10 years after high school, Jessica Polley took the “huge, scary step” to attend college

jessica-polleyJessica Polley was very nervous to attend college as a mature student. Among concerns like tuition, being older than her peers and whether she chose the right program for her, Jessica was concerned about her ability to learn something new 10 years after graduating high school.

“Choosing to attend college 10 years after graduating high school was a huge, scary step. It is a big risk to take when you have a family at home to worry about,” said Jessica. “At the time it was terrifying, but now looking back it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Jessica chose Fleming College because of the dual diploma option. She decided to take the Paralegal and Law Clerk programs at the same time.

“The amazing faculty made learning something new a lot less scary. They truly want to see you succeed and are happy to help when you have questions,” said Jessica, who finished her courses in 2017. She graduated from the Paralegal program in 2017 and officially graduates from the Law Clerk program this year.

Before graduating from Fleming College, Jessica was hired at MacDonald, Charette & Associates in Cobourg, Ont. They worked around her school schedule so that she was able to finish classes and in September 2017 hired her full-time as Paralegal and Legal Assistant.

“I was able to find and obtain a position in my chosen field of study before I had completed both of my programs and I would not have been able to do that without the education I received,” said  Jessica, who now has her Paralegal License and credits her dual diplomas for having a wider range of employment opportunity.

“The field placement preparation course really helps you know how to handle difficult questions in interviews. During my interview I was asked ‘why would you apply for a position that required three to five years’ experience?’ I learned in class to answer this in a positive way, by saying that I considered my in-class learning some of my experience, my field placement gave me further experience, and that I would like to gain the remainder of my experience at this firm.”

Jessica’s responsibilities at the firm include interacting with clients and opposing legal representation, conducting client intake meetings, drafting pleadings and other materials, draft correspondence, and attending to court filings, among other tasks. She currently works as a legal assistant to the family law and litigation lawyer, and assists the firm’s small claims court clients as a paralegal working under the direction of two lawyers.

Jessica said that the skills she developed at Fleming are applicable to her job. “We drafted the majority of the documents and materials that I draft on a daily basis. We also would have to file our completed documents with the ‘Court Clerk’ as part of our assignments,” she explained.

Her advice to prospective mature students is to be social and speak with your peers and faculty.

“When I started school, I had a negative attitude about meeting new people. I felt I was not there to meet friends and that I had no time to have new friends. I was there to learn, not to have fun,” she shared. “I very quickly learned that meeting new friends was a great part of school and I honestly don’t know if I could have made it through the stresses of school without their encouragement and support! If you find the right people, you can still learn while having fun.”

Childhood hospital stay inspired Fleming grad Olivia Anderson to become a nurse

olivia-anderson-blog-photoOlivia Anderson was 13 years old when she decided she wanted to be a nurse. After being diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, Olivia underwent an 11 hour surgery to have her spine fused with titanium rods. She was bedridden in the hospital for days, unable to shower due to the incision, so when a thoughtful nurse took the time to wash Olivia’s hair, it made Olivia feel especially grateful.

“It made me feel 100 times better to have clean hair. It was such a simple thing, but it made a profound difference in how I felt during my initial recovery. I wanted to make people feel like that too,” she said.

She enrolled in Fleming College’s Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas (Class of 2015), which led her to the Practical Nursing program (Class of 2017).

“I loved my time at Fleming and I felt I really made the most of it. I was quite engaged as a student, which is a testament to the environment on campus,” said Olivia. “The community there is something special to be a part of, and it made me want to get involved and give back.”

Olivia was elected three times to Fleming Student Administrative Council, which she credits for boosting her confidence, developing her leadership abilities, and strengthening her ability to advocate for the people around her. “As a nurse, you are an advocate for your patients because you are the one who is providing the hands-on care and really get to see the whole picture,” said Olivia, explaining why this skill is applicable to her career path.

While awaiting the results of her Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination, Olivia applied to work on contract as a Fleming College Grad Recruiter for fall 2017. “I wanted to talk to future students about what a great place Fleming is and what a great nursing program they have,” said Olivia, who was hired by the College to travel across Ontario speaking to a variety of audiences about Fleming programs, services and facilities.

“A skill I really developed during my time as a Grad Recruiter for Fleming was time management. Coordinating my day around appointments, distances between them, knowing how much time I would need to set up/tear down, as well as time to complete any paper work or prepare for future events. This really taught me to see the big picture of the day and not to focus solely on the small stuff,” she said. “As a nurse, there is so much to keep on your radar throughout the day when it comes to coordinating one person’s care, but on a regular day shift you can have four to five patients all requiring a lot of your attention.”

olivia-anderson-blog-photo-2At the end of her Grad Recruiter contract, Olivia was hired by Peterborough Regional Health Centre as a Registered Practical Nurse. She is responsible for the hands-on care of medical and surgical patients, including: medications, wound care, assistance with activities of daily living, administering treatments, performing assessments, providing education and support to patients and families during someone’s hospital stay, raising concerns about a patient to the multi-disciplinary team, and more.

“The best thing about it is that you are always engaged,” said Olivia. “There is never a moment at work where I am bored. I am always on my toes, always thinking about who needs what and when, and constantly reorganizing my day around any changes to the patient’s care plan.”

Her advice to current students is to ask lots of questions, take every opportunity to gain hands-on experience, and learn from those around you and their experience.

Fitness and Health Promotion grad honours mentors through his career

kevin-wilson-2-002From his passion for basketball to his career in physiotherapy, positive mentorships have played a huge part in Kevin Wilson’s life, which is why he is giving back through the National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program Inc.

“Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by mentors my whole life. My first basketball coach mentored me for years and developed my love for the game of basketball. When I broke my patella at 12 years old, my physiotherapist inspired me to pursue the field of physiotherapy; he would go on to mentor me for years as I completed over 300 volunteer hours within his clinic,” said Kevin. “Although both have unfortunately passed away, their teachings, passion and dedication to my development has not gone in vain.”

Kevin enrolled in Fleming College’s Fitness and Health Promotion program as the first step in his education journey, because this diploma prepares many graduates to pursue a degree in Kinesiology. Kevin’s long-term academic goal is to earn a degree in Physical Therapy.

“Overall, I had a great experience at Fleming College,” said Kevin. “As a student athlete on the varsity basketball team, I loved the fact that the FHP professors were so understanding of my athletic responsibilities. I have nothing but great things to say about the college, the student life, and the professors within the FHP program.”

Kevin credits the program with challenging students to apply theoretical knowledge within a practical setting, as well as providing the necessary tools to be a successful healthcare professional.

“Whether you decide to work as a personal trainer or decide to continue with more schooling, the knowledge received in this program will be utilized for many years following graduation,” said Kevin, who graduated from Fleming in 2014. “To put things into perspective, I am still using the majority of what I was taught in the FHP program.”

After Fleming College, Kevin attended Brock University for Kinesiology and started his own personal training and physical rehabilitation business.

“The FHP program at Fleming gave me the confidence needed to start my own business,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about what it takes to successfully run and manage my own business, and I wanted to earn some income while in school to assist with tuition costs, living expenses, etc. Although not yet a physiotherapist, I wanted to create my own brand and to establish myself as a healthcare professional. I understand the value and benefits of being self-employed, and I hope to enjoy these benefits throughout my entire working career.”

Kevin graduated from Brock University in 2017 and in January of this year he started the National Basketball Youth Mentorship Program (NBYMP) to give back and to promote overall success and health, which is something Kevin views as important as both a future physiotherapist and as a human being.

“I plan to influence the lives of as many youth as possible, similar to how my mentors have influenced my life,” said Kevin. “There are many youth who struggle to find the resources needed to be successful and I hope that, through my program, they can find their path and purpose in life.”

NBYMP is a national youth mentorship program that aims to provide a holistic approach to personal development for basketball athletes under the age of 19. Youth enrolled in this newly-formed program will have access via email to mentorship from high-level Canadian professional and university basketball athletes, online academic assistance from students and graduates of Harvard University, financial advising and development from licensed financial advisors; and access to strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, and sports psychologists. Registration is free, but basketball camps, workshops and academic tutoring do have associated fees.

“My hope is that hundreds, and eventually thousands, of kids utilize this mentorship program to achieve great things, both on and off the basketball court. I hope to provide full scholarships for dozens of youth entering college/university programs, and I hope to use this platform to promote the overall health and wellness of youth and individuals across Canada.”

Kevin said his advice to current Fleming FHP students is to soak in all the information, ask their professors lots of questions, and to set long-term goals.

“I will be going back to school this September (2018) to study physiotherapy and this was something that I planned to do even while at Fleming,” he said. “Set a long-term goal and use that as motivation to get you through this program and future programs or ventures.”

From Peterborough, Ontario to TVO, Kevin D’Innocenzo shares his career journey with Museum Management and Curatorship students

kevin-dinnocenzoWhen Kevin D’Innocenzo gave a passionate presentation on “Bringing Back Heritage Minutes” to his Museum Management and Curatorship peers six years ago, little did he know that not only would more Heritage Minutes air, but that Kevin himself would earn a job at TVO.

TVO is a provincial television station that airs educational programming. At their Toronto-based office, Kevin works diligently as the Media Researcher/Archivist.

“The best thing about my job is getting to represent the diversity of Ontario through media and having the opportunity to influence Ontarians across the province,” said Kevin. “It’s humbling to have that responsibility.”

Kevin’s responsibilities include clearing copyright for all media used in television programs, documentaries and organizational initiatives, including audio, video, images, and literary works; interpreting Canadian copyright legislation; archiving new media that TVO films and produces, and more.

“Did my Fleming education prepare me for my job? Absolutely,” said Kevin, who graduated from the Museum Management and Curatorship program in 2012. “My responsibility during the exhibit in MMC was to research, negotiate and license the exhibition we put on at Peterborough City Hall. It’s called ‘We Were There: Stories of Peterborough in Times of Conflict’ and it’s still there– we got to do a permanent exhibition.”

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in History at Trent University in 2007, Kevin travelled the world, and taught and developed English curriculum in South Korea. “After spending several years overseas, I realized my affection for ethnographic studies. Paired with my lifelong love for museums, it was a natural choice for me to pursue dreams of working in the field of cultural heritage,” said Kevin.

From 2012 to 2013, Kevin served as an E-Volunteer at the Royal Ontario Museum and then was hired as a Project Assistant on contract at the Ontario Museum Association for a year. In 2014, Kevin was hired as an Exhibitions Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s largest cultural professional practice that plans and designs services in the museum, cultural and heritage sector.

In July 2017, Kevin was ready for a change and took a job at TVO in the archives. “Seeing my name on the credits of The Agenda with Steve Paikin for the first time, I was like, ‘mom, take a picture!’” he laughed.

Kevin recently returned to his old stomping grounds at the Fleming Annex, Peterborough Museum & Archives, to speak with current Museum Management and Curatorship students about his career path and college experience, as well as to share advice.

Kevin’s tips to current students are:

  • Focus your interests and build experience around them
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Network
  • Understand what you want to get out of a job
  • Volunteer
  • Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from it!
  • If you’re not a good writer, become one
  • Be tenacious

Kevin said he recommends this Fleming graduate certificate program because it prepares students for the real world.

“There’s a theoretical component of the program, but what sets it apart is the applied learning, which I was able to take with me and use to this day.”

Conservation grad swaps snow for palm trees at the University of Miami

laura-fedynyszynLaura Fedynyszyn, Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management graduate (Class of 2013), swapped the cold Canadian weather for sunshine and palm trees in Miami, Florida this winter.

The Fleming College graduate is working at the University of Miami Libraries as the Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow, where she performs conservation treatments on rare books and paper objects from the permanent collections on campus.

“I love the range of objects I get to work on. We have maps and manuscripts dating back to the 15th century but also a wealth of new materials, such as zines. Each pose their own preservation problem, so every day is something new,” said Laura, who creates a variety of mounts and supports for objects on display, and works with an installation team to set up the exhibits.

Laura’s previous experience includes conservation contracts at Library and Archives Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and the John M. Kelly Library at the University of Toronto. She decided to move to Miami in November 2017 because of the amazing career opportunity the university presented.

“The other faculty I work with are knowledgeable and supportive. We have a new and wonderfully outfitted conservation lab with a lot of equipment I have never gotten to work with before, so it’s been a great learning experience,” said Laura. “Canada is home, but I must say it’s nice to skip winter!”

Laura credits her Fleming education for preparing her for the Fellowship at the University of Miami, especially the work completed during her final semester.

“That semester provided me with a solid foundation and gave me excellent exposure to the type of media I came to love working with the most,” said Laura, who explained that book and paper conservation was the area of focus during final semester of the Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program.

Laura came to Fleming College after earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at OCAD University. She was attracted to Fleming’s graduate certificate because it offered experience working with a range of objects, such as metals, ethnographic objects, textiles, and paper.

“I was interested in learning about the collections management and preventive conservation side of things too, as I know conservators at many small institutions are often tasked with these facets of collections care as well,” said Laura. “The Fleming program provided a great balance of all the different aspects of conservation and collections care.”

Laura describes her Fleming College experience as “amazing” and keeps in touch with many of her classmates. She describes the courses as intense and well-structured, with lots of hands-on projects, and appreciates the wealth of knowledge her instructors brought to the classroom from their extensive work experience in the field.

Her advice to current students is to be willing to move for opportunity. “Being mobile and able to go where the work is helps a lot, especially when you are just starting out,” she said. “Be open to any and all contracts that are in the realm of conservation. For example, I took a two-week contract at Cambridge Galleries and was able to expand that into over a year of work conserving their permanent collection and planning for a new storage vault. You never know what great opportunity is just around the corner.”

Fitness and Health Promotion provides a stepping stone to university for Haily Whitelock

Version 2Haily Whitelock’s high school co-op placement at a physiotherapy clinic is what inspired her to pursue a career helping people with their fitness goals. Unsure whether being a physiotherapist was the best fit, or if there was a better suited career opportunity in the health field, Haily decided to enrol in Fleming’s Fitness and Health Promotion program to explore her options.

“I would recommend this program to anyone interested in the health field. I believe it is a good starting program for those who are unsure of which direction to take,” said Haily, who graduated from the Fitness and Health Promotion program in 2017. “With the bridging opportunities available through this program, there are plenty of opportunities to continue onto other fields of study.”

Haily developed her interest in physiotherapy and rehab treatments throughout the program and decided to take advantage of Fleming’s education pathway agreement with the University of Guelph-Humber. She was able to enter third-year of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Kinesiology program and plans to graduate in 2019.

“With this opportunity, I had the option to take both fitness and health, and work towards my kinesiology bachelor’s degree,” she said. “I have talked to many employers and business owners and they are looking for graduates who have been to both college and university, as they believe college provides candidates with skills while universities give them an adequate background in the areas of study.”

Haily enjoyed her experience at Fleming College, describing her professors as helpful and enthusiastic to answer questions. “With small class sizes, it is a great learning environment where you can feel comfortable amongst peers and engage in class discussions freely,” she explained. “I feel in bigger schools they are limited to this kind of engagement, as the class sizes are huge and it can be intimidating speaking up to start a discussion in a big lecture room.”

She felt well-prepared for university after attending college, having developed her study techniques, ability to write helpful class notes, meet project deadlines, and prepare for exams. For that reason, Haily credits Fleming for being a great stepping stone to university.

“Fleming is a lot different from high school, there is still a lot of responsibility you have to take, but the professors are always there to help when needed and, being small class sizes, it is easy to connect with your professors,” she said. “In university, the class sizes are much bigger and in order to make an impression on your professor you need to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone.”

After she graduates from the University of Guelph-Humber, Haily plans to write the kinesiology exam to become a regulated kinesiologist. She hopes to continue her studies and earn her master’s degree in either occupational therapy or physiotherapy.

From high school diploma to Masters degree, Sarah Healey uses Fleming’s education pathways for continuous learning

sarahhealeySarah Healey never expected to love learning. When she started the Specialist High School Major (SHSM) in Business in grade 11, her only goal was to skip a year of college.

“Naturally, at 17 years old, skipping a year of school seemed like a great idea,” said Sarah, who was told the SHSM program would count towards first year in the International Trade program at Fleming College.

“This high school to college pathway was my main priority. Additionally, I truly didn’t believe in myself that I was capable of achieving higher learning until I was attending Fleming,” said Sarah, who took the SHSM program in 2010 to 2011. “Here, I quickly learned that I am able to be successful when I set my mind to it and, to this day, I’m still surprising myself.”

After high school, Sarah enrolled in the International Trade program and participated in the Fleming International Learning Experience (FILE) trip to Europe with the School of Business. During her time at Fleming, Sarah said she matured, developed a passion for learning and business, explored new languages, and made lifelong friends.

“My experience was clarifying,” she said. “I entered Fleming a completely different person than I did leaving.”

One course in the International Trade program that impacted Sarah was Corporate Social Responsibility. “The entire course changed my outlook on education and, as a result, my life,” said Sarah, adding that she decided to continue her education after Fleming to become a stronger candidate in the workforce. “By furthering my education, I believed this would provide me the opportunity to advocate for businesses becoming more sustainable and transparent in their practices.”

After completing her advanced diploma in International Trade in 2014, Sarah used a Fleming education pathway to enter the third year of Trent University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. She said she was prepared for the transition to university because she developed time management, project management, teamwork and leadership skills at Fleming College.

“I was highly involved with extra-curricular, which definitely aided my experience,” said Sarah, who was part of the Trent Business Students’ Association and served as a delegate at JDC Central, a prestigious business competition focusing on academic, social, athletic and debate-based competitions. “I won awards for my leadership in the school and traveled across the country – literally, Winnipeg, British Columbia and Alberta – advocating for our students and the Business School.”

She completed her undergraduate degree in 2016 and is now earning her Masters of Arts in Sustainability Studies, CSR Strategic Planning at Trent University.

“I would say Fleming was my primary motivation, the CSR course was a pivotal moment in my education,” said Sarah on why she wanted to earn her Masters degree. “While at Trent I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn about the overarching field of sustainability, which most people mistake for only surrounding the environmental field. Sustainability is a diverse sector that branches out across all fields.”

Her career goal is to work in a senior management position to create strategic sustainability partnerships for corporate businesses.

“I used to think if I didn’t go straight to university from high school I’d never make it there,” said Sarah. “Seven years later I’m graduating from my Masters degree in April and will have nine years of post-secondary education in less than seven years. If I can do it, you can too!”

Nicole Soanes aims to make positive impact as Youth Justice Committee Coordinator at John Howard Society of Peterborough

nicole-soanesNicole Soanes wanted a career that would make a positive impact on the community. After graduating from the Community and Justice Services program at Fleming College in 2017, she hit the ground running at the John Howard Society of Peterborough as Youth Justice Committee Coordinator.

“What I love the most about my job is getting the chance to work with youth who are often at a critical moment where they can take one of two pathways,” said Nicole. “I hope to assist clients in making positive choices in order to get on a productive and healthy path in their life.”

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.

“I love being able to connect a person who has caused harm with the person who has been harmed, and help to promote understanding and healing for everyone involved in a situation,” she said.

Many of the skills Nicole developed at Fleming College are applicable to her job, including the social skills and confidence she gained in the Community and Justice Services program.

“In particular, the Interviewing and Counselling course in Community and Justice Services made me feel extremely prepared to take on my current role,” explained Nicole. “That class was incredibly uncomfortable– sitting in front of all your peers and doing role-plays was a nightmare for me! However, I pushed through and it was so worth it. Interviewing and Counselling gave me the skills that I use every day in my role at the John Howard Society when working with clients.”

Nicole decided to enrol in the Community and Justice Services program after spending two years in university. “I approached the end of my second year and began to question where my degree was going to take me and what my future was going to look like,” she shared. Nicole wanted to make a change and when a friend recommended Fleming’s Community and Justice Services program, Nicole knew it was the right fit for her.

“My experience at Fleming College was absolutely amazing! I am a very introverted person and I often find it’s difficult for me to come out of my shell, to socialize, and to participate in class discussions and activities. At Fleming, that all changed,” said Nicole. “I made wonderful friends, and the faculty in the Community and Justice Services program is indescribable. The support that I found down the Justice hallway was just incredible.”

The Fleming College graduate said her education gave her the knowledge and skills to implement her passions, including the Aboriginal Justice course which ignited her passion for Restorative Justice.

“I honestly recommend the Community and Justice Services program to someone at least on a weekly basis. The two years that I spent in the program have been the best two years of my life,” said Nicole. “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.”

Jessica Bekesi credits Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program for earning competitive internship placement

jessica-bekesi-headshotJessica Bekesi was ready to hit the ground running after graduating from the Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program in June 2017. The following month, Jessica started her position at Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre as Preventive Conservation Intern through Young Canada Works.

“The Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program was instrumental in my getting this internship. Without it, I wouldn’t have the education or experience to be equipped for this position,” said Jessica. “The Fleming program is highly respected in the field of conservation in Canada and I feel it definitely had an impact on my application. In fact, one of my co-workers at the Heritage Centre is a fellow Fleming graduate from the ‘sister program,’ Museum Management and Curatorship.”

As Preventive Conservation Intern, Jessica analyzes environmental and storage conditions, and conservation policies to recommend changes to improve artifact care; she is instituting new guidelines for conservation standards and a new condition reporting system; and she is reorganizing parts of the storage area, helping to introduce an integrated pest management system, re-houses artifacts, and creates new mounts and enclosures when needed.

“My career is set on the foundation of knowledge I gained at Fleming College”

“Almost all of the tools and skills I need and use on a daily basis at my internship I developed at Fleming College,” said Jessica. “I learnt proper artifact photography in my class Technology Applications, environmental monitoring and pest identification in Reducing Risks to Collections, specific artifact needs I learnt in abundance in the numerous History of Technology and Lab Techniques classes. […] My career is set on the foundation of knowledge I gained at Fleming College.”

jessica-at-workJessica decided to take Fleming’s Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management program after earning her Bachelor’s degree in History and Art History (Honours) at Queen’s University. She wanted to gain hands-on experience in treating museum artifacts and Fleming College’s program seemed like the perfect fit for her goals.

“I loved my time at Fleming College,” said Jessica, who developed close relationships with her peers and professors due to the program’s small class size. “All of our teachers were so obviously passionate about their work and all had experience within the field– most of who are still actively working in museum conservation. Feeling how much the instructor’s cared about the class and the information was infectious and such a pleasure to be a part of.”

She added, “I was amazed at the equipment available to me in the labs and feel so lucky to have been able to learn with these tools.”

The Fleming College graduate said she would recommend this program to aspiring conservators because it helped her develop a deeper passion for her career. And for students currently in this program, she recommends networking, asking questions, and putting in as much time as possible into work and labs. She also recommends using the library, explaining, “the resources there are amazing and catered so well to this field like nowhere else I’ve seen. Conservation books can be few and far between and very expensive, so having the library was a huge asset.”

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.