Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

NAIT community award winners

Kudos for everything from cooking to conservation

Woman of vision

cecile bukmeier, NAIT auto body technician instructor, Woman of VisionOn Jan. 20, Global Edmonton named Cecile Bukmeier (Auto Body Technician '15) its first Woman of Vision of 2019.

After struggling for acceptance in the industry early in her career, Bukmeier excelled in her trade, earning gold medals at skills competitions such as Skills Canada Alberta. Now NAIT's first-ever female instructor in the Auto Body Technician program, Bukmeier has become the mentor she never had.

The Woman of Vision program celebrates the accomplishments of women from the Edmonton area.

Coolest award of the season

Ice carving artist and Royal Glenora Club chef Steve Buzak (Culinary Arts '98) and Scott Harrison showed their chops at the Harbin China International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in January. The pair ranked third of 34 teams for their patriotic piece (which features, at its heart, a special nod to their home province).

Marvellous mead

After taking up mead making just two years ago, instructor David Whitaker (Cooking ’83) won his first award for the hobby this summer.

Whitaker’s “Kilkenny Mead” (made with just honey, water and yeast) earned silver at the inaugural Horde at the Hive competition in Okotoks. Judges were impressed by its clarity, aroma and balance.


Proud to be smoke free

This summer, the Smoke-Free Spaces Committee named NAIT among its Leadership Award winners for Alberta. Criteria include a smoke-free environment, prohibition of smoking materials and support for students and staff looking to kick the habit. The committee includes Alberta Health Services, Alberta Blue Cross and several other health-focused organizations.

Cultural reconnection

rhonda dever and morgan reynoldsJR Shaw School of Business instructor Rhonda Dever earned the 2018 Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award, named for the former Métis Elder in Residence at NAIT’s Nîsohkamâtotân Centre. Dever (left) was nominated by student Morgan Reynolds (Management ’17, right), who was encouraged by the instructor to research her roots in a class project.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for her and the work she does to encourage Aboriginal students to explore our culture,” says Reynolds.

2018 alumni award winners

nait alumni award winners 2018

Each year, NAIT highlights and celebrates the accomplishments of a select group of outstanding grads through the Alumni Recognition Awards. Congrats to the 2018 winners:

Alumni Award of Distinction 
Darren Lunt (Marketing ’90, second from right), President, Weldco Companies

Alumni Award of Excellence
Ronda Gras
(Chemical Technology ’91, third from left), Associate R&D Scientist, Dow Chemical Canada

Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award
Carolyn Kincade (Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management ’17, Dental Laboratory Technology ’07, third from right), Osseointegration Technologist, Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine
Kathy Le (Radio and Television – Television ’11, second from left), Reporter and Anchor, CTV News Calgary

Better homes for bats

quarry life award, bat houses, cadomin, NAITNAIT students made history this fall as one of the first-ever Canadian medallists and winners in the Quarry Life Award in national and international categories.

The competition is held every two years by HeidelbergCement to enhance biodiversity at the company’s mining operations around the world. This year it attracted 317 proposals from across North America. The multidisciplinary group from NAIT took second place for efforts to build better houses for bats, conserving the population at a quarry near Cadomin, 300 kilometres west of Edmonton. Internationally, however, they placed first in the category of biodiversity management.

“The students approached this process in a truly NAIT fashion by identifying an issue and coming up with a solution,” says instructor Dave Critchley (Forest Technology ’99, Biological Sciences Technology – Renewable Resources ’98).

Queen of the kitchen

RGE RD chef de cuisine Davina Moraiko (Culinary Arts ’05) took top honours at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Edmonton, a 10-chef competition that picks up where Gold Medal Plates left off. Moraiko’s win – for a unique take on blood sausage – earned her a spot at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna in February.

Top marks from international students

nait international studentsIn a recent national survey, international students at NAIT ranked the polytechnic among the top schools in Canada for quality of education and overall experience.

“I’m pleased that these results affirm our efforts,” says Alison Lewis, associate vice-president Campus Life.


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