Wider Horizons

Peter pan boat slide2016

Dakota Van Loon, College and University Preparation

Dakota worked throughout the summer and fall after graduation and plans to return to the college to start prerequisites for dental hygiene.


Sarah Brunschwiler, Criminal Justice - Policing

Sarah writes: “It has been a busy year and a half since graduating. In fall 2015, I was hired to work for Commercial Vehicle Enforcement as a transport officer. It was great coming back to a familiar place, Lethbridge College, for three months of recruit training before moving to my posting in Slave Lake. On top of that, my husband and I were married last October; we did not know I would be in recruit training when we originally picked the date, but it everything worked out and we had a great day.”

Lindsay Chisan, Criminal Justice - Policing

Lindsay tells the alumni office that she was hired by the Alberta Sheriffs and completed training in April 2016. She has been working at the Edmonton law courts since then. She adds: “My fiancé and I were in the Criminal Justice program together and graduated together. He currently works in corrections and we got married this July! I have volunteered on behalf of the Alberta Sheriffs for the Cabelas Camp out and the Kdays parade this year. I want to become a field training officer and sergeant with the Alberta Sheriffs.”

Rebecca Csakany, Correctional Studies and Justice Studies Bachelor of Applied Arts

Rebecca accepted a position with the Government of Alberta after graduation and currently works as an Alberta Supports coordinator opening up a new rural Alberta Supports office in her home town of Rocky Mountain House. She says his is a vital new resource to the community, because it provides streamlined access to a variety of government programs and supports for those located in more rural and remote areas of Alberta.

McKae Pawlenchuk, Unit Clerk

McKae will attend the University of Lethbridge this fall to complete a double degree in Education and English.

Alexandra Waldner, Agricultural Technology – Plant and Soil

Alexandra was featured in an article in Germination magazine. The article discussed the post-secondary award she received from the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada, which she will use to study agronomy at the University of Saskatchewan. She worked for three summers at the Semiarid Prairie Research Centre in the forage and the pulse crop departments. After graduating from the college, she worked with Hytech Production Ltd., whose primary focus is canola seed production and now works at Seed Solutions Seed Lab.


Kelly Smith, General Studies

Kelly is in the final year of the Addictions Counselling program at the University of Lethbridge and is fulfilling her senior internship requirements at McMan in the THRIVE department. She is also a client support worker at SASHA, a group home for people with a mental illness.


Matthew Nyman, Criminal Justice - Policing

Matthew works in the small town of Manning in northern Alberta as a general duty constable for the RCMP.


Elaine Van Rootselaar, Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism

Elaine sent this update to the Alumni office: “Right now I'm running Elumina Productions, providing video production services to organizations in Lethbridge and southern Alberta. I started soon after my graduation. My job involves following up with potential clients, finding ways to customize video production to their needs, and then producing and delivering those videos!”

Alexandra Kulas, Business Administration

Alex is now Digital Media Manager at the West Edmonton Mall and Fantasyland Hotel. She writes: “In my new role I'm responsible for laying the digital groundwork for West Edmonton Mall, Fantasyland Hotel and bigger initiatives like tourism, sponsorship and events. I have four staff members who work under me and every day all day we focus on everything social. The number one goal for us is to make sure that guests of the mall are having the best time possible! The other goal is to promote the mall and bring people in by showcasing what's happening at WEM.”

Ryan Uytdewilligen, Broadcast Journalism

Ryan has followed up on his first book, which focused on significant films, with one that features farming life on the plains. According to an article in the Lethbridge Herald, Ryan has taken a “coming of age” approach to his two books, both of which he completed this year. In Tractor, which was released in the fall of 2016, Ryan chronicles the life of a young boy growing up on the family farm in the United States. Last fall’s release follows 101 Most Influential Coming of Age Movies, a 240-page paperback that’s attracted praise since it hit the bookstores in the spring of 2016. Ryan is now based in Vancouver.


Brent Fikowski, Business Administration – Accounting

Brent, who was a key player on the Kodiaks men’s volleyball team as a student, was recently awarded the title of the fourth fittest man on earth at the 2016 CrossFit Games. After graduating from Lethbridge College, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Commerce degree at Griffith University in Australia and now works as a Financial Controller at Strawhouse, a tech marketing company in Kelowna, B.C. When not working, Brent competes in Crossfit, where he won the West Regional, finished fourth at the gruelling CrossFit Games held in California this past July, and was preparing this fall to represent Team Canada at the international event the CrossFit Invitational in November. The CrossFit Games included a wide variety of tests to find the fittest athletes from lifting heavy barbells, ocean swimming, trail running, rope climbing, sled pulling, inverted handstand pushups, and handstand walking.


Nicole Kemp, Interior Design Technology

Nicole, an interior designer at Homes by Avi in Calgary, has been selected as a 2017 National Kitchens and Baths 30 under 30 recipient. Nicole was selected from hundreds of nominations throughout North America through a rigorous selection process recognizing her as an outstanding professional in the industry under the age of 30. “It’s an honour to have one of our designers recognized on an international level for their work,” says Doug Beach, general manager of Homes by Avi. “Nicole is an incredible asset to our team. Her innovative design process allows her to create spaces that are unique to each individual client and her attention to detail is unparalleled. Nicole will be recognized at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Orlando on Jan. 11, 2017.


Renee Frechette, Communication Arts - Broadcast Journalism

Renee reports that she has had stints in Lethbridge, Rosetown, Bonnyville, St. Paul, and now Vegreville since her graduation. Most of her work has been in radio and there have been many highlight: “I have met and/or interviewed Miranda Lambert (I cried - don't judge), Darius Rucker (he made fun of my audio recorder), Hunter Hayes (we compared smart phones), Dean Brody and more. I also interviewed Tom Cochrane on the phone. He asked about me later just before a show we presented, but I was in the crowd. So close, but so far. I awkwardly shook Corb Lund's hand. I was the 99.7 The Wolf perogie eating champ circa 2011 and am a proud dog mom who makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich.”

Jamie Moran, Business Administration – Professional Golf Management

Jamie, the general manager of the Bally Haly Country Club and co-instructor of the Bally Haly Golf Academy, won the 2016 TaylorMade-Adidias PGA of Atlantic Players Championship at The Links at Penn Hills in Nova Scotia in September.Pictured: Michel Normand, Jamie Moran, Tim McCullum, and Tanner Gayton.

Jordan Sailor, Business Administration student

Jordan opened his own gym, Twisted Steel Fitness Centre, in Coaldale in 2015 and the business celebrated its first anniversary this past year. Jordan had been in the fitness industry for over a decade and finally decided he needed to share his passion with others and start his own business.


Barrett Bettger, Business Administration

Barrett was recently promoted to manager at KPMG in Lethbridge. He joined the company in 2010 and specialized in the assurance department, working on owner-managed businesses, review engagements, audits for both profit and not-for-profit clients as well as tax projects.

David Fehr, Business Administration

David was also recently promoted to manager at KPMG in Lethbridge. He started his career at a Calgary-based firm and joined KPMG in January 2016. He currently specializes in enterprise and audit practices.


Tyson Leavitt, Business Administration – General Business student

Tyson Leavitt is a former Lethbridge College student who has been bringing fairy-tale treehouses and playhouses to life since 2015 for a wide range of clients, including the daughter of NBA superstar Steph Curry. He is featured in the show Playhouse Masters which airs on TLC.  His creations, which include an eight-metre tall Rapunzel castle straight out of a storybook, a whimsical Hobbit hole and an over-the-top backyard pirate ship, have been featured in print and television media across North America. For his incredible entrepreneurial success and the rapid growth of his company, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and Business Development Office were proud to recognize Tyson as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under 40.

Katrina Shade, Business Administration – Management

Katrina has been employed with the Piikani Nation since 2007. She started working with the Peigan REA to create a utility billing company. In 2012, she then went to work with Piikani Resource Development Ltd. to develop a renewable energy portfolio which include ownership of a portion of a hydro electric plant, the refurbishment of a 900kw wind turbine called Weather Dancer 1 and two arrays of 26kv of solar panels and the purchase of all transmission assets located on the Piikani Nation. Piikani Resource Development Ltd. develops and manages energy projects and other economic resource development opportunities for the Piikani Nation such as a sand and gravel pit and Irrigation.

Curtis Warkentin, Criminal Justice – Policing

Curtis, who had been working in Regina, started working for the Morden Police Service in July 2016. According to an article on the MyToba.ca news website, the force said they were looking forward to having Curtis join our service and welcoming him, his wife Cara and son Bryce back to Morden. Curtis was born and raised in Morden and completed recruitment training at the Saskatchewan Police College in 2009. He had served as a constable with the Saskatoon Police Service from 2008-11 and the Regina Police Service from 2011-16.


Matthew Kennedy, Correctional Studies Applied degree

Matthew sent the Alumni office this update: “Between 2003 and 2006, I worked as a provincial Correctional Officer at Lethbridge Correctional Centre and Red Deer Remand Centre. In February 2007, I began my career in federal corrections at Bowden Institution. In October 2007, I was promoted to parole officer. Between 2010 and 2015, I specialized in Aboriginal offenders and contributed toward the creation of a nationally-recognized reintegration program for Aboriginals. In December 2013, I received the Exceptional Service Award for my efforts with Aboriginal offenders; I was nominated for this award by the Deputy Commissioner for the Prairie Region. In 2015, I returned to working with general population offenders of all ethnicities and I remain there today. Corrections Canada has offered frequent opportunities to act in management capacities and these opportunities were available after just two years in the service. However, after several stints in a manager position, it is clear to me that my heart is in parole and I expect to remain a parole officer until the end of my career.”


Ebony Verbonac, Business Administration

Ebony was recently promoted to partner at KPMG in Lethbridge. She started there in 2005 and earned her CPA, CA designation in 2009. Ebony specializes in tax and is devoted to helping business owners with their business and compliance needs. She also has extensive experience in developing estate and succession plans and has shared her expertise with many organizations, including Alberta Agriculture and the Legal Education Society of Alberta. She also writes monthly articles for Alberta Beef and is a Rotarian who volunteers with several other community organizations.


Garfield Henderson, Criminal Justice – Policing

Steinbach RCMP canine unit member Const. Garfield Henderson his dog, Enzo, were called in on Sept. 13 to search for a missing four-year-old girl who had wandered away from her home in the rural municipality of La Broquerie, Man. According to a story on CTV-Winnipeg, the canine team found the girl one kilometre from her home. According to the report, Henderson said “I cast my dog into that area, and quickly located a track. And within 15 minutes, we located the girl crying in the middle of the bush.” The girl was a little wet and scared, but otherwise fine.  Garfield and Enzo were transferred from British Columbia to Manitoba in April 2016.

Quentin Lambert, Engineering Design and Drafting Technology

Quentin writes: “I now have 16 years in with Midwest Surveys, and have no intention of working anywhere else. It’s a great company that gives back as much as you put into it, and the great program at the college prepared me well for the technical work done by my firm.”


Wendy Doyle, Criminal Justice

Wendy started working in government as a transport office a year after graduation. In 2006, she became a dangerous goods inspector and did that for five years. In 2011, she was promoted to director of Carrier Services, which was still a regulatory role. In 2013, she was promoted again, this time as the executive director of the Office of Traffic Safety. This was her first non-enforcement or regulatory role in her 16-year government career. Her office is responsible for developing and implementing the provincial Traffic Safety Plans, policy changes under the Traffic Safety Act and education and outreach for traffic safety.


Stephen Neis, Carpentry Apprenticeship

Stephen was named the new manager of Industry Programs and Standards at Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education in September. He had worked for nine years as an instructor in the college’s Carpentry Apprenticeship program before moving to the ministry, where he evaluates programs to approve or recommend accreditation; analyzes requests for trade and occupation designation; provides communication links between the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board, its committees and other agencies and trade organizations and more. While at the college, he also served as a member of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors.


Randy Mackay, Automotive Service Technology

Randy is a lead mechanic for Propak Energy in Kindersley, Sask.


Travis Killian, Electronic Engineering Technology

Travis and his wife, Kendell, were featured in an article in the Prairie Post focused on their work coaching the JV and senior girls’ volleyball teams at Magrath High School. “My wife and I met playing volleyball here at the college and it has been a big part of our life,” Travis said in the article. “We are still playing on our community co-ed team that we joined 20 years ago. We love to pass on our knowledge of the game and see youth grow and achieve, I think that is the thrill for us.” Travis now works as an IT specialist at the college and is a former member of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors.


Terri Metivier, Business Administration – Marketing

Terri writes: “I have great memories of first visiting my sister at Lethbridge College, then when it was my turn to attend! Still love driving past the college when we go through the city.”


Miles Grove, Renewable Resource Management

Miles was hired as a Fish and Wildlife Officer in 1991 in Canmore and worked the last 25 years in various locations and positions within the branch. He is currently superintendent of the Operations Section in Headquarters.

Karla Millar-Nixon, Communication Arts

Karla worked as a construction assistant for six years after graduation and has been a mediator since 1996.


Glenda Skauge, Nursing

Glenda has worked as a nurse for 30 years and has four children.

Darryl Skauge, Business Administration - General

Darryl has worked for Timber-Tech Truss since 1988 and is now a partner and C.E.O. He also served as President for the Canadian Home Builders (Lethbridge, 2000) and as President for Western Wood Truss Association (2014).


Michael Sauer, Business Administration

Michael tells the Alumni office that he has been building his own business ever since leaving the college.


Diane Shanks, Nursing

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge chose Diane as the recipient of this year’s Friend of Health Sciences Award. Shanks is described as someone with remarkable and inspirational commitment to registered nursing and nursing leadership and education. Dr. Shannon Spenceley, a U of L nursing professor, immediate past-president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta and a member of the award selection committee, says Shanks is a leader of unflinching integrity who isn’t afraid to put provocative ideas on the table. In 2012, Diane received one of the college’s distinguished alumni awards, the “Career Virtuoso” award.


Rick Lewchuk, Broadcast Journalism

Rick, the senior vice-president of creative marketing with CNN in Atlanta, accepted an Emmy for CNN’s promotional work at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards held Sept. 21. The Emmy was won in the category of Best Promotional Announcement. It was for the show The Seventies, a documentary series that ran on CNN in 2016. It was the only Emmy award category recognizing marketing and promotion at that ceremony, which honours excellence in the TV news field. Lewchuk was among the team members recognized for the award-winning campaign.

Warren Tolley, Agricultural Technology

Warren is a retired human resources professional.


Barbara Thompson, Journalism

Barbara tells the Alumni office: “I have worked for the Western Producer since 1988, serving as the Calgary bureau for Canada's largest agriculture newspaper.”


Jean Fudra, Business Administration - General

Jean writes that she has been working fulltime for 33 years at Dr. Fabbi's office as a manager.

In Memoriam

Allan Pard, a well-respected elder on the Piikani reserve, passed away in late May at the age of 64. A residential school survivor, he later attended Pincher Creek schools and played for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks, becoming one of the first indigenous student-athletes in Alberta in the process.

Wider Horizons
Lisa Kozleski
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