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Editor’s message

In preparing this issue of Wider

Horizons, I have been thinking a lot about time. That’s not too surprising, I suppose, as I had the pleasure of getting to know Steve Christensen, a Lethbridge College grad who turned his love for interesting watches into an innovative enterprise, for our cover story. In the process, I spent hours learning and writing about timepieces, and thinking about just what it is they track. Time is such a funny thing. I remember summer days of my childhood that seemed to last forever, and long nights with sick babies where the minutes felt like they took far more than 60 seconds to pass. Turbulent airplane flights, the last hour of a long road trip, even the occasional work meeting – all are instances where time seems to slow down to an agonizing pace. But far more frequently, time seems to speed up and now passes too quickly. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I arrived for my first day of work at Lethbridge College. But it’s been more than six years – and 19 issues of Wider Horizons – since I first walked through the sliding doors of Centre Core. And it doesn’t feel like it was much longer than that that our family of three arrived in Canada on a hot July afternoon with every possession in the world packed in our sky blue Toyota and a moving van. But the calendar says that was nearly 15 years ago, and our family now counts five. If I close my eyes, I swear I can still feel the weight of my firstborn in my arms, all eight pounds, six ounces of him, his head nestled in my left elbow and his feet in my hand. But that baby is now six feet tall, soon to be taking his driver’s exam. Beyond that – years but surely not decades ago – I can picture myself in a newsroom on election night, in a bar with friends and only a dog to worry about at home, and in

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President in action Campus in season News and notes

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Wider Horizons is Lethbridge College’s community magazine, celebrating the successes and stories of its students, employees and alumni by promoting them throughout the community. This publication aims to educate its readers, engage stakeholders and recognize donors through compelling stories and images.

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a U-Haul with my husband, the day after our wedding, finding the way to our centre city Philadelphia apartment where great adventures (and a few cockroaches) awaited us. And maybe just a few more years past that (but certainly not the 24 years the calendar says), I can picture myself at the moment that more than 600 current Lethbridge College students will be experiencing – crossing the stage at my college graduation. I can almost smell the beautiful leis that the parents of a friend from Hawaii had brought for their daughter and her friends and feel the bubbles in my nose as our gang toasted each other with champagne. I want to tell the soon-to-be-grads to stop time on that day, to look around and indulge every one of their senses so that, as their lives speed up with each passing year, they can return easily and happily to that moment, to those friends who became family, to those instructors who helped them see just how much they could do, to the place that, for a year or two or more, became their home. I want them to freeze the memory of the smiles on the faces of the friends and family who love them so much, and who are so proud of them at this moment. I know we can’t stop time. But for the Class of 2018, my wish for you is to truly savour this exciting moment. Congratulations on your success, and best wishes for the future – which will be here before you know it!

Lisa Kozleski Editor

College recollections From our kitchens Office intrigue

We thank you for picking up this copy and we hope you enjoy the read. If you would like to suggest a story or find out more about our magazine, contact us. Wider Horizons c/o The Advancement Office 3000 College Drive South Lethbridge, AB T1K 1L6

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Where are they now? It’s a family affair Last look

In addition to free distribution to our regional community, Wider Horizons is also mailed to all Lethbridge College alumni. Alumni are encouraged to stay connected to the college by emailing or by updating their contact information at the Alumni Relations website:

ALL ROADS LEAD TO Whether coming from across the city or across the globe, Lethbridge College’s students, instructors, mentors and friends all take diverse routes to get here, and the college is a more vibrant community as a result.





The smell of fresh-baked bread: Learn some tips and tricks to make your own sundried tomato, herb and cheddar cheese bread at home.

Office intrigue: Get a glimpse into the towering heights where students in the Wind Turbine Technician program put theory into practice.

South of 60: Lethbridge College becomes a temporary home to the small but significant group of students from the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Publisher: Dr. Paula Burns Editor: Lisa Kozleski Editor-in-chief: Sandra Dufresne Designer: Dana Woodward Cover photo: Mavick Media Photographers: GBP Creative, Jamin Heller, Rod Leland, Mavick Media, Rob Olson, Gregory Thiessen Writers: Kristy Clark, Jeremy Franchuk, Paul Kingsmith, Megan Shapka, Dawn Sugimoto

College staff contributors: Leeanne Conrad, Greg Kruyssen, Ron Ostepchuk, Jonathan Ruzek, Shawn Salberg, Kasha Thurston Proofreaders: Brenda Brandley, Joanne Briggs, Cathie Carlson, Mary Ann Sorge, Linda Sprinkle

To share this issue with others or access even more content, visit us at 1

President in action Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns and academic strategist Silvana Campus take a coffee break in the president’s office on the Monday after they were celebrated as two of the nine winners of YWCA Women of Distinction awards. Burns received a Lifetime Achievement award, given to women who have been leaders in one or more of the award categories while serving as role models for the community, and Campus received an Education and Mentorship award in recognition of her work with the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp.


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“The support I received for this award is reflective of the strength of my network, the people who challenge me to be the best I can be every day – students, colleagues, community and business leaders, and my friends,” Burns says. Campus adds she was “pretty excited when I got the news. I have a teaching background and you get used to seeing the progress of your students but not necessarily hearing how you helped to impact those successes. It feels pretty special to be recognized for my mentoring contributions.” Photo by Gregory Thiessen


Campus in season

After one of the colder and snowier winters in recent years – including the city receiving four times the typical amount of snow in February – the entire campus community has been eagerly awaiting spring and the return of those blue skies and the bright, southern Alberta sun. Lethbridge averages 333 days of sunshine a year, making it one of the sunniest cities in Canada.


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It’s also one of the windiest, ranking second (just behind St. John’s, Nfld.) with the most days having a wind speed above 40 km/h. This stat should surprise no one: on average, 115 days a year in Lethbridge meet that criteria. But that wind is responsible for some of the sunshine, and after the winter the city’s just experienced, there is no reason to complain. Photo by Rod Leland


News and notes

News and notes

LC instructor strikes silver at Pyeongchang Olympics With a whoosh past the finish line, the South Korean four-man

bobsled team struck an unlikely Olympic silver medal. About 1,400 metres away, near the start line at the top of the hill, a German-born, Canadian-raised, Lethbridge College instructor let out a cheer. “You were laughing, you were crying, you were excited,” says Florian Linder, describing the medal-winning scene. “That was something really special to be a part of.” Linder, a General Studies instructor at the college, was in Pyeongchang as a technical coach with the Korean bobsled team. The former national team athlete held the same role for the Canadian team in Vancouver in the 2010 Olympics and the Russian team in the 2014 Games in Sochi. “My third Olympics as a coach and my third time working with the host nation,” says Linder. “It is unique to work with the home team. It is different competing at home than somewhere else.” The home nation often faces increased pressure to perform well. Linder now has a stirring first-person account to share with his Sport Psychology students, as he watched that burden affect pilot Won Yun-jong in a challenging two-man event. But he then saw Yun-jong’s redemption in that slide to silver in the four-man competition. “When they won the medal in the four-man, the sense of team was something you could really


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feel,” says Linder. “They brought everyone together and they celebrated as a team and a country. It was a special team.” To coach for Korea, Linder was out of the country from Feb. 6 to 26. Making that sort of time commitment in the middle of the academic year isn’t easy, but he found a cheering section at Lethbridge College. “I’m so thankful that everyone at the college has been so supportive,” says Linder. “Obviously, the students come first, so making sure the students were taken care of was the main thing, but everyone’s been very supportive.” Linder can tap into his Olympic experiences in the classroom, where he teaches a variety of topics, including Exercise Science, Criminal Justice, and Anatomy and Physiology. “The experience that I see at the Games, I can relate to some of the principles that students learn in the books and the lectures,” says Linder, who packed a 360-degree camera from the college’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. “I also try to provide video footage for some of the classes like biomechanics, where the students can then work on acceleration and coefficient of friction and things like that. I’m more than happy to bring my experiences to the students.” Story by Paul Kingsmith | Photos submitted by Florian Linder

Want to keep up on all of your Lethbridge College news between issues of Wider Horizons? Check out our news and events webpage ( for the latest stories and all of the college news you need. And don’t forget, you can read past issues of Wider Horizons at KODIAKS NEWS

Indoor track claims six ACAC medals

Kodiaks women’s futsal earns ACAC silver

Kodiaks men’s basketball finishes season on home court

The Kodiaks indoor track team capped a successful season by earning six medals and finishing fourth in the combined team standings at the ACAC championships in Edmonton. The Kodiaks women finished third in the team standings, led by four medals from rookie sensation Sophia Nowicki. She earned silver in both the 1,500- and 3,000-metre races, and a bronze in the 1,000-metre. Nowicki was also part of the 4x400-metre relay team that tied with SAIT for a bronze medal. Kayla Enders, Brooklyn Vogel and Janelle Graham joined Nowicki on the relay team. Enders also claimed an individual medal, finishing third in the 600-metre race. The Kodiaks men placed fourth in the team standings. The team’s lone medal came in the 4x400-metre relay. Dayton Jans ran a strong anchor leg, coming from behind in the final metres to help the Kodiaks to a bronze medal. John Krause, Tristan Jochems and Kayden Halladay joined Jans on the team.

The Kodiaks women’s futsal team earned a silver medal at the ACAC championship game at the tournament hosted by Lakeland College in Lloydminster. After going 1-2 in the round robin and beating Augustana 1-0 in the semifinal on a goal by Vicki Noronha, the Kodiaks made the championship game against southern Alberta rival Medicine Hat College. The Rattlers prevailed with a 3-0 win to earn the powerhouse program its fifth-straight ACAC championship. The silver for the Kodiaks comes in just the second year of participation in ACAC futsal for Lethbridge College.

As hosts of the 2018 ACAC Men’s Basketball Championships, the Kodiaks men’s basketball team was hoping for a Cinderella end to the season. Instead, the clock struck too early as the Kodiaks finished the tournament in sixth place. In the quarterfinals, a big third quarter propelled the eventual tournament bronze medalist Concordia Thunder to a 96-80 win over the Kodiaks. Playing in the consolation bracket, the Kodiaks turned in their best effort of the tournament, erupting for a 108-89 win over Medicine Hat. But the Kodiaks’ season ended with a consolation final 96-93 loss in overtime to the Keyano Huskies. When the dust settled, the SAIT Trojans were awarded the championship banner thanks to an 88-77 win over Lakeland.

Kodiaks earn futsal honours Three members of the Kodiaks futsal teams have been singled out for all-star honours following March’s ACAC championships. From the silver-medal-winning women’s team, goalkeeper Brittany Klein and defender Madison Folk were both named first-team tournament all-stars. On the men’s side, centre midfielder Ben Knight was named a second-team all-star.

Three Kodiaks earn ACAC volleyball honours

In bounce-back seasons for both Kodiaks volleyball teams, a trio of players were rewarded for their efforts as the ACAC handed out its year-end awards in February. Kristine Ward was named to the women’s south all-conference team, while Dax Whitehead and Matt Primrose earned a spot on the men’s team. Whitehead, a conference all-star for a second straight season, finished third in the ACAC in kills with 277. The outside hitter also placed third in hitting percentage (42.1 per cent) and eighth in digs (196). In his fourth season with the Kodiaks, he also broke the program record for most career kills, passing Jeffrey Marthaller with his 796th career kill in late-December. Primrose, an LCI grad, finished fifth in the ACAC in digs with 211 while playing rock solid defence from the libero position. Ward, an outside hitter, was fourth in the ACAC in kills (278) and service aces (43), and sixth in hitting percentage (34.2 per cent).

Kodiaks earn ACAC basketball honours

The Lethbridge College basketball teams have plenty to be proud of as three team members have been named ACAC all-stars. Amy Arbon was named a south division first-team all-conference member on the women’s side, while Keanu Funa and Michael Clemons were each named south division second-team all-conference members on the men’s side. In her final season as a Kodiaks forward, Arbon finished fifth in the ACAC in rebounds, second in assists and first in steals, while tying for the Kodiaks lead with 11.9 points per game. Funa, a homegrown Lethbridge product, led the Kodiaks in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game, while finishing 11th in the conference in shooting percentage. In his first year with the Kodiaks, Clemons led the ACAC in assists and was second in steals. 7

News and notes

In this courtroom drama, Criminal Justice students win


Ashcroft Design Competition brings students’ interior designs to life From making initial design sketches all the way to seeing their design built into a premium house, students in the Interior Design Technology (IDT) program were part of a one-of-a-kind opportunity this past semester thanks to Ashcroft Master Builder. As part of the Ashcroft Design Challenge, first-year IDT students created an original home design that was unique, innovative and reflective of what modern living in Lethbridge looks like. Those first-year students were then paired with second-year students who brought the design to life in virtual reality. Ashcroft Master Builder judged the designs, and the company plans to build the winning design, with the IDT students working with the team as interns next year. The winning design will be announced at surRENDER on April 25 (just after Wider Horizons goes to press – stay tuned for an update in the fall issue).

From the back of the mock courtroom in AN1756, you can’t see the yellow Labrador retriever lying in the witness box. But if you’re in the box, she can’t be missed. “I could feel her touch my ankles a couple of times,” says Raelene Austin, a second-year Criminal Justice student. Under questioning by the defence team during the mock trial — led by retired police officer and Lethbridge College alumni Tony Andrews (Law Enforcement 1984) — and with instructor Murray Bartley serving as trial judge, Austin fidgeted occasionally on the stand. Each time she moved, she could feel the warmth of Madison, the Victim Services dog, against her legs. Madison and her handler, Adonus Arlett, program manager of Lethbridge Corridor Victim Services (RCMP), were two of the community volunteers at one of three “trials” heard in January as part of Bartley’s Courtroom Procedures course. She and the service dog spent three days on campus so students can experience how effective the dog can be in helping victims tell their stories.

A “can-do” attitude In March, nine students and four faculty members from all three college engineering technology programs participated in this year’s Canstruction event, which benefitted local food banks. The winners were announced after Wider Horizons went to press – but their creation garnered plenty of admiration from the community.

Jan. 18 : @AFSC_AB

Proud sponsor of the 19th annual Tiffin Conference @Tiffin_Leth. Great day connecting with Southern Alberta cattle producers and students at Lethbridge College! #Tiffin18 #ABag { AFSC }


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MI3 gift puts six decades of Kodiaks history on display A gift from Lethbridge-based Millwork Innovations 3 (MI3) ensures that the championship history of Lethbridge College’s Kodiaks Athletics programs will be permanently and prominently displayed. A new trophy case, located on the second floor of the Physical Education Building and leading into the Val Matteotti Gymnasium, was unveiled in January. The trophy case is a $55,000 gift on behalf of MI3, and it allows everyone entering the home of the Kodiaks to get a glimpse of the many awards and accolades that teams and individuals have earned over 60 years of athletics competition.

Employee Excellence Award winners celebrated

In February, in addition to celebrating those Lethbridge College employees who have worked at the college for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 or more years, the campus community celebrated the winners of the annual Employee Excellence Awards. This year, Lakeshore campus instructor Doug Kitaguchi and Practical Nursing instructor Helen Van Nistelrooy won Lifelong Learning Awards; SPHERE Nursing instructor Marie Laenen won a Service and Innovation award; LINC academic coordinator Michelle Derbich, Learning Services manager Lynda Duval and Student Experience and Assessment coordinator Terri-Ann Fitz-Gibson received Above and Beyond awards; Events and Stewardship coordinator Jay Dobson and program assistant Kate Galbraith received Appreciation awards; and Health Promotion coordinator Harmoni Jones and the Creators, Educators and Innovators sculpture team won Leadership and Creating Community awards. The team, which created a sculpture that can be found in the new Trades, Technologies and Innovation facility, includes Lorne Hammond, Calvin Koskowich, Daniel Koskowich, Jeremy Lauzon, Jonathan Legg, Ron Papp, Jordan Shapka, Kiri Stolz, Tyler Wall and Leon Wensmann. Congratulations to all of these colleagues for their many contributions to building the community.


Lethbridge College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program set

out just over a year ago to champion outdoor play in Alberta, and the team hasn’t wasted any time. Wendy Weninger, chair of the School of Human Services, points to the college-led, invitation-only Leading Outdoor Play in Alberta Symposium Dec. 12 as sowing seeds for a much broader community effort. By bringing together decision- and policy-makers, researchers, funders and industry partners for a day with experts from Nova Scotia, Ontario and B.C., stakeholders are now creating new opportunities to promote and encourage outdoor play opportunities for children in the community. For example, two Lethbridge College faculty members expanded their knowledge of how to create a culture of outdoor play during a week-long study tour to Scotland in February. In addition, ECE faculty and students held a loose parts playground session at Helen Schuler Nature Centre March 16, and they are working with the Lethbridge Early Years Coalition to plan an event Nov. 17 to celebrate National Child’s Day. Additional initiatives are being

planned. The college also co-organized and hosted the Child Care Directors’ Association of Southwest Alberta conference on campus March 23 and 24. Over 160 delegates involved or interested in early childhood education and development were treated to sessions dedicated to aspects of outdoor play. The program team also organized its second ECE professional development webinar series. Last year’s inaugural webinars involved participants from across Canada. This year’s series features seven webinars from March 19 to May 17, including sessions led by college instructors Bora Kim and Patricia Lynch-Staunton, and other experts from across Canada. Weninger says next year the college will become one of the first post-secondary institutions in Canada to offer a credit course specifically on outdoor play as part of its ECE certificate program. While there are pockets of effort to encourage outdoor play across Alberta, Lethbridge College is proving to be a force — connecting, uniting and leading the charge.

LEARN THE BUSINESS OF AGRICULTURE Apply today for the NEW Agricultural Enterprise Management diploma program. Stay connected to Lethbridge College all year long by following us online. Follow us at:






News and notes CAMPUS KUDOS



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Wider Horizons recognized Three Wider Horizons stories received industry honours in recent months. Paul Kingsmith’s “Whistling While He Works” profile of a long-time Lethbridge College Facilities department employee and alumnus received a bronze award in the Feature Writing category at the CASE District VIII 2018 Communication Awards ceremony in February. Lisa Kozleski’s “Lethbridge College Love Stories” was a finalist in the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association’s (AMPA) 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards. In the same competition, “People Make the Place,” which included stories by Lisa Kozleski, D’Arcy Kavanagh and Dave McMurray and illustrations by Brent Bates, was recognized in the editorial package category.

New members named to board of governors


The Government of Alberta has appointed three members to Lethbridge College’s Board of Governors. Tracy Zappone returns for a second term on the board, and was joined by first-time members Travis Plaited Hair and Kristine Cassie. Zappone has been a lawyer for the past 27 years, specializing in family law and child protection. Plaited Hair is currently the executive director of Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society and Leader of the Sacred Horns Society of the Blood Reserve. Cassie is currently the director of operations for the Southern Alberta Community Living Association, after previously serving as CEO of the YWCA Lethbridge and District for more than 10 years.


Cal Whitehead receives international leadership award Cal Whitehead, interim dean of the Centre for Applied Management, was presented with the Chair Academy’s Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leader Award at a gala event April 3 in Denver. The award recognizes achievements in advancing academic and administrative leadership. Whitehead has championed the trades programs and was integral to the planning and development of the new Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility.

NISOD Excellence Award winners announced This year’s NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Award recipients are Bill Nykiel and Sheri Wright. Nykiel, a placement coordinator in the Centre for Health and Wellness, is known for leading by example and is an outstanding role model and mentor to many. SPHERE chair Wright’s philosophy and understanding of education, leadership and inspiring innovation have transformed education at the college.

Four students present research at provincial conference Four Ecosystem Management students in the Fish and Wildlife Management concentration presented senior research project posters at the annual Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society conference in March in Lethbridge. Brook Skagen, Loren Seitz, Teagan Holt and Emma LaRocque competed in the best student poster competition with other undergraduate students from universities across Alberta and Western Canada. Seitz placed first, and LaRocque placed third.


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FROM THE DESK OF… Susan Ames Vogelaar (University Transfer 1965)

The photo in the winter issue of the college magazine, Wider Horizons, brought back my memories of playing for the Lethbridge Junior College Cubs in 1964 and 1965. After graduating from Matthew Halton High School in Pincher Creek, I enrolled in the university courses which were held in the north end of the college, registered in the Education program, and then tried out for the basketball team. Four girls from Pincher Creek made the team, and the rest of the team was made up of players from our Southern High School zone. Players from the university and the college programs at the college were on the team. Some were rivals and it was odd to suddenly be passing the ball and working with team members who we formerly played against. I played guard and Arlene from LCI was our centre. During the first few practices it gave me an uneasy feeling passing to her, but our team clicked after numerous practices and games. We did well, and in the process, bonded with each other. Anne Hashizume was our coach and we played in the Alberta College League. Keeping up our marks was necessary, which was a challenge when we often travelled on the weekend and practised twice a week. Travelling by a bus owned by Steve Koch was an experience like no other. The old bus would break down along the highway and on the High Level Bridge in Edmonton, which added to the league travel experiences. Playing cards at a roadside garage until the wee hours of the morning, while the bus was being fixed, was just another adventure. We did not receive the acclaim and news coverage that the men’s team received. Often there would be a long column in the paper including the details of their game, and if we were lucky, we would receive a tiny paragraph about our wins. We didn’t focus on that because we all loved the game and put our efforts into each game, wanting to do our best whether we lost or won. I went on to play for the University of Calgary as a point guard and we won the Western Canadian University Championship. After beginning my teaching career, I played for years in a senior ladies league in southern Alberta. I coached Matthew Halton’s High School junior boys’ team, and the junior and senior varsity ladies’ team. My sons and my daughters also played for Matthew Halton. I still love the game and now I get to watch one of my granddaughters play, and I must admit I can’t help quietly coaching from the sidelines.

Susan Ames Vogelaar graduated from the university program offered at Lethbridge Junior College in 1965 and went on to earn her two-year diploma in education from the University of Calgary in 1967. She finished her degree in Education and her Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria as she continued teaching. In 1982, she started teaching in the Academic Upgrading program in the off-campus program. She started teaching on campus in 1999 through her retirement in 2008. Today, she is active in the Pincher Creek community. She and her husband Jake, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in December, are avid paddlers and travellers. If you’d like to share your own Lethbridge College recollection, email your 300word story to or call editor Lisa Kozleski at 403-320-3202 ext. 5778. Story by Susan Ames Vogelaar | Photos submitted


Business Administration alumnus fuses a lifelong love of watches with entrepreneurial innovation to create handcrafted masterpieces Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photos by Rob Olson and Mavick Media


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After all, cellphones can give the precise time (and weather and stock updates and news and so much more) with the click of a button, and those who don’t have one can, almost always, simply find someone who does. Managing time has never been so easy. But saying no one needs a watch is like saying no one needs art, or music, or poetry. It may be true on a pragmatic level, but where would we be in a world without watercolours? Without “Wheat Kings,” or The West Wind, or “The Cremation of Sam McGee?” Or without handcrafted timepieces that provide a comforting weight on the wrist and a reminder to slow down and savour time, and not simply manage it.

Steve Christensen, a 2008 grad of Lethbridge College’s Business Administration program, says the mission of NOVO Watch is to create the world’s most beautiful and storied timepieces. He does that by using reclaimed materials that reflect the history and culture from which they came.


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teve Christensen (Business Administration Management 2008) has always loved watches. Starting in elementary school, when he coveted a Timex with the Velcro strap (could anything be cooler?), timepieces cast a spell over him. Without fail, a watch rested at the top of his Christmas list, and any money he saved went to buy newer and more marvellous models. Early on, he wanted to know exactly how they worked, and so he especially loved watches where he could see the movement – the mechanisms inside the case that make them tick. Today, Christensen has combined that life-long zeal with entrepreneurial innovation to build a thriving business called NOVO Watch, which creates handcrafted timepieces in small batches using reclaimed materials that tell a story. As Christensen explains, NOVO watches are designed to reflect the history and culture from which they came. So the steel cases, casebacks and dials of his newest watches? They come from the rail that was laid across the southern Alberta landscape more than 130 years ago. The wooden boxes that hold each watch? They’re hewn from reclaimed southern Albertan barn wood. The blacksmithing, the machining, the leather work, even the stitching – they are all done to the sounds of a chinook, not a crowded factory floor. “I really think we are getting close to making one of the coolest watches in Canada,” Christensen says. “We want to keep on repurposing pieces of history. That’s the idea. There are so many great stories to be told.”


“ timepiece,” says Jordan Dicklin, executive director of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, “even if it is made by a machine, is interesting and intriguing in the way it works. But when you buy a piece that is handcrafted, you are acquiring a piece of art, something that you can appreciate. It’s the difference between buying a poster in the mall and a painting created by an artist. Both have an important role to play, but one of them will hold a place of importance for a long time. One of them will last.” Christensen didn’t set out to become the creator of lasting timepieces. After graduating from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, he came to the college to study business in the 2+2 program, where he spent two years in the Business Administration program on campus before taking his diploma and moving on to the University of Lethbridge, where he earned a Bachelor of Management degree. He says he loved his years at the college. “My college experience was amazing,” he recalls. “We had all of these people coming in who had relevant, real-life experience. Some of my teachers owned their own businesses. It was so much more immersive than the university, and the one-on-one time with the instructors was unbeatable. You’d make these great relationships, and they were so approachable.


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“In a way, I think the college lets you bloom a little more. You were really comfortable in a classroom setting.” With more confidence and a solid foundation in business, Christensen headed to the university. It was in the back of a Management classroom that he started drawing watches, playing with size and design as he dreamed about what the perfect watch would look like. Near the end of his program, he won some money and had planned to buy a truly amazing watch – and realized none of them were quite right. So instead, he used that money to set out and make his own.

“My college experience was amazing. We had all of these people coming in who had relevant, real-life experience. Some of my teachers owned their own businesses. It was so much more immersive than the university, and the one-on-one time with the instructors was unbeatable.” { Steve Christensen }

ven then, his goal wasn’t to make handcrafted masterpieces. He found a mentor in the United States to help him source material from China and sent off for samples. The first samples he received were “really mediocre” but over the years he refined them, always on a quest to create something even better than before. At the same time, he went off to Johns Hopkins University in Maryland where he earned a master’s degree in Real Estate Development in 2011.

“I was at the end of my master’s and had my last set of samples,” he remembers. “They were perfect. Amazing. And after I graduated, my wife and I started talking. We realized there were two paths – I could go the corporate route, which is awesome, and we’d be comfortable, but the likelihood of me stepping back and doing my own thing ever again would be slim. Or, we could continue living like students, do the start-up thing and give it a try. “That was five years ago.” The first NOVO watches were “super ghetto, but it worked. Those first ones are funny to look back on now. Nothing is perfect from the first go – ever – and if it is, you probably took too long to do it.” But those first watches gave him a product to market, and he looked to the web to do the heavy lifting. The first orders started coming in, and as they did, Christensen reached out to watch blogs, and some of them picked up and shared his story. He started earning awards, including being a top 10 finalist in the FP Journe Young Talent competition in 2017, an annual contest the high-end Swiss watch manufacturer runs each year to find the most talented young watchmaking apprentices in the world and support them in their routes to independence. “When we started doing this [designing watches and having partners in China make the parts], there was no one else doing it,” Christensen recalls. “It was expensive and contact with China was really hard. But then with start-ups like Kickstarter, all of a sudden our unique story wasn’t unique any more. There was a flood of new watch brands, and a lot of those companies started with big marketing dollars. Our sales started levelling off.”


hat’s what got Christensen thinking about making a masterpiece. To get started, he looked to history. “We knew we wanted to do something with Lethbridge, with handmade watches, with doing our own quality control here,” he says. So he worked with a mentor in Switzerland, found a local blacksmith, machinist, leather craftsman and boxmaker, and got to work. The team started by creating the Coalbanks Collection. They used steel rail from the Galt Mine site in Lethbridge, a coal mining operation that opened in 1882 and was a catalyst for the economic development of southern Alberta. The name of each watch model reflects the steel’s origins. The Blaenavon 1882 uses steel from track that was produced at the Blaenavon Ironworks of Wales in 1882; the Dowlais 1884 uses steel from the Dowlais Ironworks in Wales manufactured two years later; while the Barrow 1885 features steel produced a year later at Barrow Hematite Steel Company in England, which at the turn of the 20th century was the largest steel mill in the world. “These days a lot of stuff is never touched with human hands, but this,” Christensen says, picking up a piece of Dowlais rail he keeps in his downtown Lethbridge studio, “this rail is more than 130 years old and barely has any surface rust. It was manufactured by people, and laid by people, and a lot of effort was put into it at every stage of the process. There were so many people involved in creating this rail and bringing it to Canada. That world was such a different place then. Those tracks were instrumental in the building of our country and the building of our city.” Steel – so strong and durable that it is used to build skyscrapers and ships – is also a perfect medium to manufacture something meant to last for generations. Calling on local connections, Christensen worked with a blacksmith and a machinist in southern Alberta to fashion the casing and dials. For the strap, he used Hermann Oak

leather, one of the premier leather manufacturers in the United States, and turned to a local artisan to shape each band. He ordered the movements – the tiny gears and guts of the watch – from Switzerland. Recalling his own curiosity as a child about how watches work, he left the movement exposed under crystal, so the wearer can be hypnotized by the sweeping motion by simply turning the watch over. Finally, he assembled each watch himself at his spartan, sunny downtown office on a desk raised to the optimal height by paint cans. The entire process takes four to six weeks, and the cost – $3,450 each – reflects that. “I went from making $200 watches (with mass-produced parts from China) to $3,500 watches (made by hand), which is shocking to a lot of people,” Christensen acknowledges. “We knew our current customers weren’t the ones who were going to buy them. But it’s one of those things where if we wanted to change how we were working and how we would grow – well, we just had to grow.”

he customers – many of whom gave the watches as Christmas gifts this last holiday season – love the finished product. Trish Gurr of Calgary bought a Coalbanks Collection watch for her husband, Glen, explaining that the ties to local history helped make the gift “a huge success.” “My husband’s grandfather worked in the Galt Number 8 mine when he emigrated from Italy,” Gurr says. “He came to the Lethbridge area in 1912 at the age of 26 and worked in the mines to earn money to buy land, which he did. He ended up with a large dairy farm just north of Lethbridge. When I explained the repurposing of the mine tracks to our family [after Glen opened the gift], there were a few tears shed over its significance to our family history. Not only that, but they were very impressed by what a nice looking watch it was besides. “I look forward to this watch being a part of our family’s heritage going forward, and passing it on to our children and grandchildren.” Nothing could make Christensen happier. He knows those kids will likely have cellphones as well, or whatever replaces them. They will have an infinite number of ways to find out the hours and minutes of each day. But they’ll have something more: a piece of art that will last for generations, will need no updates and will hold a special story – one that celebrates the past and reminds the wearers to make the most of their time. Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photos by Rob Olson and Mavick Media


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Each watch in the Coalbanks Collection travels through the hands of five artisans from start to finish: watchmaker Christensen; blacksmith Drue CrÄ po; machinist Joel Kistenfeger at Lethbridge Machine; leathersmith Brandon Strang at Timber and Hide; and barnwood master Dusty Mitchell at Dusty Lumber Co.

Functions: Manually wound, 46-hour power reserve, hours, minutes, a sweeping second hand located at the five on the watch, Incabloc shock protection Case, caseback, dial: Historical 130+ years old 1080 high manganese steel Finishing: Ceramic coating to resist corrosion, abrasion, chemicals and impact Front and back crystals: Sapphire Band: Hermann Oak leather Packaging: Reclaimed barn wood Build time: Approximately four to six weeks Love time: Approximately forever



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ALL ROADS LEAD TO Whether coming from across the city or across the globe, Lethbridge College’s students, instructors, mentors and friends all take diverse routes to get here, and the college is a more vibrant community as a result. The following pages showcase the stories of six people whose journeys have led them to Lethbridge College – and highlight how the college and community are richer places because of them.



hen Peter Weasel Moccasin was a young boy, he and his father would leave their home and head for the wilderness. The elder Weasel Moccasin knew where they were going. His son would learn. Following close by, the younger Weasel Moccasin attentively listened to the lessons that have been passed down through generations of Blackfoot people. When they reached their destination, they would dig. As the soil gave way to stone, they would put their hands into the ground and search for what they knew was hidden below. “There’s a process you have to go through,” describes Weasel Moccasin. “The stone itself is grey, you have to dig it out of the cliff and it comes out raw.” Weasel Moccasin vividly remembers and describes the rock that goes into the making of an Ohkotoki’aahkkoiyiiniimaan – the Blackfoot name for a stone pipe. Stone pipes are used in sacred ceremonies of the Blackfoot people to make an offering to Iihtsipaatapi’op, the Source of Life. The pipe, he says, kept and keeps the Blackfoot people at peace. That personal connection to searching for the rock to form a stone pipe provided inspiration for Weasel Moccasin when it came time for him to give the gift of a Blackfoot name to Lethbridge College. He chose Ohkotoki’aahkkoiyiiniimaan, or Stone Pipe. And this name – and the story and meaning and memories behind it – is just one of a countless number of ways that Weasel Moccasin has had an effect on the college. He has served as the college’s Kaahsinnoonik (Grandparent) since 2013, acting as a mentor, leader and advocate for students, employees and community members, Indigenous and nonIndigenous alike. “When I was asked to do this work, I told them I had other commitments to other groups,” remembers Weasel Moccasin. “But they told me that they really needed help with the students and the staff. They told me they would feed me and buy me coffee, and that’s the reason that I’m here.” That sense of humour helps illustrate why Weasel Moccasin has become a kind-hearted and popular figure on the college’s campus. He has been instrumental in making Indigenous education a priority. He sits on the President’s Indigenous Advisory Council and the internal Indigenous Committee. His leadership has helped to make recent events, such as the permanent raising of the Blackfoot Confederacy flag and the


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college’s Blackfoot naming, a reality. He can often be found sipping a coffee in the Niitsitapi Gathering Place, ready to lend an ear and advice to anyone who seeks his counsel. For all of these reasons and many more, the college community chose Weasel Moccasin to receive this year’s honorary degree. “Peter makes true connections with those he speaks with,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “He has taken an active role in improving the lives of our Indigenous learners and has helped to connect the college with the local Indigenous community.” Weasel Moccasin’s wisdom comes from a traditional way of knowing. Raised on the Kainai Nation in southern Alberta, Weasel Moccasin grew up listening to the stories of the Kaahsinnooniksi in his community. His childhood was also hardened by being forced to attend residential school. He now visits classes at the college to speak about the past with an honesty and truth that is both humbling and eye-opening to the hard realities that have occurred. “Eventually, we’re going to have to talk about it; eventually we’re going to have to share those stories with each other,” says Weasel Moccasin. “That time has come, through the young people. Slowly, they’re coming around to learn about our culture.” Weasel Moccasin has proven to be a memorable teacher to all who interact with him. “He truly is a loving soul who so many feel instantly connected to,” says Shanda Webber, Lethbridge College manager of Recruitment and Indigenous Services. “He educates without the learners even knowing. He has shared so much knowledge and wisdom.” Weasel Moccasin will receive a degree in Bachelor of Applied Science – Ecosystem Management at Convocation in April. It’s a reminder of the lessons learned from the land that the Blackfoot have called home for centuries, and the stone pipe that has been part of his life since childhood. “The pipe brings us peace, it brings us harmony, it makes us be able to work together and function together,” says Weasel Moccasin. “(The stone) is down in the coulees, so anyone can go dig it. But there is a process. You have to be patient. You have to persevere. It takes a lot of work.” Story by Paul Kingsmith | Photo by Gregory Thiessen

CCASIN “Eventually, we’re going to have to talk about it; eventually we’re going to have to share those stories with each other.” { Peter Weasel Moccasin }


“I don’t think people realize how many opportunities our students have available to them.” { Clair Fitzpatrick }


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lair Fitzpatrick’s path to teaching in the Agriculture Sciences program at Lethbridge College started on the rodeo circuit. Fitzpatrick, who grew up in a ranching and farming family in Wood Mountain, Sask., competed in rodeo throughout high school, winning university scholarships thanks to his skill in saddle bronc riding. Excelling in an event where the goal of staying on a horse that is working hard to buck the rider off, Fitzpatrick rose to the top in his sport while travelling throughout North America and making lifelong friends. “Then the worst, and perhaps oddly, the best thing happened while I was competing on the rodeo team at Dickinson State University in North Dakota,” he says. “I suffered a serious injury and I had to basically take a year away from the sport and really decide what’s more important – the rodeo or the education – and I stuck with going to school.” Eventually, Fitzpatrick made his way back to the chutes and continued competing, winning major competitions around western Canada and the U.S. “It opened so many doors for me,” he says, “including providing scholarships for my undergrad and grad school. To get an education through rodeo isn’t something most people would consider even being possible.” And the love for learning and the land stayed with him, too. After earning his Masters of Science in Animal and Range Sciences from North Dakota State University, Fitzpatrick worked as a research agrologist for Alberta Agriculture for six years before moving on to do environmental work for private industry in the oil patch. Last summer, ready for another change, he applied for a job as an instructor at the college. “It’s been a little terrifying,” he says of moving from industry to the classroom. “But typically, the students in the Ag program come here from some sort of ranching or farming family. Basically, it’s like you’re working with and teaching younger versions of

yourself. The students are instantly relatable. And I am really fortunate that the program I came into was so well set up when I got here.” Fitzpatrick teaches animal sciences courses, including animal health, nutrition, monogastric production (hogs and chickens), beef cattle production, animal physiology and more. He says he is grateful to colleagues who have made the transition seamless and helped him adjust to life in the classroom. “I don’t miss the uncertainty of being in the oil field or working in private industry,” he says, but he is grateful for the industry experience he had prior to teaching. “Part of my job is to keep them interested in the industry, to see there are options.” And being able to draw on experiences from growing up on a ranch, working as a researcher and working in private industry – as well as from being an advocate for the ag industry in general – can benefit his students. Fitzpatrick says Lethbridge College is the ideal place to study agriculture – and there has been no better time for it as well. “I don’t think people realize how many opportunities our students have available to them,” he says. “Lethbridge is in the centre of pretty much every type of agriculture production there is in North America. I don’t know if there is any place in Canada which can provide the learning potential associated with the various ag-industries we have around us.” But it’s more than proximity that distinguishes the program – it’s the partnerships as well. “We have partners (direct production and industry services) involved with every single class,” says Fitzpatrick. “Our plant majors are able to tour 19 different partners’ operations, and our animal majors go out to 13. Those experiences are the things that keep the students engaged, and when we talk about it later in the semester, that’s what they recall – when they were on the farm or in the field.” Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photo by Rob Olson



t was a bad day at the restaurant where Danielle Crawford had worked for 15 years that led her to Lethbridge College. “Basically, I said I am so done and over the drama that comes with working in a restaurant,” she recalls. “It was 2013. I was almost 30 and starting to think about my life and decided to bite the bullet and apply for the Environmental Assessment and Restoration program at the college. The classes seemed manageable, and I figured the worst thing that would happen would be that I would figure out it wasn’t for me.” What she found was a perfect fit – one that led to a diploma, a degree and now, with the support of the college, graduate studies and the career of her dreams. Crawford faced some serious nerves in the days before starting at the college as a mature student. “But I walked into New Student Orientation for the Envi Sci program, and they said most of the first month will be field trips and I thought ‘I am REALLY going to like this!’ The fear backed away, and I realized maybe it will all be fine. And after we got through that amazing first month and we got to the classroom, I thought this isn’t too bad either. It’s heavy but it’s manageable. I thought ‘maybe I can do this,’ and I did.” Crawford juggled part-time work with her six classes and five labs, completing the program in two years and earning her diploma with honours. “But just as I graduated, the oil industry started tanking, but that’s also when the college started its new Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Ecosystem Management, so I applied and decided to stay at the college.” Crawford was one of two students who completed the environmental management stream of the new degree program, which was designed with input from environmental industry partners and prepares grads to work in environmental management and restoration, or fish and wildlife management (another nine graduated from the fish and wildlife stream of the degree). She continued to thrive in the new Ecosystem Management program.


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During her third year at the college – and first year in the degree program – she also got a job as a research assistant at the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence doing water quality analysis. She was able to extend that into a summer job between the third and fourth years, working with Dr. Willemijn Appels, the Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science at Lethbridge College, and continued working with her during her fourth year. After graduating last April, Crawford stayed on in Appels’ lab doing research. At one point – just in passing – Crawford mentioned maybe working towards a master’s degree one day. This fall, Dr. Appels asked Crawford if she was serious about it. And before Crawford knew it, she was accepted into the Master of Science in Agriculture program at Dalhousie University. She left on Jan. 8 for a fourmonth semester on campus with the support of a NSERC Discovery grant, and she will undertake her research back home in Alberta this summer and fall. Crawford credits the well-designed Ecosystem Management program, the abundant applied research opportunities she had as a student and new graduate, and the support of Appels and Dr. Kenny Corscadden, the college’s Dean for the Centre for Technology, Environment and Design and former associate dean of research and graduate studies in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, with making the dream of graduate school a reality. “When I started at the college in 2013, I assumed I’d get my diploma and a decent job in the oil patch, making good money and then would be done,” she says. “Instead I am getting a master’s degree, which is one of those things I wished for but never thought would happen. I’m pretty excited to start the graduate level stuff and to be a part of that academic community.” Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photo by Gregory Thiessen

“...I walked into New Student Orientation for the Envi Sci program, and they said most of the first month will be field trips and I thought ‘I am REALLY going to like this!’” { Danielle Crawford }


“There are tons of job opportunities, whether you want to work out in the field, work with people or crunch the numbers – there is really something for everyone in agriculture.” { Mandy Gabruch }


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andy Gabruch, an instructor in Lethbridge College’s new Agricultural Enterprise Management (AEM) program, has spent nearly 20 years in school as a student. But come this fall when she steps into the classroom, she will be leading in the learning of others. Growing up on a cattle ranch near the small town of Consul, Sask., Gabruch had an interest in agriculture from an early age. The BSE crisis of 2003 was the turning point that drew her to the business of agriculture. Gabruch’s parents raise commercial angus-cross cattle, so when the borders closed to Canadian beef, her family was directly affected. “I remember listening to a lot of conversations in my family about what happened and why, and how long it was going to be before the market recovered,” recalls Gabruch. “I was a kid at the time and I really didn’t understand why the prices had fallen and what effect it would have on my family and neighbours. I didn’t really get it – but I wanted to.” And that desire to “get it” spurred a clear vision of the future. After high school, Gabruch went to University of Saskatchewan where she studied Agricultural Economics. Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, she immediately began her master’s in the same field. While at university, Gabruch provided both formal and informal tutoring to her peers, and, as a grad student, was a teaching assistant. “So when a job came up at the college teaching, not only was it interesting because it was in my field and I like teaching, but it was also quite a bit closer to home than Saskatoon.” Being a part of the team of college staff members, industry partners and other subject matter experts building a new program has not been simple, but Gabruch has met the challenge with optimism. “It’s been a balance between structure and flexibility, especially when I won’t be teaching some of these courses until 2020,” says Gabruch. She has focused on developing courses that are flexible enough to incorporate current trends and issues down the road while still delivering the foundational knowledge students can build on when they enter the industry. For Gabruch, “It’s not about memorizing facts, it’s about developing skills,” which will ultimately help graduates stay relevant in the industry and responsive to the market.

It is that relevancy to industry that spurred the development of this new program. “We brought together stakeholders and identified which parts of the agriculture industry were missing from current educational opportunities,” explains Dennis Sheppard, interim Dean of the Centre for Justice and Human Services, “and it became clear very quickly that there was a void in terms of education about the business side of agriculture.” Lethbridge College’s Agricultural Enterprise Management program’s balanced curriculum will fill that void, bringing together economics, management and production to give students a strong foundation in the business of agriculture. “People tend to think agriculture is just farming,” says Gabruch, “but it’s so much more than that. There are tons of job opportunities, whether you want to work out in the field, work with people or crunch the numbers – there is really something for everyone in agriculture. And it’s a great industry to be part of.” Sheppard adds, “The numbers tell a lot of this story. Agriculture is a $110-billion per year industry in Canada. It represents more than seven per cent of the national GDP. Compared to other developed or developing nations, Canada ranks eighth in terms of export, and primary production operations – the people whose lives and livelihoods revolve around the world of agriculture – continue to transform into large-scale enterprises responsible for employing 2.3 million Canadians.” Ensuring there are enough qualified individuals to maintain and increase those jobs is another story. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s latest Labour Market Information report projects that by 2025 nearly 114,000 jobs will be at risk of going unfilled. Students who fill Gabruch’s classes this fall will gain the skillset required to step into those jobs. And while the start of the semester – and those first AEM classes – is still a few months away, Gabruch’s excitement for the current opportunities within the industry is palpable. “Agriculture is a great industry to be going into right now. There are tons of job opportunities and it’s a great industry to work in. So having an ag-specific credential is going to give you a big leg-up in the job market.” Story by Kristy Clark | Photo by Gregory Thiessen




wo students from Lethbridge College nursing programs presented their research findings to a national audience, not only sharing the science, but also the benefits of applied research. Ashtin Halmrast, a student in the bachelor of nursing After Degree program, and Karli Tremel, who is in her final semester of Practical Nursing, presented at the CICan Symposium on “Accelerating Innovation through Applied Research” Feb. 12 and 13 in Ottawa. In addition to attending sessions at the symposium, Halmrast and Tremel took part in a student showcase on Parliament Hill where they shared their research and experiences with parliamentarians and federal government officials. Neither student realized the opportunities for research at Lethbridge College when she enrolled, but both now speak passionately about the satisfaction derived from their work, and how much their learning has been enriched through lab work. Halmrast had already completed a general science degree when she came to Lethbridge College to begin an accelerated bachelor of nursing degree. She had some experience in research from university, but it was at the college with the guidance of microbiology instructor Sophie Kernéis that her interest in research blossomed. Despite a full course load and a part-time job off-campus, Halmrast took a short-term research assistant job working with Quarical Products Inc., a southern Alberta company testing the efficiency of ozonized water at removing E. coli bacteria from surfaces. Halmrast says the research has real-world implications for the environment. The current standard is to sanitize cattle liners with bleach, which kills E. coli and other potentially illness-inducing bacteria but is harsh on the environment. With guidance from her instructor, Halmrast reviewed existing literature then set up a series of experiments. The results demonstrated how the ozonized water reduced the bacteria and how it compared to bleach and to the bacteria growing naturally without any treatment. “It was just really nice to be involved with something from the very beginning,” Halmrast says. “(Sophie) put me in charge of looking through the literature, following that all the way through to the actual experiment. You run into issues that you wouldn’t have seen on paper and you’re solving those as you go.”


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Tremel conducted daily experiments from May through September 2016 to measure the efficiency of a biosand filter, designed by Manz Engineering Ltd. in Calgary, in removing coliform bacteria from water. Water came from the fish tanks in the college’s aquaponics facilities, mimicking the kind of untreated, bacteria-rich water one would find in underdeveloped communities with no water treatment facilities. Tremel’s research day started by drawing 18 litres of water from each of the six fish tanks in the basement of the Andrews Building. She then started pumping the water through the sand filter at various flow rates. Depending on the flow rate, it would take two to four hours to filter. She’d then collect the filtered water samples and return to the lab to plate samples on Petri dishes. After incubating the plates for 24 hours, she compared unfiltered to filtered bacteria counts. The filter was made up of multiple levels of fine and progressively coarser sand to a final layer of rocks. “I was quite skeptical going into this but the filter is very efficient, and so, by using the fish water, it replicated the natural water that the filter would be used for,” she says. The biosand water filters are already used in more than 100 countries, giving a small-scale or mobile option for safe drinking water in communities without other access to sanitized water. Kernéis says working with students on research is a learning experience for instructors as well. “I think that students can challenge us and this is a perfect way to continue the improvement of our knowledge,” she says. “In research we need to be challenged to be successful. Being able to work with students gives me a chance to justify my learning. We have the responsibility to share what we are learning to bring our knowledge one step further.” Tremel is in her final semester of the Practical Nursing program, and has already completed the college’s Emergency Medical Services program. Her ultimate goal is to become a registered nurse, and she hopes to continue research work in whatever direction her career takes. Halmrast is pursuing registered nursing, after having travelled to Tanzania and Guatemala, where she saw opportunities to see different cultures while also helping deliver health services. Story by Dawn Sugimoto | Photo by Rob Olson

“In research we need to be challenged to be successful. . . Being able to work with students gives me a chance to justify my learning. ” { Sophie Kernéis }


AS I WAS Some soon-to-be-grads share memories and important insights about people, practicums, projects and places that hold meaning for them


very spring, about 1,500 individuals make the important transition from being busy students to proud alumni of Lethbridge College. To get some perspective on what these soon-to-be-grads are thinking and feeling – and to try to capture a moment in time before that new chapter starts – we approached some soon-to-be-grads and asked them to take a selfie at a place on campus that was meaningful to them, and then to tell us a little bit about that place and their time as a Lethbridge College student. Some excerpts of their replies are below – and you can read all of their answers at

Here’s what they had to say:


Why is the place in this photo special to you? Because here is where I can physically apply what I’ve learned in class. The open labs and high fidelity simulations are actually my favourite activities in this program – they are such great learning experiences. I’m thankful we have them.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share? A shout out to all the PN instructors, to the SPHERE team and their acting skills (#STELLA), and to Amanda from Advising.
Last but not least, to all the PN students who will graduate this April.
 Alessandra Gafforio

Practical Nursing

“The open labs and high fidelity simulations are actually my favourite activities in this program.” { Alessandra Gafforio }


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Why is the place in this photo special to you? My classroom in my home has given me and my family all the flexibility a busy wife and mother of two needs. When I first started this program my youngest was only in kindergarten, so studying at home allowed me to raise my children and pursue my dreams of becoming an educational assistant.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share? Lorraine Leishman’s friendly, compassionate guidance helped me navigate the pressures that come from continuing one’s education as an adult. Rupertsland has financially sponsored my certificate program. And Troy Scotney, went above and beyond to ensure that I had all my financing and books ready for the next semesters. I can’t wait to meet all my teachers at graduation for they were all so amazing! Lara Gawryluk

Educational Assistant – distance learning program


Why is the place in this photo special to you? During my two years at the college I spent countless hours in the IB Commons doing homework. It was a great location to be if you needed quick access to an instructor and it happens to be where a big prize cheque with my name on it is hanging!

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience. My greatest experience was helping represent Lethbridge College and winning first place at the Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition 2017! The whole experience was beyond words and one of my proudest moments.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?

I would like to thank all of the instructors in the Business program for being so supportive throughout my journey here and helping me achieve my goals. Andrea Kowalchuk

Business Administration – Accounting



This is where I spent most of my time learning massage skills, but more importantly, learning about myself as an individual who is evolving. It is also where I developed important and valuable relationships with my peers and instructors.

The place in the photo is special to me because it is where my instructors’ offices are, and without my instructors I wouldn’t have made it. My instructors gave me the confidence, patience, determination and strength I needed to succeed.

Why is the place in this photo special to you?

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience. My entire student career has been filled with many experiences that are important to me. I have learned so much more than just what I need to start a career. I’ve learned strength as a woman, mother and friend. I’ve learned so much about other people and other cultures. I’ve learned how to bond and develop long-lasting relationships and, most importantly, I’ve learned that I can be independent as a woman and need not rely on anyone – and that I’ve got this. Alex Mabin

Massage Therapy


Why is the place in this photo special to you?

The Endeavour room is where we create the newspaper and share our stories. Essentially it is our mini newsroom. It’s special to me because in this room I have found my voice as a writer. This room gave me the chance to present ideas without fear of judgment or feelings of inadequacy.

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience. The most notable experience was probably being chosen as the recipient of the Troy Reeb Internship. The trip took me to Global News headquarters in both Toronto and Ottawa and gave me the opportunity to experience the industry firsthand. The experiences I had and the contacts I met will prove instrumental in my future. It was truly life changing.

Why is the place in this photo special to you?



What are you looking forward to after graduation?

Honestly, I’m looking forward to getting out into the CYC field and getting my hands dirty – so to speak. I cannot wait to begin my journey as a youth worker and make a difference in children, youth and families’ lives. Trish Swanek Child and Youth Care


Why is the place in this photo special to you? Lethbridge College has made me grow as a person. The instructors have pushed me to the limits and when I thought I wasn’t going to make it, the instructors always pushed me. Even though the courses were tough, I never gave up.


Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?

Helen Van Nistelrooy is the BEST instructor - I never had an instructor care as much as Helen and by her caring so much, that made me know I was capable. Also thanks to Christopher Grignard, who was forever supportive and although I was only in his class one semester, he never forgot to support me when he saw me. Because of these people, I pushed forward.

4 6

5 7

Clinton M. Potts

Practical Nursing

Stephanie Savage

Digital Communications and Media

Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photos submitted


From our kitchens

{ Chef Kenny Kain }


or this issue of Wider Horizons, we put out a call to Lethbridge College staff members and asked what recipe they’d like to learn how to make. We had a number of people reply asking for delicious bread recipes. It’s easy to understand why. Statistics Canada reports Canadians spent $8.6 billion buying 1.2 million tonnes of bread in 2011. It seems we love our loaves in the True North. Bread in all its diverse forms is the most widely consumed food in the world, and humans have been baking it for at least 30,000 years. By the year 2500 B.C., the ancient Greeks were producing more than 80 types of bread. The food was so important to the Egyptian way of life that it was used as a type of currency, and it was often placed in the tombs of their dead. Bread is an essential source of carbohydrates, it’s portable and compact, and, especially when it’s fresh from the oven, it’s delicious. In this recipe, Chef Kenny Kain (Cook Apprenticeship 2000) added some savoury aspects to a basic bread recipe by including sundried tomatoes, herbs and cheddar cheese. To see a video of Chef Kenny transforming some flour and yeast into this flavourful delight, check out 34

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Ingredients 6 c. ...........................................................bread flour 2 tsp. .......................................................... table salt 5 tbsp................................................................ sugar 1 c. ................................................... lukewarm water 2 tbsp .... dry active yeast OR 1½ tbsp. of instant yeast 1 c. + 2 tbsp. .............................................. buttermilk ¼ c. ...................................................... melted butter ¼8 c. .................................... diced sundried tomatoes 2 c. .............................. grated, sharp cheddar cheese ¼8 c. .................................................... minced parsley ¼8 c. ......................................................minced chives NOTE: You are welcome to use any combination of cheese and herbs.

Recipe by Chef Kenny Kain | Photo by Gregory Thiessen


To sample some of the delicious creations from student chefs at Lethbridge College, including homemade bread, book a table in the Garden Court Dining Room by calling 403-320-3230.

Method MIXING THE DOUGH 1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease two 8” by 4” loaf pans and set them aside. 2.

In bowl number one, combine the sugar, water and yeast. Let this stand for five minutes. In bowl number two, combine your flour and salt and whisk them together. Then combine both bowls and add the buttermilk and butter.

3. By hand or with a mixer and dough hook, mix until it is all combined, about two minutes. 4. Let the dough rest for five minutes, and then knead well until the dough becomes soft, smooth and satiny – and a bit tacky. 5. Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl that had the flour in it. Cover well and let sit on the counter well wrapped until it doubles in size. RISING 6. While fermenting, place your sundried tomatoes in a small bowl of lukewarm water to reconstitute them slightly.

7. Divide your dough and dust your rolling pin lightly with flour and roll each into a 10 inch by 16 inch rectangle. Drain your tomatoes and sprinkle them, plus the cheese and the herbs, over the dough. 8. Roll each dough section like a jelly roll – but not too tight. Cut each roll in half lengthwise and loosely “braid” the two halves, keeping the cut sides up and pinching each end. 9. Gently lift and place in loaf pan and cover it loosely with a piece of plastic. Let the loaves relax and rise until they are about an inch over the sides of the pan. BAKING 10. Bake until the tops are golden brown – for about 45 minutes. If the dough starts to excessively brown (burning cheese), cover loosely with foil. Once baked, remove the bread from the pan immediately or it will stick. Allow the bread to cool for at least an hour before slicing. Makes two loaves.


Office intrigue

Instructor Colin Wynder scales the scaffolding students use to sense what it’s like working in high and cramped places.

Rescue controlled descent device, used for evacuation and rescue scenarios.

Instructor Ron Papp shows off the smallscale version of a wind turbine training system (since the fullscale version is the size of a city bus).

“Rescue Randy,” a mannequin used to simulate rescues from 300 feet atop a wind turbine.

{ Office Intrigue } with Chris DeLisle Wind Turbine Technician instructor Chris DeLisle, who has

taught at Lethbridge College for more than five years, isn’t afraid of heights. He – like the students he teaches in the Wind Turbine Technician program – has to be comfortable working as high as 300 feet in the air.


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People like Chris who love working with their hands and want to propel their careers by working in the clean energy industry can be rewarded with great jobs in this in-demand field (so in demand that many grads have job offers as soon as they have their diplomas.)

A full-size blade from a 30-year-old wind turbine. New blades are nearly four times as long, reaching 170 feet in length and providing 16 times as much power.

Harnesses used to keep students safe at heights.

Instructor Gordon Bourgoin holds a pair of virtual reality glasses that give students the sense of being on top of or inside an actual wind turbine. Wind provides the power to move the blades, turning the generator, which creates electricity.

The two-semester program was the first of its kind in Canada and is unique in the province. Students gain practical experience on actual wind turbine components in the college’s new, state-of-the-art Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility and as they scale the on-campus training tower.

Students can be at the forefront of this growing industry in less than a year with Lethbridge College’s Wind Turbine Technician program. To learn more, call 403-320-3411, email or go to Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photo by Rob Olson



south of 60 Lethbridge College becomes a temporar y home to the small but significant group of students from the Yukon and the Northwest Territories as they pursue their post-secondar y education


hat do Manhattan, Mexico City and Qaanaap, Greenland, have in common? A crow leaving any of these centres would travel fewer kilometres getting to Lethbridge than would a driver making the trip from Inuvik, N.W.T. And yet that’s just what Corrections student Josh Campbell and his family do at least once each year. “I was one of those people who just jumped into a job and started working after high school,” says Campbell, who grew up in Inuvik and worked as a labourer, power lineman, heavy equipment operator and builder before coming to the college in 2015. But “just spur of the moment,” he and his wife had the idea to return to the classroom. They applied to several post-secondary institutions in Western Canada and were thrilled when they were accepted to learn in Lethbridge – she at the university and he at the college. They have found the southern Alberta city to be an ideal home for their family, including their four children. 38

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“Lethbridge is not too big of a city, but it’s not too small,” he explains. “It’s easy to get around. You trust the people a little more here than you would in Calgary or Edmonton. But still, because it’s a small city, you have so much more to do – for the kids and for the family especially.” Campbell is part of a small but significant part of the Lethbridge College community – students who come here from Northern Canada to pursue higher education. While some stay south of the 60th parallel after graduation, many return home to work in the communities where they were raised, taking their newfound knowledge, hands-on experiences and memories of chinooks and sunshine with them to build and give back to their hometowns. “Lethbridge College is proud to host a diverse community of students from across Canada and beyond,” says Nicole Hembroff, the college’s recruitment and communications coordinator. “Whether they choose to stay in Lethbridge after they graduate or use their newly developed skill sets elsewhere, we are thrilled to have made an impact on their lives.”




alk down the halls of Whitehorse General Hospital, and you’re likely to run into nurses who came to Lethbridge College to get their training. More than a dozen of the practical nurses and registered nurses working at the hospital in this city of 25,000 travelled nearly 2,500 kilometres to Lethbridge College to earn their credentials. Donna Dornian is one of them. She grew up in an RCMP family, moving to detachments in Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories before settling in Whitehorse. In 1985, she earned her Licensed Practical Nurse credential from Yukon College and, 18 years later, decided to return to school to become a registered nurse. She said she chose Lethbridge College and the Nursing Education in Southern Alberta program because “I had lived several years on the prairies and thought it would be less of a culture shock.” Dornian says she has many wonderful memories of her time at the college. “I made several good friends while doing my RN at Lethbridge College, classmates with whom I still keep in touch,” she says. “One of the best memories I have is seeing the horses exercising in the mornings at the race track when I would drive in from Coaldale, where I lived for the time I was going to school.” She also remembers – and is grateful to – instructors like Joyce D’Andrea and Isabel Wilde and counsellor Marcia Taylor. But when her studies were complete in 2005, she was happy to return to Whitehorse.

“I work with a great team here on the west unit of Whitehorse General Hospital. So many travel nurses come here to work and it’s amazing to get to meet so many new faces and hear so many new stories.” { Emilie Nugent }

Above: Emilie Nugent says she would encourage other northern students to consider Lethbridge College.


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“There were just lots of different work opportunities – and it is home,” she says. “Although I missed Alberta terribly for a long time after I came back, and whenever I visit.” Today she works on the medical ward, which also houses pediatrics, the intensive care unit and the psychiatric area, and since 2009, has been teaching at Yukon College with the Health Care Attendant program and as a clinical instructor with the LPN program, which is a collaborative effort with Bow Valley College. There are challenges working in a remote community, Dorian says. “There are fewer support staff – no porters, respiratory techs, patient care assistants or 24-hour pharmacists. The buck stops with the nurse. But the Yukon does have a comprehensive First Nations health support program, which makes a vast difference having worked in the past without one. And it’s satisfying being closer to decision-making and having the opportunities to be directly involved in making changes.” Dornian says she would encourage other northern students to make the same journey she did. If they do, they should “get to know and enjoy the cultures of the ‘Sunny South’ and travel a bit in the area.” Jennifer Heynen Madley also grew up in Whitehorse and did just that when she came to the college in 2003. “I chose the program for its small class sizes and because of the collaboration between the college and university,” she says. “I felt more comfortable beginning my post-secondary education at a smaller campus.” Jillian Paré says she decided to come to the college because “I had heard lots of positive opinions about the programs offered and because the size of Lethbridge wasn’t too overwhelming for me, moving from a small city like Whitehorse.” Paré grew up in Whitehorse and came to the college in 2010. Two years later, Emilie Nugent made the same choice. She said she came to the college because “I heard the nursing program was phenomenal and I had never been.” Nugent says she loved her time in southern Alberta, but was eager to return home at the end of her program. “I am from the Yukon, my family is here, I love winters, I love the lifestyle and I missed the lifestyle,” she says. “And I work with a great team here on the west unit of Whitehorse General Hospital. So many travel nurses come here to work and it’s amazing to get to meet so many new faces and hear so many new stories.” Nugent would strongly encourage other northern students to consider coming to Lethbridge College for their postsecondary education. “I have recommended the program to many students before,” she says. “It was a great program and a great place to go to school. I learned a lot while I was at the college and always felt included, and I made many friends, considering there were people from everywhere who went to the college.”

Paré says she initially intended to stay in Alberta after graduation, but couldn’t find a job. “I came home to Whitehorse and immediately got work as a casual nurse at a long-term care facility called the Thomson Centre. I knew the Yukon had great opportunities for nurses with there being lots of work here.” Compassionate coworkers and meaningful work keep Paré happy with her choice of both profession and location. “I work in an amazingly supportive environment. The model of care within continuing care in the Yukon allows me to feel like I am able to provide the best care possible to the residents I care for and their families.” Like her colleagues and fellow alumnae, Madley made great friends during her time at the college and says several classmates remain her closest friends today, despite being scattered across the provinces. “They’re still the people I call to share exciting news, or when I need support,” she says. But when she met her husband, a fellow Yukoner, between the third and fourth year in the program, she says “there was little doubt in my mind that Whitehorse was where I wanted to be. “The Yukon is a great place to grow up, to raise a family, and to balance work and play,” she says. “I love cross-country skiing, and working here allows me to do the things I love from my backyard. I can get off a night shift, go for a ski while the sun rises, and still get enough rest before picking up my little ones. It’s a pretty amazing place to live!”

Above: Donna Dornian, Jennifer Madley, Brenda Mattson and Emilie Nugent are four of more than a dozen Lethbridge College nursing grads to work at Whitehorse General Hospital. Below: Jennifer Madley says some of her former classmates have turned into lifelong friends.

Madley says there are some unique challenges of working in health care in a remote location. Nurses have to be knowledgeable in many areas – working with surgical, post-operative, palliative and post-partum patients depending on the day. “We’re a small hospital so I’ve had to learn how to wear many different hats throughout the day,” she says. “Our physical distance from larger hospitals can also be a challenge.” But she says she likes the variety, and it keeps work interesting. And she definitely would recommend that other northern students consider heading south for their studies. “Growing up in a city the size of Whitehorse, it’s intimidating to leave to attend college or university,” she explains. “Lethbridge is big enough to get an excellent education, but not so big that the thought of moving there overwhelmed me. I looked at other programs in Alberta, but couldn’t imagine attending a university whose population exceeded that of my hometown!” 41



ampbell, Paré, Madley, Dornian and Nugent are part of a small but mighty group of Lethbridge College students and alumni – those who call the north home. During the last five years, more than 100 students from the Yukon and more than 250 students from the Northwest Territories applied to the college, and a total of 280 students from the two territories attended classes. While the college doesn’t yet have specific recruiting trips planned to the Yukon, they are working with an Alberta group to make a trip to communities in the Northwest Territories in the next year or two. “We’re seeing that we’re getting steady numbers from the Northwest Territories and we are hoping to expand upon that,” says Hembroff. Some of the programs provide great fits to students who may want to return to their home communities, including conservation enforcement, healthcare and programs that focus on food sustainability. A number of factors make the college an ideal destination for those who look to head south for their post-secondary education, Hembroff adds. “Unlike some of the larger colleges and universities, Lethbridge College has a real community kind of feel to it,” says Hembroff. “It feels homey when you get here. You’re still getting this high-quality education but also have this great support. For people coming from smaller centres, it’s far less intimidating to come to Lethbridge College.” In addition, the college provides a Circle of Services for Indigenous students, with a devoted Indigenous coordinator, career and academic advisor and recruiter, as well as special events throughout the year. With 50 per cent of people from the Northwest Territories and 25 per cent of people from the Yukon identifying as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, Hembroff explains that those additional services can “provide cultural support and set students up for educational success.”

“So far, I’ve found Lethbridge College to be very easygoing. The students are all kind of open and honest and it’s easy to say hello. I kind of like being the older student in the class.” { Josh Campbell }


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Campbell has taken advantage of those additional services during his years at Lethbridge College. He is Gwich’in, one of the Athabaskan-speaking First Nations people of Canada, and his wife is Inuvialuit, one of the Inuit people who live in the western Canadian Arctic region. “Marcia [Black Water, the college’s Indigenous Services coordinator] is great,” he says. “Her door is open whenever you need her, and she’s always trying her best to answer whatever question you might have.” He says he spends most of his time on campus – when he’s not in classes, of course – in the college’s Niitsitapi Gathering Place, a centre for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and the home of the Indigenous Services coordinator and the Indigenous Cultural Support Program. “So far, I’ve found Lethbridge College to be very easygoing,” he says. “The students are all kind of open and honest and it’s easy to say hello. I kind of like being the older student in the class – I like how some of the instructors will use me to give an example or ask if I have anything to add to their teachings during class, since I’ve more likely been there and done that.” Campbell says their time in Lethbridge has provided some unexpected opportunities as well. “I love how it has opened up so many other doors for my kids and for myself,” he says. “I’m back playing hockey again in a men’s league. I haven’t played contact in 18 years and it’s nice to get back into that. It’s tough and hard going, but that’s hockey for you. And my oldest, he’s 13, it’s opening up some doors for him too, and gives him a chance to play hockey as well. My 10-year-old has just gotten in to basketball and it’s his first time being a part of a team. My girl is a little special. She

“We will definitely apply back home for sure, too. If you can bring education back home and better your community, then why not, right?” { Josh Campbell }

has some significant delays and is really picking up a lot of words. And our littlest, he’s slowly getting into sports too. But he’s our little traditional child. It’s all about back home. He loves hunting and being outdoors.” Campbell then describes how, on a recent winter’s day, the family was walking through a parking lot to get to a store and a flock of geese flew over them. “The little one looks up and sees them and starts calling to them – back home when you go geese hunting you have certain calls to bring the geese down. Then the others joined him and there we all were, standing there in that parking lot, calling the geese, with everyone walking by and wondering just what was going on,” he says with a laugh. After graduation, he will likely get back to hunting geese in Inuvik. While he and his wife will consider applying for jobs in southern Alberta, “we will definitely apply back home for sure, too,” he says. “If you can bring education back home and better your community, then why not, right?”

• Aaron Beilz, 2013 • Donna Dornian, 2005 • Colby Heynen, 2015 • Garrett Heynen, 2016 • Jennifer Heynen Madley, 2007 • Brenda Mattson, 2003 • Emilie Nugent, 2016 • Jillian Paré, 2013 • Rachelle Wallace, 2000 • Ariana Edelman Warner, 2012 • Kathy Girling Wort, 2009 • Katelyn Just, 2016 • Taleah Rosell, 2016 • Zoe Uiterwaal, 2017

Story by Lisa Kozleski | Illustrations by Eric Dyck Whitehorse photos by | Lethbridge photo by Rob Olson


Where are they now?

Where are they CHRONICLE OF A COLLEGE GRAD: Anali Reizvikh

having their slings safety tested. At first, Anali sewed all the slings herself, but the business has grown in its first year and a half, and now employs local moms who work from home as seamstresses. Sewing, packing and shipping all happens in their home-based shop.

“Fundamentals of design, colour theory and how to present design in a way that appeals to people are all skills that are important to running and marketing the business.”

The Interior Design Technology program at Lethbridge College was a natural fit for Anali Reizvikh, owner of Lethbridgebased True North Slings. “My dad was a builder so I grew up watching him design and build homes from drafting to finish so design had always really interested me,” she says. Anali graduated from the college in 2006 and moved to Toronto with her husband, Dmitri, where she focused on dance and worked as a ballet teacher at several of Toronto’s top schools. She was also one of the founding members of Intrinsic Dance Project, a contemporary dance collective that won the audience choice award at the Fresh Blood Festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. The couple later


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returned to Lethbridge to start their family and be near their parents. In the fall of 2016, as they were expecting their first child, Anali and Dmitri tried to find a highlyrecommended linen ring sling. But they couldn’t find a Canadian-made option, and so decided to start their own business, True North Slings. “Babywearing was a huge part of our lives with our first son—he was a colicky baby with reflux and we really struggled with him” she says. “Being upright and held was a big help for him, and having a tool to calm him was a life saver for us.” Anali and Dmitri focus on creating affordable linen slings made in Canada from high quality materials. They spent months studying safety regulations and

Anali says they value running a low-waste shop and because of this they connect with other small businesses who use True North Slings remnants, such as Fawn and Lace, which makes bonnets, and Parker and Posie, which makes baby shoes. She also gives back to the community in a number of ways, including as one of the volunteer leaders of the Bridge City Slingers – Lethbridge’s babywearing group and baby carrier lending library. While Anali doesn’t currently work in interior design, she applies what she learned in her college studies to her business. “Fundamentals of design, colour theory and how to present design in a way that appeals to people are all skills that are important to running and marketing the business,” she says. Last November, for their unique and innovative entrepreneurial success, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce recognized Anali and Dmitri as two of Lethbridge’s Top 40 under 40. Story by Megan Shapka | Photo submitted

now? We love hearing from Lethbridge College alumni, and our readers do too! While we do receive more updates and news items about alumni than we have space for, you can always find those additional updates online at To submit your news to share with your classmates and the college community, drop us a note at


Kaitlyn Corbin Civil Engineering Technology Kaitlyn said she’s been doing “lots of work and lots of travelling!” since her graduation.

Nathan Orr

General Studies student Nathan told the Alumni office: “I recently got married and started a career as an electrician. I’m living in Lethbridge and love it here. I played two years on the men’s basketball team and I am looking forward to coming back to watch the different athletic teams at the college in the upcoming years.”


Diandra Bruised Head Renewable Resource Management Diandra was recently appointed as intribe climate change coordinator for the Kainai First Nation. Her role will support a partnership between the Government of Alberta, The Rockies Institute and the Kainai First Nation to study climate change and how it affects the Indigenous population within the Blackfoot Confederacy. “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to increase


Kathy Veres Sassa (Nursing 1991) DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA


athy Veres Sassa is the recipient of this year’s highest alumni honour. Since graduating from the college in 1991, she has continued her education and has spent the past 25 years as a leader and innovator in health care in southern Alberta. Working for Alberta Health Services (AHS) at the Chinook Regional Hospital, Veres Sassa has held positions as a surgical clinical educator and as the highly-specialized intensive care unit clinical educator. She has a passion for educating health care professionals and has collaboratively developed, implemented, reviewed and maintained many advanced clinical education tools and strategies. Through her highly-specialized Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor and Coordinator certification, she has provided training to a wide range of professionals including physicians, nurses and paramedics. She continues to give back to her alma mater in a wide variety of ways, including by helping to create the college’s Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) and playing an instrumental role in getting it operational. She has donated countless hours to college faculty, staff and students through consultations, committee work and providing opportunities for job shadows, and she was an essential advocate in helping the Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta program flip its clinical model. Veres Sassa routinely gives her time to provide additional support to students and programs at the college, as well as her colleagues at AHS.


The Distinguished Alumnus award recognizes college graduates who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers, made significant contributions to their communities and demonstrated service to the college and its students.

networks between the Kainai Nation and climate change experts,” Diandra said. “I am encouraged by the opportunity to use and develop my skills and knowledge to positively impact my community for a successful future in the face of uncertain and unprecedented change.”

Noelle Lemieux Fashion Design and Sustainable Production Noelle showed her new fashion line at Vancouver Fashion Week in March. This is an extremely prestigious event that is attended and promoted worldwide. 45

Where are they now?



Corrections Rae-Lynn was featured in an article in the Keremeos Review about the B.C. corrections system. She works as a correctional officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre, a regional centre that holds inmates of all levels of security who are either serving a sentence or are being held in custody while awaiting court appearances. “BC Corrections is very welcoming to all walks of life. There are all different types of inmates and everyone reacts differently to different people,” she said in the article, also pointing to the progressive training, with ongoing education and training opportunities that BC Corrections provides.

Business Administration – Accounting Michael, the owner of The Number Guys, an accounting and business consultancy firm that was founded to help small businesses grow and succeed, has been named one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 under 40. After spending a decade working for a local construction company, Michael realized he wanted more of a challenge and started his own construction company, Refresh Construction, and at the same time applied to go back to school at the age of 27. After graduating from the college, he transferred to the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Management in Accounting and Finance and began to work on his CPA designation. During this time he noticed that small business owners in Lethbridge needed accounting services that were action oriented and cost friendly. The result was the creation of The Number Guys, a company focused on helping small business owners.

Rae-Lynn Hickerson

Sarah Orban

Michael Ostrom


General Studies Suzanne Mead Sarah attended the Winter Olympics Office Administration in Pyeongchang as a spectator as she Suzanne told the Alumni office that continues to chase her own Olympic after graduation, “I started working as dream. The former Kodiaks soccer the shipper’s assistant at Motion Canada, standout and sprinter was identified as just to get my foot in the door. I went on a potential future Olympian, a “diamond to work as the receiver, then I worked on in the rough” needing a push to a next the order desk. I worked hard to learn level of competition. She won an intensive about the parts and inventory. I then provincial competition called RBC Training moved on to work inside sales, and then Ground and joined four other top young was offered the operations management talents at the Winter Olympics where they position in 2015. attended competitions with CBC Sports and RBC representatives. To get there, “I really enjoyed my she emerged as the top female athlete educational experience at at a qualifier event to earn a spot in the final with 100 other top athletes between Lethbridge College and I ages 14 and 25. From that elite group, she know without it, I would triumphed as the winner of all the male and female athletes. Not only did she win not be where I am today!” a trip to the Olympics, but she now is in { Suzanne Mead } Cycling Canada’s development program. 46

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Nicole Reynolds Business Administration Nicole, the human resources manager at North and Co. in Lethbridge, was featured in a Q&A in “The Talent Pool Blog” in January. The Talent Pool Society was formed in 2003 and provides businesses with information, resources and links to pools of talent that are often overlooked. These pools of talent are youth, mature workers, immigrants, Aboriginal people, women and people with disabilities. The article about Nicole focused on her professional experiences, the challenges she sees for the HR industry in Alberta and more. When asked what’s next for HR, she said: “I think strategic partnership for HR is important. There is a need, want and desire for HR to be less administrative and to become this strategic resource for whatever the company needs. The workforce is changing and you need HR people to make sure you keep up with these changes.”

Andrew Richmond

Renewable Resource Management Andrew sent the Alumni office this update: “After graduating, I managed to get hired right away with an environmental consulting company as a wildlife technician. Unfortunately, due to circumstance and other life priorities, I had to reluctantly leave the position. The next five years or so were not as smooth as I had hoped. The job market related to my studies was less than ideal. The available jobs seemed small, infrequent and often required relocation, which was not an option for me. Just as I was about to settle for a career in electronics repair, I applied for, interviewed and secured a position with the MD of Bighorn as the assistant environmental fieldman. It certainly took me longer than I ever anticipated to find a position related to my studies that I can see myself growing with and becoming a career rather than just another job. I feel that my studies at Lethbridge College helped lay a lasting foundation that is definitely helping me succeed.”


Sarah Popil Criminal Justice – Policing Sarah was one of 15 new recruits sworn in at the Vancouver Police Department in January. Sarah was born in Saskatoon and raised in Prince Albert, Sask., as a member of the Lake Cree Nation Band. She moved to Vancouver in 2012 and worked as a loss prevention officer. In 2016, she was hired as a VPD special municipal constable, and has worked in the jail, in community safety, and in traffic authority. She has volunteered at Coast Mental Health – Watson House, as an activity coordinator, working with residents living with mild to moderate mental illness.


Jordan Sailer Exercise Science, Business Management student Jordan, the president and personal trainer at Twisted Steel Fitness, a fitness centre located in Coaldale, has been named one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 under 40. Jordan developed a passion for fitness at a young age and started training at age 15. In June 2015, Jordan acquired two pieces of commercial real estate and converted one of the buildings into a community fitness centre and leased out the second. His favourite thing about his job is seeing the results of his clients and how their attitude and confidence grows at the same time. Since opening the gym, Jordan has been extremely dedicated to giving back to the community in every way possible and plans to continue to do so as the business grows.

New baby? New job? New hometown? Tell your classmates all about it at Be sure to include your name, your area of study, the year you completed your program and a little bit about what you have been doing since you left Lethbridge College.

Barbara Duckworth Thompson (Journalism 1974)



arbara Duckworth Thompson has spent her illustrious journalism career developing a reputation as an expert in agriculture and specifically livestock production. As the Calgary bureau chief for the Western Producer for 28 years, Duckworth Thompson has developed a deep network of connections throughout the agriculture industry, government and media that allows her to shed light on the stories important to producers. Her expertise has been sought by other media members looking for insight into the industry and issues, specifically she was often sought out as a source during Canada’s BSE crisis in 2003. She is the recipient of numerous national and international industry awards and has worked for multiple media outlets, contributed to countless freelance projects and is a soughtafter public speaker. Her specialization has led her to travel the globe, including stories where she has examined the impact of BSE on British farmers, analyzed the competitiveness of the Australian beef industry and was invited by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture to study farm animal welfare practices. Her career shows no signs of slowing down as she traveled to the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2017 to study the agricultural effects of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.


The Career Virtuoso award is presented to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professional fields through their diligence, talent and dedication. Nominations for these awards are accepted year round. More information and nomination forms are available at

Feb. 23 : @LethCollege

A couple of LC alums have been named Kinsmen Sports Persons of the Year! Congrats to Casey and Jessie Scheidegger - keep on making us proud! @kcdigs7 @jschei11 Casey Scheidegger (Exercise Science 2010) and Jessie Scheidegger


Where are they now?


Deana Dypolt Fashion Design and Merchandising 2003, General Studies 2005 Deana, a full-time math teacher, girls’ basketball coach, and owner and operator of ArtBeat Lethbridge, was named one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 under 40. Deana was captain of the Kodiaks women’s basketball team from 2003-05 and part of the group that won the 2004 CCAA Women’s National Championship. After graduation, she travelled the world playing for OutWest Canada. During this time, Deana enrolled in art classes, reviving a passion from high school. She continued with art and earned her combined Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Education degree in 2009. As a full-time math teacher and basketball coach, Deana was missing her involvement with the arts. That’s when she found a business partner and created ArtBeat Lethbridge, a nonprofit organization that engages with Lethbridge’s vibrant artist community and exists as a platform to allow local artists to showcase and sell their work.

Feb. 6 : @WesternSteele

‘92 @LethCollege grad @RyanMennie is writer/director of Telus @STORYHIVE funded “Western Steele - The Story of Kootenai Brown.” Ryan Mennie (Broadcast Communications 1992)


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J.J. Straker


Recreation Facility Operation J.J., who drove the ice resurfacer for the gold medal hockey game in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, has moved from his job as head ice technician for the Arizona Coyotes and is now the manager of engineering and ice operations for the Oilers Entertainment Group in Edmonton.

Andrea Stroeve-Sawa


Jonathan Hamilton

Shaun Roth Multimedia Production Shaun is head of FX (special effects) at Double Negative Visual Effects in Vancouver. DNEG was the lead visual effects partner on Blade Runner 2049, which won the Academy Award for Visual Effects in March. The film has been called “one of the most beautiful films to have been made in recent years” (The Verge). DNEG also worked on Academy Award-winning films Inception, Interstellar and Ex Machina.

Agriculture Sciences Andrea was profiled in a Canadian Cattleman magazine article focusing on her work as the manager of Shipwheel Cattle Feeders near Taber. She is the fourth generation to run the business, taking over in 2015 after her father’s retirement. “I was worried what would happen to everything he had worked so hard for – the productive grassland and riparian areas, the habitat for wildlife – and the memories – the row of trees I had walked through every day from the house to the feedlot, my treehouse,” she said in the article. “It would probably all be plowed under for crops. I decided to go back to my roots and begin a new journey at Shipwheel. I didn’t want to get 20 years down my path in life and regret not taking this opportunity.” General Studies and Civil Engineering Technology Jonathan, the chief operating officer at Tollestrup Construction, was named one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 under 40. Two years after graduating from the college, Jonathan started with Tollestrup Construction as a concrete labourer. Through that work, he found himself back at the college earning his second diploma with honours. Jonathan gained his accreditation as a certified engineering technologist with ASET and currently sits as a member of the advisory committee at Lethbridge College for the Civil Engineering Technologies program. Jonathan has volunteered to coach basketball at Coalhurst Elementary School and has run multiple basketball camps for players aged 7-17 at both beginner and elite levels. He sits on the ARHCA Board of Directors at a provincial level, a position that provides him the opportunity to help improve the road building and heavy construction industry.


Chelsea Love Child and Youth Care Chelsea told the Alumni office that she is looking at continuing her undergraduate studies and is considering programs in psychology and graphic information technology. Her goal is to go into law.

Maritza Stinson

Child and Youth Care “I have been working at the YWCA Lethbridge and District for 14 years and I have been in different positions,” Maritza wrote to the Alumni office. “I work directly with the women’s shelter as a transition and outreach worker. Abused women with and without children are my clients and I help them to find housing, funding and referrals to other community agencies and resources. I also work at Quest Support Services as a direct services worker since 2013. I really enjoy working with people with disabilities and making a difference in their lives. Doug and I bought our first home in May 2016 and he retired the same year in September. We have three grandchildren: Michael, 8; Elijah, 5; and Amelia, 2.5. Last year I decided to go back to school and enrolled at University of Victoria in the Social Work program.”


Jason Lee Waine

Recreation and Leisure Services Jason started work as the Grande Prairie branch manager of On Side Restoration in December. “This is a meaningful new role for me as branch manager for On Side,” said Jason, who is a carpenter by trade and has more than 25 years of commercial and civil construction experience. “I love the Grande Prairie area and I am looking forward to growing our local team within the restoration and insurance domains.

Chelsey De Groot (Child and Youth Care 2010; General Studies 2012; Bachelor of Applied Arts – Justice Studies 2015)



helsey De Groot is a three-time graduate of Lethbridge College who has used all of her studies to support her career, which is focused on helping people. She is currently the cultural program coordinator with ARCHES, a not-forprofit, community outreach group that provides resources and support for those affected by AIDS and Hepatitis C, while also focusing on prevention. She has a long history of working with groups that help those in need, including the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Housing First team and the Family Ties Association. While with the Family Ties organization, De Groot worked with children with disabilities and collaborated with a Métis Elder to facilitate programming for Indigenous children in care. Beyond her professional career, De Groot continues to help her community in a variety of capacities, including the creation of I’taamohkanoohsin, which is a Blackfoot word for “everyone comes together.” Partnering with the Lethbridge Police Service and Blood Tribe Department of Health, the program provides cultural supports for Indigenous people living within the City of Lethbridge. De Groot also works with the Lethbridge Area Search and Rescue group and has been an active supporter of the college, presenting in classes, attending on-campus community health initiatives and taking practicum students from the Child and Youth Care program.


The Community Leader award is presented to alumni who have made contributions to their communities through their work or personal interests. Nominations for these awards are accepted year round. More information and nomination forms are available at

With experience running my own company and managing projects in high security and environmentally sensitive settings, I feel our local branch will be able to evolve into new project sectors, strengthening our overall portfolio and client offerings.”


Rob Bernshaw Automotive Service Technology “I was on the student council [and was] also a referee for hockey and softball while at college,”

Rob told the Alumni office. “I have been with the Alberta Motor Association for over 10 years now. I carried the torch as an official torch bearer for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I also write for the Rat Creek Press here in Edmonton, and have written columns for the Pincher Creek Voice as well. I am a community volunteer and have participated in the Easter Seals Drop Zone here in Edmonton. I love to kayak and canoe. I also enjoy cycling throughout the summer.” 49

Where are they now?

Cornelius Mans (Business Administration – Management 2013) R I S I N G S TA R AWA R D

In just five years, Corne Mans has gone from

employee to co-owner of Galimax Trading Inc. The company originally brought high-end European food items into Alberta and marketed them to restaurants, but the company has switched its focus to marketing top quality Alberta-grown produce to local restaurants. The expansion of the company included building a new, Canadian Food Inspection Agency-approved warehouse in Nobleford, as Galimax has grown from occupying a single commercial lot to owning four lots. The operation has created stable, well-paying and productive jobs in the Nobleford community. Galimax fosters a culture that supports entrepreneurs, mostly from small farm businesses, lending its expertise to help them achieve their dreams. Galimax’s philosophy is based around marketing the uniqueness of a product or making it better than anyone else and “if you can do both, then you stand a better chance of success.” Mans believes in the value of teamwork and taking care of Galimax employees as his top priority, sharing the credit for Galimax’s success with his entire team.


The Rising Star award is presented to alumni who, within 10 years of graduation from Lethbridge College, have become driven innovators in their professions. Nominations for these awards are accepted year round. More information and nomination forms are available at

ALUMNI IN THIS ISSUE 38 Josh Campbell (Corrections student) 12 Steve Christensen (Business Administration - Management 2008) 26 Danielle Crawford (Environmental Assessment and Restoration 2015; Ecosystem Management 2017) 40 Donna Dornian (NESA 2005) 30 Ashtin Halmrast (Bachelor of Nursing – After Degree student) 34 Kenny Kain (Cook Apprenticeship 2000) 40 Jennifer Heynen Madley (NESA 2007) 40 Emilie Nugent (NESA 2016) 40 Jillian Paré (NESA 2013) 30 Karli Tremmel (Practical Nursing 2018) 11 Susan Ames Vogelaar (University transfer program 1965) 22 Peter Weasel Moccasin (Honorary Bachelor of Applied Science – Ecosystem Management 2018)


| SPRING 2018


Wayne Balcaen Criminal Justice Wayne was sworn in as chief of the Brandon Police Service on Dec. 5 in Brandon, Man. Aside from his time at Lethbridge College and at the Canadian Police College, Wayne has spent his life in Brandon. He was hired by the Brandon Police Service in the fall of 1990, and during his career, he worked in patrol, community policing, vice/intelligence and the criminal investigations unit, and he held various roles within the support services sections. He is the 19th chief to have served in the organization’s 135-year history. Wayne is married and has two adult children, both living in Brandon.


Edward Travaglia

Law Enforcement Edward told the Alumni office: “I am happily married to my wife Roxy and have three grown children, Nick, Ally and Ciana. I am an employee of ConocoPhillips Canada working as a security, accommodations and transportation supervisor at a SAGD facility south of Fort McMurray. “


Annalise Van Ham

Business Administration Annalise was appointed vice-president, finance and administration, at Mount Royal University on Jan. 1. She joined Mount Royal in 2003 as a business analyst and, in 2012, became the associate vice-president, financial services and risk management. For 13 years, she held financial and leadership roles with school boards, education councils and government in the Northwest Territories. She also worked at the Calgary Zoological Society and Shell Canada.

Are you a multi-generational Lethbridge College family? If at least three members across one or more generations attended Lethbridge College, let us know by emailing We’d love to profile you in It’s a family affair.


The McCormick/LaPlante Family Left to right: Carson, Laurette, Perry and Kade, and their dog, Johnny. This plaque is in honour of Perry’s 30 years of service with Ducks Unlimited. It is on Buffalo Hills Ranch in southern Alberta.

Laurette LaPlante (Environmental Science – Parks Management 1983)

coordinator of events and of the Western Communities Foundation at Western Financial Group

Perry McCormick

(Fish and Wildlife 1982)

managing director of Pheasants Forever

Kade McCormick

(Renewable Resource Management 2017)

currently a student in the bachelor of applied science Ecosystem Management degree program


his story begins in the early 1980s, when Perry McCormick left Regina, Sask. and Laurette LaPlante left Swan River, Man. Both were heading west to attend Lethbridge College, a school that had the programs they were looking for, as well as a great reputation. While they got the education they were seeking, they also found each other. Perry and Laurette’s favourite college memories include time at The Barn, and of course, meeting each other. Laurette also enjoyed spring field trips to Arizona that were led by Ron Beck and the Environmental Sciences instructors. “I had never been out of the country before that and we went to some of the most amazing places,” she says. Laurette played volleyball as a student. Back then, the girls’ team was called the Kodiettes. She laughs about the name now, remembering that it used to bother her since she was an environmental sciences student and knew a thing or two about real Kodiaks. Laurette’s college experience allowed her to pursue many interesting contract jobs in wildlife research. She travelled all over the prairies before settling down in Brooks, Alta. She also worked with the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society for over 20 years, promoting Alberta as a hunting destination to U.S. hunters.

Perry recently retired from a 31-year career with Ducks Unlimited; his final role was provincial manager of operations for Alberta. After finishing at the college, he earned a degree from the University of Lethbridge. “Lethbridge College was the compass that set my direction for my entire professional career,” he says. Perry and Laurette both love the outdoors and passed their passion onto their children, Kade and Carson McCormick. “Our whole family has and will work in the environmental field,” Laurette says. “It makes me very proud.” Perry echoes this sentiment: “I have both of my boys pursuing a career in conservation—so I guess LC had a lot of impact on our family.” Kade is completing the Ecosystem Management degree at the college, having recently completed the Renewable Resource Management diploma. So far, his favourite experiences are with the Ducks Unlimited Student Chapter, particularly the mentored hunts where students experience waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Carson attended the University of Lethbridge and works for Ducks Unlimited in Brooks. Story by Megan Shapka | Photo submitted


Last look



er paintings can be found at the Galt, the Glenbow and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as on the walls of the University of Calgary, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and hospitals and public buildings throughout the province. And later this year, the watercolours of the self-taught painter, poet, photographer and songwriter Irene E. McCaugherty will also have a new home – in the newly opened Founders’ Square at Lethbridge College. McCaugherty’s son, Ron, donated 59 of his mother’s original paintings to the college earlier this year. Valued at approximately $58,500, the paintings will be part of the southern Alberta story told in Founders’ Square, a space in the heart of campus dedicated to showcasing the history and heritage of the land where the college now sits and highlighting the institution’s lasting legacy. Ron McCaugherty, who taught welding in evening courses as part of the continuing ed program offered at the college from 1965 to 1970, says he felt the college would be an excellent home for some of his mother’s work. She was born in Hardieville in 1914 and lived most of her life in Lethbridge and the surrounding communities, becoming enthralled by the region’s history and that of Alberta as a whole. Her passion for history found a home in the regular column she wrote for the Lethbridge Herald called “Diary of a Farmer’s Wife,” as well as in the more than 1,000 paintings she created before her death in 1996, with titles like “Lethbridge Home Town Parade,” “Alberta’s Wild Horses,” “A Blue Windy Day in Southern Alberta” and “The Hold Up.” “The rectangular shape of many of the paintings reflects the view she had out the window of her pickup truck as she drove around southern Alberta,” says McCaugherty, describing the unusual 7.5-by-21.5-inch dimension of many of his mother’s paintings. “She started painting for therapy because she and my dad didn’t get along so well. It gave her an outlet.” Irene McCaugherty’s folk art paintings, which do not conform to traditional one-point perspective techniques, capture the “imagined pasts and invented histories” of the happiness and hardship found in prairie life. They encourage the viewer – including, in a few months, viewers at Lethbridge College – to step inside the world of ranching, wild horses, saloon holdups, settlers, log houses and prairie life. “Lethbridge College has been at the heart of the region since its inception and this collection will be a great reminder of the many stories that we share together,” says Joyanne Mitchell, director of Development and Alumni Relations. “We are thrilled to be able to share her artistic creations with our community.” Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photo by Rob Olson


| SPRING 2018

“The rectangular shape of many of the paintings reflects the view she had out the window of her pickup truck as she drove around southern Alberta.� { Ron McCaugherty }


Lethbridge College



Welcome to the start of an amazing summer. Lethbridge College has a summer camp for everyone, including hands-on educational camps like our popular Youth Culinary Boot Camp, Totally U G!rl Camp, and developmental sports camps, including Kodiaks basketball and volleyball camps. We’re also offering a variety of new camps for 2018 including Babysitting Boot Camp, Video Game Design Camp, Trades Exploration Camp and more!

Our inspiring instructors make our programs the perfect place to make new friends, have fun and learn something too.

Register your kids now at:

Wider Horizons - Spring 2018  
Wider Horizons - Spring 2018