Wider Horizons

By Alexandra KulasLCSA logo

Business Administration 2012

LCSA President 2011-12

My journey with student politics began at a young age, when I was just 11. I won my first election at West Meadow School in grade six and continued with the student council until high school graduation. When I came to Lethbridge College, I immediately knew that I had to be a part of the Lethbridge College Students’ Association.

I picked up the student representative package my very first week at college and completed it right away. I was ready to submit it and get involved… and then I got nervous. The application sat on my desk, and I never did hand it in. But then in January, I saw there was a sign for a by-election for the LCSA; it had my name written all over it. Instead of campaigning, I interviewed for the position. I got the job, and in two months’ time ran for LCSA President. By May 1, 2011, I was sitting in my new office as an 18-year-old LCSA President.

The LCSA was able to accomplish amazing work in 2011-12 during my presidency. Some of the major highlights include re-joining the Alberta Student Executive Council (ASEC) that advocates for colleges and technical institutes across the province to the provincial government and hiring a new General Manager who was able to take the organization to the next level. Being a part of the LCSA was a great opportunity for me to put the skills I was learning in my classes to the real test. It has opened doors and expanded my professional network in ways that I could have never imagined.

After finishing my one year term, I moved on to Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C., to finish my Bachelor of Commerce degree. When the position of Alumni Relations Specialist opened up at the college, I knew that I would be the perfect fit for the job. I worked in that job from December 2013 until this past summer, when I moved to a job as a start-up program facilitator at Alberta Women Entrepreneurs in Edmonton.

Writing this article on past LCSA Presidents and their experiences while at the college gave me an insider’s look at the incredible level of engagement these individuals had while on campus. Many of them are now community leaders and have gone on to do wonderful work that is a pleasure to showcase.

If you’d like to share your own LCSA Leadership story, email WHMagazine@lethbridgecollege.ca.


Warren Tolley
Agricultural Technology 1979
Former Director of Human Resources at Flathead Valley Community College
LCSA President 1978-79
Distinguished Alumnus 1992

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President at Lethbridge College?

A: I was really pleased to be involved and included in the actual decision making and governance of the college. Previous to my service there had been somewhat of an adversarial relationship between the students and the college administration and I believe we made a lot of progress in accomplishing the cooperation and synergy from aligning the goals of students and administration. I sat as the student representative on the Board of Governors and also represented the college at the Federation of Alberta Students, and also the National Union of Students, where I pushed for the same cooperation between administration and students.

Q: What steps did you follow after completing your education?

A: I transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where I finished a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. I then returned to Lethbridge and worked at the Machinery Institute on the Lethbridge College campus. My career continued in the field of Human Resource Management, and I joined a Fortune 500 chemical company in their Human Resource Department. That took me and my family to Regina, then to New Jersey, and later to Kansas City. In 2004. I chose to move to Kalispell, Montana, where I served as Director of Human Resources at Flathead Valley Community College for nine years. In 2013 my wife and I volunteered to serve as Christian missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sweden, where we currently reside.

Q: How did being a student leader contribute to your success in a leadership role now?

A: It made ALL the difference. I learned early in my career to network, to cooperate, to negotiate, and to stand for something. I thank Lethbridge College for giving me my first real-world business experiences.


Cheryl Dick
Communication Arts 1987
Chief Executive Officer
at Economic Development Lethbridge
LCSA President 1986-87
Distinguished Alumna 1992

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President at Lethbridge College?

A: I had a great council as a whole and we worked hard that year on a number of things (while also having quite a bit of fun). Most important was the financial and philosophical commitment of the Students’ Association to the construction of the Gymnasium and Centre Core including the Cave. We also renovated the Barn so that students would enjoy more fun events there. I was chair of the provincial student group ACTISEC that year too.

Q: What steps did you follow after completing your education?

A: Because of my experience as Student Events Coordinator and then President of the Students’ Association, I was hired right after graduation as the Major Events Coordinator for the Lethbridge Exhibition. However, while I was Student President, one of the local television stations saw an interview I did and I was fortunate to be chosen as news anchor for that station about five months after graduation. My really big break though was the opportunity to work for Time Air, a Lethbridge-based airline at that time. From there, I went on to 15 years of work in international corporations that I enjoyed immensely and where I learned so much more.

Q: How did being a student leader contribute to your success in a leadership role now?

A: I’m not sure I knew I had any “real” skills until I became a student leader! It was being involved with the Students’ Association that brought out abilities in me that surprised even my family. I have been using those skills ever since and will always be grateful for everything I learned as well as all the support and mentorship I received as a student at Lethbridge College.


Lana Walsh
Office Assistant 1996
Business Development Specialist
at Hire Standard
LCSA President 1994-96

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President?

A: When I was elected, the previous executive council had resigned over the outcry of students for mismanagement of their positions and funds. Our new executive had to make 13 per cent of our budget last half the year because the previous council had misused it. I am very proud that we took this floundering association and made it successful.

Q: What have you done since finishing your term?

A: When I first left the college, I got involved at the local level in federal politics, sitting on the board of directors in various locations. I have stepped away from politics in the past few years, but still feel it is important for everyone to try to understand how it works and to definitely get out and vote. I spent several years at my alma mater as the Special Events and Program Coordinator and then in late June, I moved to a position with Hire Standard, a recruitment agency in Lethbridge, as its Business Development Specialist.

Q: How are you still involved in leadership roles and do you believe the LCSA inspired you to be a leader?

A: For the past three years, I have sat on the Board of Directors for the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and I was the chair of the special events committee for two years. I have also been involved in other national events that have come to Lethbridge and Coaldale as a member of the planning committees. I found that being president gave me the self-confidence and courage to do things that I may not have done otherwise.


Jason VandenHoek
Business Administration 1999
Executive Director
at Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation
LCSA President 2000-01

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President at Lethbridge College?

A: What I am most proud of is the relationships that were built. My philosophy was that to best serve students, we had to be involved in the decision-making process from the onset and not be reactive after the fact. Along with my fellow elected officials, I made it a priority to represent the best interest of students at the table where decisions were being made. We did that by formulating strong relationships with administration and having our voices heard. Many of these relationships are still important to me today, both personally and professionally. During my time as President, we also saw the completion of the capital campaign and opening of Tec 2000The Students’ Association was a major financial backer of Tec 2000 – we saw the value in providing state-of-the-art facilities for current students and felt it was our responsibility to help meet the needs of future students.

Q: What steps did you follow after completing your education?

A: Once I graduated from Lethbridge College, I transferred to the University of Lethbridge where I enrolled in the Management program and graduated with a degree in Human Resource Management. I began my “working life” in the hospitality industry as a front of the house/training team leader for a local restaurant. From there, I began a path towards a fundraising career. My first job in fund development was working with Cheryl Dick, a former LCSA President herself. This path was made possible because of relationships fostered when I was LCSA President.

Q: How did being a student leader contribute to your success in a leadership role now?

A: For me, being LCSA President was on-the-job training, even though I might not have realized it at the time. My current field of business is all about managing relationships and expectations and that is certainly something I got lots of practice with the students’ association. Being accountable and transparent to all the stakeholders - most importantly to students, but also to the administration, the Board of Governors, the faculty and the community was a huge responsibility. The lessons I learned in that role certainly are an asset to me today.


Preston Scholz
Business Administration 2003
Merchant Sales Specialist
at ATB Financial
LCSA President 2003-05

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President at Lethbridge College?

A: I was most proud of being able to help fellow students at the college when they ran into issues academically. In particular, a group of Criminal Justice students who were at risk of not graduating due to a scoring issue with one of the classes and we were able to help.

Q: What steps did you follow after completing your education, and how did being a student leader contribute to your success in a leadership role now?

A: I moved right into working for ATB Financial and have used the skills I developed in my LCSA role to get to the position I am in today. The knowledge and skills I was able to gain from being the president have helped me in every aspect of my career from the public speaking and presentations to dealing with objections and tough issues. The meetings and committees I was able to sit on both within the college and across Canada have helped me with my organizational and problem solving skills. Being president was one of the best decisions I have ever made and has been a key factor in the success I have made in my career thus far.

Q: How did being a student leader contribute to your success in a leadership role now?

A: The knowledge and skills I was able to gain from being the Students’ Association President have helped me in every aspect of my career from the personal speaking and presentations to dealing with objections and tough issues. The meetings and committees I was able to sit on both within the college and across Canada have helped me with my organizational and problem solving skills. Being the President of the students’ association was one of the best decisions I have ever made and has been a key factor in the success I have made in my career thus far.


Alicia Wehrkamp
Business Administration 2011
Coordinator of Recruitment and 1st Year
Experience at the University of Saskatchewan
LCSA President 2010-11

Q: What are you proud of during your time with the LCSA?

A: I am proud of the changes our executive made to the LCSA. After long discussions among our executive, staff and outside consultation, we made changes to the existing staffing structure, policies and bylaws and implemented performance appraisals and performance based pay. While a lot of the work we did was behind the scenes and at times challenging, it was also very rewarding. It was a great feeling to know that our executive left behind a mark on the LCSA.

Q: What have you done since graduation? Are you still in a leadership role or do you envision yourself in a leadership role in the future?

A: After completing my second Lethbridge College diploma I transferred to the University of Lethbridge where I completed my degree in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations. I was fortunate enough to have a job contract in place before the completion of my degree. Since I convocated in May 2013, I have been the Coordinator of Recruitment and First Year Experience for the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. This position provides leadership for student recruitment initiatives in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and provides support to students during their first year of study.

Q: How did being in the LCSA enrich your post-secondary experience?

A: Being involved in the LCSA was a great experience. Not only did it give me valuable work experience, it helped me to see where I wanted to go in terms of further education and career opportunities. It also allowed me to develop and build lifelong connections with Lethbridge College and its staff. It is experiences like this that I will always remember.


Dillon Hargreaves
Business Administration 2013
Group Customer Service Coordinator
at Sunlife Financial
LCSA President 2012-13

Q: What were you proud of during your time as LCSA President at Lethbridge College?

A: We accomplished many things during my time as President at the LCSA. We were the first to break the story of the government’s cut to funding for the STEP student job program. Budget cuts and student mental health were other stories we brought to the community. Through my leadership role with the Alberta Student Executive Council, we raised awareness and procured funding for on-campus mental health programs, services and initiatives. This is one area where a tremendous amount of work still needs to be done.

Q: What steps did you follow after completing your education, and how did being a student leader contribute to your student experience?

A: Since my time at Lethbridge College, I have run for city council which was a great experience. I am currently working with Sun Life Financial where I have been for about six months and learn new things daily. Student government became my life during my post-secondary career. I had great opportunities to travel around Alberta and Canada, working with other student leaders and meeting with members of every level of government. It was extremely stressful yet rewarding.

Q: How did being a student leader contribute to your overall student experience?

A: Student government became my life during my post-secondary career. I had great opportunities to travel around Alberta and Canada, working with other student leaders and meeting with members of every level of government. It was extremely stressful yet rewarding.

A History of Leadership: LCSA presidents in action for the past 58 years

1957-58 – Fiori D’Andrea
1958-59 – Larry Dahl
1959-60 – Dave Blacker
1960-61 – Wes Stefan
1961-62 – Doug Crapo
1962-63 – Rodney Bridge
1963-64 – Nick Vucurevich
1964-65 – Jim Neufeld
1965-66 – Bill Gordon
1966-67 – Hugh Campbell
1967-68 – Art Ferrarri
1968-69 – Scott MacKinnon
1969-70 – Robert Simpson
1970-71 – Skip DeCoste
1971-72 – Wilf Lane
1972-73 – Wilf Lane
1973-74 – Hal Gallup
1974-75 – Hal Gallup
1975-76 – Shirley Macey
1976-77 – Curtis Tulman
1977-78 – Dianne Beddoes
1978-79 – Warren Tolley
1979-80 – Don Chatterton
1980-81 – Don Posmituk
1981-82 – Tom Forrest
1982-83 – Brenda Pasolli
1983-84 – Blaine Jensen
1984-85 – Terry Hochstein
1985-86 – Shelly Hamilton
1986-87 – Cheryl Dick
1987-88 – Andrew Gilchrist
1988-89 – Jack Burger
1989-90 – Jake Van Schothorst
1990-91 – John Huston
1991-92 – Charlie Sheen
1992-93 – Dan Grant
1993-94 – Dana Merkl
1994-95 – Lana Walsh
1995-96 – Lana Walsh
1996-97 – Jason Decore
1997-98 – Stephanie Matthews
1998-99 – Jackie Buchanan
1999-2000 – Mike Holliday
2000-01 – Jason VandenHoek
2001-02 – Dustin Thompson
2002-03 – David Green
2003-04 – Preston Scholz
2004-05 – Preston Scholz
2005-06 – Adam Timmer
2006-07 – Jonathan Hill
2007-08 – Kaylie Blair
2008-09 – Zach Dorscheid
2009-10 – Brandon Buscholl
2010-11 – Alicia Wehrkamp
2011-12 – Alexandra Kulas
2012-13 – Dillon Hargreaves
2013-14 – Kevin Hong
2014-15 – Katie DeRuyck

· Please note: this list includes the name of the president who completed each term.

Wider Horizons
Alex Kulas
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