Double gold at national competition a first for Teaching Winery Sauvignon Blanc

The scales tipped in favour of Niagara College’s Balance Sauvignon Blanc at the recent All Canadian Wine Championships.

The white wine, made by NC winemaker Gavin Robertson and students in the Winery and Viticulture Technician program, won double gold at the 2021 edition of the national competition that saw 1,365 wines entered from 217 Canadian wineries.

It’s the first double gold for a college-produced Sauvignon Blanc, making it NC’s best showing for the varietal yet, Robertson said.

It’s one of four medals the Niagara College Teaching Winery won at the awards, including gold for the first-ever Balance Muscat. The medalling wines in their respective categories are:

  • 2019 Balance Sauvignon Blanc (Top Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2019 Balance Muscat (Gold – Other single vitis vinifera whites category);
  • 2019 Dean’s List Savant (Silver – Red icewine category); and
  • 2018 Balance Gamay Noir (Silver – Gamay Noir category).

All are wines that Robertson and his students don’t make every year, which makes the results particularly notable, he said. The Balance Gamay Noir is only the second Gamay vintage produced in the program.

“That’s satisfying. I’ve been the winemaker here since 2014 and I feel like I’m finally getting my head wrapped around certain grapes,” said Robertson, who graduated from the College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program in 2011. “What I like about this showing is Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay Noir and Muscat aren’t normally grapes I would consider entering.”

Although a grape like Muscat is less commonly used by Canadian wineries, working with such varietals prepares students for what they might encounter after they graduate, Robertson explained.

“Anything our students can graduate into within the industry and have to produce, it’s important to expose them to,” he said. “For a small winery, we have dozens of SKUs with grapes and styles that someone in the industry is making. That’s really important since we’re a teaching winery.”

More than a bragging right, though, these latest awards show that students in the program work with high-quality fruit and turn out vintages that can compete with those from other Canadian wineries. They also speak to the quality of education happening at the College.

“Consistently winning top medals is a testament to our academic deliveries and the abilities of our Winery and Viticulture Technician students at Niagara College,” said Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprise Corporation. “We are all proud of everyone involved.”

Such a performance isn’t uncommon for the Teaching Winery at the All Canadian Wine Championships.

“The competition results from Niagara College consistently show the calibre of the teaching staff, and the talent of its students,” said Bev Carnahan, All Canadian Wine Championships director. “Year to year, the college comes away with a fistful of medals and on occasion, a trophy. Their Balance Brut is not to be missed.”

The award-winning wines, along with other vintages produced by the Teaching Winery, are available for sale at the Niagara College Wine Visitor + Education Centre, located at its Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, or online at ncteachingwinery.ca. Sales of the wines support student education.

Visit allcanadianwinechampionships.com for more information about the All Canadian Wine Championships.

Tasting notes from Bev Carnahan, All Canadian Wine Championships director:

2019 Dean’s List Savant

Rich, creamy, concentrated fruit, good structure, ripe cherry and nicely balanced with a clean finish.

2018 Balance Gamay Noir

Pretty, sippable, cherry-based Gamay. Juicy fruit on palate.

2019 Balance Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp, tart, eminently refreshing.

2019 Balance Muscat

Clean, flavourful, ask for more! Floral, dry, mineral finish, fresh, light fruit — fun. Delightful.

Niagara Colleges Teaching Winery is the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada. It is located at the Colleges Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, along with the NC Teaching Brewery and the NC Teaching Distillery, which were also the first of their kind in Canada.

 

Niagara College offers more than 150 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, spirits, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.

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Niagara College receives generous donation of two F-150 trucks from Ford Canada and Eastgate Ford

Niagara College students enrolled in the college’s motive power programs will be getting a lesson in ‘Built Ford Tough’ with the donation of two 2020 F-150 trucks from Ford Canada.

On July 14, 2021, Niagara College took possession of the two vehicles from Eastgate Ford which will be used for hands-on training in the motive power technician program.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous donation from Ford Canada and for all the hard work from the team at Eastgate Ford to make this a reality,” said Jeffrey Murrell, associate dean, School of Trades. “The new technology in these vehicles will allow us to offer first-class hands-on learning experiences to our students that will help prepare them for their future careers.”

The two F-150 trucks will join Niagara College’s fleet of cars utilized for hands-on training and will feature state-of-the-art automotive technologies which will allow students to work with the new technology available in new vehicles on the road today.

This donation was made possible by the hardworking team at Eastgate Ford who worked closely with Niagara College to organize and arrange the donation and delivery of the vehicles.

“Working with the team at Eastgate Ford has really highlighted the passion that industry pros have for the next generation,” said Murrell. “They are committed to providing first-class, real-world experiences for our students and we look forward to partnering with them on more initiatives in the future.”

“We’re proud to provide the next generation of automotive technicians the tools and knowledge that will help them excel in their careers,” said Robert Fricker, Service Manager, Eastgate Ford. “Ford Canada and Eastgate Ford have long been supporters of Niagara College and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the students our partnership has impacted.”

Ford Canada has been a strong supporter of Niagara College’s motive power programs for many years. Ford also supports Niagara College through the ACE (Automotive Career Exploration) program.

The ACE program provides training to Niagara College students and provides valuable knowledge of Ford/Lincoln vehicle systems, which offers students an advantage starting their career in the automotive industry after graduation as an entry level automotive service technician at a Ford/Lincoln dealership. The ACE program online courses are a subset of the same courses taken by current Ford dealership technicians.

“We are pleased to be able to offer our students a unique mix of practical, experiential training that accurately reflects the technology and tools currently available in the automotive industry,” said Murrell. “Eastgate Ford’s ongoing support of Niagara College and our School of Trades ensures our students have a bright future ahead of them.”

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.

Eastgate Ford has served Niagara and Hamilton residents since 1957. As Hamilton’s oldest and largest Ford Motor Company Dealership, Eastgate Ford takes pride in providing outstanding service to all its customers. With a strong tradition of customer satisfaction, Eastgate Ford is proud to be the 2021 recipient of the North American Customer Excellence award in recognition of outstanding customer satisfaction and operating standards. It is the highest award Ford Motor Company can bestow on its dealers.

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Media inquires, please contact:

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Courtney De Caire
Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-407-8298
[email protected]

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in Kenya to benefit from Gender Equality Policies and Training through support from Niagara College

TVETs in Kenya will benefit from gender equality policies and training made possible through a partnership between Niagara College, the National Gender Equality Commission (NGEC), and Sheridan College. This partnership is in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation and Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan) to support the Young Africa Works in Kenya TVET program.

Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET is a five-year program (2020-2025) and aims to increase the participation of young Kenyans, particularly women, in market-relevant skills training programs. “Achieving gender equality requires boldness, intentionality, and recognizing the unique challenges young women face. Creating safe spaces for young women to learn and work—and shifting individual perspectives, institutional practices, and overall policies—is critical to this goal. Our commitment under our Young Africa Works strategy is to ensure that 70 percent of the young people that benefit from our work are young women,” noted Daniel Hailu, regional head, Eastern and Southern Africa, Mastercard Foundation.

The three-year partnership will see Niagara College and Sheridan College assist the NGEC in Kenya to increase women’s engagement in the workforce through the development of processes and policies that promote safe learning environments, principally for female learners.

Niagara College will also partner with the NGEC to determine institutional gender frameworks and policies to enhance gender inclusion and mainstreaming. This supports NGEC’s mandate of enhancing awareness on gender and inclusion and as a constitutional mandate under article 59 (2) (b) ‘to promote gender equality and equity generally and to coordinate and facilitate gender mainstreaming in national development’ in Kenya. A change management approach will be used throughout this partnership to facilitate the implementation of gender mainstreaming within 25 TVET institutions in Kenya.

This project supports Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and aligns with NGEC’s mandate to promote and ensure gender equality, principles of equality and non-discrimination for all persons in Kenya as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. This initiative also demonstrates Niagara College’s commitment to the provision of inclusive TVET in support of seven Sustainable Development Goals.

“Niagara College has contributed to Sustainable Development Goal number five of gender equality through global projects for more than 15 years,” said Kyla Pennie, manager of international projects, Niagara College. “We are committed to gender equity and inclusion both locally and globally, ensuring female learners have equal opportunities to access education, training, and employment. Healthy economies and communities are built by not only supporting gender equality and skills development for learners within the TVET system but also through training and policy implementation within industry, education, and government stakeholders who can sustain gender mainstreaming efforts.”

About Niagara College

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture, and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit: mastercardfdn.org.

About Young Africa Works

Young Africa Works is Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Africa will have the largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the labour market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa’s overall competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:

 

Niagara College
Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

 

Mastercard Foundation
Diana Moraa
Cell: +254 115 782 557
[email protected]

 

Local family demonstrates community spirit with surprise donation to Niagara College

Lauren and Vaughn Goettler are pictured outdoors at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus after establishing a scholarship which will assist 12 students in each of the College’s main schools of study this fall.

An unexpected gift from a local family will help more Niagara College students achieve their dreams this fall.

Thanks to a generous donation from Niagara-on-the-Lake residents Lauren and Vaughn Goettler, 12 students will receive financial awards through the newly established Goettler Family Scholarship.

This fall, twelve $1,000 scholarships will be given to returning students who demonstrate academic excellence (over 70% average) and financial need. The Goettler Family Scholarship will be the first in the College’s history from a private donor to assist one student from each main school of study: including Academic, Liberal and Access Studies; Allied Health; Community Services; Justice and Fitness; Business and Management; Canadian Food and Wine Institute; Environment and Horticulture; Hospitality and Tourism; Media; Nursing and Personal Support Worker; Technology; and Trades.

“In these challenging pandemic times, we are honoured to provide this bursary to acknowledge and reward returning students who are achieving academic excellence, but struggling to meet the financial obligations of their programs, such that financial assistance is required,” said Lauren and Vaughn Goettler. “We are committed to young people who have the vision and dedication to their futures to become all that they can be. While the road may not be easy, it is a worthwhile destination, full of a sense of accomplishment and a life of fulfillment.”

The gift was well-received at Niagara College where financial challenge is the greatest barrier to college success for many students. Many work part- or full-time while completing their studies, while an increasing number of students are responsible for one or more dependents. About one-third of students at NC are the first in their family to pursue postsecondary education.

While it has been a challenging year for fundraising to support student success at the College – with its signature Seafood Gala fundraising events cancelled for 2020 and 2021 – many students continue to face financial challenges, as well as additional stressors they could not have anticipated during the pandemic, such as the loss of employment.

“We are truly grateful to the Goettler family for their generous donation which embodies the very spirit of community,” said Niagara College president Sean Kennedy. “Their gift recognizes the importance of supporting education in Niagara by providing much-needed financial support. It will truly make a difference to our students as they pursue their dreams.”

In addition to helping students directly through their donation, the Goettlers also expressed hope that their gift may have an additional positive impact.

“It is our sincere hope that by this gesture we may inspire other members of the community to find it in their hearts to do the same,” they said.

For information about how to give a gift to Niagara College, visit donate.niagaracollege.ca/ways-to-give/

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Media inquiries, please contact:

 

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Julie Greco
Corporate Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

Virtual trailblazers: Niagara College honours Class of 2021 in week-long Convocation celebrations

After a year marked by unwavering determination, Niagara College students truly earned the right to celebrate their accomplishments.

“You put the ‘NC’ in the words ‘perseverance’ and ‘resilience,’ said Fiona Allan, vice-president Academic, in her address to graduates.

June 25 capped off Convocation week for NC’s Class of 2021. The College celebrated 3,872 new graduates in five days through a series of interactive ceremonies livestreamed from its Welland Campus. Thousands tuned in live to cheer on the newly minted graduates, among them, family, friends, and viewers from Niagara and over 80 countries.

The ceremonies took place virtually for the second year as the College continues to comply with ongoing gathering restrictions during COVID-19. The graduates, who completed their studies remotely – either in whole or in part – during the 2020-21 academic year, celebrated their milestone success with many of the beloved elements of NC’s traditional in-person convocation events, including call-outs of their names and words of inspiration from across the College and beyond.

Niagara College president Sean Kennedy had four key pieces of advice for the Class of 2021:

The first, to be their own person. “Whatever path you take, make sure that it’s your own,” said Kennedy.

Second, to embrace lifelong learning. “Don’t be afraid to confront yourself and your beliefs and be willing to change.”

Reflecting upon the tragic news from Cowessess First Nation and Kamloops, Kennedy called upon grads to be a force for change during this moment of national mourning.

“The horrific discoveries of the unmarked graves of hundreds of Indigenous children at former residential schools reminds us of the urgent need for truth and reconciliation, and why we must grow and push society forward; that is the essence of lifelong learning – both individually and collectively,” said Kennedy.

Finally, Kennedy inspired graduates to invest time in building relationships, and to embrace challenges.

“Experience can be one of the best teachers – an idea we embrace here at Niagara College, for experience… is the essence of applied education.”

Distinguished guest speaker Sarah Blackwood – Canadian singer/songwriter/musician from Juno-award-winning band Walk Off the Earth – inspired graduates with a speech about saying ‘yes’, embracing uncertainty, and growing through life experiences.

“Life isn’t about finding your purpose. It’s about evolving your soul through the hundreds and hundreds of experiences you choose to have. Rather than focus on a purpose, focus on an evolution. Purpose feels like there’s one final destination that we arrive at, but evolution feels like a continuous journey where we are forever growing and learning and becoming who we are,” said Blackwood, who received an Honorary Diploma in Media Studies from NC.

Blackwood shared the life advice she gives her three children. “There are a million things you can try in life. If you say yes to all of them, you can experience more, grow more, and have compassion for the people walking beside you.”

Spring Convocation 2021 marked a historic milestone for the College. On June 22, Emily Gushue of Ridgeway became NC’s 100,000th graduate, receiving her diploma in Community and Justice Services and symbolizing the expansive and growing reach of NC’s global alumni community.

A group of graduates from the Horticulture Technician Co-op program celebrate their achievements via Zoom during Niagara College’s virtual convocation ceremony on Friday afternoon.

June 25 ceremonies

The final day of ceremonies celebrated 311 graduates from the School of Academic, Liberal and Access Studies, and the School of English Language Studies in the morning, and 236 graduates from the School of Environment and Horticulture in the afternoon.

A woman with magenta hair and wearing a magenta shirt smiles into the camera

Amanda Sutcliffe is the Dean’s Award winner for the School of Academic Studies.

Liberal and Access Studies graduate Amanda Sutcliffe was the Dean’s Award winner from the School of Academic Studies with a 95 per cent GPA. Sutcliffe, who holds a diploma in Educational Assistant-Special Needs Support (2019) began the Personal Support Worker program in September 2019, only to have pandemic restrictions on co-op placements put those plans on hold.

Sutcliffe rejigged her education plans, pivoting to online learning while supporting her children who did so as well. The Fort Erie mom balanced her studies and home life with ease, switching between her student hat and her mom hat in a busy household – no small feat.

“I am very thankful for the experience because I feel that my children watching me persevere and graduate during these times has greatly helped them through the challenges that virtual schooling has thrown their way.”

Hamilton’s Jonah Read had a few false starts with post-secondary education before digging into his passion for planting in the Horticultural Technician Co-op program. It was a summer job that inspired his future career in horticulture, and his supervisors – NC alumni – who recommended the College’s program.

“I enjoy solving problems, and the knowledge gained at Niagara College comes into play often … I am passionate about identifying trees, flowers and weed species, and learning best horticultural practices. Niagara College has given me a solid foundation from which I can build as a lifelong learner,” said Read.

A man with a beard and his hair pulled back wears a blue button-up short-sleeve shirt and smiles for the camera.

Jonah Read is the Dean’s Award winner for the School of Environment and Horticulture.

Read achieved an impressive 97 per cent GPA, earning him the Dean’s Award in the School of Environment and Horticulture. Read is already seeing the fruits of his labour as he begins a leadership position with the City of Hamilton’s Horticulture Department.

Virtual Convocation 2021

NC’s Virtual Spring Convocation Ceremonies, which have been held twice daily between June 21 and June 25, have been drawing thousands of viewers around the world – with 17,100 viewers from 81 countries throughout the week.

College president Sean Kennedy and vice-president Academic Fiona Allan hosted all 10 livestreamed ceremonies from the Welland Campus. The ceremonies leveraged technology to create a highly interactive event, enabling graduates to connect with their classmates and program faculty via pre-organized Zoom program parties held alongside the formal ceremonies. Graduates could be seen cheering and waving during their ceremonies, as clips from their program Zoom parties were incorporated into the ceremony livestream in lieu of their ‘crossing of the stage.’

Video well-wishes to the graduates from the college community and beyond were also woven into the ceremony.

Several members of the alumni community welcomed the new graduates in a video message – including president of RW&Co. Lora Tisi (1979), and Tim Hansing, CEO and co-founder of Red Planet Hotels (1987), Niagara EMS chief Kevin Smith (1992), recent winner of Top Chef Canada Erica Karbelnik (2011), and TV host and reporter Amy Audibert (2012) who also voiced an opening video for the Class of 2021.

Ceremonies included an Indigenous welcome from traditional knowledge keeper Karl Dockstader; music from piper Kelley Buckley; and a special video of the national anthem sung by College faculty members Barbara Mantini, Giacomo Folinazzo and Paul Wintemute. Names were read by faculty members Franco Bieri and Carolyn Ambrose-Miller.

Convocation was an example of applied learning in action for a team of Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film students. They worked alongside faculty and staff to create and broadcast each event – including four graduating students who took on critical roles behind the scenes for virtual convocation – even during their own ceremony on the afternoon of June 23.

All June 2021 Virtual Convocation ceremonies may be viewed on the Virtual Convocation website at niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Convocation 2021 media releases:

June 14Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021
June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad
June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021
June 22: Niagara College reached 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony
June 23: Third day of Niagara College convocation shines spotlight on Media, Trades and Technology Studies
June 24: New crop of frontline workers celebrated on fourth day of Niagara College Convocation

 

Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Julie Greco
Corporate Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

Virtual trailblazers: Niagara College honours Class of 2021 in week-long Convocation celebrations

After a year marked by unwavering determination, Niagara College students truly earned the right to celebrate their accomplishments.

“You put the ‘NC’ in the words ‘perseverance’ and ‘resilience,’ said Fiona Allan, vice-president Academic, in her address to graduates.

June 25 capped off Convocation week for NC’s Class of 2021. The College celebrated 3,872 new graduates in five days through a series of interactive ceremonies livestreamed from its Welland Campus. Thousands tuned in live to cheer on the newly minted graduates, among them, family, friends, and viewers from Niagara and over 80 countries.

The ceremonies took place virtually for the second year as the College continues to comply with ongoing gathering restrictions during COVID-19. The graduates, who completed their studies remotely – either in whole or in part – during the 2020-21 academic year, celebrated their milestone success with many of the beloved elements of NC’s traditional in-person convocation events, including call-outs of their names and words of inspiration from across the College and beyond.

Niagara College president Sean Kennedy had four key pieces of advice for the Class of 2021:

The first, to be their own person. “Whatever path you take, make sure that it’s your own,” said Kennedy.

Second, to embrace lifelong learning. “Don’t be afraid to confront yourself and your beliefs and be willing to change.”

Reflecting upon the tragic news from Cowessess First Nation and Kamloops, Kennedy called upon grads to be a force for change during this moment of national mourning.

“The horrific discoveries of the unmarked graves of hundreds of Indigenous children at former residential schools reminds us of the urgent need for truth and reconciliation, and why we must grow and push society forward; that is the essence of lifelong learning – both individually and collectively,” said Kennedy.

Finally, Kennedy inspired graduates to invest time in building relationships, and to embrace challenges.

“Experience can be one of the best teachers – an idea we embrace here at Niagara College, for experience… is the essence of applied education.”

Distinguished guest speaker Sarah Blackwood – Canadian singer/songwriter/musician from Juno-award-winning band Walk Off the Earth – inspired graduates with a speech about saying ‘yes’, embracing uncertainty, and growing through life experiences.

“Life isn’t about finding your purpose. It’s about evolving your soul through the hundreds and hundreds of experiences you choose to have. Rather than focus on a purpose, focus on an evolution. Purpose feels like there’s one final destination that we arrive at, but evolution feels like a continuous journey where we are forever growing and learning and becoming who we are,” said Blackwood, who received an Honorary Diploma in Media Studies from NC.

Blackwood shared the life advice she gives her three children. “There are a million things you can try in life. If you say yes to all of them, you can experience more, grow more, and have compassion for the people walking beside you.”

Spring Convocation 2021 marked a historic milestone for the College. On June 22, Emily Gushue of Ridgeway became NC’s 100,000th graduate, receiving her diploma in Community and Justice Services and symbolizing the expansive and growing reach of NC’s global alumni community.

A group of graduates from the Horticulture Technician Co-op program celebrate their achievements via Zoom during Niagara College’s virtual convocation ceremony on Friday afternoon.

June 25 ceremonies

The final day of ceremonies celebrated 311 graduates from the School of Academic, Liberal and Access Studies, and the School of English Language Studies in the morning, and 236 graduates from the School of Environment and Horticulture in the afternoon.

A woman with magenta hair and wearing a magenta shirt smiles into the camera

Amanda Sutcliffe is the Dean’s Award winner for the School of Academic Studies.

Liberal and Access Studies graduate Amanda Sutcliffe was the Dean’s Award winner from the School of Academic Studies with a 95 per cent GPA. Sutcliffe, who holds a diploma in Educational Assistant-Special Needs Support (2019) began the Personal Support Worker program in September 2019, only to have pandemic restrictions on co-op placements put those plans on hold.

Sutcliffe rejigged her education plans, pivoting to online learning while supporting her children who did so as well. The Fort Erie mom balanced her studies and home life with ease, switching between her student hat and her mom hat in a busy household – no small feat.

“I am very thankful for the experience because I feel that my children watching me persevere and graduate during these times has greatly helped them through the challenges that virtual schooling has thrown their way.”

Hamilton’s Jonah Read had a few false starts with post-secondary education before digging into his passion for planting in the Horticultural Technician Co-op program. It was a summer job that inspired his future career in horticulture, and his supervisors – NC alumni – who recommended the College’s program.

“I enjoy solving problems, and the knowledge gained at Niagara College comes into play often … I am passionate about identifying trees, flowers and weed species, and learning best horticultural practices. Niagara College has given me a solid foundation from which I can build as a lifelong learner,” said Read.

A man with a beard and his hair pulled back wears a blue button-up short-sleeve shirt and smiles for the camera.

Jonah Read is the Dean’s Award winner for the School of Environment and Horticulture.

Read achieved an impressive 97 per cent GPA, earning him the Dean’s Award in the School of Environment and Horticulture. Read is already seeing the fruits of his labour as he begins a leadership position with the City of Hamilton’s Horticulture Department.

Virtual Convocation 2021

NC’s Virtual Spring Convocation Ceremonies, which have been held twice daily between June 21 and June 25, have been drawing thousands of viewers around the world – with 17,100 viewers from 81 countries throughout the week.

College president Sean Kennedy and vice-president Academic Fiona Allan hosted all 10 livestreamed ceremonies from the Welland Campus. The ceremonies leveraged technology to create a highly interactive event, enabling graduates to connect with their classmates and program faculty via pre-organized Zoom program parties held alongside the formal ceremonies. Graduates could be seen cheering and waving during their ceremonies, as clips from their program Zoom parties were incorporated into the ceremony livestream in lieu of their ‘crossing of the stage.’

Video well-wishes to the graduates from the college community and beyond were also woven into the ceremony.

Several members of the alumni community welcomed the new graduates in a video message – including president of RW&Co. Lora Tisi (1979), and Tim Hansing, CEO and co-founder of Red Planet Hotels (1987), Niagara EMS chief Kevin Smith (1992), recent winner of Top Chef Canada Erica Karbelnik (2011), and TV host and reporter Amy Audibert (2012) who also voiced an opening video for the Class of 2021.

Ceremonies included an Indigenous welcome from traditional knowledge keeper Karl Dockstader; music from piper Kelley Buckley; and a special video of the national anthem sung by College faculty members Barbara Mantini, Giacomo Folinazzo and Paul Wintemute. Names were read by faculty members Franco Bieri and Carolyn Ambrose-Miller.

Convocation was an example of applied learning in action for a team of Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film students. They worked alongside faculty and staff to create and broadcast each event – including four graduating students who took on critical roles behind the scenes for virtual convocation – even during their own ceremony on the afternoon of June 23.

All June 2021 Virtual Convocation ceremonies may be viewed on the Virtual Convocation website at niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca.

 

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Convocation 2021 media releases:

June 14Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021
June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad
June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021
June 22: Niagara College reached 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony
June 23: Third day of Niagara College convocation shines spotlight on Media, Trades and Technology Studies
June 24: New crop of frontline workers celebrated on fourth day of Niagara College Convocation

 

Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Julie Greco
Corporate Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

New crop of frontline workers celebrated on fourth day of Niagara College convocation

Casey Bodner can finally say the words she’s longed to speak for the past 18 years.

On Thursday afternoon, after her name was called during Niagara College’s virtual convocation ceremony, Bodner, who studied in the Practical Nursing program, could finally say “I am a nurse.”

“Twenty years ago, I passed up my opportunity to attend nursing school. I have carried that regret for 18 years,” Bodner said. “A few years ago, a magnet showed up on my fridge with the quote, ‘It’s never too late to be what you could have been.’ That is when it clicked for me that this is the right time to follow my calling. I always felt I was meant to be a nurse, I knew Niagara College offered a great nursing program.”

Bodner was one of more than 940 NC students from the School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies and the School of Community Services to graduate during two virtual ceremonies Thursday. The online proceedings were viewed by nearly 3,000 people in 15 countries.

Many of the students receiving their diplomas not only completed their studies during a global pandemic, they were also catapulted to the front lines to provide care over the past 16 months, noted NC President Sean Kennedy.

That includes Personal Support Worker students who were hired by long-term care facilities while completing their placements and Early Childhood Education students who launched an innovative virtual preschool to keep young children learning and engaged, among others.

“There are countless examples of our students making a difference — from nursing to early childhood education, social service worker and beyond,” Kennedy said. “Our graduates have very important contributions to make in their fields and in their communities.” 

Student success in the spotlight 

In addition to fulfilling a longtime goal, Bodner was one of two students announced as recipients of dean’s academic awards for having the highest graduating grade point average (GPA) in their school.

Bodner, who obtained a graduating GPA of 92%, received the Dean’s Award from the School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies.

Anica Haberstock, who graduated from the Educational Assistant – Special Needs Support program, received the award from School of Community Services. Her graduating GPA was 97.7%.

Haberstock came to Niagara College from Nelson, BC,  to play for the women’s varsity volleyball team but discovered the educational opportunities were as great at NC as those in athletics.

“Once I experienced education here, I really, really loved it,” Haberstock said. “I knew I needed to stay for more than just one year. After completing my (General Arts and Science) certificate, I chose to enter the (Educational Assistant – Special Needs Support) program as I knew that no matter what I pursued in the future, this program would be a great stepping stone and would help me develop a variety of crucial lifelong skills.”

Niagara College’s June Virtual Convocation ceremonies, which kicked off on June 21, will continue twice a day – at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – up to and including June 25 and will see nearly 4,000 students graduate. The ceremonies include an address and performance by guest speaker Sarah Blackwood, the Canadian singer, songwriter and musician from the Juno-award-winning band, Walk Off the Earth.

Visit the College’s Virtual Convocation site to view the schedule or to access the livestream ceremonies niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca

Convocation 2021 media releases:

June 14Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021

June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad

June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021

June 22: Niagara College reached 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony

June 23:Third day of Niagara College convocation shines spotlight on Media, Trades and Technology Studies

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Julie Greco
Corporate Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

Third day of Niagara College convocation shines a spotlight on Media, Trades and Technology Studies

The third day of Niagara College’s 2021 convocation ceremonies celebrated more than 800 students from the School of Media, Trades and Technology Studies and for several students, today wasn’t just about celebrating their graduation day, it was about sharing the experience through NC’s livestream.

Four students from the Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film graduating class not only attended the ceremony as graduates, but also worked tirelessly behind the scenes as members of the crew that broadcast the ceremonies worldwide via livestream.

Sarah Cedeno Almengor, Nick Hatlevik, Aaron Taylor-Head, and James Wilson have been able to put the skills they learned in the (virtual) classroom into practice during Niagara College’s convocation week ceremonies. The new graduates have taken on the roles of director, graphics, audio mixers, editors, teleprompter operators, camera and floor managers, and more this past week to transform the traditional Niagara College convocation ceremonies into a highly interactive virtual experience, and bring the ceremonies – which are broadcast live from the Welland Campus – into the homes of graduates and viewers around the world.

“One of the qualities I can’t teach is the desire to want to contribute to others. These four students model the selfless attitude that it takes to want to work on a production and proudly make a difference for the other almost 4,000 graduates,” said Peter VandenBerg, Broadcasting professor. “As much as these four are also graduating Wednesday afternoon, they are focused on making this a special week for all their fellow 2021 grads across the College. They would all rather be in the studio working than watching.”

As he addressed the graduates, president Sean Kennedy acknowledged the outstanding contributions of the BRTF grads.

“This is a proud day for us at Niagara College as we celebrate our school of Media, Trades and Technology which has had much success over the past academic year, including our broadcasting students who continued to put their skills to work at our college and in the community as restrictions on in-person gatherings heightened the demand for virtual storytelling,” he said. In fact, a team of students, including some of todays broadcasting graduates are here with us right now working behind the scenes to bring this amazing live ceremony broadcast into your homes, wherever you may be across the globe.”

Student success in the spotlight

Three outstanding Niagara College students were announced as the recipients of the Dean’s academic awards during Wednesday’s ceremonies for achieving outstanding academic achievement, earning the highest GPA in their academic school.

Taylor Wakulich from St. Catharines, who graduated from the Carpentry and Renovation Technician program, received the Dean’s Award from the School of Trades.

When asked about receiving the Dean’s Award, Wakulich shared, “I hadn’t even considered myself in the running for it and it feels good to see all the hard work put in over the past two years pay off.”

“While in school, I found a real love of furniture-making and cabinetry. I enjoyed how precise and accurate you have to be when creating and assembling these works,” continued Wakulich. “I really enjoy learning and absorbing knowledge whenever I can, so when I finally found something I was passionate about, it really just took off in terms of wanting to learn and succeed.”

School of Media Dean’s Award winner and International student in Computer Programming, Danylo Kukanov, who is originally from Kremenchuk, Ukraine credits his professors in part for his success at Niagara College.

“I feel grateful for the professors who taught me,” said Kukanov. “They noted my skills and helped me in my future career and I want to share my experience with others. In the near future, I plan to start contributing code to open-source projects o GitHub and GitLab, populating the ideas of free software.”

Joshua Durling, Electrical Engineering Technology graduate from the School of Technology was also announced as a Dean’s Award winner.

Niagara College’s June Virtual Convocation ceremonies, which kicked off on June 21, will continue twice a day – at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – up to and including June 25. The ceremonies include an address and performance by guest speaker Sarah Blackwood, the Canadian singer, songwriter and musician from the Juno-award-winning band, Walk Off the Earth, who also received an honorary diploma in Media Studies.

Visit the College’s Virtual Convocation site to view the schedule or to access the livestream ceremonies niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca

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Convocation 2021 media releases:
June 14: Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021
June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad
June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021
June 22: Niagara College reached 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony

Media inquiries, contact:

Julie Greco
Corporate Communications Consultant
Cell: 905-328-2532
[email protected]

Michael Wales
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: 905-328-4101
[email protected]

Niagara College reaches 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony

There was brief pause in Tuesday afternoon’s virtual convocation ceremony but it wasn’t because of any technical difficulties.

A timeout was taken to recognize Niagara College’s 100,000th graduate, Emily Gushue, who received her diploma in Community and Justice Services program.

“Reaching (this) milestone is meaningful for all of us at NC,” said College President Sean Kennedy. “It underscores our growth and success as a college over the past 53 years while highlighting the ever-expansive reach of our global alumni community, which, including our Spring 2021 graduates, will now stand over 100,000 strong.”

The significance of the moment wasn’t lost on Gushue, who was made aware of her status before the ceremony. She appeared briefly on camera  celebrating in front of a lawn sign announcing the milestone at her home in Ridgeway.

“I have goosebumps right now,” she said when learned she was lucky No. 100,000. “I definitely was not expecting this at all.”

In addition to Gushue, the spotlight was on nearly 800 students from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, School of Allied Health and School of Justice and Fitness, who joined in the celebrations Tuesday and received their degrees.

They are among the nearly 4,000 students graduating from NC this spring.

As Fiona Allan, Vice-President Academic noted, the Class of 2021 completed their studies in a way unlike any class before it.

“Our Class of 2021 graduands are the first in our College’s history who have completed over a year of their studies under the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic,” Allan said. “Almost everyone needed to adapt to completing their studies at least partially online. Some of our graduands even completed their entire program remotely without stepping foot on our campuses or meeting with their faculty or classmates in person. You all put the NC in the words ‘perseverance’ and resilience.’ ”

Student success in the spotlight

Tuesday also saw James Casselman, Governor General’s Award recipient, graduate from Police Foundations. Casselman earned the prestigious recognition for achieving the highest grade point average — 98% — of any NC graduate. The Niagara resident also received the Dean’s Award for the highest grade point average in his academic school.

“The Governor General’s Award means something to me beyond words but it really pales in comparison to what we’ve all accomplished through the adversity of the pandemic,” Casselman said to students during the ceremony. “As the old saying goes ‘Character is what you accomplish when nobody is looking’ and we all accomplished so much without anybody looking.” 

Sidney Stefanac, who graduated from the Pharmacy Technician program, and Geoffrey Mclellan of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, were also announced Tuesday as recipients of dean’s awards from the School of Allied Health and the Canadian Food and Wine Institute respectively.

“I am so honoured to be receiving the Dean’s Award,” Stefanac said.  “I have always tried hard to succeed as my grades are important to me, but I never would have thought I would have achieved this accomplishment.”

Nearly 4,000 students will graduate from Niagara College during its June Virtual Convocation ceremonies, which will continue twice a day – at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – up to and including June 25. The ceremonies include an address and performance by guest speaker Sarah Blackwood, the Canadian singer, songwriter and musician from the Juno-award-winning band, Walk Off the Earth.

Visit the College’s Virtual Convocation site to view the schedule or to access the livestream ceremonies niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca

Convocation 2021 media releases:

June 14: Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021

June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad

June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021

Niagara College reaches 100,000 graduate milestone during convocation ceremony

There was brief pause in Tuesday afternoon’s virtual convocation ceremony but it wasn’t because of any technical difficulties.

A timeout was taken to recognize Niagara College’s 100,000th graduate, Emily Gushue, who received her diploma in Community and Justice Services program.

“Reaching (this) milestone is meaningful for all of us at NC,” said College President Sean Kennedy. “It underscores our growth and success as a college over the past 53 years while highlighting the ever-expansive reach of our global alumni community, which, including our Spring 2021 graduates, will now stand over 100,000 strong.”

The significance of the moment wasn’t lost on Gushue, who was made aware of her status before the ceremony. She appeared briefly on camera  celebrating in front of a lawn sign announcing the milestone at her home in Ridgeway.

“I have goosebumps right now,” she said when learned she was lucky No. 100,000. “I definitely was not expecting this at all.”

In addition to Gushue, the spotlight was on nearly 800 students from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, School of Allied Health and School of Justice and Fitness, who joined in the celebrations Tuesday and received their degrees.

They are among the nearly 4,000 students graduating from NC this spring.

As Fiona Allan, Vice-President Academic noted, the Class of 2021 completed their studies in a way unlike any class before it.

“Our Class of 2021 graduands are the first in our College’s history who have completed over a year of their studies under the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic,” Allan said. “Almost everyone needed to adapt to completing their studies at least partially online. Some of our graduands even completed their entire program remotely without stepping foot on our campuses or meeting with their faculty or classmates in person. You all put the NC in the words ‘perseverance’ and resilience.’ ”

Student success in the spotlight

Tuesday also saw James Casselman, Governor General’s Award recipient, graduate from Police Foundations. Casselman earned the prestigious recognition for achieving the highest grade point average — 98% — of any NC graduate. The Niagara resident also received the Dean’s Award for the highest grade point average in his academic school.

“The Governor General’s Award means something to me beyond words but it really pales in comparison to what we’ve all accomplished through the adversity of the pandemic,” Casselman said to students during the ceremony. “As the old saying goes ‘Character is what you accomplish when nobody is looking’ and we all accomplished so much without anybody looking.” 

Sidney Stefanac, who graduated from the Pharmacy Technician program, and Geoffrey Mclellan of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, were also announced Tuesday as recipients of dean’s awards from the School of Allied Health and the Canadian Food and Wine Institute respectively.

“I am so honoured to be receiving the Dean’s Award,” Stefanac said.  “I have always tried hard to succeed as my grades are important to me, but I never would have thought I would have achieved this accomplishment.”

Nearly 4,000 students will graduate from Niagara College during its June Virtual Convocation ceremonies, which will continue twice a day – at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – up to and including June 25. The ceremonies include an address and performance by guest speaker Sarah Blackwood, the Canadian singer, songwriter and musician from the Juno-award-winning band, Walk Off the Earth.

Visit the College’s Virtual Convocation site to view the schedule or to access the livestream ceremonies niagaracollege.ca/virtualconvocation/.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. Visit niagaracollege.ca

Convocation 2021 media releases:

June 14: Walk Off the Earth’s Sarah Blackwood to address Niagara College’s Class of 2021

June 18: Success a team effort for NC’s top grad

June 21: ‘Welcome to the rest of life’ Musician Sarah Blackwood offers inspiring wake-up call to Class of 2021