Bursary launched in honour of Phyllis Barnatt to help Journalism students in financial need

A new bursary established in memory of long-time Journalism professor Phyllis Barnatt will continue her legacy of helping students at Niagara College.

Barnatt, who was known for her dedication to her students for more than 25 years, died in August 2017 at the age of 60 after a battle with melanoma – a year after she retired from the College.

An article celebrating Barnatt’s career at Niagara College and her impact on students was published in the Welland Tribune on August 15, 2017: Teacher remembered for her passion and empathy. 

“Phyllis Marie Barnatt was involved in the Journalism department both as a professor and a mentor for her students for 26 years,” said Barnatt’s spouse, Gerald Ruch. “This bursary is awarded in memory of Phyllis Marie Barnatt’s dedication to her students and her desire for their success in journalism both at college and in their future endeavours.”

The College established the bursary after receiving a $15,000 donation from the Business Success & Loan Centre and Gerald F. Ruch in December.  The bursary was spearheaded by a $10,000 donation from the members of Business Success & Loan Centre, where Barnatt also served as a member. After learning about the initiative, Ruch, who is president of the Centre, donated an additional $5,000.

Beginning in September 2018, a $1,500 bursary will be awarded annually to a Journalism student who is in financial need as part of the new Business Success & Loan Centre / Gerald F. Ruch Bursary in Memory of Phyllis Barnatt. The current funds ensure the bursary will be awarded annually to a student for the next 10 years.

“A bursary is a wonderful way for family and friends to honour a loved one’s memory while, at the same time, helping a student in need,” said NC development officer Helen Armstrong.

For students who are in financial need, Armstrong noted that receiving a bursary can have a critical impact on their lives.

“Receiving a bursary can make all the difference; it can change a student’s path from leaving a program for financial reasons, to completing their program successfully and achieving their academic dreams,” she said.

Those who are interested in contributing to The Business Success & Loan Centre / Gerald F. Ruch Bursary in Memory of Phyllis Barnatt may contact Helen Armstrong at harmstrong@niagaracollege.ca

For more information about scholarships and bursaries visit donate.niagaracollege.ca/achieving-dreams-campaign/student-access-success-and-leadership/scholarships-and-bursaries/

Related articles

Journalism prof Phyllis Barnatt retires her red pen | InsideNC

Teacher remembered for her passion and empathy | InsideNC

Recommend outstanding NC graduates for Premier’s Awards

A message from Greg Medulun, vice president, External Relations, and CEO, Niagara College Foundation:

As you know, at Niagara College our unique brand of applied education is second to none, equipping our students with skills, knowledge and real-world experience that sets them apart.

There is no better testament to the quality of a NC education than the outstanding successes of our graduates. We take great pride in the accomplishments of our alumni, who have become leaders in all sectors of the economy – in Niagara and beyond.

We believe it is vital to celebrate the successes of our alumni community, and the annual Ontario Premier’s Awards helps us do just that.

The Ontario Premier’s Awards honour the accomplishments of outstanding graduates from each of Ontario’s 24 colleges and, each year, Niagara College nominates members of our alumni community for this prestigious recognition. Nominations are submitted in six categories, including:

  • Business;
  • Creative Arts and Design;
  • Community Services;
  • Health Sciences;
  • Technology; and
  • Recent Graduate (within five years).

The Alumni Relations team is now requesting your assistance in identifying accomplished NC grads to consider nominating for this year’s Ontario Premier’s Awards. Please send your recommendations directly to me, Wendy Dueck or Catherine Barkwell by Friday, February 23.

Thank you very much for your assistance. Let’s all take pride in the successes of our NC alumni community.

Sotto Una Buona Stella: Special dinner event at Two Sisters Vineyards to support Niagara College culinary students

A sought-after Toronto dinner series on is now on the menu for Niagara on February 23, and it’s bringing one of Italy’s finest chefs along with it – all to benefit students from Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

The dinner event, Sotto Una Buona Stella (which means ‘under a lucky star’ in Italian) will be held at Two Sisters Vineyards on February 23.

A collaboration between Two Sisters Vineyards and the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, the event is part of an esteemed dinner series that began in 2015 in Toronto. This collaboration is presented by the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, the Instituto Italiano di Cultura, and the Italian Trade Commission, in partnership with the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Proceeds from the event will support scholarships and bursaries for students studying in Niagara College’s Culinary Management program.

Two Sisters’ Kitchen76 head chef Justin Lesso – who is also a NC culinary grad – will be collaborating with special guest chef Caterina Ceraudo for the event. Ceraudo was awarded 2017’s Michelin Female Chef Prize and named Best Female Chef in 2016 by the Italian restaurant guide Identita Golose. Her family’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Dattilo Ristorante, is located on their biodynamic farm and vineyard in the Calabrian countryside where they pioneered the use of biodynamic farming methods to produce wine and olive oil, and grow fresh produce.

“As a family, we proudly continue to look for ways to give opportunity to the students of Niagara College. It is these graduates that will help the Niagara region grow to become a leading wine and culinary destination on the world stage in the years to come,” said Angela Marotta, co-owner, Two Sisters Vineyards. “It is special wine and food events, like this at Kitchen76, that will push the boundaries of exceptional dining experiences and inspire the students who all take part.”

“This magical evening aptly called ‘Sotto Una Buona Stella’ is a collaboration between Two Sisters Vineyards and the Italian Consulate to raise funds for the College’s culinary institute,” said Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli, co-owner, Two Sisters Vineyards. “Visiting chefs like Michelin-star chef Caterina Ceraudo will be sure to excite the palate and all your senses through her innovative cooking techniques. We are excited to have our out-of-town guests and members of our supportive community enjoy a memorable evening.”

CFWI chef professor Mark Picone will be involved in the event, as well as several culinary student volunteers who will benefit from the experience of working alongside Michelin-starred chef Ceraudo at the event.

“We are extremely appreciative that an all-star event like Sotto Una Buona Stella will not only benefit Niagara’s culinary and wine scenes, but future industry ‘stars’ through its support for student learning at Niagara College,” said vice president, External Relations Greg Medulun. “Our College’s mission is to help our students achieve their dreams, and this type of generous support from Two Sisters Vineyards helps make that happen.”

CFWI dean Craig Youdale said he was thrilled that the proceeds from the event will support NC’s culinary students.

“Two Sisters Winery has been a fantastic partner and supporter of Niagara College. Their chef and winemaker are graduates of our programs as are many of their current staff,” said Youdale. “Having this event in support of our students is important as they all have significant financial need, and it’s with support of our community that we can help them succeed.”

Ticket info

Sotto Una Buona Stella will be held on Friday, February 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $275 per guest.  Click here for ticket info.

Media coverage:

Two Sisters Under A Lucky Star

Angela Marotta on Sotto una Buona Stella in Niagara