Page 1


Young Alumni traveling the world


Adding a green touch to roof tops


Research, innovation & Partnerships


Focus on Faculty: Faculty research for real-life applications

Table of Contents

> From the office of the Vice President of Academics and ResearcH

It is my pleasure to introduce this latest edition of Horizons. If you have received past issues you will notice a new look and feel to this publication reflecting Olds College’s commitment to constant improvement.


Standing in tree (left to right): Gloria Beck and Joe Gustafson. Hanging in tree on the right: Leona Staples and Annelise Doolaege. On Ground (left to right): Bob Clark, Shirley McClellan, Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson, John Winton, Barry Mehr and Kim Goddard. PICTURED BELOW: Dr. Jason Dewling, PhD. PICTURED BOTTOM: Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson Missing from photo is Barry Graham, the OCSA rep. Please note that while he was elected as the OCSA President and will be a Board member, he has not yet been officially appointed to the Board. The paperwork has been started in this regard.

Thank you for taking the time to pick up a copy of our newly redesigned Horizons magazine. Published quarterly, this magazine carries on our tradition of informing alumni and the public, keeping everyone up to date on the latest happenings at your Olds College. > Message from the President

As many of you know, it is our vision to be the premier integrated learning and applied research community specializing in agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental management. This issue, themed Research and Innovation, contains numerous examples of the great strides our staff, faculty and students take towards that goal on a daily basis. You will see many of the faces that make up the heart and soul of Olds College, and the reasons behind our success. Future issues will often have similar themes, showing the many great projects that often take place within one specific area of the college, and I can assure you there are many. As we move steadily closer to our 2013 centennial, we hope to show you even more of our great campus and our many partners off-campus as well. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about our progress in real-life, hands-on learning and research as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Thank you,

This issue also reflects innovation at Olds College. One of the most common phrases I’ve heard from visitors since arriving here is, “I had no idea…” We’ve hosted guests from over 40 countries in just the past six months and they all leave with a great impression of the college and community. As you read this issue of Horizons, you may also find yourself saying, “I had no idea… they were doing that kind of research… they had those kind of people… they had those kind of partnerships… they were that innovative.” It’s what makes Olds College such a great place for students, faculty and staff – and why we have so many dedicated and loyal partners and alumni. We feature them because it sets us apart from other institutions. You will find through the stories embedded in this issue that we have highly creative and innovative faculty and students. We have great partners because they have found that a partnership with Olds College is good for them, good for the College, and good for advancement and innovation in their respective areas of interest. While research, innovation and partnerships are all current government priorities, Olds College has been doing this for years because of the value it adds to our operations. It is a way in which we can give our students an excellent education and contribute right back to society at large. A quick tour of our campus points to many years of partnerships with external organizations, and it truly has become one of our defining features. Enjoy the read, and thank you for your support of our college.


Olds College Horizons Fall/Winter Edition

Greetings from Jason Finnigan, President, OCAA 05 Hello from your new Alumni Officer 06 Future Alumni & Current Student; Plowing champ enrols at OC 06 Memorials 07 Centennial Update


Young Alumni

Globetrotting alumnus Leona Dargis mixes travel and work ethic

22 10



Dr. Jason Dewling, PhD Vice President of Academics and Research

13 Students apply themselves to research and solutions.

20 Gateway to the Caribbean; Olds College expands it’s presence in the Caribbean and South America through Dominican educational partnership


Meet Dr. Ken Fry. If you’re an insect, Olds College’s entomologist has his eye on you. 14 New approach to construction is also a new approach to life.

17 Dr. Abiola presides over changes to College’s research arm

Horizons is published four times per year by the Corporate Communications, Advancement. The magazine is mailed to alumni and friends of Olds College. Ideas and opinions published in Horizons do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, the Alumni Association or Olds College. Letters and editorial contributions are welcome. Advertising inquiries are invited. To reach us:

18 FOCUS ON FACULTY: Faculty research for real-life applications

16 Rural meets International; Dan Fullerton takes College overseas Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson President, Olds College


23 Construction of Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship within the Pomeroy Inn and Suites to begin 23 Calgary campus to open first day of Centennial 24 Broncos Update: Broncos make a strong start 25 Olds College and RDC bring opportunites to Stettler area through Campus Alberta Central

Editorial/Advertising/Letters Horizons, Corporate Communications, Advancement Olds College 4500-50 Street, Olds, Alberta T4H 1R6 Ph: (403) 507-7710 Fax: (403) 556-4704 Email: Address Change:

Olds College 4500-50 Street, Olds, Alberta T4H 1R6 Ph: (403) 556-8232 Fax: (403) 556-4704 Email: Toll-free: 1-800-661-6537 Olds College site: Return undeliverable magazines to:

Advancement, Olds College 4500-50 Street, Olds, Alberta T4H 1R6 Editor: Donna Woldanski, Corporate Communications, Olds College Contributors: Rick Overwater, Corporate Communications, Olds College Bonnie Warnyca, Alberta Beef Magazine Design: HONEY Design Additional Design: Deidra Page, Corporate Communications, Olds College Photography: Noel West PICTURED ON THE COVER:

Dr. Ken Fry, Entomology, School of Environment, Olds College

25 Academic School Updates FALL / WINTER 2011 3

Publication mail agreement number: 40010029

Each issue of Horizons will highlight different aspects of the college. This issue in particular is themed “Research, Innovation and Partnerships,” featuring faculty, students, and college partnerships. Why would we take the time to feature such items? Good question…


A note from Jason Finnigan, President, OCAA

Hello from your new Alumni Officer

I am pleased to join the distinguished list of leaders as I begin my term as OCAA president, having served on the association board for three years as a Director, and one as Vice President. A 2001 graduate of Olds College’s Agricultural Mechanics program, I have since worked in both the agricultural and heavy equipment industry with a short term in the pipeline maintenance sector. I am also very happy to say that I have been employed with the College since January, 2011, working with the very same folks who taught me when I attended Olds College. The chance to call my past instructors not only colleagues and mentors but now also co-workers and peers, is a fulfilling and overwhelming step in my career.

Having been born in Olds and with a strong family presence still here in the community, I know the importance of Olds College to the community and all who have been a part of the school in any capacity.

It was a great honour to accept the nomination of President at our association board meeting on September 19, 2011. Laurinda Parkinson has done a phenomenal job and has agreed to stay on as Past President. She has certainly left a huge pair of shoes to fill. As your new Alumni Association President, I look forward to continuing Laurinda’s efforts in locating and involving all Alumni in future correspondence and activities and am glad that she is staying involved and holding a seat on the board. She will most certainly be barraged with questions in the coming months.


Jason Finnigan, President, OCAA

We also have some additional new faces on the board this year, bringing added enthusiasm and interest in alumni events and offerings. June Finlay has already shown great interest in maintaining the credibility of the board as well as offering several suggestions for amendments for Alumni activities. Cristina Zilinski is also a very welcome addition to the table this year. As the Past President of the Olds College Students Association, she brings a wealth of suggestions and experience when considering young alumni needs. The dynamic of the board is certainly changing, and it’s exciting to see where we can go from here. I had the opportunity to attend the summer reunion from July 15-17 this year, and had a fantastic time talking with many alumni from various years. The tours of campus and the farm were very well received and we took all feedback very seriously, both good and bad. It was a pleasure escorting several groups around the farm, doing my best to explain all that

we do in that portion of the campus. I had an absolute blast, and cannot wait to do it again next year. As the years progress, the technology and program changes are very impressive. Another event that is included in the reunion is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I was honoured to be asked to present the award this year and speak on behalf of Olds College and the Alumni Association as we welcome the latest recipients to the Hall of Fame. This year’s recipients were Bert & Marion (Clayton) Powlesland, 1945 Agriculture & 1945 Home Economics. I was sad to hear about Bert’s passing on Saturday, September 24, 2011. Edith Edge, one of our long time directors, attended the celebration of his life and passed on our thoughts and prayers to the family. Events such as the reunion, Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and all other alumni events are very special to me, and I look forward to increasing my involvement with them in the future. The future is filled with exciting times for me, the Alumni Association, and Olds College. I wish nothing but the best for all alumni as we continue to improve and grow and can’t wait to see where we will go together as Alumni and as a College in the years to come. Cheers!

Jason Finnigan, President, OCAA

I want to extend my hand to all alumni as I take over the role of Alumni Officer with Olds College. I am excited to be a part of the dynamic team of staff, students and alumni that make the College the beacon of success it is today. As your new Alumni Officer, I am working to familiarize myself with what we have done in the past and build on those strengths while also bringing new ideas and a fresh approach in connecting our alumni. I hope to encourage and promote increasing alumni participation in College events and activities through service and leadership as we build towards our 100th anniversary celebrations that take place throughout 2013! I understand the importance and the great role that you, the alumni, can play in growing our presence and ensuring we involve each and every person that wants to be a part of, PICTURED ABOVE: and add a positive influence to, everything Dean Turnquist, that is happening here in Olds. I hope to Alumni Officer develop, sustain and expand the opportunities for alumni as we strengthen the bond between the alumni and the College. Please take some time to visit the alumni website at and our new campus news page, to see the latest happenings around campus. Be sure to update your contact information so that we can share the latest news with you. I hope we can rekindle some of the energy, excitement and memories from your time here in Olds and ensure those great memories are shared by future alumni who have taken many of the same steps you did during your time here! As 2011 winds down and we gear up for another exciting and productive year at Olds College, I look forward to meeting you and assisting you as you reconnect to your school. Sincerely,

Alumni give in many ways In the past year, approximately 250 Olds College alumni have brought in $402,000 in support to the College. “It’s been of tremendous benefit to us and I cannot express enough gratitude,” says Ken Risi, Director of Development. “The important thing to note is that there are many ways our alumni support us financially.” Some alumni have supported the College through planned giving, where support has been pledged from an alumnus’ will. Others donate equipment rentals as a gift in kind. “Something like that, where we can obtain equipment for the training of our students, can save the college thousands of dollars while helping our future alumni get the education they need,” says Risi.

“doing things they would do anyways, but it helps us create partnerships that in turn support us financially,” Often, alumni provide vital support simply in the act of participation, buying tickets to Olds College events or participating in silent auctions. As well, a great deal of support has come through alumni taking advantage of retail discounts offered to them through affinity programs and “doing things they would do anyways, but it helps us create partnerships that in turn support us financially,” says Risi. “The influence of our alumni is fundamental to Olds College’s achievement of its goal to help our students realize their career aspirations.”

Dean Turnquist, Alumni Officer



FALL / WINTER 2011 5

Future Alumni & Current Student

Lost Alumni

Plowing champ enrols at OC Can you climb into a tractor near Walton, Ontario and make it all the way to Olds College? Brandon McGavin certainly did. Currently enrolled in the Olds College School of Business two-year Business Management program, McGavin is a two-time winner in the Canadian Plowing Championships Junior Division. Clinching both the 2009 and 2011 titles, almost making it a three-time win with a second place finish in 2010, McGavin earned a scholarship and a year’s full tuition from the championships with each win, thus ensuring his post-secondary education was looked after. But, as good an incentive to win as that may be, McGavin was there for the love of competitive plowing itself. “I really don’t know why I love it so much, it’s just a lot of fun. I’m the fourth generation doing it, so it’s in my family and that makes me want to be a part of it too,” says McGavin. “Knowing how successful the generations before me were, I want to do that much better to make my family proud.”

He credits much of his success to his father who was also his coach. Introduced to competitive plowing at a young age, McGavin was hooked almost instantly. “I was 11 when I started competing, and I could barely reach the clutch,” he grins. McGavin will have just recently graduated when Olds College hosts the 60th Anniversary World Plowing Championship as part of the 2013 Centennial celebrations. More than likely he will be watching, albeit a tad wistfully. He would love to compete himself but school comes first and “you have to win at the Canadian championships to represent Canada in the Worlds. Since I’m here at school I won’t be able to plow in Ontario to qualify,” he says. “I could do it here but my tractor and equipment are at home.” But if things fell together and he could do it? “That,” he states simply, “would be awesome.”

PICTURED LEFT: Brandon McGavin


The alumni Board respectfully notes the passing of the following Olds College Alumni and Staff, and extends its condolences to their families and friends. If you would like to honour a loved one or recognize an individual’s life, please contact: The Olds College In-Memory and In-Honour program, or Planned Giving, Charlotte Adkens-Weiler 403-507-7716 or

In Loving Memory


Bert Powelsland

Agriculture Named by the OCAA as a 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, Bert and his Wife Marion worked tirelessly over 65 years for the benefit of Olds College and the greater community. His presence and support will be missed.




Charles Murray Spangler

Bill Reynolds



1990 Gordon Green


(Alumni and Instructor) Meat Processing

George Neville Scott

Agriculture 2-1

1962 Earl R. Rasmuson

1937 George Scott

Agriculture 2-1


1971 William Bunney

1994 Daniel Scott

Non grad of soil and water

Meat processing



Morley Blake Buyer

Agriculture 2-1

Kempenaar (nee Hrncirik), Ludmila “Lil” Anne Fashion

1947 Keith Halstead

1999 Fern Corsiatto

Agriculture 2-1

Office Administration

Garnet Leroy Hammer

Class of Agriculture 2-1

1930 Reginald Kenneth Francis

Agriculture (was 100 when he died)



Olds College has been the gracious recipient made In-Memory of the following friends and family: Nicholas Baier

The Olds College In-Memory and In-Honour Program provides a thoughtful way to remember a loved one or recognize a meaningful accomplishment, date or event such as a birthday, graduation or anniversary in an individual’s life. For more information on the Olds College In-Memory and In-Honour program, or Planned Giving, contact Charlotte AdkensWeiler (403) 507-7716 or

Where are They Now? We’ve lost touch with these people. Can you help? If you know how we can contact anyone on this list, please let know by contacting our Alumni Office at toll free 1-800-661-6537, direct 403-556-8283, email at or online at 1997 Almuni Mary Moritz . . . . . . 1997 Hendrika Morton. . . 1997 Faye Narkaus. . . . . 1997 Hailey Nelson. . . . . 1997 Craig Nickel . . . . . . 1997 Gail Nordstrom. . . . 1997 Linda Nyuli. . . . . . . 1997 Bradley O’Connor. . 1997 Kevin O’Hern. . . . . 1997 Shin Ohkubo . . . . . 1997 Chris Olson. . . . . . . 1997 Harvey Orlick . . . . . 1997 Chad Padgham . . . 1997 Tammy Parisien . . . 1997 Michael Patterson. . 1997 Marilyn Paulk . . . . . 1997 Rory Pawluk. . . . . . 1997 Diane Perrin. . . . . . 1997 Bradley Petersen . . 1997 Rachel Peterson. . . 1997 Murray Phillips . . . . 1997 Dwayne Pole . . . . . 1997 Thomas Pollock. . . 1997 Shane Posein. . . . . 1997 Joanne Prefontaine.1997 John Prevost . . . . . 1997 Jeffery Pyra . . . . . . 1997 Debbie Rae . . . . . . 1997 Darren Ratzlaff. . . . 1997 Wendy Raymond. . 1997 Dawneil Redpath . . 1997 Grant Rice . . . . . . . 1997 Jeffrey Richardson. 1997 Michael Roach. . . . 1997 Henry Roasting. . . . 1997 Hernan Rodriguez. 1997 Duane Rose. . . . . . 1997 Chad Rusnak. . . . . 1997 Mary Scheger. . . . . 1997 Elisabet Schilke . . . 1997 Chad Schimmel. . . 1997 Tobi Schneidmiller. . 1997 Mike Seely. . . . . . . 1997 Anne Simpson. . . . 1997 Troy Sirett. . . . . . . . 1997 Wendy Sisson . . . . 1997 Kimberley Sissons-Guynup. . . 1997 Jennifer Smith . . . . 1997 Christopher Snow. . 1997

Susan Soloveoff. . . 1997 Jeri Sparshu. . . . . . 1997 William Stasiewich. 1997 Mathew Stephans. 1997 Ryan Stewart. . . . . 1997 Isaiah Stout . . . . . . 1997 Ian Straker. . . . . . . 1997 Kevin Sutton. . . . . . 1997 John Tabert . . . . . . 1997 Linda Taylor . . . . . . 1997 Mike Thiessen . . . . 1997 Greg Thompson. . . 1997 Jesse Thomson . . . 1997 Marianne Thomson.1997 Lori Torgerson . . . . 1997 Marisa Tourond. . . . 1997 Michelle Turner. . . . 1997 Robert Turner. . . . . 1997 Kelly Ulry . . . . . . . . 1997 Trevor Van Maarion.1997 Kevin Vance. . . . . . 1997 Carolyn Visser. . . . 1997 Kelly Walker. . . . . . 1997 Richard Wall. . . . . . 1997 Kayne Warwick. . . . 1997 Laurie Webber . . . . 1997 Michael Weber. . . . 1997 Charla Weinrauch. . 1997 James Weldon. . . . 1997 Rocklin Wiens. . . . . 1997 Amy Williams . . . . . 1997 Bradley Winters . . . 1997 Coralee Worgan. . . 1997 Darlene Zimmer . . . 1997 1998 Almuni Kathryn Acreman. . 1998 Shelly Adams. . . . . 1998 Patricia Aldi . . . . . . 1998 Leanne Aleman. . . . 1998 Clair Alexander. . . . 1998 Shirley Alley . . . . . . 1998 Sebastian Alvarez. . 1998 Jill Anders. . . . . . . . 1998 David Anderson. . . 1998 Lindsay Anslow . . . 1998 Leah Auramenko . . 1998 Ted Bablitz. . . . . . . 1998 Debra Bailey. . . . . . 1998 James Baker . . . . . 1998 Wendy Bakker . . . . 1998 Laurie Bare. . . . . . . 1998

Centennial Update Five new Centennial Sponsors – Recognizing

Olds College’s near-century of contributions to rural Alberta and the nation as a whole, five new sponsors have lent their financial support to Olds College’s 2013 Centennial. There are six tiers of sponsorship and Pomeroy Inn and Suites Inc. is the newest contributor to come in at the President’s level with $25,000 in support. Joining the centennial celebrations at the Dean’s level, both Scotiabank and Hildebrand Motors have generously pledged $10,000. The Calgary Airport Authority and LandSolutions Inc. are Olds College’s two newest centennial supporters at the Friends level with gifts of $5,000.

Lynn McDonald, Canadian Plowing Organization President, Trevor Hamilton, Olds College Farm Manager, and Joel Gingrich, Committee Vice-Chair, visited the Ontario competition and met with event coordinators to explore what it takes to host a high caliber plowing competition and expo. The logistics of a plowing competition can be quite staggering with need to consider not only the competition itself but also accommodations, food service, transportation, safety and security, parking, site layout, and many other factors. Information and ideas gathered from the trip were shared with other committee members in mid-October. 100th Anniversary Book

Olds College Coat of Arms

Olds College has applied to the Office of the Governor General of Canada to receive its own Coat of Arms. The College is in the process of forwarding a brief history and details of incorporation in Canada, a current annual report and a copy of the resolution from the governing body requesting the grant – all prerequisites to acquiring a Coat of Arms. The average time required to complete a grant is 12 to 14 months after the warrant has been approved. 60th World Plowing Championship in 2013

As part of the continued planning for the 2013 World Plowing Championship to be held at Olds College, some of the 2013 World Plowing Committee recently visited the International Plowing Match (IPM) in Chutea-Blondeau, Ontario.

Researcher and Author Barry Potyondi from the firm CONTEXT continues his research, photo selection and writing on the College’s 100th Anniversary Book. All nine chapters, including research and writing, were complete by mid-October. After interviewing three design firms, Cooper Company Creative Design was selected to design the actual book. 2012 Olds College Gala

Please take note a new date and location for Gala – Friday March 23, 2012 at the Ralph Klein Centre. For more information about sponsorship, the 60th World Plowing Championship and plans for the 100th Anniversary of Olds College in general, contact Kerry Moynihan at 403-556-4762 or by email at

FALL / WINTER 2011 7

Dargis, along with 11 other Olds students, was chosen to be an advocate for the Olds agriculture program and she was among four Olds students in 2006, sent to Calgary to participate in the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth Conference (RASC). Lucky enough to be on the cusp of growth, it was about this time that the RASC Next Generation (NG) group was established and she quickly became a leading member. While the Society meets every second year in a different country, the years in between, the NG members plan a two week understanding and assistance mission in a third world country to work with local farmers educating them about land stewardship and proper animal husbandry. The fourth year of Dargis’s degree program was a year-long practicum. She worked for Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) in Red Deer and was involved with environmental farm planning, CAIS and succession development. In 2008, after completing her applied degree, Dargis was chosen to speak at the New Zealand RASC Conference and in 2009, joined other NG members traveling to Papua New Guinea. Since 2005, Dargis also joined the Canadian Young Farmers Forum sitting as a board member for three years. On behalf, she traveled to Chile and Argentina to help them establish their own young farmer’s organization. The whirlwind international travel has proven a real eye opener for the girl that, only a few years back, didn’t want to be even seven hours from the farm. In early, 2011, Nuffield Canada selected Dargis as one of this year’s three Canadian Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust recipients. “We were busy on the farm from a very early age,” Dargis tells us. “We farmed 7,000 acres and had a 4,000 head feedlot. As soon as we were able, we drove trucks and tractors and sorted cattle. Our parents instilled a strong work ethic in us and believed that the way to learn was by doing. Little did we know how this would enable us to move forward later in life.”


Leona Dargis sharing her expertise with communities around the globe

In 2007, the Dargis girls lost both their parents and grandmother in a plane accident and with two girls still in highschool; they collectively took over the farm and feedlot which they still operate today. While the second oldest, Lynn, manages the farm and feedlot, all the girls help during busy times. > By: Bonnie Warnyca. Reprinted with permission from Alberta Beef Magazine

Young alumnist, 26-year-old Leona Dargis of St. Vincent, Alberta didn’t attend 4-H in her community. When Leona, the eldest of five girls, brought up the subject about attending 4-H, her dad would just pull out another pen of steers for her to help process. 8 OLDS COLLEGE


Back in 2003, Dargis set off to Olds College and after two years obtained a diploma in Agriculture Business. “I then applied to the University of Lethbridge to get my degree in Agriculture,” says this now globe-trotting young woman. “But I decided I didn’t want to be seven hours from the farm. I went back to Olds College for my applied degree and that decision opened many new doors.”

She was awarded $15,000 scholarship money and accessed additional sponsorship funding from organizations such as UFA and MNP to further her international study focusing on succession planning and diversification on the family farm with a supporting focus on young farmers. “I spent March in New Zealand and April and May in Australia,” she says, catching us up on her travels. “In this program, we travel internationally for a minimum of ten weeks and then write a report to present to the Nuffield Foundation which is distributed throughout the international agribusiness community.” At the end of June, Dargis flew to London, England for the RASC annual meeting and then flew to Pennsylvania for another speaking engagement. A trip to Singapore and India for the NG is planned for November. When her feet are planted on Canadian soil, she still helps her sister Lynn with seeding and harvest. FALL / WINTER 2011 9

Cover Story

Who’s who

If you’re an insect, Olds College’s entomologist has his eye on you

Within his modest office in Olds College’s School of Environment, Dr. Ken Fry pops open a Purolator courier tube with the same look of anticipation kids display on Christmas and birthdays. But most kids would be less than impressed with the sealed plastic bag he pulls out. Half full of a viscous, gummy yellow fluid, heavily populated with a wide assortment of soaked, dead insects, it’s just what Fry was hoping for. “The yellow stuff is propylene glycol,” the entomologist enthuses. “It preserves insects, it’s nontoxic to vertebrates and it doesn’t evaporate to speak of.” This particular package arrives from one of 60 traps spread through 15 collection sites across Alberta, all carefully laid out to monitor for, and protect Alberta from, invasive alien insect species. Throughout the traps there’s a variety of lures used to capture insects including host odor chemicals that mimic the smell of conifers, or chemicals that mimic the smells of insects such as bark beetles or wood wasps – two particular insects on Fry’s “must watch for” list. When the trap’s contents arrive, Olds College Environmental Horticulture students pour the contents into a pan beneath a magnifying lens. Suspect insects are observed beneath a microscope. “It keeps us on top of who’s who out in the insect world right now,” says Fry. “It’s also an excellent chance for our students to learn local flora and fauna in urban environments and provide a great service to the province.” As the Coordinator of Environmental Horticulture in Olds College’s School of Environment, there are three projects Fry is heavily involved in, fuelling his desire to know “who’s who” out there. One is the monitoring of Invasive Alien Wood Boring Insects in Alberta, in partnership with the Society for Prevention of Dutch Elm Disease’s StopDED program. Besides watching for the wood boring 10 OLDS COLLEGE


wasp (actual name, Sirex noctilio), the goals are to amass a resource collection to aid in future identification of alien invasive species, curate processed specimens for use in training, education, and extension activities, and to amass a collection to serve the interests of the research community. Another project involves the surveillance of the Lily Leaf Beetle in Alberta, in conjunction with The Alberta Region Lily Society, the Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes, and Dr. Naomi Cappuccino at Carleton University. As well as monitoring the slow spread of this lily-destroying beetle, Cappuccino will employ the data Fry gathers to support efforts to introduce a parasitoid that is capable of killing the beetle. Pesticides, for Fry, are always the last resort. He is devoted to “using nature to control nature” and instead focuses on the “three Ps”; predators, parasitoids and pathogens, to curtail spread of an unwanted insect. Rounding out these projects is a major initiative driven by a memorandum of understanding with StopDed to specifically prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease. “Alberta has the largest disease-free stand of elms in the world, valued at over $700 Million,” says Fry. “There’s three species of beetles that we’re actively surveilling

PICTURED LEFT and next page:

Dr. Ken Fry in his campus lab. PICTURED ABOVE: Research, innovation & partnerships, a long standing tradition at Olds College.

FALL / WINTER 2011 11

Cover Story Continued from previous page

145 collection sites for; the native elm bark beetle, the smaller European elm bark beetle and the banded elm bark beetle.” Some additional culprits just a little further down Fry’s list include the spiny elm caterpillar and elmscale. Key partners in the battle against Dutch Elm Disease are StopDED and the provincial government of Alberta. Such arrangements are an important part of similar projects as well. The alien invasive species project also involves the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Environment Canada. In the case of that particular project, it’s a collaborative effort that will also serve as a model for developing surveillance programs in other provinces. From project to project, the information Fry amasses and the ever-growing insect collection he curates all form a resource the greater science community can use. That’s important because the information is vital to protect Albertans in an ever-evolving world. One driver of this is the fact that as trade evolves and forges new travel routes around the world, new potentially threatening insects will follow. One example that is top-ofmind these days, says Fry, is the increasing amount of trade we do with Southeast Asia.

“There’s a whole continent of potentially invasive species that could impact not just our landscapes, but also our agricultural crops and human health.” 12 OLDS COLLEGE


Applied Degree Symposium

Students apply themselves to research and solutions This year marks the 10th anniversary of Olds College’s Bachelor of Applied Science Symposium, an annual event showcasing the efforts of third-year students using research to find real-life solutions to industry problems. The symposium’s founder, Sima Mpofu, an instructor in the Olds College School of Environment, says the last decade has seen the event growing beyond her expectations.

utilize the land, make it sustainable, low maintenance and attractive to the community,” says Mpofu. “Construction has started and the garden opens next spring.”

“In the beginning, I taught an Introduction to Horticultural Scientific Methods course and I wanted to make it into something students apply every day to solve industry problems,” says Mpofu. “It was a great opportunity to create something from an instructional point of view and bring in industry partners.”

Students apply the learning gained in three courses as they move towards completion of a project. In Project Management, their ideas are born and they learn to plan. In Research Methods, students get research guidance and gather information that will drive the project. The Integrated Project course guides them in skill development, communication, project execution, team facilitation and outcome analysis. “It’s where they actually put it all together and do it,” says Mpofu. Each group has both a faculty mentor and an industry mentor while they conduct their work.

Three hundred students have participated in the event to date with most symposiums showcasing the work of approximately 10 two or three-person teams focused on specific themes. The 2011 showcase, themed Plant Systems and the Use of Sustainable Practices, featured projects such as “Biochar as an Amendment for Saline Soil caused by Golf Course Effluent Water.” Every year there is always one project that stands out in Mpofu’s mind. Last year’s was “Drumheller Native Prairie Heritage Garden: Beautifying a Brownfield.” “The Badlands Community Garden Society, a volunteer organization, was looking to use an existing brownfield site and the problem the students worked through was how to

Mpofu, who holds a BSc in Biology, a master’s degree in Crop Protection and a PhD in Plant Pathology, is enthused at the growing response the symposium is getting. “It’s become a marquee event to bring in industry clients and the community,” she says. “More people see what we are doing and continually bring in more potential partners.” Just as important as that, however, is giving the students a day where their efforts are recognized. “The students work hard and this is a chance for them to shine and see that they’re part of a bigger program,” says Mpofu. “For me, the symposium is a moment where students can showcase their talent and the audience gains from their experience.”

PICTURED LEFT: Dr. Sima Mpofu in one the campus greenhouses. FALL / WINTER 2011 13

“It’s good for students, who among other things will be versed in the subtle difference in climates between Red Deer, Calgary and the rest of Alberta,” says Wickwire. “And every year, we will have a new crop of students emerging who can speak to these sustainable concepts and bring them to the rest of the world.” particular area of the prairies,” says Wickwire. “Not only should you consider your specific geographic region,” she adds, “you also have to consider the height of the roof – which may have different climactic conditions than those found at ground level.” Since beginning their trials back in 2009, with both a north-facing and south-facing plot on the Community Learning Campus’ Ralph Klein Centre, things have gone well. After planting perennials such as Kinnikinnick, Woodland Strawberry, Purple Hen & Chicks, native grasses and Violas, the team observed their progress as they grew in varied soil depths and watering regimes. “After the first winter we were concerned with the north roof but it rebounded really well,” says Wickwire. “What didn’t do well was naturally replaced.” Since then they have primarily taken a hands-off approach to see how the plants respond to natural conditions such as drought. “Overall, we’re pleased,” says Wickwire. “We haven’t added or taken anything away and overall growth is positive.”

Green Roof


Gord Koch and Kim Wickwire in their Green Roof top.

Raising the roof

New approach to construction is also a new approach to horticulture

Take a look at an aerial photograph of most cities and you’ll see countless grey buildings interspersed by small pockets of greenery such as parks and shelter belts. But if the work being conducted by Olds College’s Gord Koch and Kim Wickwire continues to take hold in the years to come, those cities will look much greener when viewed from above. Since 2009 Koch and Wickwire have been conducting field trials on green roofs, an initiative that began after they were approached by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) and subsequently received funding from the Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) and AARD.



As part of Canada’s emerging sustainable landscape movement, green roofs are built from appropriate construction material and covered with vegetation. Already, numerous North American cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Chicago (the current leader in total green roof

square footage) have began embracing the financial and environmental benefits green roofs bring. Green roofs last two to three times as long as conventional roofs, dampen sounds within a building, reduce inside and outside ambient temperatures during summer months and filter the surrounding air. They also manage storm water runoff, filter water and support food production and biodiversity. Not all green roofs should be the same however, because not all climates are the same. Wickwire and Koch are both instructors in the College’s School of Environment. Koch is an Accredited Green Professional through the Torontobased Green Roofs for Healthy Cities organization. “A lot of roofs being built right now are based on tried-and-true plants for other areas, and developers and architects tend to go for what they already know or what has worked on the ground,” says Koch. What was needed, the instructors surmised, was a trial that specifically addressed their own portion of the Canadian climate. “There are only a few real trials of green roofs in Alberta and we were looking for a wide variety of plants that hadn’t seen trials in Zone 2, which is our

Like many projects at Olds College, collaboration has been a major part of the process. Besides working with UNESCO during a recent high school conference, they are allied with the City of Calgary’s Parks and Recreation Department, who are considering green roof projects themselves. Currently they are pursuing opportunities with the Rocky View School Division on potential green roof collaborations. Future plans include work between the School of Environment, the OCCI and the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership Society, a group offering training, expertise and networking for professionals implementing green infrastructure in land development. An added benefit has been internal collaboration with Dr. Ken Fry, Olds College entomologist (see story on page 10), who happily gained a whole new microcosm of insects to observe by default. Through all these activities there continues to be the search for funding which will allow for full green roof build-outs of the trial areas and provide interactive sites for students, industry and the general public Olds College’s student body has a place in the project as well. In the early stages, a group of students’ applied degree project was incorporated to test new growth mediums. Students in the School of Environment are now exposed to green roof concepts, the landscape design/build aspect coming from Koch, the production horticulture aspect from Wickwire.

Anyone who would like a tour of the green roof trial sites can contact Kim Wickwire 403-556-8288 or Gord Koch 403-556-4751

FALL / WINTER 2011 15


Faculty Profile

A Centre of Excellence: Rural meets international:

Dan Fullerton takes College overseas Dan Fullerton was already moving into his new office by the time most people learned he was leaving the position of Director of Innovation to become Olds College’s new Director of Business and International Development. And while the walls of his new digs in the Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) are still bare, waiting to be adorned with various mementos illustrating his 30 years of experience as a professional agrologist, Senior Manager at the National Bank of Canada, Agricultural Economist for the World Bank and more, they will likely have to wait. Fullerton is busy making plans, ones that will make a difference. “The big difference for me right now is that ‘international’ has been added to my title and of course the addition of the Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship [CIRE],” Fullerton enthuses. “Up to now there’s been a separation between the college’s international efforts and innovation. As of now, all international work and all rural entrepreneurship is integrated.” The CIRE has hired Toby Williams as the new manager, and she will report to Fullerton. Rural entrepreneurship will be considered simultaneously on both a national and international level and will be focused on a specific list of priority countries, including the Dominican Republic. “The obvious advantage is that we can leverage existing partnerships and become even more competent in international culture and business practices,” he says. PICTURED ABOVE:

Dan Fullerton, Director of Business and International Development, Olds College

“Rural business must be vibrant to have a vibrant national economy” That’s crucial for the future because Canada is a trade dependent nation, Agri-food trade being an important component. Approximately $2.9 Billion in Agri-food exports leave Canada each month. As large as that number



is, entrepreneurs and small-to-medium enterprises need more global capacity – and of the 400,000-plus incorporated and nonincorporated enterprises in Alberta, 55% are rural. “Rural business must be vibrant to have a vibrant national economy,” says Fullerton. “That’s a correlation seen around the world.” As Fullerton and the OCCI advance these concepts and further develop Olds College’s international relationships, many new opportunities will present themselves. One is the bilateral transfer of students and staff between nations and learning institutions. By then Fullerton intends to have an official international strategy document that demonstrates the integration of business development, the CIRE, and linkages between Olds College and learners. By next year, Olds College will be implementing operating plans in its still-to-be-finalized list of priority countries. In the case of the Dominican Republic, a country that Canada is negotiating a free trade agreement with, the first priority for the college will be facilitating the importation of rural entrepreneurship products such as coffee. Virtually impossible to grow in Canada, coffee is a prime example of something that can be imported without negatively impacting Canadian business and the concept is a result of what Fullerton calls “empty cell” analysis – looking for a hole that can’t be filled locally. “Some people consider the roadblocks to international trade before they move on to solutions,” Fullerton smiles. “I automatically go for the win.”

Dr. Abiola presides over changes to College’s research arm The recently renamed Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) is more than just a hub for applied research and innovation; right now, it’s a centre of change itself. Big things are on the horizon, says Dr. Abimbola Abiola, and it’s more than just a revamp of what was formerly known as the Olds College School of Innovation (OCSI). For one thing, Abiola has a new title – Director of Applied Research and Lead Scientist. It’s a redefined designation encapsulating many of the responsibilities he previously had within the OCSI, but it also reflects new priorities as laid out in the College’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan and Institutional Research Plan. “The OCCI has now been designated a Centre of Excellence within the College. It will be the gateway for all applied research,” says Abiola. “And there are a few things that have been added to my portfolio.” Among those additions is a closer working relationship with the recently appointed Director of Business and International Development [see profile On Dan Fullerton page 16]. Olds College places a strong emphasis on the application of research within industry and business. “One of the College’s greatest exports is research and innovation,” says Abiola, adding that the two will now be married together in their approach to international partnerships. The Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship will also be part of this mix, with rural research and business applications being developed not only for Canada, but overseas as well. Other changes include oversight of the Bachelor of Science degree offered in conjunction with Grant MacEwan University. Currently, Olds College students are able to take their first year of the MacEwan BSc on Olds College campus. “The OCCI will be responsible for staffing, office space and I will now be the conduit between Olds College and MacEwan,” says Abiola. Abiola holds a B.Sc. in Soil Microbiology and M.Sc. in Environmental Microbiology (Aquatic) from the University of Ife in Nigeria,

and a Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology from the University of Regina. His general areas of research are resource management, agronomy, environmental monitoring and remediation. With over 35 years of industry experience in post-secondary teaching, consulting and research experience as well as adjunct professor appointments at the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Parma (Italy), North-East Agricultural University

“One of the College’s greatest exports is research and innovation” (China) and many more, he is well-poised to expand the research and innovation capacity of not only Olds College, but Canada as well.


Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Director of Applied Research and Lead Scientist, (OCCI)

And make no mistake; he has his sights set firmly on those goals. “In a year’s time I see us expanding our research capacity in terms of manpower, for example hiring a minimum of two new scientists. And for students I hope to increase participation by 30 to 40 per cent – I just hired eight new students for the research assistant pool, which is already an increase of 60 per cent,” says Abiola. “Five years down the road I want Olds College maintaining the lead as the prime place to go for applied research, especially in Agriculture, Ag Business and Ag Technology. We already have that lead, I want to increase it.”

FALL / WINTER 2011 17

Faculty Research


Faculty research for real-life applications. Research, particularly for real-life applications in industry, is hallmark of Olds College. Every year, Olds College staff and faculty become involved in new and exciting projects that demonstrate the College’s research and innovation skills while finding business solutions for manufacturers and employers. Here are some recent examples.

is a down-hole piston pump that brings up water with each stroke of the nose pad by the animal. Trials were completed to determine if weight gain was the same as for cattle using traditional pumps (i.e. electric) and if cows could train calves to use the FFNP. Cow/calf pairs balanced for breed and genetic differences were tested in both a winter and summer trial. With water accessible at all times of the year and no difference in calf weights from the FFNP or the traditional watering system, it was determined that the FFNP makes for a simple to use-and-install, energy-free watering system for environmentally sustainable cattle watering. The incidence of Salmonella in dogs Precision Fencing and Land Management: Geospatial Technology Integration

Engine Performance and Wear Testing Using Biodiesel Blends

Development and Testing of Thiosulfate Fertilizers in Hydroponic Applications

PICTURED Top Left: Monitoring research – Campus Greenhouse. PICTURED Top Right: Dan Daley, Chair, of Olds College School of Trades. PICTURED ABOVE: Cattle watering using Frostfree hosepump.



Determined to demonstrate the success of their specialty fertilizer in hydroponic applications for greenhouse vegetable production, a fertilizer manufacturer provided their proprietary fertilizer component for testing at the college. Using cucumbers, three different rates of the product in substitute of magnesium sulfate (regularly used in industry) over a three month period with germination, crop growth and fruit production variables recorded. The project was conducted by the School of Environment’s Peter JohnstonBerresford and Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) staff Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Carien Vandenberg, Sarah Gil and Tanya McDonald, now the Dean of the School of Agiculture. The study showed the fertilizer component could be used at a reduced rate in cucumber production which can reduce the cost of production.

Using fuel produced on campus at the Biofuel Technology Centre, Dan Daley, now Chair of the Olds College School of Trades, set out along with the OCCI’s Brenda Zenert to test the effects of petroleum blends of biodiesel on engine wear and performance. Assisted by the OCCI’s Tanya McDonald and Sarah Gil, they compared 100% biodiesel (B100) and blends B5, B20 and B50 with B0 (petro-diesel only) in 8.1 and 12.6 litre John Deer engines in the Olds College Engine Mechanics Laboratory. Dynamometer results showed slight engine torque decreases and fuel consumption increases as biodiesel blend inclusions increased. However, the environmental benefits (reduced air emissions) and increased lubricity (smoother performance, longer lasting engines, and decreased maintenance costs) of biodiesel are significant advantages for its use in diesel engines. Use and Effectiveness of the Frostfree Nosepump for Cattle Watering

The completion of third party technology verification occurred on campus, testing the effectiveness of a cattle water system that requires no supplemental energy. Frostfree Nosepumps (FFNP) Ltd. provided their innovative Unity which

Another example of applied researching, finding solutions for industry is readily visible in the work Bob Hoffos, Olds College GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Instructor, conducted with Greenedge Precision Fence Inc. Greenedge manufactures a unique one-pass fencing system that installs complete fences in a fraction of the time a traditional fence (i.e. standard livestock wire fence with wooden posts) can be built. Collaborating with the OCCI’s Tanya McDonald (now the Dean of the School of Agiculture), Kelly MacKinnon, Cyrus Cox (summer student) and Debbie Bailey, Budget Coordinator, Academic & Research, Hoffos conducted a needs assessment which led to the evaluation of various technologies which can improve the installation of fences and increase business profitability. Hoffos and his team researched fencing automation techniques, evaluated and tested GPS guidance and associated mapping technologies, and assisted in the development of training materials. As a result, Greenedge has benefited from highly effective, efficient and ergonomic technology to move their land fencing and management industry to higher levels of productivity.

Working with student Chantelle Benjamin and Animal Health Technology (AHT) instructor Karen Lesnick, The School of Agriculture’s Dr. Dave Bjolin (Veterinarian and AHT instructor) set out to investigate the incidence of Salmonella shed in the feces of dogs. Salmonella poses a human health risk. The project involved collecting fecal samples from 28 dogs admitted to the Animal Health Technology Program that were fed normal pet food rations. Also, a dog not in the program but having a history of being fed a “raw food” diet was screened. The dog’s feces tested positive for a Salmonella subgroup named “3b Arizona” but the other 28 dogs did not show evidence of the bacteria. Bjolin cautions that further conclusive testing would be needed but there is evidence that an increasingly-popular raw food diet for dogs increases the prevalence of salmonella in their feces. Evaluation of Canola Press Cake Diets on Lamb Growth and Performance

PICTURED Top: Dr. Dave Bjolin, School of Agriculture. PICTURED ABOVE: High Energy Canola Press Cake. PICTURED bottom Left: Hands on – onsite applied research.

The School of Agriculture’s Neil French conducted a trial along with the OCCI’s Carien Vandenberg and Sarah Gil studying the effects of high-energy canola press cake (a byproduct of biodiesel production) on lamb growth and performance. Feeding 90 college-born lambs three types of rations with differing fat content, the team recorded data on animals` days on trial, rate of gain (lb/day), carcass weight and muscle score. Lambs fed on a high fat ration showed a significantly reduced rate of gain as compared to lambs on the moderate fat ration. Carcass weights of lambs fed a moderate fat ration were significantly heavier than lambs on the high fat ration. An analysis of fat samples showed that lambs fed the high fat ration had been impacted in fatty acid composition by storing more unsaturated fats which is beneficial to human health. However, researchers concluded the benefit may not justify the reduced rate of gain and carcass weight or increased days on trial.

FALL / WINTER 2011 19


Gateway to the Caribbean

Olds College expands its presence in the Caribbean and South America through Dominican educational partnership Dr. Abimbola Abiola sums up Olds College’s environmental reclamation work in the Dominican Republic quite simply. “I can show you pictures where the land looked like a barren moonscape,” says the Director of Applied Research and Lead Scientist at the Olds College Centre for Innovation. “And now these areas look like a tropical oasis.” PICTURED ABOVE: Luis Sabeter,

UAFAM President, Center: Dan Fullerton, Director of Business and International Development, Olds College, Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Director of Applied Research and Lead Scientist, (OCCI)

The reclamation work, one of the College’s many focuses in the small Caribbean country, is also just one of the many elements in a six-yearlong relationship with the Dominican Republic’s Auspicia la Universidad Agroforestal Fernando Arturo de Merino (UAFAM). Beginning with the

signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2005, Abiola and other Olds College representatives have made over a dozen trips to the Dominican Republic, in addition to numerous visits to Olds College by UAFAM and Dominican Republic representatives as well. Besides the area reclamation work undertaken by the two institutions, other facets of the partnership involve a strong focus on the development of applied research, golf course land management, arboriculture, GIS research and training, land remediation and more. Luis Sabeter, UAFAM President, says that given the striking similarities between UAFAM and Olds College, it’s a partnership that makes perfect sense. “We are almost the same as Olds College in the sense that we focus on an agribusiness, agriculture and forestry,” says Sabater. “We are in a small city called Jarabacoa in the mountains of the northwest part of the country, outside the capital of the Province of Santo Domingo and there is much that is the same.” Another prime example of the striking similarities, he adds, is their own Caribbean Centre for Rural Development which is very much like Olds College’s soon-to-be-constructed Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship (CIRE). Like the CIRE, the Dominican centre facilitates local development and houses a hotel and adjoining facilitates that help generate revenue for research and educational initiatives.



Rural development in the Dominican Republic, a vast concept encompassing economic and environmental sustainability, is a definitive goal for the two postsecondary institutions. And the reclamation work Dr. Abiola describes also offers a prime example of both schools’ focus on the benefits of applied research for industry. In this case, the major industrial benefactor is the Canada-based Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold producer. Much of the land remediation being done is in preparation for the Rosario Mining Project, a $2.7 Billion development that is expected to yield over 20 million ounces of gold. It’s important to note that the Rosario site was actually a functional mine 20 years ago and the remediation currently underway is a task taking place prior to Barrick’s undertakings. “The mine was closed 20 years ago because of environmental problems,” says Sabater. “For the last two decades there have been huge problems with the rivers, local biology, and agriculture because of heavy metal contamination.” Dan Fullerton, Olds College Director of Business and International Development, nods attentively as Abiola and Sabater describe polluted drinking water, medical issues within the local citizenry, and polluted lakes. “Before a Canadian company could be allowed to enter the scene, it was mandated that they first had to clean up the existing environmental damage,” says Fullerton. “And that’s where we come in.” Utilizing technology that has been successfully applied at other mining sites, composting technology where applicable, phytoremediation (the use of plants to remove contaminants from water and soil) and more, significant headway has been made. Working closely with Barrick, the plan is to eventually train and place an environmental specialist to proactively ensure that all future mining is environmentally sustainable and a shining example of how such companies can conduct business in the future. An added benefit, says Abiola, is that as vegetation is restored, “the remedial lands can now support biodiesel production.” These benefits to both environment and industry account for just some of the positive outcomes arrived at through The UAFAM/ Olds College agreement. Accompanying the partnership is an agreement with the Dominican

Republic itself, allowing Olds College access to the nation’s approximately 25 research stations and eliminating the need to bring biological samples – which may suffer degradation in the time it takes to return to Canada – all the way back to the College for research. The history for much of this stems back to a visit Olds College President Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson made to the Caribbean in 2007, where he brought forward the concept of a trilateral partnership between Olds College, the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti. He first spoke to UAFAM’s board of governors along with members of the local business community. He then delivered a similar address to the Dominican Academy of Science, who made him an honorary member, and later was joined by Dominican officials on a visit to Haiti, where he met with the President and Cabinet members. “His speech to the Academy of Science was well received,” recalls Sabater. “It was on that same visit that he introduced the idea of a centre for rural development in the Dominican to us.”

Just how far Olds College’s Caribbean work will go remains to be seen but the sky’s the limit says Fullerton. Clearly, things are just starting. “One million Canadians, many of them business people, visit the Dominican Republic every year,” he says. “Among many things, we hope this will allow us to develop a tropical agricultural component to our curriculum.” Other areas Olds College sees potential for growth in include greenhouse management, hands-on Caribbean business training, equine training, meat processing, composting for municipal waste, and expanded environmental programs for mining – to name just a few. Ultimately, Fullerton sees these early partnerships in the Dominican area laying the foundation for a larger gateway to the entire Caribbean and South America. He points out that Abiola has done work in St. Lucia and the Barbados in the past as well. The advantages all this can bring to the College and its many partners and stakeholders across the breadth of Canada is considerable. “The single largest benefit is new capacity for our stakeholders to expand our understanding of the Caribbean for business purposes.”

FALL / WINTER 2011 21

ELAP Students

Mexico Master’s students embrace OCCI technology and techniques PICTURED Below: Cesar Reyes, ELAP student , Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Director of Applied Research and Lead Scientist, (OCCI), Lirio Rosales, ELAP student. PICTURED Below: Campus research in one on the OCCI labs.

Come wintertime, it’s the differences between Canada and Mexico that send many of us fleeing south to the warmer climates of the tenth most-visited country in the world. But for Lirio Rosales and Cesar Reyes, it’s the similarities between the two countries – more specifically, the similarities between Mexico’s Chapingo University Durango Campus and the Olds College Centre for Innovation – that drew them northward to Canada. Mexico ,where I live, there are a lot of problems because there are many mines extracting metals like silver, zinc, and gold,” says Reyes. Rosales explains further, “The mines don’t have good environmental regulations, the water used in the area is contaminated and plants, animals and people are experiencing all sorts of environmental and medical problems.” Studying and learning remediation techniques and technology, much like the work the OCCI is conducting in the Dominican Republic [See story on page 20] offers the two students – who both hold Bachelor’s Degrees in Biotechnology Engineering – a way to enjoy fruitful careers and give something back to their respective communities.

“Chapingo and the OCCI have similar programs and a similar focus on water and soils remediation,” says Reyes. “The technology used is quite similar because OCCI and Chapingo are looking at similar problems.” “But OCCI has more of the technology and equipment,” adds Rosales. “We can do the same thing at Chapingo but it takes longer to get the results.” The problems Rosales and Reyes are tackling, part of their work towards completion of a Chapingo Master’s Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science in Arid Zones, stem from the environmental destruction caused by mining in their local communities. “In north



Their ability to do so is due to scholarships resulting from Olds College’s participation in the Emerging Leaders of Americas Program (ELAP), which supports students from South America, Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico in exchanges and research initiatives in Canada. In addition, funds have been secured from ELAP to support Jesus Jaquechauca, a graduate student from Peru who arrives in February to study sustainable agriculture. Reyes and Rosales’ plans for the future don’t stop with graduating with a Master’s Degree from Chapingo. Reyes is considering earning his PhD as is Rosales, perhaps in Alberta again. Overall, they say their experience up here has been nothing short of excellent. “I would say to other students in Mexico, ‘try this,’” says Reyes. “Learn new customs and another language and learn to share information and knowledge with other cultures.” “I like it here. There are nice people and it’s a nice place,” adds Rosales. She laughs. “But I don’t like the cold.”

CIRE Groundbreaking

Construction of Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship within the Pomeroy Inn and Suites to begin It was a hot day on September 9 and, closely replicating the first breaking of ground prior to the College’s opening in 1913, historian Keith Kolbert drove an early-century plow and horses outfitted in circa-1900 harness. This time however, the earth was being turned in preparation for construction of a four-star hotel, restaurant and convention centre with a commercial kitchen suitable for training. Within this complex, the Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship (CIRE) will offer highly specialized programming for rural entrepreneurs in Alberta and beyond. Situated on five acres of land, north of Olds College’s Land Sciences Building and south of Highway 27, the CIRE will develop new curriculum for creditbased and continuing education in countryside management: local food production, alternative land-use management, rural hospitality management, farm-fresh food sales and tourism.

PICTURED ABOVE: Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. PICTURED BELOW: Historian Keith

Kolbert, with an early century plow officially turns sod.

Calgary Campus

Calgary campus to open first day of Centennial With classes slated to begin January 2, 2013, the first day of Olds College’s Centennial year, the final stages of interior layout design for Olds College’s Calgary Campus are underway. GEC Architecture, the firm of record for the College’s partner and landlord, Bow Valley College, is overseeing the design based on specifications provided by Olds College. “Program planning is underway and will be finalized by Olds College’s Chairs and Deans and the new Director of the Calgary Campus,” says Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson, Olds College President. “Currently, recruitment for the Director position is in progress.” A new C-Train station will be located right at the door of the new South Tower, where Olds College, Calgary Campus is located. Move-in is tentatively planned for December 3 to 26 (inclusive) 2012. Ultimately, under the Campus Alberta concept, there will be four post-secondary institutions under one roof. They include: Bow Valley College, Olds College, University of Lethbridge and Athabasca University. PICTURED ABOVE: Architect’s rendering of the

new Bow Valley Campus addition that will house Olds College’s Calgary Campus.

FALL / WINTER 2011 23

Broncos Update

Broncos make a strong start If there’s one word that captures the Olds College Broncos athletics program in the 2011-2012 academic year, it’s “momentum.” Not only are they carrying some forward from last year, it is clearly still building. Greg Lendvay points to recent success such as the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball team’s triumph over Prairie Bible Institute in the Alberta College Athletic League (ACAL) regular season opener, both teams’ third win after locking two games in Olds College’s pre-season tournament.

“We’re pretty enthusiastic about athlete success, both what we’re seeing so far and what we anticipate this year,” says Greg Lendvay, Director of Health and Wellness and Broncos coach. “One reason is that we’re preparing kids for that transition into college, something that we need to do. I already see us playing at a higher level than we used to.”


President’s Award, 2011 Golf Tournament for most outstanding student athletes representing Olds College. Tracey Frimpong, Women’s Basketball, Business Program, Brayden Osterman, Men’s Basketball, AG Heavy Equipment, President Dr. H.J. (Tom) Thompson



Broncos’ success is appearing off the court as well. Lendvay attributes it all to the week of preparation Broncos athletes now spend prior to starting classes. Not only do they go through skill-specific strength and conditioning, they are coached to prepare for the academic year as well. Breaking down stereotypes is very much on Lendvay’s mind. “We want to make sure kids have the resources available to be successful and create ‘academic athletes,’’’ says Lendvay. “Last year, our athlete GPA was higher than the student body GPA.” There are few better places to showcase the Broncos then the College’s Annual Fall Classic, and approximately 50 Broncos were on hand to

unload golfers’ equipment from their cars, greet participants on the course, run components of the event and make presentations at the banquet afterwards. Ran as a fundraiser for Broncos Athletics, the event was successful and again generated important funding for this season. Other important recent events include the Resident Move-In, a feel-good concept put forward by Athletics Programmer Reg Carrick. New students that showed up, often with parents in tow, were greeted by ten athletes who hauled all the new student’s possessions and got him or her moved into residence in a single trip. “It was a great way to give back to the student population that supports us and raise awareness for the Broncos at the same time,” says Lendvay. One of the most visible changes for the Broncos this year is the hiring of Kyle Large, the Broncos new Game Day Coordinator. A recent graduate of Durham College (Ontario), he was part of the host committee for the 2010 National Basketball Championships hosted there. His considerably full plate includes preparing programs for game days, announcing at games, ensuring sponsor recognition, looking after music and digital signage, meeting officials ahead of the game, updating game stats on the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference website and considerably more. Despite the significant workload, Large says he couldn’t be happier to be here. “I feel that working at Olds College for even this short period of time has vastly improved my communication skills both in the workplace and in my personal life,” he says. “I was a little nervous leaving Ontario to come here but everyone here at Olds College has made me feel right at home.”

FALL / WINTER 2011 25

On Campus OCSA New Staff:

Academic School Updates School of Business

CAC Partnership

Olds College and RDC bring opportunities to Stettler area through Campus Alberta central Stettler-area residents now have increased access to a greater variety of educational options, thanks to two separate new agreements signed with Campus Alberta Central; one with the Town of Stettler and another with the Stettler District Community Adult Learning Council. “As an organization dedicated to providing lifelong educational opportunities for adults, Campus Alberta Central’s support will be of tremendous benefit to us and the greater community,” said Bonnie Ireland, Manager of the Stettler & District Adult Learning Council. “From bricks-and-mortar support such as leased office and learning space to furniture, training and support for our Site Coordinators, this new partnership brings tremendous advantages.” Area residents will be able to utilize learning opportunities such as on-site, online videoconferencing, and blended learning that uses any combination of those options. Coordination of a post-secondary committee will help facilitate the active participation of community partners including municipalities, school divisions, health support services, community agencies/organizations and the business community. Campus Alberta Central is the result of a joint partnership between Red Deer College and Olds College and operates under the Province of Alberta’s Campus Alberta mandate. Campus Alberta was created to allow students to learn the skills they want, and gain the certification they seek, where and when they want it with seamless transfer between Alberta post-secondary institutions. It also encourages institutions, such as Red Deer College and Olds College, to undertake greater regional stewardship and collaborate to enhance Alberta’s post-secondary education system. PICTURED ABOVE: Olds College Campus- in full bloom.



Olds College’s School of Business has been officially awarded program accreditation by the Canadian Institute of Management (CIM). The College’s Business program students are now eligible for professional designations offered by CIM. Professional certification in management (CIM - Certified in Management and P. Mgr - Professional Manager) will give students an important added credential to offer future employers which demonstrates competency and dedication. Business and International Development

The University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM)’s Dr. Scott Parrott, Dr. Joey Mehlhorn and three UTM students toured Olds College campus with some of the Olds College School of Innovation’s (OCCI) applied research clients. The tour included briefings on Olds College’s approach to sustainability and wetlands management, its waste management programs, integration of applied research with local business communities, and possible future tri-country student exchanges with Olds College, UTM and Mexico’s Antonio Narro Agrarian Autonomous University. School of Environment

Jane Rekston has been hired as the new Manager, Botanic Gardens and Wetlands Treatment Facility. Her most recent position prior to joining Olds College was Acting Senior Manager, Education, at the Calgary Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Peter Johnston-Berresford, Production Horticulture Programs Coordinator and Greenhouse Manager, is currently working with second-year Horticulture Production students to help restore health and propagate

Community Learning Campus

The CLC, located on Olds College campus, has recently signed an agreement with Alberta Health Services which will now have presence in the Ralph Klein Centre, also home to Olds High School. The AHS programs offered will focus on the community and its families with ties to programs and facilities already in place such as the Health & Wellness Centre, and high school. The programs will include, but are not limited to: Living Well Programs, Travel Health Clinics, Well Baby Clinics, Environmental Public Health, Health Promotion, and Immunization Services.

Olds College staff and faculty would like to extend congratulations and a welcome to this years new Olds College Students’ Association staff. To contact the OCSA, call 403-556-4629 or email OCSA Manager Deborah Wilson Office Assistant/ Publications Coordinator Melissa Hoppe President Barry Graham

plants from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller while their Cretaceous Garden undergoes extensive renovation. JohnstonBerresford and his students recently spent a day removing, cataloging and collecting the plants from the museum for transport back to OC greenhouse facilities.

delivering free evening presentations at the Olds Municipal Library, offered via Video Conference to Community Engagement sites in Central AB as well as throughout all of Alberta via the province’s municipal library network. More information can be found at

Internal Vice President Donald MacLeod

After approximately six to eight months, it’s expected that this unique collection – with a fossil record dating back to the Cretaceous era – will be returned to the museum.

Centre for Innovation

HELP Project Manager Blair Strocher

School of Trades and Career Studies

Following recent approval by Alberta Apprenticeship, Olds College will offer a Pre-Employment Motorcycle Mechanic program with the first student intake slated for February, 2012. The program prepares graduates to perform entry level assembly, maintenance, repairs, and restoration of motorcycles and other multi-wheeled lightweight all-terrain vehicles. School of Agriculture

Already well known to the college and its partners through her role as an OCCI Bioenergy Research Scientist, Tanya McDonald has been named as the new Dean of Agriculture for Olds College. McDonald brings extensive experience in project management and agricultural and environmental research to the school, and has deeply embedded connections to industry. Continuing Education

Marking a new facet of Olds College’s annual Hort Week in July, the College is now offering a Hort Week Winter Speaker Series running January through April 2012. Each session will feature Olds College Hort Week instructors

The OCCI has hired eight research assistants, all students currently enroled at the College. They will play a key role at the OCCI, helping technicians and scientists complete projects as well as assisting with research. The OCCI also played host to a number of tour groups from both the private and public sector. Most groups were interested in assessing OCCI’s research facilities and capabilities of conducting applied research projects with participants particularly interested in the potential of using the constructed wetlands project in solving water issues around the province. From the private sector, a number of oil and gas firms toured the facilities. Public sector guests included members of Alberta Environment, Natural Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AIBS) and Alberta Advanced Education Connector Service. Centre for Teaching and Learning

With international efforts now moving over to Business and International Development, the Centre for Teaching and Learning has been created to handle the academic components of what once was Academic and International Services. Among its many duties, the CTL will be a gateway for program and online course development. Already, it is involved in many new initiatives including developing an eightcourse Marketing and Agronomy program for Cargill, to be delivered by Olds College Continuing Education starting in 2012.

Academic Vice President Jennifer Aarts Communications Vice President Kelsey Aman Activities Vice President Bradley Dowell

Olds College Alumni Association 2011-2012 Board of Directors

President Jason Finnigan Past President Laurinda Parkinson Secretary Gerry Coen Treasurer Marjorie Brewin Honorary President Edith Edge Director John Perry Director Doug Jones Director Joan (Sandra) Hanson Director James Burns Director Christina Zilinski Director June Finlay Olds College Faculty Association Rep. Lyle Statham Olds College Student’s Association Rep. Donald MacLeod

FALL / WINTER 2011 27

Olds College November Horizons 2011  

Research, Innovation & Partnerships!

Olds College November Horizons 2011  

Research, Innovation & Partnerships!