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January 17, 2014

Inside ACCC | President's Update

January 17, 2014

Big International News

The Government of Canada launched its International Education Strategy (IES) this past week. Among other things, the strategy will solidify relations with priority countries; invest in marketing Canadian education abroad; and double the number of international students to Canada by 2022. ACCC provided reaction through the Canadian Consortium for International Education, in addition to this statement and an interview on Radio-Canada by CEO, Denise Amyot.

If you’re interested in reaction to the launch of the IES on Twitter or other social media, search for this hashtag: #CanadaIES.

CEO on the Move

La Cité - Institut 911I visited the dynamic President of La Cité, Lise Bourgeois, and met some of her executive team.  While touring the campus, I was so impressed by the Institut 911, a new emergency services training centre featuring 20 highly specialized laboratories. They have an Emergency Operation Centre; a 911 call centre; a simulated court room; an apartment for simulating residential interventions; street scene simulations; and a fire truck driving simulator. Sixty percent of the building’s 100,000 square feet are underground, allowing for simulations to be held in total darkness.La Cité’s restaurant, Le Jardin, served a fabulous four course meal professionally prepared and served by students from the culinary arts programs.  Not only is Le Jardin worth a visit, I’m planning on going back for seconds! 😉


We continue to explore areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration with various organizations.  This week, I spoke with:

  • Elizabeth Dowdeswell, President and CEO, Council of Canadian Academies.  The Council is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports science-based studies to inform public policy development in Canada.
  • Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.  Research Canada is a national, broad-based alliance dedicated to advancing health research through collaborative advocacy.
  • Julia Deans, CEO of the Canada Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time by providing people aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF delivers its program across the country through a national network of 186 community partners and more than 4,550 volunteers and business mentors.
  • Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges, to discuss Discover Trades BC, a website that provides students with easy access to information about the many trades training opportunities available in B.C. 
  • Gerardo E. de los Santos, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The League is the only major international organization specifically committed to improving community colleges through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation.
  • Martine Chevalier, Director General of the Centre collégial des services regroupés (CCSR). The CCSR is a non-profit, voluntary organization of educational institutions and organizations created with the objective of sharing services and generating significant cost savings.

Caribbean Education for Employment (C-EFE)

We were pleased to welcome three administrative staff from the C-EFE program to the ACCC offices for training on Results-Based Management, Monitoring and Reporting, and Field Operations.  Nikeisha (Nikki) Sewell (Jamaica), Rhonda Garcia (Trinidad and Tobago), and Claudia Cole-Holder (Guyana) found the Canadian winter to be a bit of a shock, and were surprised to learn that they were experiencing mild weather during their stay. Even if the Rideau Canal had been open for skating during their stay, they would not have laced up any skates!

Pat Bidart, the new C-EFE Senior Technical Advisor, also joined the group.  Pat has extensive experience in post-secondary education through her past positions as an instructor, dean, associate vice-president and most recently as International and Dual Credit partnership consultant with Bow Valley College.  Pat has led college CIDA projects in China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and she has been involved in Education for Employment projects in Mozambique, Tanzania and Belize.

The Canadian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana recently stated that the “C-EFE is going so well that DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) is looking to use its model to guide other projects.”


Congratulations to Denise Henning on being appointed the new President and CEO of Medicine Hat College (MHC), effective May 15, 2014.  Denise will be leaving her position of President and CEO of Northwest Community College to join MHC. She was previously President and Vice-Chancellor at University College of the North, Executive Director of international student success at the University of Regina and Vice-president of academics and research at the First Nations University of Canada. Denise has a doctoral degree in educational administration, higher education, from New Mexico State University, and has also earned degrees in urban studies and public administration with an emphasis on qualitative research, minoring in both vocal performance and Native American studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Congratulations to Dr. Chris Dambrowitz, NAIT’s new associate vice president of research and innovation.  Chris has held leadership roles related to applied research and innovation, including his position as director of strategic initiatives with the Biorefining Conversion Network based at the University of Alberta.  He has a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Alberta.

Congratulations to Fred Russell on being named the new Director of Corporate Training at Keyano College.  He has experience in corporate training with a particular focus on the oil and gas sector, well-suited for Keyano’s program offerings and partnerships with Suncor and Syncrude.  Fred worked in both the business and education sector for close to 20 years, including as Manager for Corporate Training and Continuing Education in Qatar and as Campus Administrator at the College of the North Atlantic, and has a master’s in Post-Secondary Educational Leadership from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Congratulations to Gracie Maynard, Keyano College’s new Dean, Career and Education Access. With a master’s degree in Education from Acadia University, and over 20 years’ experience in education and business, Gracie joined Keyano College in 2008 as a coordinator with Workforce Development before transferring to Continuing Education.  She assumed the role of Acting Dean of Continuing Education in 2013 and recently began overseeing the Conservatory as well.

Congratulations to Michael O’Grady, Vice president of Innovation, Enterprise and Strategic Development at Holland College, on receiving the 2013 Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration. Michael was selected to receive the award in recognition of his contributions the Holland College’s expansion and redevelopment projects and many other initiatives that benefit both the college and the community.

It is with mixed feelings that we congratulate Sylvie Beauvais on being named Associate Vice-President (Central-Southwest) at Collège Boréal, effective February 18, 2014. Sylvie has most recently been on loan to ACCC as the Manager of Program Enhancement and Quality Assurance for the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program.  Sylvie holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters degree in Education – Leadership in Education (School Administration) from Ottawa University, and a Diploma of Higher Specialized Studies in Adult Education from the Université du Québec en Outaouais. With more than twenty-five years of experience in the college sector, she has extensive expertise in the areas of immigrant services (welcome, support and guidance), international affairs, applied research, teaching and learning support, and vocational training.

Call for Talent: Transformations – ACCC Art Showcase 2014

ACCC launched a call for talent, inviting students from its member institutions to submit a piece of art to embellish the ACCC Secretariat office space located in Ottawa. We are looking for unique pieces that are visually interesting and could include technical drawings, illustrations, paintings, sculptures, photos and textiles that best represent the talent within your institution. The selected pieces will be showcased in the ACCC offices, on the website and in our publications. Visit the ACCC website for additional information.


ACCC Awards of Excellence logoNomination packages are now available for the 2013-2014 ACCC Awards of Excellence. Gold, silver and bronze awards will be presented in six categories: staff excellence; program excellence; student leadership excellence; teaching excellence; leadership excellence; and internationalization excellence. The deadline to submit nominations is 11:59 pm on Monday, January 27, 2014.

Let’s Talk Energy Week

Get in on the energy conversation! From February 21 – 28, 2014 ACCC is proud to be part of Canada’s first ever national energy awareness week. Let’s Talk Energy Week – IT’S ON! invites Canadians to explore and discuss how energy is connected to their lives, and the importance of energy systems and their elements to our economic, social and environmental future.

Visit for more information.

Eureka! Moment

Cégep Vanier College and Cégep St-Laurent quietly kicked off a new partnership in the fall of 2013. As next door neighbours in the St-Laurent borough of Montreal, the two colleges created an exchange program in science and social sciences whereby students attend one-third of their classes at the other college. Science students in their first semester study chemistry in the other language, while social science students study the history of western civilization in the other language.

The program has been in the works for a few years, and received government approval in 2012. In order to receive a dual-language degree, students must have at least an 80 % average, and at the end of their college studies they must write exit exams in English and French. The three-minute walk between colleges might not be significant, but the benefits to the students are: immersion in another culture, access to a second cafeteria, exposure to different ways of doing things, and a college degree attesting to their ability to work in either language.

Did You Know?

Winnipeg Technical College offers some programs exclusively for international students. These programs include: Business Administrative Assistant, Culinary Arts & Design, Hotel & Hospitality Services, Industrial Mechanic/Millwright, Medical Administrative Assistant, Network Security Diploma, Network Systems Administration, Post-Graduate Certificate in International Business, and Restaurant & Food Services Entrepreneurship Diploma. Some of the classes are delivered at alternate locations, such as the beautiful and historic Assiniboine Park.  An added perk: these international students are offered a hot meal every day they are in class.

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