NAIT community award winners, achievers and community builders | January - March 2024

Congrats to these leaders, innovators and creators

Four times a year, we share news about NAIT alumni, students and staff who’ve won awards, achieved great goals, reached major milestones, or played leading roles in building their communities.

Here are the latest. Please join us in congratulating them!

(Know of someone we're missing? Let us know.)

Welcome Parveshindera Sidhu!

photo of Parveshindera Sidhu, member of NAIT board of governors

This spring, NAIT welcomed Parveshindera Sidhu as the newest member of its Board of Governors. With roughly two decades of experience in residential construction and land development, Sidhu brings skills in strategic direction, project management and team leadership to the role. Currently, he serves as president of Genesis Builders Inc. and vice-president of home building for Genesis Land Development Corp.

NAIT's board is responsible for managing the polytechnic according to its mandate. It comprises 18 members, 12 of whom are appointed by the Government of Alberta.

Gold stars

nait men's ooks volleyball player jumps at the net

The 2023-24 Ooks athletic season didn’t see the hardware haul of years past but the medals the teams did win made the year memorable, and even historic. Among the standouts was gold medal the women’s hockey team, allowing record-setting goalie Kaitlyn Slator to cap off her career with a championship.

But the crowning achievement was a national gold in men’s volleyball – a first for the polytechnic, which has competed in the sport for nearly 50 years.

There’s more! Check out the highlights.

Silver in Stuttgart

nait ika women's culinary team

NAIT’s first all-woman team to enter the IKA Culinary Olympics, held every four years in Germany, were in it to win it from the start. And they did not disappoint.

Facing competition that included pros from around the world, the culinary team put 18-months of training to work in a five-hour event that involved a three-course meal for 120 discerning diners. The efforts secured a silver medal, a first for the polytechnic in the community catering category.

Cool (concrete) runnings

nait civil engineering students with concrete toboggan in newfoundland and labrador

This February, a crew of Civil Engineering Technology students slid their way to success at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, held in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The 50th anniversary of the national event saw the team – who led not only the design and construction of their sled but also all fundraising efforts to make the trip possible – earn three awards. The group was recognized as the best new team (having been absent for several years), third for braking efficiency, and first for having the most attractive sled, a locomotive they christened “Bogwart’s Express.”

Listen to an interview with the student team leads on CBC’s Radio Active

Renowned restaurants

blair lebsack, 2024 nait hokanson chef in residence, at the butchery by rge rd, standing beside a long table and smiling

Edify magazine’s 2024 listing of the Edmonton-area’s best restaurants was loaded, as is often the case, with NAIT grads. Among them was Blair Lebsack (Cook ’01) – who also happened to be the polytechnic’s most recent Hokanson Chef in Residence – whose local-focused restaurant Rge Rd was acknowledged in the “Best Overall” category.

For all the alumni winners, look for the 🏆 in our restaurant guide.

Success in sight

femal optician helps female customer pick new glasses

What do you do when a customer and optician don’t see eye-to-eye? That can be the case when someone walks into a shop with a prescription that simply won’t fit in the frames they’ve set their sights on.

For sharing her perspective and solutions in a student writing contest held by Optik Now magazine, Optical Sciences – Eyeglasses student Tina Guenther earned first place and publication. Check out her article.

A great place to work

laura jo gunter, nait president and ceo

NAIT earned two rounds of recognition as a great workplace for 2023. For the 13th consecutive year, the polytechnic was recognized in January as one of Alberta’s Top Employers. In the same month, Forbes magazine included NAIT on its list of Canada’s Best Employers as one of only two Alberta post-secondary institutes.

“Our goal is simple: to make this not just a workplace, but a great workplace,” says Clayton Davis, associate vice-president of human resources.

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