Honour Saundra’s memory by donating to the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden and Bursary

Saundra Patterson is pictured in front of NC's teaching vineyard

Saundra Patterson, who passed away in January, was at the heart of every major college event during Dan Patterson’s more than 25-year tenure as Niagara College president. As a supporter, ambassador and the true embodiment of our NC DNA, Saundra leaves a special legacy at NC, and will be truly missed by students, faculty and staff.

To honour Saundra’s memory, her love of gardening and fondness for NC’s School of Horticulture, the faculty and students in our School of Horticulture are designing and will be creating the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden in the courtyard at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The garden will be personalized to include a variety of Saundra’s favourite plants and is expected to be completed this fall.

To make your gift to support the creation of the garden honouring and preserving Saundra’s legacy at NC, select Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden and Bursary under Areas of Support on page 2 of the online donation form. If you prefer a different method for donating, please contact Joanne in NC’s Development and Alumni Relations team at 905-328-5528.

With your support, the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden will blossom into a beautiful place of reflection on campus for everyone to enjoy, while paying tribute to Saundra’s life and connection to NC.

Any funds remaining after completion of the garden will support the Saundra Patterson Horticultural Bursary for NC students.

Honour Saundra’s memory by donating to the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden and Bursary

Saundra Patterson is pictured in front of NC's teaching vineyard

Saundra Patterson, who passed away in January, was at the heart of every major college event during Dan Patterson’s more than 25-year tenure as Niagara College president. As a supporter, ambassador and the true embodiment of our NC DNA, Saundra leaves a special legacy at NC, and will be truly missed by students, faculty and staff.

To honour Saundra’s memory, her love of gardening and fondness for NC’s School of Horticulture, the faculty and students in our School of Horticulture are designing and will be creating the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden in the courtyard at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The garden will be personalized to include a variety of Saundra’s favourite plants and is expected to be completed this fall.

To make your gift to support the creation of the garden honouring and preserving Saundra’s legacy at NC, select Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden and Bursary under Areas of Support on page 2 of the online donation form. If you prefer a different method for donating, please contact Joanne in NC’s Development and Alumni Relations team at 905-328-5528.

With your support, the Saundra Patterson Memorial Garden will blossom into a beautiful place of reflection on campus for everyone to enjoy, while paying tribute to Saundra’s life and connection to NC.

Any funds remaining after completion of the garden will support the Saundra Patterson Horticultural Bursary for NC students.

Kevin Rempel to share tools for mental resilience through Alumni webinar

NC graduates seeking confidence and clarity during difficult times won’t want to miss NC’s next Alumni webinar series featuring Paralympian, keynote speaker and mental resilience coach Kevin Rempel.

Rempel, who an NC alumnus (Business Administration – Marketing, 2005; and Event Management, 2009) will share three key ways to achieving high performance on a daily basis from The Resilience Toolbox – a framework to develop mental resilience.

The one-hour workshop, geared to all NC alumni, will be held via Zoom on February 3 from 11 a.m. to noon. The event will also involve NC Student Administrative Council president Tom Price who will introduce the guest speaker.

Late last year, Rempel also participated in an Ask an Alumni “episode” hosted by NC/NCSAC/Alumni Relations designed to connect current students with the expertise of College alumni.

“Kevin was a guest in our Ask an Alumni via live Instagram geared to students in December and his message/enthusiasm was so inspiring that we knew we had to have him back to tell us about The Resilience Toolbox,” said alumni engagement officer Jana Boniferro.

NC Alumni may register for the upcoming virtual event at niagaracollege.ca/ces/event/alumni-the-resilience-toolbox-02-03-2021/.

About the speaker

Kevin Rempel sports his bronze medal for sledge hockey from the 2014 Sochi Paralympics.

Kevin Rempel is a 2013 World Champion and 2014 Sochi Paralympic bronze medalist in sledge hockey who has an incredible story of overcoming a tremendous amount of adversity. He is a former freestyle motocross competitor, author, corporate motivational speaker, and Founder/CEO of The Sledge Hockey Experience.

Rempel reinvented himself as an entrepreneur after a motocross accident left him as an incomplete paraplegic in 2006 and has since devoted his career to making the world a better place for people with disabilities. Today, Kevin is focused on helping grow the sport of sledge hockey through The Sledge Hockey Experience, and passionately taking the stage, either live or virtually, inspiring audiences with The Hero Mindset Keynote and coaching leaders using The Resilience Toolbox.

Mental Health webinar Jan. 27 

NC alumni also had a chance to participate in mental health webinar hosted by Alumni Relations on January 27. Certified Canadian counsellor and parenting consultant Lynda Fernyhough spoke about how feelings of uncertainty are having an impact on lives, and provided coping mechanisms to help work through them.

Career-focused sessions available for students preparing for the world of work

NC Career Services is kicking off the Winter term with a suite of virtual programming and supports for students as they prepare for and adapt to the world of work.

The Career Services team, in collaboration with the Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership, Community Employment Services (CES) and NC Alumni Relations, will be hosting a variety of live and prerecorded online sessions to help students learn critical skills that relate to employability and find success as they embark on their career journeys.

The offerings are specifically designed to support students looking for employment upon graduation this Spring, or for those searching for full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions including co-op and work-integrated-learning experiences, which may be required as part of their academic requirements in the coming months. A session lead by staff from CES will also address job searching during the pandemic, with tips for how to look at opportunities and industries with a new lens.

Sessions begin the week of January 25 and continue through February with highlights including:

  • January 28 – LinkedIn Session with career success specialist and NC alumna Madi Fuller, hosted by Alumni Relations (1-2 p.m.);
  • Using InterviewStream and MyCareer tutorials;
  • Essential Skills workshops;
  • Alumni panel with a focus on accounting;
  • Entrepreneurial Session hosted by Dean Spironello from the City of Niagara Falls;
  • Taking your Headshot at Home;
  • Go To College They Said podcast episode with a focus on career and mentoring;
  • Resume Preparation: Connecting the Dots;
  • Job Searching/Opportunities in Midst of Pandemic session hosted by CES; and
  • Professionalism in the Workplace.

Students can view a full list of available sessions and learn how to access them via the MyCareer portal’s Career Events page. Students access MyCareer by logging onto their MyNC Portal, clicking on ‘More Applications,’ then ‘All,’ then scrolling down to select the MyCareer icon.

Virtual Career Fair 2021

Career Services has also partnered with CES on NC’s first-ever Virtual Career Fair on February 17 (9 a.m. to 4 pm.) to connect current students, alumni and community members with potential employers virtually.

Students can prepare for the event through an upcoming Virtual Career Fair prep session February 3 (9 to 10:30 a.m.) and by taking advantage of additional online resume and review sessions being offered January 25 through February 11 by appointment via MyCareer. NC’s Virtual Career Fair will also be the topic of an upcoming NCSAC Ask Me Anything Instagram live event on January 25 at 1 p.m. (a second session will be added – details to be confirmed).

Registration for students and other job seekers opens February 1. More information can be found at careerfair.niagaracollege.ca.

Career Services will also be offering additional programming for students through February and into March, which is National Co-op Month. Stay tuned for details.

Career-focused sessions available for students preparing for the world of work

NC Career Services is kicking off the Winter term with a suite of virtual programming and supports for students as they prepare for and adapt to the world of work.

The Career Services team, in collaboration with the Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership, Community Employment Services (CES) and NC Alumni Relations, will be hosting a variety of live and prerecorded online sessions to help students learn critical skills that relate to employability and find success as they embark on their career journeys.

The offerings are specifically designed to support students looking for employment upon graduation this Spring, or for those searching for full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions including co-op and work-integrated-learning experiences, which may be required as part of their academic requirements in the coming months. A session lead by staff from CES will also address job searching during the pandemic, with tips for how to look at opportunities and industries with a new lens.

Sessions begin the week of January 25 and continue through February with highlights including:

  • January 28 – LinkedIn Session with career success specialist and NC alumna Madi Fuller, hosted by Alumni Relations (1-2 p.m.);
  • Using InterviewStream and MyCareer tutorials;
  • Essential Skills workshops;
  • Alumni panel with a focus on accounting;
  • Entrepreneurial Session hosted by Dean Spironello from the City of Niagara Falls;
  • Taking your Headshot at Home;
  • Go To College They Said podcast episode with a focus on career and mentoring;
  • Resume Preparation: Connecting the Dots;
  • Job Searching/Opportunities in Midst of Pandemic session hosted by CES; and
  • Professionalism in the Workplace.

Students can view a full list of available sessions and learn how to access them via the MyCareer portal’s Career Events page. Students access MyCareer by logging onto their MyNC Portal, clicking on ‘More Applications,’ then ‘All,’ then scrolling down to select the MyCareer icon.

Virtual Career Fair 2021

Career Services has also partnered with CES on NC’s first-ever Virtual Career Fair on February 17 (9 a.m. to 4 pm.) to connect current students, alumni and community members with potential employers virtually.

Students can prepare for the event through an upcoming Virtual Career Fair prep session February 3 (9 to 10:30 a.m.) and by taking advantage of additional online resume and review sessions being offered January 25 through February 11 by appointment via MyCareer. NC’s Virtual Career Fair will also be the topic of an upcoming NCSAC Ask Me Anything Instagram live event on January 25 at 1 p.m. (a second session will be added – details to be confirmed).

Registration for students and other job seekers opens February 1. More information can be found at careerfair.niagaracollege.ca.

Career Services will also be offering additional programming for students through February and into March, which is National Co-op Month. Stay tuned for details.

Welland woman honours son’s memory through estate gift to NC

A local woman’s wish to honour her late son’s memory will help support students from Niagara College’s School of Technology for many years to come.

The College recently received a surprise estate gift for almost $400,000 from Jean Kathleen (nee Smith) Weber, who died in December 2020 at the age of 86. In her will, Weber left a gift to establish a permanent scholarship at Niagara College in memory of her late son, David, who passed away more than 40 years ago at the age of 26. David had attended NC’s Electrical Power Engineering Technology program during the early seventies.

Wendy Dueck, director of Development, noted that the gift, which was half of Weber’s estate, came at a time when fundraising for student support has been very challenging due to the pandemic, and was, therefore, truly a wonderful surprise.

“We are so grateful to Jean Weber, who valued the role education plays in a person’s life, and made this incredible personal gift in her will, to memorialize her son who predeceased her, and leave a lasting impact on a cause she cared deeply about,” said Dueck. “Legacy donations made through a will truly have the power to transform lives. Through Jean’s generous act, the David Weber Memorial Endowed Scholarship will have a lasting impact on the lives of many of our students who receive much-needed financial assistance to support their education.”

The new David Weber Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year to select students in the Electrical Engineering Technician and Electronics Engineering Technician programs.

About the donor

Long-time Welland resident Jean Kathleen Weber left an estate gift in her will to establish a permanent scholarship at NC in memory of her son, David.

Jean Kathleen (nee Smith) Weber was a long-time Welland resident who had been a Sunday school teacher, a vacation bible school teacher, a children’s club teacher, and an active community volunteer who was honoured with an Ontario Volunteer Award in recognition of her many contributions. She died on December 8, 2020 at the age of 86. View Weber’s obituary here.

Legacy gifts at NC

For many students, the financial challenge is the greatest barrier to pursuing postsecondary education. Those leaving a gift in their will to Niagara College to support access to education can help students overcome this barrier and set them on a course for future success.

In this way, wills are not just a legal way to distribute personal assets but are powerful tools for social change. And it’s not an either/or proposition – people can leave a gift in their will to charity while still taking care of those they love.

To learn how a future gift can make a difference in the lives of students, visit donate.niagaracollege.ca/leave-a-gift-in-your-will/

New Ask an Alumni Anything series sparks dialogue between students and grads

Tune into Jan. 21 session featuring radio host Shannon Burns, Class of 2013

Members of NC’s alumni community are sharing words of wisdom with current students as part of a new series, Ask an Alumni Anything.

On January 21 (2 p.m.), the series will feature CHUM 104.5 and iHeartRadio Nights host Shannon Burns, who graduated from the Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program in 2013.

Presented by NC Alumni Relations with support from the NC Student Administrative Council, the initiative gives students an opportunity to pose questions to successful NC alumni via Instagram Live. The sessions are generally 45 minutes to an hour long and are moderated by NCSAC president Tom Price.

Alumni engagement officer Jana Boniferro noted that the series was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to connect with students and offer them support and advice during challenging times.

“Our alumni are always willing to help the students because they have been in their shoes. This is one situation where everyone comes together to help each other in any way they can,” said Boniferro. “Although our alumni have not experienced college life during a pandemic, they can certainly offer relevant advice as industry professionals who are pivoting in their industries to get through this.”

NCSAC president Tom Price noted that the Ask an Alumni Anything initiative highlights the continued collaborative partnership between Niagara College and NCSAC.

“The opportunity for current students to connect with and ask questions of alumni, who are leaders in their disciplines, is invaluable to their academic and personal success,” said Price. “The alumni open a window into their time at Niagara College and underscore how studying, engaging, and networking provides the entire student community the same opportunities to succeed.”

The series was launched on November 12, featuring Jeff Blay, creative director, Enterprise Canada. The event was presented in collaboration with the College’s Marketing department as well as NCSAC.

It continued on December 3 with the multi-award-winning retired world-class sledge hockey Paralympian Kevin Rempel, founder and CEO of The Sledge Hockey Experience. Rempel is a double graduate of the College (Event Management, 2009; and Business Administration – Marketing, 2005).

While the events are geared to students, they open to the entire college community via Instagram Live. Boniferro noted that members of faculty have been engaged with the events to connect with their alumni from their programs.

Plans are in the works to continue the Ask an Alumni Anything series on a monthly basis.

Alumnus-owned business Commercial Cleaning Services kicks off NC’s #GivingTuesday campaign with $5,000 gift

A long-time Niagara College contractor has come forward to kickstart the College’s inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign.

#GivingTuesday, known as the “Opening day of the giving season,” is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday.

St. Catharines-based janitorial company Commercial Cleaning Services has contributed a lead gift of $5,000 to kickstart NC’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which will run from December 1 to 18 in support of our Nourishing Minds Fund.

The Nourishing Minds program, offered by the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC), provides emergency electronic grocery cards in $25 or $50 denominations to students struggling with food security.
Commercial Cleaning Services, which provides high-quality janitorial programs to clients in the public and private sector since 1953, has a multi-faceted relationship with NC. In addition to being NC’s cleaning services contractor, Commercial Cleaning Services is a generous donor to the College, having donated in support of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, scholarships and bursaries, the Seafood Gala, Golf Classic, and most recently, the Dan Patterson Legacy Campaign.

Perhaps what makes this company’s support even more meaningful is that its president, Chris Draayer, is an NC alumnus. After graduating from NC’s Construction Engineering program in 1994, Draayer worked in the industry for a short time before joining his father-in-law’s janitorial business.

To the benefit of NC’s students, Draayer’s connection to his alma mater continues. The company’s most recent donation of $5,000 provides a welcome boost to the College’s Giving Tuesday campaign which launches on December 1 in support of Nourishing Minds.

“Commercial Cleaning is very happy to participate in the kick-off of the inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign in support of the Nourishing Minds program. On behalf of myself and several other members of our team at Commercial Cleaning who are Niagara College alumni, we welcomed this opportunity to directly assist students through this great program and help them to focus and have a successful school year during the stressful times associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Draayer.

Draayer’s decision to support Nourishing Minds through the College’s Giving Tuesday campaign was swift after hearing how the emergency grocery card program’s resources remain critically low after a spike in demand in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between March and September 2020, NCSAC distributed nearly 2,800 electronic grocery cards in $50 denominations through the Nourishing Minds program to students experiencing food insecurity. That is ten times the number of grocery cards distributed in a typical year.

Support from Niagara College, the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, and community donors generated essential funding to support students over the summer months. Now, the Development and Alumni Relations team is harnessing the giving power of #GivingTuesday to ensure students experiencing food insecurity continue to have access to the emergency grocery card program.

Donations to NC’s Giving Tuesday campaign are being accepted through our dedicated crowdfunding page Nourish a Mind. Feed a Future, beginning December 1.

Submitted by Development and Alumni Relations

NC alumnae earn Women in Business Award nominations

The Niagara College community is cheering on members of its alumnae community who have been nominated for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Women in Business Awards.

Niagara College is a sponsor for this year’s WIBA which recognize the leadership and success of women in the Niagara business community.

NC alumnae named among the finalists include:

  • Lori Gill, Attachment and Trauma Treatment Centre for Healing (ATTCH) Niagara, who was nominated for a Community Impact Award;
  • Sarah Pritula, Community Crew, who was nominated for an Excellence in Non-Profit Award;
  • Rebecca Winstanley, AutoTrim & Signs / Elements Graphic Design, who was nominated for a Young Professional Award;
  • Rachel Dedinsky, Giant Shoe Creative Agency, who was nominated for a Young Professional Award; and
  • Marissa Hartley, Chz Plz, who was nominated for an Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism Award.

This year marks the 20th annual WIBA. Winners will be announced at virtual celebration n on November 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. For details about the WIBA visit gncc.ca/women-in-business-awards/

Niagara This Week: NC alum opens Green Apple Coffee House in St. Catharines

NC alumnus Jesse Boles (Cook II Apprenticeship – Basic, 2008; Cook II Apprenticeship – Advanced, 2009)
has opened a Green Apple Coffee House in St. Catharines and Nick Fearns writes about the cafe in this Niagara This Week article.

The new cafe is the second Green Apple Coffee House location for Boles, who opened his first shop in his hometown of Port Colborne in 2018. Also mentioned in the article is NC alumna Alicia Morningstar (Office Administration – General, 2006; Baking and Pastry Arts, 2015), the Green Apple’s pastry chef, who prepares house-made pastries, baked goods and protein balls, as well as custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Read the November 12 article here.