Celebrating the successes of our alumni in their careers and throughout their lives.
We love hearing from Lethbridge College alumni! You can find additional updates online at widerhorizons.ca. To submit your news to share with your classmates and the college community, drop us a note at WHMagazine@lethbridgecollege.ca.
Interior Design Technology Student
Kyla was recently named a finalist in the annual Etsy Design Awards in the “Kids” category for a sewing pattern she created to help children incorporate empowering words into their everyday play. Kyla started her Etsy store in 2018 making dolls and baby bonnets for children. Last year she created a pattern for a fabric crown that customers could purchase and sew and embroider themselves. The pattern includes detailed instructions on how to create the crowns and their messages, which include the words “Mighty,” “Brave,” “Strong” or “Fierce.” “I wanted to reclaim this idea of a princess,” Kyla told the Lethbridge Herald. “Everyone always likes to say a princess needs to be rescued or they are dressed in pink, or they are dainty. Why can’t we be a princess and be fierce? Why can’t we be strong? I wanted to change the dialogue and kind of take back the crown.”
Bachelor of Applied Arts – Justice Studies
Ryley is off to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for two years for law school. She told the Alumni office: “Lethbridge College opened up my life to endless possibilities. I gained so many connections with peers, instructors, and people from different agencies not only in Lethbridge, but in Canada.”
Julieta Fuentes Aceytuno
English Language Centre
Julieta is the Library and Rural Engagement coordinator for Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM). WESTEM is a program developed by Economic Development Lethbridge and Tecconnect to offer training, networking, mentorship and access to current and emerging technologies to women entrepreneurs. In her role, Julieta is responsible for delivering programming to women business owners in all rural and remote areas of southern Alberta in partnership with the Chinook Arch Regional Library System.
Tawnya Plain Eagle
Digital Communications and Media
Tawnya Plain Eagle is taking to the airwaves.
Last summer, Tawnya returned to her home on the Piikani Nation reserve for a new opportunity with Piikani Tsi Nii Ka Sin (Piikani Nation News), a website and monthly newspaper. What started as a summer job soon turned into something bigger, however, giving her a chance for her to put her college diploma and new Bachelor of Communications-Journalism degree from Mount Royal University to good use. In September, Tawnya launched 106.3 FM Piikani Nation Radio on the FM dial and online, with the goal of offering a local perspective on community events and showcasing and promoting the Blackfoot language.
“A lot of our [Blackfoot] speakers are getting older, so we are using our resources to preserve and archive that before our knowledge keepers and our language speakers pass away,” Tawnya explains. “We have our radio DJs also going out and interviewing Elders and getting old stories like about how the Blackfoot people came to live in this area, where our sacred places are and what those mean to us.”
Piikani Nation Radio starts every day with a block of Blackfoot language programming and sprinkles additional Blackfoot messaging, including mini language lessons, throughout the day. “It’s really important to have our own culture in media and to have that sense of pride and belonging. So we just want to get our language in places where it has never been heard before.”
While the team at the station is a small one — Tawnya handles the news while DJ duties are shared between Trevor Prairie Chicken (DJ Kiitokii) and former Lethbridge College student Jared Wolf Child (DJ Okan) — they’ve already made a big impact in just a few short months.
“People are just really excited,” says Tawnya. “They’re telling us how much they listen to us, how much they appreciate that we’ve done something like this and how it’s helped instill a real sense of community. We really enjoy how much the community has accepted this, and we hope that it can grow to be something a lot bigger.
After graduating from the college, Brooke went on to the University of Lethbridge for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Speech Pathology at Griffith University in Australia.
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology
Nico was named the 2020 Kinsmen Sports Person of the Year (men’s category) by the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. The 24-year-old former Kodiak and University of Lethbridge Pronghorn is a member of Calgary Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League, Canada’s top professional soccer league. In the Cavalry’s inaugural season, Nico scored five goals in 23 games, which had him tied for fourth on the team and 18th in scoring in the entire league. His play earned him the right-wing position on the CPL’s Team of the Year.
Tia shared this update with Alumni office: “After graduating from Lethbridge College, I completed 13 weeks of the Correctional Services Canada (CSC) Correctional Training Program at RCMP Depot Division in Regina in 2018. I am now going into my third year as a correctional officer at an institution for women. I am also a squad member of the site’s Guard of Honour. We represent the service by demonstrating pride and respect in the public. We do this by attending celebrations of life, funerals and memorial services for CSC staff and other agencies. In 2019, I attended the Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial, which honoured one of my fallen coworkers, who lost her life in the line of duty in 2018. CSC has allowed me to travel all over Canada while representing the service. It has also allowed me to help change the lives of others.”
After graduating, Logan joined the cardiosciences team at Regina General Hospital, specializing in cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries, as well as cardiology and respiratory patients. Logan told the Alumni office: “The knowledge I gained in the Practical Nursing program has allowed me to excel and be successful in my career. I owe a lot of my success to my instructors and teachers for pushing me every single day.”
Geomatics Engineering Technology
Graham began working with the M.D. of Taber between the first and second year of his program and has been there ever since. During his time with the M.D., he has managed projects such as the M.D. of Taber Gun Range and Ken McDonald Baseball Diamond as well as developing an asset management program. He received his Certified Engineering Technologist designation through the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta in 2017, and in 2019 he became the leader of the American Public Works Association (APWA) Alberta Chapter - Southern Area Idea Group.
Business Administration Sydney is currently a development officer with Lethbridge College, and she has embraced her passion for supporting others through various non-profit fundraising roles including at the college and through earlier jobs with the YMCA of Lethbridge and Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta. “Lethbridge College allowed me to find confidence, embrace creativity and lean on teamwork - I left the campus community with much more than a diploma,” she told the Alumni office. “I was immersed in knowledge that was raw and real - and I found so much value in field trips, presentations and guest speakers. My experience allowed me to enter the industry immediately after completing my degree at the University of Lethbridge, while providing me the skills needed to excel beyond the classroom. I grew and learned and achieved – while being supported by faculty and staff who only wanted the best for their students. Lethbridge College gave me the skills to connect, to be philanthropy-driven and to be dedicated to success.”
Communication Arts – Print Journalism
This August, Jenna released her debut novel, Silver Heights, which she wrote under the pen name J.L. Cole. The novel tells the story of a young woman who moves to a remote ranch with her new husband, and it focuses on his family and her struggles adjusting to married life, the rural community and her disapproving mother-in-law. The novel was published by Black Rose Writing, a small press based in Texas and is available at all major bookstores including Indigo, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Jenna lives in Brownfield, Alta., with her husband and two daughters.
After finishing at the college, Alexander continued his education at the University of Lethbridge, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Management. He was hired as an economic development officer for the Town of Cardston and is currently general manager of the Lee Creek Golf Course. He and his wife have one daughter and a son on the way in December 2020.
Geomatics Engineering Technology After graduating, Paul went on get his Bachelor of Science Engineering degree in Geodesy and Geomatics from the University of New Brunswick. Paul is currently articling as both an Alberta Land Surveyor through the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association and as an engineer through the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, with Halma Thompson Land Surveys Ltd. He’s also returned to the college as a part-time instructor in the Geomatics Engineering Technology program. “My job could have me hiking in the Rocky Mountains looking for survey evidence one day and attending client meetings to discuss scope of work the next day,” he tells Alumni office. “I have found some of the most inspiring scenery is in Alberta and get to work in both the urban and natural environment on a regular basis.”
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism
Ryan is the new editor of the Aldergrove Star newspaper in the Township of Langley, B.C. After graduating from the college, Ryan moved to B.C. in 2014 to where he worked as a print and radio reporter, freelance writer and traffic news anchor. He moved to Langley in 2017. Ryan joined the Star as editor in September after a stint as a reporter at the Langley Advance Times.
William Schultz Criminal Justice – Policing After graduating from Lethbridge College, William finished his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Mount Royal University in Calgary. After spending five years as a Correctional Peace Officer with Alberta Corrections, he returned to academia to complete a master’s degree and start a PhD in Criminology at the University of Alberta with a focus on qualitative research on life and work experiences in Western Canadian prisons. His work has been recognized with the prestigious Vanier Canada graduate scholarship, as well as a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation doctoral scholarship. He is currently publishing his research in several international Criminology journals and handbooks.
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology
Brock shared this update with the Alumni office: “I am the lead engineering design and drafting technologist with Ashcroft Homes in Lethbridge. I take care of everything from the creation of the site plan to detailing, elevations, floorplans, preparing all construction drawings, as well as the 3D renderings and marketing material related to the house plans. In addition to drafting duties, I work closely with our interior design and sales consultants to ensure the best customer experience to our new Ashcroft family members who purchase a home from us. The Engineering Design and Drafting diploma from Lethbridge College provided me with a strong foundation to pursue my passion to design residential homes for many years to come.”
Rob (aka the Chairslayer) travelled to Colorado Springs, Colo., this summer to take part in the 98th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, America’s second-oldest automobile race. The 33-year-old wheelchair-bound athlete was the first paraplegic driver to compete in the race without a co-driver since 1998. Unfortunately, shortly after starting the race, Rob’s 2010 Chevrolet SS, modified to allow him to control the vehicle with his hands, went off course and through a fence, prematurely ending his race. Rob was uninjured and is back to preparing for the next race.
Shila Bishop Business Administration S
hila is the owner of Rural Root Collective, a market in Killam, Alta., showcasing nearly 40 vendors. She’s also sells DIY take-home kits for a variety of crafting projects – complete with all the supplies and an instructional video. The kits are available online at www.ruralrootdesigns.com.
Communication Arts – Advertising/Public Relations
After graduating, Kelly received the TD Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement, a one-year work term with Lethbridge College Advancement. She spent the next four years at the college as an alumni relations specialist before joining the University of Lethbridge in 2012 as PR/communications officer for the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Criminal Justice – Policing
Shawn is a peace officer with the Town of Cardston, a position he has held since fall of 2019. This is the latest stop on a 15-year law enforcement career that has taken him around Alberta, first with Alberta Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and later with municipal enforcement in Turner Valley.
Marcia Black Water
After finishing at the college, Marcia went on to study at the University of Lethbridge, graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in social science. After working in the Blood Tribe/Kainai community, including some time as a Student Advisor for Red Crow Community College’s Kainai Studies program, Marcia came back to Lethbridge College and has worked in a variety of roles support Indigenous students and initiatives. She is currently working as the Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences’ Indigenous Coordinator. “I am proud of all the work accomplished enhancing the profile of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot people and the territory) with the Indigenous Collective Team (which we now call our collaborative team of Indigenous professionals at Lethbridge College),” she says. “Lethbridge College certainly brought me out of my comfort zone, enabled my growth and continues to be a place my passion for education blooms. I get to work with great people and be the cheerleader to students as they work toward their successes and realization of their own potential.”
Chantelle shared this update with the Alumni office: “After graduating from Lethbridge College, I continued my education at the University of Lethbridge and received my business degree in human resources. I worked in customer service at a large transportation company for many years. I then moved on to manage a career resource centre helping people find work and training opportunities. I’m now a stay-at-home mother to two young boys.”
Office Administration Crystal has been with Lethbridge College since graduation. Over her 20-year career, she has worked in the English Language Centre as an office assistant, administrative assistant, program assistant and programs coordinator. She is currently international services coordinator with Student Affairs.
Karen has been with TC Energy for 15 years and is currently a land analyst in the Land, Environment and Indigenous Relations department. She shared this update with the Alumni office: “Enrolling in the Ag Tech program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The skills I learned in the program have been a huge asset in my current role. The instructors in the program were fantastic, and to this day, I utilize the info they shared with me about irrigation, planting techniques, weeds and weather watching. I even baffle my family with little bits of info regarding cloud patterns that are tell-tale signs of when it will rain! My time at Lethbridge College was one of the best and most memorable of my life.”
Civil Engineering Technology
2010 Distinguished Alumni Colin’s business, Ward Bros. Construction, was the recipient of the Business Legacy Award at the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Business of the Year awards. The award recognizes firms that have been in business for more than 20 years whose efforts have accomplished extraordinary things that have benefited Lethbridge and area in unique and meaningful ways. Lorri Penner Rehabilitation Services After graduation, Lorri went on to complete a Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Calgary. After continuing her education at Columbia University in New York with the Centre for Complicated Grief and the Grief Recovery Institute, she is achieving her career goal of working as an end-of-life care specialist in grief, loss and bereavement.
Nigel Sparling Engineering Design and Drafting Technology Nigel is a Senior Project Engineer/ Manager with Tetra Tech in Kelowna B.C. He told the Alumni office: “My current role includes business development, leadership in project management and design on multidiscipline teams regarding all aspects of infrastructure and land development from conceptual planning to project close out with specific experience in project deadlines and budgets, multiregulatory approvals and stakeholder/ client liaison. My experience and training at Lethbridge (Community) College in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program provided a very stable foundation to build and develop my career. In recent years, I have had the privilege to sit on the EDDT Advisory Board and help guide the program into the 21st century.”
Blaine took a job in agricultural technology research with the Alberta government within four months of graduating Lethbridge College, and he has spent the last 30 years with Alberta Agriculture.
Dawn shared this update with the Alumni office: “I applied to Lethbridge College intending to pursue a career in radio. As part of the admission process at the time, prospective students were interviewed by a member of faculty. As luck had it, my interview was with the legendary Georgia Fooks. We sat in her office, and she reviewed my letter and my high school transcripts. My marks impressed her, and she said I would be wasted in broadcast and that I was needed in print journalism. With the stroke of a pen, she changed the trajectory of my life. As a teenager, I had no reason (or confidence) to question it. I went on to spend two decades in newspaper journalism, as a reporter, editor and finally managing editor of the Lethbridge Herald. Georgia passed away earlier this year, and I owe her the journalism career I had and the thousands of stories I had the privilege to tell. After a long career in print journalism, I joined the Lethbridge College communications team in 2018, returning full circle to where it all began!”
Renewable Resource Management
A .L. recently retired from Parks Canada after a 31-year-career. After graduating from the college in 1986 he started his career working summers for the Alberta Forest Service in Valleyview as a Forest Guardian while spending his winters traveling the world or working as a research technician for Alberta Environment. In 1989, he started what would become a 31-year career with Parks Canada as a park warden/visitor safety specialist, mainly in Banff and Elk Island National Parks as well as one memorable summer in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve on Haida Gwaii. “During my career I had exposure to almost all aspects of resource management and park protection,” recalls A.L. “I kept the peace in busy campgrounds, patrolled for poachers on horseback in the backcountry of Banff and Jasper, conducted project environmental assessments, investigated serious poaching, trapped and handled wildlife for management purposes, fought forest fires, controlled non-native plants, worked with colts at the Yaha Tinda, performed mountain search and rescue missions, wrote avalanche bulletins and conducted avalanche control in Banff and Jasper. I had an amazing career that I attribute to the education and guidance that I received at Lethbridge College. I wish for all future LC graduates to have as rewarding career as I had.”
Environmental Science After graduation, Keith went to work for B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch as a fisheries technician until 1983, when he became a conservation officer. After retiring in 2014, he wrote and selfpublished a book of his most memorable field experiences as a conservation officer. You can purchase Boot Polish, Bears and Bush Sense on his website at keithrande.com.
Communication Arts – Broadcast Journalism
2019 Distinguished Alumni Lewchuk – Emmy Award winner and senior vice president, Creative Marketing and Brand Standards for CNN Worldwide – has another honour to add top his list of laurels: in June, he was the winner of the college’s Pay It Forward 50/50 lottery, a monthly draw that is open to alumni, students, staff and the community that supports student scholarships. Upon learning he was the lucky June winner, Rick decided to take his $1,435 prize and donate it directly to the Lethbridge College Ready to Rise Campaign. Rick says that he is a huge proponent of mental health initiatives, and he was happy to have his winnings support that cause at his alma mater.
This fall, Bruce closed the book on a 40-year journalism career. Bruce joined the Brooks Bulletin as a sports reporter in 1985 and quickly became a fixture in the local community. He also covered court (where he met Sandra, the woman who would become his wife of 31 years, who was working as a probation officer) and Grasslands Public Schools (who recognized his career with a certificate of appreciation). Bruce has also won several Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association awards for his sports photography and the sports section. Along with sports and other coverage he also wrote several features and went out of his way to promote the achievements of youth in all areas from sports to 4-H.
Robert shared this update with the Alumni office: “Being a local farm boy raised by immigrant parents, I was not exposed to much of what was going on in the world. This changed when I enrolled at Lethbridge College. The students and instructors came from a variety of backgrounds and locations throughout Canada and beyond. After completing the Business Administration program, I went to work for Alberta Treasury Branch as a management trainee. I was employed by Associate Financial Services for three years before being promoted to branch manager. An opportunity then arose with the Alberta government with Employment Standards - Department of Labour. I worked there for 31 years in various capacities, including investigative officer, supervisor, branch manager, and policy and legislation officer, and I ended my career as area manager for Calgary, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. I retired at the age of 55 and live in Lethbridge. I have been married for 44 years to Bonny and have two daughters and four grandchildren. Fortunately, we all live in southern Alberta and maintain close family ties. My personal interests include running (including a marathon), reading and old cars (I have a 1948 Oldsmobile). My wife and I have travelled extensively and treasure the memories and experiences. Without any doubt, none of my success in career, business and personal life would have happened without the firm foundation and relationships that Lethbridge College provided me.”
It’s a dog’s life for Lethbridge College grads
Const. Spencer Hodgson (Criminal Justice - Policing 2011) and his four-legged partner Zap (pronounced “Zep”) officially joined the LPS K9 unit as its newest members in September. At the same time, Sgt. Rick Semenuik (Criminal Justice 2000) and his pooch partner, 10-year-old Belgian Malinois Ymos, were recognized for their eight years of service to the LPS. Ymos has retired to the civilian life with his former handler and his family, while Semenuik will continue to work overseeing the training of the K9 team. Hodgson and Zap together completed 20 weeks of training that included tracking, obedience, agility, building searches, compound/area searches, evidence searches and criminal apprehension. They join a K9 unit that also includes college alumni Const. James Demone (Police Recruit Training 2008), Const. Andrew Firby (Criminal Justice-Policing 2013, Police Recruit Training, 2013) and Const. Braylon Hyggen (Police Recruit Training 2008).
Unbreakable: college grads build a better lacrosse stick
Austin Bruder (Engineering Design and Drafting Technology 2019), Ralph Dabao (Engineering Design and Drafting Technology 2019) and Nathan McMurray (Engineering Design and Drafting Technology 2018) have been named finalists for the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta 2020 Capstone Project of the Year Award for their work to develop an unbreakable lacrosse stick. Lacrosse sticks may be composed of steel (strong, heavy and inexpensive), aluminum (good strength, lightweight, optimally priced), carbon fibre (breaks easily, lightweight, expensive), and other materials, such as wood and titanium.
In indoor lacrosse, called box lacrosse, a slight bend in the stick due to sudden impact results in not being able to use it exactly as intended. “Badminton and tennis rackets also break but not as frequently as box lacrosse and hockey sticks,” said Ralph. “For a lacrosse player, choosing the right equipment is as important a decision as it is with any other sport, and can prove costly. Unfortunately, a lightweight, expensive stick is as useless as a cheap, heavy stick once it’s damaged.”
The team members drew on their engineering know-how and first-hand experience with the sport to design, test and 3D-print an aluminum lacrosse shaft. They began by bending existing aluminum lacrosse sticks until they broke to determine maximum loads, and they used that data to model and design a new shaft.
Ralph moved to Canada from the Philippines in 2017 and had previously worked as a designer/drafter. He joined the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program at Lethbridge College to upgrade his skillset. When not going the distance in his career, he takes part in endurance sports, such as triathlons, swimming, cycling and running.
Born, raised and currently working in Lethbridge, Nathan chose Lethbridge College’s Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program because of the level of detail and technical skills involved. In his free time, he enjoys fly-fishing, hiking and bouldering.
A native of Pincher Creek, Austin Bruder is a proud graduate of Lethbridge College’s Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program, which he chose because he finds the design process fascinating. When not working, he participates in horseback riding, dancing and canoeing.