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Award-winning journalist Murray Brewster returns to alma mater for Spring Convocation

“I envy you. Because you are at the beginning of the adventure.”

Those were the words of award-winning journalist Murray Brewster as he addressed more than 900 new graduates from Niagara College’s schools of Media, Trades and Technology on June 23.

For Brewster, it was the first return to his alma mater since he graduated from the College’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program in 1985. Since then, the Welland native – who grew up just a few blocks away from campus – built a successful career in broadcasting and print journalism which has taken him all over the world, including 15 months in Afghanistan travelling with troops during the five-year Kandahar combat mission. That experience was the subject of his book, The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan, (2011), and he was the lead writer on the documentary Kandahar Journals.

After more than a decade at The Canadian Press, Brewster moved on to his current position at CBC News in Ottawa last year, where he is a senior parliamentary defence and foreign policy writer. Here, he has come to appreciate the insight of his new, younger colleagues in the newsroom.

Brewster told the young graduates, as they enter their careers, not to assume that experienced, well-travelled journalists like himself have all the answers.

“There is so much I can learn from you. And there is so much you can teach me – and my generation,” he said.

Brewster encouraged the new graduates to not give into the anger, the cynicism, the intolerance and ugliness that is prevalent in the world.

“If there is one thing my generation has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the greater our knowledge has become, the more our ignorance has shown itself,” he said. “Just hold onto the person you are today. Don’t let go of the optimism and passion that brought you to this moment.”

He told them that “people will judge you more for the content of your character than the content of your resume.” He advised them to never be afraid to speak their minds or stand up for what is right, oppose for the sake of opposing, or find fault in someone else’s argument without offering an alternative.

“Remember, civility is not a sign of weakness.”

His major pearl of wisdom to the graduates: “Don’t feed the trolls,” he said, referring to those who intentionally cause disruption and argument on social media.

Brewster told the young graduates that his generation is depending on them to do the right thing, fix their mistakes, and not make too many of their own. He said he looked forward to hearing their insight and seeing the world through their eyes.

“I look forward to you proving that respect for diversity is truly a strength and not a political slogan,” he said. “I look forward to you creating a world where strength is paired with wisdom.

“In other words: I look forward to you not feeding the trolls.”

Brewster received a Distinguished Alumni Award during the ceremony.

The event capped off 2017 Spring Convocation Ceremonies at Niagara College which celebrated more than 4,600 new graduates – a record number—from June 20 to 23 at the Welland Campus.

Previous ceremonies

The ceremonies kicked off on June 20 with speaker, Patrick Whalen, director of The Global Tourism Institute at Niagara University, who received an Honorary Diploma in Tourism Management. On June 21, former deputy minister and Deborah Newman, distinguished visiting professor, Ryerson University addressed graduates at the morning ceremony; and John Ferguson, CEO and president of Purolator Courier addressed graduates in the afternoon . Both of the day’s guest speakers received an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies.

On June 22, the College welcomed former Ontario minister of education Sean Conway, visiting professor at Ryerson University, who received an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies at the morning ceremony. Derek McNally, executive vice president of Clinical Services, as well as a chief nursing executive at Niagara Health System, received an honorary diploma in Health Studies at the afternoon ceremony.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

Niagara College public relations grad named top student

A new Niagara College (NC) graduate is the recipient of the Student Award of Excellence by the Hamilton chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) for outstanding leadership and professionalism in the public relations field.

Graeme Collins, who completed his studies in the Public Relations Graduate Certificate program at NC in April and will graduate officially in June, was honoured for leadership in personal and scholastic activities, understanding and application of the principles of public relations theory, a commitment to the future of the public relations profession, and as a leader who has the ability to make contributions to that profession.

Collins, who is from the small town of Caistor Centre in the Niagara region and is a resident of Hamilton, set his sights on a career in public relations early.

“I chose PR after I had finished my undergrad at the University of Guelph,” he said. “I wanted to pursue something that would take all the things I love to do and build a career. Whenever I looked into a career that involved writing, public speaking, client relations and strategic planning, PR would be on the top of my list.

“Niagara College’s PR program instantly attracted me because I kept hearing about how focused it was on giving students the opportunities they needed to grow and develop into strong members of the industry,” he added. “Also, the smaller class sizes made for a more intimate and personalized learning experience.”

NC professor Emily McInerney, School of Media Studies, praised the CPRS for its choice of Collins.

“Graeme demonstrated leadership and a level of PR professionalism right from the beginning,” she said. “He sets personal goals and achieves them, and this determination will help him to continue to be successful.”

Collins recently started his new position in the marketing department of Miller Thomson LLP.

The CPRS Hamilton chapter represents professional public relations practitioners in Hamilton, Halton, Niagara and southwestern Ontario, and promotes professional development of public relations.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

For more information on the Public Relations program, visit: http://www.niagaracollege.ca/media-studies/programs/public-relations/

For media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell
Media advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
Cell: 905-933-6259
smcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

Niagara College Broadcasting students enjoy winners’ spotlight at national conference of educators

Students from Niagara College’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program were centre-stage Friday at the annual Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC) awards ceremony in Toronto.

Winning in the documentary long category was 8 Weeks by students Dianne Cabansay (director), Taylor Murray, Maika Boettcher (producers); winning in the drama or comedy long category was The Debriefing by Harrison Bond (director), Krystal Kwasniak, Jumaani Davison (producers); and, winning in the radio on-air performance category was Julie Vanderlip.

BEAC honoured outstanding work by students and recent graduates, judging more than 150 entries from colleges and universities across Canada.

“Once again, the overall quality of the audio and video production continues to amaze the judges,” said judging coordinator Paul Papadopoulos.

“Making a good movie – either a documentary or drama – does not happen by accident; it’s a balance between technical skill, storytelling craft and creativity,” said NC’s professor of film production, Luke Hutton. “Winning the BEAC award for best drama and documentary is not only an honour for the students, but serves as testament that Niagara College is teaching the next generation of filmmakers the right things to help kick-start their careers.”

NC president Dan Patterson added his praise. “The awards are a testament to hard work by both the students and the faculty and staff; we are very proud of the quality of their work,” he said.

The students were pleased with BEAC’s decision to honour their work.

From 8 Weeks:

“I’m humbled to receive a national award for our documentary,” said Cabansay. “We would not have been able to do it without the help of our production crew, who put so much time and effort in. Of course, we would not have been able to do this without the story of my good friend, Steve Wang; his experience with the whole refugee claim as a gay man from China is impactful in many ways, so the crew and I are glad that his story is being recognized by others.”

“I’m thrilled about the recognition of this project which our team worked hard on,” said Murray. “I hope that the film continues its success as we continue to promote it.”

“It’s quite surreal to think that we have won a national award for our work,” said Boettcher. “However, it wasn’t difficult wanting to make Steven’s incredible story a documentary that we can all be proud of.”

From The Debriefing:

“I would like to thank the very talented cast and crew for their incredible hard work,” said Bond. “There was a great deal of dedication put towards this film.”

“Working on The Debriefing was an incredible experience to cap off my final year of film school,” said Davison. “I was able to use what I’d been taught to help create a project I can be really proud of, with a team of people I am equally proud of.”

“This award means a lot to the whole crew,” said Kwasniak. “We all worked diligently to make sure the film was a success. Thank you to everyone that helped in making this incredible film.”

From Julie Vanderlip, recipient of the Radio On-Air Performance:

“I am grateful for this opportunity, to say the least,” said Vanderlip. “I’m aware of how lucky I am for my mentors, as they are the ones who helped to shape me into who I am today.”

“The BEAC award is hopefully the first step in the students’ journeys to becoming the next generation of creative leaders in the expanding Canadian film and television industry,” added Hutton.

BEAC is dedicated to professional development of faculty and administrators in radio, television, broadcast journalism and new media programs in colleges and universities in Canada.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
Cell: 905-933-6259
smcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

Niagara College students get their game on for Global Game Jam Jan.20-22 weekend

Niagara College students, staff and alumni volunteers will log major creative time this weekend when they participate in the annual Global Game Jam (GGJ) at NC’s campus in Welland.

For 48 consecutive hours, gamer participants – students in NC’s Game Development Program and volunteers – will work in teams to design a new video or board game to help inject new ideas into the gaming industry.

The GGJ operates in over 90 countries in local sites where participants form teams to design a new game – the specific theme of which is announced at the start of the jam.

“Global Game Jam encourages innovation, creativity and collaboration,” said Game Development program professor Rick Goertz. “Every participant comes away a ‘winner’ acquiring new knowledge and expertise.”

This is the second year NC has hosted this event and about 40 students are expected to participate. They will be led by NC alumni volunteers. NC has excellent computer labs that will assist participants in putting their skills to this friendly global jam.

NC’s GGJ gets underway on Friday, January 20 at 7 p.m., at the Welland Campus, Labs S304, S306 and S308, and runs until 5 p.m. on Sunday, the 22nd.
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Niagara College offers more than 120 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs, as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. www.niagaracollege.ca

For additional information on the GGJ: www.globalgamejam.org
Media inquiries, contact:

Susan McConnell, Media Advisor, Niagara College 905 641-2252 ext. 4330

Acclaimed artist shares natural talent with NC art students

Niagara College will play enthusiastic host to artist Josh Tiessen when he conducts a lecture and painting technique demonstration for students as well as displays his internationally award-winning art at the Welland campus on Wednesday.

Tiessen was juried as the youngest member of the International Guild of Realism and is ranked among foremost realist artists from around the world. He was mentored by acclaimed Canadian artist Robert Bateman and has had his work exhibited for the past decade in 75 exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Canada. The Stoney Creek native has also established his own ‘Arts for a Change Foundation’ and his philanthropic work was listed as an outstanding achievement when he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Meal and named as Canada’s Top 20 under 20.

WHO:
Stoney Creek artist Josh Tiessen
Niagara College Art and Design Foundation Students

WHAT:
Art exhibition, demonstration and lecture

WHERE:
Main foyer, Welland Campus, Niagara College, 300 Woodlawn Road, Main Entrance

WHEN:
Wednesday, October 19
11 am-2:30 pm Open Gallery viewing and meet the artist
2:30 p.m.-3 pm Gallery viewing with students (media welcome)
Following the viewing, Tiessen will be in the classroom with students, returning to the exhibition after the lecture

Additional info:
www.joshtiessen.com

Media inquiries, please contact:
Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259
susan.mcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

Niagara College Broadcasting students win national awards

Two Niagara College Broadcasting students capped off their college years as national award winners.

Just weeks before graduating from Niagara College’s three-year Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program, Brandon Primmer and Rachel Hodges were each honoured with a National Student Award from the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada. The BEAC awards recognize the unique combination of creativity and technical excellence demonstrated by students in radio, television, video and new media.

BEAC president Ashif Jivraj noted that the BEAC’s National Student Awards recognize excellence in media production from students across Canada.

“Recipients are chosen by industry professionals and faculty that look for creativity, and technical quality. Productions selected reflect the highest standards exemplified by BEAC member institutions in Canada,” said Jivraj. “Congratulations to Rachel and Brandon for their awards. Seeing their outstanding work gives me a renewed confidence for the future of our industry.”

Welland residents Primmer and Hodges both won the awards for work they completed as part of their studies: Primmer in the video category for his music video, “Let Yourself Go,” and Hodges in the audio category for her newscast that aired live in December on NC’s student radio station, CRNC The Heat.

Primmer, who is originally from Owen Sound, created the music video for his film production class.

“It was an incredible experience for me personally, to take a pen and paper idea and transform it into a full-fledged professional video where a dedicated crew worked on it for the course of a month,” he said.

He currently works as a videographer in Hamilton for AMV Productions and hopes to run his own production company someday specializing in music and corporate videos or commercials.

“This BEAC award winning video has shown me my true potential in reaching that goal,” he said. “Combined with a skill set refined by Niagara College, I truly believe I can achieve what I set out to do after graduating.”

Winning the national award was a welcome surprise to Hodges on the brink of graduation. Hodges, who is originally from Orillia, said she was grateful for the award and the experience she gained in all three streams of the College’s Broadcasting program – radio, television and film.

“It has always been my goal to work in the news industry so being able to add a national news award to my resume will certainly be beneficial in the future,” said Hodges, who is currently putting her education to work in the field as an intern reporter at News Talk 610 CKTB. “It will help me stand out among a number of other talented and qualified applicants which is important in such a small and competitive industry.”

The students were accompanied to Halifax by BRTF professors Bruce Gilbert and Peter VandenBerg.

“Seeing our students win national awards reinforces that our Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program produces high-quality grads that leave with the tools necessary to get great jobs,” says Gilbert. “It was a privilege to represent Niagara College that night.”

Primmer and Hodges both graduated from the College’s BRTF program on the morning of June 24.

For information about the BEAC student awards visit http://www.beac.ca/2016-student-award-winners/

For information about Niagara College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program visit http://www.niagaracollege.ca/media-studies/programs/broadcasting-radio-television-film/

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit NiagaraCollege.ca.

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Photos attached of Brandon Primmer and Rachel Hodges, from the BEAC National Student Awards ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Link to Brandon Primmer’s award-winning video:

Link to Rachel Hodge’s award-winning newscast:

Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7773
Cell: 905.328.4101
mwales@niagaracollege.ca

Julie Greco
Communications Specialist
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7368
Cell: 905.328.2532
jgreco@niagaracollege.ca

Niagara College helps industry embrace e-business and technology adoption solutions

For the fourth year in a row, Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division is ready to offer small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access to the College’s resources to provide e-business and technology adoption solutions.

Thanks to a new $50,000 grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Niagara College will offer vouchers to 20 companies to support projects that will generate new market opportunities. Eight vouchers are available for companies to access Technology Adoption projects, which will focus on technology development and testing/validation activities to support innovation. The remaining 12 vouchers will focus on e-business solutions such as website development, online sales process, digital and social media and customer relationship management.

Technology adoption projects are incorporated into an appropriate technical course in a program such as Culinary Innovation Food Technology, Greenhouse Technician, and Mechanical Engineering Technician. Students in the course work with their faculty and industry partner to help de-risk new technologies and promote their adoption.

A technology adoption project has enabled the North Hamilton Community Health Centre (NHCHC) to harvest the first two crops of lettuce, which they have been able to share with participants in the programs improving food access in our communities, according to Elizabeth Beader, CEO of the NHCHC.

“Through partnering with Niagara College and being a recipient of the OCE grant, we were able to purchase growing towers and supplies for our new greenhouse,” Beader explains. “Niagara College students have been supporting the community through consultation and development teams including: operations, crop advisement, costing, construction and layout design. The students have also provided greenhouse training to community stakeholders.”

Bill MacDonald, Niagara College faculty, was “thoroughly impressed by the commitment of the students who drove to Hamilton every two weeks to work on this project, which enabled them to apply their classroom learning in a real-world scenario and see the benefits of their effort on the north Hamilton community.”

The NHCHC was equally impressed, awarding Niagara College with Partnership Innovation Award for the project, which will be formally recognized in this autumn.

“OCE is proud to work with Niagara College to support the great companies working in the Niagara region through our Voucher for E-Business and Technology Adoption,” said Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “By connecting companies with the expertise and resources available at colleges like Niagara, we are helping promising young businesses scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools and other technologies to drive innovation.”

For each e-business project, the Research & Innovation team – which includes Niagara College students and expert faculty members from the New Media Web Design program – meet with the industry partners several times during the project, assessing the business’ needs, proposing solutions, designing and then populating the pages with content created by the company.

Niagara Falls-based Tukats Solutions was looking for a website (http://www.apothecary.mobi/) to promote its Apothecary app, which is described as “Canada’s only open marketplace for pharmacists and pharmacy owners/managers.” Since launching the new site, Apothecary has seen an “increase in topline revenue thanks to contracts with Loblaws and Walmart,” according to Ahmed El Shazly, managing director.

More information about the funding program, including details for potential industry partners, is available here: http://ncinnovation.ca/information-for-industry/current-opportunities. Companies interested in partnering with the Research & Innovation team may contact David DiPietro, Business Development co-ordinator, at ddipietro@niagaracollege.ca, or 905-641-2252, ext. 4287.

Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Voucher for E-Business and Technology Adoption (VEBTA) Program connects eligible companies with the expertise and resources available at Ontario colleges to help their business scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools and other technologies to drive innovation. These college projects will lead to new market opportunities for the business, which may include exports.

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation Division provides real-world solutions for business, industry and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. They conduct projects that provide innovative solutions, such as producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products or processes for small- and medium-sized businesses. With funding support from various regional, provincial and federal agencies, students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers to assist industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. For more information, visit ncinnovation.ca

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
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For more information or media inquiries, please contact

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7773
Cell: 905.328.4101
mwales@niagaracollege.ca

Julie Greco
Communications Specialist
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7368
Cell: 905.328.2532
jgreco@niagaracollege.ca

Work of Game Development students to be showcased

Niagara College’s Game Development program will host its annual GD Launch event, which is an exhibit of student work. GD Launch takes place on April 14, 2016 from 7 – 9 p.m. at The Core pub located at the Welland Campus.

This interactive gaming showcase, featuring Game Development program student’s game environments, character designs and gaming worlds is all highlighted by original game productions created by the program’s graduating class.

Students will also be recognized for their academic achievements with an award ceremony taking place during the event.

WHO:
Students and faculty from Niagara College’s Game Development program

WHAT:
GD Launch – a showcase of student work and awards ceremony

WHERE:
The Core, Welland Campus, 300 Woodlawn Rd., Welland

WHEN:
Thursday, April 14 from 7-9 p.m.
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Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Niagara College
905 735-2211 ext. 7773
905 328-4101 (cell)
mwales@niagaracollege.ca

Julie Greco
Communications Specialist
Niagara College
905 735-2211 ext. 7368
905-328-2532 (cell)
jgreco@niagaracollege.ca

NC students, grads shortlisted for 2016 Emerge Media Awards

Niagara College students and recent graduates are zooming in on success, after have being shortlisted for the 2016 Emerge Media Awards.

The awards, organized by the University of Guelph-Humber, aim to showcase the talent of students attending Canadian colleges and universities, who entered their work in eight different categories: Written Word, Multimedia Production, Photography, Advertising, Videography, Graphic/Digital Design: Editorial, Audio Storytelling and Public Relations.

Semifinalists were announced on March 22 for the second annual awards: 39 submissions representing 95 students from 13 post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Niagara College entries were among semifinalists announced in the Videography and Digital Photography categories.

Videography

In Videography, two of the five semifinalists were from Niagara College:

Darryl Sherk, “YouTube Comments” and

Kalyna Taras, Jenna Silta, Mac Kropf, Brad Curran, Mark Ventresca (third-year BRTF) for “Inspiring Potential.”

View story on Inspiring Potential here.

Photography

In the Photography category, two out of five semifinalists were from Niagara College:

Lorie Peacock, Series of Original Advertisement Photos; and

Oliver Hannak, Series of Emulated Advertisements.

Both Peacock and Hannak graduated from the College’s Digital Photography program in 2015.

This year’s semifinalists were selected among nearly 150 entries in eight categories.

Although the program is organized by fourth-year Media Studies students at the University of Guelph-Humber, all 49 judges are independent industry professionals. The entries are judged according to originality and creativity, audience appeal and professionalism.

The winners will be announced on April 25. For more information visit www.emergemediaawards.ca

This is the second year in a row that Niagara College entries were among those shortlisted for Emerge Media Awards. Last year, Digital Photography grad (2014) Katie Wyatt won first place in the photography category with her entry “Karsh emulation of George Bernard Shaw.”

View previous articles on InsideNC:

NC students shortlisted for 2015 Emerge Media Awards

NC grad wins first in Photography at Emerge Media Awards

Niagara College PR students studying youth engagement

Students in Niagara College’s Public Relations (Graduate Certificate) program are trying to identify what motivates youth to become involved in their community.

As part of a marketing research project, the students are conducting a study on behalf of the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC) and the United Way of South Niagara (UWSN). The research focuses on the engagement and motivation of community involvement in youth, specifically post-secondary students.

As part of their research project, each group of PR students is targeting different demographics within the student body such as first-year, returning, international, and post-graduate students, through a variety of methodologies including group administered, personal interviews, focus group and a web survey. The survey is now underway and runs until mid-November. The findings will be presented November 25.

“What we’re looking forward to most from this study is to garner a greater understanding of what motivates a student to give their time and money, and also identify any potential barriers,” said NCSAC President, Shane Malcolm.

“This is another example of providing our students with real-world experience in a way that benefits the community,” said Linda Warren Camus, marketing research instructor in the Public Relations program. “For the students, it’s an opportunity to create and implement a real-life research project, and for the United Way and NCSAC, it’s an opportunity to use data to better understand a key demographic.”

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.