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It's May flowers for Conestoga students


Ten students from the Retail Florist program at Conestoga College have just returned from the 50th anniversary Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa, having gained practical experience in a number of competitions for floristry students and carrying a basketful of awards.

The festival is still in full swing until May 19, and will attract several hundred thousand visitors. During the opening week, both students and floristry professionals tested their skills and creativity in tulip arranging theme events at Palais des Congres in Gatineau, Hull region.

The Conestoga team fared so well that Program Co-ordinator Dorina Idvorian received a special award from Festival Director Joel Marc Frappier in recognition of the College's outstanding performance.

Representing Conestoga were students Constance Bender, Lindsay Clymans, Vildana Glisic and Susan Hill of Kitchener; Jill Dunbrook and Marisa Ortiz-Pedroza of Waterloo; Monika Casson of Cambridge; Sanja Jefic of Guelph; Ruth Nairn of New Dundee and Damaris Martin of Elmira.

The foursome of Casson, Glisic, Martin and Ortiz-Pedroza took first place in the arch competition designed to display the theme Flying Above the Stars. Hill won first place in the miniature topiary event.

Ortiz-Pedroza won the Tailored Tulips surprise box competition, while top honours in the Tulip Appetite surprise box event went to Glisic, with Clymans taking second place and Martin third.

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Niilo Tuhkasaari, a first-year student in the computer systems technology program at Cambrian College is a first place winner in the 2003 College Association for Language and Literacy (CALL) student writing contest in the applied business writing category.

Tuhkasaari's winning entry is based on his technical report, The Significance of Technical Certification in the Information Technology Field.

CALL's annual writing contest is open to community college students who are studying in full-time programs. The categories include applied business or technical writing, essay, and creative writing. The contest winners receive $150 and have their pieces published on the CALL Web site at www.callmagazine.com.

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As the result of a $152,000 grant from the Counselling Foundation of Canada, Conestoga College is developing four new, specialized online professional courses for those in the career counselling field. The aim is to look at key sectors and strategies affecting employment guidance now and in the future.

The courses, two of which are now available while the remaining two are scheduled for the fall, are part of Conestoga's postgraduate program in Career Development Practitioner. The program is for those who hold a college diploma or university degree and who wish to pursue professional studies in the field of career counselling, guidance or management services. The new courses can be taken as electives within the program, as credit/audit courses by those employed in the field, or as a separate, four-course advanced certificate program.

All four local post-secondary institutions (Conestoga College, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University) co-operate on the Career Development Practitioner program, which results in a college certificate or a joint college certificate/university degree. Graduates find employment in educational, governmental, consulting, community and business/industrial capacities.

Students can take courses either in a traditional classroom setting or online. Because of this online aspect, students from across Canada have been able to participate.

The courses scheduled for introduction in the fall are Youth and Career Awareness, and New Canadians and the World of Work. The first looks at special issues and influences that affect youth searching for careers and making career-selection decisions: short-term needs, long-term perspectives, emotional intelligence, educational planning, mentoring and coaching.

The second is an area of special interest these days, as governments seek ways to encourage the integration of new Canadians into the workforce in capacities attuned to the educational and employment skills acquired in their native countries.

Information about the Career Development Practitioner program is available from the Conestoga College Information Centre at 519-748-5220, ext. 3656 or geninfo@conestogac.on.ca.


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