CICan Celebrates Excellence and Innovation at Colleges and Institutes

Ottawa, May 1, 2017 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2017 Awards of Excellence which were recognized during the association’s annual conference, held in the country’s capital.

“The recipients of our awards of excellence embody the best that colleges and institutes have to offer in a variety of sectors and disciplines”, said CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “They are examples of innovation and dedication that make our institutions proud and contribute to the vibrant and welcoming culture found on campuses across Canada.”

The CICan’s Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements. Awards were distributed in the following eight categories, in partnership with TD Insurance, the exclusive sponsor of CICan’s Awards of Excellence.

Indigenous Education Award of Excellence

Gold – Sault College
Sault College is recognized for its commitment to indigenize the college, embrace Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, integrate Indigenous teachings and honor Indigenous experiences and identities. This has resulted in increased Indigenous participation and a better integration of Indigenous knowledge, practices, and pedagogies into the curriculum.

Silver – Cambrian College
Cambrian College has shown a strong commitment to Indigenous education and recently established a partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to further support the socio-economic development of First Nation communities.

Bronze – Lethbridge College
Lethbridge College has recently established a First Nations, Métis and Inuit President’s Council and a President’s Indigenous Council focused on consultation and collaboration.

Program Excellence

Gold – English as a Second Language (ESL) Pathways-Vancouver Community College
The ESL curriculum was designed to respond to known barriers newcomers to Canada face in accessing sustainable employment and post-secondary education. The overall vision was to develop and establish a new provincial program as an alternate to traditional ESL curricula. The ESL Pathways curriculum and program design contain key components that ensure quality ESL delivery: learner-centered needs and outcomes based curriculum, flexible use of curriculum and programs, instructor support, and easy integration into institutional frameworks.

Silver – Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Program, Lakeland College
The Play Program which originated in the ELCC program puts students in the lead and makes them responsible for planning, budgeting, marketing and working hands-on with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Bronze – Hospitality & Tourism Management Program, Olds College
Olds College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program is a vibrant, hands-on flagship program that is flexible, accessible and portable, and can be delivered on the learner’s mobile device, anytime, anywhere.

Applied Research and Innovation Excellence Award

Gold – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
SAIT’s institution-wide commitment to applied research and the support of SMEs with novel technologies and ideas is evidenced through the significant resources it has dedicated to its Applied Research and Innovation Services. With 40 full-time researchers supported by a dedicated team, 35,000 square feet of specialized laboratory space and equipment, and the engagement of students through an Innovative Student Project Fund, the institute is a champion of innovation.

Silver – Lambton College
Lambton College’s long term commitment to growing applied research capacity has resulted in new areas of research to involve more faculty researchers, research students and partners while supporting regional and national strategic initiatives

Bronze – Olds College
For nearly two decades, Olds College has played a leadership role in applied research activity to advance innovation-based rural economic development in agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental management sectors. Today, Olds College is positioning to be a hub for Smart Agriculture in the region.

Internationalization Award of Excellence

Gold – George Brown College
Preparing graduates with global and intercultural competencies vital to job readiness in a global economy is a key strategic initiative for George Brown College. The college’s ongoing commitment to fostering global competencies includes developing international academic and industry partnerships that provide inbound and outbound articulation pathways, field placements and study abroad opportunities, faculty exchanges, a scholarship fund and the fusion of global perspectives into curricula. The college also ensures that their 4,200 international students have access to support services to ensure their full integration in the college and the community.

Silver – Cégep de Trois-Rivières
At the Cégep de Trois-Rivières, international and intercultural policies have led to the implementation of services, tools, and methods focused on student and faculty participation, international student integration, and institutional partnerships.

Bronze – Centennial College
Through the internationalization of programs and curriculum, the involvement of students and faculty in international and cross-cultural projects and activities, the establishment of the Suzhou Centennial College in China and growing international student enrolments from 132 countries, Centennial College is truly an international institution.

Student Excellence Award

Gold – William Sandy, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT)
An advocate for community and social development and environmental sustainability, William actively engages in student and governance activities. He has served three elected student terms on the NVIT Board which speaks to his leadership qualities and represented NVIT at the International Youth Camp at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics’ World Congress in Brazil.

Silver – Ismail Nabih, Centennial College
As a student governor, student ambassador and member of several committees and clubs, Ismail has made a powerful impact on students overall and the College’s reputation in the community.

Bronze – Alice Mary Nakiwala, Niagara College
Alice is an award-winning student, a valuable member of the Niagara College Student life team, an eager contributor to campus life and a student leader elected to the Niagara College Students Administrative Council.

Leadership Excellence for Faculty

Gold – Nancy Nelson, Program Coordinator, Electronic and Systems Engineering Degree Program, Conestoga College
An early adopter of educational technology, Nancy introduced new tools, techniques, and approaches such as Problem-based Learning (PBL) to support student success. She has given presentations and workshops on PBL, universal design for learning, flipped classroom, active learning, teaching large classes, and student success. She also hosts “”, a blog devoted to academic issues and received the 2016 Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education.

Silver – Tatjana Brkic, Instructor, Red River College
Tatjana is a leading force in the design of innovative experience-based learning methods, drawing on applied research business research and social innovation as well as curriculum development.

Bronze – David deJourdan, Faculty/Program Coordinator, Recreation Programs, Canadore College
David was instrumental in moving Canadore College’s Recreation programs into online delivery where 50% of all students attending programs from the School of Sport & Recreation are doing so as 100% online learners.

Leadership Excellence Staff-Non-Managerial Award

Gold – Andrea Reid, Counsellor at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC)
Andrea brought to reality her idea for a mobile app that provides mental wellbeing supports. The NBCC Wellbeing App, launched in 2016, has improved access to supports for students. Another of Andrea’s accomplishments is The Greenhouse Grocery Oasis which turned an old greenhouse into an area where students and staff could grow vegetables to supplement the Campus food bank. Andrea was selected to receive the Canadian Association of Social Workers’ Distinguished Service Award for the Province of New Brunswick.

Silver – Lyle Williams, Adaptive Technology Specialist, Centennial College
Through numerous innovative adaptive technology projects, Lyle has helped students with disabilities eliminate barriers across Centennial College’s four campuses

Bronze – Patti Church, Entrepreneurial Support and Principal Investigator, Applied Research and Innovation, Algonquin College
Due to her unique mix of teaching experience, industry knowledge, innovative thinking and adoption of technology, Patti is an outstanding leader who is making a tremendous impact on students, staff and the college.

Leadership Excellence, Staff-Managerial

Gold – Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean, Visual and Performing Arts and Producer of the Canada Music Theatre Project, Sheridan College
Michael is the founder and producer of the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Canada’s first incubator and permanent headquarters dedicated to the development of new works of musical theatre. He has contributed greatly to helping Sheridan College make its mark on Broadway with alumni performers, creators and producers.

Silver – Kevin Holmes, Manager of the Health and Wellness Research Centre, Algonquin College
By bringing together students, faculty, and health professionals to work together with real life patients on numerous projects, Kevin has contributed to the development of practical solutions to promote healthy living and healthy education in the community.

Bronze – Dr. Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, Executive Dean, Applied Research & Innovation, Lambton College
Under Dr. Sheikhzaden’s leadership, Lambton College’s Applied Research & Innovation department has significantly expanded resulting in increased experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty, as well as significant growth in the number of college partnership projects and initiatives with industry, academic institutions, and economic organizations.

About Us

Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics. Its members offer over 8000 programs, working with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. CICan and its members are committed to driving Canadian prosperity by being global leaders in applied education and partnered innovation.




For more information:
Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan