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2016 RED DEER COLLEGE ALUMNI MAGAZINE

INFLUENCERS RDC alumni leave an impression

CATCHING UP WITH RDC What’s new on campus, and what does the future hold?

OUR FUTURE

Students’ Association makes a generous gift


2016

contents

Publisher RDC Marketing & Communications Executive Editor Adam Eisenbarth Associate Editor Rob Gilgan (Management Certificate, ‘93) Research & Writing Adam Eisenbarth Rob Gilgan Lani Lupul Lisa Mackey Shelley Newman Graphic Design Janet Molchanko Printing NexGen Grafix Inc. Photography Photek, Adam Eisenbarth On the Cover Students’ Association Executive (L-R) Brady Podloski, Outgoing VP Student Life Maryanne McGrath, SA President Ben Fleury, VP College Affairs Luke Neilson, Outgoing VP Operations Aiden Bridger, Incoming VP Student Life

Publication Mail Agreement 40010033 NOTEBOOK, RDC Alumni Community Magazine © Red Deer College 2016 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: RDC, 100 College Boulevard, Box 5005 Red Deer, AB, T4N 5H5

4 Alumni features 4

Stephen Kievit Motion Picture Arts Applied Degree

12 Kerry Bales Bachelor of Science, Nursing

More information is available at RDC’s alumni site: www.rdc.ab.ca/alumni

CATCHING UP WITH RDC 2

President’s Message An Eye to the Future

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What’s New at RDC? Recap of the Past Year

16 Jasmyn Solberg Business Administration Diploma

11 The RDC Alumni Association A Community beyond Convocation

22 Zainab Mohamoud Social Work Diploma

42 RDC’s Schools Illustrating RDC’s Diverse Program Opportunties

40 Penny Mueller Bachelor of Education, Elementary Editorial comments or ideas? Seeking permission to reprint? Contact the Alumni Relations office at 403.342.3308 or email alumni@rdc.ab.ca

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20 BACK TO CLASS 14 Rob Weddell Three Steps to a More Active Lifestyle 18 School of Creative Arts The Making of a Performing Arts Season 20 The Centre for Innovation and Manufacturing RDC’s Access to Cutting Edge Technologies 34 Dr. Stephanie Powers Making Sense of a Turbulent Economy 46 Brent Galloway A Healthy Upbringing - Keys to Supporting Children 38 Guillermo Barron A Passion for Philosophy

44 OUR PAST 6 The Past Year Recap of the Past 12 Months 36 A Brief History of RDC A Look Back at How We Got Here 44 Athletics 2015-2016 Season in Review

26 OUR FUTURE 24 Gary W. Harris Proud Alumnus - $5 Million Donor 26 The Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport A Look at RDC’s Latest Facility Expansion Project 29 Shaping Our Future A Community Initiative 30 Passing the Torch RDC Students Invest in Our Future 31 Upcoming Events What’s in Store for the Next Year 32 Our Vision for the Future Becoming a Polytechnic University


Stay ConnectED to your alma mater We want to help you stay connected to a piece of your past, and help you reconnect with your peers!

Be our friend on Facebook facebook.com/alumni.rdc

Join the conversation on Twitter @RDCAlumni

Connect through LinkedIn Search Red Deer College Alumni

Update your contact info Help us keep you up to date rdc.ab.ca/keepintouch

Read more stories on our blog rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Or, just say hello! alumni@rdc.ab.ca

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Notebook

2016

An Eye to the Future At Red Deer College we see every day that hope springs eternal. Through challenging economic times we are seeing enrolment increases, as people throughout our region look to open doors and create new opportunities. Our increased enrolment underlines the notion that this is not a time to lose hope, but instead a time to consider reinventing ourselves; to rethink our future with optimism while still looking back with a sense of pride. Red Deer College itself is going through this time of reflection and looking to the future. What do we need to do to maintain relevance? How do we better equip our region with learning opportunities for the future? These are questions our College is always considering, and it is why we have maintained a strong reputation as the learning institution of choice in central Alberta for more than 50 years. When we announced a gift of $5 million from alumnus Gary W. Harris last year, we were all reminded of just how special the RDC community is. Mr. Harris’s remarkable generosity and his historic gift, the largest single donation the College has ever received, will reverberate through many generations to come. In recognition of his generosity, Mr. Harris’s name will grace our next facility expansion project, with the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport slated to open in the fall of 2018. His gift speaks to the importance of investing in our learners, who impact the

continued prosperity and success of our communities. With construction underway on the Harris Centre, new possibilities are emerging, and we are excited about what this facility will mean for our learners and our communities. The Harris Centre is a pivotal piece for our growth and development. Great programs, well-delivered in modern facilities, strengthens our case for Polytechnic University status. This status would mean RDC could do everything we do now, plus granting our own degrees, and it would position us to continue expanding our role in driving the prosperity and vibrancy of our region. Much like the students who walk our halls, we are enthusiastic about the future. We have always embraced the opportunity to grow and adapt to the needs of our learners. The people in our communities are resilient, and we look forward to the next phase of our journey together. As you will see in this year’s edition of Notebook, our alumni are spread throughout the region and beyond, sharing their talents and their expertise with the world, and enriching our communities culturally, socially and economically. Our alumni help us at Red Deer College, to reflect on where we have been and look to the future with optimism and a sense of purpose. JOEL WARD President & CEO, Red Deer College


TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

SUPPORT OUR COLLEGE & OUR LEARNERS Each year our students benefit from the support of our community through various initiatives and programs. We can help you make the gift that fits within your goals and means. Supporting student success is easy!

Back in the day, or if you prefer, back in the good old days, trends were something a person would notice, study, analyze and, depending on whether deemed positive or negative, embrace. Today, you barely get past ‘notice,’ and it’s on to the next new trend. You can log into your Twitter account and actually read exactly what’s trending At. That. Very. Moment. Odds are, however, the top trending topics are going to involve celebrities you’ve never heard of, since the most significant thing they’ve done is...trend on Twitter. There are so many tools available to keep in touch that we need tools to aggregate them, so we don’t have to spend our whole day going through app after app, just to identify the trends and how they might impact our friends and colleagues. Even keeping up with Twitter or Facebook can be both daunting and very hard on your productivity. What’s my point you ask? Well, I’d like to pay it forward with my “Top Ten Things I Hope Will Trend Soon”: 1. I hope the economy levels off and starts to improve. 2. I hope the mild weather continues, but with a trend toward more moisture, so farmers have lots to work with. But not too much! 3. I hope we trend away from war and

work toward peace, internationally, nationally, regionally and locally. 4. I hope enrolment trends up at RDC. More students mean more alumni. 5. I hope the craft beer trend continues. Not everyone agrees that beer has finally been perfected. 6. I hope the home gardening trend continues. And the local food trend. 7. I hope the College transitions to a Polytechnic University. Watch the trends that will spawn across central Alberta. 8. I hope the trend toward hosting major events in Red Deer (Memorial Cup, Canada Winter Games) continues. 9. I hope the trend to reach out to alumni continues and has phenomenal success. 10. I hope that trend leads to alumni reaching back.

ONLINE Donations are accepted online for various initiatives. Visit rdc.ab.ca/giving

SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS Add to our more than $840,000 in scholarships and awards.

ADOPT AN ATHLETE Support our Kings and Queens student athletes. Visit rdc.ab.ca/athletics SPONSORSHIP Support our athletics and creative arts seasons or our many events.

We’re sincere when we say we want to hear from you. Want to hear your stories. Want to hear how you’re doing and where you are. Want you to come back and enjoy the place, again and again. You can start that trend right here: write to us at alumni@rdc.ab.ca PATRICK GALESLOOT Chair, RDC Alumni Association

PLANNED GIVING Leave your legacy at Red Deer College. GIFT PLANNING Contact the Community Relations department: 403.342.3175 | foundation@rdc.ab.ca rdc.ab.ca/foundation

EVENTS Join us at our entertaining and enlightening fundraising events.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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“I like making films here. It’s where my heart is.”

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STEPHEN KIEVIT 2009 MOTION PICTURE ARTS APPLIED DEGREE

MAKING A SCENE

W

hen Leonardo DiCaprio took the stage to accept his long-awaited Oscar for Best Actor earlier this year, it was the highlight of the 2016 Academy Awards; but, his outstanding achievement in the blockbuster film The Revenant relied so much on the work of so many people. “The Revenant was a product of the tireless efforts of an unbelievable cast and crew I got to work alongside,” DiCaprio said in his acceptance speech. Among the 250 people on the crew was RDC alumnus Stephen Kievit, whose career in the film industry is off to an exciting start. Along with his role as a trainee assistant director on The Revenant, Stephen also worked on Interstellar, another Oscar-nominated film. “It’s such a people-based industry,” says Stephen of his early experience. “Now I’ve got a good relationship with some big producers that have come through. I’ve got their contact information, and they’re willing to talk to me because I’ve built that relationship with them. These are people that can help me in the future.” After getting his first major film opportunity as a Production Assistant on Interstellar, Stephen’s networking skills led him to an opportunity to support the film location scout work in western Alberta and parts of British Columbia for The Revenant. He supported the director, cinematographer, producer and assistant director as they developed their vision for the Oscar-winning film. Once it was time to film, Stephen stepped into his next role as one of four assistant trainee directors, a wideranging role with many responsibilities in support of the production. His

RDC alumnus Stephen Kievit has experienced the behindthe-scenes work of two Oscar-nominated films. With the insights, the knowhow, and the contacts, he’s thinking big in a career that is off to a promising start.

experience as part of two major productions has given him a good sense of just how much work goes into a feature film. “It’s a crazy amount of work. Even just the guy who’s setting up the light - he’s out there battling the elements. Everyone gets dragged through the mud in one way or another, and it takes a very resilient individual to keep going in this industry,” he says. “You do it because you love it. You do it because it’s what you’re passionate about. That’s why we’re all there. It’s not for everyone. If you’re not willing to go that far with it, it’s not worth it for you.” His experience with visionary director Alejandro González Iñárritu also served as an early insight into the meticulous process of putting together an Oscarworthy film. “His attention to detail is unbelievable. You’ve never seen anything like it. He has an eye for things that you would never even think of,” Stephen says of Iñárritu. “He wanted everything that would be in the frame at any time to be exactly what it was supposed to be in his mind. That’s an attention to detail that a director should have.” The Revenant led the field with 12 Oscar nominations this year, and the film earned three Academy Awards. It was filmed in chronological order – a rare strategy that Iñárritu and DiCaprio used to make the film more real for the actors involved. “We sort of all went through the same struggles and emotions and that entire journey was as true for the crew as it was for the characters that you see on screen,” he says, noting that the unique film experience was also shot entirely in natural light.

With his experience in two major Oscar-nominated films, Stephen is looking forward to participating in more feature films as he grows in his career. And while he’s looking ahead, he never forgets where he came from. He credits RDC’s Theatre and Film programs for developing his skills as a successful writer, director and producer. His instructors made an early impression on him with their passion and dedication. “They were all great and are incredible people to work for. They will help you do what you need to do to get where you need to go. I have nothing but love for all of them.” As for his future, the Calgary-based artist is benefitting from a recent upswing in activity in the province. A massive film studio is nearing completion in southeast Calgary, and there has been an increased level of interest in the area from the industry, with the low Canadian dollar enticing American companies to look north. It’s an encouraging sign for Stephen, who isn’t opposed to moving outside the country but would prefer to continue supporting the film industry in Canada. “I like making films here. It’s where my heart is. I will continue to work on some pictures that come through. I do really like working on the feature films.” As he looks to the next opportunity with aspirations of becoming the next Alejandro Iñárritu or Christopher Nolan, Stephen couldn’t be happier with the initial success of a career that fits his lifestyle and allows him to creatively explore his passion. “I never want to get comfortable, and I never want to get that feeling where I have a secure job. I don’t want the nine-to-five job.” rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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WHAT’S NEW AT RDC? TAKING A LOOK BACK SINCE OUR LAST EDITION Our last edition of Notebook hit the stands in June 2015, and a lot happens around the College in the course of a year. Here are just a few highlights from the past year!

June 2015

RDC introduces a new Athletics Director Shortly after our last edition of Notebook, Red Deer College announced the hiring of Diane St-Denis as the new Athletics Director. Diane inherited a program built on excellence after a seven-year run from Keith Hansen, who remains an instructor at the College. Diane has continued RDC’s tradition of excellence, leading RDC Athletics through another year of tremendous competition and success. Congratulations on a great first year Diane, and we look forward to many more championship pursuits ahead! 6

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July 2015

Summer Camps & Series are a hit Every summer, RDC’s Summer Camps & Series Summer Arts School provide an opportunity for both adults and children to explore their creativity and learn new skills. These programs keep our campus lively through the summer months and offer a wide selection of activities that appeal to anyone.

August 2015

Plans for the Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport are unveiled Plans for the Centre were made public at a special presentation on the College’s main campus, launching RDC into its latest expansion project. With the ground leveled and construction underway since that time, the campus has been buzzing with excitement for the many new opportunities that this facility will create.


September 2015

Major donations announced, including the largest in College history A combined $8 million in donations were announced at Red Deer College in a special event at the Arts Centre on main campus. This included a $5 million donation from Gary W. Harris, the largest single gift in RDC’s history. His name will grace the Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport when it opens in 2018.

October 2015

Custom Viewbook helps prospective students find the right program As an important evolution in our digital world, the Custom Viewbook is a unique tool that provides our prospective students with the support needed to find the programs and information to make an informed choice about RDC. This useful online tool is available at rdc.ab.ca/customviewbook.

Create your custom RDC Viewbook online!

January 2016

RDC awarded grant for vital research project A project spearheaded by Dr. Choon-Lee Chai was one of 27 research projects across Canada to be selected for a Community and College Social Innovation Fund Grant. The grant is funding a three-year research initiative that is assessing programs and services for immigrant women in central Alberta. The project will play a key role in informing community organizations and policy makers of the availability and effectiveness of programs and services for our immigrant population.

www.rdc.ab.ca/customviewbook

February 2016

NOVA Chemicals enters key partnership with RDC, Canada Winter Games It was an exciting day at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, where it was announced that NOVA Chemicals has committed $2 million to crucial community projects, including the construction of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport, and the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

March 2016

Construction begins on the Harris Centre Premier Rachel Notley joined us on campus to celebrate this major project as construction got underway on the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport. The Harris Centre is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018.

June 2016

RDC Kings Volleyball Champions Inducted From 2000 to 2007 the Kings Volleyball team won the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) natonal title every year. This remarkable achievement was recognized with the teams being inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Red Deer in a special event.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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THE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented annually to an alumnus who has distinguished him or herself in one or more of the following areas: personal achievement, academic achievement or public service.

PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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Michael Dawe Diana Anderson Dr. Janice Cosgrove-Dunn Dr. Rebecca Luce-Kapler Dr. Sandy Murray Keith Hansen Guy Pelletier Doug Sandall Tony Kulbisky Melody Davidson Tim Gitzel Bryan Wilson Lt. Col. Jay Janzen Dr. Duane Smethurst Peter Weddell Dr. Janet Welch Dr. Lynne Paradis Randy Harper Sheila Musgrove

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2016 Distinguished alumnus

ANDREW KOOMAN

Andrew Kooman strives to tell exceptional stories that have a lasting impact in the world. Andrew’s storytelling journey has led him to Red Deer College in different ways, first as a student and then as an employee. He graduated from the Bachelor of Arts collaborative degree program between Red Deer College and the University of Calgary in 2003. He later graduated from the Multimedia Web Developer program at RDC in 2008, and worked as a Public Relations Consultant from 2011 to 2014. Andrew is an author and playwright, and his writing has been published around the world and translated into 10 languages. His critically acclaimed play, She Has A Name, investigates the sex trade in Southeast Asia. The play premiered in Calgary in 2011 and toured Canada the following year. It continues to be produced throughout North America and is currently being translated into Spanish. The film adaptation was shot in Thailand in 2015, with a projected release date of December, 2016.

Andrew is committed to helping change areas of social injustice, through his creative works and fundraising activities. Through a strategic partnership with A Better World Canada, he helped to create the She Has A Name project in Bangkok, which supports the Home of New Beginnings. His commissioned works - She Has a Name, We are the Body and After Hymn! - have raised more than $250,000 for charity. With his integrity, compassion and humility, Andrew is an inspiration to Red Deer College students and the community of Red Deer, as well as anyone familiar with his work and writings. Andrew looks to make a difference in the world, whether it’s in his hometown of Red Deer, where he co-founded Unveil Studios with his brothers, Matthew and Daniel, or on a more global scale, where he is dedicated to informing the public about the extent of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.


the selection process Through a process of nomination by local community members, the Alumni Association Board provides the applications to a subcommittee that ensures all applications are vetted properly and the award is bestowed on the most deserving candidate.

NOMINATION If you know a deserving RDC Alumnus and would like to nominate them for this prestigious award, please contact RDC Alumni Relations by calling 403.342.3175

2016 Distinguished alumnA

KATHRYN McKENZIE

Kathryn McKenzie has a vision to make the world a better place, and she is helping to do this by sharing stories of resilience and hope. Kathryn’s career path began at Red Deer College, where she was a student in the Transfer Program before obtaining her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education through the University of Lethbridge. While at RDC, Kathryn won many awards, including Student of the Year in 2004, the Rick Gerard Memorial award for exemplary writing and scholarships for her athletic and academic achievements in her role as captain of the Cross Country Running Team. She was also an active leader in the Red Deer College community, sitting on the Board of Governors as a student representative and founding the International Student’s Club. After graduation, Kathryn began her teaching career, where she took great pride in coaching sports teams. She also created a training program for 150 students, helping them complete their first 5 km road race in support of the Calgary Food Bank. Kathryn carries a strong vision and helps students learn to achieve their goals while also giving back to their community. Kathryn’s vision for a better world led her to found the Worldviews Project, an online platform for positive news that showcases leaders from around the world who are making their communities better. Kathryn, who has established herself as a voice for mental health awareness, uses her own experience with mental health challenges to teach others

to shift their perspective from pessimism to hope. She was especially aware of the importance of hope for her students, as she felt the constant bombardment of negative news promoted fear and anxiety for youth, who are already one of the highest risk populations for mental health issues. Through her own work on the Worldviews Project, and her work with students on the Human Voice Project, Kathryn has been involved with creating film documentaries, photo galleries, podcasts and stories that share messages of resilience and hope from local and global communities. Kathryn’s audience and reach have expanded far beyond what she could have imagined, and her work has made her a role model and inspiration in our communities and schools.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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THE ALUMNI LEGACY AWARD First established in 2004, the Alumni Legacy Award is a posthumous award given to recognize an individual alumnus’ contribution to the community.

2016 ALUMNI LEGACY AWARD

JOE BOWER

The 2016 Alumni Legacy Award is presented posthumously to Joe Bower, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Red Deer College in 1998. Joe was passionate about teaching and, within three years of starting his career, he was already leading the charge to change the education system to better meet the needs of all students. Joe’s influence on education in Red Deer was profound, as his entire philosophy centred around ensuring that the needs of students were being met. He was dedicated to challenging the educational system’s status quo, and became instrumental in changing how his colleagues – and educators from around the world – perceived grades, awards, assessments and student motivation. When Joe started his blog “for the love of learning,” his messages about education resonated with teachers on a global level, and his blog recorded as many as 85,000 views in a single month. Social media was another incredible platform for Joe to connect and engage with fellow educators, and his Twitter account had 12,000 followers. He was an author, public speaker and tireless advocate for advancing and evolving educational practices, and he was on a first-name basis with leading educational figures from across the globe. As his influence and reach expanded to an unimaginable level, Joe never forgot about the importance of individuals. He mentored hundreds of people online to help them determine how they could best assist the students in their care. He also remained passionate about teaching his own students, cultivating a respectful and caring atmosphere that encouraged each of his students to grow and develop. Joe was a social justice and educational warrior who embraced his role in life and touched thousands of lives. Joe passed away from a sudden heart attack on January 3, 2016, to the heartbreak of his family and community. His legacy as a teacher will have an on-going impact on students, past students and other educators.

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The award honours the spirit and commitment to Red Deer and central Alberta exemplified by the first honouree, Phil Rauch.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Alumni Association will bestow a $750 award to a deserving student who is making a meaningful contribution of time, effort and leadership that makes our communities special places for our citizens.

NOMINATION For more information on this award and for nominating a deserving candidate, please contact RDC Alumni Relations by calling 403.342.3175.


THE ALUMNI CIRCLE Connecting to a Shared Past. A message from the RDC Alumni Association AN ENGAGED ALUMNI is like a huge blended family. Our alumni vary widely in age, interests and careers, and they are spread across the planet. Many came here for education and returned home for careers, while others found RDC to be the perfect launching pad and decided to stay and create their homes in central Alberta. What they all have in common is the memories of their time on campus and some of the most valuable relationships of their entire lives. The value of engagement is when alumni reach back. Even after decades away, stepping back on campus is an enriching experience. Every hallway, every nook and cranny bears the moments of shared experiences. Sometimes faces are elusive and names challenging to confirm, but in a few short minutes, the memories start to gel. Many alumni comment on how much RDC has changed and then pause, recalling details that are still etched in the wall, the windows, the sidewalks and especially, residence. The greatest stories of those times almost always involve an instructor or ‘prof.’ Many former students tell us how those relationships were life-changing, when a favoured faculty pointed to potential the student had yet to tap. Sometimes that was simply affirming; other times, it was opening a door that led to a path and a rewarding life previously unimagined. Many faculty stay in touch with students and find those relationships among the richest perks of the profession. The goal of the Alumni Association is to foster this continued dialogue, whether through assisting in facilitating reunions, funding events where alumni return to share their experiences with current students or lending support by providing opportunities for the next crop of graduates. The Alumni Board is also the steward of the endowment that provides awards and scholarships. The Board ensures continuity in alumni programs and fosters change and keeps the ‘family’ up-to-date by remaining current. We use ‘old-school’ techniques like the postal service and the telephone and are witnessing the social shift toward online communities. Social media can be fun and rewarding – new stories with old friends and old stories with new, sharing the common thread of the familiar RDC experience. So, do join in. We love to hear from you, and we’d love to hear about you and your friends, your other RDC relatives.

MEET YOUR RDC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Patrick Galesloot

Ben Fleury

Students’ Association Rep

Chair

Bre Fitzpatrick

Vice Chair

Amanda Blair

Secretary/Treasurer

Amanda Hadland

Director

Dr. Janet Welch Director

Kim Smith

Director

Kevin Frank Faculty Association Rep

Rob Gilgan

Executive Director

Joel Ward

President and CEO

MICHAEL DONLEVY

Vice President, Enterprise & Community Relations

Janice Wing

Director of Community Relations

Carol kihn

Administrative Support

Scott Hucal

Director

Chris stelmack

Past Chair

michelle colby

Director

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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KERRY BALES 1998 BACHELOR OF SCIENCE, Nursing

HOMEGROWN HEALTH CARE LEADER With nearly 50 communities and 500,000 people across 95,000 square kilometres, Alberta Health Services’ Central Zone is an expansive region. chief zone officer and RDC alumnus Kerry Bales is working to ensure that central Albertans are receiving the best health care possible as he provides leadership and accountability in a challenging yet rewarding role.

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F

rom his humble beginnings growing up in Carstairs, Alberta, RDC Alumnus Kerry Bales is playing a crucial role in the health care of our region. As the Chief Zone Officer of Alberta Health Services’ Central Zone, he is responsible for ensuring our system runs efficiently and effectively. Serving nearly 50 communities and a population of almost 500,000 people, Alberta Health Services’ Central Zone is an expansive area, covering 95,000 square kilometres. “It’s a very big Zone, and part of my role is to make sure that we create good opportunities for meaningful discussions, community engagement, and close connections with patients and families,” he explains. “Maintaining

When I look back, just being able to work with patients and families one-on-one and being able to make a difference in their lives in that moment is special to me,” he says. “Obviously that translates differently as you get further away from providing direct care. Now my challenge is to create success for other people to be able to deliver that quality care.” As Kerry notes, health care is a very personal service that impacts everyone at one time or another. So with limited resources in an increasingly challenging economy, it is leaders like Kerry who are being looked to for guidance and a resourceful perspective. “I think one of the primary challenges, facing health care anywhere, is making sure that you maximize the use of very limited resources and funding to provide

“I think one of the primary challenges, facing health care anywhere, is making sure that you maximize the use of very limited resources and funding to provide the best possible quality care with the best possible access.” those relationships and partnerships and remaining engaged is an important piece of the work.” With services including acute care, continuing care, senior services, addictions and mental health services, public health, primary care and more, Kerry’s role not only impacts a wide geographic area, but a wide range of clinical disciplines. “It’s never boring. There’s never a lack of things that could be improved and done better. Even though we do them well now, there’s always an opportunity to do something better,” he says. While Kerry works in a leadership role today, he started his career as a nurse after graduating from RDC in 1998. He worked in a number of frontline clinical roles ranging from home care and medical units, to the emergency department and palliative care. In 2003, he took his first leadership role in the former David Thompson Health Region. “Some of the fondest memories I have are actually from working on the floor.

the best possible quality care with the best possible access,” he says. “As with most things, health care is getting more expensive, and the amount of resources that are available is comparatively less. So it’s obviously a challenge to make sure that constantly improve service delivery under those circumstances.” In 2009, when the former health authorities, such as the David Thompson Health Region, were reorganized into the Zones that exist today, Kerry played a key role in guiding central Alberta’s new structure into existence. It was a massive undertaking, and Kerry says it has taken time to settle into the Zone structure. “We’re at the point now where we’re past the building stages, and now we’re focusing on how we continue to refine and improve our services,” he says, noting that his involvement in supporting the transition was probably the biggest undertaking of his career. The challenges Kerry faces in his role are large and affect the population at a

very personal level, so his early passion for health care has played an important role in giving him the strength to manage the demands and stresses of the job. It’s that passion that first led him to his educational pursuits at Red Deer College. “I’ve always had an interest in health care and people, so it made sense that nursing was the right opportunity. It’s a wonderful career, and it can open doors to so many other things within health care. It was just a really great place to start.” Having grown up in a small town, Red Deer College appealed to him as he searched out his post-secondary options, and he’s thankful that he has been able to stay in the central Alberta region for his education and now his career. “I consider central Alberta to be my community. I really have quite enjoyed the opportunity to do this type of work and make a difference locally. To be able to access my education close to home has been a privilege for me.” With his local perspective and diverse background in the health care field, it is safe to say that central Albertans are in good hands with a strong homegrown leader whose heart has always been in the region and for the people of our communities.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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THREE STEPS TO A MORE ACTIVE LIFESTYLE Most of us want to be more active. But where do we start? And how do we turn that distant memory of a New Year’s Resolution into a healthy habit? It does not have to be so difficult. We sat down with RDC instructor Rob Weddell, an expert in physical literacy and fitness, to get some motivation. We’ve taken his advice and have broken it down into three simple steps.

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What is a SMART Goal? STEP 1 – Set Your SMART Goals Think about what you want to achieve and what is realistic. It’s good to be confident and believe in yourself, but you also have to be honest with what you think you can achieve. Remember that your goals can always be increased once you have started to consistently meet your initial targets. “When we feel good about achieving something, it helps us to keep going with it as well,” explains Rob. Canada Physical Activity Guidelines outline 150 minutes of activity per week for an adult. “More is better, and 10-minute increments are a good way to start. Once a person is hitting that 150 minutes, we can do one of two things: we have to either increase the duration or, better yet, increase the intensity.”

STEP 2 – Get Moving!

You’ve probably heard this before – sitting is the new smoking. It’s become clear that our sedentary lifestyles are becoming a health hazard. “Being active and meeting our 150 minutes per week is one thing, but if we’re just doing that and sitting the rest of the time, we’re at a greater health risk than what we think,” says Rob. He explains that simple efforts to reduce sedentary behaviors will go a long way in building a healthier lifestyle. Maybe it’s parking an extra block away from work. Maybe it’s walking over to coworkers to ask questions rather than emailing them. “It’s just about taking a look at your day and thinking, where do I sit most in the course of a day and how can I break up that time sitting?”

STEP 3 – Find the Right Reasons to Keep Going This may be the biggest reason that people give up on their active lifestyle efforts. Body image is a common reason for people to try to get more active, but if they do not see immediate results, they often wave the white flag. Rob encourages people to find the right reasons for getting more active. “There are a lot of benefits to physical activity and a lot of times society’s focus is exercise for weight management. Exercise can help in weight management, but it’s not the only factor,” says Rob. “Diet and nutrition, sedentary behaviour, types of exercises and genetics all play a role too. People can get very discouraged when using body image as their goal.” It’s important to motivate yourself with more meaningful objectives that will encourage you to keep up your activity levels. “There are so many benefits to physical activity including disease preventions, mental wellness and social wellness. People need to find something that is personal to them that will help them to do it.” Rob adds that it can help to use activity as a social tool. Join a walking or biking group, find an activity with a friend or meet some new people at the gym. There are many ways to motivate yourself without resorting to a short-sighted goal that won’t reveal immediate results.

SPECIFIC

A well-defined goal is essential to success. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

MEASURABLE

How will you know when your goal is accomplished? Make sure your goals can be measured so that you can stay on track.

ATTAINABLE

Build some basic knowledge about what it will take to achieve your goal. If you set a goal without considering what will go into achieving it, it’s impossible to know if you’re being realistic.

REALISTIC

Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve, and in what timeframe. Unachievable goals are a fast-track to giving up.

TIMELY

Always give yourself a timeframe. Deadlines are essential in selfassessment. A reasonable timeline will give you the sense of urgency that you need to keep striving towards the goal.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 15


JASMYN SOLBERG 2012 BusINESS ADMINISTRATION DIPLOMA

BUILDING A FOLLOWING

Tweets, posts, likes and follows are all a part of everyday life for social media specialist Jasmyn Solberg. The Business Administration graduate GIVES Red Deer College a voice in an everchanging social media environment.

I

n the fast-paced world of social media, Jasmyn Solberg is in her lane. The 26-year-old communications consultant with RDC is in charge of running Red Deer College’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. And while she did not initially set out to be a social media guru, she finds the job is a great niche for her in the marketing and communications world. “I knew that I wanted to go into business and mainly chose RDC because of the size. It was small and close to home, but big enough that is still felt like a big step. I like the ‘homey’ feel,” says the native of Bentley, Alberta. Having grown up in a small town, and as an alumna of the College herself, Jasmyn is in-tune with the community voice that Red Deer College evokes to its followers. “I have that background as a student here and now I’m also building on that as an employee here, so I can play on the fact that I know what it was like as a student to attend RDC and why students come here. I often find, without realizing it, that I pull from that background and use it to help guide what I’m saying on social media.” While most of us think of social media as a personal way to connect with friends, family and the world around us, the job of managing corporate social media accounts is much different. The value of a quality social media channel has become widely recognized by organizations as they seek to engage and grow an audience for the good of their brands. Social media posts seem to come and go in the blink of an eye for the general public, so for Jasmyn, it is more important to create engaging, quality content that captures the interests of her audience. There is always a larger strategy in mind when she creates content for the various social media channels. “I don’t think it’s something that most people realize because social media is moving so fast. You put something out there 16 Notebook

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and then it’s gone and something else comes up and distracts you. So it’s really important for me that I ensure what I’m putting out there is relatable and important to our audience.” There is a lot at stake in the social media field, with

“That’s always something that’s challenging me: keeping up with the newest trend, keeping a pulse on the newest platforms, KNOWING what’s going on and how I can incorporate that into representing RDC to a larger audience.” organizations across the world always looking for new ways to share their brand and build a loyal following. “It’s not just writing a post and putting it out there. I


can’t just write like I would on a personal account. It’s about representing the College voice. I’m representing RDC as a whole and a lot of people see it as a first impression, so it’s important for me to really think strategically about what I’m putting out there.” The growing emphasis on social media in today’s world of marketing has created this new vein of expertise. It was only a few years ago that the role was non-existent, but social media positions are cropping up in all sorts of companies. Jasmyn was hired at the College about a year ago in a newlycreated position that has enabled her to continue growing her expertise in the specialized communications role. “I’ve always been interested in it, and I think that was really amped up more when I realized how social media was playing a role in our everyday lives and that it was just going to expand,” she says. Between managing the evolving interests of RDC’s social media following, along with new and changing platforms, Jasmyn finds a future-focused approach is essential to staying relevant and effective in meeting the social media objectives of the College. “It’s interesting because social media is always changing and growing and adapting, and you have to do the same with it. That’s always something that’s challenging me: keeping up with the newest trend, keeping a pulse on the newest platforms, knowing what’s going on and how I can incorporate that into representing RDC to a larger audience.” And while social media is a great tool for most brands, it’s crucial the audience feels they are benefitting as well. While she reaches out to thousands of people with each post, the experience can have a more personal touch. “Social media is also used as a customer service tool, so if someone has a concern or issue with something, they’ll often share that online. So part of the job is ensuring that I’m responding in a timely manner and addressing their concerns. There’s a lot that goes into it.” Along with posting on behalf of the College on its main accounts, Jasmyn is also kept busy with creating messaging for RDC Athletics’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. She plays an advisory role, evaluating the effectiveness of other social media accounts around the College and works with different departments to ensure they are getting the most out of their pages as they represent the College. It is a job that Jasmyn finds value in. She represents the College, and she captures the lives of students throughout RDC. And it is that community sense that has Jasmyn enjoying every day on campus. “I want to show what RDC is through student experiences. Highlighting what students are doing and showing the College through their eyes is really important because I think that’s what people connect with more than anything else.”

JOIN THE CONVERSATION facebook.com/reddeercollege

Joined November, 2011 6,000+ likes

@RedDeerCollege

Joined October, 2009 6,200+ followers

@RedDeerCollege

Joined February, 2014 1,500+ followers

IN MEMORY RDC Alumni Relations wishes to honour the lives of our alumni and staff who passed away in 2015. We extend condolences to the families and friends of these cherished loved ones. Theresa Davis Feb. 2, Age 67

Willow Birse Jun. 21, Age 39

Shawn Morgan Feb. 25, Age 46

Colin Axelsen Jul. 31, Age 38

Thomas Hamilton Mar. 21, Age 29

Linda Herber Aug. 6, Age 69

Becky Sjare Mar. 28, Age 56

Gerald Blair Aug. 6, Age 79

John Roome Apr. 1, Age 75

Linda Blades Sep. 14, Age 67

Patrick Engbrecht Apr. 7, Age 40

Doris Lauer Sep. 28, Age 81

Robert Fleming Apr. 23, Age 62

Janice Williams Oct. 20, Age 62

Will Westman May 6, Age 32

John Kerr Oct. 22, Age 55

Harry Kwantes May 15, Age 86

Larissa Lloyd Nov. 4, Age 43

Jamie Michel May 18, Age 45

Wanda Williams Nov. 10, Age 57

Jacqueline Keen Jun. 4, Age 65

Vernen Olson Nov. 15, Age 81

Doris Nelson Jun. 20, Age 73

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 17


ADDING TO THE ARTS SCENE The RDC School of Creative Arts season is a major undertaking for students, staff and faculty each year. The season provides our learners a glimpse into life beyond the classroom as they explore their talents and express their creativity. EACH YEAR, RDC’s School of Creative Arts hosts an extensive range of entertaining and artistic events. Putting together an entire season of arts and entertainment takes tremendous commitment from students, staff and faculty. It is an undertaking that gives learners a genuine sense of what goes into enriching a community’s arts scene. With about 50 events each year, Red Deer College is making a generous contribution to the local arts scene. Learners from RDC’s five programs within the School of Creative Arts are exploring their talents and sharing their growth with the central Alberta community. But as School of Creative Arts Dean, Jason Frizzell, will tell you, coordinating and executing such an elaborate season of events is no small task. “It takes a lot of people to make it all happen. You may only be seeing two or three people on the stage at one of our plays, but if you think about how many people it took to get those people prepared for the stage, to build the set and so on, it’s fairly involved.” 18 Notebook

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Along with four live theatre productions that take place each year, the School of Creative Arts also hosts art gallery exhibitions, film screenings, music recitals and more. It is a great way for students to get a real-world sense of the industry demands. “For the most part, our community events are extensions of the curriculum, so the faculty in each program area generate the set of events that best provide a valuable learning experience,” explains Jason. With world-class facilities, including the RDC Arts Centre on main campus and the renovated Welikoklad Event Centre in downtown Red Deer, the College offers welcoming spaces for learners and community members alike. “There is no other place like the Arts Centre in central Alberta in terms of the quality of the space, the quality of the sound and the sightlines. Our students don’t just benefit from the main auditorium, it’s the lobby and the rehearsal spaces, the shop and all of the smaller studios and practice rooms that all of the students have access to,” says Jason, adding that the


Welikoklad Event Centre, opened by RDC in 2013, is a vital addition to the School’s programs. “This is a really important facility, particularly for our Motion Picture Arts students. It’s one thing to review your work on a desktop while you’re editing, but until you see it on that giant 30-foot screen inside our cinema, you don’t get the full sense of what your work will look like for a commercial audience.” Perhaps the biggest undertakings for the College each year are the four live theatre productions that take place throughout the season. These productions are heavily involved, with staff and faculty working together with students to pull off these major events in just three weeks. Learners in the Theatre Performance and Creation program are held to a high standard as they prepare themselves for these public performances, beginning with their auditions. “They have to come in with their headshot and their resume. We work with them to perfect those in various business classes. It’s run as a professional audition,” says Thomas Bradshaw, an RDC instructor who directed Shrek The Musical this past year. The students must then perform a song and a monologue. “It’s a really stressful time for the actors because they all have their mind on a certain role that they want, and they work really hard on the audition process.” Thomas says RDC’s Creative Arts programs are somewhat unique in this real world approach to the industry, preparing students in the best way possible. “We basically show them exactly what they’re going to experience in the professional world. We’re going to give you that experience of what it’s like to put a show up in three weeks.” While it is the acting students who shine on stage, a lot takes place behind the scenes, both in preparation and during the performances. Theatre & Entertainment Production students work on lighting, set design and other production details. The collaboration of students, staff and faculty all comes together in a short span, as regular classes halt for the performance window. Lynda Adams, another instructor who directs performances for the College, explains that although the performances entertain audiences from around central Alberta, the ultimate goal is to provide her students with a valuable learning experience. “The acting students need to be challenged with different types and styles of performances. So a schedule of comedies might be great for audience appeal, but doesn’t necessarily fulfill the learning needs of our students,” she explains. “It’s all about their growth. That’s the difference between educational theatre and professional theatre. They’re still in training.” It is a brave undertaking for learners as they hone their skills live in front of large audiences from around central Alberta. And while the focus is on the learning experience, the central Alberta community is provided with quality, professional arts and entertainment productions each season through this outstanding platform. Be sure to visit rdc.ab.ca/showtime as the season nears and take in some of the outstanding events hosted each year by Red Deer College.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 19


20 Notebook

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RDC’S INNOVATIVE SPIRIT RDC’s Four Centres facility, completed in 2009, houses some of the College’s top innovative tools. The Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing is providing Albertans with the tools and the knowledge needed to turn great ideas into outstanding products and business opportunities.

ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING features of RDC’s Four Centres facility is the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, which houses leading-edge and advanced manufacturing equipment. Collaboratively funded by RDC, the Province of Alberta and Western Economic Diversification, the Centre provides businesses with access to state-of-the-art equipment and services to assist in applied research initiatives. Now in its eighth year, the Centre has helped ‘hatch’ some very exciting projects and products, including a prosthetic joint for veterinarian applications. Partners have been assisted particularly in designing and fabricating prototypes of products and processes that would have been unaffordable in the Centre’s absence. Access to this technology does more than just bring dreams to paper; versioning, testing and improving designs through the prototyping phases assists local industries in getting their ideas production-ready. This year marks another advance in the CIM’s development that will be of particular interest to alumni: the Centre’s equipment can be rented by the hour. “We now have the option where they can rent out equipment, so if you had a project that required a laser engraver, you’d be allowed to come to the Centre,” explains Alicia Cafferata-Arnett, the Centre’s interim director. “We would train you on the laser engraver, and then you can use it for that particular project. You wouldn’t be required to go out and buy your own laser equipment.” Using the laser engraver as an example, Alicia suggests it would take about three hours to train a person to use the equipment competently. “We would charge for the training,

which would be a technician time, so that might cost you $225 to be trained, then you could rent the laser engraver for $30 per hour,” she says. The arsenal of available equipment is impressive: scanners, to scan equipment or do parts verification, testing equipment such as optical comparators, hardness tester, various CNC machines (Computer Numerical Control), vacuum formers and access to a 3D printer. Equipment rentals are available elsewhere in the province, but RDC is the local solution. “I think the most interesting development, as far as interest for our alumni, is that our Engineering Technology programs are now doing projects for industry,” Alicia explains. These capstone projects, eight-month projects under the Engineering Technology umbrella, bring together different engineering disciplines to learn and develop a project, in partnership with industry, through design, building, testing and evaluation of a process or product. Alicia believes the next logical step of the Centre is incubation. “Now that we have a mechanism for renting out our equipment, it would be a good way for those people just starting out. For those who can’t make the big capital investment in equipment, maybe they can incubate at Red Deer College for a little bit,” she suggests. Space is currently at a premium, but she believes that will not be an insurmountable problem in the future, with the right partner. For more information on RDC innovation, visit: rdc.ab.ca/innovation.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 21


ZAINAB MOHAMOUD 2013 social work DIPLOMA

the power of a classroom

Zainab Mohamoud moved to Canada nearly 20 years ago but she has never forgotten the life she left behind in Africa. Her impact in her home country of Somalia is helping children to receive an education, as she is empowered by her own educational pursuits.


W

hen the war broke out She engaged A Better World, a local nonSomali farmers to settle in a community, in Somalia, Zainab profit organization, which provided some primarily to benefit their children. Mohamoud was 14 years funding and the charitable status needed Without a school and an education, old. The youngest in a to raise funds locally. She also reached out children were susceptible to family of 15 children, to the Somali community across North brainwashing by extremist elements. Zainab had no idea how it America, raising money in Minnesota “When kids have an education, they would shape the journey that lay ahead. (home to America’s largest Somali make their own decisions and have a Normally, she would be starting community), Ohio and Boston. better life,” Zainab says. With the doors high school the following year, but war intervened. “I was so excited, knowing “When kids have an education, they in the fall I’d be going to school, but make their own decisions and have within two months, the war started and everything collapsed,” she explains. a better life.” Eventually, she headed for the safety Most of her fundraising was through of Ethiopia, where, unable to work or open and a full enrolment, Zainab has events in different cities, organized by go to school, she would wait patiently shifted her sights to the development a network of like-minded people and for three years for a visa. Then, she of a boarding school on the same site. hoped, she could continue her education, included one of her siblings in Boston. Many of the area children live too far But, never straying far from her roots, possibly in Canada. from the school to travel daily, so she’s Zainab also enjoys baking samosas and Finally, visa in hand, Zainab arrived committed to raising the funds to other treats to sell and raise funds. in Toronto in 1997 and found work in an build a boarding school so children can Six weeks after construction started, Italian bakery, making stick breads and live on site, returning home to their there is now a school in Sumatra for other baked goods, which were exported families on weekends. grades one through eight, children six to to America. She attended school every Zainab has returned to RDC and is 14 years old. The school accommodates morning and after a full day of classes, studying in preparation for a degree in 200 children, has four classrooms, four went to her bakery job from 4 p.m., until 1 social work, to be completed in 2018. washrooms, a laboratory and office. The a.m. She spent a decade working, studying She currently works in a group home and learning about her new home country. money raised was enough to build the to support her studies, all the while school and furnish it, making it ready to She bought a car and a condo and started ambitiously raising funds for her project. to settle into life in Toronto. But she always accept students. She is also creating another charitable “We hired, literally, everyone in that yearned to do more. organization to assist in the effort. small community. They told me, initially, In 2007, Zainab moved to Calgary. So, her journey and her dreams it would take six months, but I said, ‘No, She worked as a sales associate by day continue. She is honouring her father’s I don’t have six months,’” Zainab says. and earned a child care certificate in the legacy; she’s providing tangible “Every day, we had to be dedicated, from evenings, enabling her to open her own assistance to children in Somalia, morning until night.” Her social work day home. “That’s actually what inspired inspiring many in the Red Deer skills came into play as she became the me to do social work,” she explains. community and at RDC. She is an active supervisor on the construction project, Most of her clients were single mothers, member of Sunrise Rotary Club and ensuring each night that they would have CAPRA, the Central Alberta Poverty and she became aware of the social the materials needed the next day so work Reduction Alliance. An avid Facebooker, challenges many were facing. And she had not forgotten the challenges faced by could continue. At the end of each day, Zainab keeps everyone updated on the they would pay each worker, in cash. children in Somalia. projects with daily posts to an everThe school is located in the rural A diploma in social work would open expanding online family. community of her father’s original tribe, doors, she felt, allowing her to help Zainab’s sense is that the situation with a population of around 40,000, those around her and perhaps pursue in northern Somalia is improving, and mostly subsistence farmers who grow the dream of helping Somalian children, she hopes she can expand her projects to food and raise livestock on a small as well. Her research told her that the improve and develop more schools in the individual scale. diploma would be more affordable at region. She also gets a twinkle in her eye “We used to have free schools, but after when she talks about the possibility of RDC, so she applied and moved to Red 23 years of war, schools are privatized Deer, graduating two years later. pursuing a Master’s degree in social work. and only for those with money. This In addition to inspiring her, the time For now, Zainab is proud to be an school will help (local) kids, allowing at RDC also enabled her to acquire the RDC alumna and enthusiastic to be skills to develop the Somali school project them to go for free,” Zainab explains. continuing her studies as she chases her Part of her inspiration to initiate the and raise the funds to make it a reality. dream. school project was that her late father, a In just over a year after graduating, she policeman, had encouraged the nomadic raised more than $50,000 for her project. rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 23


THE MAN BEHIND THE GIFT HE WILL TELL YOU he has just been lucky his whole life, but on the other side of a conversation with Gary W. Harris is the realization that you are speaking with a very humble community man. In 2015, Gary W. Harris bestowed the largest single donation in Red Deer College history – $5 million in support of the new RDC Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport to open in September 2018. As a host facility for the 2019 Canada Winter Games the following February, everyone from around the country will hear this name as they step on the College’s main campus. Gary will likely be standing supportively somewhere on the sidelines, proud of the legacy, but not wanting the accolades. It is just his way of giving back to a region that he feels has given him so much. As an alumnus of 40 years and a person who carries the good of central Alberta in his heart, Gary W. Harris and his family have had a long history of business in western Canada and the northern plain states, which all began in Red Deer. Gary’s paternal grandfather was a homesteader from the United States and passed on the love of the farming industry to Gary and his father, Al. His maternal grandparents, homesteaders from the Ukraine as a teenage couple, also bestowed the same love. As a 13-year-old boy, his family moved to Red Deer when his father got an opportunity to represent a farm equipment manufacturer in sales for all of Alberta and Montana. For Gary’s 40-year-old father, this was a big risk to take, especially in the ‘70s. Westward Parts was born, and remained in the family for 40 years, up until three years ago. This element of risk-taking did not go unnoticed, and is likely the biggest lesson Gary’s father passed on to him. His father and mother, Lena, always celebrated their victories when things turned out well. Putting 100 percent into the business you were building became the norm. “You didn’t spend your money on trips and vacations. We just kind of worked, taking very little time off. In retrospect, you’re banking for the future.” 24 Notebook

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Gary finished his grade 12 year when Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School and the Red Deer Vocational School merged together. “I ran for student president of the students’ union and won; that was kind of an emotional moment. It was quite a big school in those days, about 1,800 students, as we had the county and the city at the time.” In 1970, Gary started at RDC in the Bachelor of Arts (University Transfer) program, where he also played for the Kings basketball and volleyball teams. For employment, he worked at the family business, Westward Parts. He then went on to complete both his BA and Bachelor of Law at the University of Alberta. With a year of backpacking around the world, his initial practice of law, and a few semesters of teaching business law at the U of A, he returned to RDC for a few semesters as a sessional instructor, teaching business law. In its 40 years of business, Westward Parts became an international dealer in farm equipment, parts and sales. Working as company president since 1989, Gary was in business with his family up until recently. Three years ago, the family sold Westward Parts, but kept the manufacturing division (Westward Products Ltd.) and merged with their largest customer in Olds – creating Pro-All International Manufacturing. Inc. Now exporting to 30 countries around the world, Pro-All offers a combined 100 years of manufacturing and production knowledge to build and export concrete mixers. With 80 percent of their business being international, Gary can only attribute their success to good honest work ethic. “We have good strong engineering and design people. Maybe we’re a bit redneck Alberta, but we’re just honest with our customers and suppliers, and we deliver a good product that is manufactured in Olds. The only special part of us is that the owners are all from BC or Alberta; so we’re local people.” And being a local man, Gary has a strong interest in the future of the entire region. He knew that leaving a legacy with the College was a trustworthy place to invest. Since the Gary W.

Gary W. Harris shares a moment with his grandson following the stirring announcement of his $5 million gift to Red Deer College – a remarkable donation that will provide new opportunities to many generations to come.

Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport will be open to the entire central Alberta community, he sees the long-term vision of how “this will be a world-class facility,” which will also strengthen RDC’s case for Polytechnic University status. “I benefited greatly by the education and experience I had here, and to give something back, is basically the footprint of legacy. It’s hard to express your feelings because there’s always a number of things you feel at the same time; honoured and proud to have my name there. At the same time, you feel a little humbled by it.” It’s people like Gary W. Harris that strengthen the backbone and the future of a community. While working hard to build economy, he also thinks of the legacy to come. Now its central Albertans who are the lucky ones.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 25


THE GARY W. HARRIS CENTRE FOR HEALTH, WELLNESS & SPORT A VISION THAT STARTED as far back as 1987 is finally becoming a reality. Red Deer College has long been looking for an opportunity to build a facility that would increase its capacity for health and wellness programming, and provide our communities with a space for healthy and active lifestyles. On September 4, 2014, that vision became our future, when it was announced that Red Deer would host the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The announcement meant that key infrastructure projects in the city would receive the funding needed to go forward. This included the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport. While RDC is abuzz with excitement for its role in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, there is much more at stake with this innovative, dynamic facility. It is the keystone to our promising future. The Harris Centre will offer extensive benefits for RDC students and the greater community, and it will be critical to the continued success and evolution of the College. Programs within RDC’s School of Health Sciences will benefit from the new facility, which has been carefully designed to create learning and sport spaces that will serve our students well into the future.

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The School of Health Sciences has developed a solid reputation in the health care field, but facility limitations meant that some programs were at risk for losing key accreditations. With RDC’s outstanding faculty, combined with new learning spaces, the College will be able to further expand its reputation as a leader in health sciences education. The renowned RDC Athletics program will also benefit from the new facility, which will better reflect the outstanding athletic talent that the Kings and Queens exhibit each year. With a new gym, hockey rink and vital training facilities, RDC’s student-athletes will train and compete in a world-class venue that will allow the College and the community to host provincial and national events. Our communities will also have increased opportunities, thanks to the Harris Centre. When RDC’s learners aren’t utilizing the accessible, multi-generational facility, community members will be able to access the spaces for a variety of events and activities that encourage health and well-being. When the Harris Centre opens in the fall of 2018, it will be a stateof-the-art community gathering space, providing a wealth of opportunities for students, community members and visitors from across the province and nation.


Our Role in the 2019 Canada Winter Games Facility Features When our city welcomes some of the most promising young athletes in the nation in 2019, Red Deer College will be doing its part to help ensure the Games are a success. RDC and the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport will play a vital role in Red Deer’s ability to host major events, such as the 2019 Canada Winter Games: Athletes’ Village RDC will welcome 1,800 athletes per week over 18 days. All athletes and participants will be able to call RDC’s campus home for the duration of the Games. Games Operations Hub RDC will provide core operational support to the Games, encompassing information technology, food services, dedicated spaces for teams and officials, and entertainment and recreational venues. Hosting Competitions An Olympic-sized ice surface was required for Red Deer to host the Canada Winter Games. With a fully convertible ice surface that can transition from Olympic to NHL size, the Harris Centre’s ice facility will host short-track speed skating events. The Harris Centre will also host squash competitions.

Teaching & Learning Spaces Educational spaces will support RDC’s academic programming in the areas of Health Sciences, Kinesiology and Sport Studies. Performance Gymnasium Upgraded facilities will provide a new home to RDC Athletics teams and additional event space and dry land training during the 2019 Canada Winter Games. 1,200 seat capacity with ability to add an additional 400 seats. Fitness and Training Spaces Athletic therapy, training lab, and fitness/testing centres will create new opportunities to support and expand academic programming at the College. 200m training/ competition track with gradual curves (100m straight run). Olympic-sized Ice Surface Required for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, the ice surface will offer new partnership opportunities for the College and various partners including Hockey Alberta and Red Deer Minor Hockey to meet increasing demand for local ice times in the city and region.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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RDC’s Expansion Era In recent years, Red Deer College has been expanding its facilities to remain relevant and provide central Albertan learners with the opportunities they need to succeed. The Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport is just one of several projects that are expanding the learning opportunities in our region. Sports Administration Centre Including a walking/running track in addition to other fitness components, the space will offer coaching and sport management opportunities through strategic partners, provincial and national sport organizations. Outdoor Athletics Zone Dedicated College land adjacent to the Harris Centre to be developed in conjunction with The City of Red Deer. The space may include outdoor ice surfaces, baseball diamond and soccer pitches. The Great Hall This gathering area will offer socializing and meeting spaces for students, staff, professors and community members.

2009 The Four Centres expansion project was completed in 2009, adding vital spaces in Trades & Technologies, Innovation in Manufacturing, Corporate Training and Visual Art. These four centres have significantly increased the ability of RDC to engage its students and the community at large in new opportunities to explore and learn in an innovative space. 2011 In 2011, RDC celebrated the opening of the Donald School of Business in downtown Red Deer. Closely connected to central Alberta’s business scene, the Donald School of Business has provided new opportunities for students to connect with future employers and to get a sense of the atmosphere they soon will work in. 2013 Adding to RDC’s increased presence in downtown Red Deer, the Welikoklad Event Centre was opened as the College’s latest learning space addition in 2013. The historic building fondly remembered as the Uptown Cinema, was renovated to provide Creative Arts learners with an innovative new space, which includes an art gallery, theatre and cinema. 2018 When the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport opens its doors in the fall of 2018, it will provide our region with a state-of-the-art learning space for our learners and an outstanding space for community members to gather in healthy, active living. Each of these projects have greatly improved the capacity for Red Deer College to provide our region with the learning opportunities and community engagement that is vital to the continued prosperity and cultural enrichment that is defining the continued strength of our communities. With the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport set to open in the fall of 2018, Red Deer College continues to enhance our campuses with innovative new spaces that are transforming the student experience and improving our communities.

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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SHAPING UR FUTURE WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED that Red Deer would be hosting the 2019 Canada Winter Games, it created the impetus for Red Deer College to move forward in building the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport. This iconic facility has been in the planning stages for decades, and government funding available through the Games created a starting point for its funding. With a price tag of approximately $88 million, the Gary W. Harris Centre is not entirely covered by government sources, so Red Deer College is reaching out to alumni, businesses, communities and other partners to support the Harris Centre. The College has outlined an ambitious goal to secure $25 million in private donations and investments. Achieving this goal will be a challenge given the current economic environment, but the history of generosity from RDC alumni and our communities make the College optimistic about this cause. The early response has been encouraging. Last September, a combined $8 million in donations were announced as the College launched its fundraising initiative, Shaping Our Future. In addition to the $5 million gift from Gary W. Harris, the College also received support from local municipalities, including Lacombe County and Red Deer County governments, and key partners such as Hockey Alberta and the Students’ Association of Red Deer College. Corporations such as NOVA Chemicals, have also come forward in support of this vital community project.

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“It’s clear central Alberta understands the tremendous value of this facility for our learners and communities, and we’re excited to see the early response,” says Michael Donlevy, Vice President, Enterprise and Community Relations. The College has assembled a volunteer committee with a number of community members lending their support, contacts and expertise to ensure that the College continues to generate strong awareness of the Harris Centre’s value. The 12-person committee is co-chaired by Tim Wiltzen and Holly Dickson, with Mary Anne Jablonski serving as honorary chair. “I am proud to be playing a role in this crucial community initiative. We’re all going to be able to come together in the fall of 2018 and share in an achievement made possible by so many people,” says Mary Anne. The Harris Centre will play an important role in providing learners with the opportunities they need to be successful, and it will open new doors for the College to increase community partnership opportunities for the good of the entire central Alberta community. Red Deer College is inviting alumni and community members to support this crucial investment in our future. Visit rdc.ab.ca/giving to donate today, or contact foundation@rdc.ab.ca for more information on how you can get involved in Shaping Our Future.


Passing the Torch

How a generation of RDC students invested in our future IN A TOUCHING MOMENT at the construction launch of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport, Students’ Association President Maryanne McGrath made the biggest announcement of her young political career. “I am honoured to announce that the students of today have committed to investing $500,000 to Red Deer College’s Shaping Our Future campaign,” she said during her speech, prompting a rousing applause and standing ovation in the Arts Centre. The funds will support the construction of the Harris Centre. The commitment was made possible by past students and alumni of RDC, who each year paid into the Students’ Association’s Building Trust Fund as part of their student fees. The Fund was established many years ago to support facility projects. Savings from the Fund, dating back to 2001, were used to make this remarkable investment. “The construction of this facility will play a direct role in the success of our students, so we felt it was a tremendously important investment to make,” says Maryanne. The donation was approved by the Students’ Association membership at their spring general meeting on March 1. The gift required tremendous foresight by previous Students’ Association councils, and it will make a tremendous impact

in supporting the learning needs of future generations. And while the funding was accrued by students who will likely never benefit from the end result as students themselves, their work to support the future of post-secondary success in the region will live on for generations. “The Students’ Association has a shared priority in promoting opportunities for our learners throughout their time here at RDC,” says Joel Ward, RDC President and CEO. “We are thrilled to see this level of commitment that demonstrates just how important the Harris Centre will be for our learners.” In addition to their tremendous efforts in support of the Harris Centre, the Students’ Association has also lent its voice in supporting RDC’s efforts to attain degree-granting status. This included the hand delivery of 2,000 messages from students to the Alberta Government’s Minister of Advanced Education. As part of their recognition for the generous donation, a space near the current Students’ Association offices will be repurposed for use by the Association and its constituents. The space will serve as a gathering and meeting area for the Students’ Association and its clubs and societies. It will be transitioned following the completion of the Harris Centre.


Past Year of Events 30th Annual RDC Golf Classic September 2015

Upcoming Events

Our campus is kept busy throughout the year with a number of special events, in which community members can enjoy themselves as they support various initiatives around the College. Thank you to those who come out in support of our learners each year. Stay posted throughout the year by visiting rdc.ab.ca/events.

Donald School of Business Speaker Series: W. Brett Wilson October 2015

Kings & Queens Scholarship Breakfast: James Duthie March 2016

Perspective Speaker Series: Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair March 2016

Annual RDC Alumni Wine Tasting Festival April 2016

Mark your calendars! Don’t miss these exciting events in 2016-2017 Creative Arts Season September 2016 – April 2017

Athletics Season September 2016 – March 2017

With Theatre, Music, Film and Visual Arts events, don’t miss the opportunity to support our students as they follow their passion!

Join the excitment and cheer on the RDC Kings and Queens as they defend their Royal Legacy.

For more information, visit rdc.ab.ca/golfclassic

For a peek at the upcoming season, visit rdc.ab.ca/showtime

Tickets and information at rdc.ab.ca/athletics

Open House November 5, 2016 | 10am - 2pm

Perspectives: Canada in the World Spring 2017

RDC opens its doors to hundreds of prospective students. With more than 75 program and service department booths, demonstrations and interactive exhibits, RDC’s main campus will be a flurry of activity.

With such renowned past speakers as Margaret Atwood, Ezra Levant and Amanda Lindhout, this prestigious public lecture series is sure to spark your intellectual curiosity.

Donald School of Business Distinguished Speaker Series Fall 2016

31st Annual RDC Golf Classic September 2016 Swing in support of RDC’s Athletics Leadership Fund at this always popular and fun-filled classic event.

Learn more at rdc.ab.ca/openhouse

Keep an eye on rdc.ab.ca/perpectives for our next speaker announcement

This annual event brings business-minded speakers such as W. Brett Wilson and David Chilton to downtown Red Deer to speak to both our students and community members. See rdc.ab.ca/DSB_speakerseries for tickets and information

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THE FUTURE OF RDC

THE QUEST TO BECOME A POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY SINCE RED DEER COLLEGE first opened its doors, the ultimate vision has been for the institution to one day offer its own degrees. This is an important vision, not just for the College, but for all of central Alberta, as more of our learners would have the opportunity to obtain their degrees right here in the region. Degree granting would require a status change for RDC, and the College made its first concerted effort to attain this in 1989. Since that time, RDC has continued its efforts to become a degree-granting institution, with great support from our local communities. “We continue to take forward the community’s desire for RDC to become a Polytechnic University, because this is the next step in providing the post-secondary opportunities that our region needs,” says Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO. “The Polytechnic University model is an excellent fit, because it would allow us to do everything we do now, plus granting our own degrees.” RDC has a number of agreements in place with universities across the province, creating opportunities for students to obtain degrees right here in Red Deer. However, the ability for RDC to grant its own degrees would mean even more opportunities for learners, with degree programs that could be developed to better meet the needs of learners in our communities. The new status would be transformative, allowing RDC to build on the strong programming already available. It would also increase the range of opportunities for central Albertan

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learners, allowing more students to achieve their academic aspirations without leaving the region. Beyond educational opportunities, this would contribute to a vibrant economy in the communities across the region. Red Deer College has closely monitored the increasing demand for this type of post-secondary arrangement in the region. A 2011 survey of high school students in central Alberta indicated that nearly half of students would enrol in a degree program offered by RDC. In 2014, a survey of RDC Creative Arts alumni showed that 80 per cent of graduates would have completed degrees at RDC, if that option had been available. “We are seeing more than ever that our communities are in need of a more diverse range of learning opportunities,” says Joel. “Becoming a Polytechnic University would better equip our institution to adapt to these changing demands, creating opportunities that will benefit our regional economy for generations to come.” Attaining the new status requires government approval, and Red Deer College has been working with its government partners to express the demand for this transformative new status that would better support our regional post-secondary needs well into the future. For more information on RDC’s quest to become a Polytechnic University, please visit rdc.ab.ca/polyu.


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MAINTAINING HOPE IN A CHANGING ECONOMY Riding the waves of a shaky economy, many Albertans are forced to look at the big picture of their careers. Economics expert and Donald School of Business instructor, Dr. Stephanie Powers, says it is important to embrace the challenges and look forward with optimism. IT IS HARD TO COME BY a positive economic news story these days, and while Dr. Stephanie Powers is under no illusions when it comes to the realities we are facing, she is encouraging Albertans to maintain a positive outlook. “The good news is that this is the time to develop your skills,” she says. “Even if you can’t find the dream job right now, it’s a good time to work on building the skills to get there.” The economics expert and Donald School of Business instructor says that this is a time when people are thinking more about their long-term career outlook, as they re-evaluate their interests and their options. Central Albertans are doing just that these days, as Red Deer College has noticed enrolment increases in the past year. “For many people, it may be a good time to change industries. People are often afraid to take those risks when times are good, but sometimes when those decisions are already made for you, it’s time to explore opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise be considering.” Stephanie is not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the economic uncertainty facing Alberta and the world in the next few years, but that does not mean the job opportunities are going to dry up with the average age in many industries nearing retirement. “We expect that in the next five years, no matter how the economy is doing, we’ll see a substantial number of job opportunities. So it does depend on what business you’re going into.” These are not necessarily hopeless times for entrepreneurs either, Stephanie explains. With a changing 34 Notebook

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economic landscape, opportunities often emerge for innovative thinkers who can operate efficiently.

“Of all the times to be an entrepreneur, it’s now. If you’re able to identify a need in the marketplace, and you’re in a position to find ways for your company to be more efficient and more productive, this is a time to shine and be an all-star.” While entrepreneurial endeavours into luxury industries, such as restaurants and spas, are much riskier with the middle class feeling the crunch, Stephanie says necessity services should be a focus of entrepreneurs. “For example, right now people are going to have to work extra shifts to make a living, so can you provide child care services? Can you provide transport services? It’s all about identifying the changing needs of this new economic climate.” Whether you are an entrepreneur or you are about to enter the job market, Stephanie explains that it’s all about filling a need. That can be done with increased training and a strong awareness of the economic realities in your area of interest. “If you’re interviewing, you have to come in knowing the company really well. You need to go in and not only sell yourself, but show what you can offer them in terms of helping them identify new opportunities, ways to be more productive.”

What Can Donald School of Business Do For Your Business? • Give you access to willing and eager practicum students • Introduce you to future employees • Provide networking opportunities with other businesses ‘linked in’ to Red Deer College and Donald School of Business, offering real community connections • Provide various sponsorship opportunities and, in turn, recognition opportunities • Offer mentorship opportunities • Ensure curriculum meets the needs of central Alberta businesses • Build community capacity that drives economic development Let us show you more about Donald School of Business. Contact us today! dsbinfo@rdc.ab.ca

Making Sense of the Alberta Economy Baylor University graduate and RDC instructor, Dr. Stephanie Powers, admits that $30-$40 per barrel oil is likely here to stay – at least for the next four or five years. This means a higher cost of living, with food prices and other expenses soaring. Stephanie explains that the Alberta government is put in a challenging balancing act. “When the province released the budget in April, it included stimulus spending, resulting in an immediate drop in the credit rating. So there’s this fine line of stimulating the economy but at the same time we don’t want to have too much debt,” she explains. “Our problem in Alberta is that over 25 percent of our GDP is oil, natural gas and related services. When people in the oil industry are hurting, they don’t go out to restaurants, they don’t stay at hotels. It has a strong ripple effect.” Calls for a diversified economy have become a central point of discussion in Alberta, but Stephanie notes that a noticeable solution will not come in the short-term. Diversifying the economy will require a long-term vision. “If we invest in tourism, for example, that’s currently four percent of our GDP. While it would give us growth if we could put more there, it’s all small gains initially,” she says. “I think the trouble is that people can’t wait for things to get better.” Hope for an oil recovery is also fleeting, as other countries continue to flood the market with the commodity. “Unless there’s some kind of radical change, it’s going to be a long, drawnout process. We’re seeing a global slowdown, so it’s not just us.” With things looking bleak in the short-term, Stephanie explains that a long-term approach is needed, both for the nation and for individuals as they rebuild their skillsets. “The biggest problem for Canada is our productivity has been fairly flat for the past decade. We need more productivity through increased infrastructure and a more educated workforce.” rdc.ab.ca/alumni

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ROYAL LEGACY CONTINUES THE

Kings Basketball

Kings Basketball finished the season in first place in the ACAC South Division with a record of 16-5. They finished fourth at the ACAC Championships. Matt Matear was named to the First Team All-Conference in the South Division, while Anthony Ottley was named to the Second Team AllConference. JP Leblanc and Anthony Ottley were named Second Team All Stars at the ACAC Championships.

Queens Basketball

Queens Basketball finished the season with a record of 9-12. They were not able to reach the playoffs but showed significant improvement. Their continued improvement bodes well for next season, especially with players like Emily White, who was named Rookie of the Year in the South Division and a Second Team All-Conference.

Cross Country / Indoor Track & Field

The women had a good showing, finishing third overall at the ACAC Cross Country Championship, which qualified them for the CCAA Championship. Jordanna Cota was named ACAC All Conference, finishing fifth overall at the ACAC Championship. After 41 years of coaching Cross Country Running, Brian Stackhouse was awarded the CCAA Coaching Excellence Award.

Curling

The Curling Teams had a strong showing at the ACAC Championships, capturing bronze in the men’s and mixed division, and silver in the women’s. Ryan Dahmer, Ty Parcels, Julie Selvais and Courtney 36 Notebook

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Kings & Queens 2015-2016 Season Recap It was another outstanding season of Athletics success as the Royal Legacy continues at Red Deer College. From Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championship titles, to academic success and prestigious individual awards, the Kings and Queens made the RDC community proud once again. Here is a season recap from RDC Athletics Director, Diane St-Denis.

Smith were all named to the AllConference Team. Brett Day was named the first recipient of the Charles Morter Award, given to the ACAC curler who demonstrates a commitment to curling through volunteerism and sportsmanship. Ryan Dahmer was named the ACAC Men’s Co-Curler of the Year. Coach Brad Hamilton was named ACAC Coach of the Year. In addition, Ryan Dahmer and Julie Selvais were named to the CCAA First All-Star Team.

Golf

Both the Men’s and Women’s Teams qualified for the CCAA Championship by capturing bronze at the ACAC Championships. Kate Griffiths captured individual silver at the ACAC and CCAA Championships. She was named a CCAA All Canadian and to the All-Star Team, while Rochelle French received the PING Fair Play Award at the CCAA Championship.

Kings Hockey

Kings Hockey finished fourth in the regular season with a record of 15-13-4 and lost to NAIT in the ACAC semi-finals. Mike Salmon and David Heath were both named Second Team All-Conference.

Queens Hockey

The Queens Hockey team finished in first place in the regular season, with a record of 18-6 and captured ACAC gold against NAIT. Coach Kelly Coulter was named the ACAC Coach of the Year. Casey Nicholson and Emily Swier were both named First Team All-Conference and Ashley Graf was named to the Second Team.

Kings Soccer

Kings Soccer finished the regular season in third place in the South, with a record of 5-4-1. They lost to NAIT in the quarterfinals at the ACAC Championship. Alim Hirji and Julius Abegar were both named to the South Division All-Conference Team.

Queens Soccer

Queens Soccer finished the season in first place in the South, with a record of 8-0-2. They finished fourth at the ACAC Championship. David Colley was named ACAC Coach of the Year in the South Division. Sydney Daines, Kelsie Caine, Alexandra Moyer, Krysten Strand and Lauren Good were all named to the AllConference Team for the South Division. Lauren Good was also named to the CCAA All Canadian Team.

Kings Volleyball

Kings Volleyball had another stellar season, finishing in first place in the South Division with a record of 23-1, and capturing gold at the ACAC and CCAA Championships. Coach Aaron Schulha was named ACAC Coach of the Year.

Queens Volleyball

Queens Volleyball finished third in the South Division, with a record of 16-8, and fifth overall at the ACAC Championship. Miranda Dawe and Whitney Zilstra were both named to the All-Conference Team for the South Division.


ACAC male athlete of the year

Luke Brisbane - Kings Volleyball This award is presented each year to the top male athlete across all ACAC sports. Luke has earned this outstanding honour for the second year in a row after leading the Kings to gold in ACAC and CCAA action.

The SIRC-CCAA Academic All Canadian Award

Luke Brisbane - Kings Volleyball This is the CCAA’s most prestigious student-athlete award, epitomizing their mandate of recognizing excellence in academics and athletics. To achieve this honour, a student-athlete must be named to the ACAC All Conference Team, ACAC Championship All Star Team, CCAA All Canadian or a CCAA Championship All-Star and achieve honours standing, which, at RDC is a GPA of 3.70 or greater.

ACAC Athletes of the Week

Sep. 14 - Kate Griffiths, Golf Oct. 12 - Kate Griffiths, Golf Oct. 19 - Alex Frisk, Queens Hockey Jan. 11 - Nic Dubinsky, Kings Volleyball Feb. 8 - Kelsey Tymkow, Queens Volleyball Feb. 22 - Luke Brisbane, Kings Volleyball Mar. 7 – Emily Swier, Queens Hockey, and Luke Brisbane, Kings Volleyball

RED DEER COLLEGE ATHLETICS FEMALE & MALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR Queens Hockey - Emily Swier Kings Volleyball - Luke Brisbane

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A HEALTHY UPBRINGING: PARENTING IN THE 21st CENTURY From social media and technology, to the changing environment of the classroom, parenting has entered a whole new realm of challenges. RDC instructor, Brent Galloway, says it is challenging work, but supporting a child’s growth is achievable through good communication and a balanced approach.

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FOR ALL ITS JOYS, the job of raising a family can be a stressful endeavour. And while there is no manual for the job, RDC Education instructor, Brent Galloway, has some tips on making the job more rewarding. “Parenting is not easy. Of all the jobs I’ve had, it’s the hardest one I’ve ever done,” he says. Brent has supported several generations of teachers as an instructor in the School of Education, and he has also raised three children. He explains that a strong relationship between parents and teachers is vital. “In order to be successful as a teacher, you have to have parents as part of the team, and you have to communicate with them a great deal. Likewise, parents need to communicate to the teachers effectively.” Forming this parent-teacher relationship begins with parents understanding the perspective of the teacher, as they work together to provide the support system for a healthy upbringing. “Teachers are the professionals who have the background and training on how to teach and address different learning styles. The parents are the ones who have to have the real knowledge about their own children and what works for them, which hopefully will be shared with the teacher. So it is very much a collaborative effort,” he explains. It can be difficult for parents to decipher exactly what is happening in the classroom. When conflicts occur, Brent says it is important to approach teachers with a level of trust and understanding.


The parent-teacher relationship is not the only challenge parents face as they watch their children develop. One of the most difficult experiences in parenting can be seeing your child struggle in their activities, both in the classroom and beyond. While it can be crushing for a parent to witness their child hurting,

“I think that absence of play is really what’s hurting kids today. The play has been so controlled, either by organized sports or organized afterschool activities and video games. It’s all been decided for them,” failure is a crucial learning tool that will strengthen their resilience. “They have to learn that feeling somewhere, and I think it’s always better to learn that with the guiding hand of a parent or teacher nearby. I see the role of parent as being very much a coach, so you’re talking them through things, and you’re helping them to realize that it will get better.” Another key experience that Brent believes is crucial to the growth and happiness of a child is to allow them to explore. While games on the iPad or the phone may serve as useful distractions, Brent is encouraged to see a ‘back-tonature’ movement as parents begin to recognize the importance of getting outside and experiencing the world. “So in terms of creativity and learning by doing, that’s kind of lost because someone’s decided the rules, the goals and the parameters in everything they do. Nothing can replace the experience of free play with your friends,” he explains. This lack of exposure to decisionmaking and exploration leaves children expecting the rules to always be set for them, even as they enter adulthood, Brent explains. “What seems to happen is kids start to rely on others to make decisions for them, causing them to not think for themselves. My favourite question to ask my students is: ‘What do you think?’ Students find that to be a hard question even in college

when they realize they are the ones who have to do the thinking.” A parent can help change this by letting down their guard a little. Try to challenge your children with decisionmaking and allow them to explore for themselves through their play. Brent says that there is not a simple answer to success in parenting, but his approach is to be involved and maintain a positive attitude. “Talk to your kids. Know your kids. Be part of their lives. Relax,” he says. “Let them be kids, and enjoy being kids. Let them learn what it means to be a child and make mistakes and go through all of that. Enjoy it. They grow up very fast.”

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penny Mueller 2000 BACHELOR OF EDUCATION, elementary

A COMMUNITY BUILT ON LEARNING Twenty kilometres from the nearest town, Crestomere might seem like a lonely place – until you walk through the doors of its school. Crestomere School principal and Rdc alumna Penny Mueller has found her callinG, and she cherishes the opportunity to support her students each and every day in a unique learning environment.

I

f it were not for the 30km/h school zone along Highway 53, you likely would not notice a tiny rural school in Crestomere, Alberta. Crestomere technically does not have a population, but to Penny Mueller there is no stronger sense of community. She has been principal of the rural school for about eight years now, and in that time she’s seen firsthand that a community is not about buildings or roads – it is about people. “I wake up every day and I come here because I’m excited to see the kids. My family jokes that these kids are almost more important to me than my own kids sometimes. It’s that opportunity to help people be the best they can be that I love,” she says. With 130 students, the small K-9 school is nestled in between Rimbey and Ponoka, about 20 km away from each community. With nothing but a small gas station and convenience store across the street, Crestomere School is not the typical learning environment, but it is that unique atmosphere that Penny loves to be a part of every day. 40 Notebook

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“We’re kind of out here in the middle of nowhere, and we need to make that work for us,” she says. “We don’t have

lot as they can to create a fun and engaging space for students. “We have six hives and the students alternate the responsibilities of caring for the bees, extracting and bottling the honey and selling it. All of that money goes back into the school to help with other projects and things we need in the building to support learning.” The garden also provides an opportunity to sell produce to local residents. The school instills an entrepreneurial spirit in its students, and Penny has noticed the approach is an effective way to engage them in realworld learning. “They’re taking ownership. They’re researching and they’re engaged in their projects right from the beginning. Gardening may not be a skill that they’re going to need when they go out into the real world, but it’s the collaboration that they’re gaining from, with each other as students and taking pride in what they’re doing.” While Penny knows now that this is what she was meant to do, her path to Crestomere School was not paved until she decided to make a career change after seven years as a social worker. After a positive experience in RDC’s

“I get to do everything I can to make this place the best possible place for staff and students.” a community that provides services for us. So we don’t have access to those partnerships that schools in town would have. We have to have a different mindset when it comes to parent support and community support.” While the typical field trips and community opportunities may be more challenging to come by, Penny says the advantages of the rural atmosphere far outweigh the challenges, and there are unique opportunities for a creative learning experience. In particular, the school often looks beyond the classroom walls to create learning opportunities, with an outdoor amphitheatre, large garden beds and even a set of honey bee hives. Penny and her staff utilize as much of the 15-acre

Social Work program, she returned to the College to obtain her Bachelor of Education before going on to the University of Alberta to earn her Master’s Degree. “I absolutely love the work that I do now, and I always think to myself, ‘why didn’t I think of this first?’ However, social work totally set me up for this type of work. I’ve always been in that counseling, helping kind of role,” she says. “It’s just my personality. I have a genuine interest in the lives of others, and ever since I was a little girl it was always about meeting people and helping people.” After working as a teacher in Stettler for eight years, Penny took her job as principal of Crestomere School. When the opportunity came for her to move


to the small school, she reflected on her time growing up in a similar rural school outside of Fernie, British Columbia. “This kind of setting is exactly what I had growing up. I grew up on a ranch, so I have very fond memories of my time in a small rural school.” Crestomere School gives Penny the opportunity to play a number of roles that principals in larger schools often do not have. From serving milk to shoveling snow, picking weeds in the garden to teaching classes, Penny is involved in all aspects of supporting the students to have a safe, fun and enjoyable experience. “I get to do everything I can to make this place the best possible place for staff and students. I’m the jack-of-all-trades here at the school. That’s the benefit of a small school.” While the school may appear to be in the middle of nowhere, Penny is excited for a future of growth, as the school expects an increase in students in the fall. The school has seen increased demand with developments in Gull Lake, suggesting the unique little school along the prairie highway will continue to thrive and create new learning experiences. Penny looks forward to continuing her role and making an impact. “If you really want to help people in life, you need to be able to help them succeed,” she says. “The kids here are passionate about learning, and I think what makes them passionate is the staff’s passion about their learning. It’s just an all-around awesome place to be.”

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RDC’S SEVEN SCHOOLS Providing limitless learning opportunities

School of Arts and Sciences rdc.ab.ca/artsandsciences The School of Arts and Sciences opens up limitless learning opportunities and career possibilities to our learners. Through a wide assortment of university transfer courses, as well as a Bachelor of Arts collaborative degree, students have access to a wide array of academic courses to begin their post-secondary education in central Alberta. The School also houses a Social Work diploma, Career and Academic Preparation and Open Studies.

Donald School of Business rdc.ab.ca/dsb Ideally located in downtown Red Deer, the Donald School of Business is preparing our next generation of business leaders to be innovative, strategic and informed. Students, business leaders and community members converge at the Donald School of Business, providing our learners with a real-world sense of the valuable work they will be undertaking in their chosen careers.

School of Continuing Education rdc.ab.ca/continuingeducation Expand your horizons with the RDC School of Continuing Education. Build your career and gain personal fulfillment with a wide range of certificate programs and professional development courses. Our flexible part-time, online and fast track programs are designed for your busy lifestyle. The School of Continuing Education offers nearly 1,000 professional development and community courses, events and certificate programs to more than 18,000 learners each year.

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School of Creative Arts rdc.ab.ca/creativearts The perfect blend of theory and practise provides students in RDC’s School of Creative Arts with the inspiration and knowledge to explore their talents without limitation. Students are encouraged to create their own path as they explore their creativity in world-class facilities including the awe-inspiring RDC Arts Centre, Visual Art studios and the Welikoklad Event Centre in downtown Red Deer.

School of Education rdc.ab.ca/education The School of Education inspires learners to be the role models of their communities with an education that promotes community connections and self-confidence. Students learn to learn, learn to teach and grow into leaders that inspire. With instructors who are skilled practitioners themselves, our learners are provided with countless opportunities to be inspired and understand the impact of their future careers in education.

School of Health Sciences rdc.ab.ca/healthsciences The School of Health Sciences is one of the foremost leaders in health and wellness programming in Alberta. With innovative approaches to learning and extensive real-world experiences, our graduates demonstrate the knowledge, skills and professionalism needed to meet the stringent expectations of the industry.

School of Trades and Technologies rdc.ab.ca/tradesandtechnologies Programs within RDC’s School of Trades and Technologies are developed and delivered based on industry requirements and a focus on practical skill application. Through close consultations with industry experts our diploma programs are developed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the expectations their future employers will have, along with the skills and knowledge to meet those expectations.

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Celebrating our rich history

A brief look at our past 1963 Red Deer Junior College established by Order-in-Council 1964 Red Deer Junior College opened in temporary quarters in Lindsay Thurber Composite High School 1968 First classes start on new campus in current location

1973 Amendment removes “Junior” from the Order-inCouncil and Red Deer College becomes the official name of the institution 1982 RDC Foundation formed 1986 Arts Centre opens

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1988 Newly formed Alumni Association hosts Homecoming Weekend October 3 to 9 1992 Students organize rally at Legislature in support of Degree Granting initiative

1999 Launch of Taking Charge of Tomorrow…Together campaign to raise $6 million for Library Information Common


2001 Groundbreaking ceremony for Library Information Common, Students’ Association, Bookstore and Kinesiology & Sports Studies expansion

2002 Grand Opening of the Library Information Common includes expansion to Kinesiology, Students’ Association link, expanded FarSide Lounge and new convenience store (The Lift) 2005 Your College: Building Communities Through Learning campaign launched to build six new centres for learning, innovation and collaboration and increase scholarships and awards 2007 College receives $3 million donation from Jack and Joan Donald 2009 RDC opens Four Centres for Trades, Innovation in Manufacturing, Corporate Training and Visual Art 2011 New downtown campus in Millennium Centre opens as the new home of Donald School of Business

2012 RDC purchases City Centre Stage Theatre in downtown Red Deer 2014 City Centre Stage in downtown Red Deer renovated and renamed the Welikoklad Event Centre, in honour of a $1 million donation from generous local philanthropists Bill & Irma Welikoklad

2014 RDC’s 50th Convocation 2015 Major donations, including $5 million gift from Gary W. Harris announced, as Shaping Our Future initiative launches in support of Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport construction 2016 RDC welcomes Premier Rachel Notley to construction launch of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport

rdc.ab.ca/alumni

Notebook 45


GUILLERMO BARRON The Value of Philosophy in an Ever-Changing World POPULAR PHILOSOPHY INSTRUCTOR Dr. Guillermo Barron has been facilitiating lively discussions in the classroom for the past 12 years. Along with the countless students he has inspired with his passion, Guillermo has played a key role in providing the central Alberta community with opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions about important topics. If you have ever taken a philosophy course, you might reflect fondly on the lively conversations about deep, meaningful subjects. In everyday life, however, those big questions often seem to disappear, replaced by the concerns and distractions of the day. An alumnus of the College himself, Guillermo says he has been privileged to keep those intense conversations going in the classroom throughout his career. “I’m the luckiest guy because I have been able to talk with students about things that I was really interested in and passionate about.” Guillermo discovered his interest in philosophy at Red Deer College as a student in 1989 after a 17-year career as a surveyor. That eventually led him to the University of Calgary where he completed his degree. He then went on to earn his Ph.D at the University of Alberta. He encourages his past students to find little ways to keep those deeper conversations alive. “I think one way to do that is just to read your newspaper or read magazines with a critical eye and to not talk about the weather or hockey all the time. Not that I’m opposed to those conversations, but if there’s a chance to think about something at a deeper level, I find those conversations meaningful.” In his time at the College, Guillermo has helped create a number of opportunities for students and the central Alberta community to engage in philosophical discussions, including the Philosopher’s Café in the RDC Library and the Annual World Religions Conference in the RDC Arts Centre. While many of the subjects that he discusses are controversial and spark intense conversation, Guillermo quickly learned that disagreement is what makes his work so interesting. “I remember when I was a philosophy student at RDC, I used to get so angry with people that disagreed with me, but a decade or two in philosophy cleared that up,” he says, encouraging people to voice their opinions while also maintaining an open mind to different perspectives. “I really like when my students argue with me. I think that is the big value of my job – when I have a student who actually 46 Notebook

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has an opinion and is not afraid to speak out in public. That was always really good to see.” While some scoff at the idea of philosophy having value in the workplace, Guillermo has seen for himself that his students are well-equipped to make contributions in the real world. “We know that the nature of work is going to change over the next several years. More employers are looking for skills that enable you to adapt to the changing world around you.” he explains. “If you think of philosophy and critical thinking as a skill that’s used to deal with a changing world in which nothing is certain, it has a lot of value today.” Guillermo is proud of a career in which he has the opportunity to inspire his students to think deeper, and engage in meaningful discussions.

“I really love teaching. I love the idea of having something to say every single day to students who are listening to you, and if I can make that enjoyable, that’s really special.”


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Notebook 2016