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.

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.”

Business Administration – Accounting placement leads Ruixin Li to employment at “dream firm”

Ruixin (Rayna) Li came to Fleming College from China with a background in law, ready for a new career and life change.

“I was so shy and quiet before. I lacked leadership skills and did not want any attention,” said Rayna, who got involved with the SAC Street Team, served as an International Student Ambassador, volunteered on- and off-campus and more while at Fleming College. “I changed my career and my personality here. Coming to Canada is the best choice I have ever made.”

Rayna came to Fleming College for the Business Administration – Accounting program, which she describes as awesome, amazing, wonderful and meaningful. She credits her program faculty for their support, advice and kindness, explaining “They are all warm-hearted and care for us. The Accounting program is much more like a family.” 

Rayna says she truly values the advice of her faculty, including program coordinator Shelly York, who advised Rayna to earn her CPA designation through CPA Ontario. “I am really lucky to have followed her advice. It will have life-long benefits for me!” said Rayna.

What drew Rayna to the Business Administration – Accounting program was the work placement, where students apply their knowledge and skills to a real work setting. Rayna completed her four-month work placement at Baker Tilly, providing review and audit technician support for large businesses and non-profit organizations; accounting and bookkeeping for small to medium clients; supporting the preparation of financial statements and tax returns; and liaising with third parties, partners, managers, clients and staff.

“All of the content you learn, like QuickBooks, Profile and Audit, all come together,” said Rayna of her placement experience. “All the things I learned from College are useful and handy, and I got practise through real-life experience.”

Rayna said her colleagues, managers and partners at Baker Tilly were all very approachable and kind, and always checked in to ensure everything was going well for her.

“It is a wonderful learning environment,” said Rayna. “We have so many fun activities and people here are professional with a sense of humour, not just suits.”

Rayna believes work placements are an amazing opportunity for all students, and advises those entering a placement opportunity to always be on time, responsible and have a good attitude.

“It is a job, not only a learning placement,” she said. “Do not be afraid of asking questions and making mistakes—that’s how we learn. Please keep telling yourself ‘you can do it,’ and tell your boss ‘I am willing to learn and I can do it.’”

Rayna graduated from Fleming College this June and is thrilled that her placement led to full-time employment.

“I love the job I am doing now. I love it,” said Rayna, who is working as a Staff Accountant at Baker Tilly. “The Partners Richard Steiginga and Joanna Park, and COO Kim Freeburn surprised me; they had planned on hiring me but nobody told me anything about it. Then, I got my offer and I literally cried with happiness in their office. It is so good when you get hired by your dream firm!”

Rayna said she loves working at Baker Tilly because it is fast-paced and challenging. “There are different clients and different files and different problems to tackle, which makes me excited and lights me up immediately,” she explains. “Accounting is not only about numbers, it is more like you have to understand how their business and industry works and then you work with your client’s numbers, the policies and rules. It’s an interesting and challenging job.”

Michael Tamosauskas builds a ‘golden’ resume in the geological field

A thick fog quickly rolls in while Michael Tamosauskas collects glacial till samples atop a mountain in Nunavut. With his nearest colleague at least 100 metres away, Michael’s radio alerts him that an emergency helicopter pick-up is on its way before the pilot loses more visibility.

When the roar of the helicopter sounds close, all Michael can see is the thick, white fog enveloping him. “I was kind of panicking because if they couldn’t pick me up for a certain period, I would have to camp out on the tundra overnight,” said Michael.

The helicopter pilot, with Michael’s crew on board, struggles to spot Michael and, when he does, there is nowhere nearby to safely land. 

“I made the decision to sprint – and fall – down the side of this mountain to flatland, where he was able to pick me up… with him and my crew laughing at my tumble down the mountain,” said Michael.

Fleming Career Fair leads to summer employment at GroundTruth Exploration

The opportunity for Michael to spend his summer working at GroundTruth Exploration, a mineral exploration company, came from attending the annual Career Fair at Fleming’s Frost Campus. At the time, Michael was an Earth Resources Technician Co-op student looking for work experience in his field.

Michael has spent the past couple summers working for GroundTruth Exploration; first in Nunavut, later in Labrador. The company, based in Dawson City, Yukon, is involved in gold exploration projects across northern Canada and begins a new project in Alaska soon.

As an Exploration Field Technician, Michael marked soil sample site locations, collected soil samples and described their physical attributes. He worked four weeks on, one week off, and then another 4 weeks on, with workdays being seven to eight hours.

“Nunavut was a very unique place to work,” said Michael, adding that his camp was approximately 200km north of the nearest town, Rankin Inlet, and had about 200 people working there. He describes the camp as well-developed, including a wastewater treatment facility, clean washrooms, and professional chefs who cooked for everyone.

“While working in Nunavut in the summer, I was subject to 24/7 daylight, which took a while to get used to; although I was always so tired by the end of my workdays, I did not need darkness to fall asleep,” he said. “Also, the lack of trees on the tundra made it easy to spot all sorts of wildlife, such as caribou and wolves.”

He returned to GroundTruth Exploration the following summer and was assigned a project in Labrador, where he was one of a five-member crew.

“I found life in Labrador a little more rough,” Michael said, explaining that his crew assembled their kitchen/office tent, dry tent, and personal tents to sleep in. “The scenery of Labrador is gorgeous, although the bugs I had to deal with daily were horrendous. To make my workdays bearable, I needed to wear bug nets and apply bug spray on my skin every 20 minutes or so.’

‘Although, the helicopter rides and the interesting rocks I spotted up there made up for it!” he added.

This summer, Michael will be working in Dawson City, Yukon, as a Geologist, sampling soil and rock using a GeoProbe. He will then utilize X-Ray Fluorescence to determine whether the samples have high concentrations of arsenic and/or iron, which can indicate gold.

Co-op placement and applied learning gives Michael Tamosauskas a competitive advantage in geology field

Michael has always found Earth dynamics extremely interesting, so when he began exploring post-secondary options, his heart was set on geology. But with mainly college-level high school credits, Michael ran into issues trying to get into a university geology program.

He met with his guidance counsellor to research college geology programs and discovered that Fleming College’s Earth Resources Technician program features a paid, six month co-op, which he believes is incredibly valuable. Michael enrolled in the program and describes his two years at Frost Campus as an excellent experience.

“For my ERT Co-op term, I was a Geotechnical Field Technician for Golder Associates. This summer experience was an excellent foundation for my career, as I had no prior relevant work experience,” he said. “That experience on my resume has drawn interest from every job interviewer I have had so far.”

After graduating from Fleming in 2017, Michael used Fleming’s education pathway to Acadia University to earn his Bachelor of Science in Geology.

“Before I went to Fleming, I believed I was not fit to go to university. But I realized my potential throughout my two years there,” said Michael. “I give ERT faculty a lot of credit because they did a great job teaching the complex subject of geology within a two-year span and prepared me well for studying geology in university.”

Michael recommends the ERT program to others because of its applied learning opportunities, including field trips, projects within the Drilling and Blasting facility, and mandatory co-op placement.

“I found that this experience gave me quite the advantage compared to my fellow university students, since the university approach is mainly theoretical rather than practical,” he said.

Michael plans to gain more experience as a mineral exploration geologist and is interested in focusing on the business side of mining in the future. He is currently enrolled to complete his Honours project with an Acadia University professor and, once he graduates from his degree program, Michael would like to pursue graduate studies and conduct research with an economic geology professor.

Involvement leads to opportunity, says Construction Engineering Technician grad Tyler Fenton

The construction industry is a consumer of resources and raw materials and a contributor to solid waste, but Fleming Construction Engineering Technician graduate Tyler Fenton is hoping to improve the environmental impact of construction with sustainability.

“Sustainability is not the silver bullet, but it’s a powerful tool to drive change for the better,” said Tyler. “Through pursuing higher levels of sustainability, we can lower the waste produced by construction activities, make the buildings we build healthier for occupants, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the energy required to run these buildings and create more affordable living for people moving into urban areas.”

As a Sustainable Buildings Solutions Coordinator, LEED Green Associate at EllisDon Corporation, Tyler is responsible for ensuring that projects achieve different levels of sustainability certification: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, Toronto Green Standard certification, or both. Tyler’s department services EllisDon projects across Canada, including hospitals, commercial towers, schools, train stations and institutional buildings.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of such a wide variety of projects that serve many different functions in their communities, but that are all striving for excellence in design, construction and operation,” said Tyler.

Fleming education and network leads Tyler to success

Tyler worked on-campus at the Office of Sustainability while attending Fleming College and one of his responsibilities was to book guest speakers to talk to Trades students about sustainability in the construction industry.

One of his speaking events featured the Director and Program Manager from the Sustainable Building Solutions department at EllisDon and, through this experience, Tyler started growing a network at his dream place of employment.

When he graduated, Tyler emailed the CEO of EllisDon seeking a job opportunity (scroll to “Proud Fleming College graduate” for how they met). Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as Tyler had hoped…

“Because I did not have industry experience, they couldn’t justify hiring me at the time,” he said. “They told me to go get some experience and re-apply in the future.”

So, he did.

Tyler worked as a Construction Coordinator at Dufferin Construction for one year to get the experience he needed. And when he re-applied to EllisDon, he got the dream job this time.

Confidence in the KUBE is why Tyler chose Fleming

Tyler didn’t always dream of working in construction. With a resume ranging from wildland firefighter to tree planter, bartender to labourer, and even a gig in the jewelry industry, Tyler took his time finding the right career fit.

When he decided on construction and engineering, Tyler chose Fleming because the program introduces students to various trades to give them an understanding of the different disciplines they’ll encounter on job sites.

“I was very impressed with the D-Wing in particular,” he said. “In no other educational facility I’d visited had I seen anything like the KUBE. This made me confident that I would be in a good learning environment.”

Adding, “I would absolutely recommend that prospective students go and visit the campus, go to the Open House, because it will give you a perspective on where you’ll be learning and if it’s what you’re looking for.”

Proud Fleming College graduate

“I’m very happy with my Fleming experience and I’m proud to tell people that’s where I went to college,” he said. “Overall, you’ve got a beautiful, newly renovated, top-of-the-line building to learn in, instructors who are passionate and have real world experience, and as many opportunities to learn or get involved as you can handle.”

Now that Tyler has graduated from Fleming, his advice to students is to get involved.

“The more you get involved, the more opportunity you’re going to have when you graduate,” said the Class of 2018 graduate.

While at Fleming, Tyler volunteered with Enactus Fleming, worked at the Office of Sustainability, and collaborated with his program coordinator to research and test permeable pavement.

The permeable pavement project led Tyler to representing Fleming College, the Office of Sustainability and FastStart at the 2017 OCE Discovery event, where he met EllisDon CEO Geoff Smith (who Tyler emailed for an interview when he graduated).

“In my experience, the connections I made through my student worker position in the Office of Sustainability opened the door to my dream job,” he said. “And the skills and knowledge I gained from the program and from the instructors I got to know allowed me to land the job. It wouldn’t have happened that way if I hadn’t gotten involved in the things that I did.”

From dairy farm to paralegal practice, it’s all about community for Janet Heeringa

Janet Heeringa at her home office

Raised on a dairy farm, Agriculture degree in hand, and a share in Karlina Farms Ltd., it’s hard to believe Janet Heeringa owns a paralegal practice. But after renovating the front of her barn for an office space, Janet Heeringa Paralegal Service is open for business!

“My hubby and I completely renovated the office space,” said Janet. “This also is convenient for my brother because, if he requires help, I am here to help him… small jobs, of course.”

Janet chose to open her own practice to continue the flexible work hours and freedom to set her own work pace that she enjoyed for 15 years at Karlina Farms Ltd., where Janet was her own boss.

“I love agriculture, as it is a family business and lifestyle,” said Janet, who earned her Agriculture degree in 2003 from Kemptville College (University of Guelph) and, alongside her brother Richard, took over daily operations of Karlina Farms Ltd. in exchange for a share.

But in 2016, Janet and her family made the difficult decision to sell their milking herd. The need for updated, expensive equipment and their uncertainty of the Canadian quota system drove them to this decision.

And the dream to one day help the agriculture community as a paralegal is what drove Janet back to school.

“I have always wanted to help and educate people. I have found that, through agriculture, I have been able to educate people on our Canadian dairy industry and why we are lucky to have a closed system here in Canada,” said Janet. “With Law and Justice, I can now help people with their problems and also educate them on various issues.”

Janet took the Law Clerk and Paralegal programs at Fleming College. Since these programs share three semesters, Janet was able to earn a second diploma with one additional semester of study.

“Honestly, I was very nervous coming into Fleming as a mature student. I felt I would be the oldest student in the class!” said Janet, who is a wife and mother of three daughters. “On the very first day, my fears were eased seeing the range of students in my program. I made a friend, Emily, right away in the parking lot. We stuck together for three semesters and are still friends today!”

There are advantages to attending college as a mature student, as well. Janet explains that she was more dedicated to her studies, had better time management and workload management at Fleming College compared to her first post-secondary school experience.  

“I also found, having done college at 19 and again in my mid-30s, that I could concentrate better—even with children as a distraction,” she said. “If I had the time, I would do most assignments at school during my free time and avoid doing these things at home with the family distractions.”

Janet graduated from the Paralegal program in May 2018 and the Law Clerk program in August 2018.

“My experience at Fleming was wonderful. I made lifelong friends, expanded my network of professionals and absolutely loved the teaching staff,” said Janet, crediting faculty members Diana Collis, Barb Moyle and Amy Maycock for their help throughout her studies and for setting Janet up to be a strong, independent and successful paralegal.

“I would highly recommend the Paralegal and Law Clerk programs,” she said. “These programs engage your mind and teach you to look at situations from a neutral and objective view. It teaches you to be a better person, and how to become involved in your community and help the people of your community you want to work in.”