Wider Horizons

SHARING THE SUCCESSES OF OUR ALUMNI IN THEIR CAREERS AND THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES.

If you ask Earla (Cassels) Legault about the Rehabilitation Services Class of 1981, she’ll tell you they are the unsung alumni making a difference in their communities.

Ten of the 14 graduates in their class still keep in contact today – a group of

women whose friendship was forged early in their time at Lethbridge College, on a chilly team-building camping excursion. “We rock climbed, we rappelled, we had so much fun,” Earla says. “We got to know each other outside of the classroom, as women, and we’ve been there for each other because we built that bond.”

Described in the college’s 1979 course calendar as an “exciting new social science program,” Rehabilitation Services prepared graduates for working with people with physical or developmental disabilities and psychological disorders as well as with geriatric clients. “It was a really, really great program,” Earla says. “If you think back to 40 years ago, there weren’t as many supports for people with disabilities as there are today. It was neat to be on the ground floor as those offerings became more people-centric.”

After graduation, Earla began working as a group home supervisor for the Canadian Mental Health Association. She later moved to British Columbia to become a rehabilitation worker in a provincial institution. “And then I moved to Haida Gwaii,” she says. “There were no rehabilitation services positions available, but I always had an interest in the library, so I started working there.” Earla spent the next 20 years in libraries, and toward the end of her career, became a library outreach manager. Her fellow graduates enjoyed careers in community health care and hospitals; primary, secondary and postsecondary schools; youth detention centres; government agencies and more.

In addition to sharing a Christmas newsletter to keep tabs on each other, the Class of ’81 organized 10-year and 20-year reunion camping trips. Last summer, the group got together again at Lake McGregor, north of Lethbridge, to celebrate 40 years since graduation – and 42 years of friendship.

“We’re maybe not distinguished alumni or career virtuosos,” Earla says, referring to the college’s annual Honouring Excellence Awards, “but we’ve all been instrumental in our communities. Rehabilitation is meant to help empower people so they can do better. That kind of work sometimes flies under the radar, but it’s important. These are all exceptional women.”

Three months after our initial interview with Earla, she wrote to inform us of the passing of one of her former classmates, Lee Peters. Lee attended the 40th anniversary reunion at Lake McGregor last summer and remained very close with her college friends over the years. She also met her husband, Bill, at Lethbridge College. “Lee delighted in the love and support of her classmates,” Earla says. “We all grieve her loss. She will be deeply missed within the alumni.”


ALUMNI UPDATES

We love hearing from Lethbridge College alumni! To submit your news to share with your classmates and the college community, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

2021

Tabitha Fehr
Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology

Tabitha is working towards earning her degree in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Lethbridge.

 

Karsen Marczuk
Digital Communications and Media

Karsen is working as a video journalist with CTV News Lethbridge.

 

Jaxon McGinn
Digital Communications Media

Jaxon is a reporter for Sunny South News in Coaldale.

 

Christine Moser
Exercise Science 2021, Massage Therapy 2019

Christine was recognized as the cowinner of the Kinsmen Female Sports Person of the Year by the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. Christine was part of the 2020 class of athletes whose induction was delayed by COVID-19. She played three years for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks from 2017 to 2020 and was named the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference South Women’s Player of the Year in 2019. Christine tallied five goals and three assists that season. She was also awarded ACAC All-Conference and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Academic All Canadian honours.


DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI

Chris DeLisle (Electrician Apprenticeship 2008)

Chris DeLisle calls the education he received at Lethbridge College the backbone of a very successful career so far. After completing his Electrician apprenticeship at the college, he went on to work as a wind turbine technician, and he soon discovered he had a passion for helping others learn. So he returned to Lethbridge College for seven years – first as an instructor in the Wind Turbine Technician (WTT) program and then as chair of the School of Renewable Energy.

During his time at the college, DeLisle helped to secure grant funding for the nacelle now located on campus, created industry partnerships, and earned awards for teaching, leadership and creating community. He left the college to join Goldwind as the senior training manager in 2020, and since then, his work has included fostering and strengthening international relationships with the training team in Australia and the site team in Panama.

DeLisle continues to support the WTT program. In addition to referring and hiring college graduates, he recently added Goldwind to the list of companies employing electrical apprentices who will likely attend the college for their training. He has also worked with Goldwind to support the program through sponsorships and the creation of student awards, and he serves as chair of the WTT Program Advisory Committee.


2020

Allyson Carroll

Renewable Resource Management, Ecosystem Management student 2022

Allyson moved to Saskatchewan to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s conservation team. When not busy working out in the field, Allyson says she enjoys camping, sports and exploring new places across the country. She says she is excited to get to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada this summer and hopes to be able to promote all of the valuable ecosystems Saskatchewan has to offer.

 

Toby Drozdz

Digital Communications and Media

Toby writes: “I celebrated one year as a marketing coordinator with Redcliff Bakery in March. I am also continuing to work as a part time marketing associate with J&M Roofing Inc. and Redcliff Family Dental Centre, all in the Medicine Hat area.”

 

Grace Evans

Digital Communications and Media

Grace works at Community Futures Chinook, which helps people in the region turn their business ideas into reality through free business planning and coaching.

 

Matthew Marthaller

Criminal Justice – Policing

Matthew told the Alumni Engagement team: “I got a job working in telecommunications in Calgary. I use what I learned in the Criminal Justice – Policing program to interact with my clients to promptly achieve resolutions to issues.”

 

Sharyn Ogden

Child and Youth Care

Sharyn tells the Alumni Engagement office: “I have been employed at The Camrose Open Door for the past two years. I started there as a youth support worker and then was promoted as an employment program coordinator working directly with atrisk youth and young adults who, for various reasons, have found barriers to gaining employment.”


2019

Lauren Arp

Criminal Justice – Policing

In the winter issue of Wider Horizons, Lauren wrote that she was working with the Commissionaires in Red Deer while waiting on brain surgery. She sent this update in recently: “I just defeated brain surgery!”

 

Sarah Deluca

Administrative Office Professional

Sarah works as the administrative assistant of Ecole St. Mary Elementary School in Lethbridge.

 

Ryley Lopushinsky

Bachelor of Applied Arts – Justice Studies

Ryley is in the final year of law school in Northern Ireland.

 

Mona Thakor

Business Administration – Accounting

Mona is working as a banking advisor.


COMMUNITY LEADER

Tara Grindle (Communication Arts and Multimedia Production 1996)

Tara Grindle isn’t sure if it’s the result of growing up in a small town or a lifetime of being involved in team sports, but being a part of the community has always been important for her – and that has led to a rewarding career in public service.

One of her first roles after graduation was working for an organization that helped prevent injuries in children, and she later moved on to an advertising agency. Next came a job as marketing coordinator at Gas King, which she says taught her about the importance of giving back. Grindle went on to work at Chinook Health where she built campaigns around cancer screening, immunization awareness, chronic disease management and more. After nine years, she realized she was ready for a new challenge in public service. So she then joined the Communications team at the City of Lethbridge, where she’s worked for six years, most recently as manager of Communications and Engagement and a member of the executive leadership team. Grindle is active in the community as well, playing in co-ed and women’s volleyball leagues for 25 years and serving as the sport chair for the Special Olympics Provincial Summer Games, volunteering for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Skate Canada, and volunteering at her children’s schools.


2018

Amanda Nilsson

Heath Care Aide

According to an article in the Vulcan Advocate, Amanda was named the new administrator for the Village of Lomond. Amanda told the newspaper: “What prompted me to apply for the CAO position was not only the enticement of no longer having to have an hour commute every day, but also the ability to spend more time with family. Another reason that motivated me to apply for the position is that I now feel like I will be able to be so much more involved in the community of Lomond, for example through being on local community boards such as the fire association board, cemetery board, and the recreation board.”

 

Tiffany Trinh

Bachelor of Nursing

Tiffany tells the Alumni Engagement office: “I’m currently working in the hospital on a Pediatric unit! I’m also pursuing my master’s in nursing. My dream is to work at Lethbridge College one day to teach first-year nursing students!”


2017

Alyssa Dyck

Medical device reprocessing

Alyssa writes: “After graduation, I worked in the surgical suite for three years and then decided to come back to school and do my practical nursing. I am currently in my second year finishing up classes.”


2016

Jonathan Guignard

Digital Communications and Media

Jonathan joined CTV Barrie in Ontario in 2021 and is working as an operations floater. His journalism career began at a weekly newspaper in southern Alberta after graduation. After a short stint there, he moved to Red Deer to report at a daily newspaper before making the switch to radio and joining the Sunny 94 team in Lacombe, Alta. Jonathan then moved to Regina and began working at Global News as a digital broadcast journalist. During Jonathan’s time in Regina, he covered everything from sports to city council to politics both for television and online. Jonathan, who speaks English and French, says he is a sports fanatic and can often be found in front of a television watching his favourite teams – the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors.

 

Shantelle Yablonski

Interior Design Technology

Shantelle, senior design consultant with Superior Cabinets Saskatoon, was inducted into the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Thirty under 30 program class in February. She was selected from hundreds of nominations throughout North America through a rigorous selection process, recognizing her as an outstanding professional in the kitchen and bath industry. The NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 program recognizes accomplished young professionals under the age of 30 who are making waves in kitchen and bath design, remodelling, sales, and manufacturing. “To be a part of this year’s Thirty Under 30 class means I’ve been recognized for my contributions to the industry by my colleagues and peers, which is an extremely high honour for me. I’m so grateful and ecstatic to have been selected,” she said.

Rachel CrowSpreadingWings

Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Rachel was named the first head of content for the Institute of Communication Agencies of Toronto. Her new role will allow her to work with many businesses and industries both nationally and internationally, and to create and collaborate professionally and personally while helping others network and build their brands and passions. Founded in 1905, the ICA is the not-for-profit association for Canadian advertising, marketing, media and public relations agencies.


2015

Jessika Guse

Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Jessika tells the Alumni Engagement office: “I’ve since moved up in the industry and am now working full-time as an online journalist for Global Calgary along with freelancing.”

 

Adam Reiter

Criminal Justice – Policing, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

Adam started work as Nanton’s new bylaw officer in February. According to the Nanton News, Adam had worked as a community peace officer for Foothills County for two years, and the County of Grande Prairie for 2.5 years. He also had worked as a transport officer for almost two years with the province’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement branch. He told the newspaper that working in a small town appealed to him.


2013

Kyle Moore

Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Kyle is reporting the weekday morning news for KixFM106 in Peace River. He says his biggest passion is covering sports and doing hockey play-by-play, and he also enjoys classic video games.


RISING STAR

Alexandra Carnio (Business Administration 2012)

Alex Kulas Carnio made a mark during her time at Lethbridge College, including being elected president of the Lethbridge College Students’ Association at the age of 19. Ten years later, her leadership skills continue to serve her well in her career as an entrepreneur who has founded two businesses and created over 30 jobs within her community – and who has no plans of slowing down.

After graduation, Carnio earned a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management degree from Royal Roads University and began her career in the business consulting and entrepreneurial world. She first created her own business, Simplified Social, a digital communications agency with a team of six full-time employees. In 2021, Carnio led the acquisition of the firm to a larger agency, Bluetrain. That same year, she created a new childcare and co-working centre, called ProducKIDvity, whose mission is to better the life of working parents. It is the first centre of its kind in Canada. Carnio has hopes to franchise the model across Canada. Giving back to the community is an important part of Carnio’s work as an entrepreneur. She has established a scholarship program for Lethbridge College marketing students and regularly aligns her business to give back to local community programs.


2012

Crystal Collins

Conservation Enforcement

Crystal recently received the Conservation Officer of the Year award in the Northwest Territories. From 2007 to 2020, Crystal worked in a variety of roles in Manitoba before making the move north to the South Slave Region of N.W.T. She was recognized for her vast contributions and willingness to assist in multiple regions, including being a first responder for the Jean Marie River flooding by assessing and documenting damages, assisting displaced and distraught residents by helping to direct inquiries and getting firewood and other supplies where needed, taking care of managing wildlife and protecting the temporary tent village as things were sorted out. Crystal also assisted the Deh Cho with helping to train a new officer and through wildlife management in Fort Liard and through doing a stint on the Liard highway monitoring/ compliance patrols. Crystal served as president of the LCSA Ducks Unlimited student chapter while a student at Lethbridge College.

 

Stacey Demedeiros

Early Childhood Education

Stacey writes: “Since graduating, I have taken over the director’s position at the francophone childcare centre in Lethbridge. It’s given me a great opportunity to work in the field and also use the French language on a daily basis. There is a whole francophone community in Lethbridge that most people don’t even know about.”


2011

Tianna Fieguth

Criminal Justice – Policing

Tianna works as a training unit officer with Lethbridge Police Service.

 

Kim St. Amant

Practical Nurse

Kim has been working in the dialysis program at Chinook Regional Hospital since graduation, and at Taber Acute Care since 2016.


2010

Teigan Reamsbottom

Communication Arts – Advertising and Public Relations

Teigan sent the Alumni Engagement office this message: “I started a new gig with Scotiabank as regional marketing manager. I have tried to get in with a corporate bank office in Toronto since moving to the city five years ago, so I am incredibly grateful to have finally been given the opportunity. Also exciting news – there’s been a tremendous response to the hilarious Sylvia Browne clips I’ve posted from The Montel Williams Show. As of this morning, I signed a contract as cocreator, writer and researcher for an official Sylvia Browne film project with an Emmy- and Oscar-nominated film company! I can’t say anything more at this time and it can take years for these projects to finally reach the big or the small screen, but I’ll share details as soon as I’m able!”


2009

Sarah Dragseth

Business Administration – Accounting

Sarah was featured in an article on Kindersley Social about the business she launched in 2017, Dragseth Bookkeeping. In the article, she said “Bookkeeping was never on my radar until I went to college. I initially enrolled in the business program for business management. After my first year I realized I was drawn to the accounting side of the program and made the switch from the management program. Fast forward to today and I love what I do! Bookkeeping is the heart of a business, everything is linked in one way or another, it’s like a big puzzle each month. It’s a rewarding feeling when you complete the puzzle, and it all makes sense. I’m very detail orientated, and this career path just made sense to me.”

 

Clint Weir

Professional Golf Management

Clint was featured in an article in the Swan Valley Star and Times about his role as general manager at the Swan River Golf and Country Club. He told the newspaper: “As far as the club goes, I love this club and have been here 10 years now. I’m very passionate about this course. I’ve gone through the early struggles here and watched this course become successful. When COVID-19 hit, I was worried I wouldn’t have a job but, instead, we’ve seen some of the most phenomenal results. Being able to do so many things here at the Swan River Golf and Country Club has made it a rewarding career and now we can plan for the future.”


2005

Dave Sagal

Professional Golf Management

Dave was featured in an article on Lethbridge News Now about his transition from playing rugby competitively to competing in adaptive sports following a life-changing accident. His injury occurred when he was skiing in Banff and fell out of bounds in 2019. While attempting to return inbounds, he triggered a level two avalanche that threw him over a 100-foot ledge, which resulted in five broken ribs, one punctured lung and one collapsed lung, and a fractured vertebra that left him paralyzed from the waist down. As part of his recovery, he discovered Rocky Mountain Adaptive, a non-profit based out of Canmore that promotes awareness for adaptive sports and raises funds to purchase sporting equipment. “I found the people at Rocky Mountain Adaptive, and they opened my eyes to what accessibility and adaptive sport could be like.” He said the team at RMA helped him rediscover his joy for sports, and he has since gotten involved in rowing and sit-skiing.


CAREER VIRTUOSO

Kathryn Iwaasa (Nursing 1994)

Kathryn Iwaasa began her nursing career at Lethbridge College, earning a Nursing diploma in 1994 and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2004. She has spent the majority of her career working with the Alberta Kidney Care South program. Her responsibilities include overseeing five dialysis units, two peritoneal dialysis clinics, two chronic kidney disease clinics and a transplant clinic, as well as more than 150 health care workers.

Early in her career, Iwaasa worked as a psych nurse and a medical-surgical nurse before moving to dialysis in 1998. She became a clinical nurse educator in 2005, a unit manager in 2007, and one of four patient care managers of Alberta Kidney Care South in 2017. In this role, Iwaasa participates and leads several ground-breaking initiatives to improve access to treatment and improve patient outcomes for individuals and families affected by kidney problems. Some of those initiatives include: a fall risk program; chair of the Practice Direction Document Committee; piloting the Patient Education Plan to encourage and empower patients to participate in their care with the assistance of nurses; supporting the Blood Tribe First Nations Community Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis Initiative; and leading on the implementation of COVID-19 protocols.


2002

Timothy Romanow

Renewable Resource Management 2002

Fish and Wildlife certificate 2001

Timothy works as the executive director of a watershed planning and advisory council and is the lead chair of the Transboundary Grasslands Partnership between Montana, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

 

Amanda Lawrence

Correctional Studies

Amanda was recently named the coordinator of Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in Fort Macleod. According to an article in the Fort Macleod Gazette, she comes to Fort Macleod after 13 years with Barons-Eureka-Warner FCSS. She was the first in her family to pursue post-secondary education and said in the article: “I had some of the best instructors in my life at Lethbridge College who showed me that learning was never finished and if you wanted something bad enough, you went out and did it.”

 

Leta Pezderic

Renewable Resource Management,

Fish and Wildlife certificate

Leta was the featured speaker at a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) presentation in March titled “NatureTalks: Species at Risk from Summit to Sage.” Leta works as the grassland stewardship manager for the Alberta region of the NCC. She spent nearly seven years with the Oldman Watershed Council as their program coordinator before joining the NCC team in 2015.


2001

Heather Hersberger

Early Childhood Education

Heather writes: “I worked with children and adults with disabilities for 10 years, and then went on to work at Louise Dean Centre and Dr. Clara Christie Learning Centre for 10 years. I moved to Melfort, Sask., to become a director of three daycare centres, and then moved to Saskatoon and became an early learning and childcare consultant.”


ALUMNI AT WORK

Bourbon and Butter

Bourbon and Butter – a new Lethbridge restaurant featuring menus that are full of passion, creativity and intrigue – was born out of pandemic pandemonium. Ryan Snider (Cook Apprentice 2008), Marc Gedrasik (Cook Apprentice 2007), Graeme Glaister and Morgan Boucher – who had all worked together in restaurants before the pandemic and all lost their jobs in the midst of it – decided to come back together in early January to open Bourbon and Butter at 330 6th Street S. Ryan and Marc have worked in a variety of kitchens and food service, and they are glad to have the help of two Lethbridge College apprentices this spring: Connor Lozza (Culinary – first year) and Merek GobleLidstone (Culinary – second year). “Connor and Merek have fit right into our team at Bourbon and Butter,” says Morgan. “They are eager to learn, apply the new skills from class and create dishes they have fun serving. Chefs are artists; it takes many different talents, passions and forward-thinking individuals to grow a restaurant team.” We are proud to celebrate these Alumni at Work!

1999

Scott Ring

Agricultural Technology

Scott received the “Montana Wastewater Operator of the Year Award” in March. Scott previously worked with irrigated agriculture in southern Alberta, and currently works with the Lakeside County Water and Sewer District.


1998

Richard Loeppky

Renewable Resource Management

Richard tells the Alumni Engagement office: “After graduation, I returned to Winnipeg and attended the University of Manitoba where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. I spent several years working in the private sector as a project manager for soil remediation projects. In 2007, I became the environment and sustainable development manager for the RCMP. In 2018, I moved over to Health Canada and am now the senior manager for the tobacco and vaping compliance and enforcement program for Western Canada.”

Bill Scales

Civil Engineering Technology

Bill writes: “I have been in construction management for most of my career and spent 21 years with Stuart Olson Construction before moving to Ward Bros. Construction about two years ago. I have been fortunate enough to be part of some great projects here at home in Lethbridge, including the new expansion at the hospital, the new YMCA (ATB Centre) and now the new Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre at the Exhibition!”


1990

Troy Ormann

Irrigation Technology

Troy was recently named the Town of Pincher Creek’s new asset management coordinator. He is responsible for coordinating the town’s infrastructure asset management program and is in the process of verifying some of the assets listed in the software. In an article in Shootin’ the Breeze, he said: “I’m very excited to be working with the Town of Pincher Creek as an asset management co-ordinator. I am looking forward to expanding my journey on asset management within this beautiful community and making new connections with team members and the community.”


1982

Kelly Damphousse

Law Enforcement, Distinguished Alumni 1992

Kelly was named president of the Texas State University system in April. He most recently served as chancellor and CEO of Arkansas State University. “Dr. Damphousse is a respected university and community leader who possesses the knowledge, experience and passion to lead Texas State to new levels of achievement and success,” says Chancellor Brian McCall. In the announcement about his new position, Kelly was described as an accomplished scholar who has conducted extensive research on terrorism and substance abuse. After graduating from Lethbridge College, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree and PhD in Sociology from Texas A&M University. “As a first-generation college student, I am humbled to be considered for the presidency of such an accomplished university, strategically located in the middle of the Texas Innovation Corridor and primed to become a Tier One research university,” he said following the announcement. He will be Texas State University’s 10th president.

Wider Horizons
Story by Tina Karst | photos submitted
Original Publication Date: