Wider Horizons

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

Armond Duck Chief
Business Administration - Management
Armond Duck Chief won Best Country CD for The One and was named Best Indigenous Songwriter at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards in September in Winnipeg. He was also nominated for the Best Producer/Engineer award for The One and the award for Indigenous Entertainer of the Year. Armond was born and raised in the Siksika Nation in Blackfoot territory and continues to live out his dreams in country music, rodeo and life. The original material Armond writes mirrors his real-life experience in and out of the rodeo arena.

Kyle Jensen
Criminal Justice and Police Recruit Training Kyle, who was one of 19 cadets to graduate from the 2015 Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) and Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) Cadet Training program that was offered by Lethbridge College earlier this year, received the award for the highest academic achievement. The training program is the first of its kind in Alberta and is the result of a collaborative partnership between MHPS, CPPS and Lethbridge College. The training program is unique as, although a traditional classroom environment plays an important role, much of the learning and assessment takes place in real-life settings throughout the community.

Jolayne Prus
Business Administration
Jolayne attended the Summer Schools of Slavonic Studies in the Czech Republic in 2015. Jolayne sent this update on her experience: “This last summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in the Czech Republic through a scholarship opportunity. At first I was hesitant, as I had never been overseas before, and I figured the chances of actually getting one of the two scholarship opportunities would be low. However, much to my surprise, I was accepted! Before I knew it I was on my way to the Czech Republic to learn about a language and culture that was completely foreign to me. Once I arrived, I met many other students who were participating in the same program from around the world. All of the people that I met were very friendly and eager to learn about each other’s backgrounds and cultures. I had the wonderful opportunity to not only learn about the culture of the Czech Republic, but I also got to experience it firsthand. Nearly every day there was a castle, a garden, a memorial, or a town to explore after language classes. I strongly recommend for other students to take advantage of the opportunities to study abroad; you will learn and experience amazing things.”

Luke Wahl
Criminal Justice
Luke is one of four young men who is raising money to bike across Canada in June 2016 to raise money for BASIC (Biking Against Slavery in Canada). The money raised will go to a survivor fund to support Canadian organizations working to get victims out of sexual exploitation and into rehabilitation. The group will be leaving Vancouver on June 6 and will arrive in St Johns, NF approximately 10 weeks and more than 7,000 kilometers later on Aug. 14. Three members will be riding, while one drives the team support vehicle. Throughout the trip the group will hold events to raise awareness and money for this cause. The group can be reached at basicride16@gmail.com.

Japhia Epp
Emergency Medical Technician

Japhia was featured in a September article in the Pincher Creek Echo highlighting her work with Pincher Creek Emergency Services. “Japhia is a valued member of our team and really brings a compassionate client care focus on every call she does,” said PCES deputy chief Margaret Cox in the article. “She’s energetic, enthusiastic and much appreciated by her co-workers. We’re really fortunate not to just have her working in our community, but that she decided to become a permanent part of it.” Japhia noted in the article that Pincher Creek Emergency Services is a unique service to work for because of the variety of calls and situations encountered as a result of being in a tourist-dense region with a thriving rural population.

Jena Murray
Fashion Design and Marketing

Jena Murray, creative director and founder of Veena, has been recognized by Startup Canada as a Prairies Regional Award Winner for the Startup Canada Award for Sustainable Development. She has also been named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. Veena is a social enterprise and sustainable growth wear brand that is based on using art to help girls find strength and build courage. Murray successfully funded her enterprise earlier this year thanks to an Indiegogo campaign, and was excited to be contacted about the award regarding her work. Based out of Lethbridge, Murray launched her enterprise in partnership with Source My Garment. In addition to the Veena brand, Murray has also created Veena Warriors, a free program and open community that brings girls together using art and creativity-based activities to help them reflect, communicate and grow their self-esteem. For more information on Veena and Veena Warriors, visit eyesofveena.com.

2013, 2014
Kara Nyland
Natural Resource Compliance, Bachelor of Applied Science in Conservation
Kara was featured in a November article in the Peace River Record-Gazette that highlighted her childhood in the Yukon and her new career as a fish and wildlife officer in Peace River. After graduation, Kara was offered the job in Peace River and prepared for it all summer by attending the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy in Hinton until the end of August.

Erika Sheen
Business Administration - Management
Former Kodiaks athlete Erika Sheen recently became an assistant coach for the Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball team, a team where she played for two years. According to an article in the Camosun student newspaper, Sheen said she attributes her maturity as a player and a leader to the challenging first years of collegiate volleyball, including her years at Lethbridge College. Chris Dahl, head coach of the Chargers women’s volleyball team, says that Sheen’s strengths in teamwork make her a good choice for the position. Sheen is one of 12 individuals chosen for a mentorship coaching position from across Canada by the Canadian College Athletic Association (and one of only four in volleyball).

2013, 2014
Justin Stoski
Business Administration, Professional Golf Management
Paradise Canyon head professional Justin Stoski qualified for the Canadian championships after winning the PGA of Alberta Assistants’ Championship in July, the Lethbridge Herald reported. Justin is a second-year head professional at the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort who runs the Ladies’ and Junior programs at Paradise Canyon.

Nadine Dalheim
Bachelor of Applied Studies in Corrections
Nadine, who graduated through the distance program corrections in 2012, wrote into her former instructors with this update: “I am currently just over half done with my Masters in Psychology at Kaplan University … When I complete it next year I am debating my Masters in Corrections as well, as I miss the criminology side of schooling. Although I am not working directly in corrections, as I live in rural Alberta and this is hard, I am working as a coordinator for an FASD diagnostic clinic part time, and I have contracts with FSCD to work with special needs and mental health kids for behavioural support… The fact that I did my corrections degree through distance learning has been a huge pro as it demonstrates that I can organize myself fairly well! …Again thanks for all your help over the years of school and let students know that this degree is a HUGE step up in life and will make having a career in human services very possible.”

Amelia Naismith
Communication Arts – Journalism
Amelia is a new reporter and photographer at the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer. She had spent three years as a reporter at the Ponoka News

Natalie Asplund
Natalie is the creator of Redcoat West web comic and was featured in a July issue of the Macleod Gazette. Redcoat West is the story of Jemima Hurst and her adventures in what is now southern Alberta. It is set a few years after the NWMP’s march west to abolish the whiskey-trade and “maintain the right” in the untouched Canadian West. There she meets a troop of officers out to capture a whiskey operation run by a dangerous, bootlegging gang. Trapped in the past, with the Mountie’s clueless (and unbelieving) as to her origin, Jem is forced to follow along. The idea for Redcoat West came right before Natalie got her summer job as a rider for the NWMP Museum in Fort Macleod, the location of the Mounties’ first outpost after their march west. The comic can be viewed at redcoatwest.com.

Katt Panic
Fashion Design and Marketing
Katt, a makeup artist in Lethbridge, was recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. She operates Katt Panic Makeup Artistry at The Panic Room (505 7 St. S.), works part time at Colors Salon and works in the film industry in Calgary. Katt believes that makeup isn’t just about altering somebody’s appearance, but that the heart of the makeup industry is making someone feel comfortable in their own skin and enhancing their natural features to show them how beautiful they look inside and out. Katt teaches school cosmetology programs at LCI and Victoria Park, drama classes at Wilson Middle School, and makeup classes at Drunken Sailor. She often volunteers her services, working with events such as the YWCA Ladies Night and Pride events. She also offers face painting at Spirit Halloween to raise money for the Alberta Children’s Hospital and zombie face painting at the annual Zombie Walk for donations to the Last Chance Cat Ranch.

Devon Wannop
Business Administration – Accounting
Devon is the new director of finance for the town of Taber. He was raised in Coaldale, attended Kate Andrews High School and then the college, where he played basketball for the Kodiaks. After graduation, he went on to earn a business degree at the University of Lethbridge and became a chartered accountant in 2014. He had previously worked at KPMG Chartered Accountants in Lethbridge. In his new role, he is responsible for the town’s IT and finance departments and looks after the town’s cash flow. He is also the board treasurer for the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge.

Trevor Biemans
Agriculture Technology
The Biemans family, including Lethbridge College alumnus Trevor Biemans, was one of the 17 southern Alberta families recognized by BMO Bank of Montreal and the Calgary Stampede as among the best representatives of the values of the family farmer to our society. Celebrating its 19th anniversary, the BMO Farm Family Awards were created to promote a renewed urban-rural relationship and focus on recognizing the contribution to the enhancement of quality of life as a family unit. Selected families, who best display the qualities of a Farm Family, are brought to the Stampede for the BMO Farm Family Awards.

Samantha Dofoo
Office Administration
Samantha is a new homeowner of the 2015 Habitat for Humanity home and was featured in the July 3 issue of the Lethbridge Herald. “This is the most amazing experience in me and my boys’ lives. We can't even explain how appreciative we are - it's wild,” she said.

Bryce Frisky
Culinary Careers
Bryce sent in an update to his former Culinary instructors, letting them know he and his best friend had just purchased a restaurant in the west end of downtown Vancouver, near the water, called The Blind Sparrow, which opened on Nov. 19. The team behind The Blind Sparrow is Michael Gayman and Bryce, who have worked together at several restaurants. They weren’t initially looking to open up the west end, however the charms of the property, including its terrific side-street-facing patio, proved irresistible, as did the prospect of giving the area a bar and restaurant that could fill a void for locals. Bryce’s menu has been designed to go well with beer, wine and cocktails, and features global flavour influences and a bit of spice. The dishes are perfect for sharing and may include Korean chili-braised boar ribs, spicy prawn tacos, cedar plank roasted sablefish and sweet treats. The Blind Sparrow also serves a weekend brunch.

Caitlin Power
Fashion Design and Marketing
Caitlin was featured in a September article in the Calgary Herald about her work at Parkluxe 2015, the socially conscious organization that showcases local and national fashion designers. Caitlin was among those celebrated as one of the “undeniably talented Canadian designers in our very own backyard.” Caitlin’s designs have been described as strong and futuristic for the female who is a leader exhibiting confidence intelligence and sophistication and go by the #P0WERwoman tag. According to the article, Caitlin recently crossed over into the beauty scene, creating a shade of lipstick in collaboration with Toronto’s MYNC Beauty, also called #POWERwoman. “This was an exciting experience for me as I’ve never designed a lipstick,” Power said in the article. All proceeds from the sales of the lipstick will be donated to Dress for Success Toronto.

Devon Wannop
Business Administration - Accounting
Devon is the new director of finance for the town of Taber. He was raised in Coaldale, attended Kate Andrews High School and then the college, where he played basketball for the Kodiaks. After graduation, he went on to earn a business degree at the University of Lethbridge and became a chartered accountant in 2014. He had previously worked at KPMG Chartered Accountants in Lethbridge. In his new role, he is responsible for the town’s IT and finance departments and looks after the town’s cash flow. He is also the board treasurer for the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge.

Megan Catalano
Communication Arts
Megan wrote in to the alumni office with this update: “After graduation, I spent around a year working in radio doing on-air, production, and promotions work at a small radio station in the West Kootenays which is where I completed my practicum. Following that temporary position, I worked at Columbia Basin Trust in Castlegar, B.C., for almost seven years, first as an Administrative Assistant then as a Communications Coordinator. While working at CBT, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University and graduated in 2013. I returned to Lethbridge for slightly more than a year for a contract position as a Communications Specialist at Lethbridge College before moving to Victoria, B.C. to join Royal Roads University as a Communications Officer.”

Dustin Nielson
Communications Arts – Broadcast Journalism
University of Alberta Athletics is pleased to announce that Dustin Neilson, of the TEAM 1260 “Nielson and Chase” morning show, is the new play-by-play announcer of Golden Bears’ football and hockey games. Originally from Cranbrook, B.C., Dustin took over the play-by-play reins from Corey Graham who recently accepted the play-by-play position with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. He made his first call for the Golden Bears hockey team on Sept. 17, in a non-conference home game against the UNB Varsity Reds. All games are streamed live on the Internet through www.bears.ualberta.ca. Dustin has five years of hockey broadcast experience, two years each with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL), and the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL), and one year broadcasting AJHL and ACAC hockey in Edmonton. He also spent one season as the play-by-play announcer for the Edmonton Wildcats.

2002, 2007
Sharon Rempel
Early Childhood Education, Disability and Community Rehabilitation
Sharon Rempel is the executive director of SAIPA (Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association), a non-profit organization which operates throughout southern Alberta and supports up to 1,300 people per year. She was one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 this year. She was recognized for her work with individuals with disabilities and for striving towards the elimination of discrimination and stigmas toward that community. In her three years with SAIPA, Sharon has doubled the size of her staff team and increased the organization’s budget by 35 per cent. Sharon is most proud of the unique services that SAIPA offers to people with developmental disabilities around self-determination and self-advocacy. Being active in the community is important to Sharon. She currently serves as a member of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Urban Spirits and a director on the Lethbridge Family Centre board. She is also the chairperson of the Dr. Gerald B. Probe Elementary Parent Council.

Mike Darby
Criminal Justice
Lethbridge Regional Police Constable Mike Darby and his dog, Ivo, won several awards at the Canadian Police Canine Association Trials in Medicine Hat in September. More than 30 K9 teams from across Canada competed in the event, which tests the handlers and their dogs in areas such as criminal apprehension, agility and searching. The Lethbridge team placed first overall in area search, second in criminal apprehension and third in agility.

Obed Maurice
Business Administration – Management
Obed was named the first winner of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 program last fall. He is the owner of Maxim Management, an accounting firm that specializes in virtual cloud-based accounting. He is a strong supporter of volunteerism and since 2009 has volunteered with City of Lethbridge Poverty Reduction Committee, City of Lethbridge Community and Social Development Committee and South Country Treatment Centre. Obed also volunteers in the tax clinic for Homeless Connect, donating time to complete free tax returns for the homeless community in Lethbridge.

Chad Nilson
Criminal Justice

Dr. Chad Nilson has received a five-year appointment as a professional affiliate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. Chad, who works in the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, joined the Centre in January 2012 after spending six years as a consultant providing research, evaluation and program development services to various agencies, non-profit, government and Aboriginal organizations. He holds a B.S. and M.A. in Criminal Justice and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Political Science. Chad has developed a strong research agenda in elderly abuse, has helped First Nations communities develop strategies for peacekeeping services, and has provided numerous evaluations of crime prevention programs throughout Saskatchewan.

Jason VandenHoek
Business Administration – Marketing and Management
Jason, the executive director of the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, was named one of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 this fall. He was recognized for his work in many development areas, including raising in excess of $18 million through major gift, event, investment and annual giving fundraising, as well as gaming activities and planned giving. Jason also volunteers extensively within the community.

Michael Crowe
Renewable Resource Management
Michael has been appointed Lakeland College’s new vice president, academic, a position he had been filling on an interim basis since November 2014. As vice president, academic, Michael is responsible for the planning and management of the college’s academic programs. This includes developing, maintaining and supporting teaching excellence, and creating an environment that supports learning and personal growth for students and faculty. “It feels great,” Crowe said of obtaining the position. “I am really excited about the position, and it’s a real honour for me to be in the position and I am excited to get started.” Michael started his career at Lakeland College in 2003 as an instructor and taught in the School of Environmental Sciences until 2011. He most recently held the position of dean of teaching and learning.

Maritza Stinson
Child and Youth Care
Maritza was one of six people recognized this fall with a Lethbridge Immigrant Services Achievement Award for Community Service. The awards recognize the achievement and success of immigrants in the community who go above and beyond. Stinson immigrated to Canada from Guatemala 23 years ago and has worked at the Lethbridge YWCA for 11 years, the last five in the role of outreach counsellor. “I’m just super excited,” Stinson said in an article in the Lethbridge Herald after receiving the award. “When you have been in a country you’ve never been and it’s your new home, and when you help people, you never think about getting any awards. The only reward is the thank you, or when they tell you a story that their life has changed because they are no longer in an abusive relationship. Those are the biggest rewards we have.”

Darren Taylor
Agriculture Technology
Darren and Kimberly Taylor and their family from Lethbridge were the BMO Farm Family winner representing Lethbridge County for this year’s Calgary Stampede. The Taylors operate DRT Farms Ltd. on 2,500 rented acres divided up into 21 fields. Over half of the Taylor farm is in winter wheat with the about 300 acres in canola and 400 in barley.

Kimberly Lyall
Business Administration
A Picture Butte High School oral history video project that Kimberly coordinated received the 2015 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming. The students interviewed local seniors about their memories and life history regarding historic buildings at Coyote Flats Pioneer Village at the Prairie Tractor and Engine Museum near Picture Butte. The project received a gold medal from the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, on Oct. 16 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. According to an article in the Sunny South News, the purpose of the video project was a desire to preserve the knowledge of older residents of Picture Butte and a chance for seniors to share their life stories and memories on video. “The project was inspired by a Picture Butte High School student who worked for us one summer,” Lyall noted in the article, adding the summer student wondered what would happen to all the stories shared with her by one of the volunteer tour guides — most importantly, when the tour guide wasn’t at Coyote Flats to tell them anymore. The students produced more than 48 life history interviews.
Stephen Ripley
Communication Arts – Print Journalism
In September, Stephen was appointed editor of the Regina Leader-Post. He returned to his home province after spending the past 17 years in Manitoba, including seven years as editor-in-chief of the Winnipeg Sun and the past two years as director of content for MyToba.ca.

Colin Catonio and Chris Stock, Criminal Justice
Lethbridge College alumni Colin Catonio (Law Enforcement 1980) and Chris Stock (Criminal Justice 1998) received commendations from the Lethbridge Regional Police Chief Rob Davis in September for their efforts in helping to save two lives. On Feb. 24, 2014, Deputy Chief Catonio and his family were on their way home from a holiday when they saw a man collapse in the Calgary Airport. Catonio and two other bystanders immediately rushed to help him. The man was unconscious, wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. Working as a team, they initiated CPR and Catonio – who remembered walking past an AED machine on the wall – ran to retrieve it. Following the prompts from the AED, the trio used the device several times to shock the unconscious male back to life before emergency crews arrived to transport him to hospital. Catonio and the other bystanders were subsequently honoured with a St. John Ambulance Life Saving Award in Edmonton for their quick action, knowledge and use of first aid in helping to save a life. On Aug. 16, 2015, Acting Sgt. Chris Stock was on duty and responded to what initially came in as a report of a woman being assaulted by three men in Kinsmen Park. But when he arrived that wasn’t at all the case. Sgt. Stock located a group of people, including an unconscious male who exhibited signs of a drug overdose. The male was unconscious, wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. Sgt. Stock immediately began CPR and was able to revive the victim but after putting him in the recovery position, he once again stopped breathing. Sgt. Stock repeated CPR until the man resumed breathing and regained consciousness. EMS arrived at that point and transported him to the hospital where he was treated for a fentanyl overdose. The responding paramedics later advised the Police Service that Sgt. Stock’s rapid assessment of the situation and immediate action ultimately saved the young man’s life. In October, he received a Community Heroes award at City Hall.

1994; 2012
Jeff Rowden
Criminal Justice – Policing; Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies
Jeff was promoted from inspector in the Deputy Chief to Deputy Chief of the Prince Albert Police department at the end of September. Jeff recommends both the criminal justice program and the bachelor of applied arts program to potential students: “The flexibility of the program was integral in my ability to successfully complete it. The ability to work at my own pace and the option to attend courses offered via Spring Intensives was the exact combination I needed to be successful. I recommend Lethbridge College to everyone interested in furthering their education in the field of Justice regardless if they are just out of high school or well into their career.”

Evelyn Navarrete Kellenberger
Business Administration – Computerized Accounting
Evelyn wrote into the alumni office with this update: “Lethbridge College has a very special place in my heart. I attended the college from 1990 to 1992 where I learned English in the ESL program and had some wonderful teachers. I enrolled in the Computerized Accounting program and took extra English classes at the University of Lethbridge. In 1995, I moved to the Canadian Rockies. I worked in Banff, then Jasper and Golden, B.C. for over 17 years, including running my own small lodge for nine years. During those 17 years I married a Swiss-Canadian, a great partner, and we had our two children (now teenagers!). In 2013, we moved to Switzerland where I am working and back to school (learning German).”

Jeff Bronsch
Agriculture Technology

Jeff has spent his entire career working in Irrigated Agriculture in southern Alberta. He has worked in both the public and private sectors with the Irrigation Branch of Alberta Agriculture and the Potato Growers of Alberta. The focus of his company, Sunrise AG, is to develop and provide innovative production solutions to irrigated crop production. He is directly involved in remote sensing, land mapping and precision application prescriptions for variable rate fertility, soil amendments, variable rate irrigation and more.

Jim Riedlhuber
Jim wrote into Wider Horizons with this update: “As a Lethbridge College alumni and Distinguished Alumni from 1980, my career has taken a turn over the last 10 years supported by receiving my Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2013. However, some of my greatest life and academic learning was conceived at Lethbridge College.” Jim remembers instructors Vern Olsen and Jackson Lee having a huge impact on his learning. He joined St. Michael’s and Covenant Health in 2006 as director of hospitality and support services, a job he held until he moved on to a new position as site administrator this year. “The most satisfying parts of my work are that I still have the ability to make change; that I can connect and support people who are vulnerable and have loved ones in care; and empowering employees and collaborating with partners.” He says he still uses some of the foundation skills he learned at the college in his work today and would advise current students to believe in yourself and create the world you want. If you have the inclination and resources you can do anything you want. Opportunities are endless.”

Gerry Ehlert
Environmental Science – Resource Conservation
Gerry received the International Mountain Section of the Society for Range Management’s Excellence in Grazing Management 2015 award this year. Gerry, who lives in Medicine Hat, has had an extraordinary career in public service spanning over 40 years. He entered resource management through a diploma in Resource Conservation at what was then Lethbridge Community College in 1974 and later earned a Bachelor of Science in Range Science from Colorado State University in 1982. He worked with the Alberta Forest Range Program, Public Lands and the Houston Forest District before spending 12 years as Provincial Grazing Reserve Manager in NE Alberta. Eventually Gerry accepted a manager’s role in Edmonton with the Rangeland Management Branch. After a short-lived retirement in the Maritimes, Gerry and Terri Ehlert returned to Alberta, settling with family in Medicine Hat. In his newfound prairie home, Gerry embarked on his second career(s), divided between teaching at Medicine Hat College and as a Rangeland Agrologist with his old department. The energy and enthusiasm that he transfers to his students ensures that there will be a strong pool of energetic and passionate future range professionals.

New baby? New job? New hometown? Tell your classmates all about it at lethbridgecollege.ca/alumni/update. Be sure to include your name, your area of study, the year you completed your program and a little bit about what you have been doing since you left Lethbridge College.

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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