General Motors Canada donations enhance experiential learning at Niagara College


Three new General Motors vehicles rolled into Niagara College’s Motive Power Lab on June 25, destined for many years as key learning tools in Niagara College’s Motive Power programs.

The vehicles, a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2018 Cadillac XTS, were generously donated to Niagara College by General Motors Canada to increase the hands-on learning opportunities offered to students. The three vehicles contain some of the most current automotive technologies employed in modern consumer cars, and will allow students to gain real-world experience diagnosing, fixing, and replacing these technologies.

In addition, General Motors donated $50,000 to support the purchase of instructional equipment in the College’s recently opened Green Automotive Technology Lab. The 3,600-square-foot lab boasts electric vehicle charging stations, hybrid and electric motor diagnostic and simulation tools, alternative fuels technology, and vehicles that allow students unfettered access to the technology that will dominate the roads of the future. The Green Automotive Technology Lab will also be a hub for research activities into the future of automotive technology, working in concert with the College’s Research and Innovation division.

(L-R): Technologist Kevin Hachkowski, NC Board Chair John Scott, Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, NC president Dan Patterson, Wayne Toth, Program Coordinator for NC’s Motive Power programs, Associate Dean of Trades Jeff Murrell, Gary Athoe, assistant plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, Motive Power Technician student Deepak Gupda, NC professor Pete D’Elia, interim dean of Media, Technology and Trades Marc Nantel and Gemma Copeland, personnel director at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant,

Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, presented the donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson at the College’s Rankin Technology Centre this morning.

“General Motors Canada is proud to support Niagara College with this gift,” said Watts. “The new Green Automotive Technology Lab and its innovative curriculum will no doubt further Niagara College’s leadership in automotive education and training, and help support the changing needs of an evolving auto industry.”

General Motors Canada has long been a strong supporter of Niagara College’s Motive Power programs. The company works closely with NC’s school of trades to provide guidance and input on program and curriculum development, and many NC grads go on to become service technicians or service managers in GM dealerships across the country. On Aug. 27, 2015 GM Canada also donated a salvaged 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which students rebuilt over a period of two years, giving them the opportunity to practice hands-on body repair techniques.

GM’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant also partners with the College on several environmental initiatives, including collaborating for World Environment and Earth Day events, and hosting student field projects from the Ecosystem Restoration post-graduate program since 2011, and student interns from the Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate program since 2013.

“Niagara College is incredibly thankful to GM Canada for this generous gift, and for their ongoing support of our School of Trades,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We pride ourselves on offering students a unique formula of hands-on, experiential training with the tools and technologies being used in industry, both now and in the future. This donation will allow our Motive Power students to train on the latest and greatest technologies in the automotive industry. As graduates, they’ll be well-prepared to enter this constantly evolving market.”

NC president Dan Patterson and Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plan, stand with a donated 2018 Chevrolet Silverado


Today’s grads, tomorrow’s leaders: NC to celebrate Spring Convocation June 19-22

More than 3,700 students will cross the platform and enter the next phase of their life at Niagara College’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies, to be held at the Welland Campus June 19-22.

Graduates and their guests will hear from a variety of distinguished business and community leaders who will deliver convocation addresses and receive special honours from the College.

Vicki Heyman

Ceremonies will begin on Tuesday, June 19 at 10 a.m. with the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport, as well as the School of Food and Wine Sciences. The convocation speaker for the morning will be Vicki Heyman, co- founder of Uncharted, LLC, a values-driven family office that convenes and connects a diverse group of Americans and Canadians. Heyman will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies.

At the 3 p.m. ceremony, students from the School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies will hear a convocation address from Daljit Singh Gujral. A first-gene

Daljit Singh Gujral

ration entrepreneur from India, Gujral is president of INSCOL, which operates a nursing institute in Toronto that trains internationally educated nurses who move to Canada. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies.

Coletta McGrath

Wednesday, June 20 will begin with a ceremony celebrating graduates from the School of Community Services. Coletta McGrath, executive director of Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines, will deliver the convocation address and will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies. McGrath is also a founding board member of the St. Catharines Life Lease Corporation, which built two of the first not-for-profit life lease buildings for older adults in Niagara.

Chief Bryan MacCulloch

In the afternoon, Bryan MacCulloch, chief of the Niagara Regional Police Service, will address graduates from the School of Justice and Fitness Studies, the School of Allied Health Studies, and the School of Nursing and Support Worker Studies. Chief MacCulloch will receive an Honorary Diploma in Police Foundations.

Anthony Spiteri

Ceremonies will continue on the morning of Thursday, June 21 with Anthony J. Spiteri, who will deliver the convocation address to the School of Business and Management Studies and will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award. Spiteri, who grew up in Niagara, graduated from Niagara College’s Business Administration program with honours in 1989 before becoming a leader in the consumer packaged goods industry. He is currently the vice president of marketing, research and development with Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc., executive chairman of Erie Treat Motorsports, and chairman of Eataly Food Incorporated.

Thursday morning’s ceremonies will also honour the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Academic Medal, presented to Business Administration – Accounting graduate Jesse Reynders, who graduates with a 98.23% grade-point average.

Niagara morning show host Tim Denis will address graduates from the School of Academic and Liberal Studies, the School of English Language Studies, and the School of Media Studies at the afternoon ceremony. Denis, who recently celebrated 40 years in radio, has been a host at Newstalk 610 CKTB for more than 23 years, and has made waves in Niagara and beyond with his work as a singer, actor, director and songwriter. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film.

Spring Convocation Ceremonies will conclude on Friday, June 22. Graduates from the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, the School of Technology Studies, and the School of Trades will hear from Sarah Watts-Rynard, executive director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. An advocate of the skilled trades, Watts-Rynard works to encourage a better understanding of the high-level of competency and skill required by these careers. She will receive an Honorary Diploma in Skilled Trades.

Friday will also mark a milestone for the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, with its first cohort of graduates from the College’s Commercial Beekeeping program. The graduate certificate program, the first of its kind in Eastern Canada, was launched in 2017 to meet a significant demand for qualified, professional beekeepers across the country.


Tuesday, June 19

10 a.m.

Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; Food and Wine Sciences

Speaker: Vicki Heyman

3 p.m.

Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies

Speaker: Daljit Singh Gujral


Wednesday, June 20

10 a.m.

Community Services

Speaker: Coletta McGrath

3 p.m.

Justice and Fitness Studies; Allied Health Studies; Nursing and Support Worker Studies

Speaker: Bryan MacCulloch


Thursday, June 21

10 a.m.

Business and Management Studies

Speaker: Anthony J. Spiteri

3 p.m.

Academic and Liberal Studies; English Language Studies; Media Studies

Speaker: Tim Denis


Friday, June 22

10 a.m.

Environmental and Horticultural Studies; Technology Studies; Trades

Speaker: Sarah Watts-Rynard