Wider Horizons turned to the people who know the ins and outs of campus best – Lethbridge College employees – to get their picks of the top news stories from the past four months. Here’s what they had to say.
1. ALUMNI RECOGNIZED WITH HONOURING EXCELLENCE ACCOLADES
The college celebrated the four recipients of this year’s Honouring Excellence awards at a celebration in May. This year’s recipients include Distinguished Alumni Chris Delisle (Electrician Apprenticeship 2008); Career Virtuoso Kathryn Iwaasa (Nursing 1994); Community Leader Tara Grindle (Communication Arts 1996) and Rising Star Alexandra Carnio (Business Administration 2012).
2. NEW WIND CONSTRUCTION TRAINING
A new partnership with one of Canada’s leading renewable energy construction companies continues to affirm Lethbridge College’s reputation as a leader in wind energy training. Borea Construction and the college have collaborated to offer three two-week training sessions for new Borea employees in the college’s Wind Turbine Technician lab. Centralizing the training at Lethbridge College allows for increased hands-on opportunities for new employees and prepares them to contribute immediately on a Borea jobsite, building wind turbines.
3. BIOLOGY STUDENTS TAKE PART IN COULEE CLEANUP
More than 90 General Arts and Science students gathered in the river valley this spring to clean up trash and document every single piece of litter they recovered. Their involvement in the Helen Schuler Nature Centre’s Coulee Cleanup was part of a class assignment called the Stewardship Project. While the students’ work made a positive impact on the environment, it also allowed them to gain valuable insight into the types of garbage ending up in the coulees – a lot of disposable masks and paper and plastic products. Students say this data collection helped them better understand the problem of litter in the coulees. They also noted a sense of accomplishment after their day of volunteering, with many reporting a visible difference in the cleanliness of their assigned coulee zone.
4. EMPLOYEES CELEBRATE EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS
In May, the college’s Alumni Engagement team hosted its first “You Are Remarkable” event, which recognized college employees who have completed PhD, master’s and bachelor’s programs over the past two years. This gave recipients a chance to cross a stage and celebrate their accomplishments during a time when many of their official ceremonies were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also shone a light on the ever-increasing expertise of the college’s workforce, in the classroom, in the business services area and in research.
5. EXPLORATORY PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS OPTIONS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
High school students in southern Alberta got the chance to explore potential career pathways this spring thanks to a new initiative at Lethbridge College. Exploratory programming allowed students in Grades 10 and 11 to visit campus for a day and explore their program of choice. College instructors were on hand to deliver the programs, which helped participants become more familiar with their chosen field of study. Students also got a feel for what they can expect from college level courses. “We are really trying to create a pathway from high school to careers by giving students a chance to experience post-secondary in an interactive, fun and informative way,” says Dr. Terry Kowalchuk, Dean of the Centre for Technology, Environment and Design.
6. STUDENT DESIGNS UNDERREPRESENTED COMIC CHARACTERS FOR PRACTICUM
Second-year Multimedia Production (MMP) student Hayden Mountain Horse is using her incredible artistic skills to bring conceptual characters to life. Mountain Horse has been working with Bej’a Christmas, founder and CEO of Anemoia Studios - a production house and talent agency based in Oakland, Calif. Its focus is to promote people of colour and other marginalized communities in the entertainment industry. As a biracial person, Mountain Horse says she immediately identified with Christmas’s desire to bring more diversity into productions.
7. DISC GOLF COURSE A POPULAR ADDITION TO CAMPUS
What began as a pandemic-friendly activity to engage with students, employees and community members has quickly become one of the most popular pursuits on campus. Thanks to Udisc, an app used to record scores by disc golfers, the Lethbridge College Students’ Association can see that in the four months between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, more than 2,000 rounds had been played on the college course.
8. POTATO RESEARCH PROJECT FOCUSED ON SUSTAINABILITY
A new research project will test three different potato bedding formations – a traditional fall bedding, a spring bedding after having winter cover crop and a spring bedding with no winter cover crop – to see how each affects the yield, soil nutrient levels and nitrous oxide emissions. Dr. Rezvan Karimi, research scientist in the Mueller Irrigation Group, is heading the three-year, $446,500 project which is funded by Results Driven Agriculture Research.
9. VIRTUAL REALITY RESEARCH GETS $900,000 FEDERAL BOOST
Lethbridge College has received nearly a million dollars in new federal funding to level up its virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) research. The two-year, $900,000 grant enables the college’s Spatial Technologies Applied Research and Training (START) centre to hire new staff and increase its industry driven research capacity. A total of 74 projects across Canada received funding, with Lethbridge College being one of only three institutions to receive the maximum $450,000 per year funding amount for a single-college project.
10. COLLEGE INVITES HIGH SCHOOL GAMERS TO ESPORTS TOURNAMENT
Some of the best-known videogame characters clashed on screen in May as Lethbridge College opened its doors for a high school esports tournament. Southern Alberta students battled it out at the Super Smash Bros tourney aptly named “Kodiaks Spring Smash.” “This tournament was an opportunity for local youth to get together and share their enthusiasm for gaming in a fun and challenging environment,” says Tyler Heaton, Virtual and Augmented Reality instructor and event organizer. “Whether it’s basketball, volleyball, soccer or Super Smash Bros, we are all Kodiaks.”
You can read all of these stories and more at lethbridgecollege.ca/news. And thanks to our college colleagues who helped shape this list!