Wider Horizons

College Core 60th celebrationLethbridge College kicks off a celebration of its 60th anniversary

Lethbridge College kicked off a 60-week celebration of its 60th anniversary on Nov. 1 by announcing its Possibilities are Endless campaign exceeded its goal by more than 10 per cent, raising $27.8 million in private donations for college building projects, student awards and new programming. The campaign is the largest in the college’s history and one of the largest ever undertaken in southern Alberta.

“We couldn’t be prouder of every single person involved in this campaign, or more thankful to the community that supported us to not only meet, but exceed, this ambitious target,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “This was a true community effort that has already paid benefits for the college and its students, and will continue to do so well into the future.”

Lethbridge College embarked on its most ambitious fundraising campaign nearly a decade ago, with the plan to raise a total of $103 million – including at least $25 million from private donations –to support the following innovative and essential college initiatives:


  • renewing the college’s aging trades and technologies facilities

  • supporting the environmentally-innovative Kodiak House residence

  • reimagining the college’s library and learning space

  • increasing access to student awards

  • focusing on emerging priorities in programming excellence


During the course of the campaign, which went public in 2013, these five priorities have served as long-term economic drivers for the community, promoted industry partnerships and helped to develop a skilled workforce.

“Our campaign co-chairs – Keith Dys and Glenn Varzari – were admittedly skeptical about our $25 million target initially,” says Joyanne Mitchell, manager, Development and Alumni Relations. “But once they committed, their positivity led a tireless effort from the entire campaign cabinet that resulted in this unprecedented level of public support for the college.”

College staff, students, donors, community partners and alumni gathered in Centre Core for the anniversary kickoff and announcement, – which came with balloons spilling into the room and cake cut by the college’s longest-serving staff members. Speakers focused on the college’s proud beginning as Canada’s first publicly-funded community college in 1957 and the people and partnerships who have made the college what it is today.

As the college celebrates its vision of leading and transforming education in Alberta during these 60 weeks, it will pay tribute to the visionary founders who in 1957 created Canada’s first publicly-funded community college. During this anniversary year, the college will also celebrate its residency on traditional Blackfoot territory, its commitment to Indigenous education and its work to improve its practices to better serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. Finally, as part of the anniversary year, the college will celebrate its role in and contributions to the community.

More information on the college’s 60th anniversary can be found at lethbridgecollege.ca/60.

Deltec Power provides a spark to college with $200,000 gift

Deltec Power and Control Systems Ltd. announced in September a $200,000 gift to benefit skilled trades and technologies training at Lethbridge College. A long-time industry leader, Deltec is once again showing the way, becoming the first electrical contractor to financially support the college’s new trades and technologies facility.

“We see this as an investment in the current and future tradespeople needed in southern Alberta and throughout our province,” says Al deBoer, co-owner and president of Deltec Power. “As a local, family-owned business, we are proud to be part of the Possibilities are Endless campaign as we feel it is important to assist the next wave of apprentices in learning their trade.”

The gift will lead to the creation of the Deltec Power Electrical Lab, a state-of-the-art learning environment that will be located in phase two of Lethbridge College’s trades and technologies facility. Electrician Apprenticeship training is one of five programs that will move into the second phase of the facility, which is scheduled to open in August 2017.

A Lethbridge-based company, Deltec Power opened in 1994 and is co-owned by three members of the deBoer family – brothers Al and Dave, and Al’s wife, Gina. Al deBoer took part of his electrical apprenticeship training at the college, and completed his training at SAIT before the college offered the full four-year apprenticeship program. Dave deBoer took all of his electrician training at Lethbridge College, graduating in 1991. Their company is now one of the largest electrical contracting businesses in the city, employing approximately 50 journeymen and apprentice electricians, while also operating an office in Calgary. The company prides itself on providing high-quality commercial and industrial service across western Canada.

“The new, state-of-the-art facility at the college will provide our employees with the required advanced technical training,” says deBoer. “Couple that with our internal, on-the-job training, and we will be able to continue to turn out highly skilled tradespeople in our company.”

Golf tournament, sponsored by the Calgary Flames, a great success

The Calgary Flames signed on as the platinum sponsor of the college’s 33rd annual golf tournament, which was held in September. This marks the second straight year that the Flames have stepped up to the tee to play a major role in the tournament. Two members of the Flames alumni, famed athletic trainer Jim “Bearcat” Murray and long-time NHL forward Dennis Polonich, golfed in this year’s event. The tournament raised a total of $32,527 to support Kodiaks athletics and student awards.

Daytona Homes gifts $90,747 from The College Home

The third year of The College Home partnership has resulted in a $90,747 donation to Lethbridge College from Daytona Homes and its trades contractors and suppliers. The College Home is a unique partnership between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region (CHBA) and the college. The first three years of the five-year program involved two CHBA builders each year working with their suppliers and tradespeople to build two homes per year. Each builder then made a donation from the proceeds from the sales toward the new trades and technologies facility at Lethbridge College. Year three of the partnership featured homes built by Daytona Homes and Signature Homes. The Daytona-built home is the first of the two third-year houses to be sold. It was unveiled at the Parade of Homes last fall and has since been sold to a local family who received a $2,500 student award to Lethbridge College along with the purchase of the home.

New student awards honour long-time Lethbridge business owner

Two Lethbridge College apprenticeship students have received a unique boost to their automotive careers, thanks to new awards created in memory of a well-known local business owner. The Brian Kaltenbruner Memorial Tool Award was created by Beverly Kaltenbruner to honour the legacy of her late husband, who passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2015. Brian Kaltenbruner, the co-owner of Harold’s Auto Service, completed his Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship training at Lethbridge College, winning the 1997 AMA Automotive Apprentice Award for outstanding academic achievement. The awards are presented as gift certificates to Snap-on Tools for students in the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship program.

Nursing education program achieves accreditation

The Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta (NESA) program, delivered collaboratively by Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge, has met national standards for nursing schools and obtained accreditation by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). The NESA program has always been an approved program at the provincial level. CASN accreditation means the program has met the national standards for nursing programs across Canada. The program offers a united curriculum over four years, with students spending their first two years at Lethbridge College and their final two years at the University of Lethbridge.

College takes part in Orange Shirt Day

On Sept. 30, college employees took part in “National Orange Shirt Day: every child matters,” a campaign that recognizes the legacy of residential schools in Canada. Historically, Sept. 30 was chosen because it was the time of year in which children were taken from their homes and brought to the residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. A large number of college employees took part in the day, and gathered for a group photo.

Groundbreaking AgBRM program receives approval

Alberta Advanced Education has granted its approval to the college’s Agriculture Business Risk Management (AgBRM) certificate program. The program launched in the fall of 2015, and those completing the curriculum were initially awarded a credential of academic achievement from Lethbridge College. The provincial certificate approval provides a variety of benefits, including making students eligible forstudent loans, and enabling the college to explore transfer agreements with other post-secondary institutions.

Tour the college – without leaving your computer

Anyone can now take a look through the halls of Lethbridge College, from anywhere in the world, on any device. The college is pleased to announce that an interactive view through the campus is now available both through Google Street View and by a custom 360 virtual tour hosted on the college’s website. When the tour is launched, the viewer begins on the front steps of the college, and can then wander throughout campus, or choose locations from a drop-down menu - from the renowned Hubbard Collection to the new trades and technologies facility to the offices of the fun-loving Lethbridge College Students’ Association, there’s lots to explore. Go to lethbridgecollege.ca to check it out.

High-profile criminal profiler at Lethbridge College

The School of Justice Studies welcomed a very special guest speaker on Sept. 23. Kate Lines is a retired OPP Chief Superintendent and is Canada’s first female criminal profiler to be trained by the FBI. Her career highlights include working on the Paul Bernardo investigation. Her visit to the college included a comprehensive presentation and Q & A session with students, faculty and staff from the School of Justice Studies.

College hits 10-year high in enrolment

All 11 colleges in Alberta, including Lethbridge College, announced increased enrolment for the fall 2016 semester. Lethbridge College’s first-year enrolment for 2016-17 was 2,484 students, an increase of 15 per cent over last year. The total college post-secondary level enrolment this fall was 4,492 students, an increase of more than eight per cent over last fall, and the highest enrolment in the past 10 years. The First Nations, Métis and Inuit student population also saw an 11 per cent spike in enrolment. The individual programs with the largest increases from last fall include Geomatics Engineering Technology (69 per cent increase), Conservation Enforcement - Bachelor of Applied Science (33 per cent) and Business Administration (30 per cent). All four academic centres exceeded their target enrolment numbers.

Lethbridge College launches Career Coach at Open House

The college launched an exciting new web tool at the October Open House, which is designed to help current and prospective students discover the career and college program that’s right for them. Career Coach provides students with a wide array of data on wages, employment and job postings specific to southern Alberta and beyond. It also includes information on each of Lethbridge College’s more than 50 programs and tools like a resume builder and a “Hot Jobs” section that allows students to see which careers are high paying and growing in their region. Winter Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 28.

Kodiaks cross country teams win silver at provincials

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s and men’s cross country running teams capped off a stellar season by taking home silver at the ACAC Provincial Championships in October and then finishing 5th (women) and 7th (men) at the CCAA National Championship in November. Rachel McKenzie (Nursing – Nelson, B.C.) won gold at every conference race she competed in this season, including provincials, before finishing 5th at nationals. It was the first-ever ACAC medal for McKenzie, who also moved up 10 spots at nationals this year. First-year runner Emily Spencer (Nursing – Calgary) finished third at provincials and 8th at nationals. On the men’s side, Boaz Korir (Therapeutic Recreation - Gerontology – Kenya) won a silver medal at provincials and was hampered by a bad back at nationals but still crossed the finish line in 20th place. Alex Andres (Criminal Justice - Policing – Wetaskiwin, Alta.) finished provincials in a season-best fourth place and was 14th at nationals. This is the fourth straight year that the Kodiaks women’s team has finished in the top five at nationals, while the men’s team has finished in the top ten at the CCAA championships an incredible 12 years in a row.

Members of both teams received a variety of honours and awards for their outstanding performances this season. Rachel McKenzie was named the ACAC Women’s Runner of the Year as well as an ACAC All Star and CCAA All-Canadian. Emily Spencer was named the ACAC Women’s Rookie of the Year and also was named an ACAC All Star and CCAA All-Canadian. Boaz Korir and Alex Andres were both named ACAC All Stars. Congratulations to these athletes and their teammates for an outstanding cross country season, and best of luck during the indoor track season this year.

Kodiaks to host two ACAC championships in 2017

Champions will be crowned at Lethbridge College in March 2017, as the college will host the ACAC championships in both women’s basketball and indoor track – a rare occurrence being dubbed “championship weekend” at Lethbridge College. The ACAC women’s basketball championship will run from March 1 to 4 in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium. It is the first time that Lethbridge College will host the ACAC women’s basketball final since 2009. This will be the college’s first time hosting the indoor track championships. The event will run on March 3 and 4 at the University of Lethbridge’s First Choice Savings Centre.

Van Raay inducted into Agriculture Hall of Fame

Southern Alberta philanthropist and agricultural entrepreneur Cor Van Raay was one of three prominent Albertans who was honoured by the Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the livestock industry in early October. Officials at Lethbridge College, with support from the University of Lethbridge as well as more than 20 government, industry and community supporters, sponsored the nomination. In addition to his innovative and leading work in the agriculture industry, Van Raay has single-handedly impacted the lives of countless students as his major financial gift launched the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College in 2014.

Nursing poster finishes second in competition

SPHERE chair Sheri Wright and nursing instructor Liz Cernigoy designed a poster that earned second place honours at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning conference in Grapevine, Texas, in June. A total of 128 posters were presented related to education, practice and research, with Wright and Cernigoy’s poster taking second place in the research category. Their poster was titled Undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing Students’ Involvement in Simulation During Specialty Nursing Practice and focused on engaging nursing students in simulation during orientation within specialty areas of nursing to help bridge the gap between theory and practice environments.

Academic advisors take their expertise to conference

Two members of the college’s Career and Academic Advising team recently presented at the University of Idaho’s annual Advising Symposium. Amanda Guccione and Deanna Gonnelly based their presentation, titled, “You are the peanut butter to my jelly: the integration of career and academic advising,” on the college’s ground-breaking decision to combine career and academic advising into a single entity. An unprecedented move in Alberta post-secondary institutions, the combination, which began in 2015, allows a single advisor to better assist the student life cycle, helping them make appropriate decisions on both their career and academic choices.

CSRL head published in Canadian election book

Dr. Faron Ellis, the head of the college’s Citizen Society Research Lab, has had a chapter published in a book titled The Canadian Election of 2015 (Dundurn, 2016). Dr. Ellis’ chapter analyzes the dynamics of the Conservatives’ election efforts within the context of the overall campaign and the Conservatives’ near-decade long record in government. It is his eighth contribution to this book series, dating back to the 1993.

Four faculty members complete triathlon

Lethbridge College faculty members Jeff Hamilton, Kris Hodgson, David Orr and Murray Wiens participated in the 14th annual Fort Macleod Chiropractic Triathlon on Aug. 20. “It was a beautiful day with very little wind,” says Hodgson. “This is such a great race that is so well organized and run by incredible volunteers.” Murray and Kris completed the sprint while Jeff and David did the Olympic distance.

SPHERE chair earns international certification

Sheri Wright, the chair of the college’s Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE), has been granted a major international accreditation. She wrote and passed the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s (SSH) exam to earn the designation of Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. The exam only has a pass rate of 60 to 70 per cent for first time writers, but Sheri passed in just a single try. The certification will be a benefit to Sheri and everyone involved in SPHERE as the SSH says the accreditation is a formal professional recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, abilities and accomplishments in simulation education.

Wider Horizons
Lisa Kozleski
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