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VOL 4 ISSUE 1 SPRING 2013

E NI C O L E A N H E L , S T O RY T E L L

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MEDINAT MAKES HER MARK04 RENNER RECOGNIZED20 REAL RESEARCH23


t e G Contact College Advancement at 403.504.3667 or alumni@mhc.ab.ca to join our mailing list.

Volume 4 Issue 1

College Advancement Medicine Hat College 299 College Drive S.E. Medicine Hat, AB T1A 3Y6

WWW.MHC.AB.CA/REAL

Welcome to the newly redesigned real! PUBLISHER Mark Keller mkeller@mhc.ab.ca EDITOR/CONTENT Rose Paulgaard rpaulgaard@mhc.ab.ca DESIGN/LAYOUT Tammy Rarick trarick@mhc.ab.ca PHOTOGRAPHY Submitted Photography (credited) CIRCULATION/ CHANGE OF ADDRESS Contact College Advancement at 403.504.3667 or via email at alumni@mhc.ab.ca to notify a change of address or to remove your name from our mailing list.

Goodbye newsprint, hello magazine! We are very excited about moving real to a magazine format to better showcase the stories of Medicine Hat College. As editor for real, I feel extremely fortunate to meet with our alumni, students, employees and friends and hear how their life stories connect with Medicine Hat College. Whether it’s the story of a new graduate giving back [meet Medinat Adekunle, p4] or a former student being honoured for his commitment to college and community [Renner receives honorary degree, p20], it’s our privilege to share them with you. After first hearing about Nicole Anhel of Confetti [p16] my colleagues and I immediately went to her website to see what her work was all about. Admittedly, we’re not often a group that’s easy to impress but when we saw the beauty she captured on film we were hooked. That said, I was more than a little excited to meet Nicole in person and went into the interview expecting to be inspired. She did not disappoint. On the other side of the spectrum, research is becoming a hot topic at Medicine Hat College with considerable activity in the areas of sustainable energy, water quality, and high fidelity simulation. A special supplement is included with this issue, highlighting MHC’s commitment to research and innovation and its application in our community [real research p23]. And while the Rattlers may be in hibernation for the next couple of months, coaches have been busy recruiting new talent for the 2013-2014 season. Hear first-hand from our coaches what it takes to bring athletes to the Snake Pit and compete at the collegiate level [Home & Away, page p6]. Medicine Hat College is a special place. It’s more than the facilities, programs or services – all schools offer a variation of these elements. It’s the people and their stories that define MHC. Whether their stories are simple or life-changing, they are real. And that’s what we’re all about. Enjoy!

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 in the spring and fall. To join our mailing list, contact College Advancement at 403.504.3667 or alumni@mhc.ab.ca. 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.

Rose Paulgaard, Editor

COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF ORANGE GIRL PHOTOGRAPHY BANFF, ALBERTA


spring 2013 MEDINAT MAKES HER MARK

HOME & AWAY

Q & A WITH RORY MAHONY

ONE LENS, A MILLION STORIES

REAL RESEARCH

02ALL IN THE FAMILY 10HANDS-ON FOR HABITAT 11CHEMISTRY CONNECTION WITH TRU 12COMMITTED TO CARING 20RENNER TO RECEIVE HONORARY DEGREE 22TEN TREE TO INSPIRE CHANGE 30KEVIN MA: FROM STUDENT TO TEACHER


FROM CLASS TO CAREER NATHAN, NICK AND LAURA GALE RETURN TO MHC FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN ALBERTA TEACHERS’ CONVENTION.

create your life story

MRU COLLABORATION Medicine Hat College has partnered with Mount Royal University to offer a four-year bachelor of education program here at home. The agreement replaces the college’s current program offering with the University of Alberta. Fast Facts • The Mount Royal agreement will allow an intake of 32 students each year. The previous agreement only allowed 32 students every second year. • Students will enrol in Medicine Hat College courses for their first two years and complete the final two years of Mount Royal programming at MHC before graduating with a degree from the Calgary-based university. • Pending government approval, the first intake of students (into 3rd year MRU courses) will be in 2014.

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All in the Family F or the Gale brothers, teaching is a family affair. Spend any amount of time with the twins, Nick and Nathan Gale, along with Nick’s wife Laura, and you’ll understand these people were meant to be teachers. All three of the Gales completed at least a portion of their teaching degrees at Medicine Hat College and are working in the community. Older brother Nick started his story at MHC in 2000 and completed his first two years before transferring to the University of Lethbridge where he met his future wife, Laura. When the couple moved back to the Hat, Laura – who already had a degree in arts and diplomas in early childhood education and library operations – chose to finish her education degree with the post-degree option offered at MHC in collaboration with the University of Alberta. I love football but working with the kids is what I really enjoyed. It made sense to get into education,” said Nathan, who completed his degree at MHC in 2012 and now teaches Grade 5 at Crestwood School. Having the option to complete his entire degree right here in Medicine Hat is what made the difference for Nathan, as he probably wouldn’t have pursued a new career if he had had to move away. “The opportunity was fantastic for me and my family,” said Nathan, whose wife Hailey will start in the education program at MHC in the fall. For Nick, his decision to become a teacher was more straight-forward. “I had good exemplars, people that I wanted to emulate in my own career who had been a positive support for me throughout high school. I wanted to be that for other people,” said Nick, who finished at U of L in 2005 and now teaches math to McCoy High School students. “I find them hilarious,” said Nick about his students. “They’ve got such an attitude about them.” Working with high school kids and seeing the influence a teacher can have during their formative years is something Nick finds very rewarding. He recently ran into a former student who he had encouraged to pursue a career as an actuary. “It’s a big career and he didn’t really know what it was initially but we talked about it,” recalled Nick. “When I saw him again, he was writing his final exam to become an actuary. I thought that was really cool. It’s powerful stuff.” While Nick is watching teenagers identify as young adults, his wife Laura is also dealing with transition. In the case of her students, they’re learning to identify who they are away from mom and dad, many for the first time. “Instead of that big picture, long-term effect you can have on a kid, what has really hit me is how powerful the teacher is minute-to-minute at the kindergarten level,” Laura said. “It’s exhausting – in a really wonderful way.” While it might seem obvious that you need to like kids to be a teacher, not everyone thinks like that, she added. “Some people like their subject area but it’s not enough. “You have to love the kids because you don’t teach math, you teach kids.” So what does it mean to have three teachers in the Gale family and another on the way? “It means we never stop talking about teaching and we make everyone else crazy,” admitted Laura. “It means our kids are constantly ‘teachered.’” Humour aside, having several teachers in the family is a benefit, according to Laura. “We are a nice support for each other. I’m glad not to be the only teacher.” “We bounce a lot of stuff around,” added Nathan. Regardless of the path taken by each of the Gales to reach their goal of becoming a teacher, the college was able to cater to their individual situations, said Nick. “Medicine Hat College has become an important place for our family.”

“WE ARE A NICE SUPPORT FOR EACH OTHER. I’M GLAD NOT TO BE THE ONLY TEACHER.” “I think if you can be educated in the community in which you want to teach, that’s a bonus because you’ve already built connections and understand the context of that community,” said Laura who graduated in 2010 and now teaches kindergarten at River Heights School. For younger brother Nathan, education is his second career. He did an apprenticeship right out of high school but always considered teaching as a possible career. “My brother was a teacher and I thought, ‘Gee, that guy golfs a lot,’” joked Nathan. In reality, the decision to become a teacher was driven by a desire for a change of lifestyle after the birth of his daughter and a love of working with kids. “I coached football for a long time and I always loved that part of the year. I mean,

www.mhc.ab.ca

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“DON’T JUST PASS THROUGH AN INSTITUTION, LET THE INSTITUTION PASS THROUGH YOU. ”

When Medinat Adekunle was in high school, she was given a piece of advice. “Don’t just pass through an institution, let the institution pass through you.” It is a recommendation she took to heart and as a result, has made a lasting impression on Medicine Hat College as a student, ambassador, alumna and donor. Originally from Nigeria, Adekunle arrived in Medicine Hat after completing an English literature degree at Kuwait University. Although she got accepted into Leeds University in the UK, a family friend in Medicine Hat recommended MHC so she came to Canada to pursue a nursing degree. With Toronto as her reference as to what a typical Canadian city would look like, Adekunle arrived in Medicine Hat to ‘huge culture shock.’ “I went to the mall and thought I was being punked,” laughed Adekunle, who was accustomed to living in cities of millions of people with no end to shopping, entertainment and services. After the shock wore off, she settled in at MHC and embraced her life as a nursing student. She started working in the library, signed up as a student ambassador and became well-known around campus for her bright smile

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HOME SWEET HOME MEDINAT ADEKUNLE FOUND HER HOME AWAY FROM HOME WHILE WORKING IN THE VERA BRACKEN LIBRARY AT MHC.


Medinat and infectious laughter. While her fellow students sometimes thought she was crazy for being so involved, considering the demanding workload of their program, Adekunle wouldn’t have had it any other way. “I love to talk,” she said, which may be a bit of an understatement. The ease at which she can meet new people, establish a connection and make them feel comfortable made her a perfect fit for the role of student ambassador.

Makes Her Mark new home here in Medicine Hat with her husband, who is also from Nigeria. While she’s no longer touring high school kids around campus at Student for a Day events or welcoming new students to the campus each fall, Adekunle continues to be a great ambassador for MHC. “I can never say no to the college,” said Adekunle, who visited the foundation office this spring to become a donor. She was also recruited by MHC’s very

HOME ON THE RANGE ADEKUNLE EXPERIENCES WESTERN CULTURE WHILE LIVING ON A FARM NEAR HANNA, ALBERTA WHERE SHE COMPLETED A NURSING PRACTICUM AND LANDED HER FIRST JOB. – SUBMITTED PHOTO

– one of the few available to international students – and being able to share that news with her parents back home. “I was so excited to receive the scholarship and be recognized for my hard work. I wanted others to have that same feeling so I started a scholarship for international students.” In recognition of her parents’ influence in her life and the value they placed on education, she named the scholarship the Adekunle Award, after her family. “My parents have been really supportive through all my transitions,” said Adekunle, whose father is retired from the Nigerian Embassy and now runs an import/export business. Her mother is also a business owner. “I feel lucky and blessed to have attended the nursing program here. The instructors gave me the tools to succeed and I’ve learned a lot,” said Adekunle, who now works in the intensive care unit at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital and for Community Health Services. She also volunteers for the local chapter of the Canadian Red Cross Society and dreams of one day working for a non-government agency that deals with disaster relief. Regardless of where her career takes her, Adekule will always be an ambassador for Medicine Hat College.

“I WAS SO EXCITED TO RECEIVE THE SCHOLARSHIP AND BE RECOGNIZED FOR MY HARD WORK. I WANTED OTHERS TO HAVE THAT SAME FEELING SO I STARTED A SCHOLARSHIP FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. ” For Adekunle, it was rewarding to share her personal experiences with new students and watch parents be closely involved with their child’s education – an opportunity that had not been possible for her. With boarding school at the age of 10 and university abroad at the age of 17, she was separated from her parents for most of her academic career. “It’s the price you have to pay for education in Nigeria,” she said, adding that it’s easier being away from home now than in the past. Thanks to technologies like Skype, she’s able to talk her parents several times a week and has built a persuasive development officer to become an alumni volunteer and assist with organizing the 40-year nursing reunion this fall. Adekunle decided to become a donor to help support other international students in their pursuit of education at MHC. Tuition and related fees are very high for international students and most of the scholarships and bursaries offered require recipients to be permanent residents of Canada. She still remembers the feeling she had when she received a scholarship for $500

PHOTO BY PIXELDUST PHOTOGRAPHY

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HOMETOWN TEAM BIG TIME TALENT rattlers.ca

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“IF I WANT A PLAYER BAD ENOUGH I’LL GO AFTER HIM. IT’S LIKE MY WIFE, IT DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN NATURALLY. I HAD TO PURSUE.” - STEVE RUSSELL

Away

Home s head coach for the Rattlers men’s volleyball team, Steve Russell goes to bed thinking about volleyball and wakes up thinking about – you guessed it – volleyball. From late practices and long road trips to strong wins and tough losses, not only does Russell have to deal with the day-to-day operations of running a college club, he’s constantly thinking of where his next big player is coming from. He could be from Norway like last season’s Haavard Raaheim, or from Saskatoon, Sherwood Park or East Selkirk – you just never know. Whether scouting up-and-coming talent at home or abroad, it’s all about establishing trust and keeping the lines of communication open. For Russell, that means being available to take calls, respond to text messages, even Skype with potential players – 24 hours a day. “If I want a player bad enough I’ll go after him. It’s like my wife, it didn’t just happen naturally. I had to pursue,” joked Russell. “If you really care about something, you aren’t going to accept no.” Russell compares the recruitment process to online dating. First you check out their profile, or in some cases, YouTube clips, and send an email introducing yourself and letting them know you’re interested. Then, if there seems to be potential, you begin building a new relationship and hope that it all works out.

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As an example, Russell began courting an Australian setter his first day on the job as head coach last August and finally got a commitment in February after months of communication via email, text and Skype. Then Russell received the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech and the much-anticipated relationship was over. Fortunately for the Rattlers, Russell was able to attract the attention of Jordan Matters, a setter from Olds College, who coincidentally, is also from Australia. With a year of experience behind him, Russell believes Matters has the potential to play at the university level. “I think it was a blessing in disguise,” said Russell of the situation. “He is easily one of the top three setters in our league. “I think he will grow with us and make our team better.” Closer to home, Russell is recruiting other great talent for the fall including Shane Kimber from Oyen. “He comes at you as a seasoned veteran. He will be an impact player right away, a blue-chip player. We’ve never had a ringer like this,” said Russell, who was an assistant coach with the Rattlers for six years before moving into the top job last summer. “When I signed Kimber, I was so excited. I can’t wait for him to be part of the [Rattlers] family.”

Although much of the recruitment process involves watching video clips and talking to players and coaches from high schools and other post-secondary institutions, Russell prefers to meet with his potential recruits and get to know them as much as possible before offering them a spot. On video you only see the good, said Russell, who’d much rather see a guy screw up and watch how he handles it. “That’s the type of athlete that I’m really looking for. The guy that can smile and laugh and say ‘I’m going to get the next one’ and then go out and do it. That’s Shane Kimber, by the way. “Most importantly, I want them to be excited about what we are at MHC, not just to play volleyball.” Russell is realistic about the challenges of recruiting for MHC. The size of school and geographic location all put MHC at a disadvantage when going up against larger institutions in the major cities, but Russell – who was named ACAC Coach of the Year for 2012-2013 – is hoping to build a program where athletes are pursuing MHC instead of the other way around. One of the ways he hopes to make MHC a destination for top players is by organizing a team trip to Brazil every four years to play with, learn from, and recruit some of the best volleyball players in the real07


Visit www.rattlers.ca in September for the 2013-2014 schedule. world. Russell is currently working with a member of the Olympic Federation in Brazil who is interested in networking with Canadian contacts. “It’s a sweet opportunity,” said Russell. “They know how to play the game, they get it. It’s like their version of hockey.” Russell also hopes to tie in cultural and humanitarian aspects to the trip to provide even greater value and experience to his players. work just as hard to recruit local talent, often over a much longer period of time,” said McLester, adding that some students might just want to move away simply to have the experience of living and going to school somewhere else. “It’s tough to watch them develop through high school only to move away.” But sometimes, those same students come home and that’s always great news for McLester. Courtney Pickett attended Eagle Butte School, but left the community looking for a new adventure. She attended the University of Lethbridge where she played basketball with the Pronghorns for two years. While she enjoyed the athletics and academics at U of L, she decided to pursue a nursing degree and chose MHC because of the reputation of the program, and the opportunity to live at home and play basketball for the Rattlers. “I love the small town feel of MHC. Often times, I would spend my whole day at U of L going to class and never see anyone from my team. At the college, I am sure to see someone I know just by walking to the gym or down the hallway,” said Pickett. She also feels that the relationships between her teammates are closer compared to her university squad. “It’s more of a family-based team with familybased values. Whether it’s a result of having more time on a bus together or from the excellent coaching staff, I have felt more at home, more comfortable, and have enjoyed playing ball at MHC more than anything.” As Pickett wraps up her final year at MHC, McLester has some big shoes to fill. With universities now committing to players in Grade 11, he has the advantage of building relationships with local players at the junior high level and starts watching potential recruits as early as Grade 8. Like recruitment on the volleyball side, McLester spends

Be part of Rattler Nation! considerable time and energy building those relationships and encouraging students to make MHC their number one choice. Half of the current basketball squad consists of home-grown talent, the most it’s ever been since McLester starting coaching the team six years ago. “We’re not just taking these players because they are local, we’re taking them because they’re the best,” said McLester, giving credit to coaches at the junior high and high school levels and the role they play in developing local talent. “Our goal is to be the number one rural college in Canada. We’re not there yet, but it’s coming.”

Local basketball talent best of the best For head coach Jason McLester, recruitment for the women’s basketball team is equally demanding. Responding to texts, phone calls, emails and attending high school basketball games all over Alberta, Saskatchewan – even Montana – keep McLester’s schedule full. “The intensity of recruitment varies but this time of year is really crazy,” said McLester of the spring months. “It’s a challenging job. Lots of questions are thrown at you regarding both athletics and academics at MHC. You always have to be available.” McLester uses Hat High grad Cierra Matsalla as a perfect example of what he hopes to accomplish with recruitment in women’s basketball. A first-year university transfer education student at MHC last year, Matsalla was considered by McLester to be the best basketball player coming out of local high schools in a long time. “Her choosing us sends a strong message to the community. She was recruited by all the big schools but she chose Medicine Hat College. “You can never assume that local players will stay in their hometown. We have to real08


CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

A DAY IN THE LIFE The season may be over for Rattlers athletes, but coaches are hard at work getting ready for next year in the Snake Pit. For head coach Steve Russell, a day in his life might look something like this…

06:30 08:00 09:15 10:45 12:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 21:00 23:45

WAKES UP WITH HIS TWO BOYS, HAS BREAKFAST, COFFEE AND IS OUT THE DOOR ARRIVES AT MHC TO TEACH KINESIOLOGY 290 CHECKS EMAIL AND PHONE FOR MESSAGES FROM PLAYERS, RECRUITS… AND THEIR PARENTS BACK IN CLASS, THIS TIME TO TEACH A LAB PUTS ON 3” HEELS AND MODELS IN ANNUAL SUZY SUNSHINE COMPETITION - WINS FIRST PLACE! RETURNS MORE MESSAGES, TEACHES A VOLLEYBALL CLASS LEAVES WORK, PICKS UP KIDS, MAKES SUPPER, HAS SOME FAMILY TIME BACK TO MHC FOR VOLLEYBALL PRACTICE MARKS ASSIGNMENTS, CREATES EXAMS, RESPONDS TO MORE MESSAGES, WORKS ON MASTER’S PAPER IN SPARE TIME TURNS OFF PHONE, HEADS TO BED AND GETS READY TO DO IT ALL AGAIN TOMORROW

RATTLERS MAJOR AWARD WINNERS Outstanding Female Athlete Kristina Segall Outstanding Male Athlete Robert Mason Male Rookie of the Year Adam Wilson Female Rookie of the Year Cierra Matsalla Lisa Tschritter Award Tom Dehod Fan of the Year Dr. Tom Mohnaraj / Eric Thielman Rattlers Appreciation Award Rob Grisonich

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Hands-on for Habitat J ustin Hughes, Victoria Leis, and Maninderjeet Singh Grewal are helping to build more than a house – they’re helping build a better community. These first-year students, along with fellow classmates in the computer-aided drafting and design program (CADD), had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as volunteers with a local Habitat for Humanity project this winter. Teams of students got out of the classroom and got their hands dirty installing insulation, drywalling and performing other house building essentials – all while putting theory into practice on a real residential construction site. While most students had heard about Habitat for Humanity, which helps build affordable housing through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials, few were aware that a local branch operates right here in Medicine Hat. The organization has been around since the mid-90s and has built 10 homes for low-income families in the community. For Leis, who was born and raised in The Gas City, the experience reaffirmed her decision to pursue a career in residential drafting. Her interest in the industry comes naturally – her father is also a draftsman – and she was excited to learn that her class would be part of the Habitat house build in the Flats. Hughes came into the CADD program with a background in construction but wanted to explore the design side of the industry, as well as geometrics. Originally from Calgary, Hughes had volunteered for Habitat before moving to Medicine Hat with his family and was happy to be involved with another project. “The guys we worked with were really accommodating,” he said of the Habitat crew in Medicine Hat. “It’s nice to have something like this outside the classroom.” This is the first time CADD students from MHC have been involved with Habitat for Humanity, and instructor Peter Kelly is happy to have made the connection. “I knew that I wanted to get the students out of the classroom,” said Kelly. Not only does the experience connect the college program to industry, it gives students an opportunity to volunteer and give back to their community. Kelly also said that potential employers see this experience as a benefit and is looking for ways to build on the partnership next year. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” he said. “Plus we get a lot of volunteer hours in for Habitat.” All three students agreed that volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is something they would like to do again in the future.

“AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE REALLY FELT LIKE WE ACHIEVED SOMETHING. ” For Grewal, an international student from Punjab, India, his experiences with both MHC and Habitat for Humanity have been particularly rewarding. “I chose MHC because one of my friends suggested that it is a reputable college. All the teachers are experienced, cooperative, fair and masters of their subjects which makes the studies easier,” said Grewal, whose interests lie with manufacturing and production. Working on the Habitat project has only served to enhance Grewal’s educational experience. “At the end of the day, we really felt like we achieved something.”

– PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JAMES KUEHN, CADD INSTRUCTOR

STUDENTS GIVE BACK [TOP L-R] MANINDERJEET GREWAL, BABALPREET SINGH, SUKHDEEP SINGH, MANPREET SINGH AND AMANDEEP SINGH AND INSTRUCTOR PETER KELLY [BELOW] GAIN EXPERIENCE AND GIVE BACK WITH A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT. – PHOTO SUBMITTED BY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

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LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP INSTRUCTOR LOUISE BERGER AND STUDENTS PAUL KINCH AND CURTIS PENROSE CONNECT WITH TECHNOLOGY AT THOMSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY.

Chemistry Connection with TRU 995 km between lab and students? No problem. College students are gaining ‘unheard of access’ to scientific instrumentation thanks to a creative partnership arranged by chemistry instructor Brad Pavelich and his colleagues at Thomson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, BC. Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) makes it possible to analyze chemical elements by measuring how a sample absorbs light. In a nutshell, the process works by reducing samples to atoms, first by dissolving them in solution and then by vaporizing them in an ultra-hot flame. These atoms are then exposed to a light beam tuned to the material under investigation and the amount of light energy absorbed is measured. While the explanation is oversimplified, the complex technical process is one widely used in fields ranging from forensics to pharmaceuticals. All of those real-world applications make it desirable to give hands-on access to students, but most colleges simply can’t justify a unit price tag akin to that of a high-end luxury vehicle, Pavelich said. In steps TRU. “Last summer I had the opportunity to attend the conference of the Chemical Institute of Canada and heard some TRU people talking about their ability to do this kind of work over the Internet. A conversation ensued and TRU offered to do this with our campus,” said Pavelich with a delighted smile. Students in Medicine Hat used the technology this past winter to analyze the iron content of common multi-vitamins. Working in the college’s labs, students quite literally ‘digested’ vitamin tablets in a solution of hydrochloric acid, separating the few milligrams of iron from the starchy materials of the pill. The resulting solutions were then packed and shipped to TRU. Using laptops and cameras, students connected to the AAS technology and conversed with TRU’s lab specialists to manage the equipment, observe their samples being analyzed, and gather results to complete assignments. “Thomson Rivers offered this opportunity to us at no cost to our institution,” said Pavelich. All they’ve asked for in return is that students participate in surveys to gather information about their experience. For Pavelich, the collaboration means local students have opportunities that would otherwise be impossible to offer. “Access to this kind of technology used to be unheard of in first year chemistry classes.” He’s already planning to expand this partnership in the future. BY MARK KELLER real11


Committed to Caring Beyond the classroom, in our community Nursing students at Medicine Hat College have a long history of excellence and continue to exceed expectations by taking their education to the next level. Over the course of the past year, these third-year students have been involved in several initiatives around Medicine Hat as part of their community rotations.

For most people, the walking distance between park or trail benches is a detail that goes unnoticed, but for someone living with a degenerative disease or physical disability, even short distances can be daunting. That’s why MaryLou Robertson, Grayson Honey, Sarah Hamilton, Stephanie McCutcheon and Jacie Bodin were asked to look at bench placements along the new campus trail at MHC to determine the appropriate distances for persons with mobility concerns. The students conducted research regarding the distance between benches and fitness equipment along the trail, as well as parking lot accessibility and lighting. They also worked with Parkinson’s patients who expressed interest in forming a walking group and developed a log book and pre/post walk exercises for the participants who meet weekly at Medicine Hat Mall.

BENCH SENSE FOR CAMPUS TRAIL

UNDERSTANDING HOMELESSNESS

A practicum experience at the local homeless shelter inspired Justin Burkett, Vicki Becker, Susan Stark, Shannon Farquhar and Jayda Martens to take to the streets this winter and gain a deeper understanding of homelessness in the community. These students, along with their instructor, spent 36 hours on the streets with no money, no identification, and no place to stay. Battling the elements, extreme fatigue, and negative perceptions of homelessness in the community, these students found kindness and generosity in the most unexpected place – from those living in these conditions on a daily basis.

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In an attempt to gain information about the reality of living with Parkinson’s disease, Matthew Pratt, Morgan Ellis, Shelby Cook, Kristy Gib, Ashley Hoimyr and Jacey Starner spent time with patients to determine health needs, provide interventions and empower participants regarding health decisions. Students looked at issues concerning Parkinson’s patients including nutrition, sleep, exercise, depression, socialization, needs of their caregivers and long-term care placement. Not only did the home visits allow Parkinson’s patients to share their concerns, they reduced loneliness in these individuals.

HOME VISITS TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE

PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY JUSTIN BURKETT

KEEPING IT RENAL

After spending time with individuals who were dialyzing in their homes and understanding the impact of dialysis on their daily lives, nursing students Gabby McDonald, Ashley Anctil, Caitlin Beck, Desiree Ehresman and Jarvis Butac joined forces with these community partners to lobby for the creation of an online organ donor registry in Alberta. Members of the group travelled to Edmonton with MLA Drew Barnes earlier this spring where he presented their case to the provincial legislature. The group also had the opportunity to meet with Health Minister Fred Horne to share their concerns.

LANGUAGE OF HOPE

Students Shelby Hemsing, Kara Vance, Miranda Welsh, Xanthe Lerner and Bryson Daudlin worked with local organ recipients to better educate the college and community about organ donation. Being recognized as an organ donor goes beyond signing the back of a health care card; it requires individuals to have conversations about their intentions with family and friends. The Language of Hope group started these conversations over the course of the past year and hopes their message will be shared throughout the community and across the province to improve the quality of life of those awaiting an organ transplant. real13


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DESCRIBED AS LIVING WITH A CAMERA IN HIS POCKET, ONE OF RORY MAHONY’S MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WAS TAKING AN INFORMAL AND SOMEWHAT SHAKY PORTRAIT OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER ‘DIEF THE CHIEF,’ OUTSIDE A GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND HOTEL AT AGE 13. MAHONY WENT ON TO FILM SCHOOL AND SPENT A NUMBER OF YEARS WORKING IN FREELANCE FILM, VIDEO, SOUND RECORDING AND STILLS PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL AS A MATURE STUDENT TO STUDY ART. WITH A DEGREE IN FINE ARTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA AND A MASTERS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, MAHONY JOINED THE FACULTY OF VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS IN 1998 AND HAS BEEN HAVING A GRAND TIME EVER SINCE.


PHOTO BY NICOLE ANHEL BACKGROUND PHOTO BY BETSY MORALES VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS ALUMNAE

Q

Q. Who is Rory Mahony? Describe yourself in 10 words or less. UK born, an artist who walks, has a smart eye.

Q. Share your childhood experiences. I was raised on three continents. Born in Wales at age one, we moved to the Sudan and lived on the banks of the River Nile for the next five years. Upon our return to England, I was enrolled in Seven Oaks public school (picture cap, shorts, knee high socks and tie). At seven, we sailed across the Atlantic and up the St. Lawrence River to Québec. We lived in Val Morin, Québec, Gander, Newfoundland, and many other places. My mom counted 27 moves. I attended high school in Ottawa and loved skiing in the nearby Laurentian hills. Fondest memories of growing up with a black lab named ESKY.

the film program at Conestoga College. It was a transformative experience, for sure. I made films about Big Mama Thornton and followed Pierre Elliot around Parliament Hill. I made films about off-shore oil rig safety, counted ducks with Ducks Unlimited, moved to the Island [Vancouver] and taught myself how to shoot stills. After a number of years of freelance photography, I returned to school to study art.

& “The Garden.”

with Rory Mahony in the studio with this found material as reference, I make drawings with an iPad, large scale photographs with the scanner, video and sound works, and plan installations for the gallery.

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Q. How did you come to live/work in Medicine Hat? I was vacationing with friends in the Okanagan Valley. One night, I came across an ad for an instructor of visual communications at MHC. The next day, I called for an interview. The day after I drove to Medicine Hat and met a very friendly group of instructors. I was lucky.

Q. Who or what has been your

greatest influence or inspiration, professionally and/or personally?

We were never allowed to call our Dad anything but Pop. Pop gave me my greatest gift: love for walking through the bush.

Q. What do you love most about teaching? The energy and smartness of youth. That moment every now and then when we are so privileged to witness someone discover themselves and the possibilities for excitement, challenge, and the potential for a meaningful contribution to society.

Q. Tell us about your recent video work I spend much of my free time wandering outdoors. This is brooding time, a time for ideas, reflection, even meditation. With this work, I wanted to attempt a kind of self-portrait. Maybe to give some sense of what it might be like to inhabit someone else’s skin – here, a man and his dog on the land looking, even finding. On a daily basis, I walk with my old dog Sidney in the bush, the coulees, along the river bank. I look for evidence of other companion societies. I collect stones, feathers, bird nests, cones, fur, photograph animal tracks in the snow and record the voices of the birds met on the trail. Back

Q. How did you become interested in art and photography? I probably gravitated towards photography simply because of the experience of having lived all over and needing some way to secure memory in the midst of such antics. In the early 70s I was working as a tire and battery salesman at Canadian Tire in Toronto. At one point, I wore a wig to cover the long hair. Some friends came to the rescue and suggested I apply to

Q. What is your most memorable career moment? The opening last year at the Esplanade Museum and Art Gallery of a terrific installation of nine student videos. For me, it was overwhelming, I was so proud of my students – their insights, hard work and young brilliance. I felt like the real rooster in town!

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E L L E L O A N C E H I E T L Y , S R T O N

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

ROOT OF INSPIRATION IN PREPARATION FOR A VIDEO SHOOT, ANHEL WENT IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT TREE. HER JOURNEY LED HER TO ECHO DALE REGIONAL PARK WHERE SHE LOOKED UP, SAW THIS TREE AND HAD A ‘FREEING’ MOMENT. THE MOMENT WAS A REVELATION ABOUT WHAT KIND OF ARTIST SHE WANTED TO BE AND HOW SHE WANTED TO TELL HER STORIES THROUGH VIDEO. PHOTO BY RORY MAHONY, INSTRUCTOR

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t Confetti, it’s all about the story. And Nicole Anhel tells the most beautiful stories. Her business is inspired by moments. A gesture of love and pride from a teary father as he walks his daughter down the aisle. The wide-eyed wonder of a child exploring the world around her. The intensity of training for a world-class athlete. Capturing those authentic, often simple moments and creating a million stories are what drive Anhel and her business, Confetti. A would-be broker turned filmmaker, Anhel made a last minute decision in 2001 to return to school. Although she had always had an interest in art and was encouraged by her high school teachers in Olds to pursue it as a career, Anhel ended up studying commerce at Red Deer College instead. Not having found the right fit, she left college and worked for many years before returning to the financial industry. She wrote the Canadian securities course with the goal of becoming a broker. After moving back to her hometown of Medicine Hat, she met up with a friend who inspired her to return to her first love – art. In an unexpected turn of events, she started drawing again to build her portfolio and enrolled in the visual communications program at MHC. “The program here is incredible. I think it’s this little gem that people don’t know enough about,” said Anhel. “It really did change my life.” real17


PHOTOS COURTESY OF ORANGE GIRL PHOTOGRAPHY BANFF, ALBERTA LEFT: ANHEL’S DAUGHTER MYLA RIGHT: ANHEL WITH HUSBAND, TREVOR

“THE PROGRAM HERE IS INCREDIBLE. I THINK IT’S THIS LITTLE GEM THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT,” SAID ANHEL. “IT REALLY DID CHANGE MY LIFE.”

PHOTOS BY NICOLE ANHEL BELOW: MYLA ANHEL OPPOSITE PAGE: MYLA ANHEL SENSEI ALYSSIA RORY MAHONY

Anhel entered the program at MHC with the intention of becoming a graphic designer but one video class with instructor Rory Mahony changed all of that. Before she knew it, Anhel was climbing under desk chairs and capturing every day moments with a video camera in hand. “He’s the reason I’m doing what I do today, because I took his video class. Literally, I had never picked up a video camera in my life,” recalled Anhel of her experience with Mahony. “I completely fell in love with video.” She graduated in 2004 and started a family with her husband Trevor: daughter Myla and Confetti, her wedding cinematography company, were born.

New to the industry and eager to get her name out, Anhel was shooting up to 20 weddings a season but as her experience increased, she scaled back to focus on quality over quantity and started to make a name for herself. Promoting Confetti at tradeshows and building professional relationships with planners in Calgary helped Anhel land new clientele interested in destination weddings, mostly in Banff. Then, three years ago, Confetti was featured on Style Me Pretty, a blog featuring real weddings from around the world with all the inspiration needed for brides to plan their perfect day. That exposure led to a mention in Real Simple Weddings, a publication that showcases just 11 weddings in North America per year.

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“EVERYTHING IS THERE IF YOU CAN JUST STEP BACK AND REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE CAPTURING. ” “That was the best thing that could have happened to the business,” said Anhel. “When you get published for free, big planners start to notice.” With a client list including couples from the UK and a professional opera singer, the style of weddings Confetti captures on film varies from small and simple affairs to elaborate productions with no detail overlooked. Regardless of the style of the day, one of the things that is so important to Anhel is the integrity of never creating a moment. “What I love about video is the moment is already there. If I miss something, I would never, ever ask someone to redo it. It wasn’t meant to be. I won’t recreate moments because it’s not genuine,” said Anhel. “That’s what I learned that first day with Rory. Everything is there if you can just step back and realize what you’re capturing. Moments like that I love, the vulnerability of people.” “What I really want to do and what I’m passionate about is creating films that will make a difference in the world. I think that’s a crazy dream of mine. I feel like I have the ability to create something, but I don’t know what yet. “I love people and want to share their stories on an individual basis.” Her journey has brought her full circle, back to MHC where she has enlisted the help of Mahony, who inspired her in the first place. “Rory is helping me to think more like an artist versus a wedding filmmaker. He’s helped me take a step back,” said Anhel. She’s concentrating on a different style of film at the moment and is telling the story of her sensei, a world champion black belt. After living such a demanding schedule, Anhel is simply looking forward to spending time with her family and being part of the community during her hiatus from the wedding season. “I want to see more of the things my daughter sees. If I take five minutes and go out and look with her, I’m amazed at the beauty. As a society, we’re always looking down, thinking about what we have to get done. We’re missing it.” Anhel’s advice? Look up. There are a million stories waiting to be told.

WWW.CONFETTISTORIES.COM

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

“WHAT I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT IS CREATING FILMS THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. I THINK THAT’S A CRAZY DREAM OF MINE. ” Despite Confetti’s success – international clients, award-winning films and a solid reputation in the industry – Anhel’s own story has taken a twist recently and she is taking time off to decide where she wants to go from here.

“Over the 15 years I have been fortunate enough to teach in the visual communications program, I have met and worked with some exceptionally talented young people. Nicole Anhel is certainly one of those. I met Nicole, I think, in her second year. She was a student in my introduction to video class. With video, Nicole quickly became enchanted with such a fluid means for narrative and expression. She was a natural from the first exercise. It has been a thrill to watch her company grow and see her grow as a filmmaker. Her work is superb. She has the respect of the industry in North America. Wow, what a privilege it is to be present when a young person discovers a little bit of their own magic.” - Rory Mahony, instructor & mentor real19


Rob Renner to Receive Honorary Degree BY JENNIFER THOMPSON

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etired MLA Rob Renner has been announced as the 2013 honorary applied baccalaureate degree recipient at MHC.

always been involved with the college and supported us. We are very proud of his accomplishments.” Prior to entering the political arena in 1993, Renner was instrumental in transitioning the Downtown Business Association to a Business Revitalization Zone and the installation of brick-trimmed sidewalks, trees and gas lamps downtown. Other highlights during his tenure as president of the association include the introduction of downtown events such as Midnight Madness and the Spectrum Festival. Renner was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the first time in 1993. He was elected five times, serving until 2012. Highlights of his political career include serving as Caucus Whip, Deputy Government House Leader, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Environment. Among his many priorities, Renner was a vocal proponent of ongoing capital funding that would see Medicine Hat College undergo its most substantial infrastructure enhancement since its initial construction on the current campus. Renner is honoured to have been chosen by the Board of Governors to receive the 2013 honorary applied baccalaureate degree. “Medicine Hat College has always held a special place in my heart,” said Renner. “I am delighted to be honoured with this year’s degree. I look forward to once again joining the platform guests at a convocation ceremony; only this time it will be as a recipient rather than a presenter!”

Renner will formally accept the honour as part of convocation ceremonies on June 7. He will be the ninth recipient of the honour, following in the footsteps of Roy Wilson, Dr. Richard and Deborah Northcott, Bob Porter, John Moldon, Ken Sauer, Jim Horsman, Randy Eresman, and Terry Brekko. Renner was born and raised in Medicine Hat and graduated from Medicine Hat High School in 1972. Enrolling in a university transfer program at Medicine Hat College, he got his first taste of politics when he was elected vice president finance of the Students’ Association. He graduated with a bachelor of commerce from the University of Calgary in 1976 and returned to the family florist business in Medicine Hat. “While my degree is from the University of Calgary, I always felt it should have had an asterisk after it recognizing the outstanding academic foundation I received from Medicine Hat College,” said Renner. MHC president Ralph Weeks said he looks forward to presenting Renner with the honorary degree. “Rob has made a significant impact on Medicine Hat College over the years,” said Weeks. “As a student, alumnus, and MLA, he has

Convocation

June 7, 2013 real20

Morning Ceremony: 10 a.m. (Adult Development/Arts/Business) Afternoon Ceremony: 2 p.m. (Health Studies/Science/Trades) www.mhc.ab.ca


recognition OUR PEOPLE ARE WHAT MAKE MHC A SPECIAL PLACE TO LEARN, WORK AND BELONG. JOIN US IN CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS OF MHC ALUMNI, STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES AND FRIENDS. DROP US A LINE AT ALUMNI@MHC.AB.CA IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WORTHY OF SOME REAL RECOGNITION. Local entrepreneur and MHC business James Kuehn from the CADD/ student, Anthony Merkel, won the 2013 Student Entrepreneur Regional Champions for Western Canada and will compete at the 2013 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Toronto this month. MHC speech language therapy Technical Illustration program has achieved the LEED® Green Associate credential. He is the first instructor at Medicine Hat College to pursue this designation. Matthew Jubelius received the

Are you an alum of the Medicine Hat College Nursing Program?

assistant student, Noelle Nestman, was named the 2013 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. Over 1,800 applications were received from across North America for this annual academic competition. Jennifer Penner, MHC nursing

2013 Rising Star award from Lethbridge College in recognition of his leadership and dedication as the manager of health simulation at MHC. Elizabeth Pennefather-O’Brien of MHC’s science department was selected as one of five individuals from across Canada to receive an inaugural College Sector Educator Award from The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The family of the late Roy Wilson announced a five-year, $50,000 pledge to the Bring Back the Music program. This partnership between the Medicine Hat College Conservatory, Elm Street, and Riverside schools offers the opportunity to expose children, who may not have otherwise had the opportunity, to the arts.

Join us in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Medicine Hat College Nursing Program. For more information contact Jen Kerslake at jkerslake@mhc.ab.ca N P 40 ANNIVERSARY TH URSING ROGRAM

alumna, received the 2012 Friends of Health Sciences Award from the University of Lethbridge last fall for her contributions to health education in the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Rattlers soccer coach, Jim Louglin,

was named ACAC Coach of the Year for women’s soccer – South Division, as selected by his peers. Steve Russell, first year head coach for the Rattlers men’s volleyball team was also named ACAC Coach of the Year for 2012-2013.

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PROTECT WHERE YOU PLAY FUN IN THE SUN FOR THE TEN TREE TEAM IN NOVA SCOTIA LAST SUMMER. BELOW: HOWLETT’S FAVE TEN TREE ITEMS – PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY TEN TREE

Ten Tree to Inspire Change Buy a t-shirt. Plant a forest. Be inspired. That’s the message Lucas Howlett, a visual communications student at MHC, and the young entrepreneurs from Ten Tree Apparel are spreading across Canada with their new clothing line. For every item purchased, 10 trees are planted in an effort to restore the environment and promote a healthy lifestyle. The idea grew out of the team’s shared passion for the outdoors and common goal of protecting the environment where they play. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Howlett became involved with Ten Tree through a family connection with the company’s founders – Dave Luba and Kalen Emsley. As Ten Tree’s ‘design slinger,’ Howlett is in charge of marketing, which has been done through social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He’s also responsible for creating the simple and clean clothing designs that define Ten Tree style. The company is currently working to expand its product line to include children’s clothing and accessories, as well as new features like specialty buttons, leather and suede patches and woven stitching. real22 Of course, Howlett is proud to wear the clothing he helped create. “One of my favourite designs for guys is a shirt that says, ‘protect your world ten tree apparel,’ on a green aqua coloured tri-blend shirt,” said Howlett. “I also love the reclaimed wood iPhone cases that we made recently. They look awesome!” Great design and the opportunity to give back is a concept that seems to resonate with Canadians – over 200,000 trees have been planted by Ten Tree in just over a year. Trees are planted here at home and around the globe, thanks to Ten Tree’s partnership with WeForest, the largest non-profit tree planting organization in the world. By working with forestry experts and local organizations, Ten Tree not only plants trees but helps provide employment, restore ecosystems and support sustainable communities. Ten Tree also works with the Canadian Wildlife Federation on the Inspire project – a movement that promotes locals who love to get outdoors. The Ten Tree business platform was further endorsed last fall following Luba and Emsley’s appearance on Dragons’ Den, where the company landed a $100,000 investment. Dragon Arlene Dickinson, a renowned marketing entrepreneur, said the future of business is to be socially responsible and environmentally friendly in addition to making money, and that Ten Tree is on the right track. “I never thought that Ten Tree would be this successful this quickly. I wasn’t sure how much people would like Ten Tree compared to other brands such as Toms or Hurley,” said Howlett. “Once our episode aired on Dragons’ Den and the deal went so well, I knew things would start to get busier for us.” According to Howlett, Ten Tree has grown from an idea into an economically viable environmental company that is influencing and inspiring a generation of people. “Something like this takes a lot of courage and dedication to get it off the ground,” said Howlett of the Ten Tree team. “I’m really thankful I can be a part of it.” r


Research INNOVATION FOR THE REAL WORLD

JOE GROVE, ELECTRICAL APPRENTICESHIP INSTRUCTOR

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RESEARCH


RESEARCH

Here Comes the Sun With its claim to fame as Canada’s sunniest city, Medicine Hat is an obvious choice for solar energy development. As a result, MHC has implemented solar technology on campus to examine the viability of solar thermal and solar voltaic technologies, provide valuable learning opportunities for students and generate further awareness of this renewable resource in the community.

Led by trades innovation coordinator, Danny Wilson, and Walter Garrison, manager of the college’s Office of Innovation and Scholarship (OIS), phase one of this applied research started one year ago and conducts performance verification of solar thermal equipment located on the roof of the plumbing lab. Not only has this innovative activity helped reduce utility costs in the trades’ facility, it also provided a first-year university transfer student with a unique job opportunity. Bhavin Vyas, now a second-year engineering student at the University of Alberta, was able to explore his interest in renewable energy and receive hands-on experience at MHC with the solar project through the Summer Transition Employment Program (STEP) and Medicine Hat-based Hyperion Research Ltd. Vyas assisted with the installation of the solar equipment and spent the summer months collecting the data generated and communicating project progress through a research blog. He also monitored and analyzed water samples from the thermal tanks for bacterial growth and its potential impact on this technology. Dr. Peter Wallis, owner of Hyperion and dean of science at MHC, recognized further learning opportunities for Vyas and connected him with Wilson, who mentored him through an informal plumbing apprenticeship. “This experience was more practical whereas my engineering classes were more theoretical. It gave me an opportunity to learn both sides,” said Vyas. “It was a learning experience, starting from scratch and seeing the project through, not just for me but for the whole college. The value [of the experience] cannot be put into words.” In phase two of the project, the college partnered with Terralta, a leading provider of renewable energy products in southern Alberta, and Quick-Way Electric, to install solar voltaic panels on the roof of the student residence complex in late August. Installing the panels during one of the hottest months of the year only reaffirmed MHC’s decision to explore solar technology on campus. real24

“We walked away with a better understanding of the installation process,” said Wilson. “Compared to a commercialsized project, it’s a relatively small system but it’s a step in the right direction for going green and using clean energy.”

“OUR HOPE IS THAT THIS WILL BE THE FIRST OF MANY PROJECTS SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND NEW PROGRAMMING OPPORTUNITIES AT MHC. ” Wilson said the 5 kilowatt system is operating as expected and has generated enough energy to power one residence unit for 143 days, or 4.32 MWh. “While the technology is already in use in our community, there’s really no documentation to demonstrate its viability. We hope this project will provide more consumer confidence in the technology.” Local school groups have also shown interest in the project, added Wilson. Junior high and high school students are


Glass Wool Insulation Copper Header Pipe (liquid ow)

Collector Manifold

Stainless Steel Mounting Frame

Evacuated Tube (solar absorber) Heat Transfer Fin and Heat Pipe

BHAVIN VYAS, AT WORK IN THE PLUMBING LAB expected to tour the solar technology demonstration sites this spring to learn more about the benefits of this renewable resource in the region. According to Garrison, the solar project at MHC crosses the boundary between applied research and innovative activity. It is considered applied research because the performance of the solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems will be watched closely by local companies like Terralta so they can communicate the results of the data collected to clients. It is also an innovative activity in that the performance of both systems, which utilize existing, commercially available technologies, will be specific to this region. It may be that the use of this technology at MHC will create a larger market for solar technology in southeastern Alberta and push the project further into the scope of innovative activity. Medicine Hat College has experienced an increase in research activities recently, due in large part to the Alberta

ILLUSTRATION OF SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEM government’s mandate to encourage and support applied research at the college level. It also received approval as an eligible institution from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). As an eligible institution of NSERC, MHC can apply for federal funding to develop new research projects and increase the scope of existing programs. “Our hope is that this will be the first of many projects supporting the development of sustainable energy and new programming opportunities at MHC,” said Wilson. “Those who have supported this project are true champions. It’s been a team effort.” Wilson and Garrison, along with Phil Bosch, Joe Grove, Dave Marshall, Scott Stickel and Rob Stroh, were formally recognized this spring with the presentation of MHC’s Innovation Award for their work on the solar thermal and photo voltaic projects. For more information about research and innovation at MHC, please visit www.mhc.ab.ca/research.

RESEARCH GL O S S A R Y PURE RESEARCH This discovery work is done to develop a new understanding, novel approach, or new product that does not presently exist in the specific iteration that is developed. There may or may not be any commercial potential or foreseeable practical application with this type of research and the goals and/or results may be difficult to define.

APPLIED RESEARCH This work is done on behalf of a(n) (external) person or organization and is performed with the end goal of developing some practical application, product or process. There is a greater chance of commercialization potential with this type of research than with pure research. Applied research uses new or existing knowledge to solve real-world challenges and is aligned with industry needs.

INNOVATIVE ACTIVITY: This type of work takes existing technology and applies it in a new setting. You might consider this a ‘test drive’ of existing technology in a new situation. The novelty is the situation that the technology is placed in, not necessarily the technology itself. This is sometimes, but not always discovery work. That being said, what is ‘discovered’ is how well this technology performs in this new setting. real25


RESEARCH BRIEF

BUSINESS DEGREE PERCEPTIONS

What’s in your Water? That’s the question Morgan Basiuk and Rachel Brown have been trying to answer through a collaborative research project with the Southeast Alberta Watershed Alliance (SEAWA), the City of Medicine Hat and Medicine Hat College.

RES E A R C HERS: Morgan Blair, Manager of Strategic Research and Analysis MSc , currently working on EdD Darren Howes, Coordinator, Business Administration MBA, DBA (ABD) Lorne Jeal Faculty in Business Administration MSc, currently working on EdD

THE P R O JECT: Examination of the relevance and quality of the third and fourth years of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at MHC This qualitative research is being conducted via focus groups with key stakeholders in order to understand their perceptions of the program. The objective of this research is to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement within the program.

Basiuk, a MHC alumna and pharmaceutical student at the University of Alberta, and Brown, a recent high school graduate and science fair legend, teamed up last summer at Medicine Hatbased Hyperion Research Ltd. Led by Dr. Peter Wallis, Hyperion owner and dean of science at MHC, the team examined a variety of different compounds from agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical sources found in Medicine Hat water and waste. According to Wallis, who is also the treasurer of SEAWA, one of the biggest gaps in existing knowledge is related to these organic compounds. SEAWA has been working with the public on behalf of the provincial government to gather input about concerns related to water quality in southern Alberta. “We all read about this stuff in the paper and everybody worries about [compounds in the water] but nobody knows what to do because we don’t know how much is there. People are mostly concerned about things like pharmaceutical byproducts, hormones, and toxic or organic chemicals because they assume they are consuming them in their drinking water.” Questions related to water quality are difficult to answer due to the lack of

data available. In the past, the analysis of these compounds required very expensive hardware that was unavailable to most municipalities; however, a new technology developed by the US Department of Agriculture has resulted in a more affordable and simpler approach to gathering this information.

THE I M P ACT: The benefits of this research are related to program development. As issues are raised by students, the program will be better able to address their concerns and make improvements to the degree in the future.

“I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO. FOR A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TO LEARN UNIVERSITY LEVEL SCIENCE HAS BEEN A BLESSING FOR ME. ” As a prelude to testing this new methodology, Basiuk was asked to survey all the compounds that were likely to show up in local water samples. Together with Brown and Wallis, she created a list that would be important, but also representative of various classes including agriculture, human and animal health, and industrial sources. With support from the City of Medicine Hat to acquire the new technology, Basiuk and Brown tested water sources in the Medicine Hat region to get a firmer understanding of what compounds are really present and the potential impact they have on human and animal health and the ecosystem.

TIM E L I N E: Fall 2011 – Spring 2013 FUN D I N G : MHC Internal Grant

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MORGAN BASIUK AND RACHEL BROWN TESTING SAMPLES IN THE HYPERION RESEARCH LAB.

LEARNING STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS RESEARCHER: Julie DeBoer, learning strategist MEd in counseling and psychology former teacher, academic / career advisor

The testing kits include standard solutions that have different amounts of concentration of each of the trace compounds, explained Basiuk. A standards graph was created and the samples taken from various water sources were charted. While the results seemed reasonable, there was no way of knowing if they were accurate because there was no data available for comparison. “The first couple months were a lot of trial and error to see what worked best, but I think we have gotten to a point where we are starting to feel comfortable with the methods and what we are doing. We were able to get some interesting results of different compounds,” said Basiuk. While home for the Christmas break, Basiuk and Brown spent part of their holidays in the lab testing more water samples from the South Saskatchewan River. At this point, the City of Medicine Hat stepped in and together with SEAWA, sent samples away for a more comprehensive analysis to validate the results. The project, which is co-funded by SEAWA, Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes (AACTI) and the City of Medicine Hat, will eventually generate a report that will provide a framework to the

provincial government for setting local policy. Basiuk hopes that her involvement in this project might spark an interest in the sciences for other students. “In school, you read about projects like this, but rarely have the opportunity to do the actual work,” she explained. “When I started at Hyperion, I had just finished my first year at MHC. It was such a good experience. You learn about the different kinds of tests and you try to understand it just from paper, but it’s not the same as actually getting to do it. Research gives you the opportunity to use your critical thinking skills. You get to look at something and ask ‘how can I do this better?’” The experience has been especially rewarding for Brown, who has worked with Wallis for four years as a science fair student, not as a college student. “The opportunity to be learning theories and applying them at a young age has helped me in life. “I know what I want to do. Being able to learn university-level science as a high school student has been a blessing for me.”

THE PROJECT: Development of learning strategies database DeBoer has developed an online database to house a variety of learning strategies to assist faculty in the delivery of information to students. The idea stemmed from poor student attendance at study skills workshops and the learning difficulties seen in the classroom. According to research, strategies are most effective when taught in the classroom at the time of learning.

THE IMPACT: As the database continues to grow, there is a possibility for a broader audience. DeBoer sees this database as a resource for all educators, not just those at Medicine Hat College. TIMELINE: Described as a living data, this project is ongoing. FUNDING: MHC Internal Grant

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RESEARCH BRIEF


RESEARCH BRIEF

KEEPING IT LOCAL

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The Ouch Factor faced as a vulnerable population. Through shared activities and conversation, strong relationships formed between the boys and Morrison, who became a mentor to the group. Following the conclusion of the research last year, Morrison generated three separate articles related to understanding adolescent boys, process and research methods, and ethics which were published in peer-reviewed journals. The ethics discussion became an important outcome as the closing strategies utilized in the project generated unfortunate responses. The code of ethics followed in research indicates that once a project is complete, the researcher and participants must terminate their relationship. This is a process that is discussed at the onset of the project and signed off on by those involved, but the reality of situation proved much more complex. The bond that had developed over time could no longer exist, leaving the participants feeling abandoned. Although Morrison and his team did their best to manage the expectations of participants, they were caught reacting to the situation. “They felt it was a break-up. It was really difficult,” said Morrison. While it might be easier to keep the results of the research quiet, Morrison felt there was value in talking about the experience and bringing his information forward to prevent others from making the same mistakes. He urges those involved with research to consider what’s at stake for participants and establish protocols to guide how research relationships end. The information gathered through this project will help inform community organizations including public health officials, family physicians, dieticians, outreach workers, and school counselors about the lives of obese, adolescent boys. Morrison also shared his findings in classes at MHC to equip future graduates for their work in the community, and with other professionals at an international qualitative health research conference in Montréal last fall.

hrough research with the University of Lethbridge, MHC sport and wellness coordinator Zakk Morrison attempted to better understand the complex lives of overweight and obese adolescent boys. Within a qualitative research setting, Morrison began the project with the intent to understand the complexity of this demographic and add to the literature in this area, but the results were unexpected. “The whole project was a surprise. Everything we found, everything we did – none of it worked,” said Morrison. “Qualitative research calls that the ‘Ouch Factor.’” The project began in 2008 when Morrison was mentoring a boy that was overweight. He was working on his master’s degree through the U of L and believed there would be value in gaining more knowledge about this demographic. With funding from the university and the support of a very experienced committee made up of health professionals, dieticians and researchers from across the province, the project should have achieved its intended outcomes, said Morrison. From difficulties recruiting enough participants for the sensitive project – Morrison was hoping for 20 and got three – to the ethics of working with a vulnerable population, the results were unexpected but valuable nonetheless. His first challenge was to connect with the population through a trusted adult: a parent, sibling or youth centre worker. Unfortunately, that’s where the recruitment process stalled, as the sensitivity of the subject made it difficult to approach the idea, let alone single out potential participants. Even before the consent forms were signed and research underway, a significant amount of trust and rapport had to be established with the boys and their parents, he said. Over the course of the project, Morrison spent considerable time with these individuals and gained a greater understanding of who they were and a deeper appreciation of the challenges they

RESE A R C HER: Giles Woodward, design instructor Educated in the UK, Woodward has worked as a designer, communicator, consultant and educator

THE P R O JECT: Using the local to solve everyday communications problems According to Woodward, sometimes the best solution to a problem is the simplest solution. People communicate their messages using localized language and available resources without the need for expensive, pre-packaged solutions. He believes in the ‘local’ as an alternate strategy to consider when tackling communication and is exploring various case studies where the local is used effectively. Woodward hopes to change the way people think about solving communications problems.

THE I M P ACT: Through this scholarly activity, Woodward is able to blend theory and practice in the classroom by providing students with real-life communications problems to solve. There is also an opportunity to help businesses improve their communications strategy and reduce their environmental impact by coming up with unique ways to solve problems. TIM E L I N E: Research paper scheduled for completion in June 2013. FUN D I N G : MHC Internal Grant

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RIPARIAN A R E A S A ND OUTFALLS RESEARCHER: Kathleen Hilsden, ecotourism and outdoor leadership (ETOL) student under the supervision of Russel Krasnuik, ETOL instructor

CPR P E R F O R M AN CE U S I N G H IG H FIDELITY S I M U L A T IO N RESEARCHERS: Matthew Jubelius, RN, Manager of Health Simulation Duane Delaurier, EMT-P, Paramedic Instructor data collected from the simulators, which measured the average compression rate, depth and ventilations delivered. The result of this research was an accurate reflection of the technical proficiency of students which helped identify possible knowledge gaps.

THE PROJECT: Inventory of riparian areas and outfalls along the South Saskatchewan River A ground-truthing survey was conducted by Hilsden along the South Saskatchewan to document all the locations where water is taken out or put back into the river. The inventory took note of all intakes for irrigation, outfalls for sewage discharge and other diversions of water that were largely undocumented. Hilsden also mapped the riparian areas, locations immediately adjacent to the stream itself that are susceptible to flooding and other damage. Particular reference was given to cottonwood trees as indicators of riparian health.

THE PROJECT:

Data collection of paramedic CPR performance The integration of high fidelity simulation (HFS) has enhanced education at MHC in an anecdotal sense but there has been little institutional data to measure or support its use. In this particular project, high fidelity patient simulators were used to measure the competency of paramedic students, allowing instructors to evaluate technical performance and provide students with evidence-based feedback. Events were conducted that required students to evaluate the condition of the high fidelity patient simulator and administer CPR. Students were asked to complete a post-event questionnaire to review their own performance. Their evaluation was then compared to the

THE IMPACT:

HFS provides paramedic students with opportunities to experience simulated events in a controlled, learning environment. Not only do these scenarios increase technical proficiency, they help identify areas for improvement. This results in a higher degree of confidence and ability of paramedics entering the workforce, leading to improved patient safety.

THE IMPACT: The information gathered through this project was of particular interest to the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance and the City of Medicine Hat as it provided a greater understanding of the river system and its potential impact on the health of local residents and livestock. TIMELINE: Project completed July 2012 FUNDING: South East Alberta Watershed Alliance / Alberta Rural Development Network

TIMELINE:

January 2012 – June 2012

FUNDING:

MHC Internal Grant

Medicine Hat College Office of Innovation and Scholarship 403-502-8996 wgarrison@mhc.ab.ca www.mhc.ab.ca/research

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RESEARCH BRIEF


Kevin Ma: From student to teacher THEN & NOW KEVIN MA TRADED IN HIS FRINGE LEATHER JACKET FOR A LAB COAT AND HARD HAT AFTER RETURNING TO MHC LAST YEAR TO TEACH POWER ENGINEERING

PHOTO BY PIXELDUST PHOTOGRAPHY

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hen Kevin Ma arrived at Medicine Hat College in 1971 to study university transfer science, little did he know that he would be back on campus 41 years later as an instructor in the power engineering technology program. Ma was born in a small village in China and attended school in Hong Kong before arriving in Vancouver at the age of 19. He applied to many post-secondary schools but MHC was the first to accept him so he packed his bags and headed for the prairies. After studying chemistry at MHC, his academic career took him and his wife across Canada to southern Ontario where he attended the University of Waterloo and graduated with a degree in mathematics. Unable to find employment in his field of study, he began working at manufacturing companies like Kellogg’s and Campbell’s, keeping him well-stocked in soup and cereal while sparking his interest in power engineering. With eight-hour workdays, Ma found he had a lot of free time on his hands and began studying power engineering on his own. He eventually went back to school at the University of Guelph to complete a degree in system design and computer engineering as well as graduate work. Following the economic downturn in 2009, Ma took a buyout package from his employer and headed back to BC where

he worked as a safety officer in Kelowna before moving to Fort St. John to teach at Northern Lights College. While Ma enjoyed the teaching aspect of his new career, he enjoyed the long, cold northern winters much less. Fond memories of being a student at MHC and a desire to remain in a smaller community brought Ma full circle back to the Hat. Now, with an office above the boiler room of the power engineering lab, he’s found the best of both worlds – a great teaching position at the perfect temperature. “Helping students get their professional ticket is rewarding,” said Ma, who teaches first-year courses in the two-year diploma program. “I like teaching first years because they have no knowledge of power engineering and I can open their eyes to new possibilities.” While there have been many changes on campus since his time as a student – his old classroom is gone and Human Resources is now located where the library once stood – the friendly environment of the school and the community have not changed. “At big universities, the relationships with colleagues are not as good. I know everybody here and like the atmosphere,” said Ma.

MA POSES IN FRONT OF MEDICINE HAT COLLEGE AS A STUDENT IN THE 1970s

THE COLLEGE LIBRARY BEFORE IT MOVED TO ITS NEW HOME IN THE B-WING. PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY KEVIN MA

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for all the steps along your path CONNECT WITH OVER

20,000 ALUMNI

Whether you are just starting out on your path, or have years of experience that you could share, MHC wants to hear from you. The Alumni Office offers great benefits, but the best one is staying connected with your college!

BENEFITS • HOME AND AUTO WITH TD INSURANCE 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

ALUMNI RELATIONS

mhc.ab.ca/alumni

alumni@mhc.ab.ca

1.403.504.3667

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Summer in the BY SHARLENE HERTZ Summer will soon be upon us again in Medicine Hat. Do you have plans to enjoy what we have to offer here in our own city? This was the question presented to a group of students in the global tourism and marketing (GTAM) program at MHC last semester. As part of a real-life class assignment for Canadian Badlands, students were required to think about the attractions an outsider might want to visit while in Canada’s Sunniest City. Canadian Badlands held their annual Tourism Development Conference earlier this spring and wanted to provide delegates with a chance to experience the sights and sounds of Medicine Hat. Our students were asked to develop tour packages that could be delivered to delegates on the final day of the conference. They spent hours researching the attractions within Medicine Hat and presented their tours to representatives from Canadian Badlands. Not only did the students highlight various locations around Medicine Hat including Medalta Potteries, the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, the EwartDuggan House, Finlay Bridge, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Station, they wove in stories of colourful characters to bring the Hat’s history to life. The tours also featured traditional native dances on the grounds of the World’s Largest Teepee and letterboxing through the trails of Police Point Park. When you start to identify just how much Medicine Hat has to offer, it’s easy to plan your summer holidays without ever having to leave the city. In addition to the many local attractions, there are also plenty of events that allow you to get outside and enjoy the wonderful weather including Spectrum, JazzFest, Sandfly Festival, and the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede. As a long time resident of Medicine Hat, my family has enjoyed spending our holidays within the city every summer. Too often, we are busy planning our summer vacation outside of the area and forget to take advantage of what we have in our own backyard. I encourage you to add the many local attractions and events to your bucket list and start making plans to enjoy yourself in Canada’s Sunniest City this summer. Sharlene Hertz is the coordinator of the global tourism and marketing program. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CITY OF MEDICINE HAT

SUNRISE ROTARY TRAIL AT MEDICINE HAT COLLEGE real32

Take a walk on the


Summer Reads

While they claimed it was a challenge to pick just one, here are the top summer reads from the staff at the Vera Bracken Library. Visit the college library over the summer months to enjoy a great selection of books, comfortable reading areas and friendly staff.

CHRIS’ PICK: Emperor of Paris (C.S. Richardson) Set against the backdrop of pre-WWII Paris, Richardson’s sophomore effort is a feast for the senses with local cuisine, art, and literature permeating each character and story thread throughout the novel. The plot follows two generations of the Notre-Dame family, modest but renowned bakers in the city’s 8th district, as they navigate the joys and devastation of everyday life. I turned to this book for an escape after several months of non-fiction, and walked away pleasantly surprised. TERRY’S PICK: Silence of the lambs (Thomas Harris) One of my favorites is ‘Silence of the lambs’ by Thomas Harris. This is a novel that once I started reading, I just couldn’t put it down. The character of ‘Hannibal Lecter’ gave me shivers and I always love a good thriller. The fact that the movie was so good as well was a bonus. I wouldn’t recommend having red wine or fava beans anytime soon after reading this book!

VALARIE’S PICK: Wild: a journey from lost to found (Cheryl Strayed) This fascinating memoir shares Cheryl’s three month, 1,100 km hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The author, a novice hiker, says that she took this arduous journey in order to save herself. Although I read this book several months ago, I still often reflect on Cheryl’s journey and I think that others might enjoy joining her on this trek.

LANA’S PICK: Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) Good Earth tells the story of Chinese peasant farmer, Wang Lung and his struggle to rise from poverty to wealth and privilege. Throughout his life he learns many lessons about human nature, some of them humorous, some of them painful, all of them valuable, in his journey of hard work and self-discovery. And through it all, Wang Lung remains true to his farming roots, and always, his love for the land and the good earth that has provided him with so much.

DARLENE’S PICK: Conagher (Louis L’Amour) I love the Old West and this book contains all that and more – rustlers, cowboys, gun battles and ordinary people just trying to survive the harsh climate of the prairies. Conagher is a tough lonely cowboy looking for a place to hang his hat and he finally finds his lady love and rides off into the sunset.

For the kids KEITH’S PICK: Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (Judith Viorst) This classic children’s book is one that we can all equate to as we share with Alexander his awful day where everything goes wrong for him, starting with his bad day at school and ending with lima beans for supper. Even though he thinks escaping to Australia will solve his problems, he finds out that some days are like that, even in Australia! As someone who also escaped to Australia for a year, I can tell you that there are indeed some days like that there too. real33


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Gilda the Goose garners national headlines Paramedic students test their skills in An Amazing Race MHC signs new education degree partnership with Mount Royal University 3

New multi-purpose trades lab opens on Brooks Campus CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

International students share their culture on campus 4 *PHOTOS BY PIXELDUST PHOTOGRAPHY

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Profile for Medicine Hat College

real: Spring 2013  

real: Spring 2013  

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