Premier’s Award Nominations Acknowledge Seven Distinguished NC Alumni of Excellence

Niagara College alumni nominated for Ontario Premier’s Award celebrate diverse achievements across industries and communities. Photo Supplied


Niagara College (NC) is celebrating seven alums who have been nominated to receive the prestigious Premier’s Award.

“The Premier’s Awards have been honouring outstanding Ontario college graduates since the early ’90s and have elevated many Niagara College alumni for their significant economic and social contributions in our province,” Arbeau, Vice President Advancement at Niagara College, shared with The Niagara Independent. “The awards were created to showcase the important contributions that Ontario college graduates make in all corners of our society, and in 2023 Awards of Excellent honourees truly reflect that remarkable impact.”

Arbeau also took some time to reflect on the multi-disciplinary prestige of NC alums. “All of our nominees have distinguished themselves in their respective fields – and in their communities,” he explained. “The College offers over 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs, and it’s wonderful to see the breadth of programs represented by this year’s nominees,” he continued. “This speaks to the quality of an NC education and the impact that our grads are making in their respective industries, from health care, non-profit, media, technology trades and more.” “Not only do this year’s nominees come from diverse backgrounds, we are also proud to see more recent graduates included, which speaks to the career preparation and employability of our graduates, who we know are in high demand by employers.”

In closing, Arbeau contemplated how Niagara College has developed into the nationally and internationally revered post-secondary institution it is today while looking forward to the future with great optimism. “The College has undergone tremendous growth over the years, and a large part of that growth can be attributed to our trailblazing spirit and the experiential approach to learning for which we are well-known,” he said. “The College has tremendous momentum right now, and we are making significant investments to renovate and build new spaces, modernize our campuses, and position ourselves for long-term growth in programming and services,” he continued. “We are fortunate to have great industry partnerships here in Niagara and beyond that gives us valuable feedback to continually improve our programming so our graduates have the latest skills and training they need to be work ready.” “We engage, celebrate and bring together diverse cultures to prepare world-ready graduates who are representing the value of a Niagara College education in countries around the world.”

“The 2023 Premier’s Award Nominees join past generations of alumni – over 120,000 worldwide – who are making the world and our region better places to work and live.”

2023 Nominee Names

Christine White (Apprenticeship) Lead Technical Trainer, Stellantis N.V. (NC Auto Service Technician grad, 2006)

Jason Ofield (Business), President and Chief Executive Officer, Bulk Barn Foods Limited (NC Business, Sales and Marketing grad, 2006)

Mark Carl (Community Services) CEO, Habitat for Humanity Niagara (Business Administration – Marketing grad 1997, and International Trade grad, 1997)

Mark Suknanan/Priyanka (Creative Arts and Design), Drag Queen, pop star and television personality (NC Broadcasting – Radio Television and Film grad, 2012)

Dorothy Urschel (Health Sciences) President and CEO, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Clinical Professor, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (Nursing grad, 1991)

Jessica Garrett (Recent Graduate) Development Technologist, City of Niagara Falls (NC Carpentry and Renovation Techniques grad, 2015, and Construction Engineering Technology grad, 2019)

John Zambakkides (Technology) President and CEO, Z3 Controls Inc. (Power Engineering diploma, 1972).


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