Campus News

The Lethbridge College Employee Excellence awards recognize and celebrate the dedication and exceptional service by employees who go above and beyond to promote our core values of people, excellence and success. Winners are nominated by fellow colleagues in one of three categories — Lifelong Learning, Leadership and Creating Community, and Service and Innovation. This year featured an unprecedented number of awards. The awards are being presented at the Lethbridge College Employee Recognition Event March 5.

Linda Becker, instructor, English Language Centre, Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences

Winner of the Lifelong Learning Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Linda Becker.jpg Linda Becker has been an instructor for more than 30 years, teaching English to newcomers to Canada in the LINC program. She was nominated by colleagues for her flawless professionalism and her unconditional, positive regard for students and colleagues. She is a mentor, advocate, teacher and friend who has forged relationships with some of our most difficult to reach community members. These students have come from outside Canada, many as refugees, escaping war, displacement and fear of persecution. Linda makes them feel welcome and safe, showing them the wonderful opportunities that could be theirs. She treats them with respect, dignity and compassion. Her practice has facilitated our community’s growth in diversity and enrichment in many workplaces and educational programs. Linda’s creativity is best seen in the classroom meeting the needs of students who have varying challenges. She realized many of her female students would not be able to attend classes because they had children at home, so she successfully advocated for funding of childcare. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, funder of the LINC program, continues to this day to fund childcare thanks to advocates like Linda.

Ashley Cesar, faculty member and practice coordinator, School of Allied Health, Centre for Health and Wellness

Winner of Lifelong Learning Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Ashley Cesar.jpg Ashley Cesar continually strives to grow her skills personally and professionally and encourages others to do the same. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of a learning "Blitz" experience offered to the Health Care Aide students, created to prepare students for their upcoming clinical placements. This opportunity allows students to put their learning into action by offering hands-on experiences and completing care for simulated patients, comparable to what they will see working in the community. Students say this boosted their confidence in transitioning to patient care. The powerful, positive impact of the Blitz Day continues to inspire former students to consistently return to assist with the scenarios. It was also Ashley’s idea to move from paid professional actors to student, alumni and staff volunteers for the mass casualty events held on campus, to help increase capacity and capitalize on in-house talent. Ashley is a living example of resilience and shows students that anything is possible when you are open to learning, have a passion for challenging yourself and use the power of determination to succeed.

Marcia Black Water, Indigenous student initiatives and community relations coordinator, Student Affairs

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Marcia Black Water.jpg Marcia Black Water’s Blackfoot name is Iio’tawoahkaakii (Walking Beside), and colleagues wrote of how Marcia walks beside colleagues and students alike to share her culture and ways of knowing. A member of the college’s Indigenous Services team since March 2014, Marcia is a leader, mentor and advocate to many students, staff and community members. She is a respected leader in her home community of the Kainai Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy as well as the wider college and Lethbridge communities. She helps educate us on the true histories of Canada and how we can learn from this and move forward together as one. She is generous in making introductions and connections and she is patient in explaining Blackfoot ways of being. She is the coordinator and leading force behind the institutional Indigenous events including the Indigenous Welcome, Indigenous Celebration Day and Indigenous Honour Night. She will be up early in the morning hours to make fresh frybread for Frybread Fridays or to make over 150 teal ribbons for Roc Your Mocs. She is the anchor that brings Lethbridge College and Blood Tribe community members together.

Chris DeLisle, faculty member and chair, School of Renewable Energy, Centre for Trades

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Chris Delisle.jpg Chris Delisle is the epitome of what a community builder is. He is a recognized leader in the wind industry and a champion for the college’s Wind Turbine Technician program. He was recently asked to help develop the core competencies for a Wind Turbine Technician to be used Canada-wide. He has been working with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) to develop podcasts on topics important to the industry. He has been able to foster relationships with the wind communities that have led to six different donations or partnerships in this academic year. Chris has tirelessly searched for opportunities to enhance his faculty’s training by finding gaps in the pathway for students to be able to seamlessly move from certification to employment. Chris was also instrumental in securing a $1 million investment from the provincial government, securing a nacelle and a hub for the program’s training needs. He has helped create partnerships with local wind farms, renewable businesses, equipment manufacturers/vendors and training providers. These partnerships have added value to students, faculty, wind companies and Lethbridge College. He can often be found out with college recruiters talking to a next generation of Wind Turbine Technicians.

Mark Dieser, Food and Beverages Manager, Ancillary Services, Centre for Trades

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Mark Dieser.jpg Chef Mark Dieser was recognized for his vision, creativity, professionalism and commitment as well as for how he does his work with a laugh that can make anyone’s day better. The creation of the Culinary Market is a testament to Mark’s commitment to Lethbridge College. Chef Mark was involved in all phases of the Culinary Market, from the proposal phase through construction. The resulting market generates 10 times the revenue and, more importantly, provides an outlet for our Culinary programming. It has become a social hub for the community. He is a key support to the new Baker Apprenticeship program and the new bakery space. He is never afraid of change as long as it is for the better and for the benefit of students. As the Food and Beverage Manager, Mark has a number of staff with whom he deals; many are long-time employees. The dedication of the staff speaks to the relationship he has with them. He is a positive role model and does not expect his staff to do anything that he would not do himself. Chef Mark is one of the best-known faces of Lethbridge College as he embraces his job providing culinary services to our college community.

K. Steve Johnson, student support specialist, Wellness Services, Student Affairs

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Steve Johnson.jpg Steve Johnson inspires those around him with his deep sense of compassion and undeniable authenticity, a gentle leader who uses mentorship, kindness and courage to build up others around him. He has created, developed, implemented and led several initiatives on campus that foster a sense of community, belonging and open dialogue with students and staff alike. These initiatives include Coffee and Caring, implementing a mental health care system, helping develop the STEP Care Model to improve student accessibility to Wellness Services, working to grow the Student Peer Connection Volunteer Program, creating case studies for students at risk, developing interagency partnerships, helping to create the Recognize, Respond and Refer Protocol and offering behaviour therapy workshops to build resiliency. He is a powerful facilitator for many training opportunities including: Question, Persuade, Respond suicide intervention; KAIROS Blanket Exercises; Mental Health First Aid; and the Inquiring Mind.  Steve is a team player in every essence of the word. Steve’s work has saved lives and preserved the dignity of individuals when they felt helpless and alone. He is a pillar of support and guidance at times of crisis.

Holly Owens, Athletics assistant, Student Affairs

Winner of the Service and Innovation Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Holly Owens.jpg Holly Owens had spent nearly 15 years in the same position at Lethbridge College before she took a leap of faith into a new position and in doing so, she made an immediate and beneficial difference to the entire Athletics department and earned herself an award for service and innovation. She brought new ideas, challenged how things had always been done, and forged great working relationships with vendors with her own mix of toughness and professionalism. Her knowledge of the college and the city and her will to make a difference has affected every aspect of Athletics. She has been innovative with her creation of the student-athlete player profile form that auto-loads into a spreadsheet instead of having to be tediously typed out manually. She meticulously plans championship banquets such as the ACAC Championships and the KODI Awards events, down to the last detail, even making table centrepieces. Much of Holly’s work occurs behind the scenes ensuring our student-athlete’s eligibility, coordinating travel requirements for eight teams and over 100 athletes. Her work leaves a lasting impression with visitors to Lethbridge College, contributing to its reputation as a first-class championship host.

Justin Wynder, faculty member and chair, School of Construction Trades, Centre for Trades

Winner of the Service and Innovation Excellence Award

Employee Excellence Justin Wynder.jpg Justin Wynder began serving as the chair of the Electrical Apprenticeship program in Spring 2019, teaching in both the alternative delivery and traditional Electrical Apprenticeship program. On top of that challenge, the took over as lead on a major initiative – The Learning Manager (TLM) migration project to a Mobius platform that would be supported by the college’s learning management system, Canvas. The system had become less and less functional over the years as updates were no longer able to address operating issues. The migration would save thousands of dollars in paper per year as students could do most of their work and exams on computers or, in some cases, on their own devices. Through several meetings with our Digital Learning consultant, Joelle Reynolds, and a few student employees, a plan was created for editing and transferring more than 25,000 exam bank questions used by the Electrical faculty to the new system. Justin assumed the lead role on behalf of his colleagues to ensure the accuracy and functionality of the information. His patience, eagerness and willingness to sacrifice his time in the interest of advancing his program has been appreciated by both his supervisors and colleagues alike.

Patrick Balfour, business analyst, Financial Services

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Appreciation Award

Employee Excellence Patrick Balfour.jpg Patrick Balfour has impressed colleagues in the centres he serves with his professionalism, dedication and positive attitude. He guides manager to understand financial decisions and their impact on budgets, people and the college. No question is a bad question and he always makes the effort to explain the why in his response. When tasked with working with a new area, he takes it on himself to develop a deep understanding of the centre and its needs. He is an engaged contributor and helps colleagues explore and ideate but mostly, as we engage in this work, he guides and grounds us in college policies and procedures. His true superpower is his commitment to supporting positive change. He has a rare ability to balance humility and self-confidence when working with others. He takes the initiative, provides a valuable perspective and is an incredible listener.

Michael Doughty, funding specialist, Student Awards and Funding, Registrar’s Office

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Appreciation Award

Employee Excellence Michael Doughty.jpgMichael Doughty doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “good enough,” and that attitude inspires others around him to be more and do better. He has a finesse with students in crisis and is able to address their financial issues in a way that makes them feel safe. He is dedicated to his department and service to students. He will often spend hours working with students one-on-one or in groups to help them build money management skills. His extensive Excel skills have been used to improve records as well as help facilitate research and data analysis. He is never afraid to take on new projects or suggest ways to improve old processes. Michael has been instrumental in building a sense of community within the college through his responsibilities as chair of the AUPE Chapter. He participates in the AUPE Labour School, the college Movember fundraiser, Invigorate and he is a member of the Alberta Student Awards Personnel Association. He organizes out-of-office gatherings including trivia and movie nights, hot wings challenges, theatre trips to Calgary and Medicine Hat, an LC Fantasy Football League and Oscar pools. He is compassionate and caring and is truly committed to helping students succeed.

Bryn Hosgood, service specialist, Registrar’s Office

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Appreciation Award

Employee Excellence Bryn Hosgood.jpg Bryn Hosgood works on the frontline, often becoming the first point of contact for students and prospective students. His attitude and professional and courteous approach provide an excellent first impression of Lethbridge College. He treats all people, whether they are customers, students or coworkers with respect and real kindness, taking the time to reach each person on an individual level, creating a great atmosphere of trust. When problems arise, Bryn always has patience and compassion while finding a solution. Students feel confident and comfortable with Bryn; he is often sought out as a favourite service person by students. He cross trains with other departments to facilitate understanding thus providing accurate service excellence to students. Bryn’s leadership is shown quietly through his actions. He demonstrates accountability and actively works with the team to learn from issues and errors. The relationships Bryn has built with students and colleagues show his loyalty and desire to create a community within our institution.

Charlie McArthur, business planning analyst, Institutional Planning and Reporting

Winner of the Service and Innovation Appreciation Award

Employee Excellence Charlie McArthur.jpg Words like “data analysis,” “creativity” and “enthusiasm” don’t always go hand in hand, but they do for Charlie McArthur. He can see big picture ideas and trends emerge out of data because he works with and makes connections with departments across the college. Charlie can see value and opportunity when others fail to see it; equally, he can often see red flags and caution signs that others may miss. He is an instrumental partner to departments looking to collect data and gain insights through surveys. Thanks to his work with the “We’re Calling Because We Care” campaign committee, a web version of the initiative was created that enhances and streamlines this outreach initiative. He has a unique skillset of being able to set visions, think broadly and form strategic frameworks while maintaining a meticulous attention to detail and precision. He is innovative, bold and unafraid to take risks or approach problems from different perspectives. He is equally calculated, reflective and willing to find ways to maximize systems and services rather than reinventing them.

Candice Crapo, program assistant, School of Liberal Arts and Life Sciences, Academic Upgrading, Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences

Winner of the Leadership and Creating Community Strong Start Award

Employee Excellence Candice Crapo.jpg Candice Crapo is relatively new to Lethbridge College, but she's established a reputation as an approachable and reliable source of knowledge. She has natural leadership qualities and helps create a sense of community within the Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences and across campus. New program assistants from other centres have turned to Candice for advice and support. Scheduling works directly with Candice knowing she understands and considers all the complexities of General Studies. Candice is not afraid to take risks to help her colleagues. She is friendly, confident, organized and compassionate with both students and staff. In a program office filled with constant disruption, Candice is a steady presence who can be counted on to provide calm support and is flexible to adapting to the needs of the program.