Mohawk College Alumni In Touch Magazine - Fall 2013

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Fall ‘13

touch For Alumni & Friends of Mohawk College

Spring ‘13

touch For Alumni & Friends of Mohawk College

Grads Excelling in Their Careers & Communities

Stay Connected...

You get to choose how you would like to be engaged as a Mohawk Alumni, and your membership is for life. Alumni Association Council – provide advice & direction on Alumni activities Convocation Speakers – share your experiences with the graduating class Meet the Grad Nights – come back and talk with students who are about to graduate from your program/school Attend one our Annual Events In Touch magazine – contribute to our Alumni magazine by writing an article Volunteer Opportunities – committee and event positions Participate in Academic Placement Programs – provide a placement for a student Program Advisory Committees – volunteer and assist the college in shaping the curriculum for programs Job Centre Connections – provide co-op employment opportunities Nominate an alumnus/alumna – for an Alumni of Distinction Award Be a Class Connector and organize a class reunion





Mohawk College Alumni Association Group


Visit our website - Email us – Stop by and visit us at the ALUMNI HOUSE anytime!!



touch Hamilton | Stoney Creek | Brantford Publisher Mohawk College Alumni Association Editor Wendy Makey

alumni news 10 Meet the Convocation Alumni Speakers

Design and Production Sofa Communicatons Photography Meaghan Drury, Sean Coffey, Tanya Wilkes, Mary Hrycay, Dave Banko, Carm DeLuca

Editorial Advisory Board Wayne Joudrie – President, Mohawk College Foundation, Wendy Makey – Director, Alumni Relations, Meaghan Drury – Alumni Communications and Data Officer, Kristy Ryerson – Alumni Assistant, Kelly Dunham – Alumni Services Coordinator, Lidia Siino – Past Alumni Council Member

Fall ‘13

Contributors Gary Nelson, Wendy Makey, Jay Robb, Sean Coffey, Bernetta Scime, Al Craig, Margaret Thompson, Darren Desmarais, Karen Lavell, Kristy Ryerson, Steve Kosh, Meaghan Drury, Linda Rourke, Lorne Kadish, Lexie Clark, Lidia Siino, Jessica Scott, Marco Felvus, Lu Ann Pannunzio, Megan Campbell, June Meeboer, Aminu Bello, Tanya Wilkes, Brent Kinnaird, Jennifer Elson, Steve Marsh, Narine Dat Sookram, Kevin Ford, Elaine Principi, Debbie Logel Butler, Mark Runciman, Tony Lew

16 Planting Our Roots




20 Meet the 2012 Alumni of Distinction Recipients

For Alumni & Friends of Mohawk College

Spring ‘13

For Alumni & Friends of Mohawk College

Grads Excelling in Their Careers & Communities Publication Mail Agreement 40065780

On October 24, 2013, eight outstanding Alumni will be honoured as the 2012 Alumni of Distinction Recipients.

Content Coordinator Meaghan Drury InTouch is published semi-annually by the Office of Alumni Relations at Mohawk College. This magazine is circulated to alumni and friends of Mohawk College. Ideas and opinions published or expressed in InTouch do not necessarily reflect those of Mohawk College, The Alumni Association, or the Editor. Publications Mail Agreement Number 400065780 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Office of Alumni Relations - Alumni House Mohawk College Foundation P.O. Box 2034 Hamilton, ON L8N 3T2 To update your Alumni Record, please contact: Phone: 905.575.2258, Fax: 905.575.2443 or the address above.

in every issue 4

Welcoming Words


Alumni News and Events

28 Around Campus 34 Keeping In Touch 43 Calendar of Events


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president’s column

congratulations to our award-winning alumni Rob MacIsaac – President, Mohawk College We ask a lot from our alumni. We look to you for advice and guidance to improve our programs. We rely on your professional connections for placement and job opportunities. And sometimes we ask you to support us financially. But what we want the most is for you to be successful, because the greatest measure of our success as a college is the success of our graduates. When you succeed you set an example and mark a path for future generations of Mohawk students to follow. Our alumni are an important part of the Mohawk story and we enjoy sharing your stories as often as we can because it is one of the best ways to promote and sell our college. In this issue you’ll read about eight successful Mohawk alumni, this year’s Alumni of Distinction Award recipients. They are presidents and CEOs of successful organizations. They are successful entrepreneurs, educators and accomplished professionals with rewarding careers in diverse fields such as broadcasting, community services and healthcare. This year’s recipients include alumni like Mechanical Engineering Technologist (1975) grad Kevin Ford, founder and CEO of Parliant Corporation. Kevin’s company is a two-time winner of the Best Product of the Show at the MacWorld Expo and winner of Best Product of the Year from MacWorld Magazine. There’s Narine Dat Sookram, a recent (2013) graduate of the Social Service Worker program and founder and president of Active Vision Charity Association which promotes Indo-Caribbean culture in Canada and helps newcomers adjust to their new surroundings. And this year there’s also one of Mohawk’s own, professor Marco Felvus. Marco graduated from the College’s Child and Youth Worker program in 1999. He now teaches in the same program and is highly regarded in the community, where he works with organizations committed to helping youth facing issues ranging from mental illness to bullying. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients. Their achievements shine a spotlight on what it means to be a Mohawk graduate and brings life to our vision of creating prosperous communities and transformed lives. With more than 90,000 Mohawk graduates across Canada, I’m sure there are many more success stories out there. We hope that you’ll take the time to share them with us. Please contact Mohawk’s Alumni Association to tell us your story, or nominate deserving alumni for a future Alumni of Distinction Award.


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We design for print, web …and pretty much anything else you can think of. Mohawk College | Fennell Campus | Room C018 905.575.2311 |

The Print Shop is your one stop for print solutions.

greetings from the alumni council chair With the spring convocation complete, we welcome all the new Mohawk College Alumni to the Association. Now that you are a graduate of Mohawk College, you are entitled to the many benefits the Alumni Association has to offer. I would ask that you take a moment to look at the alumni website ( and make yourself familiar with its content. The website is the best place to get the latest information about the Association and upcoming events. My ask for all alumni is that you take some time to think about how you can give back to Mohawk College and your Alumni Association. You may want to join the Alumni Advisory Council, become an Alumni Ambassador to promote the good work of Mohawk College, become involved in our MYAC (Mohawk Young Alumni Connection) group or join the mentor program to allow others to learn from your life experiences. Paying it forward will give you personal satisfaction and help the association grow stronger. The other important thing is to stay in touch with the Alumni Association. Make sure that you keep your contact information current. (address, phone number, email) Throughout the year the Alumni Association sends correspondence by mail and electronically to help keep you informed about events and to help you keep in touch with your many friends that you have made during your days at Mohawk. Make sure these lines of communication remain open by ensuring we always have your updated information. In October, the Alumni Association will be hosting the 2012 Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner. Take a few moments to learn more about his year’s winners by reading their profiles in this issue. It is also time to start thinking about nominations for next year’s Alumni of Distinction Awards. If you know someone who is deserving of this honour please contact the association to begin the application process. This past June, the Alumni Council held its annual meeting. At the annual meeting, we welcomed two new council members: Sara Kinnear and Alan Griffiths. In addition, I was honored to be elected Chair of the council. This fall the council will meet to set the agenda for the coming year and discuss how the council will best be able to use the many talents of the individual members to make the Mohawk College Alumni Association the best in Canada. As you know, the Alumni council represents all alumni of Mohawk College and we are your voice. If you have anything that you would like to discuss please contact one the alumni council members so that your voice can be heard. In closing on behalf of the Mohawk College Alumni Advisory Council, I would like to thank all alumni for their support over the past years and once again I invite all of you to stay in touch, be involved and promote Mohawk College.

Gary Nelson ‘85 Business Administration


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slate of officers

2013-2014 Mohawk College Alumni Association Advisory Council

Gary Nelson Chair Business Administration, 1985

Marcine Blake Vice-Chair Recreation Leadership, 1988

Sandra Ireland Past Chair Nursing, 1990

Erin Kimbell Director Business Marketing Coop, 2007

Dana Jacobs Director Business Marketing, 2006

Jody Matheson Director Advertising, 1994

Darren Hardenbrook Director Transportation Engineering Technology, 1995

Samara Young Director Police Foundations, 2004

Alan Griffiths Director Environmental Technician, 2009

Sara Kinnear Director Recreation and Leisure, 1989

Sera Nicosia Director Nursing, 1981

Ryan Chow President, MSA

The Alumni Association thanks these individuals for their valued contributions to Alumni activities, committees and meetings on behalf of the Alumni of Mohawk College. We appreciate your dedication.


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Jackie Fulton President, MCACES

the importance of storytelling Wendy Makey , ‘93 – Director, Alumni Relations

Storytelling in general is a communal act. Throughout human history, people would gather around, whether by the fire or at a tavern, and tell stories. One person would chime in, then another, maybe someone would repeat a story they heard already but with a different spin. It’s a collective process. Joseph Gordon-Levitt Everyone loves a good story. Stories have been told for years, going back decades to 27,000 years ago when there were cave paintings. All stories have purpose and meaning. They bring people together for different reasons. Working in Alumni Relations, listening to stories and telling stories is part of our work. We hear stories every day. Stories of motivation, stories of challenge and stories of triumph and success. No one story is the same as no one alumnus or student is the same. We continue the communal act of storytelling and share the stories we hear. We share because one person’s

story can provide inspiration to others. Inspiration to persevere and overcome obstacles, inspiration to risk and try a different approach or inspiration for someone else to share a story, their story. We learn from every story we hear. We take away bits and pieces and apply them to a situation, helping us to take another step forward. As a member in the Mohawk College Alumni community I would like to encourage you to share your story. Mohawk graduates are doing incredible things across the globe. Making amazing strides in their work, in their communities and impacting society. Stand up tall and share of a time you were challenged in your career, or you were innovative in your thinking or you took a collaborative approach, or share your success story; we want want to hear from you. Email your stories to and they will be published online or in our upcoming magazine. It’s a collective process. Tell us your story. Inspire and motivate us. Let us learn from you.

Keep in Touch

Donations support Scholarships & Bursaries The outstanding legacy we, as alumni, leave is not only one of commitment to improving our communities, but one that involves sharing time and resources with future graduates.

Please look for the 2013 Alumni Annual Fund Appeal in your mailbox or inbox this Fall.

Mohawk College has initiated an Alumni Annual Fund to assist in providing students with the very best.

For more information please contact Wendy Makey at 905-575-2080 or

We encourage you to help make someone’s dreams come true by donating to the Alumni Annual Appeal.


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Recent Graduate ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mohawk College Employee ~ Business ~ Technology ~ Creative Arts & Design ~ Health Sciences ~ Human Services ~ Recent Graduate ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mohawk College Employee ~ Business ~ Technology ~ Creative Arts & Design ~ Health Sciences ~ Human Services ~ Recent Graduate ~ Entrepreneur ~ Moha College Employee ~ Business ~ Technology ~ Creative Arts & Design ~ Health Sciences Human Services ~ Recent Graduate ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mohawk College Employee ~ Bus

2012 awards

Thursday, October 24, 2013 Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre

Recent Graduate

Linda R o u r k e

Marco F e l v u s

Health Sciences


Mohawk College Employee

$70 Individual | $550 Table of 8 - purchase your tickets online


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Creative Arts & Design

Debbie Logel butler


Steve Marsh

Narine Dat Sookram


Elaine Principi

Mark Runciman

Kevin Ford

5:15pm - Community Reception 6:00pm - Dinner & Awards

Community Services

alumninews news alumni

pre-convocation receptions To provide an extra-special experience to the newest group of graduates on their convocation day, the Alumni Association hosted three pre-convocation receptions, in a pilot project, giving these grads a final opportunity to meet-up with friends and re-connect with their instructors prior to robing and crossing the stage. Pre-convocation, a small reception put on by the Alumni Association this year was a great way to start the festivities of Convocation. A few classmates and myself decided we would attend the reception as it would be a great time to talk to our teachers one last time to let them know what had been going on in our lives over the almost month long stretch between the last exam and convocation. The chaos after the convocation ceremony made it almost impossible to meet up with any of my classmates or teachers so I was grateful to the alumni association for providing us with an hour of socialization time before the craziness of graduating ensued.

Lexie Clark, Office Administration - Medical ‘13 Convocation was a day I will always remember. As part of the graduation day festivities, the Alumni Association hosted a pre-convocation reception for all graduates to enjoy. It was the perfect time to enjoy good food, share excitement with classmates and catch up with instructors. Immediately following the reception, the excitement continued as graduates were walked down to receive their gowns. It was a great feeling walking across the stage knowing we were about to start a new chapter in our lives. The pre-convocation reception was a great start to an unforgettable day.

Megan Campbell, Recreation & Leisure Services ‘13


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alumni news

2013 spring convocation speakers

Shelley Lang

Recreation Leadership ‘95

“Your teachers won’t like me saying this, but most of you grads will forget what happened in the classrooms, the assignments, and the exams we gave you. But you’ll never forget the confidence you’ve gained from these experiences Mohawk College has given you.

The Alumni Spring Convocation Speakers share their advice and insights with the Class of 2013...

It’s this confidence that will get you through the interviews you have ahead of you. It is this confidence that will stay with you and help you find your chosen career path. And it’s this confidence you will have to lean on when you need it during challenging times. ”

Kelly Ann Pauly

Computer Systems Technology ‘82

“The world will continue to change rapidly. Technology and the globalization of all industries will impact all disciplines, not just technology graduates, but any discipline - business, arts, medical, media, etc. You will have many twists and turns throughout your career – but the key is to follow your passion – even if it is different from where you are starting off now. My career path was defined as starting out as a COBOL computer programmer, then moving up to a systems analyst, then to a supervisor, then to a manager. I did not follow that path. I accidentally fell into the profession of project management very early on. The key is that I love what I do!”


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alumni news


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alumni news Jay McQueen

Stacey Brown

Journalism & Communications ‘02

Concurrent Disorders ‘11

“The college has armed you with the tools you need to go out and get started in this fast paced, ever-evolving world of media.

“…I am here because of taking every prospect that came my way and treating them as learning experiences. Treating them as a way to develop not only my resume, but my connections, as well as myself as a social service worker.

Your passion is what will shine through in interviews with potential employers. Your passion is what will keep you going in an industry where more and more, success is not measured by how much money you make, but how early your alarm goes off.” “But your edge is that you’ve been trained to be multidimensional… You know what a hashtag is and how to use it. You’re internet savvy -- and you have to be.”

Jody Matheson Advertising ‘94

“The web will change. Business will change. How we do business will change. But you control your own change. When my parents worked, they went to work in the morning, they came home at night, and never the two did meet. There was work life and there was home life. Now, it’s just life. Work is an experience, just like a trip to Colorado or college. Expectations may differ, but I’d guess that your phone buzzes day and night. An email about homework. An invite for Friday night. A request to change shifts from work. It’s no longer work and home. It’s all life.”


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Which leads me to another point… never ever burn your bridges. I’m sure you have all dealt with difficult bosses, employees, teachers, and peers. Although these people may test your limits, each and every one of them will teach you a valuable lesson. They will teach you how to handle yourself under pressure. Teach you how to overcome difficult situations. And teach you how to make yourself a better person. All of which are integral learning lessons for being in the professional world.”

Jamie Petrie

Recreation & Leisure Services ‘94

“You are now part of a team. It’s a very big team. It’s a really great team. A very well respected team. That team is Team Mohawk. You are about to be very pleasantly surprised how many members of this team there are all over this great city and in fact all across this great Country. As an alumni you have earned your spot on this team. You have earned the love and respect of your teammates. You dug in the corners. You gave it 110%. You stuck to the coaches system. It was gut check time and you came through! I am absolutely honoured to have the privilege of being one of the first to say to you. Welcome to the team!”

alumni news

Follow us on twitter @mohawkalumni Scott Kenney@scott_kenney

Lexie Clark@aclark 11

Graduating from @MohawkCollege today!! Can’t wait to to become an official @MohawkAlumni woohoo!!! d #mohawkgrad Alex Sulzer@AlexSulzer21

Congratulations to the new grads of the Creative Photography - Still & Motion program at Mohawk College #keepshooting

Graduation Day! #mohawkcollege

Advantage Packaging @AdvBranded

Congrats to our newest team member Diane who is graduating with honors from #MohawkCollege today.


@MohawkCollege lege The joy and energy was palpable at convocation tonight. What a celebration. Great vibe. Proud of my son. Congrats to all!!

Joanna Ward @meanerjoanna

Officially a @MohawkCollege graduate! Best day ever! Adam Pipe @AdamPipe1


@MSAmohawk @MohawkAlumni ConGRADtulationss to the Class of 2013! Be proud of your achievements!

Can’t wait to see all the #Grads at todays @MohawkCollege #Brantford Convocation. The newest member of our @MohawkAlumni Assn #Futuready


Off to @MohawkCollege. One more convocation to go. Happy to welcome each of them to @MohawkAlumni. Alumni. Congratulations! danrussell@danrussell67

@MohawkAlumni @MohawkCollege Huge round of applause 4 the future they will enjoy as leaders in their industries. Chins Up folks #ProudGrads


Graduated today! Pleasure shaking the hand of @MohawkCollege’s president @RobMacIsaac #CYW #anythingspossible #graduate


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alumni news

On a gorgeously sunny Friday morning on the last day of May, the Mohawk Alumni Association held our 9th Annual Alumni Golf Classic. Welcoming over 100 golfers to Flamborough Golf & Country Club, it was a great day of friendly competition among Mohawk Alumni and friends.

Congratulations to the Top Teams!

A very special thank you to all of our sponsors, our tournament would not be possible without you.

Tournament Sponsors

Men’s – (Emcee Al Craig) Mario Suffoletta, Larry Snaidero, Fred Elbe, Jonathan Walton-Ball

Women’s – Patricia Stevens, Linda Balemba, Chelsea Smyth

Mixed – Jim Drury, Sheila Drury, John Locke, Brandon Warren


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• Event Sponsor – Johnson Insurance • Breakfast Sponsor – ESB Lawyers • Registration Gift – Leader Frames • Print Media Sponsor – The Hamilton Spectator • Cart Sponsor – Bank of Montreal • Putting Contest – McDonalds (Hamilton) • Snack/Refreshment Cart – Campus Living Centres

Specialty Hole Sponsors

• Sofa Communications • Upper James Toyota • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar (Hamilton) • Mohawk Young Alumni Connection • Splitsville • Stokoe Communications

Hole Sponsors

• Linda Marshall ‘82 • The Marshall Family • Elite Events Management Inc. • Steve Marsh ‘81 - Alumni Insurance Services • Steve Marsh ‘81 - Business Insurance Services • The Morasse Family George ‘70, Tammy ‘95, Ryan ‘00 • Mohawk College Conference Services • Carmen’s • Lee & Murphy Family Kelvin ‘90, Erin ‘91 • Michael Leone - Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc. • Mohawk College Foundation • “Etiquette Excellence” by Fatima DiValentin • Dave McKay - State Farm Insurance

Mark it in your calendar! 10th Annual Alumni Golf Classic – Friday, May 30, 2014 Watch for early bird prices to begin in March 2014.

alumni news

Enjoy a “hands-on” tutorial on using proper etiquette during a four course meal.



Avoid disappointment and register early. We’ve sold out for the last 4 years!


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alumni alumninews news

planting our roots Confederation Park - Hamilton By Jessica Scott On May 4th, Mohawk College Sustainability Office, Mohawk College Alumni Association and Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington teamed up to plant 300 trees along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Hamilton. The Inaugural Planting Our Roots event brought out 60 alumni, student and staff volunteers and their families to plant trees in an effort to improve the health and viability of a section of the Conservation Area at Confederation Park, Hamilton. The Mohawk College community of staff, alumni and their families dug in to support this initiative with some help from Mohawk College President, Rob MacIsaac, Vice President of Academic, Cheryl Jensen, and President of the Mohawk College Foundation, Wayne Joudrie. This collaboration is part of a multi-year program that will prevent expansion of invasive tree species and provide some competition and diversity. This planting initiative will help anchor the soil, protect from further


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soil erosion and increase biodiversity while providing enhanced habitat for migratory birds. Key partners in this initiative include the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington provided lessons on tree planting while explaining the importance of this project and benefits to the diverse plant and animal species that live along the shoreline. Earth Day also coordinated an on-location waste program where nearly all lunch items were composted or recycled. We would like to thank all volunteers for their participation in the 2013 Planting Our Roots!

Sustainability Office of the Month Award In May, the Mohawk College Alumni Office was named the Sustainable Department of the month for our partnership and efforts in organizing the Planting Our Roots event.

alumni news

a roaring good time... By Marco Felvus, ‘99

On July 6, 2013 our Alumni Association organized their second family event. The event encouraged alumni to bring their families to African Lion Safari while enjoying all the benefits of a regular admission plus perks such as a face to trunk encounter with a very talented elephant and a close up with two cheetah’s on leashes. Sitting less than ten feet away from a wild cheetah starring at my family and I, made the day! We also had an all you can eat gourmet BBQ complete with family prize packs and special safari hats for all of the children. The cost of the day was well worth the exclusive feeling my family experienced. Thanks to the Mohawk Alumni Association for realizing

how important our families are to us. One of the goals of graduating from Mohawk was to obtain a career where I feel energized getting up every morning. A hidden goal was also to support a family so I feel energized returning home each day. It was wonderful sharing my career progression and my family with former classmates that I didn’t expect to see ever again. I hope to see more of you at the next Mohawk College Alumni Family Event! Marco Felvus (“CYW” Alumni) with partner, Scott McBain (“Advertising and Marketing” Alumni and currently a “Graphic Design and Production” Full Time Student graduating in April 2014) and our 3 year old twins, Brexton and Phoenix.


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alumni news

reunion news

Television Broadcasting Class of 1990 Reunion By Linda Rourke , ‘90

Just 17 heading to a new city to meet a bunch of new people, having to be totally responsible for your life – yeah I know it can be overwhelming, cool and exciting all at once – remember! But we all go through it and some of us are lucky enough to meet, gain and develop best friends. And that is exactly the way it happened for a group of television students at Mohawk College. It was 1987 and about 30 of us were accepted into the televisionbroadcasting program at Mohawk. We were thrown into a room and asked to talk about ourselves. Talk about pressure (what the heck do I say that will impress this group?). Well after a sigh of relief when that was done, we all realized we had a pretty good group of kids and a new chapter in our lives began. One that over the past 26 years has developed into a pretty awesome story. Mohawk was an incredible experience and we became a tight knit group and believe it or not most of us are still friends today. After graduation a group of the girls decided a Christmas party would be a great way to get everyone together. The first few years it was pretty much the entire class (all 20 of us – 1 or 2 went AWOL, and we haven’t seen or heard from them since grad). So the TV gang was born and pretty much every year since we have gathered at Christmas – no matter how many were able to come. A number of years ago (I think my boys were 6 and 8 at the time, now 12 and 14) we did a kids Christmas party – so we could meet each other’s offspring. A really fun experience, but exhausting - so after that we did more adult gatherings often in January as the holiday season became too busy. One of our classmates (who has an amazing place in Hamilton


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with an incredible backyard) had offered up his place to do a summer get-together where we could once again bring all the kids. So after years of promising (OK I made him stick to a date – but he was happy to obilge) we finally had that summer party. So this past June the group of us connected once again – with our kids! Now spanning the spectrum in ages – the youngest 2 and the oldest 15. The television graduating class of 1990 - consisting of a dynamic group – pretty much all of which are still working in the industry today, continue the tradition of a yearly gathering. The best part is it always feels so comfortable – like time hasn’t passed. Ok the wrinkles say otherwise but we don’t feel any different!

St. Joseph’s Campus Nursing Reunion Afternoon Tea On Friday, June 7th during the annual St. Joseph’s Nurses Reunion the Alumni Association hosted an afternoon tea to celebrate with the Mohawk St. Joseph’s Campus nurses. In celebration of the class of 1978’s 35th Reunion, grad Cindy Croft Knoflook created a stained-glass art piece to honour her fellow classmates and co-workers.

Calling the Class of 1988

Computer Systems Technology Celebrating their 25th Reunion on Saturday, October 19th, 2013. Please contact your Reunion Class Connector, Richard Gaunt

regional news

alumni news

up, look back and share the pride of our Mohawk bond. It’s a fun group with diverse professions and backgrounds; we all spring boarded from a great start at Mohawk College. Thank you for making the effort to keep us western settlers connected. It’s so nice to stay in touch! June Meeboer ‘78

Calgary The Mohawk Alumni Association held their Calgary Regional Event at Crowfoot Wine & Spirits where we enjoyed Gourmet Pizza with wine pairings. This event brought Mohawk Alumni together to share past and present experiences and future dreams. It was really interesting to see the different levels of professional stature sitting around one table laughing and enjoying the company. Meeting Mohawk grads who have so much to offer, as they were once in my shoes, was the best take away from this well put on event. The chance to converse about what others have gained along similar career paths really opened my eyes. The time spent together was intriguing and engaged the younger alumni as they listened with open ears, insight, and smirks. This event was informative and a great way for all grads to come together and meet new people who are living in the same city. I thank the Mohawk Alumni Association for giving me the chance to enjoy good laughs, great company, and priceless insight. Morgan Taylor, ‘11

Edmonton What a pleasure to have Wendy and Kelly come to Edmonton each year for our Mohawk Alumni gathering! I look forward to our regional touch points. It’s a beautiful connection filled with laughter and nostalgic filled moments. It’s good to catch

The Edmonton Regional Alumni Event is a means for me to stay in touch with the institution; to know what is changing academically, with services and overall campus layout. For me, a graduate from ‘81, I have been informed and see there have been a lot of changes since ‘81. The annual alumni get-together really puts things into perspective with the progress and direction the college has taken. Albeit the annual event sure does make me fell OLD, but it is a lot of fun reminiscing with people from my old days at the college. I actually look forward to the event every year. It is great to see the people who attended the event and to see the different career paths each graduate has taken. Not only is it a great way to unite, but it also serves a networking purpose to maybe resolve some of our own related work issues. Tony Lew, ‘81 The alumni Edmonton Regional event gives me the opportunity to meet new and reconnect with people who share the ‘Mohawk experience’. There seems to be excitement among past and recent graduates with all the new changes happening on campus. This is always interesting because there seems to be a newfound pride with being a Mohawk Alumni. My experiences at the alumni event allowed me to network with a variety of different people. The array of professions and demographics of the people who attended allowed me to learn a lot of interesting things. Aminu Bello, ‘12


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feature story

meet the 2012 alumni of distinction recipients Business Mark Runciman, Architectural Technology, ‘77 CEO, Royal Botanical Gardens - Hamilton Mark Runciman has been a long standing employee at the RBG starting as Superintendent of Buildings and Equipment in 1984 and moving up in the organization becoming the CEO in 2009. Under the leadership of Mark, new funding arrangements have helped the organization in moving forward, enabling the RBG to continue to play its vitally important role as a living museum and major visitor attraction. Since Mark becoming CEO, the RBG has received several tourism, environmental and building related awards in the past five years. He has also had the pleasure of representing RBG at RBG Kew’s 250th anniversary in London, England and meeting Her Majesty the Queen.

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College? “Don’t leave your Texas Instrument – Scientific Calculator in your locker”. My uncle spent a fortune on this unit and it disappeared in less than a week.

What fictional character/characters do you most personally identify with or admire? Why? Years ago, my wife bought me a Homer Simpson t-shirt as her attempt at humour. At first blush, one wouldn’t think a childish, somewhat selfish, couch potato would be one to identify with, but the reality is, Homer embodies the life that most of us strive for. He balances work, his family and personal life very well. At the end of the day, he loves his wife and kids and would do absolutely anything for them, which is the most important thing for a husband and father.


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I admire him for the way he deals with everyday happenings by connecting them with a moral message and other societal issues, usually while wearing his reading glasses! This is very admirable. I must admit that he makes me laugh, as I do see some similar traits. If you could invite any 5 people to a dinner party who would they be? Other than my wife and children: • My Mom • Alan Parson (Musician) • Gary Larson (Cartoonist) • Clint Eastwood (Actor) • Frank Lloyd Wright (Architect) How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career? Mohawk College’s reputation and in particular the Architectural Technology program were certainly recognized in the community and as a result, helped start my career quickly. I learned about project management; working with others; teamwork; building confidence; presentation skills and that working hard does pay off. All of these elements have helped me throughout my career.

Community Services Debbie Logel Butler, Early Childhood Education, ‘81 Director of Development, Ronald McDonald House Hamilton Debbie Logel Butler has enjoyed many successes in her career, leading up to her

feature story current role at Ronald McDonald House Hamilton where she recently led her team through a capital campaign to expand the House from 15 to 40 bedrooms. The campaign exceeded its $5 million fundraising goal by over $1 million within one year of its launch. She has been responsible for the revitalization of St. Peter’s Foundation fundraising activities and has also previously headed Mohawk College’s first-ever “Shape the Future” capital campaign surpassing their fundraising goal by half a million dollars. Debbie is also a strong member of the community, having been involved with many committees including the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction as a selection committee member, the Association For Healthcare Philanthropy and has been involved with multiple Mohawk Program Advisory Committees.

What 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day? The importance of Life Long Learning and continuing to seek out new learning opportunities whether it is in your workplace, your volunteer work, your community or with your family and friends.

What fictional character/characters do you most personally identify with or admire? Why? Wendy (Peter Pan) The eldest child of the Darling family, who is sweet and polite usually, but she can show strength and steel when threatened. She will fight for her dreams and fight against growing up. She is a fantastic storyteller, telling her brothers of exciting Peter Pan tales. Words to describe Wendy: imaginative, dreamer, polite, sweet, adventurous, mature, motherly, feisty

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Catching up with friends either by phone, email or in person.

What was the #1 reason you chose to attend Mohawk? At the time, my family was living in Owen Sound and Mohawk came highly recommended by the High School Guidance teacher. Also, many ECE teachers that I had met were graduates of Mohawk College.

Creative Arts & Design Linda Rourke, Broadcasting, Television and Communications Media, ‘90 Producer/Host, Hamilton Life – Cable 14 While attending Mohawk, Linda Rourke was deeply involved in the television program, where for three years she hosted the Andy Awards show, the Media department’s annual awards show. It’s a testament to her talent that she is the only student to ever host three years in a row. Her varied media career since graduation has taken her across the country and includes hosting at the weather network in Ontario and British Columbia, Hosting at TSN TV, radio hosting at Country 95.3 and Host/Producer for Vancouver Breakfast (CTV). Linda has also contributed her talents to Mohawk College as a part-time instructor and has volunteered as host for productions for International Women’s Day. Additionally, Linda has taken the time to volunteer on her children’s school parent council as well as on the Waterdown BIA for four years.

What 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day? You can’t change others you can only change how you react to them.

What fictional character/characters do you most personally identify with or admire? Why? I admire the character of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Her growth through the series of books takes her from a know-it-all young teenage girl (like many of us are at times) into a smart beautiful woman that becomes the glue holding everything together. I think many women can identify with finding balance in life, juggling work and family and providing the “glue” to keep things together, that important foundation offering strength, intelligence and compassion. Hermione is that women in all of us.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time? I’m a television grad – I watch TV. Ok and I do yoga and love to read!


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feature story How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

If you could go back in time, what 1 piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of College?

My educational experience at Mohawk gave me the foundation I required to make it in the business. The hands on learning, being put into groups to work on various projects despite your differences and perspectives gave me the ability to work with various types of people in a productive and creative way throughout my entire career.

Don’t be afraid that you don’t know everything, this process is designed to help you figure out what you don’t know and find ways to learn it. The time to be afraid is when you think you do know everything. So join forces with those students/ colleagues who will also admit that they don’t know and see what happens when you mix open thinking, creativity and hard work – magic.

Health Sciences Elaine Principi, Physiotherapy, ‘82 Chief, Physiotherapy Practice – Hamilton Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science – McMaster University Since beginning her role as Chief of Physiotherapy (PT) Practice in the summer of 2010, Elaine Principi has been responsible for the clinical practice of approximately 105 physiotherapists and 40 occupational therapist assistants/ physiotherapist assistants (OTA/PTAs) across six sites at Hamilton Health Sciences. As a sign of her dedication to the field of Physiotherapy, Elaine has taught in the McMaster School of Physiotherapy for many years, being awarded for Outstanding Contribution in Education in 2002 and appointed as an Assistant Clinical Professor in 2009. In her spare time, Elaine has been a selection committee member for the Mohawk College Mountaineer Hall of Fame and has been a volunteer judge for the Hamilton Trillium Garden Award among many other volunteer commitments.

What was the #1 reason you chose to attend Mohawk? The answer to this question is simple. They accepted me! I tried at least 3 times to get into a physiotherapy program and on my second application to Mohawk College I was accepted. So I suppose you could say that Mohawk chose me and for that I am thankful. It was a decision by Mohawk that changed my life. So although Mohawk wasn’t my only choice for physiotherapy school it has been my choice to remain connected as an alumni and support the school that took a chance on me.


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What 3 songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? Any Christmas Carol – Christmas was always an important time in my family life growing up and continues to be a time for old traditions mixed with welcoming new friends to our life. Stompa by Serena Ryder. Although this is a new song it has come to define a major transition in my life. It has also proven to be a very powerful reminder of our ability to look inside ourselves for what we need and take the time to slow down and see the world around us. Any disco song from the 1970’s – We are Family etc. They make me want to dance and that is one of the things I love to do.

If you could invite any 5 people to a dinner party who would they be? Although I understand that this question might be intended to elicit the names of those people we admire and may not get a chance to ever meet I would have to say that I would invite my 5 siblings. Of course with them come their partners and my husband. To me, they are the people I admire the most. We can count on each other without question. Most importantly, I laugh the hardest when I am with them.

Technology Kevin Ford, Mechanical Engineering Technologist, ‘75 CEO, Parliant Corporation A serial Entrepreneur, Kevin Ford is currently the founder and CEO of a mobile applications platform company, Parliant

feature story Corporation. A two time winner of “Best Product of the Show” at MacWorld Expo and winner of “Best Product of the Year” from MacWorld Magazine. Working with the Manitoba Association of Native Languages, in 1995 Kevin’s company created a website that used an on-line storehouse of Cree, Dene, Dakota, and Ojibwe Canadian Aboriginal languages. This technology will ensure that these languages won’t die with the few people who still speak them. In his spare time, Kevin has been a judge for Venture Education Innovation Challenge, where six high school teams compete for the chance to win $1,000 in seed capital for their ventures courtesy of the local Community Futures Development Corporation.

What 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day? There were so many. Most of my teachers were practitioners, not someone with an advanced degree from a university so the advice was based on personal real world experience and very pragmatic. Alas this cannot be said for many university engineering programs taught by people who completed a PhD then became a Prof.

What fictional character/characters do you most personally identify with or admire? Why? MacGyver. He uses his personal moral compass to help the needy, with materials and technologies at hand, using his scientific knowledge and creativity. What better role model for a technologist is there? We all need more of those people.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career? My time at Mohawk was the best educational experience that I have ever had. The college instructors were able to connect the theory to the practical so you could see where what you were learning fit into the real world. I was very engaged contrasted dramatically with the pure theory that followed in my further education.

If you could invite any 5 people to a dinner party who would they be? • Richard Dean Anderson (CDN Actor-Macgyver, Star Gate)

• Ivan Ferguson (developed IMAX and OMNIMAX film systems) • Ken Taylor (Canadian ambassador smuggled Americans out of Iran, 1980 - called The Canadian Caper) • Jim Chamberlin (B.A.Sc. 1936) – (Aerodynamicist and chief designer of the Avro Arrow, major designer for the Gemini space capsule and Apollo Lunar Module) • Malcolm T. Gladwell Outliers)

(author The Tipping point, Blink,

• Don Tapscott (author Wikinomics) All of the above are Canadian with great stories to tell.

Recent Graduate Narine Dat Sookram, Social Service Worker, ‘13 Education Outreach Coordinator, Opportunities Waterloo Region A dedicated and active community member of his home country, Guyana, Narine Dat Sookram’s obsession to serve people continued when he migrated to Kitchener in 1993. He is the founder of the Active Vision Charity Association which seeks to promote Indo-Caribbean culture in Canada and help newcomers assimilate into a new society. Narine also hosts a weekly radio show, “Caribbean Spice” on 100.3 Sound FM Radio, Radio Waterloo where he shares West Indian and Caribbean music and culture with listeners. For his work in the community, Narine has receieved many accolades and awards including, being a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient and receiving the Waterloo Award this year, as well as the Kitchener Post’s “100 Years, 100 People: Here and Now in 2012 and the Waterloo Region 40 under 40 Award in 2010, among others.

What 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day? The one piece of advice that I have received that has stuck with me today is that having a post-secondary education will open up more opportunities.


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feature story What 3 songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

What 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day?

• Thriller by Michael Jackson

“Progress, not Perfection.” When you work, work hard. Harder than the next guy. When you play, do that the same way as you work. Enjoy life and the people around you who you share it with.

• That’s The Way It Is by Celine Dion • You are still the one by Shania Twain

If you could invite any 5 people to a dinner party who would they be? Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Dalai lama, Pope Benedict

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program what would it be? This social service worker program will give you great satisfaction knowing that you are taking a program that empowers people’s lives, meaning you are giving a voice to the voiceless and are advocating for fairness to all. There is nothing more comparable in making a positive difference in someone’s life.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? I like checking out itunes, to build more music for my library. Music drives and inspires me even today.

Talk about a time that you took a risk and failed, and one where you took a risk and succeeded. What was the difference? I think this happens every day. Being in business for yourself, it’s all about finding ways to mitigate risk. When you have successes, it’s usually because you learned something from when you failed.

How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career?

Entrepreneur Steve Marsh, Law & Security, ‘81 Registered and Licensed Insurance Broker, President & Owner, Business Insurance Services After working in the insurance industry for approximately 10 years, Steve Marsh joined a local broker to assist in managing his clients. First starting as an employee and then 10 years ago, he bought the broker’s business. Starting out as a small at-home business Steve and his wife, Rosemary have built it into a business that employs three staff and two off site associates located in an office in Hess Village in Hamilton. Steve has grown the business by 350% and now is proud to represent 65 national and international corporate clients. A dedicated member of his community, Steve has volunteered with Camp Maple Leaf, the Tiger Town Council, Habitat for Humanity and the Mohawk College Alumni Council, among others.


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After navigating my first year, I chose to get involved with College life. I worked in Student Activities, ran Lunch and Learn programs, participated in events with other departments in the school and generally, had a great time. I ran for student government at the end of my first year and quite frankly, that experience changed my life. I learned leadership skills and if you can believe this, after 32 years, still have a handful of people around that I spent my college years with who I call friends. Most importantly I met the coolest girl ever, who today, I call my wife.

Mohawk College Employee Marco Felvus, Child and Youth Worker, ‘99 Coordinator, Human Service Foundation Program Professor, Child and Youth Worker Program Committed to Mohawk and the greater community, Marco Felvus has focused on connecting with and providing

feature story at-risk and marginalized youth with support at Mohawk and in the community. Marco has been involved with Youth Net, an innovative project in Hamilton with the goal to promote mental health and early intervention program for youth ages 13 to 18. He is also a collaborator to CURA (Hamilton’s community-university research alliance for the prevention of bullying). As an educator and a strong member of the Mohawk community, Marco also seeks to enhance his student’s learning experiences outside of the classroom. He has done this by bringing a New York Times best-selling author to speak at Mohawk, and for the past few years organizing “Day of Pink” activities on-campus which focus on raising awareness about homophobia.

What is 1 piece of advice you’ve received in the past has stuck with you to this day? “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see,” my former school bus driver Mrs. Joy Mckinny told me this. Although I now know that she didn’t mean this in the literal sense, it has stuck with me because these words make me want to be sure of what I hear and see.

What fictional character/characters do you most personally identify with or admire? Why? I find it difficult to drift to a fictional view of our world, especially when there is so much work to be done in the real one. I have to admit however that it would be nice to be a superhero and change things in our world that cause oppression and hate. Trying to change the perceptions people have on others is a challenge. Nelson Mandela recognized that education was the only thing we had to change the world, however when education does not reach everyone, or when it falls on narrow-

minded and hateful ears, superhero powers would be helpful.

If you could invite any 5 people to a dinner party who would they be? Mother Teresa (1910-1997) to discuss charity and how love is a fruit always in season. Nelson Mandela to offer his views on leadership. Donald Trump to share business plans on combating inequality. My twins to listen and take what they heard to use it as a weapon to change the world.

If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your program what would it be? I am not sure where I heard this, however I would tell this to any student regardless of what program they are entering, “When you embrace difference in others, you embrace it in yourself”. The last stage of embracing others according to psychologist Dorothy Riddle (1973/74) is “nurture”. When we assume that someone different than who we are is indispensable, we are nurturing them. It really goes beyond basic tolerance or acceptance of others and challenges us to realize our full potential moving forward in a chosen educational adventure. If we only accept others, then we merely accept we have the ability to become great, but if we nurture others, we will nurture our ability to achieve greatness. If you’re planning on working with marginalized children, youth and their families with in the role of a Child and Youth Worker you will need to “relate to the reluctant” as psychologist Larry Brendtro states. Learning how to nurture others is a vital responsibility of a Child and Youth Worker.

2013 Do you know a Mohawk grad who has that something extra? Help us honour outstanding grads doing outstanding work in their careers and communities.

Nomination deadline – March 31, 2014


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Connecting Employers with ‘futureready’ Students and Graduates • • • • • • •

Recruit graduates from over 120 full-time and apprenticeship programs Hire Co-op students from over 30 cooperative education programs Post your full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs with us Attend Career Fairs Host Lunch and Learn Information Sessions Partner with Mohawk for a competitive edge and economic prosperity Visit our website for employer information and services

Co-op Services: Fennell Campus, Room J137 135 Fennell Avenue West, P.O. Box 2034, Hamilton, ON L8N 3T2 Tel: 905-575-2167 or toll free 1-888-546-COOP (2667) | Fax: 905-575-2359 | Email:


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your professional world By Lu Ann Pannunzio, ‘12 With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network helping users find and share opportunities over 200 countries around the world. Are all 90,000 Mohawk College alumni a part of that total? Some may shy away from LinkedIn because they might assume it is like any other social network such as Facebook and Twitter. However, your LinkedIn profile reads like a professional resume. The focus is on your education and employment history rather than a list of your favourite celebrities and movies. “Exposure to a broad range of professionals and companies,” Alexis Aquino-Soriano, Mechanical Engineering Technology 2010 graduate, explains what makes LinkedIn different from other social networks. 1982 Business grad, Edward Stencel, joins in to say, “It’s a great framework to share personal and career information with a wealth of clients, friends and future associates.” On LinkedIn, the people who are part of your network are called your “connections.” This is different than a “friend” on Facebook or someone you choose to “follow” on Twitter. To turn a contact into a connection you need to invite that person to join your network and they need to accept or vice versa. Having someone as your connection on LinkedIn implies that you know the person well or that they’re a business contact.

Getting Started As described by Aleksandra Keser, a 2012 Advertising graduate, “LinkedIn is an online resume that can be updated as you make progress in your career path.” Here are some key areas to focus on when first getting started. Design: When creating your profile, give yourself a unique, yet relevant tagline. Be sure to also upload a professional photo of yourself. Your profile page is more likely to get reviewed if someone can put a face to a name and it will also make it easier to former colleagues to locate your appropriate profile.

References: When you complete a job interview usually the next step would be the employer contacting your references. Treat your LinkedIn profile the same way. After inputting your employment history, try to get at least one recommendation per job. Updates: Stay active with your network by posting regular updates whether it’s relevant articles or blog posts. Groups & Pages: When you first get started an efficient way to build your network is to request invitations to relevant groups and engage regularly with the fellow members. You can easily start by joining the Mohawk College Alumni Association group and following the Mohawk College page. With over 2,000 members on both, there’s bound to be a connection for you in the near future. I began a discussion on the Mohawk College Alumni Association’s LinkedIn Group and asked members what they used LinkedIn for and what they found beneficial. A 2010 graduate from the Tourism and Travel program, Olivia Howell Abel, expresses that she finds the social network to be “a good experience to see what jobs are out there and what they are looking for. It makes it more personal to the job seeker as opposed to a typical job ad that you see on such websites as” LinkedIn is valuable when job searching because it can give you a list of jobs that may be of interest just based on your profile. Another great addition is that you are able to see who in your connections may have some type of link to an employer that is hiring. This feature can especially come in handy if you want to have someone put a good word in for you. In the end, whether you are searching for a job or employed, LinkedIn is a social medium that will assist with keeping in touch with former colleagues, Mohawk College and the Alumni Association. Finding out about leads to possible career moves or job openings has never been easier.


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around campus

MCACES celebrates outstanding CE Instructors Sue Taylor, Social Service Worker Diploma Program Sue teaches the Professional Development Seminar within the Social Service Worker Diploma Program. Students appreciate her dedication to their personal progress. One student nominator had mentioned “She could likely pull off Paint Drying 101 and you’ll get something out of it!”

Ivan Sverko, Fuel Technician And Certification Program Ivan has taught the Gas Fitter 3 course. Students describe this recipient a subject matter expert, who instilled confidence in his students while creating an open learning environment.

On June 5, 2013, the Mohawk College Association of Continuing Education Students (MCACES) hosted the annual Mohawk College Continuing Education Instructor Appreciation Awards. Each year, a call for student nominations is put forward through a variety of communication vehicles. Nominations are accepted year-round and are subject to review through the MCACES Board of Directors Nominating Committee. In order to become a MCACES Instructor Appreciation Award Recipient, the faculty nominee must have taught regularly at Mohawk College, and receive a positive endorsement from their respective Associate Dean. After the nomination period, a selection committee from the MCACES Board of Directors meets to ratify the nominations. From this process, award recipients are selected. This year MCACES was pleased to award this designation to the following recipients. Congratulations to all of our instructors!


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Delores Harms Penner, Library & Information Technician Diploma Dolores teaches several courses within the Library and Information Technician Diploma. One student commented: “This instructor broke down barriers to online learning by making all of us feel individual and worthy of her time.”

around campus Pamela Stiles, Reno for Women Pamela teaches Reno for Women, a popular general interest course. The passion for her field is best demonstrated through this student testimonial; “Pamela let us take our time and try things out without making us feel pressured. It was great to have a mentor in what is considered a traditionally male work environment.”

Not in Attendance Eileen George, Perioperative Nursing Eileen George teaches Perioperative Nursing from the School of Health Sciences, Community and Urban Studies. Student nominees consider her a subject matter expert whose field experience makes her a great instructor.

Terry McDonald, Nature Photography Terry teaches the Nature Photography course. Terry is described as very knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic about his craft. Students appreciate his willingness to share personal experiences and commitment to their success.

Is your CE Instructor Exceptional? Consider nominating him/her for a CE Instructor Appreciation Award! Nominations are accepted year round. For more information, please visit the MCACES website,

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around campus

2013-2014 MSA board of directors

MSA President Ryan Chow

VP Finance Maxwell Brown

VP Athletics Jahnelle Morgan-Geddes

VP Marketing Chris Mooney

VP IAHS Terrance McBean

VP STARRT Cody Strong

VP Brantford Rebecca Murray

VP Fennell Alexandra Blachut

Media & Entertainment Director Chelsea Coles

Business Director Robin Ploeg

Technology Director Gloria Montes

Community, Urban & Interdisciplinary Studies Director Kristen Gravelle

Past President Andrew Hall

Speaker Afraz Hyder


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around campus

david braley

Athletic and Recreation Centre A long-standing partnership between Mohawk College and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford will extend to the David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre. YMCA staff will oversee programming, customer service and membership services and work with a team of Mohawk staff and more than 100 students on work study placements at the centre.

More than 12,000 students will compete, train and exercise in the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre set to open on September 4th at Mohawk College’s Fennell Campus. On June 7, 2013, Senator David Braley announced a $3 million donation to Mohawk’s Fennell Campus renewal project. The donation is one of the largest in Mohawk’s history and supports the college’s largest ever renewal project. Mohawk is recognizing the donation by officially naming the newest addition to the Fennell Campus in Senator Braley’s honour. “The Honourable David Braley has made a very generous gift in support of a transformational project for current and future generations of Mohawk College students,” said Mohawk President Rob MacIsaac. “The David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre is one of the cornerstones of our Fennell Campus renewal project and will be an integral part of an exceptional Mohawk experience for our students.” Scheduled to open this September, the 64,000 square foot David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre will feature three gymnasiums for varsity and intramural sports, an indoor running track, fitness centre and multi-purpose exercise studios. The two-storey centre will be home to Volleyball Canada’s newest centre for excellence for training elite athletes and will host the 2014 Ontario women’s basketball championships and the 2015 national men’s basketball championships. Memberships will be available for part-time students, faculty, staff and alumni.


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around campus

You Can Leave Your Legacy... At Mohawk College, students are at the heart of all we do. Our goal is to provide students with the cutting-edge technology, learning spaces, and facilities they need to be future ready, while ensuring they have access to the scholarships and bursaries they require to make their dreams of a college education a reality. By leaving a planned gift to Mohawk College such as a bequest in your will, or through a life insurance policy or other charitable bequest, not only are you receiving tax advantages that will help you and your family today, it will serve as a lasting tribute to be remembered by your family and future generations. Your generosity would transform the lives of many individuals; individuals who will be our community’s innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

For more information on how you can leave your own legacy, please contact: Colt Long, CFRE | Senior Development Officer, Annual and Planned Giving | 905.575.2208


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alumni blog connection Meet the Bloggers

This September the ABC: Alumni Blog Connection celebrates its first anniversary. Starting with only three bloggers when it launched last Fall, the blog has grown to a strong group of 13 contributors, and we are always looking for more. Comprised of a great group of recent and seasoned grads, from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, the blog continues to strengthen the Mohawk College Alumni community by hearing from many voices on a variety of subjects, encouraging discussion and engagement from all our grads and the greater Mohawk community. In this issue we will be highlighting four of our amazing bloggers…

Lu Ann Pannunzio

Advertising ‘12 Why did you become an Alumni Blogger? I was a Student blogger when I was attending Mohawk College and had to retire from that position once I graduated. Becoming an Alumni blogger has allowed me to stay connected with the college and the student market after I left. Who/what influences what you write about? How do you choose your blog topics? What I read influences what I write about. I read a lot because I believe that’s the true way to become a better


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writer yourself. Usually before I write a blog post I will re-read my past posts and some posts from other Alumni bloggers. From there, I decide on a topic that still needs to be touched upon. Sometimes my topics are written based on what I may be currently experiencing in my own life. Also, I’ll be cliché and say that tea helps me get the creative juices flowing!

Lidia Siino

Journalism and Communications Media ’02 Who/what influences what you write about? How do you choose your blog topics? My blog topics are a reflection of personal experience within the field of career development. Being able to take sound bytes from the everyday world of work and craft them into topics that can assist students, alumni and friends improve their employability and manage their careers is very satisfying. What does your Mohawk education mean to you? My Mohawk Education has meant opportunity. All learning has value. I’ve been fortunate enough to use all aspects of my learning in both my full time work as a Professional Development & Communications Specialist and teaching Continuing Education courses. The other day, I saw a new student having his photo taken with the Mohawk Letters facing Fennell Avenue. He was equal parts excited, hopeful and proud ----that’s what a Mohawk Education is all about.

Jennifer Elson

Business Marketing ‘10 Why did you become an Alumni Blogger? I became an Alumni Blogger for a couple reasons. 1) I love to educate and share my experience. I found my internal dialogue saying ‘Man, I wish someone would have told me that’ when I would find myself in situations that could have clearly turned out differently. So, if I can help eliminate some of the guess work in life or help put even one person at ease knowing they are not the only one… that’s good enough for me. 2) When the opportunity came up to become a blogger, I had moved to Winnipeg and felt a little removed from my post-college experience. I couldn’t take part in certain activities or volunteer purely due to my geographic location. So, being able to blog and volunteer my time this way makes me feel a part of Mohawk and connected to my fellow alumni over the distance. Who/what influences what you write about? How do you choose your blog topics? Recently, I’ve been basing my blog topics around the time of year; however, stay tuned for a series of blog posts that are geared toward trying to balance home life with raising a child while having above average ambition to have a successful career in marketing communication.

Brent Kinnaird

Business Administration ‘94 Who/what influences what you write about? /How do you choose your blog topics? Hamilton is experiencing some remarkable growth and development; there are countless new initiatives, shops, businesses and projects to point to in demonstrating the evolution of the city. At the same time, we can continue to learn from these examples and use them to incent more. We have so much more we could collectively do and I’m hoping my perspective might in some way contribute to keeping positive momentum. It’s these stories that are the inspiration behind my topics. What does your Mohawk education mean to you? My years at Mohawk remain an important part of who I am today. I continue to be connected to the College in multiple ways. Mohawk helped give me the foundation for launching my career and the confidence to step out and help make positive change in whatever I do. Look for another group of ABC bloggers to be highlighted in the Spring 2014 issue. In the meantime visit alumniblog. to see what these Alumni have to say. A new entry is posted every Friday.


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awards & honours YWCA Women of Distinction Award Kim McCarthy, ’97, Chief Estimator of Hamilton based, Ira McDonald Construction Limited was honoured with the 2013 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Sciences or Technology category. In her role Kim has contributed to her company’s success and the betterment of the Construction Industry. She is a leader and mentor providing guidance to future generations and seeking to inspire women to “break the stereotypical gender barriers that can surround the technology industry.”

Induction to Significant People of Hamilton George Morasse, ’70 (middle) was honoured at the 14th Annual Celebration of Significant People Dinner that took place Friday, May 10 at the Michelangelo Banquet Centre. The event was in support of The Brain Tumor Foundation and The John Wismer Scholarship Fund.

Honourary Diploma Recipients Wayne and Rick Marshall Mohawk presented two honourary diplomas at the June Convocation ceremonies. Honourary Diplomas are conferred on individuals who have made a significant contribution to the academic direction of the College. This year, we were pleased to present honourary diplomas to Wayne and Rick Marshall. Wayne, Rick and the Marshall family were instrumental in the success of the Shaping Your Future Campaign in support of the STARRT Campus and the Gerald Marshall Centre for Transportation.

Congratulations to Mohawk’s first Distinguished Fellows & Distinguished Fellows - Adjunct Professors Mohawk named two Distinguished Fellows and four Distinguished Fellows – Adjunct Professors at its Spring Convocation ceremonies.


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Distinguished Fellows: • Brenda Flaherty, Executive Vice-President and COO, Hamilton Health Sciences • Vince Isber, Regional VicePresident, Royal Bank of Canada, Greater Hamilton Market Distinguished Fellows – Adjunct Professors: • Kamran Sartipi, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology • Dr. Chris Seebregts, Executive Director, Jembi Health Systems, Honourary Associate Professor, University of Kwazulu-Natal • Dr. Keith Edwards, Associate Professor and Chair, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Hawaii at Hilo • Michael H. Nusbaum, President, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, Canada

OCAA Hall of Fame Inductees Two former Mohawk College athletic greats have been selected into the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Hall of Fame. Previous women’s basketball and volleyball star Anne (Devorski) Wilson, ‘81 and former men’s basketball great DeWitt Hanna, ‘72 were enshrined to the class of 2013, in the sixth OCAA Hall of Fame ceremony, held at the Delta London Armouries in London, on Wednesday, May 1. Anne Wilson (nee Devorski) - achieved unparalleled success in not one, but two demanding sports. In 1980 Anne led the Mohawk College Women’s Volleyball team to the OCAA Gold Medal, and was honoured with being named the team MVP, OCAA tournament MVP, and Women’s Volleyball MVP. Then, in 1981 she led the Women’s basketball team to the OCAA Gold Medal, was named OCAA MVP, and Mohawk College MVP in both Volleyball and Basketball. She won the Mohawk College Outstanding Female Athlete

Award the same year. Anne was inducted into the Mohawk Mountaineers Hall of Fame in 1992. DeWitt Hanna - As a walk-on to the Men’s Basketball team and Mohawk’s first non-Canadian athlete to play for the Mountaineers, DeWitt Hanna left his mark on the basketball program. DeWitt was a member of the 1970-1971/19711972 OCAA Gold winning Men’s Basketball teams, being named the OCAA League and Tournament All-Star for his efforts for both seasons. Additionally the ’71-’72 season also saw DeWitt receive the Men’s Basketball Team’s MVP and Mohawk College’s Athlete of the Year. During that season, DeWitt played an integral part in an historical moment in sport, when the Mohawk Mountaineers basketball team became the first College team to defeat a Canadian University team. DeWitt was inducted into the Mohawk Mountaineers Hall of Fame in 2001.

Grad Jody Matheson Wins With Kindness Congratulations to Jody Matheson ’94 for winning the Yummy Mummy Club (YMC) Kleenex Kindness Contest, winning $1,000. Jody’s winning entry described how his daughters, since the ages of 8 and 9, have been donating their birthday gifts to charity, requesting donations to local organization, City Kidz instead of gifts. And what did he do with his winnings? “The girls had discussed, prior to winning, what they would do with the prize money if they won. They have been good to their word on this. They each donated $200 to City Kidz (total $400), the charity that benefited from their kindness in the first place. They then have decided to use half the winnings to go to Great Wolf Lodge, where they are also paying for a room and food for another family that we know that is in a financial pinch at the moment and could use a holiday. We plan to all go together in September. Finally, the girls will use a little of the money on themselves for books and clothing over the summer. In one way, it is easy to think about doing the right thing when the money doesn’t exist. It is harder to make it happen, when you consider all the ways you can use it for yourself. In the end, this was a great opportunity for the girls to learn that there is always someone that needs it more than you do, and when you can, share.”

With operations throughout Canada and globally, Maple Leaf Foods makes high quality, great tasting, nutritious and innovative food products. We are proud to have our leading, national brands including Maple Leaf®, Schneiders® and Dempster’s® on breakfast, lunch and dinner tables across Canada for families to enjoy. We pride ourselves as Passionate People; Passionate about Food. Our culture is values-based and action-oriented – one that is rich in leadership development and continuous improvement. We are committed to attracting, rewarding and retaining talented people who are passionate about making a positive impact in their professional and personal lives every day. We are currently seeking positions in all areas of Production, Maintenance, Materials, Finance, Food Safety and Food Quality at our new state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton scheduled to open its doors at the end of 2013. If you’re looking for a challenge, are passionate about food and want to make a difference in people’s lives every day, check out our job opportunities at: careers/a-great-place-to-work/


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keeping Kim Erdelac | Social Service Worker, 1979





Linda Thorn (nee Martelli) | Radio Broadcasting, 1986

Since graduating in 1979, I have been working in the social services field. I went on and obtained a BA at the University of Waterloo, (over a ten year period) graduating in 1997. I have worked with incarcerated youth, government income programs, big brothers, big sisters, and children’s mental health. The last 12 years have been in employment services. In 2009, my life took a tragic turn when I lost my 27 year old son suddenly. I have furthered my education completing courses in bereavement, including studying “the complicated grief” at Mohawk in Hamilton, at U of T, and also in Colorado at the Centre for Loss and Transition with Dr. Alan Wolfelt. The past year, I completed the facilitator training at Bereaved Families in Hamilton and volunteer as a speaker and facilitator with Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) on a regular basis. The past year and a half, I have been offering weekend retreats to bereaved mothers. For more information, please visit my website www. My daughter Nicole also attended Mohawk College, Fennell Campus and graduated in 2010 in Biotechnology.

My career in Radio has spanned 25 years and I’ve worked in many facets of the industry, hosting morning shows in Hamilton and Kitchener. I’ve been on air in Toronto, St. Catharines and Brantford. Currently I’m the daytime host (9-2) for Hamilton’s Country station KX 94-7. I’m also a freelance voice over talent and have interviewed several artists over the years from Tim McGraw and Keith Urban to Shania Twain, Rascal Flatts and even Kevin Costner! My passion for what I do gives me the drive to achieve.

Nicholas Joseph Paul Corrado Administration, 1981

Leadership, 1986

| Business

Married with two girls and one boy. My two girls are training with the Tiger Cats Junior Cheerleader Squad.

Cameron Ian Tilbury | Radio Broadcasting, 1984

After living in England for 10 years, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee two years ago, and formed MapleStar Music & Media, an international publicity company. We now have an office in Canada, as well as our office here in Nashville. Our clients are from the UK, Canada and USA. I remarried just over a year ago. My wife, Jo-Leah is a songwriter/singer/ producer.


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Valya Roberts (nee Childs) | Recreation

I finally graduated with my Masters in Education. I was also awarded with the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal Award for being the top Academic student (Nipissing University) and the Presidents gold medal for academic achievement. I’m also thrilled that my research is now published. To celebrate not just my own achievements, but also our daughter’s academic success (graduated with her Degree in Science and also received an academic award in Biology - accepted into the Master’s of Science program at Queens) we spent a month backpacking in Europe. I will always treasure the month with my daughter Hayley and the amazing sites we saw.

keeping Stephen R. Duncan | Law & Security – Private Security, 1992 Where does one start after graduating over 20 years ago. I have had many doors opened and opportunities that have been given to me. I have worked hard and strived to be the best I can. I have had the opportunity to reach for dreams and work in areas I never thought possible. I had the opportunity to work in Bosnia for NATO. The best thing in my life is my son Mattis, who is the light of my life. He is almost four years old.

Jeremy Mendoza | Civil Engineering Technology, 1994 Currently residing in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am now working for Nebraska Department of Roads in Lincoln, Nebraska as a Highway Design Technician. I have also worked in Michigan and Arizona in various civil engineering positions.

Laura Dockray (nee MacLean) | Legal Assistant, 1995 In 2012, I completed my undergrad degree at McMaster University and was then accepted at Brock University in the Teacher Education program. I completed that degree on April 27, 2013 and am now a certified teacher. Kelsey Calligaro | Manufacturing Engineering Technician Automation, 2013 I just got hired at Western Hydraulics in Barrie, ON as a fluid power specialist on contract for three months. Moved from Hamilton and enjoying every new experience.

Natalie Clewley | Public Relations, 2013 I just graduated from my post grad program (Public Relations) at Mohawk College. I am proud to have graduated from this college. I am actively job searching and have had several interviews to date. Meaghan Ligaj, Victoria Ligaj, Tammy Cox, Caleb Payne, James Duggan, Joshua Ligaj and Shylea Hendrickson-Harrison


family. Her boyfriend, James Duggan has completed the Utilities System Operator this past December and the Gas and Oil II Technician in the Spring. Her son, Joshua Ligaj is following a similar path by completing the Utilities System Operator program this August and has applied for Gas and Oil II Technician for September start. Her youngest daughter, Victoria Ligaj is enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) dual credit program for Child Development Practitioner and is on track to finish the first portion this coming January and will continue on as a full apprentice after that for 2 additional years. Her future daughter-in-law, Shylea Hendrickson-Harrison is awaiting acceptance into the Child and Youth Worker program for the Fall. While attending Mohawk, Tammy and her family were all involved with campus activities volunteering with MSA and the Student Engagement Office, as class reps, at student events and as peer tutors.

Protection of Personal Information From time to time, you may be contacted either by mail, e-mail or phone by one of our services and benefits partners regarding one of our programs. Mohawk College is proud of its relationship with a number of trusted partners and service providers who have an established record of treating personal information with care and provide valuable services and benefits to our alumni. We appreciate you taking the time to learn about the programs and the latest offers available. We want to let you know that at no time will your name or contact information be shared with anyone not specifically authorized by Alumni Relations. Mohawk College respects the privacy of its alumni and the sensitivity of personal information. All of our partners sign strict confidentiality agreements with us prior to receiving any contact information. Should you wish to not be contacted about services and benefit programs, JUST CALL 905-575-2258 or e-mail and tell us you wish to OPT OUT of affinity marketing plans.

Tammy Cox | Office Administration Legal & Webmaster, 2013

Thank you for your interest and your participation in the services and benefits provided by the Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations.

Tammy and her family are all proud to be part of the Mohawk family. Upon her graduation this Spring, she was happy to share the extensive connection between Mohawk and her


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looking back

fairwell to brantford elgin campus By Tanya Wilkes

Mohawk College, Brantford campus meant a great deal to many people. Many were students, some visitors, and others worked at the facility. But all of us felt a celebration was in order. Proof of this was seen in the over 200 attendants at the Celebration held at the Elgin Street building on May 3, 2013. It was also apparent in the commitment from our committee, the inquiries from the community, and the passion and thoughtfulness we all held while putting our party plans together. We did everything we could to be sure that no rock was left unturned. We wanted everyone to feel the fun and the warmth. Mohawk College has a footprint in Brantford and we had a close knit group, so we just couldn’t have the campus close without a celebration to bring the past, present and future together. We had alumni, retirees, current faculty, staff and students. It was wonderful to have such a huge group come together and prove that the Brantford Campus tie that binds us... is a strong one. “I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad goodbye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Committee – Left to right – Tanya Wilkes, Sara Colautti, Shelley Kitchen, Shelley Lang


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What the Mohawk community said… From student, to faculty, to retiree, I thank Mohawk College for half a lifetime of memories and providing me with a most appreciated livelihood. Upon reflection, the most precious times were those at the Brantford Campus. Thanks to my classmates, to my students, and the many colleagues who, over the years, have been part of my Mohawk family. The campus will be sadly missed in this community, thank goodness we will always have the memories… – Heather Perras ‘83

looking back We had a great family culture out in Brantford, it is truly missed. – Phil Richardson I met my wife Kelly in the Graphic Design Program at the Brantford Campus. The students, the staff were amazing. I made lifelong friendships. It changed my life in such a positive way. I am currently working as a Graphic Designer. In many ways Mohawk College Brantford changed my life for the better. – John Paventi ‘01 Today life is full of commitments and too many worries, but those cherished moments at Mohawk Brantford Elgin Campus will live in my memories. – Isaac Newton ‘10 For the many years I have worked at the Brantford Campus I have to say it has always been “WORTH THE DRIVE TO BRANTFORD.” Many fond memories and friends. – Dennis Campbell The end of an era! Very sad to see the campus closing. – Michelle Miller ‘95


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looking back

brantford campus history

Keith McIntyre, Past President, Mohawk College ‘81-’96 In the late 1960s Brantford (and Brant county) with a population of 80,000 was one of the few cities in Ontario without a postsecondary institution. Multiple smaller cities such as North Bay, Welland, Cornwall and Belleville had been granted Community Colleges or major campuses of a community college by the Ontario government and other small cities such as Guelph, St. Catharines, Peterborough, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury had been granted Universities by the Ontario government. Several of these cities had both a college and a university!

Skip Stanbridge and Keith McIntyre

At this time, the Hamilton Institute of Technology and the Ontario Vocational Training Centre in Hamilton were collaborating to build new facilities on the Hamilton Mountain so they quite naturally morphed into Mohawk College, even though Brantford had made an earnest pitch to the Ontario government for this new college. Brantford was informed its high school graduates could easily commute into Hamilton for their post-secondary education, Brantford was simply “too close” to Hamilton to justify a separate campus or a headquarters of a new community college. About same this time, Mohawk College was assigned administration of the federally funded secondary school retraining programs from the secondary school boards of education in both Brantford and Stoney Creek campus and built new facilities for these programs (Braneida campus on Elgin St in Brantford and Stoney Creek campus on Barton St.) and launched part-time post-secondary community college continuing education courses at both campuses.


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Mohawk College tried unsuccessfully to gain provincial approval and funding for several full-time post-secondary programs in Brantford, one time being told a proposed Graphic Arts program (based on a very successful Commercial Art secondary program at Braneida Campus) would be “too close” to compete with a similar program at Conestoga College in Kitchener; even though no such program was offered in Hamilton! At other times in the 1980s, proposed postsecondary programs for Brantford were viewed by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities as “too close” to Mohawk College in Hamilton.

Brantford was unable to shed this “too close to” geographic hurdle. Aside from Laurier University’s recent success within Brantford, other Universities since the early 80’s had tried and failed to be sustainable in the City of Brantford. In 1984, with considerable support from community leaders, Mohawk College board members, the media, and members of parliament, along with financial support from the ministry of colleges & universities, Mohawk College was able to acquire more land on Elgin St. This enabled the College to build a truly full service community college campus and launch a number of postsecondary programs in Brantford. A succession of dedicated Mohawk College leaders including Skip Stanbridge, Ralph Scharff, Vern Pich, Vic Fountain and their staff were responsible for transforming the Braneida retraining campus into Brantford’s full service community college campus during the 1980s and 1990s.

calendar of events



Media Alumni Panel – 10am to 12pm / McIntyre Theatre – This is a Free Event


Media Career Networking – 1pm to 4pm /Courtyard Marriott – looking for Media professionals to join us for this afternoon session. Please contact




Meet the Grad – Technology / 5pm to 8pm / The Arnie – for more information, please contact Dan Robichaud at Regional Event – Albion Falls Illumination Walk / guests are welcome. Please visit for more details. Fall Convocation – 2pm Ceremony & 7pm (C.E. Ceremony) – McIntyre Theatre


2012 Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner – Michelangelo’s Banquet and Convention Centre

Community Reception begins at 5:15 pm and Dinner at 6:00 pm /purchase tickets online


Haunted Walk of Downtown Hamilton – Tour will begin at 7:00pm / Cost $10 (guests are welcome). Pre-registration is required.




Women’s Volleyball Alumni Game – 3pm / please contact Courtney Warren for more information Etiquette Dinner – 6pm to 9pm / C Hotel by Carmen’s / $25 per person – Business Attire please / Pre-Registration required / – book your spot early, as this event sells out fast! Women’s Basketball Alumni Game – 10am / please contact Kelly Dunham for more information - Men’s Basketball Alumni Game – 11am / please contact Matt Cupido for more information –



Pictures with Santa – get your picture with Santa, watch Christmas movies, Christmas crafts and much more / join us in The Arnie 10am to 1pm sponsored by MSA, MCACES and your Alumni Association – this is a free event / pre-registration is required at

Register online for all events at Please visit for up-to-date events and activities If you have any questions, please contact us at 905-575-2258 or


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