CICan celebrates excellence and leadership at Canadian colleges and institutes

Niagara Falls, May 6, 2019 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) celebrated the many achievements of its members and their staff with the 2019 Awards of Excellence. This year’s recipients were announced during the association’s annual conference in Niagara Falls. 

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

“Colleges and institutes are so successful thanks to passionate staff, teachers, researchers and administrators who work tirelessly to provide students with the skills and experience they need to succeed”, said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of CICan. “Every year, the CICan Awards of Excellence recognize these dedicated people who go above and beyond to make Canada’s post-secondary education the best in the world.” 

Here are this year’s winners in all eight categories: 

Indigenous Education Excellence 

Gold: NorQuest College
In 2017, NorQuest College became Edmonton’s first signatory to the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Indigenous Education Protocol. This was the culmination of College-wide efforts to better serve Indigenous learners and support educational and economic development in their communities. The College’s Indigenization Strategy, Wahkohtowin, is a living document guiding its holistic approach to reconciliation and decolonization. NorQuest’s commitment as an Indigenous community hub is embodied in its Indigenous Student Centre; overseen by Indigenous staff and featuring the welcoming presence of two resident Elders. 
Silver: Parkland College 
Bronze: Algonquin College 


Program Excellence 

Gold: Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians, Nova Scotia Community College 

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) partnered with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. to offer education, apprenticeship and career opportunities in the shipbuilding industry to Indigenous Canadians, who are historically underrepresented in the industry. The partnership involved a 14-week preparatory training program focused on personal and academic readiness and metal fabrication career exploration; a Metal Fabrication Diploma program; mentoring and coaching by community and industry supporters; two work terms at Irving Shipbuilding; and, upon graduation, full-time employment with Irving’s Halifax Shipyard. 
Silver: Interactive Media Cluster,Fanshawe College 
Bronze: Bachelor of Social Science – Criminal Justice ProgramHumber College 


Applied Research and Innovation Excellence 

Gold: Lambton College 
Applied Research and Innovation at Lambton College continues to drive industrial innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. For the past 10 years, the Applied Research and Innovation department at Lambton College has consistently outperformed its larger, national counterparts when it comes to success and activities in applied research, development, and commercialization.  
Silver: Seneca College 
Bronze: British Columbia Institute of Technology 


Internationalization Excellence 

Gold: Cégep Marie-Victorin 
Since 1970, Cégep Marie-Victorin has shown a remarkable capacity for innovation with international and intercultural initiatives. It showed remarkable leadership by putting in place ground-breaking programs to facilitate student and personnel mobility, and to recruit international students while supporting their integration. The cégep has also been able to mobilise its students, personnel, and community to implement international and intercultural projects founded on a deeply humanist approach. 
Silver: Seneca College 
Bronze: Centennial College 


Leadership Excellence for Students 

Gold: Robin Chiles, Red Deer College
Robin Chiles is a dedicated wife and mother of two, community volunteer, full-time nursing student, recognized student leader at Red Deer College (RDC) and a leader in the community of Red Deer. Helping others heal and thrive-physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is Robin’s purpose. She is a valued member of the RDC Board of Governors, a contributing member of the Student Association and the Nursing Society, and a strong volunteer with numerous community agencies, as well as her church. Her contributions are wise, pragmatic and heartfelt 
Silver: Cory Haslett, Sheridan College 
Bronze: Phillip William YapLakeland College 


Leadership Excellence for Faculty 

Gold: Suzanne BlackJohn Abbott College 
Suzanne Black has served as both Chair and Co-chair of John Abbott College’s Chemistry department since 2005. Suzanne is recognized as one of the college’s most dedicated teachers. As the current Chair of the Academic Council, she volunteers her time as an ambassador for the college, as an academic coach for its varsity program, and as a mentor to her peers. Her influence goes beyond the classroom; it is ingrained in the very foundation of John Abbott College. 
Silver: Rose CarusoSeneca College 
Bronze: Laurie Newsham,Olds College 


CICan Leadership Excellence Award for Non-Managerial Staff  

Gold: Marilyn Alexis, Okanagan College 
Marilyn Alexis, a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, has been employed at Okanagan College since 1999 as an Aboriginal Transition Planner. During that time, she has worked diligently to build bridges between the general community and local Indigenous peoples. In addition to leading the college’s Indigenous Garden project, Marilyn has been instrumental in increasing the number of Indigenous students at the Vernon campus to over 250 in the fall of 2018. Marilyn has also been a leader in hosting an annual Candlelight Vigil Event to honour women who have experienced violence, including the women slain at L’École Polytechnique, and the women murdered or missing on the Highway of Tears. 
Silver: Mohawk College Campus Sustainability and Climate Change Team, Mohawk College 
Bronze: Maria BracalentiMohawk College 


CICan Leadership Excellence Award for Managerial Staff  

GoldKelly O’Brien, Durham College 
An outstanding and inspiring leader, Kelly O’Brien works every single day to seamlessly integrate the business operations of the Durham College W. Galen Weston Centre for Food with academic programming. The result has been a powerful example of serving students and the community at the highest possible level. Under Kelly’s leadership, the Weston Centre business operations have enjoyed ‘best-ever’ years, three fiscals in a row. In addition, she is very active in the community, works with non-profits to support their needs, and hires dozens of students each semester, providing them with more opportunity than ever before. When not overseeing Centre operations, she teaches part-time and is part of broader academic planning and operations. 
Silver: Barbara FouldsAlgonquin College 
Bronze: Bill HumberSeneca College 


About Colleges and Institutes Canada: 
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICanis the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities 



For more information:  

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