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Alberta

Official Installation Ceremony for RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda

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Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s new President

From Red Deer College Communications

Red Deer College celebrates new President during Installation Ceremony

Festivities included new traditions and a look towards institution’s future as a university

It was a special day for Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s new President.  While he began his tenure in September, Dr. Nunoda was officially installed as RDC’s 11th President during a ceremony Tuesday, November 12.

“I am humbled to receive the warm welcome from the College community and our external partners that I have enjoyed today, as well as during other occasions in the brief time I’ve lived in central Alberta,” says Dr. Nunoda.

Red Deer College was a buzz with special moments during the Installation Ceremony as the College community, government representatives, dignitaries and community members from across central Alberta welcomed formally Dr. Nunoda.

Indigenous drumming and singing provided entertainment for the audience, as well as signifying RDC’s continued commitment to collaborating with Indigenous communities in the spirit of reconciliation. In recognition of Dr. Nunoda’s proud Japanese Canadian heritage, members of the Students’ Association honoured him with a loaned piece from the College’s permanent art collection. The students presented a colour woodblock on silk by famed Japanese artist Kunisada that dates from 1848-58. This art will be displayed by Dr. Nunoda in his office during his term.

A new tradition for Red Deer College was introduced as Dr. Nunoda took an Oath of Office led by Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Dr. Nunoda also received a new Presidential stole that he will wear as part of his academic regalia at future Convocation Ceremonies and other important events.

“On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Governors, I was honoured to host today’s Installation Ceremony as we welcome Dr. Nunoda into our College community at this momentous point in our institution’s history,” says Guy Pelletier, Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. “Dr. Nunoda has already identified a strong path for where he will lead this institution into the future as a university, and we are very excited to collaborate with him and our community to realize this bold transformation that has been decades in the making.”

Dr. Nunoda provided the audience with a glimpse of his leadership and the future he envisions for Red Deer University during today’s ceremony. This vision includes continuing to serve learners as a polytechnic university offering more diverse programs. As a university, this includes degrees, apprenticeships and the full breadth of other credentials that RDC currently offers. Additionally, existing and future facilities on RDC’s vibrant campuses will provide opportunities for community collaboration and a culture of engagement. Recognizing Alberta’s current economic conditions, Dr. Nunoda identified the need for a strong business model that contributes to the institution’s economic and environmental sustainability.

While honouring RDC’s past successes and strong reputation, Dr. Nunoda also noted it will be important to highlight the value of practical education and signature learning experiences that students will receive from Red Deer University, so that employers realize the benefit of the skills and knowledge that work-ready graduates will provide to the local and global economy.

“We have an exciting future ahead as Red Deer University, continuing to grow practical learning opportunities for our students, and creating stronger connections with individuals and organizations in our region,” says Dr. Nunoda. “Through innovative solutions, creative problem solving and an energetic touch of imagination, we will reach our goals and position Red Deer University as the first choice for post-secondary education.”

Dr. Nunoda identified a strong desire to work with government partners to allow the institution to begin calling itself Red Deer University starting in September 2020, citing the institution’s readiness and work that is currently underway. This work includes program development for three new degrees: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration, with students anticipated to begin classes as early as September 2021, pending government approval.

Learn more about RDC’s 11th President, Dr. Peter Nunoda, by visiting rdc.ab.ca/president

Alberta

A Small, Important Opening

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A Small, Important Opening

Chances are pretty good that all major-league sports and some of the lower-profile ones will manage to complete partial 2020 seasons despite growing signs that COVID-19 will not give up without a long and continuing fight for dominance over sports and all else in today’s world.

Experts and observers of all athletic and public disciplines agree, however, that nothing is certain: baseball players are opting to stay home; basketball players express discontent and confusion every day; the NHL waffles over naming so-called hub cities for a wacky playoff proposal that continues to raise more questions than answers.

In the midst of all this uncertainty comes one simple burst of optimism: the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the public on Thursday, 98 days after the rampaging coronavirus pandemic forced closure of the building on the edge of Red Deer on March 16. It is fair to concede that reopening a small-city building warrants little public interest when compared with the billions involved in professional sports, but it’s also reasonable to accept that every step of progress in this deadly world-wide struggle is worth recording.

Although none of the $302,000 committed to the Hall in the current provincial budget has been received – a $75,000 commitment has been made but no cash has appeared and a review is already promised for later this year – executive director Tracey Kinsella said some pleasant things have been achieved during the lockdown.

“We have been extremely busy giving our Hall of Fame an update,” she smiled. “Our goal is to improve the entire experience for our visitors from the moment they walk in the door.”

Cleanliness was, and is, essential in the reopening. Sanitizers, directional signs and plenty of obvious messaging are part of the opening, of course. There is no plan for an opening ceremony, Kinsells said. “We would like to do something of a celebration, maybe later in July.”

At one time, fingers were crossed that induction of the 14 members selected several months ago but “we had to decide (last week) that there will be no induction banquet in 2020. We’ve had to tell all the inductees that we’re having to wait until next year.”

The list includes four athletes: skier Deirdra Dionne, hockey player Chris Phillips, chuck-wagon racer Kelly Sutherland and snowboard-cross star Michael Robertson. Five builders – Jan Ullmark, figure skating; Terry Morris, curling; Ken Babey, hockey; Derek Douglas, soccer – were selected along with five Hall of Fame Award winners Nancy Southern and Ian Allison (equestrian broadcasters, Bell Memorial Award), John Currie (Western Canada Summer Games 1983, Achievement Award); Stan Wakelyn (1922 Canadian soccer champions 1922, Pioneer Award); Dennis Kadatz (coach of Edmonton Huskies national junior football champions 1962-64).

Those awards show clearly how broad is the effect of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Every winner spent years working and practicing toward the world’s most elusive goal: perfection. There is no suggestion that it was reached, just as there can be no hint that they have inspired thousands to follow them.

Discussing the government’s failure to live up to its contracted financial commitment, Kinsella was not especially critical: “We’re sad, disappointed, maybe a little alarmed.” During a lengthy discussion, she finally confirmed receipt of the government’s letter providing the limited amount and mentioned “I’ve asked for meetings, have not had a direct, face-to-face conversation with anyone in the area of culture.”

My unsolicited opinion: this is unreasonable. As the Hall opens its doors, perhaps a government department should also open up.

Learn more about the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Our sports history has value

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Alberta

‘I love this country:’ Brazilian cowboy nears end of epic horse ride in Calgary

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WAIPAROUS VILLAGE, Alta. — Filipe Masetti Leite stops for a break from another long day in the saddle on his year-long trek encountering bugs, bears, buffalo and bad weather.

The Brazilian cowboy, 33, who grew up in Canada and wants to become a Canadian citizen, is to finish his 3,400-kilometre journey by horse from Alaska to Calgary on Friday. The 2020 Calgary Stampede, set to start the same day, was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Despite the cancellation, Masetti Leite was named the event’s official parade marshal. He is to be greeted by an escort of Stampede officials and Mounties on horseback, who will then ride with him to a small ceremony at the city’s Stampede grounds.

“I’m sad to say goodbye to my ponies, but other than that I’m looking forward to getting to Calgary and having a beer,” Masetti Leite says with a laugh while stopped this week on a desolate road mostly used by campers and logging trucks about 120 kilometres northwest of Calgary.

Light rain drips from the brim of his white cowboy hat as dark clouds move overhead.

Masetti Leite says he has avoided travelling on major highways since he set out from Anchorage in May 2019, switching between his two horses named Smoky and Mack.

It’s not his first journey as a long rider, a term used for an equestrian who has gone more than 1,600 continuous kilometres in a single journey.

He covered about 16,000 kilometres riding from Calgary to his parents’ home of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo between 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he rode 7,350 kilometres from Brazil to Patagonia.

Masetti Leite, who moved with his family to Calgary when he was nine, later grew up in Toronto. He says he was inspired to become a long rider by Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City in 1925 and wrote about his experiences.

Masetti Leite has also documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”

Proudly sporting a Canadian flag on the right arm of his black bomber jacket, Masetti Leite says most people don’t realize he isn’t a Canadian citizen. He says his family applied years ago for citizenship for humanitarian reasons but were denied.

“It’s the hardest part of my life,” he says, wiping away tears. “It was like a punch to the gut.”

He says he feels Canadian.

“I love this country so much. I’ve been a man without a country for years sir. It’s a total identity crisis.”

Masetti Leite says this long ride into Calgary will be his last.

“I started doing this because I didn’t want to do the mundane and now this has become mundane,” he says.

“I crossed a grizzly bear the other day and I wasn’t even scared. And you know what? I’ve got to call it quits. This is not normal.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

 

Gov. Gen Julie Payette honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

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