Wider Horizons

2024

Matthew Henry
Bachelor of Applied Science in Conservation Enforcement; Natural Resource Compliance 2022

Matthew is the newly appointed conservation officer for the North Thompson region of British Columbia. He was featured in a November article in the North Thompson Star/Journal, where he said: “It’s great to wake up in the morning and feel that you can make a difference, even if it’s just on an individual level with the people you meet every day. That is one of the parts of the job I like the most, meeting different people. It’s always interesting. It’s great to see all the people out on the land recreating. Most often they are pleased to see us out there as well.” In addition, in March, the Canadian Federal Wildlife Officers Association announced that Matthew received the 2023 Canadian Federal Wildlife Officers Award of Excellence. The award is presented annually to a Natural Resource Compliance student who shows enthusiasm and excellence in their studies related to the work of federal wildlife officers.

2023

Gerry Campbell-Greer
General Arts and Sciences

In November, Gerry presented a heartfelt gift to the college – a handstitched blanket called “My College Journey.” The blanket features several symbols depicting Gerry’s experience at Lethbridge College, such as the stitching of LCSA, a place he was always welcome at and inspired to be a part of. The word “Oki” can be found in each of the four corners, and he used the colours of the medicine wheel to honour the importance the number four plays in many aspects of Indigenous culture. The blanket will be displayed in a case on campus – a location is still to be determined. Gerry is now enrolled at the University of Lethbridge where he is studying history, archaeology and political science. He was also featured on the Autism Goes to College podcast, Episode 28: Going for his degree in Canada.

Barrt Maayen
Agriculture Science – Agriculture Business

Barrt was one of two mentees chosen to participate in the founding year of the Young Farmer Mentorship program. Supported by Canadian Pacific Kansas City Rail, the program encourages young farmers to be informed and involved with agricultural policy. Barrt was born and raised in southern Alberta and has been a member of the Lethbridge Coaldale 4H beef club for eight years. He works for a cattle and irrigated crop operation in the Coaldale and Lethbridge area.

Nicolas Rabl
Digital Communications and Media

Nicolas provided communications support for Curling Canada at the 2024 World Wheelchair Curling Championships. He provided on-the-ground support for two weeks as Canadian athletes vied for podium positions in the four-person and mixed doubles events. The event is the same one that held the 2017 World Junior Curling Championships, where Nicolas joined Team Canada as its alternate player and got to experience U-21 curling on the biggest stage.

2022

Bruce Cleland
Wind Turbine Technician

After graduating from the wind turbine technician program, Bruce began working with Vestas as a technician and has been working across Canada on different platforms of turbines.

Ashlyn Herron
Bachelor of Ecosystem Management

Ashlyn is currently working toward a Master of Science degree in Biology from the University of North Dakota and studying the effectiveness of grasslands restoration on songbird abundance.

Ken Lastuka
Architectural Animation Technology 2022; Virtual and Augmented Reality 2020; Multimedia Production 2019

Many young designers dream of working at Microsoft – and Ken is now living that dream. He recently joined The Coalition – a Microsoftowned, Canadian video game developer. Part of Xbox Game studios based in Vancouver, The Coalition is responsible for developing and managing Microsoft’s signature Gears of War game series. “I was given great consideration for this job opportunity due to my experience in both game development and real-world architecture,” Ken says. “I’ve been able to lend my expertise to ensure buildings are correct and representative of the era and interior aspects such as stairwells are structurally accurate.” Ken says his instructors and experiences at Lethbridge College, including working as an intern in the Spatial Technologies Applied Research and Training (START) Centre, helped him get to where he is today. He also credits his Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architect Award with propelling his career to new heights. “Had it not been for the great people I met, I likely would not have had the confidence to apply for my previous position and now my position at Microsoft,” Ken says. “I was also a student ambassador at Lethbridge College, and I’m extremely grateful for my time there.”

2021

Tannis Chartier
Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology

Tannis was featured in an article from the University of Lethbridge, where she is in her third year of the Therapeutic Recreation program, about how she has continued and expanded a program she launched when she was a student at the college in 2020, providing meaningful opportunities for unhoused people. Called Resilient Rec YQL, the program provides events like bingo nights, movie nights, karaoke nights and more for unhoused people.

Udari Walgama
Practical Nurse

Udari sent Wider Horizons this update: “I completed my final practicum in a rural-acute care setting at the Raymond Health Centre. Immediately upon graduation, I got an opportunity to work at Legacy Lodge (Supportive Living facility) as an LPN, starting the first step on my dream career. I then changed gears to join St. Micheal’s following a year of my nursing practice at Legacy Lodge. As an individual who loves to learn and be challenged, I returned to the University of Lethbridge to obtain my Bachelor of Nursing degree to become a Registered Nurse. During the process of obtaining my credentials to receive my nursing degree, I got the opportunity to become a team member working as an LPN at the Chinook Regional Hospital at Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitation (GARU) Department. I have embarked on an amazing journey in 2021 and I am very certain that my two-year study at Lethbridge College was an inspiration in moving me along this path to where I am now. I owe much to Lethbridge College for granting me the credentials, which have in turn given me a career for a lifetime.

2020

Cobe Cobarrubias
Criminal Justice – Policing

Cobe joined the Taber Police Service’s Regional Community Standards Unit in November. In a Taber Times article, he said he got into policing because he wants to be a role model role for younger generations and also for the community of Filipinos, as he wants to represent them.

Jean Galandy
Child and Youth Care

Jean was selected to be a speaker on the topic of “Trauma informed Care through an Indigenous Lens” at the 2023 Unity Conference for Child and Youth care in Dublin, Ireland.

Shae Guy
Criminal Justice – Policing

Shae is the County of Barrhead’s new community peace officer. In a February article in Town and Country Today, Shae said: “I am excited to work with the RCMP, my counterpart at the Town of Barrhead, to help make the community a better and safer place.”

Torrell Red Iron
Criminal Justice – Policing; current Bachelor of Justice Studies student

Torrell was one of 35 constables sworn in to work with the Edmonton Police Service last fall. According to an article in the Edmonton Sun, his career has been shaped by being Métis and the son of an RCMP officer. Torrell was also featured in a December article in Blue Line, Canada’s law enforcement magazine, where he acknowledged that his life “wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows.” However, he noted his current position gives him the ability to move forward and shape a future where interactions align with how families would want to be treated by police officers or fellow citizens.

Seth Slomp
Digital Communications and Media

Seth is working at Red Deer Polytechnic as the Athletics communications strategist. Seth says he co-led the recent Make Some Noise for Mental Health campaign at RDP and the school won the top prize of $1,500 which was donated to the Students’ Association Food Bank.

ALUMNI AT WORK – The City of Lethbridge

Some of the hundreds of City of Lethbridge employees who are connected to Lethbridge College include (L-R): Nick Kuhl, Sharla Draffin, Andrea Knecht, Raquel Burston, Tara Grindle and Perry Stein (member of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors).

Nearly everywhere you turn at the City of Lethbridge, you’ll find Lethbridge College graduates. They occupy diverse roles across many departments – from project managers and communications specialists to firefighters, the people doing payroll and more. While an exact number is not possible to track down, City employees estimate that hundreds of the 2,000 people who work at the City in various roles have studied at or are connected to Lethbridge College. “The roles these grads hold at the City is a reflection of the depth of talent cultivated at Lethbridge College,” says Raquel Burston (Administrative Office Professional 2019), a talent development partner who works on the People and Culture team. “Within the City of Lethbridge, a dynamic workforce, including a significant cohort of Lethbridge College alumni, is shaping our community.”

Earlier this year, employees were encouraged to show their postsecondary pride during “Wear Your School Colours Day,” and some of the participants wearing Lethbridge College’s green and blue gathered for the photo below.

“This event not only showcased alumni pride but also strengthened the sense of community within our organization,” Burston adds. “We are incredibly proud to have such a passionate and dedicated group of people working at the City of Lethbridge. We celebrate the impact our staff and our proud Lethbridge College alumni have in shaping a resilient, vibrant and forward-thinking community.”

2017

Nick Nielsen
Digital Communications and Media

Nick works as the play-by-play broadcaster in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with the Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings, as well as the office and public relations manager for the Weyburn Red Wings. He manages social media, sponsorship, broadcasting, volunteer coordination and more. He was featured in a November article in Sask Today, where he said: “Originally, I was planning on being a TV news anchor but I tried it for a month with my college practicum and it wasn’t really for me. I caught the play-by-play bug in college and when I got my first radio gig in 2017, I became the voice of the Big Six Senior Hockey League for the next season and really got to hone my skills there.”

2016

Alex Opoka
Criminal Justice – Policing

Alex was one of 35 constables sworn in to work with the Edmonton Police Service last fall. According to an article in the Edmonton Sun, his family immigrated to Edmonton from Uganda when he was 12, and that he’s looking forward to giving back to the community that welcomed him.

2015

Nicole Thomas
Therapeutic Recreation, Unit Clerk, Early Childhood Education

Nicole has worked at St. Michael’s Health Centre in Lethbridge for the past seven years. She is currently working as a unit clerk in palliative care.

2013

Amber Bennett
Business Administration – Accounting

After graduating from Lethbridge College, Amber continued on to complete her degree in Business at the University of Lethbridge. She has been the office manager at Integrity Dental for the past five years and says, “I absolutely love it!”

2012

Mathew Macdonald
Professional Golf Management

Mathew is the new pro/manager at the Olds Golf Club. He was featured in a January article in Mountain View Today, where he said some of his goals in the new role are to heighten the course’s profile and awareness through social media, and to encourage membership and participation among young adults.

Ryan Uytdewilligen
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Ryan has published a children’s book called This Is Not My Story, which follows a writer and his main character who set out on an inventive search for the ideal plot. The book was featured in an article by Chapters4Change, an organization created to help dismantle racism and discrimination, which notes that the narrative provides a glimpse into the artistic process of writing, emphasizing dedication and collective effort.

2009

Bryan Friesen
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology

Since graduation, Bryan has been working consistently in the engineering and design field. He spent time as a technologist for AGI in Nobleford, Alta. and was responsible for developing and prototyping new agriculture equipment. Bryan then moved into construction and worked as a project manager for Ward Bros. Construction for eight years. Recently, Bryan has been working with the City of Lethbridge’s Facility Services department on various projects involving City facilities, roof replacements, renovations and lifecycle upgrades.

Quinn Ohler
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

For more than a decade, Quinn fearlessly tackled important issues as a general assignment reporter and anchored the Global News Hour at 11 in Edmonton. Earlier this year, she took on a new role as the Health Matters and Noon News co-anchor at Global, keeping Albertans informed and inspired about health and wellness issues.

2006

David Guenther
Communication Arts – Print Journalism

After graduation, David pursued his passion for photography, finding success in both wedding and commercial photography. Within years of his graduation, he was named one of the Top 25 Wedding Photographers in Canada by Weddingbells Magazine, and also then ventured into the commercial photography space, working with clients like Nike, Mercedes-Benz, GMC, J Crew, FujiFilm, Mazda, and Lonely Planet. David set himself apart by using a unique visual storytelling documentary style technique that allows the audience to connect not only visually but emotionally to his work.

2005

Joe McFarland
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Co-founder and contributor to Alberta Dugout Stories and host of Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast, Joe was named alongside his “side hustle” business partner, Ian Wilson, as No. 118 on the Canadian Baseball Network’s list of Most Influential Canadians in Baseball. Joe says it’s “an absolute thrill and honour” to be included on the list. Building on the success of Alberta Dugout Stories, the pair recently launched Saskatchewan Dugout Stories. Joe also works full-time as a media relations and communications specialist at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering.

Hugo Van Liere
Business Administration

Hugo is currently the director of Business Development Southern Alberta at ATB Financial.

Matt Kennedy
Bachelor of Applied Arts – Correctional Studies

Matt is a security intelligence officer with Corrections Canada.

Catherine Champagne
Justice Studies

Catherine is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Alberta Regional Victim Serving Society.

ALUMNI AT WORK – Southland Trailers

Founded by Monty and Shelly Sailer in 1980, Southland Trailer Corp. is now in the hands of their three sons – Jason, Ryan and Scott Sailer – who have grown the north Lethbridge company from about 70 team members in 2012 to more than 500 today. While it’s not possible to get an exact number, operations team lead Scott Sailer estimates that hundreds of those team members are grads of Lethbridge College’s certificate, diploma and apprenticeship programs. From Welding, Construction and Culinary to Business Administration, Multimedia and more, the Southland team is filled with some great LC grads.

Teamwork is at the heart of operations at Southland, which is the largest trailer manufacturing company in Canada. “The challenge here isn’t building the product,” says plant manager T.J. Dow (Welding Apprentice 2008). “It’s about building people. It’s people, processes and then product. And if you work that way, it doesn’t matter what you’re building – you can be building trailers, pencils or rocket ships – and as long as you put your people first, the product will always be amazing, because the people care.”

Southland Trailers is rooted in an efficient system with vertical integration. The material processing department supplies all six plants for production before final assembly. The logistics team then consolidates trailers to form loads for dealer groups throughout Canada and the United States. Lethbridge College Board of Governors Chair Mike Marcotte, board member Joshua Day Chief (Environmental Assessment and Restoration 2013) and other Lethbridge College colleagues took a tour of the Southland facility in January.

“It was a true pleasure to see our alumni in action in so many diverse roles,” says Marcotte. “And we appreciate the contributions partners like Southland Trailers are making in welcoming our apprentices and grads to their teams.”

In addition to meeting with Scott Sailer (pictured with Marcotte and Day Chief), some of the grads they met that day included: webmaster Randy Hiebert; graphic designer Tyler Davies; material production designer Ashley Tolman; as well as Chef Sarah Jolley and her team Ashley Bodell, Kacey Nee, Susie Wiebe and Martha Braun.

2004

Tracy Park
Communication Arts – Advertising and Public Relations

Tracy says, “I’m currently a stay-at-home mom of four busy kids. I have two small side hustles doing graphic design work [Tracy V Graphics] and making hand painted magnets [Parks and Crafts]. And I’m starting to think about returning to work since it won’t be long until my youngest is in school full-time.”

2002

Kenneth Andrew
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology

Kenneth is currently doing drafting and project management work for Purcell Timber Frame Homes based out of Nelson, B.C.

2001

Mandy DeCecco-Kolebaba
Communication Arts– Broadcast Journalism

Mandy (Kiim”aa”pii”akii/Compassionate Woman) was awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Leadership and Empowerment in March. Born and raised in Calgary, Mandy came to Lethbridge College and after graduation went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Multidisciplinary degree from the University of Lethbridge and a master’s degree in counselling psychology. She established Collaborative Strategies Consulting Inc., which over the last five years has provided mental health support and strategic management solutions to business owners and leaders. Mandy also founded the Alberta Counseling and Leadership Collective (ACLC), where she provides mental health support to individuals in the Indigenous community who are facing active addictions. In addition, Mandy has been a dedicated member of the Lethbridge Rotary Club for nearly two decades, spearheading numerous local and international projects aimed at creating positive change. This is just the tip of the iceberg as she also serves on the board of directors for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Canadian Mental Health Association South Region, and Farming Smarter. Mandy is also an instructor with LC Extension and part of the Family Ties clinical team.

1998

Christine Lang
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology

Christine completed her practicum requirements at Gas Liquids Engineering and was hired on after graduation. She began as a junior piping drafter/ designer. Later, Christine accepted a position with Upside Engineering as an intermediate pipeline designer and then moved up to senior pipeline designer. In 2010, she started at Cornerstone Engineering as a senior piping designer and is now the drafting manager and a partner in the company.

Dawn Watt
Civil Engineering Technology

Dawn began working as a draftsperson and civil engineering technologist in Lethbridge. She says she “met an Australian man and moved overseas” and started working for Coffey, a geotechnical engineering firm with a testing laboratory. Dawn worked her way up into management positions and eventually was offered a management buy-out of the testing labs. Dawn says she is now the CEO and majority owner of more than 20 civil construction materials labs in Australia –the first (and so far, only) female CEO in the industry in Australia.

1995

Mike Lokken
Criminal Justice

In January, the RCMP Depot Division bid farewell to their outgoing Commanding Officer and formally welcomed Chief Superintendent Mike Lokken to his new role. After graduating from Lethbridge College, Mike received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Great Falls. Throughout his career he has worked in a variety of units and communities including Manitoba, Nunavut, Alberta, and now Saskatchewan. This diverse experience allows him to bring a unique and knowledgeable perspective to the division.

“As Commanding Officer of Depot Division, I humbly accept this most significant role at such a pivotal time in our history. Depot is the oldest division in the RCMP and the foundation of learning, a foundation of culture, and the foundation of the future of the RCMP. The modernization actions we are taking now and will continue to take, will contribute to building an even more effective, healthy, and inclusive RCMP into the future.”

1991

Lana Miller
Environmental Science – Watershed Management

Lana tells Wider Horizons that she spent about 20 years working in environmental labs before moving into an administration role. She is currently between jobs and enjoying some downtime with her husband, who she says also graduated from the Environmental Science program. Lana says the couple still keeps in touch with a handful of others who they met at college and that, “everyone is doing amazing.”

Kathy Sassa
Nursing 1991, Distinguished Alumni 2018

Kathy spent the past 25 years as a leader and innovator in health care in southern Alberta. Her passion for educating health care professions shows in her work as a surgical clinical educator as well as the highly specialized intensive care unit clinical educator with the Associate Chief Nursing Office at Chinook Regional Hospital. She recently stepped into the role of Alumni Advisory Council Chair at Lethbridge College, and the team is thrilled to have her on board.

1990

Adrien Chartier
Environmental Science– Watershed Management

Adrien worked for the Alberta Research Council in the early 90s and since then, for a number of environmental consulting firms as a soils and terrain specialist. Adrien then returned to school for a master’s degree and now works part-time as a sessional instructor of Environmental Science at Yellowhead Tribal College and as a casual senior soil and terrain specialist and reviewer for two engineering and environmental consulting firms.

1984

Carmelle Steel
Drafting Technician

Carmelle is currently the manager of Volunteer Resources and Spiritual Care for Alberta Health Services South Zone.

1980

Jim Mitchell
Environmental Sciences – Resource Enforcement

Jim sent Wider Horizons this update: “Looking back to 1977, I asked my guidance councillor in high school which college I would have to attend get my post-secondary education to become an Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officer. His answer was NAIT in Edmonton. I applied and was rejected due to full enrollment at that time. I took the rejection hard as this was the job I had dreamed about for many years. As it turned out NAIT was more for Forestry type jobs. I applied at Lethbridge College and was accepted for the winter semester starting January of 1978. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was an average student in high school, but LCC piqued my interest as courses were so relevant to what I wanted to learn about. I loved learning at Lethbridge College and loved the instructors. My education and summer experiences prepared me for the interview process with Alberta Fish and Wildlife. I was hired as an officer in Barrhead in October of 1981. I was stationed in five districts throughout my career and finished my officer career of 38 years as an inspector in Lethbridge in 2019.

“In the fall of 2019, I had a tremendous opportunity to return to Lethbridge College and help instruct lab components of resource enforcement for three years, including field investigation techniques, case management and operational procedures. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of the students. It was especially inspiring to see several of them become Fish and Wildlife officers in provinces across Canada. During the five-year period after retirement, I wanted to write a book about some of my unique adventures as a Fish and Wildlife Officer in Alberta. In December 2023 I published a book titled Alberta Game Warden – Behind the Badge of 172. Some of the eight chapters – which include 34 true stories – include Nine Lives of this Officer, Notable Enforcement Cases, Stupid Criminals, Adventures with Bears, Family Wildlife Adventures, Humour in Uniform and Guard of Honour. Two days after the launch of the book, a college student contacted me and said this book gave him some exciting insight into the job of a resource protector. Today, I still enjoy nature, being in the fresh air and hiking with my wife Joyanne and daughter Kaitlyn. There is not a November that goes by that I don’t look at what a guy is doing parked on the side of the road carrying a rifle into the field. Old habits die hard. For that student that contacted me, I envy that he will be just starting his career and he will have countless stories and adventures to tell his children – a career with a different story to tell at the end of each day.”

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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