 10 chapters nation-wide, Canadian Humanitarian never rests when it comes to helping others. The organization was founded in 2003 by Dr. Richard and Deborah Northcott, the recipients of the 2011 Honourary Baccalaureate at Medicine Hat College. Since that time, volunteers have aided in its expansion and expedition work carried out by the Northcotts. “We started out shipping used hospital equipment to Ethiopia in the early ‘90s with a Rotary Club where we lived in Manitoba,” said Richard, who serves as the organization’s chairman. “We found many children in Ethiopia needed homes, so in 1994 we adopted a boy and a girl to become part of our family.” With two Ethiopian children joining their already-bustling household of seven, the country remained close to their hearts. “We really developed an emotional connection with Ethiopia,” he said. “We knew we were not done helping.” Canadian Humanitarian initially focused their relief efforts on supporting community-based foster care arrangements where orphaned children were taken in to live with welcoming local families. The Northcotts noticed through the adoption process that the country didn’t have an official foster care program. Foster families who accepted vulnerable children were not financially compensated. Children in foster care within the community were offered little more than shelter because of widespread poverty. From there, the need emerged to fund the children’s education. “Often times, these children were still impoverished, just with a roof over their heads,” said Deborah, Expedition and Child Sponsorship coordinator. “They couldn’t afford to go to school so they

worked on the streets all day to make money.”

Soon after the children began attending school with the help of Canadian Humanitarian, the Northcotts recognized the need for an after-school program to provide the children with a hot meal, sports and recreational activities, and remedial education and tutoring. Students who entered the after-school program were often struggling at school. Children living on the streets are significantly behind their ageappropriate grade level initially but with tutorial help, a 13-year-old student in grade five might graduate by age 17. Richard said it’s a common misconception that poor people are poor because of laziness. Children in Ethiopia are poor by birth or circumstance and have a strong desire to succeed. “Children see school as a way out

of poverty. They see the value of an education and are enthusiastic learners. Teachers who have volunteered on expeditions remark, ‘I remember why I went into teaching,’” said Deborah.

University in Ethiopia is free to students who qualify. The difficulty lies in obtaining one of the approximately 10,000 spots in a country of more than 80 million people. The process is lengthy and requires students to be at the top of their academic game. “Children write an exam after grade 10,” explained Richard. “If they do well, they attend a preparatory high school. If they just do all right, they may get into technical school. If they do poorly, their education is finished.” Another exam awaits students after grade 12. Their success on that test qualifies them for a chance at one of the few coveted university openings. Even then, students who qualify may not be able to afford books, supplies and transportation. Canadian Humanitarian not only provides the remedial education to prepare students for the two exams, they fund their secondary education expenses to ensure that hard work pays off. After just a few short years with formal education and the after-school program, the first two students have just been accepted into university. “For some of these students they can’t both go to school and survive. They have to make that choice. With our help, hopefully they can go to school and thrive,” said Richard. The Northcotts believe children need not only the basic necessities to survive but a sense of permanence and self worth. Orphans have no rights and reside on the “lowest rung of society,” said Richard. Many children become orphans due to AIDS which makes matters even worse because of the social stigma surrounding AIDS.

Other Canadian Humanitarian efforts focus on the skills their volunteers bring to the table, whether it’s helping with a free medical clinic, an agronomist’s advice on growing produce locally, or running an arts program. Ten chapters operate across Canada. Volunteers, many who have gone on expeditions or have adopted Ethiopian children, lend their support to increase the awareness of, and fundraise for, Canadian Humanitarian. Chapter locations exist coast to coast. To participate in an expedition or donate funds to Canadian Humanitarian, visit their website at Events in Medicine Hat are held throughout the year, including a dance benefit on May 29 at the Esplanade (tickets obtained from the box office) and a dinner and auction in the fall.

rattlers season wrap-up submitted by Rattlers staff

Men’s Basketball

Men’s Volleyball

Men’s Golf

Men’s Soccer

The 2010/11 season was entertaining for first-year head coach Ben Julius. There were several bright spots amid the struggles for the young squad: a huge overtime win against Mount Royal, coming from 20 points behind with five minutes to play against Keyano, a shattered backboard, and a 27-point thrashing of the SAIT Trojans.

The Rattlers men’s volleyball team experienced an uphill battle with a rigorous schedule, injuries, illnesses and a high level of league play.

With a new coach and only one returning player, this past year was a feeling-out process. As a group, goals were set for each event and the players always met their objectives. It is tough to generate a lot of momentum with only three tournaments, however the players grew individually and as a team. The highlight of the season was their second-place finish in the North Regional event hosted by Red Deer. As the only returning player, Will Wood immediately stepped up as the team leader on and off the course. His consistent and reliable play set the tone for his teammates. Rookie Sean Wright stepped up to take the reigns as the team’s consensus number-two man and showed he is ready to compete at this level.

By the end of the 2010 outdoor season, the men’s soccer team took four of six points from Mount Royal University, boasted the second-lowest goals-against in the conference, had a goalkeeper with five shutouts and placed three players on the ACAC South Division All Star Team. Their performance earned them a place in the Conference Championships where they lost a hard-fought battle to the eventual National Silver Medalists NAIT Ooks in the conference quarter finals.

Derek Tymchyna and Jamar Coke both had the honour of being named ACAC player of the week while Nairen Duncan received national attention for his smashing backboard feat. Along with player of the week honors, Jamar Coke was also named to the ACAC all-star team.

Despite the obstacles, the Rattlers held their own throughout the course of league play, finishing with a 10 and 10 record. Their playoff run was short-lived, but they ended their season with a solid team effort pushing the Grande Prairie Wolves to the limit.

Although they missed the playoffs by one win, the Rattlers finished with an overall record of 11-16, and 6-12 record in conference play.

In addition to closing out the season in the playoffs, several individuals left their mark on the ACAC hard court, as at least one player was amongst the top 10 in kills, digs, and service aces. Furthermore, the Rattlers put forth a substantial effort in the classroom, excelling with a team GPA of 3.10 - the highest grade point average by a men’s volleyball team over the last five years.

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Volleyball

The 2010/11 Rattlers women’s basketball team competed hard in an extremely competitive South Division of the ACAC. With a new format in scheduling, the team played every team in the conference, including Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, and Edmonton.

The Rattlers women’s volleyball team played some of the most exciting volleyball MHC has seen, with the best defense in the league and outstanding offensive play. The 2010/11 Rattlers broke the ACAC record for team digs per game, rookie Kristen Moncks broke the individual record for digs per game, and fourth-year Megan Nagy led the league in kills. In addition, rookie Jordan Michie was second in the ACAC in blocks, and third-year setter Kayla Stephenson was tied for third in service aces.

With the daunting task of replacing four starters from last year’s team, it was unclear whether or not this version of the Rattlers was ready to step up and take the reins. Step up they did! This year’s team raced out to a 5-2 start to the year. The Rattlers discovered an in-your-face, up-tempo style of game that suited its players and posed challenges for opponents. The Rattlers finished the second semester with five straight victories going into playoffs. They faced Grande Prairie for quarterfinals. The Rattlers put it all on the line but couldn’t sustain the effort and lost two straight. The coaching staff wants to thank the team for their determination, passion, and character on the court and in the classroom. Well done ladies!

Rattlers women’s volleyball demonstrated key values, including respect, teamwork, commitment and discipline, finishing the regular season 5-1 and 4-2 in the playoffs. The Rattlers also made a difference, becoming better athletes, students, and members of the college and community. The Rattlers finished the first semester with a team GPA of 3.48 and they capped off a successful season by soundly beating Grant MacEwan University and The King’s University College, both 3-0 to finish fifth in the ACAC.

After a three-week regeneration break, they moved indoors to compete in ACAC Futsal where they earned a bronze medal at the inaugural ACAC Futsal Conference Championships. Women’s Soccer The women entered the season with high hopes. They kept their opponents off the score sheet in eight of 10 games, finished second in the south division and qualified for the conference championship quarterfinals. They tied for first with the best regular season record in Rattlers women’s soccer history but they were eliminated at the quarterfinals stage. Following a three-week regeneration break, they moved indoors to compete in ACAC Futsal. They entered the Conference Championships in third. An undefeated streak led to their being crowned the inaugural 2011 ACAC Futsal Champions. Congratulations women on an outstanding and historic year.

THANK YOU! Thanks to all the fans who helped make this season awesome! Hope to see you all again next season, and Go Rattlers Go!

realLIFE . 8


for all the steps along your path We’re Here… for Alumni!

New Insurance Program for MHC Alumni

Your career is emerging and MHC is committed to creating an enduring relationship with you that will help you in the next steps of your adventure. Stay connected, and we can assist you as you start down your chosen path.

Medicine Hat College is now celebrating 46 years in our community. We have a lot of alumni to thank for our success, and that is why the college is both investing in reconnecting with our alumni, and offering more reasons for alumni to reconnect with the campus.

You are engaged in your life, juggling your growing career and perhaps even a family of soon-to-be Rattlers. You are an advocate for your passions, constantly on the go and loving every minute of it. Take a moment to reconnect with MHC and see what opportunities await you at this busy stage in life.

The Alumni Relations office is pleased to introduce a new group insurance program for our alumni and students. Our very first affinity partner, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex (TDIMM), offers participants a preferred group rate for home, apartment, condo, auto* and travel insurance. As a member of Medicine Hat College, our students and alumni can benefit from special privileges, such as preferred group rates, enhanced coverage and flexible limits.

You are established, and time has flown by since your MHC experience. We proudly salute you and your accomplishments, and hope that you will keep in touch and share your stories with us. No matter your stage in life, we encourage you to reconnect with MHC and take advantage of the many benefits we offer. Through every step of your alumni path – we’re here.

Benefits: • • • • • • • •

Home and Auto Insurance with TD Meloche Monnex Summer Camp Discounts Bookstore Discount of 15% Free Access to Weight Room Free Admission to Rattlers Home Games Continuing Studies Course Discount Free Access to Library Services Employment & Career Development Services

When this opportunity arose for Medicine Hat College to be involved in TDIMM’s program, the Alumni Relations department jumped on it. What a fantastic way to say thank you to our Alumni by offering them something that everyone can use. “We wanted to offer benefits that would assist our alumni, no matter where they call home. The benefit of using TDIMM is that they are experienced in Alumni Affinity programs and they strive to be number one for customer service,” said Shanna Mohns, Alumni Relations Clerk for MHC. If you are an alumnus of Medicine Hat College and you want to ensure you are receiving our alumni benefits information please be sure to contact us at or call (403) 529-4851. If you are interested in learning more about TDIMM we encourage you to request a free, noobligation online quote to possibly win 1 of 2 MINI Cooper Cars or $30,000 in cash! For more details, visit or call 1-877-258-7260.

Don’t forget to join us for special events for alumni – especially Homecoming in the fall each year.

* Due to provincial legislation, the auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan.

class of 1977 class of 1977

class of 1997 class of 1996 class of 2014


Remember when… What was your favourite hangout? A: Soft seats in the front entry (Andrew, 1990) A: JD’s Saloon (Scott, 1990) What instructor will you never forget? A: Nora Way opened up a new way of thinking. (Amy, 1993) A: Well, Jim Bonin was our coach so it really is difficult to pick just one! (Andrew, 1990)

What are we up to? • Providing Alumni benefits card when you register • Preparing for Shake Rattler and Roll Homecoming 2011 • Help us find more alumni. Be a class agent.



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a year in review with the face of mhc

realLIFE . 10

Growing up in B.C.’s lower mainland I was all too familiar with the challenges of gardening where there is lots of rain and cool temperatures. We may be facing a repeat of last “summer” with an abundance of natural precipitation and cooler temperatures. One of my ultimate and fondly anticipated joys of gardening in Medicine Hat is indulging in ripe, still-warm-from-the-sun tomatoes. My mouth begins to salivate just thinking about them. So the question is: How can you still produce those wonderful vine-ripened tomatoes and peppers without building yourself a greenhouse?

Tomatoes, peppers and many other fruits (yes, I did call tomatoes fruits!) require heat to grow and produce their best. Without enough heat they shiver and turn purplish-green with nary a tomato to be seen. Not only do these plants need and want heat, they are very fussy about being too wet. Even worse, with the right conditions of moisture and humidity, many disease organisms find your plants irresistible. Here are some great tips to help you have great tomatoes (or peppers) even if Mother Nature is not cooperating: • Plant your tomatoes or peppers in raised beds or containers with good soil and drainage. Not only will this solve the problem of soil that is too wet but also is a great way to provide your plants with the warmer soil these plants love. • Use mulch, especially a dark mulch that absorbs heat to warm the soil and lower the humidity around the plants. • Space your plants so air circulation keeps leaves dry. Stake the tomato plants so they are not lying on the ground. You may even need to prune back leaves a bit if foliage is too lush. • Too much fertilizer produces plants that are easy prey for diseases. • Be ruthless about removing and disposing of any leaves with spots. • Don’t be in too much of a rush to plant seedling tomatoes into cold, wet soil. Protect these tender babies with mini-greenhouses/hot caps. I use four-litre milk jugs with the bottom cut off and the cap removed. • Choose tomato varieties that are short season and disease resistant. Happy gardening – and enjoy those delicious tomatoes!

gardening in the rain By Cathy Linowski

Ryan Carlson served his school this year as The Face of MHC. The first-year nursing student transferred his upbeat, energetic personality to his blog and YouTube video diary to give everyone on campus his fresh perspective on all things MHC. Always positive and a bit off-the-wall, Ryan gives us his take on his year as The Face of MHC – a year of surprises. “This year was all about change, change in city, friends, home, and just life in general. I really thought I was prepared for school and that nothing would surprise me. As it turned out, everything surprised me! The first surprise was student residence. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m happy to report it was great! There is always something going on and you are really at a good place in life when you can walk to your friends’ house in bare feet! It is a place to meet fellow students, people just like you. If nothing else, it’s nice to only have a three-minute walk to school when it’s minus forty outside.

The second thing I was really surprised about was school itself; it was hard and different from what I expected. It’s so different from high school in just about every way. It seems odd at first to call the instructors by their first name, but then you realize they really want you to do well and are willing to help you out when you need it. Another thing that I was shocked about was how fast you form friendships. Everyone in your program is in the same boat; everyone is trying to get through it without losing their mind! Some weeks you eat, sleep, and breathe school, and to have someone to talk to in your program who understands is invaluable. You learn to really appreciate everyone and you get close fast. The last thing that took me by surprise was everything that goes on outside of school! There is always something to do, and lots that fits within the student budget. One place I became quite fond of was the campus pub, Crave. Overall, I would say my first year at MHC was unexpected, exciting, and definitely unforgettable!”

real: April 2011  
real: April 2011  

Real people. Real stories. Real life. Our mandate for real is to share news and information about the people—students, alumni, employees, an...