Riding the wave of experiential learning

By: Laura Copeland

blog-photoThe surf’s up for 15 Fleming College students who are working on a multi-faceted project to help a west coast surfboard company expand overseas.

Swell Composites Supply Ltd., based in Richmond, B.C., is sponsoring three applied projects for business students. Applied projects, available within certain programs in the School of Business and School of Trades and Technology, see students spend their final semester finding innovative solutions to a real-world challenge. The students gain academic credit and on-the-job experience. At the same time, the project results provide new information, answer questions, contribute to planning, and lay the groundwork for future innovations.

For Swell Composites – Entropy Resin’s Canadian partner that is the Importer and Distributor of the complete range of composite materials used in Fiberglass and Resin manufacturing within the sporting goods, custom manufacturing and marine industries in Canada -, a team of students in the International Business Management program have been creating a logistics and export manual that will aid the company in exporting to international markets. As well, two groups of Global Business Management students have been analyzing the markets of targeted, specific countries.

International Business Management student Duy Vong says working in teams on the applied projects has been both eye-opening and uplifting.

“I have been very lucky to work with an incredible group of people who are super supportive. They always help me whenever I’m in need and help me get over my weaknesses and turn them into strengths.”

Duy added that working on the project has been an “incredible journey” thanks to the sponsor, Swell Composite Principal Cofounder Jimmy Stewart, who is also a Fleming alumnus.

“He has taught us meaningful, real-life lessons, and he has provided a lot of information to helps us get our work done more easily and more quickly.”

Arielle Smith, an International Business Management student, says the three teams were “synergistic” and helped each other grow and develop over the semester. Like Duy, she also appreciated the support from their sponsor throughout the project.

“As a past Fleming graduate, Jimmy knows what it’s like to be in our shoes. He’s been able to offer us advice on what to do after we leave Fleming, advice about the industry, and has been a great overall guide for the project. He’s gone through information with us to ensure we have a solid understanding on the material, which has helped us in giving him an overall better final product,” she said.

Both Arielle and Duy said that communication between students and across projects presented a bit of a challenge at times.

“In order to be successful as a team, you need to have an effective channel of communication, to make sure that everybody is on the same page. Distance does not, and will not, stop a team from being successful as long as you know how to overcome the challenges,” said Duy.

Arielle says she is grateful for the applied project opportunity, as it will help her move forward into a career.

“With the experience I’ve gained from working for Swell Composites, I feel more prepared to enter the workforce than ever before,” she said. “I think it has been invaluable not only to myself but also the other groups. It’s easy for teachers to recreate situations for students to participate in, but there’s nothing like the real-life experience that we learned from the applied project.”

Fleming Innovation Conference


Fleming College’s Organizational Development Team welcomed faculty, staff and community partners to the Kawartha Trades & Technology Centre on Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8 for the first ever Innovation Conference. Participants also included guests from Trillium Lakelands District School Board and Georgian College.

More than 100 participants attended to learn how to develop innovative thinking, creative mindsets and adaptability, which are required qualities needed to thrive in the 21st century.

“The Innovation Conference was a huge success, we are so proud of the outcome” said Human Resources Consultant Lynn Watson. “All of the speakers and workshop leaders exceeded our expectations and we feel very motivated to apply their lessons into our work.”

The Innovation Conference kicked off with keynote speaker Dr. Gerard Puccio from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State.

“Creativity is the ability to modify self-imposed constraints,” said Dr. Puccio, encouraging the audience to think without judgement. “Don’t think with the brakes on,” he explained.

According to Dr. Puccio, creative thinking helps with problem solving, innovation, collaboration, and more. He went on to explain “future-proof careers” – careers least likely to become automated – and said the qualities of these careers are that they require creative problem solving, adaptability, and social intelligence.

Following the keynote, Fleming’s Vice-President Academic Judith Limkilde moderated a panel discussion featuring Paul Downs, Past President of Nexicom Inc.; John Gillis, CleanTech Innovation Specialist at the Peterborough Innovation Cluster; Hajni Hos, Executive Director at the New Canadians Centre – Peterborough; and Dr. David Laude, Chemistry Professor and former Academic Administrator at the University of Texas at Austin.

The panelists discussed how they use innovative and creative thinking in their fields. Many also praised the college for their contributions to the community. Ms. Hos thanked Fleming College for its help and support of newcomers in Peterborough, and Mr. Downs commented on the significant number of Nexicom staff who are Fleming graduates.

“50% of our staff are from Fleming,” said Mr. Downs. “I don’t know what the magic is that you do here, but they come and they are all eager to learn […] They have an inner desire and drive to continue to learn and grow within the company.”

After the panel discussion, participants had the opportunity to interact with the Fleming Innovation in Action display, which showcased innovative ideas and achievements of staff and students. The display reflected how Fleming College currently encourages creativity and innovation.

In the afternoon, participants enjoyed professional development workshops led by Dr. Puccio (“Creative Leadership”), Marysia Czarski (“Creative Problem Solving”), Tara McDonough (“Leadership Dimensions”), and Dr. Laude (“Student Success: Building community across diverse student populations).

Dr. Laude returned for the second day of the conference to dive deeper into student success and retention, delivering a keynote speech on “The Student Centered Campus,” sharing experience as both a faculty member and an administrator at the University of Texas at Austin.

“When I walk across campus, how many doors can I open and walk in?” said Dr. Laude, explaining how a student feels a sense of belonging on campus. Dr. Laude went on to explain how to change a culture on campus and how to get new ideas to catch on within a culture.

After Dr. Laude’s presentation, Fleming’s Learning Design and Support Team took over to further explore innovation in their afternoon panel workshop focused on Best Practices for Supporting International Students.

While no date is currently set for 2019, Fleming’s Organizational Development Team looks forward to hosting a second Innovation Conference in the future.

Advanced Water System Operations and Management student Sainil Shaikh shares World Water Day campus solutions

sainil-shaikhDid you know that every 10 seconds at Fleming College’s four campus locations, we use almost one litre of water for washing our hands? Advanced Water System Operations and Management (AWSOM) student Sainil Shaikh has been researching water use at the college and brainstorming solutions.

“Water is not just a form of H2O, it is the element that gives life on this planet,” said Sainil for World Water Day (March 22), which focuses on the importance of water. “Our future is lying in this, so we should do something about it.”

This year’s theme for World Water Day is Nature for Water, which explores nature-based solutions to water challenges. Sainil, who is doing his program co-op with Fleming’s Office of Sustainability, credits Fleming with already implementing solutions. The current five year sustainability plan targeted a 10% reduction in water consumption across the College by 2018; this target was achieved in 2016. Further reduction targets will now be identified.

“We don’t sell water bottles on campus and we have a Sustainability Action Plan. In the KTTC, we have a rain water harvesting system where rain water is collected and used to flush toilets and urinals. The normal flushing capacity of urinals is 3.8 litres per flush, but in the KTTC the urinals use 0.5 litres per flush,” said Sainil. “At Frost Campus, we have a constructed wetland, which treats water for a particular zone of the campus. We also have the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies located at Frost.”

But there is still work to be done, explains Sainil. Through his research for the Office of Sustainability, Sainil discovered that water usage tends to be higher at the beginning of each semester and that washrooms are the main source of high water usage. One of Sainil’s suggestions is to add automatic faucets to all washrooms (they are currently in some washrooms, including facilities in the KTTC), which would reduce the litres per minute used from 5-6 to 0.18.

Sainil also plans to create an awareness campaign around the use of water on campus. “No one knows that we are wasting this much water every day,” he said. “My friends got surprised when I told them these numbers.”

Sainil came to Fleming College from India after discovering the AWSOM program and Frost Campus’ strong reputation in the environmental field.

“It has been amazing!” he said. “It’s a good campus, it has more of an environmentally friendly surrounding. There’s nature and a trail, the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies is on campus, there’s a living wall… it feels good. I enjoy studying in such a good institution.”

He has also been enjoying his co-op at the Office of Sustainability, which is located in the Sutherland Campus.

“Everyone is so supportive. If I come up with ideas, they always support me,” he said. “It’s been a good, free environment where no one pushes me, they just support me.”

He is proud of the work he has done through his co-op and the knowledge he has gained through his program. “I am in the AWSOM program doing awesome things at Fleming,” he said.

Make a difference through Community and Justice Services

Community and Justice Services is one of six programs Law and Justice students may enter after Common First Semester, but while the other five programs – Customs Border Services, Law Clerk, Paralegal, Police Foundations, and Protection, Security and Investigation – bring a certain uniform or job duty to mind, Community and Justice Services (CJS) may seem more vague.

cjs-studentsWhat is CJS?

“The CJS program prepares graduates to work in the community and institutional settings with individuals who are involved – or at risk of becoming involved – with the criminal justice system,” said program coordinator Cindy Gervais. “This career path is extremely rewarding and challenging, because graduates are helping individuals to address risk and promote resiliency.”

Applied learning

One component of this Law and Justice program is the 15-week field placement, where students earn 520 hours in the field networking and gaining real world experience.

Jennifer Guerin, Correctional Manager at Warkworth Institution and member of the CJS Program Advisory Committee, welcomes CJS students on placement to Warkworth Institution, where they observe operations and interventions. She credits the CJS program with preparing students for the field.

“The program teaches the student what is important to bring into a federal institution, such as the stresses on dynamic security and the art of communication. The five week on-site interaction with a group and inmate interviews gives them a hands-on experience prior to placement,” said Jennifer, referencing the Field Observation course students take in their second semester. “All of the students are well-versed on professional boundaries and dynamic security practices.”

Graduate success

Nicole Soanes
Nicole Soanes, Youth Justice Committee Coordinator at John Howard Society of Peterborough

Nicole Soanes took Fleming’s CJS program because she wanted a career that would make a positive impact on the community. After graduating in 2017, Nicole hit the ground running at the John Howard Society of Peterborough as Youth Justice Committee Coordinator.

“I graduated feeling extremely competent and prepared to enter the workforce, and continue to learn and grow. Fleming College and the CJS program made it possible for me to find my passion and find myself,” said Nicole.

As Youth Justice Committee Coordinator, Nicole works with youth ages 12 to 17 who have come in contact with the justice system. She conducts intakes with youth, and coordinates restorative justice conferences between her clients and those they have harmed. Nicole also coordinates volunteers who are trained to facilitate restorative justice conferences.

Her most memorable career experience thus far is attending the National Restorative Justice Symposium in Ottawa as a field professional. “I was able to learn more about Indigenous traditions and Sacred Circles and one of the origins of restorative justice, which are the Maori tribes from New Zealand. When I first started to research and learn about restorative practices, I thought it was a small niche, and I have since learned of the massive – and growing – impact that restorative work is having around the world.”

Nicole’s passion for restorative justice was ignited after taking an Aboriginal Justice course during her first semester at Fleming College. Following the course, Nicole launched an initiative in her hometown to implement restorative justice practices for youth before they enter into the justice system, and during her final semester at Fleming College she applied for her current job.

Her advice to current students is to try to grow and improve each day, go outside of your comfort zone, talk to your peers and reach out for help when needed. “Most of all, find your passion. I can tell you that it is amazing to completely love what you do every day.”

SSW student Rebekah Rego raises awareness through Strengthening Indigenous Allies Club

Rebekah
Rebekah Rego smiles for a photo by the Tipi at Sutherland Campus.

Rebekah Rego, co-president of the Strengthening Indigenous Allies Club, is currently busy hanging red dresses around Sutherland Campus. From March 19 to 23, red dresses will be on display to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, encouraging the Fleming community to remember the women lost.

“If they don’t know about it, I hope they look into it; hopefully it makes them curious and question why this injustice is happening to our communities and to our women. If they do know about it, then I hope they feel supported,” said Rebekah on what she hopes people take away from the display. “Because of the posters, it’s already starting conversations and getting people thinking. It’s great.”

The Social Service Worker (SSW) student credits Métis multi-disciplinary artist Jaime Black for inspiring her display. The Winnipeg-based artist created The REDress Project, an installation art project that uses red dresses as a visual reminder of the crimes against Aboriginal women.

On Tuesday, March 20, Rebekah is organizing a march and candlelight vigil from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sutherland Campus main lobby. “I thought it would be great to have a night to remember and honour our women,” said Rebekah.

Rebekah reactivated Fleming’s Strengthening Indigenous Allies club with the support of her BISHKAA mentor, Tish, who previously led the group and is now co-president with Rebekah. But taking a leadership role is nothing new for Rebekah, who has been a passionate social activist since childhood, travelling with her mother (SSW program coordinator Cristine Rego) since she was 10 years old to attend conferences and movements on Indigenous issues.

In grade 10, Rebekah worked with Indigenous mentors to secure funding for a focus group to develop an Indigenous approach to respond to bullying in the Sudbury Catholic School Board. In grade 11, Rebekah participated in the Mkwa Ride-along Program with Sudbury Regional Police. And in grade 12, Rebekah was one of 20 Indigenous students chosen to attend Osgoode Hall Law School for one week to study Indigenous justice and be introduced to law school. She also co-published an article with her mother entitled Ensuring a Culturally Safe Practice in Working with Aboriginal Women.

“I’m a huge activist within the community,” said Rebekah, who said her social activist goals are awareness and reconciliation.

Since her goals are to make a difference, Rebekah said that Fleming’s SSW program seemed like the perfect fit for her. “My mom is a social worker, so I grew up and realized this is something I wanted to do—be a helping hand in the community,” she said.

Once she graduates from Fleming, Rebekah’s goal is to join the RCMP and work in northern communities.

She describes her Fleming experience as wonderful and appreciates the welcoming, positive environment. “I love the multicultural atmosphere here. It is a very inclusive environment where we’re free to do what we want,” she said. “I’ve really been supported here by my professors and peers, by Aboriginal Student Services, as well as by the Student Administrative Council.”

Fitness faculty Jodi Van Engen wins gold in Ontario Masters Open Weightlifting Championships

jodi-blogCongratulations to faculty member Jodi Van Engen, who won gold at the Ontario Masters Open Weightlifting Championships!

Jodi, who teaches fitness programming to Police Foundations and Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training students, has been doing weightlifting training for the past two years.

“It’s always nice to train for something and challenge yourself,” said Jodi. “I tell my students to push themselves – better score, better time… – so I need to practise what I preach. I love fitness, it’s what I live and breathe.”

For more than a year, Jodi has trained four times per week with Coach Codi Armstrong at The CrossFit PTBO Weightlifting Club. She felt well-prepared for the Ontario Masters Open Weightlifting Championships physically, but said her biggest challenge was overcoming nerves.

“Battling my nerves was my biggest challenge,” she said. “Throughout the competition, you’re by yourself. Then you have the judges and the pressure, and you don’t want to mess up your technique because of nerves and you try to keep your composure.”

Jodi said she won the competition by 1 kilo, lifting 76 kilos (clean & jerk) and 63 kilos (snatch).

“It was amazing! It was unexpected, and I’m really proud of myself and I’m really happy with my coach,” said Jodi. “It was totally what I had worked towards, and I had never done 76 kilos before so I really pushed myself.”

Jodi also felt inspired by the other competitors at the event. “I competed in the 30 to 35 age range, but there were people who had competed for so many years—there was a man who was 70!” she said. “And seeing the level of these competitors, there were record-holders there, and seeing the weight they can lift was really inspiring.”

Now that Jodi earned gold, she is now preparing for the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships in Gaspé, Quebec in June. She has started a new training plan with her coach and is excited to reach her new goals.

Good luck to Jodi in the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships!

Fleming students pack their bags for Sweden, Denmark and Holland

blog-photoA group of students from the School of Business will bid farewell to Fleming College to travel to Sweden, Denmark and Holland this spring for their Travel-Based Learning course.

The new Travel-Based Learning (INTL 10) course is an opportunity for students to witness and explore new corners of the globe. In this course, students learn about commercial travel, research their destination, and explore relevant social justice issues. Students are also exposed to the cultural, educational, environmental, economic, political, and social norms at play within the societies they visit.

“This is a very unique course. We really look forward to taking this journey with our students, and seeing them learn and develop,” said faculty member Rogier ten Kate. “During their trip, students will learn and understand what these countries do to implement innovation and sustainability in their societies. We want to feel and explore these cultures– its positive and negative impacts on innovation and sustainability.”

The elective Travel-Based Learning course is available to students in the School of Business, as well as students in other programs at Sutherland Campus provided that the course fits their timetable. Seating is limited. This year, the April 26 to May 6 jam-packed trip itinerary is a Nordic Expedition. The group will first fly to Stockholm, Sweden, exploring companies that helped Sweden develop a strong reputation as an innovative country, as well as museums and other points of interest.

“It’ll be amazing!” said Marnie Young, Human Resources Management student. “We will see innovative companies that we don’t get the chance to see in Canada.”

One site Marnie is particularly looking forward to is the incineration program in Sweden, where trash is used underground for heating. She is also interested in exploring wave energy in Holland, as it takes up less land than wind turbines.

The group visits Copenhagen, Denmark on Day 4, known for its technology, modern art, music and theatre. An Education Day has been carved in the schedule, between sightseeing, to tour companies known for innovation and sustainable solutions, which will provide students with invaluable information they can apply to their industry in Canada.

The lessons learned in sustainability and innovation is something Marketing student Kenneth Bruce Stauffer plans to apply to his career. “I’m interested in taking what I learn at these businesses and bringing it back to Canada,” he said. “The first-hand experience I will gain there is excellent and worth it to me.”

For fellow Marketing student Leena Yagnik, this knowledge is something she hopes sets her apart on the job hunt. “I am going to graduate soon and will be looking for jobs,” she explained. “I will be learning a lot of things on this trip that will give me a competitive advantage against my colleagues.”

On Day 7, the Travel-Based Learning group heads to Utrecht, Holland, then to Amsterdam; followed by Rotterdam the next day to visit Eneco Group, a group of companies under one umbrella that focus on sustainable energy. The group will enjoy free time sightseeing on their ninth day of travel and will fly home the next day.

The whole package is something that excites Tourism – Global Travel student Brenda Boutin-Lacelle, who will apply the experience of being a tourist to her career. “I’m going for the travel experience, which will help me in my job,” she said. “Like how I experience going to that country and what I enjoyed will be useful if I’m ever asked about my experience in my job.”

The students would like to thank their generous sponsors for their support in making this learning experience possible:

  • Part Time CFO Services Inc.
  • Paget Denture Clinic
  • Peterborough Museum & Archives
  • Fleming Student Administrative Council

“This experience for the students will be like none other,” said faculty member Kris Dawson. “We are hoping that students will get inspired, and put some of the innovative and sustainable practices and techniques learned abroad into action here around Peterborough and the surrounding communities. This is such an exciting opportunity and I am so thankful to Part Time CFO Services Inc. and all of our sponsors for their support and enthusiasm for this learning experience. We truly appreciate it.”

Sustainability intern Rob Monico aims to make waves in water conservation

rob-monicoBetween organizing the Frost Campus Bioblitz and Del Crary Park Shoreline Cleanup events to researching water conservation strategies and rain water catchment systems, Rob Monico kept busy interning at Fleming College’s Office of Sustainability.

From June to December 2017, Rob has been working as the Water Conservation and Sustainability Intern through the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Clean Tech Internship program. He is responsible for researching water conservation strategies that can be implemented at Fleming College campus locations.

During his internship, Rob researched a rainwater catchment system for the Frost Campus Living Wall, and community gardens at Frost Campus and Sutherland Campus, which he hopes the college will implement in the future. “I also updated the Residence Green Living Guide to educate students on how to conserve water. For example, play a song while you shower to keep the shower under five minutes— just don’t play ‘Free Bird’ or ‘Stairway to Heaven,’” he laughed.

While part of Rob’s internship was research-based, the Water Conservation and Sustainability Intern also spent time organizing sustainability events. Rob was part of the leadership team for the Peterborough/Kawarthas/Northumberland Envirothon, which was held at Sutherland Campus in April. The event challenged local high school students to compete in environmental science tests and the winning team went on to compete in the Ontario Envirothon held at Frost Campus.

In September, he executed the first 24-hour bioblitz at Frost Campus, which is a biological inventory to help quantify the number of species in a given ecosystem to assess the decline in biodiversity. He coordinated a visit from Leslie Frost Public School that day as well, welcoming 300 elementary students to campus to learn about different ecosystems.

Shoreline cleanup
Shoreline cleanup event at Del Crary Park

The following month, Rob led a Fleming College shoreline cleanup at Del Crary Park in Peterborough, Ont., which was in partnership with World Wildlife Fund Canada as part of their Living Planet @ Campus program. Rob said 60 staff and students came to the cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 14 to help.

Needless to say, with all of this event planning and water conservation research, Rob certainly put his Fleming College education to use. Rob is an Ecological Restoration Honours B.Sc. – Joint Trent-Fleming Degree/Diploma graduate (Class of 2016) and a Project Management graduate (Class of 2017).

“I developed my project management skills through this internship, which was great because I finished that program here,” said Rob, who previously worked as a student employee and completed his Project Management applied project at the Office of Sustainability. “I also developed communication and leadership qualities as I started to oversee student workers and their projects, as well as event planning.”

Rob’s advice to current students is to take initiative. “Don’t wait for doors to open or expect that doors even exist, kick them down or make your own opportunities,” he said. “Fleming is all about ‘Learn, Belong, Become’ and they are all about making opportunities, accommodating student ideas, and getting involved in the community. You don’t know unless you ask!”

Rob credits Fleming staff and faculty for accommodating his request to blend his student worker role at the Office of Sustainability with his Project Management studies, so that he was able to combine his work with his academics.

Fred Batley: 40 years of service

By Laura Copeland, Communications Officer
fred-batley-photoOver the last four decades, Fred Batley has seen a lot of change at Fleming College.

Fred, Athletics Coordinator, recently celebrated 40 years of service at Fleming. Starting out at McDonnell Street as a program assistant in the Recreation Department in 1977, Fred recalls there were only about 800-1,000 students at the time.

Today, Sutherland Campus has 4,800 students and is highly ranked in the college system for the quality of its athletics programs and facilities.

And along with Fleming’s evolution, has come Fred’s personal and professional growth over the years. He moved on from his initial position to become intramural coordinator in 1980 and since then has held various roles.

“I was fortunate to work in many different areas throughout my time: teaching, different roles in the Athletic Department, and coaching Fleming varsity teams. I was able to challenge myself and grow over the 40 years.”

While the College has grown immensely since its early days, Fred says that some things remain the same.

“One thing that has not changed is the student-centered focus in which the student is a name and not a number. Fleming remains a caring institution, which is always prevalent… to this day.”

In his current role, Fred says he truly enjoys working with the students and student athletes on a daily basis. And reflecting on his many years of service, Fred says he is most proud of Fleming’s progression to become ranked #7 in the OCAA for overall medals – impressive for a small college. Other career highlights include the construction of the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre and the Fleming Sport Complex as well as his time served as a two-time OCAA and CCAA president.

“I feel this has helped Fleming College become well known and respected in Ontario and Canada,” he says.

Born and raised in Peterborough, Fred says he was always involved in sports growing up and initially wanted to become a physical education teacher. He came to Fleming after attending Western and Trent universities.

He has been married to his wife Judy for 35 years and has two daughters – Sarah, a chiropractor in Toronto, and Stacey, a teacher in Red Deer, AB – and a two-year-old granddaughter, Sophie.

And while he is still passionate about athletics, he spends a lot of his time away from work volunteering with the St. James Players.

“When I was younger I played a lot of sports. But most of my time now is spent with the St. James Players, over the past 25 years. It is a local community theater group, which puts on two musicals a year for youth and adults. And I am currently the Chair of the Board for the St James Players.”

(In fact, Fred was in the recent St. James Players staging of Mary Poppins at Showplace Peterborough.)

As he moves into his 41st year at Fleming, Fred is enthusiastic and emphatic about his time at the College.

“I have really enjoyed working at Fleming with the students, staff and faculty – because it is a great place to work!”

Congratulations Fred!

Remembering the good old days at Fleming’s 50th Anniversary

Doug Lavery
Doug Lavery

Fleming College looked a little different 50 years ago. On September 1, 1967, Sir Sandford Fleming College opened its first campus, which had 29 faculty members and 235 students.

The McDonnel Street Campus was located in a renovated textile mill, the Bonner-Worth, in Peterborough, Ont. Doug Lavery was one of the College’s first teachers and said he installed the first computer on campus in 1967.

“It was an old wool mill and they converted it, and they did a fabulous job,” said Doug, who describes Fleming as a “great big family.”

After retiring in 2000 from teaching at Fleming, Doug was happy to return to celebrate the College’s 50th Anniversary at Sutherland Campus. He was also happy to reunite with some of his first students.

Judy Hoard (Airey) was one of these students and one of few females in the Business Administration program.

“I had a wonderful experience at Fleming. My teachers were wonderful and Doug Lavery was one of my teachers who I’ve stayed friends with ever since,” said Judy, who worked as an Advertising Manager at Sears for 11 years after graduating from Fleming in 1970.

“The college was purple and lime green. Everything was in colour in the late ‘60s,” she said.

(l-r) Bill Hinan, Judy Hoard, Tim LeClair, and Phil Heard; Class of 1970.
(l-r) Bill Hinan, Judy Hoard, Tim LeClair, and Phil Heard; Class of 1970.

In addition to attending school dances, Judy spent her extracurricular time cheerleading and playing hockey. “I never used boys hockey skates before and every time I’d hit someone I’d say ‘I’m sorry’ to them, because girls really didn’t do that stuff at that time,” she said.

Tim LeClair, Business Administration Class of 1970, said he helped create athletics and student life at Fleming in his role as first Student Administrative Council President.

“We had to create it all. We had to create two Athletic bodies – Men’s and Women’s teams – and we set up a newspaper and a yearbook,” said Tim, who named the school newspaper after winning a contest. He chose “PURPLE THORN” for the newspaper name because of the campus colour and because the newspaper (which often criticized Student Council) was a thorn to him.

Surprisingly, Tim ended up becoming good friends with the editor of the PURPLE THORN, Phil Heard, who was the second President of Fleming’s Student Administrative Council.

“Tim and I have stayed friends for 50 years. He was the best man at my wedding, godfather to my two children, I’ve worked for him and he’s worked for me,” said Phil, who works in the special events business in Vancouver.

“Fleming at that time was very purple and it was so much fun because it was so new,” said Phil, who graduated Fleming College in 1970 from the Business Administration program. “We did all kinds of things. We played bridge, there were excellent school dances organized by Tim— and everyone would go to the dances, it was that great of a school atmosphere. And we started hockey teams and other teams.”

In addition to all the fun, Phil also focused on academics. He was the first recipient of the IBM Proficiency Award in 1970, which included $300 and a job offer from IBM. Phil opted out of the job, though, as his long hair and relaxed style didn’t fit with IBM’s tie-wearing staff.

Phil and Tim were excited to explore Fleming’s Sutherland Campus and to reunite with peers at the 50th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Sept. 22. They also helped spread the word about the event to fellow graduates.

Bill Hinan, a Civil Engineering Technology graduate from the Class of 1970, was one of the graduates they invited. But this isn’t the first time Tim informed Bill about something at Fleming.

“I thought I was too late to apply for college,” said Bill, remembering the summer of 1967. “Tim LeClair told me about Sir Sandford Fleming College and told me they have an engineering program.”

Bill, who was told “engineering is the best profession to get into” when he was five years old, had his heart set on going for this program. When Fleming accepted him, he was thrilled to start his career.

“The community college education system was suited to me and I did well,” said Bill. “I got a B average at Fleming College after spending seven years in high school. I spent seven years in high school, which meant that I failed a lot.”

Bill said the hands-on college approach suited him and he enjoyed his time in college, which is why he returned to catch up with his classmates at the anniversary event. The group all reunited in the foyer of the new Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre, armed with old documents and photos, happy to reminisce back to their Fleming years.