Joao Borges shares International student experience at Peterborough Immigration Partnership panel

Guest blog post by Project Management student Joao Borges.

Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) is an organization that provides a coordinated approach to immigrant integration in Peterborough, Ont. On Thursday, February 20, 2020, PIP held its annual general meeting. This year’s theme was the attraction and retention of international students, specifically through education and entrepreneurship.

I was thrilled to be one of the speakers in the discussion panel, “Global Education, Local Impact: How 2 International students have made their mark as Peterborough entrepreneurs.” 

We exchanged unique perspectives regarding the resources our community provides to assist with the integration and career development of newcomers. I spoke about how Fleming College provided me with the business knowledge and hands-on experiences to succeed as an entrepreneur with the Paper Planter project; how I was able to leverage Fleming’s resources and connections to engage with community partners; and how Fleming’s community involvement is important to attract and retain talent, generating economic prosperity.

If there is one outcome we agreed on, it is for sure that Peterborough has a strong sense of collaboration and community members are passionate to help others make educated decisions. This provides an environment for Fleming students to use their skills to generate economic, social, and sustainable impact.

I also thoroughly enjoy learning about important community change-makers. It was a proud moment to see strong Fleming College representation and, as a former student worker at Fleming International Student Services, it was interesting to re-explore the work our staff is doing to support integration and retention of skilled talent into our community.

Tracey McConnery, Manager of English Programs & International Student Services, provided us with a presentation about the important role that Fleming is playing in providing resources to international students by collaborating with important community partners, such as the New Canadians Centre, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, and Community Futures Peterborough to name a few.

Being part of this event was an awesome experience. Besides the network and exchange of ideas, I was proud to see Fleming College actively engaging with community stakeholders, and fulfilling its mission of becoming true partners in the community.

Joao Borges (centre) at the discussion panel,
“Global Education, Local Impact: How 2 International students have made their mark as Peterborough entrepreneurs.” 

Fleming graduate explores coastal habitats aboard Leeway Odyssey science vessel

Ecosystem Management graduate Paul McCarney had an adventurous August on the Leeway Odyssey science vessel with Oceana Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government.

Paul, who is the Research Manager at the Nunatsiavut Government, went on a 10-day expedition to explore the coastal habitats of Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador.

“This is an area that is important to Inuit communities in this area, and the marine environment is so important,” said Paul on the culturally and ecologically significant habitats. “We do a lot of science work, but there’s not a lot of science work at the bottom of the ocean—there’s not much exploration done there and that’s the base of the whole habitat. Through this expedition, we’ll get a better sense of this area, monitor changes, see the species, and get a better understanding of the ecosystem and what’s going on in these areas.”

The team collected data and used cameras to record the habitats in coastal bays and fjords, including kelp forests, rocky reefs and open water areas surrounded by seasonal sea ice. Watch this video filmed by Fleming Environmental Visual Communication graduate Caitlin McManus for a glimpse of what they discovered.

“Being able to see the foundational part of the habitats and the ocean and the world is extremely productive. We were able to see coral sponges, sea stars, kelp habitats… there’s so much diversity and we’re able to see it right from the bottom of the ocean,” said Paul on the expedition.

The Fleming College graduate says he uses his education every day in his role as Research Manager, describing it as key to his career. His understanding of identification and looking at images in quadrants, assessments, social and political impacts, and more, are just some of the skills Paul uses daily that he gained at Fleming.

“What I love about Fleming is that the programs are inter-disciplinary. There’s a focus on science, and then you apply it to the social and political issues,” said Paul. “At the Nunatsiavut Government, we’re not just focused on science, we also protect the Inuit communities, the people and the environment. So that understanding from Fleming is useful.”

Paul believes in the Ecosystem Management program so much that he came back to teach in the program for two years after graduating. “I loved it!” said Paul. “I recommend it to everyone I’ve spoken to. Everyone loves it there.”

Photo credit: Oceana Canada/Evermaven

Fleming graduate Tyler Leavitt wins 2019 Readers’ Choice for Best Massage Therapist

When Tyler Leavitt graduated from Fleming College in 2018, he never imagined winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Massage Therapist after his first year of practice.

“Just being nominated in my first year of practice was an honour itself,” said Tyler on The Peterborough Examiner Readers’ Choice Awards, where he was the Diamond Winner. “I cannot thank everyone enough. From my professors and parents all the way to my co-workers that have pushed me to the place I am now.”

Tyler is a Registered Massage Therapist at The Urban Spa in Peterborough, Ont. He joined the team in March 2018, working as a Spa Assistant while in college, and transitioned to an Urban RMT when he earned his registration in October 2018.

“The success that I have had in my career so far is definitely a correlating factor with the way that we were taught from our amazing staff at Fleming,” said the Fleming Massage Therapy graduate.

“The biggest thing that I found helped me the most was our clinic setting, where we were able to practice in a free and friendly environment with veteran RMTs that could easily help us along the way!” said Tyler about his Spa + Clinic at Fleming College experience, where Massage Therapy students provide therapeutic treatments to diverse audiences.

The Class of 2018 graduate said he would recommend Fleming’s Massage Therapy program “in a heartbeat,” explaining, “From what I have seen and experienced in the year-and-a-half I’ve been outside of school – from both employers and other RMTs – Fleming graduates are held to the highest standard.”

Although physical wellness was always important to Tyler, he didn’t originally plan to become an RMT. Tyler previously studied Fitness and Health Promotion at Fleming College and was hired by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada after graduating in 2016. But when the Peterborough branch relocated, Tyler made the decision to train for a new career.

“Loving Peterborough as much as I do, I decided to see what else was out there,” Tyler explains. “I applied to a few programs and something about the Massage Therapy program spoke to me, and the rest is history!”

Tyler says he is able to combine his skills from Fitness and Health Promotion and Massage Therapy to bring the most benefit to his clients.

“Through Fitness and Health Promotion, I was more drawn towards the health promotion side of things, which included a lot of going out into the community,” Tyler explains. “I learned the very valuable skill of not being afraid to really talk to anyone, as well as the ability to educate most on a level that they understand.’

‘This has made one of the bigger impacts on my career so far because once a client is able to understand what is going on with their body, they are able to make the appropriate changes to help themselves get better!”

Tyler’s advice to current students is to ask questions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and be honest when you don’t know something.

Fleming student Mitchell Maracle named one of Canada’s top geoscience students

Earth Resources Technician Co-op student Mitchell Maracle isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty, which is why the second-year student is excited to participate in the Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop this May.

Each year, 26 of the top geoscience students from post-secondary institutions across Canada are nominated to attend this intense two-week workshop in Sudbury, Ont. This workshop, which is hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, aims to develop future leaders of the mineral exploration and development industry.

“The Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop is a highly competitive application process targeted towards university students, so Mitchell’s acceptance is a big deal,” said Joanna Hodge, Earth Resources Technician Co-op program coordinator. “I am very proud of Mitchell for his well-deserved acceptance and I know he will make Fleming College proud when he goes to Sudbury this May.”

Mitchell is looking forward to the networking opportunity, as well as learning more about the mineral exploration field.

I did my program co-op in the Yukon, helping to find economically viable mineral deposits, and I want to learn more about the industry,” said Mitchell, referring to his co-op placement at Big River Mineral Exploration. At his co-op placement, Mitchell sampled soil, staked claims, worked as a drill hand and at the sluice box, and panned for gold, among other responsibilities.

“I like this career because I like history, and this is the earth’s history, but you can find work in it. I also like that it’s science, so it’s great!” said the Fleming student.

Mitchell decided to take Fleming’s Earth Resources Technician Co-op program after earning his degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University and travelling Australia. When he returned to Canada for a friend’s wedding, Mitchell decided he wanted to gain more hands-on skills and train towards a career.

“When I came back to Canada, I decided I should get my career going and the ERT program was right up my alley. I’m glad I chose it, it’s been perfect,” said Mitchell. “I like how hands-on and informative the program is, and I like that the class sizes are smaller—I know all of the professors and students, and the professors care if you’re struggling with anything.”

After he graduates from Fleming College, Mitchell plans to continue his studies at Acadia University, using Fleming’s education pathway to earn his Bachelor of Science in Geology with two additional years of study after Fleming.

“I enjoy learning and feel it’d be better to specialize in the field,” explains Mitchell. “I’m passionate about earth sciences and I want to learn more!”

Aloha! from Culinary Management graduate Andrew Craig

The winter season looks a little different for Culinary Management graduate Andrew Craig. Instead of icy cold, snowy weather, the Class of 2012 alum is enjoying sunshine and a warm breeze in beautiful Hawaii.

“The idea of ‘aloha’ is very present and I’ve learned to embrace this. I’m truly enjoying my time on the island,” said Andrew about his Maui lifestyle.

Andrew is the Food and Beverage Manager at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, where he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the LUANA Lounge and assists with managing the Kō Restaurant. The Fleming graduate ensures high standards are met and continuously elevates the experience. He also processes orders, staffing, scheduling, forecasting and event organization for the outlet.

“I love being able to create a personalized and memorable experience,” said Andrew. “I strive to keep everyone happy in the operation so that we can all work together to create amazing moments for other guests and colleagues.”

Andrew relocated to Maui recently for this opportunity with Fairmont. Prior to this role, Andrew was an Assistant Manager at the Fairmont Royal York, a Manager at the Library Bar in the Fairmont Royal York, and spent two years as a Supervisor at the Fairmont Banff Springs through the Fairmont’s Leadership Development Program (now called the Inspire Program). 

“The learning doesn’t stop once you’ve finished your program,” said Andrew. “There is always a new method or variation to be learned about and that’s half of the fun in the job. I’m always taking every opportunity to expand my learning and it’s played a big part in my career taking me to where it is now.”

After graduating from Fleming College, Andrew went on to earn his Bachelor of Applied Business – Hospitality Operations Management at Niagara College, applying some of his Fleming College credits towards a degree. Andrew said he utilized many of the skills he developed at Fleming to succeed in university.

“I gained a kitchen skillset that taught me everything from mise en place through restaurant service execution. I even had the opportunity to create my own business with The Corner on Sixth, which gave me the chance to work through all the many variables associated with running a restaurant,” said Andrew about the skills he developed at Fleming College. “It was an amazing experience that not only showed me many classic culinary techniques and recipes through the labs and classes, but allowed for countless opportunities for off-site events that honed my hospitality skillset in real-world scenarios.”

Andrew said he would recommend the Culinary Management program to others, saying, “Absolutely! It has given me the knowledge and wherewithal to confidently carry out my hospitality career in both culinary and front-of-house managerial positions.”

College is more than a diploma for Rory Morley, it’s a chance to stand out

Rory Morley wanted more from his college experience than just a diploma, he wanted to stand out.

“If you go to college just for classes, then it’s just another course on your CV,” said Rory, Business Administration – Marketing graduate (Class of 2019). “That’s where Enactus comes in.”

Enactus Fleming is a student-led entrepreneurial club where students apply their skills to entrepreneurship, participate in workshops, impact the economic growth of international communities, and start a business on campus. Rory joined Enactus Fleming during his second year, wanting to get more involved in the business world and participate in sales competitions.

Rory’s first competition was the Great Canadian Sales Competition, where he represented Fleming College all the way to the Finals. He started collaborating more with faculty advisor Raymond Yip Choy to become more competitive during his final year at Fleming, going on to speak at the regional competition in Mississauga.

“Raymond didn’t push me, but he really motivated me to do it and to develop those skills,” said Rory on pitching ideas at Enactus competitions against other post-secondary students. “But it’s just a really rewarding group to be a part of. You’re helping genuine people and these are genuine lives. It’s across functions: sustainability, people, business, and more.”

Rory’s favourite project for Enactus Fleming is Project United, which welcomed elementary students from King Albert School in Lindsay, Ont., to Fleming’s Sutherland Campus in Peterborough, introducing them to post-secondary school.

“This is a school that has no money, so there are no field trips at that school,” Rory explains. “So we went to the school and talked to the children there, and gave them a chance to come to Fleming. They came here and built chairs, cooked in the kitchen, took a tour of the campus… and they looked at college as a place they want to be.”

Through Enactus Fleming, Rory said he developed business acumen, teamwork skills, project management, learned how to behave in an executive presence as well as the ability to talk in a business environment, and more.

“As a measure of success, I wouldn’t have the job I have today without Enactus,” said Rory. “In the second stage of my interview, she specifically asked about Enactus.”

Rory currently works as an Account Manager at Gartner, a research and advisory company that provides senior leaders with business insights, advice and tools to build their organizations. His career is based in Egham, Surrey in England and although that took Rory far from Canada, it helped bring him back home.

Rory is from Windlesham, Surrey and what led him to Canada was a love of sport. Rory is a soccer (or “football”) player and discovered Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont., through the varsity soccer team. Rory joined the Fleming Knights and played on the men’s soccer team for three years, and also served as captain.

“For me it was brilliant,” he said. “In the past, I struggled to keep up with academics from a motivation standpoint, but Fleming Athletics gave me the structure of class and sport, and you still have time to enjoy college. And the social side of varsity is brilliant because it gave me friends immediately, who are part of the team.”

Rory’s advice to future and current Fleming students is to separate themselves from the rest.

“Do more than the program because it is competitive out there,” he explains. “Join Enactus, do philanthropy, play a sport, get involved and make the most of your Fleming experience.”

Practical Nursing graduate receives Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal

Honorary Lieutenant-General Richard Rohmer (left) and Rebecca Thomas-Lorenzon at the awards ceremony in Windsor.

Rebecca Thomas-Lorenzon may be a recent graduate, but the Class of 2019 alumna has already made a huge mark as a medical professional with more than 20 years of exceptional service.

Rebecca was recently honoured with the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal from Northumberland County Council. This award recognizes paramedics who have provided pre-hospital emergency medical services in good conduct, industry and efficiency for 20 years or more, serving at least 10 years of street level or air duty involving potential risk.

“I felt very honored to receive the Governor General award, especially being a female,” said Rebecca. “I am the first female working on the road in Northumberland County to receive this award. So many women leave the road to pursue management or teaching and other [jobs] for personal reasons; not many stay on the road 10 years, let alone 23 years.”

Rebecca (right) with her aunt Sharon, who received this award years prior and is retired after 35 years in Waterloo region. Sharon is Rebecca’s role model, along with Fleming faculty member Mary Osinga. “Both are strong female paramedics that have forged the way for other women in the profession,” said Rebecca.

While serving as a first responder with Northumberland Paramedics, Rebecca also decided to go back to school, hoping to increase her career opportunities in the medical field.

“I knew I did not want to go into management,” Rebecca shared. “I took the Practical Nursing course as part of a childhood dream to become a nurse and my desire to do more international work.”

Rebecca chose Fleming College because of its proximity, which made balancing school with her full-time career and personal responsibilities (Rebecca is a mom and wife) more manageable. She chose the Practical Nursing program after speaking with nurses, who recommended this program for the hands-on skills she would gain.

“I developed very good time management skills which helped me get through the past two years,” Rebecca shared about her Fleming experience. “I have a better insight into the healthcare system and healthcare in general, which I hope will be an advantage for me when pursuing the Community Paramedic role coming in 2020 in Northumberland County.”

Rebecca said she is especially grateful for Career Services at Fleming College, which helped Rebecca update her resume and cover letter for employment as an RPN. She is currently working part-time at Northumberland Hills Hospital and says, “I suggest this amazing service to all Fleming students (young and old) and it is free!”

The Fleming graduate has no plans to slow down with her career or her education journey, as one of the quotes she lives by is “End is not the end. E.N.D. means Effort Never Dies.” Her next goal is to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Matthew Brohm’s culinary career is his passion, not a ‘job’

Food means more than nourishment to Matthew Brohm. For the Chef Training graduate, food is his passion.

“I love making food that makes you melt inside, I want to make food that makes you chew just a little slower, I want it to make you think ‘wow’ and practically be speechless,” he said. “My job is not my job, my job is my passion. Everything about it, I love.”

Growing up, Matthew dreamed of a culinary career. He would happily tell family and friends that he would be a chef one day.  

“I was always in the kitchen watching, smelling and listening to the crackling or sizzling,” said Matthew. “Cooking was my passion before I even knew it.”

In high school, Matthew competed in culinary competitions, volunteered to cook and serve assorted buffets, and graduated with a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in Hospitality. After deciding that college was his next step, Matthew participated in Student for the Day multiple times at Fleming College to see if his local college was the right fit.

“So already I was very familiar with Fleming and knew the instructor chefs very well,” said Matthew. “For myself, there was no better choice than Fleming.”

Matthew enrolled in the Chef Training program, which is now called Culinary Skills, and graduated in 2016.

“My Fleming College experience couldn’t have been better,” he said. “Having the professors actually know your name and want you to succeed is amazing. It’s more than just a classroom, it was a community where everyone cared and the students were not just a number.”

Through the program, Matthew said he developed the skills and knowledge to grow his culinary career.

“The program helped me grow as a professional in so many ways. Cooking is obvious, but what I took for granted then, I am now so grateful I learned,” he explains.

Matthew credits being able to use Excel, place food orders, cost out menu items, understand front of house, and supervise as a sous chef in labs as some of the skills he developed at Fleming that have proved useful in his career.

“There is so much you can get out of the program. It all has fast-tracked my career in the culinary industry,” he said.

Matthew currently works as the Sous Chef at Silvertip Resort in Canmore, Alberta. He is responsible for ensuring the kitchen runs smoothly, helps create menu items, places food orders, ensures food quality, helps progress and train new cooks, runs the line on busy nights, cleans and scrubs ovens, delegates tasks and more.

His most memorable career moment was as a chef de partie, when he was asked to train a kitchen steward who didn’t have any cooking experience.

“It wasn’t an easy task, but within two weeks I had given him a drive. He wanted to learn and wanted to succeed. By one month, he could hold his ground and kept up with everyone,” said Matthew. “Now he’s in school for culinary. It was an awesome feeling knowing I had an impact in his career choice.”

Matthew said he recommends Fleming College to others who are considering a culinary career.

“By the end of this program, you will have real work experience and be able to hold your ground in any kitchen,” he said. “I would recommend this program over and over again.”

Fleming Digital Learning Advisor Accepts Open Education Award for Excellence in Milan, Italy

Congratulations to Terry Greene, Digital Learning Advisor in Fleming’s Learning Design & Support Team, who accepted the Open Education Award for Excellence in Open Pedagogy on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Milan, Italy. The award was presented by the Open Education Consortium, a global network for open education.

“It wouldn’t have been half as special to accept the award without having my daughter Hattie there with me. I was happy the ceremony was after the day of conferencing, as I had a chance to go pick her up from the babysitter and bring her to the ceremony,” said Terry from Milan, where he is spending the week attending the Open Education Global Conference, accepting the Open Pedagogy Award, networking and exploring more open education opportunities.

“Of course she totally upstaged me by running up to me in the cutest possible way as I got the award,” Terry laughs. “I made sure to pop my Fleming shirt and scarf on, so everyone knew where the best sharers of pedagogy come from!”

The Open Education Awards for Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions to the Open Education community, including leadership, resources, projects and initiatives. Terry received the Open Pedagogy award for the Open Faculty Patchbook, which he worked on through Fleming College and eCampus Ontario.

The Open Faculty Patchbook is a helpful resource written by faculty for faculty and follows the idea of being a “community quilt of pedagogy.” Individual faculty members contribute stories (“patches”) on different teaching topics and, when compiled together (like a quilt), it provides a helpful resource on how to teach at college.

“It’s the community quilt of pedagogy and, if you have enough pieces, you can try to cover everything,” said Terry.

The idea stemmed from an open education conference in Richmond, Virginia in fall 2016, which Terry attended for professional development. Keynote speaker Robin DeRosa shared her experience creating The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature, a textbook she created with the help of her students, which sparked Terry’s idea of an open textbook for faculty.

“Her goal was to save students money with an open textbook and she took it to the next level by getting the students involved in its creation,” Terry explains. “The free textbook was about American literature and her students helped create sections of it, including introductions, annotations and discussion. When you put it altogether, you have a free textbook that you could keep growing every year. And it’s openly licensed and open access to any student anywhere. Not just Robin’s.”

The idea inspired Terry to create something similar about teaching, where faculty members could share their experiences with others to help them grow. His goal is to continue building the Patchbook and add to it annually for faculty members, new and seasoned, to read.

Terry is pleased with the success of the Patchbook and never expected to win an award. He said he attended the 2016 conference hoping to bring something back to Fleming College and feels this proved successful. Now he is hopeful the Open Education Global Conference may inspire him again with something new!

Meet Social Media Ambassador Joao Borges

Given Joao “John” Borges’s ability to effectively manage a very busy schedule, it is not surprising he is in the Project Management program at Fleming College.

In this post-graduate program, students develop skills and knowledge to efficiently manage all aspects of a project to achieve organizational goals. For John, time management and organizational skills are key to his student success at Fleming, where he serves as Director of Student Administrative Council and Communications Lead in Enactus Fleming, while attending school full-time.

“I love getting involved on campus!” said John. “I have been involved with SAC and Enactus Fleming for almost two years now. I would say these are my favourite ones, as I get to do different things every week, engage and meet students, while improving my  skills and doing good for my campus.”

After graduating from the Business Administration – Marketing program this year, John decided to continue his studies at Fleming College and take the Project Management graduate certificate to further build his resume. His career goal is to work in advertising one day.

“I believe learning about the Project Management areas will be an asset to my career path,” he explains. “Fleming offers a stellar Project Management program and I’ve heard wonderful things from students that already graduated and are now currently working.”

In addition to his studies at Fleming, John also took a part-time position in Fleming’s Marketing Department. He is working as a Social Media Ambassador, creating content for Fleming College’s social media accounts.

“This is a huge milestone for the career path I want to pursue and I believe I will be learning great things with the Fleming Marketing team,” said John. “Secondly, I want to contribute to Fleming and give back to the students, and I want to try to showcase all the great things that Fleming has to offer!”

John loves the “lively and vibrant atmosphere” at Sutherland Campus, the amount of opportunities to get involved, and the support students receive from staff and faculty.

“At Fleming, everyone wants you to succeed, so ask as many questions as you can,” said John. “Try to step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of all the opportunities Fleming provides, because trust me, there’s always something that matches your interests!”