News and notes

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Convocation callouts

In addition to the thrill of seeing about 650 students become alumni as they crossed the stage at Convocation at the Enmax Centre on April 28, guests at this year’s ceremony witnessed a few additional notable moments:

  • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, received an honorary degree. McLachlin, who was born and raised in Pincher Creek, has had a profound influence on the Supreme Court for more than 25 years, since first being appointed in 1989. Named Canada’s 17th chief justice in 2000, she is the first woman to serve as chief justice of Canada’s highest court, and is now the longest-serving chief justice in Canadian history, with a strong history of fighting for Indigenous rights and causes. She announced her retirement a few weeks after the ceremony.
  • Father and son duo Julius and Troy Delaney, from the Blood Tribe/Kainai First Nation, gave the inaugural performance of the Lethbridge College Honour Song. The Delaneys, who come from a long line of drummers and singers who carry on the songs of many past spiritual leaders, both attended classes at Lethbridge College.
  • The annual Honour Night took place after the ceremony. This event gave the 120 Indigenous convocates the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with fellow classmates, family members and community members. As students embark on their pursuit of further academic and career goals, this evening also provided an opportunity for convocates to express thanks to their families as well as the services and agencies that have assisted in their educational journey.

Therapeutic music making

Forty-six participants – including therapeutic recreation students, therapeutic recreation professionals and community members – came to campus in May to learn how to connect seniors to rhythm at a recreational therapist facilitator training program called Lulujam. This training, led by musical educator Lulu Leathley, has a scientifically-documented medical, emotional and even spiritual benefit and can bring seniors, clients and their families together. Participants learned skills and activities to promote participation in drumming, rhythmic body movements, auditory stimulation, playing musical instruments, singing and chanting – all with a therapeutic purpose.

“I was amazed at the active participation I saw by all who attended,” says Kathie Ervin, an instructor in the Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology program who called the workshop one of the most beneficial training programs she has been involved in. “After the workshop, I could see how this drumming/music making could be used with all ages and disabilities in therapeutic recreation services, and also how this could be used to build teamwork, collaboration and relationships of employees in any workplace.” Ervin adds that the Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology program will explore future training with Leathley for students and practitioners.

College receives $6.79 million in federal funding

New infrastructure funding will allow Lethbridge College to create a flexible, modular innovation space that will benefit students, faculty and industry by providing real-world research opportunities in all disciplines. Lethbridge College will receive $6.79 million from the federal government, and a further $350,000 from the provincial government, for two projects under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). A total of $6.44 million of that federal funding will go towards the development of a 7,000-square-foot innovation space in the second phase of the college’s new trades and technologies facility. Additionally, the federal and provincial governments will each provide $350,000 in funding to upgrade the power supply in the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence.

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