BY JESSICA PETT
Conestoga College has produced some exceptionally gifted people over the years. Since 1997, the Alumni of Distinction Awards have recognized these significant achievements.
Nine alumni were honoured for their successes at the Waterloo Region Museum on Nov. 4, as well as many current students. Three types of awards were presented throughout the evening: the Welcome Home Award for first-year students whose parents are alumni; the Alumni Association School Award which grants $1,000 to students who are entering into their final semester and are committed to community service and academic excellence; and finally the Alumni of Distinction Awards.
The nine Alumni of Distinction Award winners are: Jamie Adam, Steve Cabral, Dominic Bombino, Douglas Grosfield, Sherry Lickers, Craig Maw, Greg Pilecki, Dean Wick and Wallace Wong.
Tim Tribe, chief development officer at Conestoga College, said there are many successful Conestoga College alumnus who deserve to be recognized.
“The alumni have gone forward from the college and launched out into their careers and are doing great things and so this is a great opportunity for the college to recognize that success and honour them through the Alumni of Distinction Awards,” he said.
Anne Mackay, a consultant for non-profit organizations and a member of the Alumni Council, attended the event last year and met an amazing woman who she felt should have been up on the stage receiving her own award.
“Sherry Lickers is in early childhood education and she’s a supervisor at Six Nations and she also works on the ECE conference for all teachers in the aboriginal community and she’s a figure skating coach and she’s an author – she’s just kind of an amazing person,” she said.
Lickers’ son was nominated for an award in 2014 at this event; this is where she met Mackay.
“I sat down beside her and her son was getting an award and I started asking her about her background and I was so impressed with her as an alumnus and all the things that she’d done and I thought, ‘Wow, she should be up there getting an award,’” Mackay said.
Lickers is a proud graduate of the early childhood education program.
“It was the best two years of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.
Conestoga College President John Tibbits gave a speech before distributing the awards, displaying a true sense of pride not only in the alumni present that night, but of all the successful men and women who have graduated from Conestoga.
“We’ve really become a force in the community, there’s no question. I mean almost 50 per cent of the workforce has taken a course at the college. We’re everywhere, we’re like that movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I want to thank all of the alumni for your support over the years and also for making us proud, and a personal congratulations to all of tonight’s award recipients –thank you very much,” he said.
The Alumni of Distinction Awards are presented every year and Tribe said nominating someone is quite easy. He encourages faculty to nominate alumni as well.
“We have an online form people can fill out and complete or they can simply call the alumni office and we will begin the work for them and start to research some people. It’s a pretty easy process,” he said.
To nominate someone for next year’s awards, visit www.conestogac.on.ca/alumni/awards/alumnus_dist.