If you need further proof of how far a college education can take you, check out the six recipients and 114 nominees for this year’s Premier’s Awards. I had the privilege of attending the awards dinner earlier this week and was thoroughly impressed by what all of these remarkable college graduates have accomplished in their careers and given back to their communities. At Mohawk, we’ve honoured nearly 100 remarkable graduates with induction into our Alumni of Distinction.
So who’s the most remarkable Mohawk graduate that you know of and why would they be deserving of college and provincial honours?
Special thanks to professors Shelley Lang, Kelley Hoyt and Michelle Turan for the invitation to join their classes during the past two weeks and catch our students in action. A special thanks to Massage Therapy student Amy Sloan-Forderer for the great back and shoulder massage and conversation. If you’d like me to pay a visit to your program in 2015, please email Trish Loomis in the President’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mohawk earned high marks in our latest Program Quality Assurance Process Audit. The provincially mandated audit evaluates program quality at all Ontario colleges on 28 requirements and identifies which requirements have been met, partially met or not met. Mohawk met 27 requirements, with one partially met requirement. We also received commendations from the auditors for our work on educational technology tools, student services and programs, the renewal of our Fennell Campus, our commitment to sustainability and our partnership with McMaster University.
Thanks to everyone who had a part to play in our successful audit, including Dan McKerrall, Cebert Adamson, Andreea Pohrib, steering committee members Cheryl Jensen, Paul Armstrong, Chris Blackwood, Fred Nickner and Rachel Matthews, Cheryl Wrixon, Katherine McCurdy, Shawna McNicol, Leslie Marshall, Roberta Weiss, Lisa Pegg, the faculty and staff who provided evidence for the self-study report and took part in the on-site audit and all the students and program advisory committee members who also participated in the audit.
Mohawk Advertising students continue to win major awards. At the Advertising & Design Club of Canada’s 2014 awards show, Mohawk students won a silver medal and two awards of merit. The silver medal went to second year students Cory Hansen, Kevin Gonzalez and Holly Curran. Awards of merit went to the team of Emily Nixon, Leo Gonzalez and Dave Knox and to the team of Osman Rahmani and Eric Williamson who are now working in the advertising industry. The Advertising & Design Club of Canada is a non-profit dedicated to encouraging excellence in advertising and design and their awards competition is considered our country’s premiere creative awards show.
A very special thank you to the Mohawk Students’ Association for once again stepping up in a big way for our students. On Wednesday, we celebrated the MSA’s $500,000 donation toward major renovations that happened this past summer at our skilled trades campus. I was proud to recognize the MSA’s gift by officially dedicating the Mohawk Students’ Association Fitness Centre. The donation to improve the amenities at our Stoney Creek Campus follows a $1 million donation from the MSA in support of the Fennell Campus renewal project. The spirit of collaboration between Mohawk and the MSA is the envy of many college presidents and is built on a shared commitment to serving students and delivering a great college experience.
Thanks to your efforts, Mohawk has once again been named one of the top 10 employers in Hamilton and Niagara. We’re in good company, joined by Ablib Software, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Hamilton Health Sciences, Horizon Utilities, IKEA Canada, Niagara Casinos, Sodexho Canada, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Stryker Canada. Now in its 16th year, Canada’s top employers is an annual editorial competition run by Mediacorp Canada that recognizes best places to work nationally and regionally.
I just finished Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty is a French author who explores the long-term evolution of inequality in our society fueled by returns on capital that outpace growth in wages over extended periods of time. I love the fact that his research has shown that the most powerful force for equality (less divergence in wealth) is the diffusion of knowledge and skills i.e. education. I am currently reading two books: Why Nations Fail, The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, and Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World by Tony Wagner. Next up is Ascent of Women: A New Age is Dawning For Every Mother’s Daughter by Sally Armstrong.
I share your disappointment. Mohawk’s Remembrance Day Service is one of our college’s most important events. The service has added significance for students, faculty and staff with family who’ve served and sacrificed for our country. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers this year were also with the young son and family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo.
We were introduced to the keynote speaker through citizenship swearing-in ceremonies. We host the ceremonies at Mohawk for Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the speaker has been a member of the platform party.
The Ontario Provincial Police launched an investigation which has since been handed over to the Hamilton Police Service.
We will be doing a more thorough review of our Remembrance Day speakers. In the past, we’ve asked students, alumni, faculty and staff who have served as soldiers and reservists to share their stories. It’s a tradition we will be returning to for future Remembrance Day Services.
At Mohawk, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of the people who learn and work at our college. We have zero tolerance for any form of violence or abuse directed at our students, faculty and staff. For victims of violence, we have supports in place through Counselling and Health Services and we make referrals to community resources.
In the event of a sexual assault, our Security team would work with Hamilton Police Service and run a parallel investigation. Under our Emergency Response Policy, we have specific procedures in place for reporting and responding to violence, as well as violence prevention and protection. Mohawk’s Student Behavior policy has a procedure for critical incidences and there are also specific rules in place for the Residence, the Mohawk Students’ Association’s pub, the David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre and Athletics.
This past Sunday, the presidents from all 24 Ontario colleges unanimously voted to develop a province-wide sexual assault policy. A task force with student and college leaders and Human Resources staff has been formed to develop a clear and easy-to-access policy. Mohawk will adopt this policy once it is developed.