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Culinary Youth Team Canada brings home gold and silver from Nations Cup

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Culinary Youth Team Canada members Isabelle Chevarie and Tracy Wildrick participated in three days of intense competition at the 2017 Nations Cup in Grand Rapids Michigan recently, and were rewarded with four gold, including a Best of Show award for their appetizer, and three silver medals for their efforts.

Isabelle is no stranger to competition, she was part of the team Holland College’s Culinary Institute of Canada (CIC) sent to Erfurt, Germany last fall; but for Tracy Wildrick, the Nations Cup was an eye-opener.

I realized that it doesn’t matter how amazing a cook you are, it’s the team and instructors that win these kinds of things, not an individual,” he said.

The young chefs trained under the watchful eye of Chef Instructor Hans Anderegg for weeks in Team Canada’s new training kitchen in the Tourism and Culinary Centre on the Charlottetown waterfront to prepare for this high profile black box competition, but there are some circumstances for which you can never be prepared – like when you’re handed a bucket of live trout.

“We had a hard time getting them out of the bucket,” Isabelle laughed, “the first one slipped out of my hands and under a table.”

All’s well that ends well, though, and the trout ended up pan seared and served with a potato pavé that featured a layer of blue potatoes, earning the team a gold medal.

The students competed against teams from the U.S.A., Barbados, Mexico, Italy, and Scotland. Chef Hans said that culinary competitions such as the Nation’s Cup bear little resemblance to the cut-throat approach so familiar to fans of reality TV cooking shows. Isabelle agreed.

“There’s a lot of pressure, but there’s a lot of camaraderie, too,” she explained. “We may not speak the same language, but we still manage to communicate through food.”

Students from CIC will represent the country at international competitions as National Culinary Youth Team Canada. The CIC was awarded the honour following their exceptional performance at the 2016 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt. Rather than representing the country and competing against other junior chefs, they competed against experienced professional chefs as Regional Team PEI, bringing home two gold medals and placing fourth overall out of 57 teams. In 2012, the team brought home a gold and silver medal as Regional Team PEI.

As the team adds members, practices will ramp up. Right now, they are practicing about 14 hours a week, but by the time January rolls around, they’ll be in the kitchens at least 40 hours a week, sometimes more. Over the next couple of years, they will represent Canada in several competitions all over the world, leading up to the ultimate competition, the Culinary Olympics, in Stuttgart, Germany in February of 2020.

Team Canada Results
Fish/ Shellfish: Gold
Game: Gold
Appetizer: Gold (Best of Show)
National Dish: Gold
Pasta: Silver
Poultry: Silver
Dessert: Silver

Overall Results
Team USA             6 Gold 1 Silver Winner 2017 Nations Cup
Team Canada       4 Gold 3 Silver
Team Barbados   4 Gold 3 Silver
Team Mexico       3 Gold 4 Silver
Team Italy            2 Gold 3 Silver 2 Bronze
Team Scotland    2 Gold 2 Silver 3 Bronze

 

 

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Welding students create memorial tree for Lorne Valley Cemetery

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Students in Holland College’s Welding Fabrication program have worked on a variety of projects over the years, some functional, and others more artistic. Most recently they created a unique memorial piece at the request of a group of local residents.

The memorial, a large aluminum tree, is intended to remember loved ones who are buried off-Island.

Debbie MacDonald explained what the group was looking for.

“So many Islanders leave the province never to return, but still feel a close connection. I felt the tree is a way for them to be remembered if they were not buried here. When the idea arose, a relative suggested Holland College could probably make it. The instructor, Craig Boudreau, and his students were open to the challenge and did a superb job. They were most accessible for any of us who wanted to see the tree as it was being manufactured,” she said.

Welding Fabrication instructor Craig Boudreau said manufacturing the tree gave his students the opportunity to hone their skills while working on an unconventional project.

“The students enjoy working on projects that present challenges, and this was certainly in that category,” he said. “There were so many interesting angles and the project required a great deal of precision.”

The tree was installed in the spring when an inaugural ceremony was held. There are several plaques on the tree now, each bearing the name and dates for Islanders buried elsewhere. There will be a service once a year to recognize the people whose names have been added over the previous 12 months.

Debbie MacDonald is grateful for the work the welding students undertook to make the tree, which will be a lasting legacy in the cemetery.

“We wish the Welding Fabrication students the best as they go forward with their future endeavours, and thank each of the students for their participation in this project. The Memorial Tree means a lot to all the families represented there now, and will continue to provide a place for families to pay tribute to their loved ones in the future. Thank you so much!”

For more information about Holland College’s Welding Fabrication program, visit the website.

Written by Sara Underwood

October 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Mini Burger Love at the Early Learning Centre

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At Holland College’s Early Learning Centre, educators design activities based on the children’s interests. Lately, the youngsters have been all abuzz about the annual PEI Burger Love campaign that seems to gridlock Island restaurants for the month of April.

Some of the children have heard their parents and siblings talking about the campaign, while others have shared burgers with their parents (a good thing, because some of the 84 burgers on offer this year probably weigh more than some of the children!). It’s pretty safe to say that PEI Burger Love has become, for some families, an annual tradition.

Together, the children and educators organized a Holland College Early Learning Centre Burger Love Day. Educators asked children to suggest ingredients for the HCELC Burger, so it was a concoction constructed by a committee of tiny food critics!

The children went for a balance of healthy toppings such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, pickle, and cheese, and added a few unusual toppings such as potato chips, gummy worms, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.

They were thrilled with the result and enjoyed the burger they created…which wasn’t that different from a few that are being offered in the real PEI Burger Love campaign. Want a side order of smiley fries with that?

Local chef provides students with hands-on restaurant experience through Transitions program

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Summerside, PE – Chef Craig O’Neill at Brothers Two restaurant in Summerside has been a strong supporter of Holland College’s Transitions program for the past two years. The Transitions program’s main objective is to help senior high school students make informed decisions about their post-secondary education. Transitions mentors seek experiential learning opportunities for students in a wide variety of workplaces.

Chef Craig has been an enthusiastic partner, helping students and sharing his passion for his trade. He brings students into the restaurant, giving them hands-on learning opportunities.

He sees the value to giving high school students the opportunity to find out more about potential career paths.

“I truly feel the Transitions program is important for a lot of students, and if I had a program like this when I was younger maybe I would have fallen in love with my chosen career much sooner,” he said. The students always have an amazing time and find it to be one of their favorite experiences during the program.

Chef Craig is no ordinary cook. Not only is he an amazing chef, but when you meet him you can see how much he cares about his community. He is currently working toward his Red Seal as an apprentice at Brothers Two restaurant, and his genuine commitment to his culinary career is always appreciated by the students and has sparked the interest of some to pursue the culinary program after graduation.  Chef Craig always encourages students to be the best they can be, regardless what career path they follow.

Joan Diamond, Transitions program coordinator says Chef Craig’s enthusiasm, work ethic, and desire to share his knowledge with others are exemplary.

“Craig O’Neill is a perfect example of how one person can influence many. In this day and age, with so many careers possibilities, Craig’s contribution and that of Brothers Two Restaurant in Summerside make the world of difference to our students.”

For more information about the Transitions program, visit www.hollandcollege.com/transitions, or call Joan Diamond at (902) 629-4248. – Submitted by Jillian Jeffrey, Transitions mentor.

Written by Sara Underwood

April 3, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Students, Uncategorized

Want to keep in touch with Holland College? There’s an app for that!

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app-iconBy Trish Johnston
The Office of Alumni Relations recently launched Holland College’s first mobile app. The app was designed to keep more than 35,000 alumni connected to the college and to each other.

The app, which was developed by students from the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program, provides alumni with regular updates from the college and connections to other alumni through social media. Accessing Benchmark, the Holland College Foundation magazine, staying current on the Hurricanes Athletics news, and even making a gift to the school, are now easier than ever. Alumni can also register through the app for an electronic version of their alumni card – a card that every graduate should have as the benefits continue to grow.

BJ MacLean, Learning Manager for the CIS program, headed the project in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations.

 

staff-and-students

(Left – Right) CIS instructor B.J. MacLean discussing the app with CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin.

“There was a lot of learning involved, but it provided a great opportunity for us to explore this specific technology and go through the software development lifecycle,” said MacLean.

Second-year CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin took on the project under the guidance of MacLean.

“The technology that we used allowed us to develop the app quickly. That said, it was new to us, so we had to do a lot of research, and it didn’t always go smoothly,” said Newcombe. This project has taught me a lot of things, but mainly how important communication is,” said MacLean, noting that Kyle and Chris were highly self-motivated and were able to take on the project as a challenge.

“I was impressed with their ability to learn what was needed to successfully develop a product that met the Office of Alumni Relations’ needs. I am sure they will have ideas to improve and grow the app, which could lead to an enhancement release for students to work on next year,” said MacLean.

“Now that they’ve graduated, Kyle and Chris are moving ahead with their careers as developers, but there will be new students who will benefit from the challenge going forward.”

Sigouin added, “I hope that other students will take the opportunity to build on the app. It was a great experience to work as a team and create something that will benefit others. And, as a new alumnus myself, I appreciate having quicker access to information as well as the convenience of having the alumni card at my fingertips!”

Although developed primarily for alumni, the Office of Alumni Relations encourages anyone who would like to stay connected with Holland College to download the app which is available free of charge on both iOS (iPhone operating system) and Android platforms by searching “Holland College Alumni”

Raymond Loo Memorial Garden gives Holland College students and staff a place to learn and reflect

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A barren patch of land on Holland College’s Prince of Wales Campus has been turned into an organic garden and Plein air classroom where students and staff can rediscover the therapeutic benefits of nature and take applied learning to a whole new level.

The Raymond Loo Memorial Garden is named after one of the most prominent organic farmers in Prince Edward Island. For more than 10 years, Mr. Loo welcomed students from Holland College’s Transitions program, a career exploration program for high school students, to his farm to learn more about organic farming. When Mr. Loo died of cancer two years ago, Transitions staff wanted to pay tribute to his work and vision for P.E.I. youth by providing students with an outdoor classroom where they could learn about sustainability firsthand by designing, building, planting, maintaining and harvesting an on-campus organic garden.

“Our overall goal is to remember Raymond by carrying on what he started – encouraging students to think about where their food comes from, getting them out in nature and learning what it takes to build and maintain a garden,” said Joan Diamond, Transitions coordinator for the college. “The students’ participation in these activities confirmed our hunch that students really do enjoy learning in nature, despite the fact that they don’t often get the opportunity. Even the students who started out thinking it was ‘lame’, said that they had learned a lot and felt a real sense of contributing in a meaningful way to the community.”

As the project evolved over the spring and summer months, the Transitions team realized that the garden was having a noticeable effect on the campus community as a whole. Students and staff began eating their lunches there, and the college’s youngest students, the children in the college’s Early Learning Centre, began visiting it, too.

The Transitions staff worked with instructors in the Early Learning Centre to facilitate experiential learning with the students in the garden.  Joan Diamond went into the class to talk about sustainability and the importance of knowing where one’s food comes from, and the youngsters planted seedlings indoors to transplant to the garden later.  The children had three planting beds, and the excitement was palpable as they watched their seeds grow. Eventually, they were able harvest and eat them.  They continue to enjoy their afternoon visits to what they refer to as “The Secret Garden”, where they can pick and eat strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

As the campus community began to use the garden more, Diamond noticed a growing trend of instructors taking their classes out to the garden, and the Transitions team decided to create an outdoor learning space complete with seating, stage and podium.

This garden presents endless opportunities to educate and model environmental stewardship. One garden bed is filled with plants that attract the endangered Monarch butterfly.  This year, the Holland College library partnered with the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management team to facilitate a Monarch butterfly release in the garden.  It was a huge success.  Diamond believes that the best way to encourage a sustainable campus is by creating a sustainable culture through engaging students and staff in activities such as these.

“We want to change the way students think about food and nature, and hope to create and maintain a creative space on each of our main campuses that will allow us to continue this work as part of our Transitions environmental rotation, thus enhancing our program content and at the same time enhancing the experience for all students at each of the campuses,” she said.

The Raymond Loo Memorial Garden was created with assistance from the college’s President’s Innovation Fund.

Holland College Educational Joint Venture in China: partners sharing knowledge and best practices

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More than 15 years ago, the college began developing a concept based on delivering training programs in China in partnership with local Chinese colleges. Chinese colleges recognized the need and value of implementing a hands-on training model that was very different from the traditional teaching model.

By January 2001, a formal agreement and key components of the Educational Joint Venture (EJV) had been reached with the six colleges. Formal agreements were signed in early February of 2001 as part of the Team Canada Trade Mission to China led by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The EJV between Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges utilizes a “3+0 in-China” delivery model whereby Chinese students who complete their three years of study in China obtain dual diplomas from their participating Chinese college and Holland College. Individual Chinese students interested in studying overseas may choose to study at Holland College after one year or two years.

Senior Administration

The commitment of the college’s management team to supporting the EJV programs has been key to the success of the partnership. Administrators from Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges visit each other regularly to share best program management practices. Face to face meetings between senior management in Canada and China help to develop an understanding of business practices and cultures, and enhance friendships, thereby ensuring ongoing development and sustainability for the EJV programs.

Holland College Instructors and Teachers in China

As an essential element of the EJV programs, each year Holland College instructors travel to partner institutions in China to deliver core courses to the students. The EJV courses are delivered in English by the Holland College instructors, which gives the students the opportunity to improve both their general and industry-specific English skills. The instructors use competency-based methodologies to familiarize students with the hands-on, skills-based educational model used in Canada.

Reviewing the Programs

Holland College’s commitment to programming and teaching excellence in Canada and China is supported by ISO policies and procedures. A Holland College curriculum consultant team visits Chinese partner colleges every year to conduct program reviews. The review includes campus and learning environment tours, observance program delivery, and meeting with students, faculty, and administration. The annual reviews, along with ongoing communication, enable Holland College and the Chinese partners to learn from each other and address areas for program improvement and modification.

EJV Best Practices Forums

Since not all Chinese instructors have the opportunity to receive training at Holland College, the college provides teacher-training in China regularly. Since 2004, the college has hosted best practice symposiums on partner campuses in China. The symposia create networking opportunities for the EJV instructors and administrators, giving them the chance to exchange their management experiences and best teaching practices.

Canada-China EJV Scholarships

In 2009, Holland College established the Canada-China EJV Scholarship to award to students for outstanding academic performance and community-mindedness. Since its inception, more than 150 students in China have earned this award.

EJV English Competition

All EJV programs start with an English preparatory year to ready students to study in English. In 2010, Holland College and the Chinese partners held the inaugural EJV English Speaking Competitions. The competition encourages students to improve their English; enhances their competency and research skills; creates networking opportunities for Chinese instructors and students; and facilitates the exchange of best practices in English between institutions. Each Chinese college selects two EJV students to participate in the competition.

Plans for the Future

Currently, there are close to 1,520 students enrolled in the Accounting Technology, Automotive Technology, Business Administration Business Manager Profile, Computer Information Systems, Computer Networking Technology, Early Childhood Care and Education, Electromechanical Technology, Golf Club Management, International Hospitality Management, and Marketing and Advertising Management programs in Chengdu Technological University, Zhenjiang College, Hainan College of Vocation and Technique, Xuchang University, Anyang Normal University, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology Nanchang Campus, Shangrao Normal University, Guiyang Vocational and Technical College and Chongqing Zuxia Software Training Institution.

Holland College looks forward to expanding its program offerings with its EJV partners, and forging new relationships with other institutions in China in the coming years.  Plans are being developed to add programs such as Energy Systems Engineering Technology, Human Services, Graphic Design, Culinary Arts, and Construction Technology and Management to the EJV list of offerings.

FAST FACTS

Between 2001 and 2016:

  • 33 Holland College senior management staff and administrators visited China
  • 130 Chinese partner colleges’ senior management staff and administrators visited Holland College
  • 70 Holland College faculty taught in China, 25% are from industry
  • 95 Chinese instructors received instructional training at Holland College in Prince Edward Island
  • 300 Chinese faculty participated in the best practice symposiums held in China
  • 180 Chinese students received Canada-China Educational Joint Venture Scholarship from Holland College
  • In total, 5, 148 Chinese students have been enrolled in 10 different programs at 11 Chinese institutions since 2001
  • All of the students have employment by the time they graduate

Written by Sara Underwood

December 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm