Wider Horizons

FEATURING:

Angela Suntjens (Pre-Employment Welding – 2005 General Studies – 2012)

Angela Suntjens was a farm kid, and when the idea of post-secondary education came up, thinking of the sheer size of university overwhelmed her. Years later, she is happy with her choice to attend Lethbridge College and with the close-knit connections she formed along the way. Angela fondly remembers Walter Hann, one of her welding instructors. “It didn’t mean anything that I was a girl. He treated me the same and gave me every opportunity,” she says. “He still recognizes me around town and asks what I’m up to.”

After graduating, Angela spent four years in the field doing heavy-duty structural welding on oilfield trailers and grain bins, but the onset of a chronic illness (dysautonomia, a condition that affects the nervous system that controls involuntary body functions) cut her commercial welding career short. “Because of the nature of my disease, it took a long time to diagnose and I was bedridden for a great deal of time,” she explains. ”I decided I wanted to pursue an academic education and I applied again to Lethbridge College for a general studies diploma in psychology and sociology and then transferred over to the University of Lethbridge.”

At the University of Lethbridge, Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and Bachelor of Science degree in psychology/neuroscience and began a master’s program, but she became ill again and was not able to continue her studies. With time on her hands, Angela picked up her welding rig once more. While undergoing cardiac rehabilitation and seeing specialists, she managed to sit up for a few hours to weld simple horseshoe pumpkins.

Those welding projects re-ignited her creative spark and, in 2017, Angela opened her own metal shop, Dryland Custom Fabrications, specializing in one-of-a-kind metal art, custom metal fabrication and small repairs. Angela says one of the reasons she loves Dryland is that it accommodates her newly acquired disability and gives her autonomy and a creative outlet.

“Metal is always dominated by men, and even more so when it’s artistic, and so I’m very proud of what I’ve built,” Angela says. She started working out of her garage, and now her shop is 576-square-feet, and her husband has quit his job to work for her.

Apart from her creations and the growth of her business, Angela also takes pride in Dryland’s principled commitment to community. For example, for International Women’s Day, Dryland took a percentage of the money made from sales and donated it to UNICEF so that three girls could get their birth certificates, which allows them access to jobs and education. Angela says she’s committed to building on the success of the company she has built to support and empower other women, too.


ALUMNI UPDATES

Celebrating the successes of our alumni in their careers and throughout their lives.

We love hearing from Lethbridge College alumni! You can find additional updates online at widerhorizons.ca. To submit your news to share with your classmates and the college community, drop us a note at WHMagazine@lethbridgecollege.ca.

Stories by Jeremy Franchuk

2021

Megan Golueke
Justice Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts

Megan shared this update with the Alumni office: “After graduating in December 2020, I was offered a position through the Aboriginal Pool of Candidates for Correctional Service Canada. I began working at the beginning of April 2021. I started my training for parole by taking my parole induction training and learning handson from other parole officers. I was offered to do more training to become a correctional programs officer to facilitate programming for the federal inmates at Drumheller Institution. I was also offered to train for an additional week to become an Indigenous programs officer. Everything happened so fast – and now I am moving my family from Calgary to Drumheller! My dreams have truly come true after obtaining and achieving my degree from Lethbridge College.”

Cassie-Lee Hatzitolios-Mireau
Criminal Justice – Policing 2019 Justice Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts 2021

Cassie is currently working as an outreach worker for high-risk youth and has also been accepted to six law schools around the world.

Celia Torres Moreno
Architectural Animation Technology

Celia is working part time for real estate agent editing videos for social media while getting her own business in architectural visualization and drafting off the ground.


2020

Natalie Corscadden
Criminal Justice

Natalie is studying law at the University of Lethbridge.

Toby Drozdz
Digital Communications and Media

Toby started a new job doing marketing for Redcliff Bakery in her hometown of Medicine Hat.

Travis Illerbrun
Renewable Resource Management

Travis spent the summer working at the Trans-Canada Visitor Reception Centre in the Cypress Hills.

Kristyn Nelson
General Studies

Kristyn shared this update with the Alumni office: “After graduating from the general studies program, I transferred to the University of Calgary Bachelor of Social Work program (Lethbridge campus). I will be going into my fourth year this September and start my junior practicum within Child and Family Services. I have gained a lot of valuable information from my program so far and have enjoyed being challenged within my own views and perceptions. I am constantly learning about new theories that I will use within my social work practice such as antiracist theory, anti-oppressive theory, strengths approach, and person-environment perspective. In my last semester I worked on a group project for my Practice and Evaluation with Communities course. We decided to focus our efforts on child poverty within Lethbridge and the further damaging effects that COVID 19 has on children living in poverty. We planned to provide art kits to children ages 5 to 11 to enhance their mental health, confidence, and overall well-being. We teamed up with the Interfaith Food Bank who handed out our ‘Kids Can Create’ art kits to families using the Emergency Food Assistance program which is a hamper given out once a month to those facing financial barriers and food insecurity. Our group found donors within the Lethbridge community who provided us with enough funds to create 80 Kids Can Create art kits. We made sure to provide brain-building art activities that can help refine children’s fine motor skills, allows for creativity and selfexploration, and help with cognitive development and self-esteem. If you would like to check out our Facebook page it is Kids Can Create.”

Kelsey O’Donnell
Digital Communications and Media

After graduating, Kelsey transferred to Royal Roads University to complete a degree in Professional Communications and is now working as a marketing coordinator with a health therapy centre in Victoria.

Codey Soanes
Criminal Justice – Policing

Codey is the president of the Wetaskiwin and District Amateur Football Association. Last year he received a Football Alberta Award of Merit in recognition of his efforts to provide football opportunities to local players in a unique and trying year.


2019

Colten Canturk
Criminal Justice – Policing

Colten was accepted into a dual degree program at Swansea University in Wales which consists of an expedited honours degree in sociology and a Bachelor of Laws.

Roseanna Jansen
Massage Therapy

After graduation, Roseanna worked in a sports and physio clinic in Edmonton until moving up to Whitehorse. Today she’s a registered massage therapist in Dawson City.

Taylor Nielsen
Business Administration – Marketing

Taylor has been the office manager for a co-working space called GrupDesk and a content creator and marketer with Xciting Media in Red Deer for the past two years.

Lane Sterr
Business Administration – Accounting

Lane is the new manager at Lethbridge coffee shop Bread Milk and Honey.


2018

Sarah Brunsdon
Health Care Aide

Sarah is working as a health care aide for the Green Acres Foundation and is planning on returning to Lethbridge College to further her career in nursing. Bryan Pachal Massage Therapy After graduation, Bryan started Effect Therapy, a multidisciplinary health practice that employs 13 staff, including eight massage therapists and five frontend staff in two locations in Lethbridge.


2017

Todd Eagle Child
Digital Communications and Media

Todd works with the Blood Tribe as a Communications Officer. Todd helped produce a series of videos as part of the Blood Tribe’s COVID-19 Safety campaign that can be viewed at Learn.lc/BloodTribeCovidSafety.

Byron Schmidt Wind
Turbine Technician

After graduating, Byron worked as an electrician, operated heavy equipment building oil well sites and worked as a wind turbine maintenance technician and then as an environmental health and safety technician with General Electric in British Columbia. He’s now a wind operations controller in Enbridge’s remote operations centre.

Katelyn Scott
Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology

Katelyn went on to complete a Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation degree at University of Lethbridge, graduating in 2019. She then returned to teach at both the college and the university as an instructor in their therapeutic recreation programs. She also works as a recreation therapist for Alberta Health Services in continuing, acute and community care.


2016

Aurora Eggert
Agriculture Sciences – Plant and Soil Sciences

In January of 2021, Aurora launched a podcast called The Borealis Experience focused on men’s mental health. The first two seasons focus on the basics of mental health and resilience, while in seasons three and four she interviews men from all walks of life to share their stories of mental health struggles and overcoming pain and suffering to live a fulfilled life. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Dayn Opel
Justice Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts

Dayn shared this update with the Alumni office: “After graduation I hired on with CP Rail and became a conductor. I have been with CP for four years and will be in the next training class for locomotive engineer. I have a 3-year-old named Rhett and I am playing my third season with the Lethbridge Lightning Senior AA hockey team. I loved it so much in Lethbridge that I decided to stay and bought a house in Black Wolf. I miss my Kodiaks and since leaving the cross-country team I continue to run in my spare time and enjoy watching the latest athletes and their accomplishments.”

Halen Kooper
Digital Communications and Media

Halen is finishing a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism with a minor in Political Philosophy as Mount Royal University in Calgary. This past summer he joined Town and Country News in Beaverlodge as a summer intern.

Emmerson Reyes
Computer Information Technology

Emmerson recently left his role in Lethbridge College’s IT department for a management position as Human Resources Systems and Analytics Administrator.


2015

Mark Reners
Business Administration – Accounting

Mark works for ATB Financial as a relationship manager.


2014

Bradley Jones
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Bradley left his job with 107.5 2day FM and Vista Radio in Cranbrook, B.C., after seven years as an anchor and news director to take a new role as a policy and legislative analyst at the City of Cranbrook.

Rachel Riendeau
Business Administration

Rachel is a hearing care coordinator at a hearing clinic and a freelance graphic designer.


2013

Jessica Melsted
Renewable Resource Management

“Immediately after graduation, I got a position with Cows and Fish based in Lethbridge where I conducted field work across the province assessing the health of riparian areas. [Environmental Sciences instructor] Steve MacRae was very supportive in helping me get that position, and funnily enough I worked (and am good friends) with current Lethbridge College instructor Kirby England in that role. It was a valuable experience, but I was yearning for a bit more, so I went to the University of Alberta where I got my Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences in 2019. Thanks to a waterfowl biology class I took at the college with Shane Roersma, I was able to work on a duck nesting study with the Delta Waterfowl Foundation for a summer and breeding waterfowl surveys and duck banding for the Canadian Wildlife Service for two years. Since then, I’ve done breeding bird surveys for a consulting company and collected samples for Alberta’s chronic wasting disease program. Currently, I am working for the Canadian Wildlife Service as a protected areas technician where I help oversee the management and field planning for national wildlife areas. I am still grateful for my experiences at Lethbridge College where I gained valuable skills and enjoyed fantastic hands-on classes (and field trips) that I still remember fondly. Faculty like Steve Macrae and Shane Roersma were extremely influential on me in my career path and passions, and I am eternally grateful for their mentorship and teachings during my time there.”

Nicole Mahieux
Business Administration –Management

Nicole is the human resources and safety manager at a frozen food manufacturing facility.


2012

Caitlin Bye
Massage Therapy

Caitlin runs her own business, Massage and Esthetics by Caitlin, in Lethbridge.

Stacey Demedeiros
Early Childhood Education

After graduation, Stacey started working at La Garderie CREFL Childcare Centre where she currently works as director.

Stephanie Gilchrist
Communication Arts – Print Journalism

After graduating, Stephanie worked for a small newspaper for five years before switching careers to become a health care aide. She’s now working at Canadian Blood Services as a plasma associate (phlebotomist) with on-site phlebotomy training.

Katherine Isberg
Wind Turbine Technician

Ktherine shared this update with the Alumni office: “After graduating, I got right into my profession as a wind turbine technician. After just over a year in the field, I moved back home to open a business with my husband and his family. Then a new wind farm was built just 40 minutes away from my home, so I applied and back into the industry I went and have been on that site since 2017. I am currently enrolled at the University of Calgary to obtain my Occupational Health and Safety diploma!”

Joey Sugai
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Joey is a writer with the Blood Tribe Communications department.

Rianna Wilson
Business Administration – Management

Rianna Wilson’s life after graduating from Lethbridge College has taken her around the world, travelling to Australia to continue her studies and returning to Lethbridge, where she now manages several businesses. “The newest one we just opened is called Seamless Cares, and what we’re trying to do is provide a stepping-stone between when you’re living at home and retired to, when you have to go live in a facility,” she says. “We’re providing a tier program so that you can go anywhere from having 20 hours a month to fulltime care.”

Rianna also owns and operates Adaptive Technologies, an orthotic clinic. For most of the businesses that she runs, Rianna does the books, does HR, speaks with people and helps them open their own businesses. She has been a part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters for seven years, with the same “little,” who is now 13 years old. She says her favourite part about Lethbridge College was the small classes and having a close relationship with her instructors.


2011

Alex Mckay
Office Administration

Alex has been employed with the Lethbridge Country Club since graduation. Christy Turner Business Administration Christy is the Promotions Director for Lethbridge radio stations KiSS 107.7 and 106.7 Rock.


2010

Amanda Fraser
Criminal Justice – Policing

Amanda is a dispatcher with Calgary Transit Public safety.


2009

Janae Suzanne Hale (Clarke)
Interior Design

Janae went to hairstyling school after graduating from Lethbridge College. In 2020, she and a friend launched a housedress business called Loon and Bloom with the goal of bringing beautiful, comfortable, quality made house dresses to Canadian women in every stage of life. In their first month of business, they were in the top seven per cent of revenue of all Shopify merchants that launched in the same month. Janae is running this growing business while also raising two daughters. You can check out her products at loonandbloom.com.


2008

Trent Cey
Communication Arts – Print Journalism

After graduation, Trent became a sports reporter at the Battlefords News-Optimist before moving into to marketing and communications with the Battlefords North Stars Junior A hockey team. For the past five years, he’s worked as the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s manager of officiating development.

Trevor Gilbert
Child and Youth Care

Trevor joined Taber Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) as counsellor in May. Trevor had previously worked at FCSS as a practicum student while attending the college before going on to earn an Addictions Counselling degree through the University of Lethbridge and a Master’s of Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University.

Danna Harker
Massage Therapy

Danna retrained as a health care aide and is currently in her second year of a licensed practical nursing degree.

Jennifer Sandau-Loveless
Communication Arts – Advertising and Public Relations

Jennifer is a graphic designer with a direct mailing company in Edmonton.


2005

Matt Kennedy
Criminal Justice – Correctional Studies

Matt is a parole officer at Bowden Institution.


2003

Corlee Torok
Communications Arts – Broadcast Journalism

This year, Corlee left Lethbridge radio for a new role with local marketing, branding and advertising firm London Road Marketing.


2002

Evan Gordon
Criminal Justice – Policing

Evan was recently named the new detachment commander to the Swift Current RCMP. Originally from Churchbridge, Sask., Evan has 17 years of service with the RCMP and has been previously posted in Fort Nelson and Prince George in B.C. as well as Kamsack and Morse in Saskatchewan.

Renae Peterson
General Studies Diploma – 2002, Nursing – 2007

After earning her General Studies diploma, Renae went on to earn a Bachelor of Nursing degree offered through the college and University of Lethbridge’s Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta program. One of the things Renae loved most about her time at Lethbridge College was the genuine dedication demonstrated by her instructors. “Their ability to care and nurture my gifts, and to be there as an instructor but also as a human being, is still so dear to my heart,” she says. Even while Renae was still in school, she already knew she wanted to start a business that would help teen girls be the best versions of themselves. Six months after completing her studies, she did just that, and the Beautiful Inside Academy was born. The academy offers private and group coaching, in person and virtually, for girls between the ages of 11 and 18. She is incredibly proud of the work she has done and the ways it has helped the girls she coaches. “I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it,” she says. “It’s just on my heart to serve and shine a light on this need for our teens to understand what it really means to be empowered.” To learn more about the academy, check out beautifulinsideacademy.com. Renae says that COVID-19 has created challenges, but it has also expanded the reach of the Academy since everything has moved online. “No matter what,” she says, “the mission goes on.”


2001

Diane Morin
Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology

Diane tells the Alumni office that she was hired at the Edith Cavell Care Centre while still in college and she is still doing what she loves at the same place 20 years later.


1997

Kathleen Vink
Child and Youth Care

Kathleen is the placement advisor or Human Services at Lethbridge College.


1994

Bradley Anderson
Law Enforcement

Bradley shared this update with the Alumni office: “After finishing at Lethbridge College in 1994, I was hired by the Correctional Service of Canada. I completed 12 weeks of training and became an officer at Drumheller Institution. After a few years and two ranks higher, I was a master trainer for the Prairie Region. I went into Citizenship and Immigration Canada and worked in Saskatoon and Calgary before being transferred to the new Canada Border Service Agency as a supervisor. After a few years I was asked by the Correctional Service of Canada to return as a national trainer. I worked in Abbotsford, B.C., and in Saskatoon. I was soon promoted to a correctional manager and worked at Mission Institution where I supervised the detector dog teams and the emergency response team. I was promoted to the assistant warden of operations for the Edmonton maximum security institution and spent five years there before retiring on July 1, 2021 with 27 years’ experience.”


1989

Jennifer Eliason
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

After a 30-year career in broadcasting, Jennifer has returned to school for a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies - Human Resource Management major with minors in Marriage and Family Studies and Business Leadership.


1986

Paula Gorman
Law Enforcement and Retail Industrial Security

Paula is the manager of business development, alumni relations and advertising sales with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Athletics department.


1984

Lawrence Schinkel
Agriculture Technology

Lawrence worked for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for 31 years before retiring in 2020 and starting his own consulting firm, Schinkel Hydrometrics.

Kenn Gillis
Business Administration

After 33 years at Canada Safeway, Kenn joined Coca-Cola Bottling Canada Ltd. as a sales development manager.


1981

Vesta Filipchuk
Environmental Sciences

Vesta has been named Vice President Sustainability for copper-gold explorer and developer NorthWest Copper. Vesta has more than 30 years of experience and a strong track record in developing relationships and implementing landmark initiatives and programs using collaborative planning and decision methods to achieve sustainable benefits for First Nations, communities, industry, and government. Prior to joining NorthWest Copper, Vesta worked with Teck Resources Limited’s Exploration team and was the director of social, environmental, and regulatory affairs for the Galore Creek Copper Project. She has also worked with government on energy and environmental matters. She has a Master’s degree in Resource Management as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Natural Resources Management and Political Science from the University of Victoria.


1972

Terry Vogt
Radio Arts

Terry Vogt, CTV Lethbridge news director and senior reporter, is signing off on a nearly 50-year career in the broadcast industry. After graduating from the college, he started his career as a DJ at a small station in Crowsnest Pass before moving into news reporting. He joined CTV Lethbridge when the station launched in 1984 and has been there ever since. In 2020, he received the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Lifetime Achievement Award, having previously won the RTDNA Ron Laidlaw Award in 1989 for continuing coverage of cults and teen suicide in Lethbridge. In 2012, he was part of the team that won the RTDNA’s Bert Cannings Award for best newscast in a small market for both Prairie and National categories. Terry was named Lethbridge College’s Distinguished Alumni in 2011 for his devotion to southern Alberta and its people.

Wider Horizons
Stories by Jessica Smith and Jeremy Franchuk | Photo by Rob Olson
Original Publication Date: