Archive for October 2009
Congratulations to the Holland Hurricanes Men’s Soccer Team for winning the 2009 Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association men’s soccer championship. The team went up against the University of Kings College Blue Devils last Sunday, and beat them 2-0. You can read the game on the Holland Hurricane’s page.
This is the team’s first ever title, and advances them to the Canadian College’s Athletic Assocation championships in Toronto November 3rd to 7th.
Good work, guys…we’ll be rooting for you!
Holland College’s recruiter, Nadine Stavert is on Week Four of a 13 week tour of high schools in the Atlantic Canada region. The tour is organized by the Atlantic Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers. It’s a hectic tour for university and college recruiters as they cross the Atlantic Provinces to visit about 180 high schools and talk to hundreds of students.
I asked Nadine to send me an update of how things are going.
“Holland College has been well received in all the regions that we have visited so far. There has been tons of interest in all areas of study, especially Culinary Arts and the Atlantic Police Academy. Having a wide range of programs to choose from really makes the college an easy sell. Other factors that make the HC experience easy to sell are the many articulation agreements with universities, the Hurricanes varsity athletics program, the Holland College Welshmen community concert band, the residence and the overall academic experience.
“Being an alumna of the college and having years of employment under my belt, I feel that I can give a true testimonial to the prospective students about the dedication the staff of the college have for students during their time at Holland College. Tomorrow night, I’m in Fredericton and will be meeting up with six Holland College graduates currently doing an articulation program at UNB. I am excited to see them and hear about their success!”
Wherever you find Holland College employees and students, you’re sure to find community spirit.
Last Friday, for example, the East Prince Center for Learning & Work, which includes Holland llege’s Summerside/East Prince Adult Education Centre and the East Prince Youth Development Center, celebrated Think Pink Day. For the past three years, the center has raised funds for breast cancer research. To date, they’ve raised $850 for this worthy cause by selling cookies, 50/50 draw tickets, and through casual day donations. The gang dressed up in lots of pink for the occasion!
The Holland College Steppers, another group of community-minded staff and retirees, were presented the CIBC Corporate Spirit Award at the CIBC Run for the Cure earlier this month. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Steppers have received this award, which is presented to the corporate team who raises the most money for the year.
Team Captain and HC retiree Barbara Henry estimates that the Steppers raised approximately $7,300, including their fund raising efforts at Holland College, and on-line donations made to individual members at the CIBC Run for the Cure web site.
“The Holland College Steppers could not accomplish this without the support of the Holland College community,” Barbara noted in an e-mail to staff after the event. ” Thank you for your support of our fund raising efforts.”
Next month, students from the Events Coordinator profile of the Tourism and Travel Management program and their instructor, Kathie Coffin-Sulis, will be volunteering for the Professional Convention Management Association Canada East Chapter’s Annual Service N Sync Day. Volunteers in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Charlottetown will help sort and pack donated food items.
Our students will be working at the Upper Room Food Bank on Belmont Street in Charlottetown. The Upper Room Food Bank, part of the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry which also runs a soup kitchen downtown, provides food hampers for individuals and families in the greater Charlottetown area.
These are just three examples of how our staff and students work within their communities. Many of the programs at the college work with various groups. It’s about giving back, but pragmatically speaking, the experience the students acquire is invaluable, giving them tangible experience that they can include on their resumés as they prepare to leave thier programs and enter their chosen fields.
Chef Instructor Michael Bryenton at The Culinary Institute of Canada sent me the link to a great review about The Whalesbone Oyster House, an Ottawa restaurant where one of our Culinary Arts graduates from 2005, Charlotte Langley, is chef. The review appeared in the Ottawa Citizen recently.
One of the fun things about working at the college is being able to drop into the CIC from time to time to see what the students are up to. (Not to mention sampling their work.) I’m always impressed with how self-possessed even the youngest of them are. Hands-on learning at its best!
Students from the Interactive Multimedia and Video Game Art and Design programs had a unique opportunity last week when SEGA Digital Content Producer Ethan Einhorn paid a visit. VGaD instructor Chris Sharpley knows Ethan well. When Chris was Artistic Director for Other Ocean Interactive, before he joined the college, they worked together on Super Monkey Ball, a game SEGA commissioned Other Ocean to work on.
I met Ethan when I travelled with Chris and several others from PEI to the international game development conference known as GDC last year in San Francisco. The guys were presenting a post mortem of the Super Monkey Ball project at the conference. Ethan’s a pleasure to talk to – knowledgeable, but always interested in hearing about what other people are working on, and very enthusiastic about people just starting out.
Having a professional of Ethan’s calibre talk to students was invaluable. He was able to tell them first hand about the industry, and offer them advice about starting their careers. One of Ethan’s key points was that they shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves, but should keep their eyes open for new opportunities.
Some of the students were a little awestruck. I’m sure they’ll remember his presentation for a long time to come.
Our first year Tourism and Travel students had a chance to get out in field — well, actually, out on the dock — the other day when they were asked to help welcome 6,000 passengers and 3,000 crew members arriving on three cruise ships pretty much all at once. Charlottetown’s been hosting cruise ship visits for quite some time, but for a city with a population of 32,000, having that many people arrive all at once was quite an event.
The students handled themselves well, directing traffic, giving information, and providing service in four different languages. It was a great opportunity for them to put some of their skills to the test.
Demolition of the buildings on Grafton Lane started recently, signalling the beginning of the multi-year Prince of Wales Campus redesign and construction project. The project will see the construction of two new buildings; an expansion of Glendenning Hall, the college’s residence; and extensive renovations in the Charlottetown Centre. It’s an enormous project – the biggest of its kind in the college’s 40-year history, and, given the scope of the endeavour, it’s likely to provide work for many Holland College graduates, starting with one of the project managers, Greg Roach.
Roach, 26, had his first Holland College experience in the Adult Education division after he found out that he could not follow his father’s footsteps into the RCMP due to his eyesight.
“I had the option of corrective vision surgery, but that wasn’t something I was too interested in undergoing. I wasn’t really sure on what I wanted to do for post-secondary education, so I decided to stay in school mode while sort of taking a year off, and I went to upgrade my Grade 12 Math and English credits before applying to a science program at university,” he recalls.
One evening, the instructor suggested that the students attend the college’s open house, which was taking place in the Charlottetown Centre across the street. It was there that Roach’s interest in construction, formed in his early childhood when Lego sets literally provided the building blocks for his education, rekindled.
“I found myself in the Engineering and Applied Science section of the gymnasium talking to Terry McKenna, the learning manager for Construction Technology. Talking with Terry, I remembered all my past experiences in drafting and design technology in high school, and also building Lego houses and scale model houses I made of Popsicle sticks,” he says.
As a result of talking to McKenna, Roach applied to the college.
“In the fall of 2003 I was accepted to the Construction Technology program. The program was a fantastic ‘foundation’ — pardon the pun — to the start of my career. The student to instructor ratio was great, it was easy to ask questions and get the attention needed. The program was set up in such a way that it was all related to industry, and it was all around us. We weren’t searching for ‘X’ or numbers that didn’t exist, it was there in plain English. We were applying real standards and studying real world applications. The field experience during the course and the on-the-job training really gave me the feeling that, come graduation, I would have the skills required by employers.”
The summer after his graduation, Roach worked at a local truss manufacturing company. But by the fall, he decided that he would like to continue his training at Holland College to pursue his interest in drafting and design, something he had learned in high school but never really used until he enrolled in the Construction Technology program, which has several drafting assignments in the curriculum. Roach enrolled for the Architectural Technology program in the fall of 2005.
By the time he graduated two years later, the combination of his two diplomas, Construction Technology and Architectural Technology, gave him a strong underpinning of knowledge and hands-on experience.
“With the Architectural program, I really had a solid grasp of the design process and how everything went together in the starting phases before a shovel ever hits the ground in a construction project.” This augmented the Construction Technology program, which is designed to give students a basic understanding of the overall building construction industry, enabling them to work in administrative and middle management jobs.
In 2007, five months after graduation, he was offered a position with N46 Architecture as an Architectural Technologist.
“In that role, I prepared drawings for projects that ranged from houses to large scale commercial buildings. We also looked after the project management for our projects,” he explains.
When N46 was selected as the architectural team to work on the college’s new Centre for Applied Science and Technology building, part of the Prince of Wales Campus project, the company’s owner, architect David Lopes, asked Roach to take on the role of project manager for the duration of the construction.
“Being a Holland College alumnus, the opportunity to come back and work with instructors and staff I knew was exciting. It’s a very historical time for Holland College, and this is a chance to be a part of that,” he says.
Students currently enrolled in Holland College’s Environmental Applied Science Technology, Construction Technology and Architectural Technology programs will be able to see the evolution of a multi-million dollar project for themselves over the next two years as the college begins transforming its properties on Weymouth and Kent streets into the newly-named Prince of Wales Campus.
Roach says the construction of the Centre for Applied Science and Technology will give students a unique opportunity to observe the development of an environmentally innovative building.
“The technologies that are being incorporated in this new facility are rarely implemented all at same time, so it’s a great opportunity to educate everyone. The technology that we’ll be using significantly changes how buildings are designed and their effect on the environment. Some of the key features include a geothermal system that will meet between 70 and 90 per cent of the building’s heating and cooling requirements; greywater collection, where rainwater from the roof run-off is treated and used to flush toilets and to water gardens; solar panels; and high efficiency lighting systems. At the end of the day, the goal is that this building will be a ‘living lab’ — a building where students can see the technologies they read about and research in action,” he explains.
As Roach reflects on his time as a student at the college, he recalls how much he enjoyed the learning environment.
“It was the way they related the daily routine to the work place. You weren’t being instructed all the time, you could work at your own pace. There were scheduled classes and courses, but during times where you weren’t in class, you could really buckle down and focus on something that you needed to get done. You also had access to instructors easily, and they were always there to listen and would take the time to explain things to you, to ensure that you got your questions answered.
“If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would. I enjoyed every minute I spent at the college, and being here during this development of the campus–it’s just like being back home.”