Four Lethbridge College alumni have been recognized with this year’s Honouring Excellence awards. Each of the award recipients has used their Lethbridge College education as a springboard to great careers and extraordinary accomplishments both in Lethbridge and beyond.
This year’s recipients are Distinguished Alumnus Rick Lewchuk, Career Virtuoso Dr. Sandra Davidson, Community Leader Jason VandenHoek and Rising Star Quinn Ohler. Each will be recognized during the 27th annual Honouring Excellence recognition event on April 25 in the college’s Garden Court Dining Room.
“This year’s recipients capture the spirit of our Lethbridge College alumni that includes leaders, innovators and difference makers in careers all across the world,” says Alumni Advisory Council chair David Cocks (Engineering Design and Drafting Technology 2001). “Rick, Sandra, Jason and Quinn help to inspire all of us in the college community as they do great things in their careers and they are very deserving of having their names added to those who have received these awards in the past.”
Sponsorship opportunities are still available and tickets for the Honouring Excellence event are on sale now. Go tofor more information.
The 2019 Honouring Excellence award recipients are:
Distinguished Alumnus: Rick Lewchuk (Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism 1979)
Rick Lewchuk is this year’s Lethbridge College Distinguished Alumnus. During a 40-year broadcasting career, Lewchuk has worked his way from local television in Lethbridge all the way to CNN in Atlanta. He is currently Senior Vice President, Creative Marketing and Brand Standards for CNN Worldwide, overseeing brand and marketing for all CNN Worldwide businesses including CNN, CNN International, CNN Español, HLN, CNN Go, CNN Airport and CNN Digital. His team has been recognized as the Global Marketing Team of the Year for four years running by PromaxBDA and with the Emmy for Outstanding Promotional Announcement in both 2016 and 2017.
Prior to joining CNN, Lewchuk was Senior Vice President at Bell Media in Toronto, where he led the team responsible for all aspects of marketing for two broadcast networks, 28 television stations and 34 cable networks, earning Global Marketing Team of the Year honours from PromaxBDA in 2013. In an earlier role at CTV and Bell Media as Senior Vice President of program planning and promotion, Lewchuk created original brands including The Comedy Network, CTV News Channel and Business News Network and launched Canadian versions of brands including MTV and E! His early-career television stops included CJOC-TV Lethbridge, CKCK-TV Regina and CTV Television Network in Toronto. He is a voting member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an executive member and Board of Directors member of PromaxBDA. Lewchuk maintains ties to Lethbridge College’s Digital Communications and Media program as a way of supporting future broadcast professionals.
Career Virtuoso: Dr. Sandra Davidson (Nursing diploma 1994)
Dr. Sandra Davidson is this year’s Career Virtuoso award recipient. Dr. Davidson was appointed as the University of Calgary’s Dean of the Faculty of Nursing in August 2018, following a previous role as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. At the U of A, she oversaw the largest portfolio within the faculty and co-led a Curriculum Renewal Project that resulted in a renewed undergraduate curriculum. She has served in a variety of positions in the United States, including Dean of Nursing and then Senior Director of Academic Affairs for Carrington College in Phoenix, Ariz., and as Director, Master of Healthcare Innovation Program at Arizona State University.
Originally from Lethbridge, Dr. Davidson had considerable practical experience as a nurse before entering her academic career, and she has impressed colleagues with her entrepreneurial thought and creative innovation. Dr. Davidson has served as the Organizational Development and Clinical Education Specialist for Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Arizona, where she worked with a team to implement and evaluate an innovative adaptable care delivery model for the inpatient oncology unit. After graduating from Lethbridge College in 1994, she received her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Lethbridge, and her Master of Science in Nursing and her PhD in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.
Community Leader: Jason VandenHoek (Business Administration 1999)
Jason VandenHoek is the recipient of this year’s Community Leader award. Currently the Executive Director of the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, VandenHoek thrives on community involvement and relationship building. An active member of southern Alberta’s development community for over 13 years, he demonstrates the importance of philanthropy by supporting a variety of initiatives through the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, Lethbridge College, the University of Lethbridge, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the City of Lethbridge, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Canadian Gift Planners Association and more.
After completing the Business Administration program at Lethbridge College, VandenHoek obtained his Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge. VandenHoek served as a major gifts officer for the Galt Gardens Revitalization Project, working closely with the community. He then became a fund development coordinator for Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, where he was responsible for fundraising and awareness initiatives. His ability to build relationships, execute events and manage annual giving campaigns led to his appointment as Executive Director in 2011.
VandenHoek’s community involvement began at Lethbridge College, where he was President of the Lethbridge College Students’ Association. His passion and desire to affect change in his community has also been recognized through the Chamber of Commerce’s Top Forty under 40 campaign.
Rising Star: Quinn Ohler (Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism 2009)
Quinn Ohler is this year’s Rising Star award recipient. She has been a reporter and news anchor at Global Edmonton since 2011 and currently anchors the weekend editions of the Global News Hour at 6 and Global News at 11. Prior to moving to Edmonton, she worked at Global Lethbridge, starting as a videographer, then as News Hour co-anchor and producer. She grew up on a farm just outside of Stavely, Alta., where she spent her free time helping out her parents. Her agriculture background and a love of politics eventually led her to the Communications Arts program at Lethbridge College. Her first broadcast job was in the promotions department at CJOC radio, before moving into the news department as a reporter and weekend anchor.
During her time at the college, Ohler was honoured as the recipient of the Troy Reeb Internship, earning the opportunity to visit and learn from the teams at Global Toronto and Global National. A Type 1 diabetic, she spends time working with various diabetes organizations in Edmonton and is also a board member for the Mental Rescue Organization, an Edmonton charity focused on raising funds and awareness for mental health.